Challenge: Reader, Meet Camp NaNo


NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is in its most basic idea a race to complete at least 50,000 words of a single writing project within the space of a month.  What began as a once yearly NaNoWriMo in November has grown a thriving community of eager writers who will not have their NaNos contained to a single month.  This April is one of The Office of Letters and Light’s Camp NaNoWriMos, a newer series of celebrations that take place in any month other than November and during which the writer is placed with a “cabin” of writers with whom to commiserate and compete.

My friend at More Than One Page issued a challenge to her friends to join her in blogging about our progress over the month of April.  I hope you will forgive me for thinking that this is a good idea, though I’m going to try for weekly rather than daily updates with the potential to write more than one a week.

I have never won a NaNoWriMo competition, though I’ve been in several since 2007.  There is always so much else to do.  I really don’t expect to win a NaNoWriMo till that magical, potentially mythical day when writing is my only occupation.

As such I’ve learned to take liberties, knowing that it is extremely unlikely that OLL will ever check my work and that I am upholding the idea of NaNo.

This April I will be working on the second book in my WIP teen high fantasy series.  The first book was a long journey to get to this point: a manuscript with a complete plot arc currently entered into a contest for scholarship money while I continue—though I should perhaps not be doing so—trying to trim it down to a more acceptable word count.  (My monster has currently been trimmed to 147,734 words.)  I began first drafts and sketches twelve (gosh, really?) years ago.  Over that time I’ve grown tremendously as a writer—with all those classes and experience I had better have, anyway.

I won’t tell you much about it here.  Hopefully one day I can give you a link to order yourself a copy of it.

This second book, contrary to the rules of NaNoWriMo, I’ve already begun, but I will only be counting new words in a new Word document towards my NaNoWriMo count.  It is a relatively infantile story; I’ve not completed a first chapter yet.  Having already written a first book in the series, the world is fairly well established, though since the first is unpublished, there’s time yet for it to change.

I’m going to try and take this as a moment more to talk about my process of writing and writing in general.  I will probably drop you a few quotes as Andrew Peterson has been doing for the fourth book in his Wingfeather Saga via his Twitter and Facebook accounts (tantalizing tidbits, those).  I will share triumphs and despairs and, yes, I’ll take Emily’s suggestion and keep a death count.

I hope I can give you lots of exciting updates and that this doesn’t turn into a place for me to rant about the woes of writing, which while they may be plenty seem small in the face of the high that is creation.

April 1

I realized this morning that instead of doing some last minute editing on the first book in the series, reading a friend’s running commentary as she introduced herself to BBC’s Sherlock, and watching the first episode of the third season of Game of Thrones, I should have last night reread what I’ve already written of the second book in the series.  I find I have to read a bit of my own story usually to get back into the right tone and plot.

Rereading that this afternoon, I can already tell I’m in the mind-frame to trim not to throw words at a page.  Not the right frame for NaNo.

Total word count: 372

Day’s word count: 372

Average daily word count for April: 372

Death count: 0

Word count towards other projects (including this project, Facebook messages, cover letters, etc.): 539

Today’s musical playlist: “Poetry” begins with Unspoken, The Mountain Goats, Harper Blynn, Something Corporate, and Rachel Platten.

Cups of tea: 2

Chocolate: 6 snack-sized chocolate pieces, a Cadbury egg, and some jellybeans (not chocolate but sugar)

What prevented me: Work takes precedence over writing and taxes do too.  Then a friend started watching BBC’s Merlin and writing her commentary.  My friends are too awesome.

Other campers include: Apprentice, Never MasterMore Than One Page


About Kathryn

My love of books has been carefully cultivated by the adults who raised me and also by the friends who love to share. My life has led me down long library shelves, to online forums, fanfiction sites, the front of a lecture hall, and into the desks of college classrooms. With an English degree and a couple master’s classes in Children’s Literature, I am now a bookseller for Barnes & Noble. I have been an editor for Wizarding Life Networks (the people who brought you Wizarding Life, Panem October, and MyHogwarts now HogwartsIsHere).

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