Camp is Great Fun! Wish You Were Here

Postcard from Camp NaNoWriMo
Nearly halfway through Camp NaNoWriMo, I'm having lots of fun participating in classic camp activities. For instance, I've been tying knots (in the lives of my two leads), pulling pranks (writing entire scenes and then making them disappear), making new friends (literally -- I've created fifteen new characters, one of whom will probably not even appear in the finished novel), bouncing on the camp cots (no, wait, that was my protagonist), and picking ants out of my food (they have discovered me on the patio).

Until the last day or two, when it has been rather cool (actually cold at one point), the weather has been very cooperative, sunny and warm, so I've been going out on the patio to write, from breakfast until dinner. For some reason, the fresh air and sunshine seem to have acted as a stimulant, because I've been getting scads of writing done, with minimal lapses into Facebook and email. In fact, I've already written 16,000 words since the beginning of the month, so I'm already more than halfway to my NaNoWriMo goal of 30K for the month. (See screenshot below)

One of the ways that camp differs from the November "classic" NaNoWriMo is that you get to set your own writing goal, instead of shooting for 50K words. I deliberately set mine a bit lower than I had originally planned, because writers who meet their goal will be given a coupon code to purchase the Scrivener writing program for 50% off -- just $20! I'm using yWriter to organize my novel -- and I love it! -- but for non-fiction books, and any kind of writing that needs lots of organizing, Scrivener is great. I tried a trial last year and really liked it, so I'm definitely planning to snap it up for $20 bucks, given the chance.

Camp NaNoWriMo progress screenshot
My progress as of midnight, April 10.
Click to see it larger.
My goal for Cast Into the Deep Sea of Stars is to finish the first draft by my birthday on May 23. Meeting my goal of 30,000 words this month will put me in good shape to do that. I'm eager to get the draft finished, because revision is when the fun begins! Also, I've got some beta readers lined up who are champing at the bit, so I should have a draft banged into good enough shape for them to enjoy a free "beach read" this summer. I'll probably be spending the July session of Camp NaNoWriMo doing a bunch of editing.

By the way, I've been keeping a writing diary the last two or three months. When the book is ready to publish, I'll post some of that material here, so you'll be able to get a behind-the-scenes look at how the novel came together. I've been learning a lot as I go along (I'm sure I'll learn a lot more before I'm done), and I always like to share what I've learned! So stay tuned.

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