Tuesday, August 4, 2015

July Camp NaNoWriMo Wrap-Up

Where has the summer gone? It seems I just got moved back home and already I'm preparing supply lists for my next semester at college.

Other things are flying, too. Namely, the month of July (I suppose, if you want to be technical, you'd say it's already flown by). To recap for those of you who don't know, NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month, aka NaNo) is an event held in November where authors try to write a full 50,000 word novel in one month. But the fun doesn't end there--the group also hosts two "Camp" events, one of which was in July.

Camp NaNo is a bit more flexible--it allows you to set your own word count goal (rather than 50k being standard) as well as choosing to edit a work rather than write a first draft. This year, I set my goal to finish doing a rough macroedit on book two of my Christian dystopian series. To measure how far I'd come, I opened up a new document and set the goal at 45,000 words.

I'm pleased to say that I completed the challenge this year. While the book is far from finished, I've made significant progress. I've also learned several things along the way:

  • I need to pace myself. The years I've succeeded at NaNo events, I've worked little-by-little and made an effort to work every day. Racing out of the gate too fast is a sure way to fail, at least for me. I burn out.
  • I need to keep my macroedit and microedit separate. When I'm still figuring out major plot points, I don't have time to search for the perfect word in a sentence. This past month was probably my most successful attempt at separating the two. 
  • If I can't write a scene at the moment, I need to mark it down and come back to it. As a college student/ working person, I don't have time to stare at a blinking cursor for too long. Sometimes inspiration strikes if I edit a few scenes before coming back to the old one. It helps me to see what needs to be accomplished in the scene. 
  • I need to figure out plot holes before I start editing. This is something I didn't execute well this month. I was too eager to jump in on editing, so I didn't do a full read-through of my manuscript beforehand. As a result, there are a lot of missing scenes that need filled in. 
Any questions about my writing process?

To the authors out there, do you use challenges such as NaNo to motivate yourself? What's your biggest struggle when it comes to macroediting?

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