I got the idea for my novel last summer and spent most of August researching, plotting and outlining my story. I finally sat down and started writing in September and by Nov I had all of 15k words. Yes, I’m that fast.
Fortunately, in October, I discovered NaNoWriMo. I spent a couple of weeks reworking my outline and creating a list of 30 scenes I needed, in chronological order, to prepare for 30 days of writing 1,667 words per day in November.
On Nov 1st, I set to work and by Dec, although I didn’t win, I had written 35k words, giving me a total of 50k. I continued writing my first draft in Dec and Jan, and finally finished on 69k at the end of Jan.
After those few months of hard work (let’s not forget, this is my first ever novel, 69k words is the most I have ever written!) I took a couple of weeks off to recuperate and get some distance. And then, in Feb I started on draft two.
I’m now 35k words in, and I’m adding and removing characters and storylines, rewording almost every sentence and changing scenes and chapters around. Basically, it’s a lot of hard work and it’s taking longer than expected.
So, I’ve decided to take part in Camp NaNoWriMo, which takes place in April, and is more tailored towards personal goals. E.g. If you want to write a new draft, you can, and you can choose your own target word count. If you want to revise the draft you wrote in Nov, you can, and you can decide on a word count, number of hours, lines etc. The sky is your oyster, or whatever.
Personally, I’ll be continuing to work on my rewrites in the hopes that I can finish draft two by May. I’d like to get my MS handed out to beta readers for a couple of months this summer before working on their comments and finally sending it out to query towards the end of the year!
When you sign up to Camp Nano, you fill in your camper profile, and your project details, and then you can either choose to join a cabin with your writer friends, or be automatically assigned to a cabin based on your shared interests. I’m in a couple of writing groups on Facebook (Your Write Dream by Kristen Kieffer, and Edit & Repeat by Zoe Ashwood) and everyone has been talking about Camp and discussing cabins, but I’m going to wait and see where they allocate me. Hopefully, I’ll be put in a cabin with other YA fantasy writers working on rewrites! *Edit* I’ve now joined a cabin with some other writers from the Edit & Repeat group on Facebook! So excited for April 1st now.
So, are you thinking about signing up for Camp? If you’ve never taken part in Nano, it’s a really good way to ease yourself in to writing goals and word count targets – you get to choose your own in April, unlike November. Add me as a buddy! I’m lyndleloo (same on Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram!).
See you at Camp,