Wednesday, May 7, 2014

What I Learned from Camp NaNo

I've participated in NaNoWriMo for the last three years, and each year I've learned something. In 2011 I learned that I could write a novel. In 2012 I learned that I could write a longer novel and figured out some more things about plotting and characters. In 2013 I learned that writing scenes from the POV of side characters is really fun and useful. 

This April was my first time participating in Camp NaNoWriMo, and what I lacked in word count I made up for in lessons.

  1. I am a plotter. I worry to the point of procrastination and anxiety if I don't have a basic road map for my story. Now, once in the story and when I have an idea of where it's going, I'll pants the details and go on random character development tangents, but I can't take the detour unless I have a map and know where to merge back onto the chaotic highway of the story.
  2. I really, really need to worldbuild. I knew this already from writing Noxumbra, but Book 2 drove that home. My societies need personality. I need to know what year it is. And how the Ootwoxan Conquest went down. I need to figure out religions, governments, morals, social values, how the last four interact and how they differ from place to place, ecosystems, and fashion. So, a lot. Figuring all that out is my current writing project. 
  3. Writing about characters who don't like anyone and are liked by no one in turn is hard. And not as fun as I thought. And hard. But that doesn't mean that making them cry isn't fun. It still is. (Yes, I know I'm sadistic when it comes to my characters and I think it's weird and creepy too.) 
  4. I need to play more with ensemble casts. Book 2 will probably require one.
So while I didn't make my original goal and most of what I wrote will end up being altered or scrapped due to plot changes, it was still a productive month in its way.

If nothing else it was an excuse to redecorate the dining room by taping notes and reminders to the walls. That's the new style, you know. I call it "literary chic."  It'll be a trendsetter. *Nod nod.*

For those of you who participated in Camp this last month, how did it go for you?  Even if you didn't participate, have you learned anything about your process or the craft lately?


  1. You reminded me of this:


    ~Robyn Hoode

    1. Ha! I'm not quite that bad...yet. I'll have to do a post about my walls of words with pics sometime. :)

  2. Hey Lily, I nominated you for a liebster blog award.