End of Camp NaNoWrimo, April 2020!

12:09 AM

Time to bid farewell to another Camp NaNo!

First thing, I want to give a shoutout to all three of the NaNo groups that I am a part of: Pen Dragons, Rebellious Writing and the Siena Society!! You guys were awesome to write with and I'm sure that we'll have lots of writing adventures to come!

Now for the meat and potatoes of this wrap-up. Ready?

Best parts of Camp:

- Finding legal copies of clips of the Phantom of the Opera movie and 25th Anniversary stage show on YouTube. Serious muse-saver, I assure you.

- Being able to show the actual story to people! Writing on Wattpad was definitely a new experience for me, and a positive one. Having total strangers comment on my story was a bit surreal, to be honest. It's really different to SHOW it, rather than talk about it.

- Expanding my novel playlist! While it's still not where I want it yet, it's getting there!

What I Learned:

- Jumping from edits in a fantasy story to drafting a contemporary story was a SHIFT. My writer's brain had quite some difficulty in transition. In hindsight, I really REALLY should have taken at least a month break to let it recharge. However, I clearly am a glutton for punishment and decided the shame of breaking the streak was worse than mental and bodily exhaustion.

- If you're going to restart a story....check ALL the story notes before you begin. There is nothing more awkward than doing all this world-building in one small town in Ohio, then to stumble across ANOTHER town name in a previous draft which is in a DIFFERENT section of Ohio entirely.

- Never, ever, ever, use similar sounding names for characters for stories that you write back to back. Jessamine's stage name CARISSA is very similar to CARINA, which is the name of the queen in The White Rose. AND I KEPT SUBBING CARINA FOR CARISSA ALL THE TIME AND IT GOT ANNOYING REAL QUICK.

- Writing a theater story when you've only been on the outskirts of theater (i.e. one acting class) is actually really difficult.

That being said, how did writing go?

In short, about the same as a usual drafting session. No consistency, low streaks. Low overall word count. Missed the goal.

Since this was a first draft, I tried to concentrate on the bare bones of the plot. But oh no, it was not happening that way. We have to add in ALL the dialogue. ALL the side threads. ALL the stupid minute details that are not necessary.

I will admit that writing a contemporary story after being so heavily invested in a fantasy WIP with a complex world-building system for so long was a bit of a refresher. In fact, I hardly consulted the notes at all during this drafting process - it is literally one of the most PANTSED stories I've written in quite a long while. It felt good at first....but then things started snarling in the middle once again.

I hate middles. I really do. They suck the motivation out of me every. single. time.

The other thing that kinda de-railed me was I took the bulk of Holy Week OFF from writing. I wanted to give that time to God, even if I wasn't camping out at church like I normally would. And of course, Holy Week was in the middle of the month.

I hit a decent patch of motivation after Holy Week, which points to the earlier argument that I sorely need a break. But it wasn't enough, and then PMS kicked in at the end which ruined every single other chance of making the goal.

The other thing that got me was watching the comments come in for TWR. I have to admit, I've been stalking the Google docs to pick up every single comment that comes in. It's bad. I'm so thankful that half of my betas have external copies otherwise I would not be able to handle it.

During this drafting session I found that I have a consistent failing to produce a full first draft. Every single work in progress I've done has had it's first draft done in stages. I guess that's just the way the muse works.

That being said, I do have a small group following this story consistently. So, I feel as though I should try to finish it as soon as I can so I don't leave them hanging. Wouldn't it be nice just to get ONE WIP finished?

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. Going from fantasy to comtemporary....yeah, that can be so hard. But hey, at least you got somewhere with the story, even if you didn't reach the camp goal!

    YESSSS middles are so HARRRRDDDD

  2. Oooooof, friend-I had a very similar Camp Nano. XD But hey, we got some words in which is epic!!! <33

  3. I managed to hit my goal which was writing the first 30k on my new draft of my book. Now I just need to finish the novel. :)

  4. Ahhh congratulations on all your progress! You came MUCH nearer your Camp goal than I did, lol. I can't wait to read this!--but I'm gonna catch up on TWR first, now that school's out at last.



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