April has been a little bit of a whirlwind for me. Deadlines to meet, books to read, adventures to have, and Camp NaNo to win. Despite all efforts to the contrary, I’ve pulled through with my head still on my shoulders and my brain still in there somewhere too—so I’ll call that success. 😛
This year marks the third year of my participation in Camp NaNoWriMo.
Two years ago, I was working on a weird fanfiction called The Path Through The Trees. More commonly known as “The Book That Shall Not Be Named.”
One year ago, I was writing Operation Flint and getting utterly and completely sick of my main character and making random Star Wars references in my chapter titles.
This year, I brought out the highlighters and pens and dived into editing A Sprig of Green.
At the start of the month, I set my goal as 454 pages (the total length of A Sprig of Green). The first writing day came along and I had high ambitions to do this whole 400+ pages and totally nail it.
Fast forward to halfway through April and you can see me years behind my goal with a tiny little graph that’s barely visible and spending most of my time working on all the other deadlines I had to meet. In the end, I decided to swallow down the stubbornness and admit it: I wasn’t going to do the entire book in one month. I cut my goal to 200 pages, and kept on writing…
Between the 16th and the 20th, I headed off to a ‘writing retreat’ on which I hung out with my cousin, played a lot of board games, talked a lot, didn’t sleep much, and…for the first three days I didn’t write much either. This would be a brilliant example of “How not to do a writing retreat” except that the second half of the week was a little different.
We got down to the writing and battled out word wars like anything. I edited 27 pages one day, and then 23 the next and I GOT ON TRACK WITH MY GOAL.
Needless to say, I was very excited seeing as before Camp NaNo had been saying lovely encouraging things like “At this rate you will finish on: August 23rd 2018” Thanks a lot, NaNo. 😛
On the 24th, I hit 200 pages and officially won my seventh NaNoWriMo event.
But the editing hasn’t stopped there. I’ve passed the halfway point of the novel, and I plan to continue on editing through May until I reach the end—hopefully around mid-May. Then I’ll have to go through and type up all the edits and prepare for the Grand and Exciting Next Step.
Page count goal: 200
Total pages edited: 240!!
Pages remaining: 214
Highest page count in a day: 30 pages (23rd)
Nights past midnight: one. (I’d gone for over a month without staying up all night. So proud of me.)
Collages made: zero. Exactly zero. 😯 (It’s a third draft, so I’ve already collaged this story to the limit of collagedom.)
Highlighters dead: two. (It was a sad day. I had to find new highlighters.)
“Brown paper packages tied up with string…” These are a few of my favourite things from this month of editing!
Reworking Michayla’s step sisters
I had a lot of fun working on these two characters. They don’t play a huge role in the story, but they’re still fairly important characters. Before this edit, they were pretty much…stereotype cinderella’s evil step sisters. As soon as I came across them this time, I determined to give them each an actual personality. Now Amethyst is a tech-geek, sarcastic, and pretends to be bored all the time. Callista is a girly girl, who’s 50% frills and 50% naive sweet girl.
Improving my description
Description and I have never been best friends. In my first real novel, I described…pretty much nothing. Except for very very basic details. Such as if they were in a town or a forest. Since then, my description has slowly been improving in each novel, but I’ve still always liked to pass over it mostly and get back to the action.
A Sprig of Green is probably one of my most descriptive novels, and I’m actually quite enjoying the style and flow. The setting weaves into the story in several important ways, so it’s been a lot of fun to use description as symbolism and foreboding and just general mood-setting images. I’m discovering many secret uses of this tactic. 😛
I just love character arcs, honestly. It’s been so good to go through this and strengthen and deepen the development my precious MCs go through. Layering on the doubt for Michayla’s flat arc, and piling on a good lot of guilt and an extra dose of more guilt for Braden’s arc. And, of course, tossing in one or two (or three!) betrayals in there to spice things up a bit.
My precious little antihero
Braden has intrigued me from the first moment he appeared, and it’s been so much fun working with him again. I love Michayla, but Braden has a very special place in my heart and I’m sorry for all the mean things I’ve done to him.
These are only frequently asked questions because I ask them to myself all the time. I want to know the answers just as much as you do. 😉
How many words has this edit added onto ASoG?
No idea. It’s all on paper, so I’m not going to count all the words. I’ll tell you at the end of May. 😛
When are you going to finish writing PRINCE?
(This is the novel I wrote half of in March, but stopped for a while so I could edit ASoG)
Good question. No idea. XD
Probably around June? I honestly don’t know though. I’ll probably spontaneously decide to start writing it again with no warning. Most likely I will take a look at it again when I’m finished this lot of edits.
Will you be editing for July Camp NaNo too?
I don’t think so? (but as I said, it’s all a guessing game at the moment) I’m currently planning to finish edits in May and start them again in August, so that leaves June-July open for first drafts!! 😀
Well, what are you going to write for July Camp, then?
At risk of repeating myself, I have no idea. 😛 I might write one of my five novel ideas that I listed at the beginning of the year, or I might write a different new novel from the ideas I’ve had since then, or I might write something totally new altogether that I haven’t even invented yet.
It’s a mystery. 😉
That pretty much covers my writing month! It’s been a crazy adventure that was nothing like I was expecting, but it was all worth it. I might’ve started off with some unrealistically high expectations, but in the end I’m still really happy with how much I’ve done.
Did you do Camp NaNo this month? How did your writing go? What’s your favourite line from your WIP? Let’s chat in the comments!