End of Camp NaNoWriMo, July 2019

12:39 AM

I seriously considered skipping this recap. I hinted at it being a rather boring camp, and so I thought that I really had nothing to....say really.

However, being of a melancholy temperament....that reflective streak of mine would not shut up. And I'm a sucker for tradition. And this is one tradition that just shouldn't be broken, I suppose.

Before I get started, however, I want to thank Jane Maree for allowing me to be part of the Fellowship of the Keyboards again ;).

I also want to give a shoutout to all of my cabin mates: Jane Maree, J.A. Penrose, Clare of the Reliquished, Tesariel (Quinley), MiddleEarthMusician, Swlalos (Nicole), Florid Sword (Faith), Nicki Chapelway, Jes Drew, KattheHorseNerd, Bria Snow, Kendra Lynne, MaryKate42 (MK), Glitter Queen (Mary Horton), Becca414, Anne Rhys, and MusicIsMyMuse!!

Best Parts of Camp:

- Getting MK roped into the Fellowship. The poor girl was wandering between public and solo cabins for years and so I finally convinced her to try the Fellowship.

- Drafting in a notebook, lying on the beach, imagining the crabbing vessels in the far distance were large galleons. #writerslife.

- Our rogue orc made a few minor appearances *glares*

- Creating a map of Verden, as well as other aesthetics. You can check out the "finished" map HERE.

What I Learned: 

- The point of writing without "inspiration" only comes after immersing yourself in your story world for long periods of time. You have to have practically everything (plot, characters, etc.) cemented in the fibers of your being in order to trip out words without the use of visual or musical aids. I've just now reached this point. 

- Sometimes, you just need to break the writing in order to tackle major developmental problems. Like, actually figuring out how the tournament works and what happens during it *facepalm*.

- Creating aesthetics such as maps and coats of arms are a great way to boost your time goals.

- For heavens sake, have a timer if you're doing a time goal. I actually guesstimated a lot of my times, and I have a feeling that I grossly exaggerated a few day's worth of contribution.

- Check the dark chocolate stash levels before Camp begins. I ran out in the last days of Camp and it was a travesty to behold.

- As I was spell-checking my manuscript before sending it to the alpha readers that I have a tendency to use British spellings. I mean, I know a quarter of my family ancestors came from the UK, but I didn't think it was THAT embedded!

That being said, how did writing go? 

Okay, this July was among the craziest of all the months that I have done a NaNo event....not counting all those months when I was working full time.

In the beginning of the month, I was down in the South moving my grandparents into their new condo. And so, I was working in notebooks for the first two weeks of Camp.

While I did some work on The White Rose during this time, my main focus on Fair Winds. We were right nearby our family vacation spot, and so there were at least three afternoons in which I was sprawled out on a beach blanket scribbling like mad.

I'm not 100% sure the exact word count of new material for Fair Winds, but I'm guesstimating that it was around 1500 words.

There were, of course, some breaks for travel. When I got home, though, is when the work really began. 

Besides transcribing everything from the notebooks into Shaxpir and the consequent Word backups, I managed to transcribe another few scenes from the original draft of Fair Winds into the new one. I left that draft standing at around 28K, a very respectable number.

From then on, Fair Winds was set aside and The White Rose took center stage.

I attempted to get started in writing, but I ran into some huge development issues. I had never really developed how the Karala Games worked and what exactly happened during the events and so....that was biting me in the tail.

So how did I deal with this?

Conversations with my alphas and throwing hours into making a map. And filling out lots and lots of Melissa Gravitis's "Questions To Ask When...." sheets. 

Granted, that world-building needed to happen at some point, so the days weren't wasted at all. It was great for boosting my hours too. But, I had an unofficial goal of having an additional 30k added onto The White Rose and this wasn't increasing my word count at all. Or it was, just rather passively.

After about five days of diddling around, I started from the beginning of the draft and started to fill in holes. I managed to settle in some family conflict and how Janina became the Blue Star especially. Still no scenes really relating to the Games though....

I achieved my goal of 60 hours on July 24, but didn't stop there!

The last few days of Camp were probably my most productive out of the entire month. In the last three days of Camp, I managed to write almost 4k words, which is pretty impressive.

Since I knew that 30k was impossible to get at that point, I decided to for a 10k goal. According to the pre-Camp totals that I kept on Goodreads, I got to that. However, I must have either missed a day of recording or something because the daily word logs I was keeping says I missed it by 400 words. Oh well, I still maintain that I got it. 

Having about 12k of new material, with about 5k worth of additions, seems a pretty respectable word expansion from before. It's certainly not my strongest showing, but that doesn't matter.

The important thing is, The White Rose is back on top with 43K words and I won Camp NaNo with a whopping total of 75 hours. 

So, what's the plan now? 

The plan is to continue the steady march onwards with The White Rose.

I have set myself a goal of reaching 65K words, and then the beta call will go out. By that point, most of the "important" scenes will be drafted and I'll have a better idea on where the story is actually going to look like.

Right now, I'm sitting at around 43K, so I have about 22K to go. I've given the most recent draft to my alphas and am now awaiting their feedback.

And that wraps up my adventures!

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,


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  1. *gasp* NO. NOT THE DARK CHOCOLATE! I’m amazed you powered through that tragedy! *applause*

    Congrats on reaching your NaNo goal, Catherine! And good luck with the continued writing of the White Rose! :)

  2. *groan* It's true, I've been hopefully joining random cabins for years in hopes of "meeting new authors and writing buddies" and basically? They've all been duds, nobody ever talks, and most of them also don't get any writing done! Can't say the same for The Fellowship ;)

    Congrats on reaching your goal! I can't wait to see TWR in all it's glory XD

  3. CONGRATS ON REACHING YOUR GOAL!!! *throws confetti* Ooh, yes. Those darn orcs. We can't seem to get rid of them. XP

  4. Yay!!!!! I'm so happy that you reached your goal ^_^ Can't say the same for myself this year, but I'm honestly not mad about it. <3

  5. That is so awesome!!! 75 hours??? Whoohoo!!!

  6. *sigh* Cathie you are so motivated and I wanna be like you :) Congrats on winning Camp NaNo! :D

  7. Congrats on winning! I decided to not do Camp, seeing as I had Realm Makers and a TON of company visiting in July...

  8. Congrats, Catherine. :) It was awesome to get to be with you this Camp. :D
    And your story sounds amazing.
    -Quinley (Tesariel)


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