Happy Camp NaNoWriMo!
The first plunge into madness for 2017 has finally begun! Hooray! I’ll be honest, I’m quite a fan of the banners and icons they have for Camp this year. They even named some creatures to pertain to writing and novels. Like the infamous, abundant Plot Bunny pictured above on the banner. I’m not quite sure why the bunny has antlers, unless they’re supposed to represent the branches of scenes and story that make up a plot.
I totally pulled that from thin air but it actually makes sense.
I think my other favorite creature they came up with is the Block Ness Monster. It’s just so perfect in so many ways. They also had the Darewolf, Chore Grizzly, Guilt Monkey, and Storysquatch.
I think I might end up using these creatures when I talk about writing now, just to reference them. Like when I’m stuck and I’m screaming at my story, I’m going to yell, “Get out of my way Block Ness Monster!” Or something along those lines. I love it.
So onto the stories of NaNo so far!
I did start writing the eve of NaNo before I went to bed. I was a little bit late starting because I was distracted by things and amused with other stuff, but I did write before crashing. I ended up not going to be till about 5am, but I got a little over 2k written and finished Chapter 38 that night.
I will admit I’ve been slacking the first few days already. I mean, I had four days off in a row — today is my last day off, which, heh, work tried to call me in, I didn’t pick up or ever respond — but I should have had oodles of words written by the end of tonight!
As I did in past NaNo’s, I should have had 5k written for each day off. My own little personal goal I set for myself in past years because normally on work days I’m lucky if I do any writing depending on the shift, and rarely do I have more than one day off in a row to gain any momentum. Welcome to the wonderful life of retail. *Heavy sarcasm*
With that math, by tonight I should have a word count of roughly 20k already written. And, ah, yeah. I don’t.
At the end of the first day I was just under 5k. I was tired that day because I was woken up early with less than five hours of sleep from my late night by a whole lot of banging and voices coming through the vents. Gotta love when you have to fix a vehicle. I also had a spontaneous road trip so that didn’t help productivity too much. Lack of sleep helped even less after the week of work I had before Saturday.
Day 2, which was Sunday, of NaNo I severely slacked and I don’t think I wrote anything. I was kind of bleh that day and I also had to get through my taxes so the day was kind of shot when I add on my shows for Sunday night. Or, well, show now. No more plural. ABC cancelled Time After Time with no warning right in the middle of the first season. I was so pissed. Still pissed.
Yesterday was sorta, kinda better. I didn’t start writing until later at night, but I also had a major eureka moment. And I mean like…
“EUREKA! THAT’S IT!”
…kind of major.
Jumping up and down, grinning from ear to ear, squealing uncontrollably kind of eureka moment. The kind where I run through my house crazily to get a drink and make my parents wonder if I won the lottery or something in my excitement. (Winning the lottery would be nice though, because then I could quit my job and just write.)
Surprisingly, my eureka moment didn’t come from a shower this time. I was meaninglessly scrolling through Facebook, trying to find my motivation to write, and I think I was looking at the cover of Paranormal Pleasures, staring at my name in print when suddenly motivation reared its head hard and nearly knocked me off my feet like this:
“You know what, dammit, I want to publish my first standalone novel this year and that is not going to happen with me sitting here mindlessly on social media. I’m going to write. I’m going dark for several hours until words bleed from my fingertips onto the page. And I have absolutely no idea where this is coming from so strongly all of a sudden but I am running with it dammit. Onwards! To Word, and to fantasy lands! *Holds out sword and pen, charges away from the internet*
(Yep. I’ve definitely lost my mind.)”
So at that point I did go dark. However, I managed about 200 words before I started to hit a brick wall. That’s when I realized my lack of excitement for NaNo the first two nights while working on Chapter 38 was because I was unsure exactly how the final chapters were supposed to go, and I was still trying to figure out my Epilogue issue. If anyone remembers my post from Friday I had a slight break through on the Epilogue, but it still wasn’t fitting perfectly.
My problem wasn’t a lack of excitement and motivation this time around, after all, it was that I was unsure how to work out the end of the novel without knowing how to fix my Epilogue. I mean, I was only 2.5 chapters away from the Epilogue, I had to figure it out soon.
Instead of writing then, I grabbed my fidget cube and started pacing my room, talking to myself and in the mirror as I tried to work out what was going to happen. I ran through multiple scenarios of, “Okay, what if she does this instead of this, how would that affect the end?”. That eventually made me realize I needed to change the timeline between Chapter 38 — which I just finished — and Chapter 39, the chapter I was stuck and dragging on at the moment.
By realizing I need to change the timeline just a bit to allow more time in between the chapters so it would fit my original outline and plotline, I stumbled across where the chapter needed to go, and how the next chapter needed to work. That then lead me to working out kinks to better fit my original ending of the novel and then suddenly…
The solution to my Epilogue was slapping me in the face, all with a simple town scene, all with a single character showing their face in my head. It was perfect. Instead of using the character I thought of in my shower inspiration, I could use a different character I had never introduced yet, but someone who would become important in the next book. My Mystery Man character would hold the similarity I needed to match to leave my readers on cliffhangers and questions as the hook of the end of my book, and it still allowed me to the use the Epilogue how I originally planned for.
It was absolutely perfect!
I spent probably a good ten to fifteen minutes squealing and jumping around because I was so happy over the fix. (It’s an author thing, don’t judge me.) After that I grabbed paper and pen and feverishly began to record everything step by step I had just figured out in my head. I even went to a couple friends to run a scenario past them to see if they, as the reader, would assume and react in the way I was thinking the reader would.
(It’s not easy being author, reader, and character all at once. At one point I even threw my pen across the room and grabbed another because it stopped working and I didn’t have time for that.)
To my excitement, they pretty much assumed what I had hoped for, and after that I was all set. I’m still going to have to be careful with the Epilogue so I don’t give away anything I don’t want to, but I have my fix and that was all I had hoped for at the moment.
An hour and a half later of pacing my room talking to myself, reciting character lines out loud to see how they would react, much squealing and yelling, feverish writing of two and half pages of scribbled notes, and somehow a pulled muscle in my neck — don’t ask, I still don’t know how, and I finally had the FINAL two and a half chapters and the Epilogue all planned out.
No more uncertainty. No more plot holes. No more hesitance.
I can write like the wind from here on out in this novel, and that’s exactly what I did afterwards. I sat back down around 1am and just wrote. No distractions. Just music, my notes, my Word doc, my characters, and my fingers bleeding away on the page. A little over two hours later and I had written about 5k words and had finished Chapter 39.
There’s only two chapters plus my Epilogue left to write in this novel and I will officially be done with the first draft. I seriously can’t believe I’m saying that. I will be done with the first draft of the first novel that is my heart and soul series. Ho-ly. Shit.
I think my estimate of 20k to finish this novel might be a little bit off, but I don’t think it’s going to surpass 25k. I only have three full chapters to write altogether, and I’m pretty sure the Epilogue is going to be short. Chapter 40 will be the longest one, and Chapter 41 won’t be too long I don’t think, depending how much drama this final scene ends up bringing.
But I’m almost there! *SQUEALS!*
I’m half terrified and half excited to finish this first draft. Like, AHHHH!
Two more and the Epilogue and then I can move onto Clockwork Heart for the month, because I do want to finish and release that novella/novel this year. As of last night I’m just over 9k words for Camp this month already, I think by tomorrow I might be near 15k. Right after I hit the post button on this bad boy I’m jumping into starting Chapter 40. Once I grab a snack to munch on too.
End of the novel, here I come!