Week 1 of Camp NaNoWriMo is officially in the books and I am thrilled with my progress!
In case you are unfamiliar with NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and it’s summer companion series (Camp NaNoWriMo), then take a look at this previous post and check out their website for more information.
I’ve been working on an adult fantasy series for over a year now and I’ve recently set some crazy, scary, awesome goals for myself. Coming up this fall is this awesome thing called Pitch Wars. Pitch Wars is a mentoring program where published/agented authors, editors, or industry interns choose one writer each, read their entire manuscript, and offer suggestions on how to make the manuscript shine for an agent showcase. The mentor also helps edit their mentee’s pitch for the contest and their query letter for submitting to agents. I want to participate in this event, but you have to have a completed manuscript in order to even apply (and applying is no guarantee that you’ll even get selected to participate). So, that means I have to have a solid, polished, finished draft of Death’s Dominion by September in order to apply to participate in Pitch Wars. No big deal, right? Well, there’s several things I have to do between now and then in order to even be ready to apply for the program.
Back in February, I posted a brief update about my book, Death’s Dominion, indicating that I had 83,011 words written in the book as of February 16, 2019. The Spring semester at work ended up being hectic and I didn’t have a lot of time to sit down and dedicate to my book until end of May/beginning of June, but I managed to plug away at the book little by little and I got close to 100,000 words in my manuscript. However, when I dove back into the book at the end of the semester and started sitting down for longer writing sessions, I realized that the bulk of what I had written really belonged in book 2, rather than in book 1. The world I created became much bigger than I originally thought it would, the stakes for my characters became bigger and more complex, and the plot lines became more complex and intricate. These are all great things for a high fantasy series, but they also meant that I had more work to do. So, I moved things around and restructured the story.
By the time I finished restructuring my story I only had about 30,000 words in Book 1 (Death’s Dominion) and the remainder (about 50,000 words – 70,000 words) were in Book 2. Seeing my word count shrink so significantly was pretty disheartening, especially seeing as how I wanted to have a finished and polished draft by September, but it really unblocked the story for me.
So, July 1st rolled around and Camp NaNoWriMo officially started! Instead of setting a word count goal, I set a time goal for myself. I’m at this point in my novel where I don’t know exactly how many words it will be by the time I finish it, but I need to be better about writing consistently and writing every day. So setting a time goal rather than a word count goal made more sense to me.
My Camp NaNoWriMo goal is to write for 100 minutes, every day, uninterrupted. That’s just over 1.5 hours every day. That’s it. And I’m going to break those 100 minutes into 25 minute chunks with breaks built in between sessions (this is known as the Pomodoro Technique). An hour and and a half of writing doesn’t seem like much, but it’s super achievable for me and my work schedule, and I’ve been really impressed with the results that I’ve gotten thus far:
- Day One: 100 minutes, 2,789 words
- Day Two: 100 minutes, 1,893 words
- Day Three: 75 minutes, 460 words
- Day Four: Break – no writing
- Day Five: 175 minutes, 4,582 words
- Day Six: Break – no writing
- Day Seven: 25 minutes, 417 words
After just one week I wrote more than 10,000 words and am just shy of 40,000 words in my draft! This is awesome! I am really excited and proud of the progress I’ve made this week. I am cautiously optimistic that I can continue this progress so that I can finish a rough draft of this book by the end of the month. Once the draft is done I’m going to revise it, post the first chapter (or maybe even the first act) up on Wattpad, and then get it ready to submit to Pitch Wars.
Stay tuned for another Camp NaNoWriMo update next week! And in the meantime, if you want to buy me a cup of coffee to help fuel my writing habit then just click the button below. Until next time!