Getting it Write

This whole week, I’ve been working on one major plot point.

I knew where it needed to take the story, I just didn’t know how it got there.

So I thought.

And wrote some.

And thought some more.

And wrote some more.

But it never felt right.  I just wanted to give up.

Why write something if it was going to be terrible?  Why put effort into something that I was going to cut?  No, it was a better use of my time to check Facebook and Instagram.

But then I got an email from NaNoWriMo (even though I’m not doing July Camp, they still send me the emails for it).  It linked to a video title “How to Write When You Really Don’t Want To.”  I clicked on it.  And got motivated.  I needed to just sit down and write this scene!  Even if I wrote it wrong, I would know one way how not to write the scene.

So I sat down.

And wrote.

It was going wrong.

But then an idea struck me, so I went back and changed one part.

Then I kept writing, and another idea struck me!  So I changed that part, too.

Then I just kept writing.  Suddenly, BAM! It was like putting in the last few pieces of a puzzle – everything just fit.  The characters, the solution, the dialogue, the effect on the plot – it just worked.  And it felt so good.

So my advice to you?  Even if what you’re doing feels wrong, or is hard, or seems useless, keep writing.  Often times writing the wrong thing can act like a road sign that points to the right thing.

That’s what I learned from writing this week.  What did you learn?

When You Don’t Meet Your Camp Nano Wordcount Goal…

(…you cry.)

You make hot cocoa and watch Doctor Who.  You check Facebook.  You waste an hour listening to a really good audiobook read by Andrew Scott.  You spend all afternoon working in the garden.  You waste time trying to find a program to create a map for your fantasy world.  You check Facebook.  And then you pound out a few hundred words and collapse into bed feeling like a failure, because you didn’t meet your goal today.  (Repeat as many times as you like.)

CampNaNoProgress

And you stare at your little orange graph, willing it to go up.  You remember the good old days (around Day 8) when you were actually close to your word-count goal.  You replay in your mind that one day you wrote over 2,000 words, wishing it would come back.

Then you cry some more, accepting that those days are over with and done for, forever a thing of the past.  You make excuses.  You’re just too busy, you have a lot of homework, you’ve gotten a good amount done anyways… why bother catching up?  Besides, you wrote 400 words for your history homework, and another 200 in your journal, and that makes up for not working on your novel, right?

And then you sigh, pull out the laptop, and determine not to get up until you’ve written 2,000 words.  Why?

A Delicious Thing To Write

Because writing is delicious.  It’s wonderful.  It’s an opportunity to lose yourself, to create new friends, to conjure up new worlds, to explore the very depths of your imagination.

When I said I was going to write 40,000 words in April, I meant it.  I’m going to hold myself to it.  Because having a better novel will be equally delicious.  Because I call myself a writer.  Because writing is who I am.  Now if you’ll excuse me, I have 2,000 words to write.

Toothbrush Rewrites

You’ve heard me rave about Critique Circle.  I was on the website today and this caught my eye:

Toothbrush Editing

That sums up my life right now.  My novel is written — finished.  And now it looms before me like a filthy basement floor.  That the cats have puked on and the dog has tracked mud on (at least I hope it’s mud) and is that a dead spider?  Here sits this inexperienced author feeling like she’s armed with nothing but a toothbrush.  Kinda like this:armed with a screwdriverI mean, come on!  Some bleach would be nice!  Or at least a pair of latex gloves?

What?  OH!  That’s right!  CAMP NANOWRIMO is just around the corner!!!  YAY!!!

tom smiling gifSo today I compiled my Camp NaNo Survival Kit.

Laptop (with Scrivener)

Itunes (with all the LOTR music)

Notebook with a mess of notes about my story (maybe I should straighten out those notes)

The Emotion Thesarus

Slippers

Fuzzy Tardis blanket

Coffee

A stash of apples (to gnaw on when I hit plot holes)

A (bigger) stash of chocolate (to devour when I can’t get out of plot holes)

Favorite gel pens and a bunch of colored pencils… cause, hey, sometimes you need to put ideas down on actual paper

This April, armed with my determination, my inexperience, and a toothbrush/screwdriver, I will finally begin thorough re-writes.  Basement floor, here we come.

ahhhhhh!

Camp NaNoWriMo

camp-participant-2015-web-bannerI’m sure any of you who have been in the writing world for a while have heard of the infamous NaNoWriMo — National November Writing Month.  Each year, writers everywhere lose their sanity and try to write 50,000 words in just 30 days.

But wait…. you say, It’s March.  Why are you talking about this now?

Well, April and June are CAMP NANOWRIMO!!!!

What the heck is that?

A bunch of writers.  With their very own word-count goals.  Thrown into virtual “cabins” with other writers.  For a month.  To write.

Yup, you heard correctly — other people who actually CARE about you meeting your daily word count, people to have word-sprints with, people to brainstorm with, people to write with.  For an entire month.  Let the cheering commence.

No, I’ve never actually done NaNoWriMo or Camp NaNo before… but I did visit the forums last November and had a blast with the NaNoWriMo word sprints, community, and inspiration.  It was awesome.

Which is part of why I’m so excited for Camp NaNoWriMo.

Still not convinced?camp nanowrimo

Why you should do Camp NaNoWriMo:

1)  It encourages you to write

2)  The great community

3)  You’re connected to other writers

4)  It just sounds fun!

5)  It’s more flexible that NaNo in November — in Camp you can set your own wordcount, create your own cabin buddies, or even come back with a MS that needs revision (which is what I’m doing).

Hope to see you all there!

What about you?  Are you doing Camp NaNoWriMo?

Have you ever participated in NaNoWriMo?  What were your experiences?

BONUS: Awesome jif I found, for all my fellow Whovians and Writers out there.

nanodrwhogif