Camp NaNoWriMo Prep

March 24, 2017     Michelle     Random Ramble, Writing

I’ve been busily preparing for Camp NaNoWriMo here at FaerieFits — I’m kind of treating the prep work as a warmup exercise or something so that I can full-bore when April gets here.

Picking my pet Project

I took quite a bit of time deciding which project I was going to work on. In November, I worked on the first draft of The Demon’s Assassin, and I haven’t really worked on that book in particular since. But I HAVE been working on a prequel novel, The Making of a Demon. (Titles in work). And I also want to work on the sequel to The Demon’s Assassin.

You can read the blurbs of the books here, if you’re interested in learning more!

So I had 3 real choices.

Ultimately, I’ve decided I’m going to rewrite The Demon’s Assassin. The work I’ve been doing on the prequel and even planning for the sequel has resulted in some fairly major changes / details to incorporate into this project. So with a rewrite in order anyway, I’ve decided to focus on this book once again.

And I’m making a promise to myself that I’m not going to rewrite this book to-death (as I’ve done in the past with other projects).

Setting Goals for April

I’d like to write somewhere between 50,000 and 75,000 words in April. So I’ve set my goal at 75,000, and we’ll see how it goes.

But more importantly:

  • Write daily
  • Be true to my character’s voices
  • Let them drive the show and don’t force it
  • Not get hung up on the crazy difficult transitions
  • Have something (mostly) complete and ready to be edited later — I don’t know if 75k will be enough to feel complete, but we’ll see!
  • And hopefully don’t hate what I come up with?

Outlining Like Crazy

I used to be a pure pantser, but I would ALWAYS (always always always) get stuck at roughly the same word count. And then I discovered outlines. And they really help me out a lot.

That said … I still get stuck at around 15k-20k words. But at least NOW when I get stuck I can confidently skip forward and know where I’m going.

But this time … This time I’m determined not to get stuck — at least, if I do get stuck it won’t be because I don’t know what’s supposed to happen. I’ve got three levels of outlines.

  • The Series Outline: wherein I’ve highlighted major events and the general direction of the macro-arc, etc — I’ve got a few books planned (This was done in December)
  • The Book Outline: wherein I’ve gone one step lower to plot the major milestones of the book with a few directional details — this mostly helps with flow and order of events and whatnot (this was done in early March)
  • The Detailed Outline: wherein I’ve mapped out almost every specific scene and what has to happen in each of them — this also usually includes actual written passages when I feel inspired (this I’m just finishing up)

Creating Character Profiles

I make this sound WAY more formal than it is. Mostly, I’m just trying to get a feel for my supporting cast. Who are the critical ansillary characters and what are their backgrounds? For some of them, I’ve been featuring them in 15 Minute Ficlets (like Gitte). For others, I’ve just been thinking about them/getting to know them in my head.

And, most importantly, I’m going through my outlines to make sure I’m not going to forget about my supporting cast. I’m adding in little notes about what they’re doing and reminders to myself to include them in appropriate places.

If you’re interested in more detail on what I’m looking at for this piece, take a look at my post about the Five Steps to Make a Kick-Ass Supporting Cast.

Scheduling Blog Posts in Advance

Perhaps most importantly, I’m setting up FaerieFits to be largely self-functioning while I’m focused on Camp NaNoWriMo. I will still be around and responding to comments and whatnot, but I don’t want to be distracted from writing my book because I feel the need to write entire posts here. So I’ve got a ridiculous amount of discussion posts scheduled through April and part of May, and I’m queuing up some old book reviews to keep you all entertained while I’m “gone!”

In effect, all this post drafting means I’ve basically already started NaNo! (What a crazy notion!)

Compiling an aesthetic pinterest board

Thanks to Cait’s post on Paper Fury about creating an aesthetic pinterest storyboard, I have been obsessively adding pins to inspire my writing and, hopefully, keep me working toward a consistent tone / mood with my writing.

Check out my pinterest board here!

Are you participating in Camp NaNoWriMo? If so, how are you getting prepared? Or are you winging it?!

  • Ikram Ali

    I actually didn’t know that Camp Nano WriMo was a thing. I participated in NaNoWriMO for the past time last year and it was really last minute when I decided to do it, so I pretty much was a pantser but then I got stuck around 15k. I’ve been working on an outline now and hopefully I can join in Camp NaNo WriMo and get some writing done. 🙂

    • Michelle

      Ooh, I do hope you do well! That 15k mark is a sticky spot, I swear. I almost ALWAYS have to skip something there. And if I don’t know what I’m skipping, I don’t know what to do instead! I decided in late October that I was going to do NaNo in November, so I rushed to outline just enough to get me through that 15k mark (thank goodness!) This time I’ve taken a lot more time to prep! Good luck! And if you need inspiration/encouragement during Camp NaNo, just let me know! I will empathize! 😀

  • I failed big time when I tried to do NaNoWriMo, so I think I will do this unofficially, maybe with a smaller goal to try to actually accomplish something for a change.

    Your plan sounds great. I love outlining. It helps so much to find plot holes. When I re-read an outline I had made, I realized I left a missing character in limbo. I never explained later what happened to him or brought him back into the story.

    • Okay, I changed my mind. I’m going to sign up. Even if I don’t reach the goal, anything is better than nothing!

      • Michelle

        YESSSSS! I shall commit to helping pester/remind/encourage you throughout the month! 😀

    • Michelle

      Isn’t that the worst? I do that all the time!

      You can actually set your own personalized goal for Camp NaNoWriMo this year! So if you’re interested in doing it, but want to only have a goal of 10k words, you can! Or you can set a goal for hours of writing, or pages of editing or whatever you want! I used to struggle with NaNoWriMo like no other, but last year I think I finally found a system that works for me. It was about finding a good community and actually ENGAGING with it, so if you’re interested, we could help keep each other motivated! 🙂

  • I’ve taken part in NaNoWriMo a couple of times, but I’ve never actually done Camp NaNoWriMo, but maybe I should give it a go? I haven’t worked on the novel I was writing in November as much as I would have liked since, so it would probably give me a boost!
    It looks like you’ve been doing a lot of useful prep anyway, so best of luck with it! 🙂

    • Michelle

      You should join in! This year for Camp NaNoWriMo you can set goals other than wordcount … I think they even have an option for pages of editing, or just hours of work. So even if you aren’t ready / don’t want to write a whole bunch, you could still use it to get some progress boost on your WIP 😀

  • oh yay!! I wrote my first ever ‘writing post’ recently! I’m not taking part in Camp NaNoWriMo but I’m definitely joining in with NaNoWriMo in November this year..It’ll be my first ever.. I just went and read your blurbs of your WIPs and I’m intrigued!! And I draw my maps by hand..I suck at using technology 😛 AND OMG I CREATED AESTHETIC BOARDS FOR MY STORIES AFTER READING CAIT’S POST TOO!! High five!! 😀 Good luck with your stories Michelle <33

    • Michelle

      High Five! Pinterest has been SUPER AWESOME in helping me stay focused when I’m writing/outlining! (Which … the irony is not lost on me, lol)

      And thanks! I’m glad they’re interesting 🙂 You should check out — it’s SUPER easy to figure out for making maps! When I try to make them by hand I normally just draw blob-circles and label them. I’ve enjoyed having something more detailed to work off of 🙂

      Yay for November’s NaNoWriMo! I did last November and really enjoyed it — it was a LOT of work, but totally worth it. I felt like I actually accomplished something! I’m planning on participating in November as well, so we should keep in touch for the encouragement/support around then 🙂

  • Ahhhh!!! I’m so glad you liked that post of mine!! MY DAY IS MADE OMG. 💕💕 And that’s so awesome how prepared you are!! I’m going to write for a few days at the beginning of April and then take a break and write at the end…mostly because my sister is coming to visit from uni and I want to spend time with her instead of being locked in my laptop screaming at fictional people. Even though that IS FUN. hehe. And awk outlines = my life. I looove them so much. Although I always get stuck at the end, outline or not. If I have to write emotional scenes where they can’t sass each other to death…pls send help. I collapse.😂😂

    • Michelle

      You definitely deserve some sister time in April! And I mean, you wrote 200k words already, like, a month ago, so I think you’ve totally achieved some halfway reasonable goals 😛

      I have never outlined so much in my life! So far my detailed outline is already around 18,000 words, and I’m not done yet. Normally I only outline roughly 3,000 words, so we’ll see if this helps me out substantially! *fingers crossed* 😀

  • I’m not taking part in Camp NaNoWriMo this year, I wouldn’t have the time, though I would love to write more. Unfortunately the only moments I write are on the weekends a little bit so I can’t really commit to Camp NaNo without giving up everything else I do every evening ahah.
    I love that you have such a detailed plan, best of luck for everything!! 😀

    • Michelle

      I totally know what you mean. I don’t know how I PLAN to have the time but … I’m going to make it work. I’ve always not done it in the past because of that, and I figure this year, I should get more serious about it 🙂

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  • I’m doing an edit for NaNo this time, so I haven’t done as much prep work. Unfortunately, I’ve been feeling a bit uninspired (and overwhelmed), so I think some more prep might be in order! 🙂

    • Michelle

      Yay for editing! I’m planning on kicking out most of my editing in June-September, then use November’s NaNo to work on the sequel. But things change, so we’ll see how it goes! I have found that lots of world-building exercises and whatnot have served me well for inspiration as of late, ESPECIALLY with editing in mind. Doing a bit of editing, and then a bit of the more creative side of things gives me a healthy balance. Good luck!