Thursday, April 24, 2014

Camp NaNoWriMo April Update

This April, I was supposed to go to camp.

I was supposed to go to virtual camp, a virtual camp for writers.  It's called Camp NaNoWriMo, and I was supposed to write 10,000 words between April 1 and April 30, joined by other writers.  I could write whatever I wanted and I didn't have to show anyone my work.

Sounded nice, right? I would go to the nightly virtual campfires and hang out with my fellow writers.

I was going to try my hand at fiction, something that really isn't "me", and write a YA (Young Adult) piece based on a dream I had many years ago, growing up in New York City.  I enjoy dystopian YA literature, and even as a teenager, my dreams were dystopian.  It didn't hurt that I grew up in a city housing project in a part of the city that was going downhill fast as I entered my later teen years.

This dream involved me attempting to escape a future New York City (I somehow knew it was in the future).

As of today, my word count is 3770 words.

What happened?  (Also known as:  What's my excuse?)

Too many distractions.  A vacation.  A huge case of writer's block.  I've done almost all the writing in the past five days.

I don't like backing off of challenges, but I don't think the writing is going to happen this time.  My teenaged dream to story project will have to wait until I can really sit down and think about it.  Meanwhile, all these things I've read circulate in my mind.  And here I am, supposed to be just writing.  (Note, I am not asking you, dear readers, these questions. I'm supposed to be answering them myself. No cheating!)

1.  Show, not tell. Oh, it is so much easier to explain something than to show it.  Can't I just tell it? (I say this in a whiny voice.  The answer is yes, sometimes.)

2.  Your protagonist has to be likeable.  Oh darn, character development!  Maybe the protagonist can be a jerk, but he or she has to be a likeable jerk.  In non fiction, characters develop themselves.  How am I going to make my main charac...I mean, protagonist (have to use the big word here) likeable but not built out of sugar? I reckon I'm a nice older woman now but when I was a teen, I could be a real jerk. (Yes, I said it here!!)

3.  I haven't even thought of an antagonist yet. Does the antagonist (the person who "opposes" the protagonist) have to be a person?  Can it be a thing? A force of nature?  Like, for example, the weather?  (The answer, dear reader, is Yes.  Whew!)

4.  Dialog.   Doesn't come easy for me.  I get the feeling that an author either loves to write dialog, or hates to write dialog. Guess which camp I'm in.

5.  And I don't care what they say, but I'm not putting a love triangle in the story.  In fact, there will be no romance whatsoever!  I hate love triangles in YA books! Why do authors think they are needed? Is it a law?

How do people do all this fiction stuff and write thousands of words in 30 days???

 There will be another Camp session in July, so if I do drop out, I can try again.

Have you ever started a story and then wondered what happened to what you thought you wanted to write?


  1. I've never written a story, but what you're doing in this virtual camp sounds totally awesome! I am looking forward to reading your story. I hope that gives you encouragement to write on with lesser distractions.

  2. I'm sure you're much better at writing than me :). I don't write fiction and I rarely read fiction. I agree you don't need to include romance in YA books.

    ~Urailak (Fruit Bearer on Facebook)

  3. I once entered a NoNoEdMo, where I edited a whole novel in the allotted time. I found the process pointless because I didn't contact anyone else and I could have done the whole thing without the challenge. Those writers who did contact each other had less time to work on their manuscript. Okay. I admit it--I'm a loner. (I'm lucky enough to have you, Alana Mautone, as a character in my latest book, which is nearing submission to my publisher.)

  4. Ah it sounds like you're making really good progress. I wish I actually knew how to edit novels!

  5. Well, I tried the NaNoWriMo in November. Wrote 3 chapters and that was that!


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