Category Archives: nanowrimo

My Second CampNaNo Win!

I participated in CampNaNo this past April. CampNaNo is a writing competition of sorts. You write with a virtual cabin full of people cheering you on.  I was able to set my own goal, and I achieved it! This is the second time I have accomplished this. Although last time was heartbreaking as I lost my work. This time I made sure to back up my work daily! CNW_Winner_180

I ended up sticking with my Christmas story, which is about a boy who needs to learn the meaning of Christmas. A mysterious man tells him the tale of Santa Claus, and how he came to be.

Over half the draft is done! It has been strange writing it so far because a huge portion of it is not overly Christmassy with jingle bells and elves. A lot of Nicholas’ life involves not being Santa, and this story dives into that part. However, in a few more sections I will get to the North Pole part. I cannot wait! I want to write about beautiful lights, and hard working elves.

I hope to finish the first draft soon. Then, I’m going to put it aside. It will need a rewrite, and a few edits. It probably won’t be out this year, but my fingers are crossed for 2017!

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The Struggle: NaNoWriMo

For those of you who have read my blogs before, this won’t be a surprise. I failed NaNo again. It started out okay. I decided to continue on with my Christmas story from a previous year. It was not my original plan, but I cannot write 50k words unless I know what I’m writing about. I don’t outline. What I do is write.  Just write. Not 1,667 words. Just any words that enter my imagination. I write however much I can for as long as it takes for the story to take root in my mind. Once it does, I got it. I know what the story shall be. There are twists and turns along the way, but the general story is there. I did not have this knowledge with my original story choice, so I changed it. The Christmas story already had over 14,000 words, so it was a good choice.Print

By November 2nd, I had my story. I was ready. Then, I fell behind in my word goal. All it takes is a few days before it starts to feel impossible. NaNo also does not allow for breaks, and I need down time.

Long story short, I got 9,612 new words for the month. I love every single one of them, and I love my story. I will continue writing it after I have finished editing my current project. As of last week, I reverted back to my short story anthology because I want to finish my edits.

While I did not meet the 50k word goal, I am happy with my progress.

As an added bonus to my shiny, new words, NaNo introduced me to cool, new people this year. It was awesome! For the first time, there was a weekly write-in in my area! I went to three out of four meetings, and had a great time. Breaking up word wars with conversation is fun. I hope we have it again next year, and maybe for the Camp NaNos. I also participated in an online group, and gained some writing buddies! The social aspect of NaNo is nice.

On a completely different note, how was your November? I decorated the Christmas tree this last Friday! It was time consuming, but fun. It looks glorious. Perhaps I will post a picture ;).

Until next time,

Kalen


NaNoWriMo: The Most Awkward Time of the Year

I have spent a few years trying to get into NaNoWriMo. Theoretically, it sounds like tons of fun, and thinking of it in October is amusing. The dream of 50,000 words a month is alluring. It’s a wonderful and somewhat realistic dream. Then, November comes and the story changes completely.

It’s great having buddies … until they skyrocket to 50,000 within the first week. I am happy for my friends, but I feel like the slow one in the class.

Miss a few days and that easy 1667 multiples quickly into an impossibly high number.

Being a rebel sucks. I try to aim lower to motivate myself, but it’s against the rules. It adds a layer of “whatever” to the mix.

Once behind, all the emails are irrelevant. It’s hard to have second week blues when your word count shows your still in week one.

Not to mention, it’s during the time of the year when I would rather stay inside instead of meeting up for write-ins. I had nothing to do for seven long, hot, awful, tedious months. Now it’s the holiday season, my room temperature is comfortable, and I want to curl up and watch TV. (I do love parties, though).

I’m not sure if I am going to try next year. If I do, I will probably refrain from the frills in order to stay motivated.

Oddly, I write much more outside of this month. As a writer, the hardest month for me is NaNoWriMo.

All that being said, the prizes are pretty great, and it is fun to talk to people. CONGRATULATIONS to those who won NaNo. And even if you didn’t win, it’s still great if you enjoy it.

 


CampNaNoWriMo: July Edition

The emails have stopped; the camps are closing. CampNaNoWriMo is over. For those of you who don’t know, CampNaNoWriMo is a writing competition. Anyone who reaches the goal number of words wins. I’ve been participating in various CampNaNoWriMo events for the last few years; however, this was the best NaNo experience I’ve had.

First, I love the freedom of CampNaNoWriMo versus NaNoWriMo. I picked my own word count, and I got to have a cabin with various participants. This year was also different because users were able to choose what cabin to join. On a whim, I decided to join a cabin created by a fellow Twitter user. It was a wonderful decision.

This was the first time I got really involved with other NaNo members. The first two weeks of July were hectic, so I was too busy to drop in often. However, when I did, there were 77 new messages! I had never seen so many messages before; in previous cabins, there were only 5 or so. I got more involved during the second portion of the month and it was a blast! We had sprints, short conversations, and our word counts grew. I also was introduced to Google Hangouts.

Now I have all new friends, and thousands of more words. I feel another step deeper into the writing community. It’s a good feeling.

And this is the first year that I won! Woo! *Happy dance.* It feels good, and a wrote almost twice as much as I did in April (the last CampNaNo event).

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I have a choice of prizes. I’m not sure if I will use any. I downloaded two trial programs, but I haven’t been using them. It’s hard when I’m in the middle of writing something. Hopefully, I can explore them more in the coming days. Learning new programs isn’t always the most fun for me. It figures that Facebook apps force me into learning their ways, yet actual software comes with long, boring tutorials over a fun, quick start guide. Still, it’s amazing how many partners NaNo has, and it’s cool to be able to pick a prize.

Inspired by this experience I created a Facebook group for writers with word count or editing goals. It’s a place to share and chat. I enjoy the other groups I’m a part of, but they tend to be dormant or have thousands of members. I thought this would be fun, and more close knit like camp. Feel free to join.

Here’s the link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/708743069161265/