Camp NaNoWriMo 2014


Camp NaNoWriMo

Against my better judgement, I just committed myself to writing 50,000 creative words in July. Originally I’d planned to use Camp NaNoWriMo‘s more flexible format to commit to writing my thesis (on disproportional discipline in special education, woot!), but I’m already committed to doing that this summer by virtue of being in grad school. For some reason, I thought it would be good to challenge myself with TWO COMPLETELY DIFFERENT WRITING PROJECTS. YAY!

Years ago a friend told me about November’s NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and every year since I’ve gleefully toiled away on my creative writing projects during one of the craziest months of the school year. Only once have I neither been in school nor teaching during NaNoWriMo, so it’s always been an adventure to find the time to write. I wanted to give Camp NaNo a try in case July turns out to be a better time of the year, and I can’t compare my work in July to my work in November if I’m not writing something comparable (i.e. not my thesis, important though it is).

In some ways this comes at a great time. I’m currently polishing a novel I wrote years ago. With older more mature/experienced/whatever eyes, I’ve really improved the story. Unfortunately, those improvements have added length and what was in its very first draft a manageable 120,000 words is now around 180,000 words… Some people have suggested splitting it into two books, which would make sense. Except that I’ve formatted the story in such a way that I strongly feel splitting it would ultimately be a disservice to the narrative. At the same time, when I went through and butchered   removed everything I could do without and left only story essentials, the word count was still around 130,000 of a less interesting and nuanced story.

So I’m going to spend Camp NaNo writing the sequel that I’d always planned to see if it illuminates a clearer path for me. I imagine it will most likely just make things more confusing, but maybe after I write it I’ll finally accept that splitting what I already have into two stories is the right way to go.

It occurs to me as I write this that I should share a little something about the plot of the 180,000 word beast. I keep hearing that it’s important for writers interested in publishing to get the word out about their stories before they go to publish. Since I’m serious about publishing it, I suppose it couldn’t hurt to get my story out there and gauge interest. I’ve seen other people’s blogs have pages specifically for their works, so I should look into setting one of those up.

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