One thing after another: signing up for Camp NaNoWriMo

When will I learn, eh? There I was, having pretty much finalised Bitesize, thinking I would have a nice restful time writing the sequel to the Secret Notebook, and somehow I have managed to sign up to Camp NaNoWriMo.

If you haven’t encountered Camp NaNoWriMo before (and it’s my first time), it’s a more relaxed version of the NaNoWriMo ‘novel in a month’, which takes place in both April and July each year. You can set your own goal of anything from 30 words up, and it doesn’t have to be writing a novel. Poetry, short stories, editing, revising – anything goes.

‘So what’s the problem?’ shouted someone at the back of the room. ‘You can write the sequel thingy for your Camp project!’ *rumblings of assent from the back row*

Ah, if only it were as simple as that. ‘Cos being me, I’ve decided to make Camp NaNoWriMo a revision/editing project. The plan is to pick up, possibly with tongs and at arm’s length, the full-length novel I wrote for NaNoWriMo last November, and spend July revising it.

The thing is, while I’m pretty sure I could write a 50K draft in 31 days, I’m trying to focus on getting some of my first drafts into shape to face the world. I love writing first drafts, probably because I get to tell myself a story without the pressure of an audience to worry about. Editing, well, I’m considerably less keen. That’s the bit where I have to face up to the unevenness, the inconsistencies, and inevitably, the bits that will have to be operated on or possibly amputated altogether. Eek!

But I’m going to have to do it, if I ever want to get a full-length book published, so I figure that facing the edit with support is the best way. I’ve joined a cabin of fellow-writers whom I met through an unofficial January writing event, and I hope they can put up with my whining as they post awesome word counts day after day, and I tell them that my book sucks and I’ve replaced 30 words with 30 different ones.

In the meantime, I started what I’m referring to as #SecretSequel last Tuesday, the same day as signing up for Camp. It’s planned as a 25,000 word novella following on from one of the Secret Notebook stories, with an action/adventure vibe. The intention is to have it drafted by the end of June, and today I passed the halfway mark, as far as you can ever tell. The characters definitely have their own ideas, and if I can get them all to behave, I’ll tell you more in due course.

And calloo callay, Bitesize goes on sale this Saturday, UK National Flash Fiction Day! Well, life would be boring if you just did one thing at a time, wouldn’t it? See you soon!

If you read my NaNoWriMo updates, you may recognise this ‘writing rhino’. Expect more portraits from my rhino collection (yes, really) during July…

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