Friday, August 2, 2013

July 2013 Camping Debrief

As the Inner Editor mentioned in an earlier post, I tried out Camp Nanowrimo last month. I was feeling disconnected from Familiar and I thought putting together a short story about the time leading up to my plot would be useful. And I’ve always wanted but been unable to pull off a short story. I’ve been participating in the Office of Letters and Light’s National Novel Writing Month for several years now with varying degrees of success and the pared down summer version of the program seemed like a good fit for my needs.

I tried to be very smart about my goals for my first camp out. The 50k in 30 days whirlwind of NaNoWriMo is a charming experience, but it’s not something I’m really feeling up to right now. I get 7-8 hours a week to write; 50k would have made for some very fast-paced fiction to fit that time frame. It’s doable, but I didn’t really want that level of stress. Also, I really wanted to work on my short fiction skills, and 50k may be short for a novel but it’s nowhere near the realm of a short story. I set a smaller goal of 10k.

I ended up getting just over 4k. So not a win in the technical sense. There were some personal issues that got in the way of my writing time in the middle of the month. Plus, as the Inner Editor mentioned, I knew by a week into the month there was no way I was going to reach the end of the story in 10,000 words, which didn’t do much for my motivation. Short fiction and I just don’t get along. My philosophy on writing seems to run more toward the “don’t use 3 words when 10 will do” school of thought.

And there were the wasps. We aren’t going to talk about the wasps.

(The nest is gone, by the way. Just in case you were worried.)

But the time off from Familiar made me interested in working on it again. (Pro Tip: When the project gets stubborn, cheat on it and make it jealous!) And even though I didn’t finish writing “Singed”, I did plot the rest of it out and now I have a much better handle on the head space my main character is in at the beginning of Familiar.

I knew she was in the mood to throw daggers at people, but I didn’t really understand why, which made me want to tell her to stay away from the pointy weaponry. Now I know better and will be letting her get a little more stabby. This should make her feel better, and will probably help me keep the romance subplots from taking over the story.

It’s difficult to work in a lot of sexytime scenes when the POV character is more interested in killing someone than kissing him.

So next week it’s back to Familiar for me and I’ll leave “Singed” to play with another day. Plus, there’s a certain guardian grinding her teeth and tapping her toe rather impatiently, getting just a little sick and tired of waiting for me to pay some attention to her little corner of my imagination again.

I’ve decided to count the Camp Nanowrimo experience as a win, even though I didn’t win. What about you? Did you camp in July? Did you win?

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