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Camp NaNoWriMo Day 1

Camp NaNoWriMo Day 1

If you’ve somehow never heard of NaNoWriMo (National November Writing Month), it was started in 2001 by Chris Baty. Wikipedia’s description is National Novel Writing Month is an annual internet-based creative writing project that takes place every November. NaNoWriMo challenges participants to write 50,000 words of a new novel between November 1 and 30.Despite its name, it accepts entries from around the world. The goal of NaNoWriMo is to get people writing, no matter how bad the writing is, through the end of a first draft. The idea is that many people are scared to start writing because it won’t be any good, and if there’s a time to celebrate length, rather than quality, more people will write an entire first draft, which they can then proceed to edit if they wish.

Camp-NaNoWriMo-2013-Lantern-Vertical-BannerMy first personal experience with NaNo was in November 2012. I was very hesitant to sign up (as I had been for years). But I took a leap and basically observed. I did write everyday but not consistently on any project, and most definitely not 1000 words a day. (See my Write Write Write post about how I worked into a consistent daily writing habit.)

The original project spawned two projects for summer writing. Camp NaNoWriMo is held in April and July, with a similar virtual accountability process.

I participated in May’s Camp with the intention of working on my historical fiction novel, entitled Obsolete Measurements. I wrote about 1000 words everyday but found that flitted around from project to project. I had several magazine articles due at the time as well as two short stories. I didn’t make as much advancement as I intended. I also found I needed to do a lot more research on that novel than I initially planned.

On May 4th, I had an idea for a new novel. It came suddenly and completely. My plan was to get it down as quickly and as fully as possible. I dictated out my outlines and got started writing. I may be one of the few writers that creates outlines and doesn’t use them. They confuse me as I try to work in the moment within the book.

I started July Camp NaNoWriMo with 22,832 words written in that as of yet unnamed novel. My goal for the July camp is to have at least 50,000 words written on that project. My ultimate goal is to have the novel finished, with a polished draft by September 20th.

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