End of April Camp NaNoWriMo 2018



And so....we come to the end of Camp NaNoWriMo again.

This was the first time I have participated in April, and I must say, I'm rather glad I didn't participate last April. I can't imagine how stressed out I would be if I tried to do writing in the middle of college finals. That would not have been pretty.

I want to thank Jane Maree for allowing me to be part of the Fellowship of the Keyboards again ;). I met some new people in the cabin this year!! While it was all quiet on the orc front this month (sad face), we had a lovely time!! 

Best parts of Camp: 

- Meeting and interacting with new cabinmates (and stalking their blogs)

- Finding out to my surprise that my blogging buddy Lila Kims joined the Fellowship too!

- Finding more of my blogging friends on NaNoWriMo, and sending them Camp messages!

- The long hours world-building and writing (as well as research, surfing for new music...).

- Trying out my new writer word processor, Shaxpir. (A review will be coming soon!).

- Being on everybody's cheer squad :).


What I learned: 

- That I need a complex back-up system in order to make sure I can access everything I need (more on that in a minute).

- A hyper organized online notebook is my ideal kind of organization for story notes. The ironic thing, is that my notes are scattered between physical notebooks, notepad apps on phone and Kindle, Word documents....you know how loooong it takes to take all that together and put it into one thing...and then make a back-up of that!

- Even when I have no job commitments or volunteer things, LIFE still gets in the middle of my writing. More on that in a minute.

- I still have that bad habit of editing while I draft. That habit is a relic from my college days when I used to bang out papers and didn't have the luxury of editing time.




With all that said, how did writing go?? 

I have a mixed feelings about this Camp. In some ways it went well, better than last July's!

But, I didn't technically "win" Camp NaNo this year. I kept the original goal of 30k, even to the end when I knew there was no hope. No cheating wins for me, not this time!

I probably would have reached that goal fairly easily, but there were some monkey wrenches that LIFE threw in that really screwed things up.

One monkey wrench that happened towards the beginning of the month was that my computer had one of it's bouts of memory issues. My desktop is a rather cantankerous machine and the memory will get "stuck" from time to time. When that happens, my Spotify player won't sync right (it will say that it stopped on a song from a week or so ago), no updates can be put through correctly, and my computer will be slow, or it will freeze, or it will decide to shut down randomly. It will often last about a week, and then whatever update that needed to be pushed through manages to stick and everything will resolve itself.

Unfortunately for me, Shaxpir chose that particular week to try to do a software update. So I couldn't access anything on Shaxpir for over 3 days. (More on that disaster will be told during the review). Thankfully, nothing was lost because of the online cloud, but immediately afterwards, I set up a 3 way back-up system - all the "writing" is now copied into a Google Doc (for the alphas), and a Word Document (for myself) as well as on Shaxpir. All the contents of the Shaxpir workbook are also backed up on a Word Document. In this way, I can access everything without losing time or paitience...hopefully.

The second, and bigger, monkey wrench happened at the middle/end of the month. I wound up catching a nasty spring cold, which put me out for almost a week. And then right afterwards, I had a bad fall and bruised my head rather badly. This fall also caused a very minor concussion that gave me migraine-like symptoms for a solid week. (Remind me to never again make fun of concussion protocol in the NFL again...it was terrible). This also will explain my blogging and commenting irregularity 1-2 weeks ago.

In spite of these major LIFE hurdles, the actual writing part went much better than July's Camp NaNo.

For one thing, I had a better idea of where I was going with the story. Though, to be honest, I pulled a similar stunt to July's Camp. A lot of the scenes that I wrote were characterization scenes...most of the "big plot scenes" still need to be written out! I don't quite understand it - I'm a plot-driven reader, but I seem to be a character-driven writer. Will someone please explain that phenomenon to me? 

I also wrote a lot more words in April than in July. The Shaxpir draft (which only includes what I wrote in April) is up to 10,028 words.
Now, I wrote only 6000 words in July's Camp NaNo. That's 6000 words over 4 weeks of writing. This month, I wrote 10,000 words over 2-3 weeks of writing.

Now, that's what I call an improvement.

The Word edition (which does have the first draft snippets added in), is now sporting 15,048 words

Guys....

I just checked the word count on my largest WIP, which is Fair Winds: Sassy Devil. It's sitting at only 10,568 words.

Which means that The White Rose is now my largest WIP ever. And it's not even a quarter of the way done.

15k words probably doesn't sound like a lot to a lot of you writers, but think of it this way: I just finished my first 5K in a race of marathoners. For someone just starting to run, it's a milestone.

So, what's the plan now? 

So, now that Camp is over, I'm going to concentrate on some life things (such as finally maybe getting some employment and maybe work on some projects now that the weather has improved). In the meantime, I'm going to start transferring over notes and story materials for From The Cave in prep for November.

July's Camp? Well, that will either be finishing up The White Rose, or if I need a break it will writing Shattered Chandelier or Rose of Culmore.

Is it bad that I'm already looking forward to July? LOL.

How did your Camp NaNo go (if you participated)? What was one of your "best moments" or "lessons learned"? Feel free to share! 

Scribbingly yours,

Catherine

P.S. Check back tomorrow - I have a post full of goodies to share with y'all :) :)

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21 comments:

  1. Oh my goodness, Catherine!!!!! Great job, I'm so happy for you getting that 15k. I definitely feel your accomplishments. <3

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  2. Thank you so much for being a part of the cabin again. <3 It's always a pleasure to have you.

    And EPIC JOB with the 15K.

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    1. How many cabins were you part of Jane?? XDD

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    2. You're welcome, and it's always a pleasure being WITH you guys!

      Thank you, Jane!

      (@Lisa - she was a part of at least 2 cabins!)

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  3. Great job on your Camp results!!! I'm so happy that the writing went better this time around. I know all about life getting in the way. It spun out of control these past few weeks.

    And no, it's not bad to look forward to July. My writing life revolves around the NaNoWriMo events.

    I'm glad you did well!! Here's to another great month!!

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    1. Thank you Sarah! What - you too?! Yeesh.

      Heeheee, that's good :).

      Indeed! Thank you!

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  4. Great job on your word count, Catherine!! <3

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  5. Sounds like you learned a lot during camp, Catherine! And CONGRATULATIONS beefing up that word count! That's awesome!

    I feel ya on the computer problems. My laptop conked out halfway through the month and...hasn't...woken...up....

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    1. I do seem to learn a lot each time I do Camp...which is probably a good thing! AND THANK YOU MEGAN!!!

      Oh no, that's awful! I hope it revives!

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  6. Wow! Congratulations! It sounds like a good camp NANO, despite the setbacks. You persevered! And that’s wonderful that you made it so far with this story. I look forward to hearing more about it as it progresses.

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  7. YAAAAAY, congrats on making progress this April!! SO EXCITING. XD

    Awww, thanks for that shout-out. <3 It was so fun being in a cabin with you, Catherine!!!

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    1. Thank you Lila!! YES, really exciting!!

      You're welcome!! Definitely, hope we can do it again in July (whatever form that takes!)

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  8. It was so amazing to be in the same cabin with you again, Catherine!:)
    And don't worry about not finishing your word count this year, at least you learned something, also there is always July.

    *hugs* your story sounds amazing, by the way.
    -Quinley

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    1. It was so much fun being with you Tes!

      This is true!

      Thank you!! *hugs back*

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  9. My camp went really good. I completed the amount of words by day 13 (yeah, I have a lot of time on my hands). I went on to add 10,000 more words before finishing the draft. My cabin as a whole made it to about 25%. So not the best. :D But it was still fun.

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    1. That is awesome, Emily! I'm so happy for you!

      Ouch....Ours I think made it about 85% or something like that. It was super loads of fun either way :).

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  10. Congrats, Catherine. Sorry about your cold. They seem to be going around, since I had one near the beginning of May too. I didn't participate in Camp this year, but I did finish the draft of a novel I've been working on, so that was an accomplishment.

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How are you, dear friend? Come closer to the fire, and make yourself comfortable! I'd love to hear what you've been thinking about, even if it's an old post! I only ask that proper decorum be observed.

I always try to reply to my correspondence! Have a blessed day!
~ Catherine