Friday, 15 March 2019

Camp NaNoWriMo

  Having met a few writers and wonderful people over the course of this still very young tarot art & short story book project, I also heard about Camp NaNoWriMo. National Novel Writing Month, while national to the US, has become international in recent years. I've never participated - it falls in November, and for the last 8 years, November has been *filled* with Etsy shop work to the ends that I can't even write my own novel, let alone embark upon a new writing project or attempt to start and finish a novel of 50,000 words in a month. That remains the case.
   However, Camp NaNoWriMo falls in April and July, are much smaller, and, while they can be used for starting and finishing new projects, they're often used to just lay out the details for their November projects.
   I won't be doing that, though. I'm opting for a whole story.

   I heard about this very early this month, but because the plan for the third and final book of my trilogy, I disregarded it.
   But, I knew there were a couple of short stories I wanted to write - both to submit to competitions - and one of them tied in quite tightly to the trilogy (though could still be written as a stand-alone). So tightly, in fact, that knowing what happened in it would only help in writing the third. And as it tied into an existing piece, I already had a pretty solid foundation.

   I've spent the past 5 days working on planning, laying out the details and seeing if it could just about work out. I'm not sure it will reach the length I'd like, nor if it will read as much of a stand-alone after all, but I can say this: I really, really want to write it.
   I'm going to give it the whole of April. I have a lot of ideas for it, and I have a very workable plan - so workable that I could start right now, but I won't - and I'm very excited. And, since it ties into the trilogy, it doesn't feel like a separate project or a waste of time, just an indulgence, really.
   I would rather write the next book, but I also want to write this, and I know that, if I leave it until the trilogy is finished, it won't actually ever get written. I'll have moved on and the matter I'm writing about will have been resolved. I won't have any incentive to backtrack. Not only that, but the work I would (and already have) put in to it, even if I kept the story private and never let anyone read it, it would enrich the world I've created so much and give me much more to draw upon and put into this last book, when the elements are supposed to truly come into their own.
   Yes, I'm being cryptic again, what a surprise.

   The idea of NaNoWriMo and its spring & summer camps is that you set a month of your free time aside to just write. You probably won't finish by the end of the month, but that's fine - it takes 21 days to make something a habit, and if you've spent a month writing and you're still enjoying it, you just keep doing it! All NaNoWriMo is is an incentive to get you to start, fall into a writing routine or revisit an old hobby. I've never needed that, since I've been writing non-stop since I was 12 - the only time I fell out of the habit was after my first rejection, which led to 6 months of neglect before I recovered, and even then it was my insatiable passion that drew me back (I'd not heard of NaNoWriMo back then).
   I'm hoping to get it finished in a month - my target is well below 50,000 words - but if I don't manage, I'll probably just keep going until I do. It won't take me anywhere near as long as a trilogy book.


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