Camp NaNoWriMo & All That Jazz [aka: an explosion of all my craziness about my WIP]

April Camp NaNoWriMo came to a close last Monday, and I’m happy to say it was a successful month for me!

[Warning: Kat from Sparks of Ember gave me permission to just be myself here on Penprints, so the proverbial hair is coming down. Prepare yourself for a super casual post full of run-on sentences and my explosive excitement for my WIP.]

camp nanowrimo and all that jazz.jpg


Now, for those of you wondering what Camp NaNoWriMo is, here’s the short version: “NaNoWriMo” is slang for “National Novel Writing Month”. National Novel Writing Month is a virtual event that takes place every November where writers around the world try to write 50,000 words in 30 days.

Camp NaNoWriMo takes place in April and July and has a similar idea except you can join virtual cabins with nineteen other writers where you can chat, compare your goals, word war and such. And speaking of goals, you set your goal any way you want for Camp. Lines, hours, minutes, words, pages, etc.


I had planned to continue pulling teeth working on Beasts for Camp NaNoWriMo, and I set myself a goal of 55 hours. Three days before Camp started, I decided that Beasts and I needed to take a break and come back to reevaluate our relationship after we both had some time away (why, yes, I did just refer to Beasts and I as a “we”, as if Beasts was another person and not a figment of my imagination. #unashamed) Unfortunately, at present, it seems like it’s a toxic relationship. Hopefully this detox from each other will bring us around to a better state of mind and heart. Hopefully.

So I had to scramble for a project for Camp. Should I just write a bunch of flash fictions? Finish a sci-fi short story that’s been rolling around in my head for months? Revisit Flickering Lights and finally make decisions about its fate? Not do Camp at all??

Ha. None of that happened.

Instead, I went straight for False Gods, the novel I drafted last November (during normal NaNoWriMo). Because I’d been dying to get back to it (no, I have not been mentally cheating on Beasts, hush) since December 1, 2017.

So I stowed my Beasts notes and playlist and pulled up the False Gods Pinterest board, the character playlists, and the embarrassingly rough first draft that I somehow still adore even though it’s a complete mess.

An Example Of What A Mess This First Draft Is:

*second week of NaNoWriMo 2017*

*in the midst of drafting False Gods for the first time*

*my small group was also in the midst of a study on the book of Acts and we had just finished the part where Paul is on Malta, a snake comes out of the fire, bites him in the hand, the natives expect him to swell up and die, and then he doesn’t die because God*

Me: *whining* I don’t know why this character is going on this trip with them! I don’t want him on this trip! He ruins the whole dynamic!

Daddy: What if a viper bites him, he swells up, and dies?

Me: Haha, psh. You’re cute. No, I would never do that. *laughs* That would be ridiculous.

*literally 20 minutes later*

“… So-and-so let out a sharp cry. A viper hung from So-and-so’s calf…”

And yes, this character definitely swelled up and died on the spot. Problem = solved. Don’t worry, kids. I’m a professional.

Anyway, April began with a huge bang and kept right on steamrolling. About halfway through, I lowered my goal from 55 hours to 50 hours because there were a few days when I had far better things to do than work on False Gods (and if I’m saying that about The Novel That I Love, you know it’s true).

With the help of my amazing cabin, I made it to my goal of 50 hours by the end of April, and I made so much progress!… sort of… okay, so, looking back at where False Gods was at the start of April, I’m like, “Woah!! I’ve done so much work on it! It’s come so far! Woohoo! FULL SPEED AHEAD!”… but then when I think about having spent 50 hours (50 HOURS) of work on it, I’m like, “How is this all that’s gotten done in 50 freaking hours of work??!”.

So here we are.

I’m going to briefly share a few things—we’ll  call them fun facts—that have happened with False Gods over the month of April.

  • I read and annotated the first draft.
  • Existing plot points and new plot points went on index cards and were arranged into the semblance of a plot. (Side note: why the heck do we even have plots? Who needs them? *distant sobbing*)
  • I dug into Asha (my main character who I adore) and his past, figuring out more of his history and emotional wounds and such. (Hint: hurt people hurt people, people.)
  • I dug into Adele (my secondary POV character) and her past a little more, but she’s been in my head longer than Asha, so I already knew more of her history, but I was able to smooth some things out with her.
  • Asha and Adele were classified and explored according to their personality. Asha’s a rebel according to the four tendencies and a ESTP according to the Meyers-Briggs system. Adele’s an upholder according to the four tendencies and an ISFJ according to Meyers-Briggs. (Yeah, they ended up as almost complete opposites. #oops.)
  • While working on Asha’s brain, I compiled a list of his flaws and his virtues because that’s what professionals do. It turns out that he has eight flaws and counting. His only virtue is his wicked sense of humor, which I don’t think actually counts, especially since “wicked” describes it perfectly.
  • Despite how depraved it turns out Asha is, I still like him, and I think other people will too.
  • Adele, on the other hand, has seven virtues and counting with only three flaws.
  • I cemented down some of the major history for my storyworld (particularly, Asha’s heritage).
  • I finished sorting through an entire book of baby names and compiled a complete list of characters and why they’re there.
  • I revised the first sixteen chapters (part one) of False Gods.
  • A rough map of the storyworld has been drawn.
  • I did some focused work on Adele’s POV voice and settled on a tone that suits her.
  • 47 hours into Draft Two, I finally came roaring out of the honeymoon phase with False Gods (meaning: I started to despair about how much work it needs, began to hate it, etc.).
  • 52 hours into Draft Two, I zipped right back into the honeymoon phase. (Something about these characters, people. I can’t hate them or ignore them.)
  • I realized that False Gods is indeed the correct title for this story. If you remember from my recap post from NaNoWriMo 2017, I wasn’t sure if it suited Asha’s story after I brought Adele out of her story and into his. Spoiler alert: oh, it works.
  • Speaking of Asha’s story, I also figured out that Asha is indeed my main character. One would think I would have already known this, but alas. For a while there, I wasn’t sure which of them was my main character because they both have so much at stake, are so dear to me, etc., etc.. But then I realized that this isn’t about the mortal who goes toe-to-toe with an immortal pantheon; this is about the immortal who gets defeated by a mortal. This is about a dude who actually thinks he’s a god and all the lies he believes that have to be unraveled for him to become truly great. So, yeah, that was just nice to finally get sorted out in my brain.
  • False Gods is not subtle. At all. Most of my flash fictions have been fairly indirect in how they reflect Christ. That’s not at all the case with False Gods; the themes are very direct, born from a season in my life that’s felt like a spiritual wilderness. I’ve come to terms with the fact that while I want to write subtle fiction, False Gods is just not one of those stories. It never has been, and it never will be.

Anyhoo. That was a crazy long post, and it’s not even helpful or anything like that. It’s just me spazzing my way from one thought about April and False Gods to another like a rabbit on caffeine (Out of Time series reference, yo).

Part of me is like, “Oh, this level of hyper is probably incoherent and/or annoying”, but then the rest of me is like, “Lol, do it anyway.”.

SO. This is one of the things I’m super jazzed about right now. What is something you’re excited about right now? A project? A trip? A novel?

With love,

Rosalie

P.S. – thanks again to Kat for telling me I don’t always “have to be on” here on the ol’ blog.

P.P.S. – don’t forget to sign-up for the 2018 Penprints Flash Fiction Dash and check out the giveaway that’s currently running.

15 thoughts on “Camp NaNoWriMo & All That Jazz [aka: an explosion of all my craziness about my WIP]

  1. I am excited for camp Nanowrimo in November! I will be working on a Fantasy Legend for my other novel. (still in progress. Only a little bit more to go.)

    Like

  2. This is so epic and thoroughly YOU. I want to read this even MORE now if that’s possible?! You’re an epic cabinmate btw <3

    Hmm I'm excited about exploring flash fiction some more (you should look into this competition!! : https://mastersreview.com/flash-fiction-contest-open-3000-1000-words/). I get to go to NYC in Sept so that should be super cool. I'm planning to write a short story/novella based off the trip so that I can write it off for tax purposes xD Thus goes my life.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lol!! That makes me so glad!! Hehe, I hope you like Asha when you finally get to meet him. :) :) Same to you!! It was so much fun in the chat (especially that water discussion, my goodness)! <3

      Ohhhhhhh! I will definitely look into that competition!! O.O

      Yay!! I'm so glad you're doing more with flash fiction!! (And I'm so jazzed you're doing the flash fiction dash!!) Whoa, NYC?? Have you ever been there before? I have not, but I've heard it's like another planet! Lol, writing it off tax purposes is such a good idea. #writerslife #research

      Like

  3. Woah, where’d all this hair come from?? ;-)
    Nice to see your super-jazzed self! (Speaking of, do you prefer Rosalie, Roz, Rose, etc.?)
    About your character’s being opposites – often you get the best dynamic that way so woohoo.
    In my WIP, the main character is the opposite of me so I’m having a bear of a time getting in her head. The secondary character is much easier since he’s A LOT like me. lol
    I’ve recently been struggling a lot with my desire to write subtle fiction, yet clearly wanting God glorified. Your recent post about the way Our Family was written reminded me to include God in the conversation. And the praying commenced!
    I remember you telling us about False Gods because it sounded so interesting. It still does so I’m glad you’re still jazzed about it.
    I’m going to Realm Makers for the first time this summer so I’m pretty jazzed about that. And nervous. But mostly excited. :-D

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, it’s a lot of hair. :D xD xD And all thanks to you. <3 (I'm pretty chill either way! Usually, I go by "Rosalie" in writing circles since it's my full name and sounds more professional blah blah blah, but I'm also good with Rosie or Rose. :))

      Agh!! THAT IS SO TOUGH!! Is there anything you can do to try and get in her head more easily?

      Oh, good! <3 It's such a hard balance to strike!

      You're going to be at RM??? YAY!! We can finally meet in person!! Yeah, I was nervous my first time (and still somewhat nervous apparently), but it's all good once you get there. :)

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ha – I know what you mean about your full name sounding more professional. I go by Kat in real life but I put Katherine in my submissions. It just feels more official for when I see it in print someday. ;-)

        Right now, to get in her head, I first think 1) what’s the opposite of what I would do in this situation, and 2) I try to picture those people I’ve met or seen on TV who tend to be extremely extroverted/lively and imagine what they would do. Once I’m done with the first draft, I may try to find a beta-reader with a similar personality type to give me some feedback too.

        Yes, one of the things I’m most looking forward to is meeting all my internet friends!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Our current projects around the good ol homestead is getting that garden finished being planted and our chicken run done! It feels so far yet so close!!!

    I love reading about false gods and can’t wait for you to need readers! It sounds like a successful Camp NaNoWriMo! Go Rose!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Isn’t it funny how sometimes things almost write themselves? And by saying that, I am not implying that it isn’t still a boatload of work for you! Just sometimes characters speak to us, and plot lines come to us, and the story almost becomes alive in our brain and soul. It is so interesting to see your writing process right there in black and white….oh and with a moon and fire too. haha . You are doing what God has called you to do. Keep at it! <3

    Liked by 1 person

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