It’s Spring, the days are getting longer and brighter, and the greenery is coming back. It’s the time for new things, exciting prospects, and for Spring cleaning – sounds to me like the perfect time of year to start writing! The guys at NaNoWriMo think the same, and created Camp NaNoWriMo. I have taken part in NaNoWriMo in November a couple of times – I actually managed to ‘win naNo’ in November – so I am looking forward to taking part!
Camp NaNoWriMo takes place for the month of April, and unlike NaNoWriMo, there is not set goal. NaNoWriMo itself has a word goal of 50,000, which is great for goal-setting but really only encourages getting words down on the page. During Camp NaNo, the campmate (writer) sets their owns goals to aid in the project that they are working on during the month. If you’re writing a new project, it could be a word goal, if you’re researching for a future project it could be an hours committed goal, and if you’re revising or editing a project, it could be a pages goal. The idea of Camp NaNo is that you spend time writing, whatever stage of the writing process you’re at you can make it work for you!
With this in mind, my first Camp NaNo goal is going to be time related. I have ideas whirring round in my brain, but I don’t spend much time in getting them down on paper and looking into them. My brain flicks and changes between thoughts and sparks and inklings of ideas, so time to split these, put them into individual idea pots and actually spend time on them (however formulated they are) is probably the most important thing for me this time round.
I managed to write 50,000+ words last NaNoWriMo, so I would like to spend some time updating missing scenes and editing the words that I wrote. It was a contemporary project and was largely used to test whether I could write that volume of words. I have barely looked at it since, so I want to read it through, edit it, add to it, and check over what I have done.
I also have an idea that is either going to run as a parallel story in the same novel, or as a spin-off book. I have been thinking about it for a couple of months since finishing my original NaNo idea, and I am really excited about it, but not sure how I actually want to do it. I feel like a month of focusing on editing and adding will be the perfect time to see where these ideas sit and to understand whether they’re one project, or two separate ones.
Last NaNo I also toyed with a pirate story. I love pirates so I would really like to be able to write a novel that is based around piracy. The problem last year was that I dived in blindly and wasn’t sure of time frames, areas, laws/politics, internal magic/fantasy elements, or even characters involved. It meant I had little idea of what I wanted to do (other than write a pirate story) and I ended up floundering pretty quickly and going back to the contemporary.
One of my focuses is going to be research for this theme. I want to research different pirates – historical and fictional – and what made them notorious/successful/popular/hated – to see what traits I would like to include in my characters. The same goes for dress, time period, and area of the world – Caribbean v Far East v Space etc, I am clueless about what is correct and factual and to make sure that everything is accurate and logical and works for what I want to write.
Fantasy and magic are much harder things to freestyle as well, so I need to have a think about this properly. I don’t know if there will be any form of fantastical element, but if there is, I want to make sure it follow its own internal logic and that it fits with the story and time period I opt for. I alos want to try and incorporate perpetuated myths and legends of the time if I can to make it seem more authentic – again, all stuff that requires thought and research time!
So that’s the idea at least. I am in a ‘writing cabin’ (online community within Camp NaNoWriMo) with two writer friends. We’re planning to support each other through the month and all make serious strides with our individual projects. Here’s to a month of editing and thinking about projects with fellow NaNo writers!