Camp NaNoWriMo | Week 2 Summary
I did not write all that much this week, but I am really happy with what I’ve accomplished with my story in the 5,188 words I’ve managed to record. The bulk of my writing time has gone to outlining. I had not had a very clear idea at all of where my protagonist was going in this novel after scrapping my original idea on March 31st. In today’s post, I just wanted to record some of the things I’ve been working on that have made me excited to continue returning to my story document each day, even if only for 10–30 minutes at a time.
A lot of my most productive time came from getting out of my apartment. The polaroid to the left shows the place I like to go: La Madeleine, a country French restaurant (not unlike how Olive Garden is considered a Italian restaurant). I like to get a quiche Lorraine and sometimes petite cesar, then I just drink water which I can refill myself from the drink machine. It has a great writing atmosphere. There’s loud French music that drowns out the chatter. But a lot of time the chatter is great background noise anyway. As long as no one brings their baby, then it really sucks.
One of the best things I ended up doing last week was moving from Scrivener to Word as I feel a lot more freedom to write and see everything on Word. I also set up a Table of Contents that allows me to quickly jump between all the chapters as I plot, which has been the best thing: to update the table and see new chapters pop up and get names. And, yes, I’ve been naming my chapters. It’s not super important, but it’s fun and helpful for remembering what happens there.
At the top of each chapter, I have also been writing short lists of what I anticipate writing in that chapter. It’s been a really great way to organize my thoughts and not worry I will forget anything. The hardest thing when I first started doing this was I realized I didn’t know how my beginning and end connected. Something was going to have to give. And it was just yesterday that I realized what felt the most right, and I really feel like I’m working on a novel now! I know what the protagonist needs to do and why she needs to do it.
Without any further ado, here are some of the exciting story developments I’ve made over the last week!
For my own personal record, I thought I would share some of my story developments that I’m most excited about having happened over the last week. That way when I begin to feel down about my story or overwhelmed by my undertaking, I can return to this list and remember my excitement and maybe even refocus if that’s becomes the problem (as it sometimes is).
As I mentioned above, I connected the beginning and end! It turned out to be a problem of knowing exactly who is the antagonists and who are the allies. I had a very fun idea for the antagonist of this story that I’ve realized doesn’t work for this novel, so setting them aside has helped tremendously. Also, I was unsure about the allies of my protagonist because my protagonist has trust issues and I’m still not 100% sure what she wants. I know what she needs, I just don’t know what she wants. I don’t think she does either, though, so I don’t feel too bad about that.
My protagonist now has friends! I’ve always struggled with populating my stories with more than just the important characters and I feel like with these new side characters there are so many more possibilities. I also think they will make my character more likeable. In my head, my protagonist has always been a tad surly and I’ve recently began to worry others might not be as amused with her as I have been. Her friends I think will help her loosen up.
My story has a new environmental theme! I don’t want to go into too much about the specifics, but I’m really happy with my current ideas because it works with the magic of the world that I’ve been developing and also I’m not sure I’ve come across any books that do what I would like to do, to the extent to which I want to do it. Could I be any more vague? Sorry! ^_^
My story will have a play on the “chosen one” trope. In fantasy, it is difficult to avoid this trope, and it’s not one I personally am too bothered by. It’s never felt unnecessary in anything I’ve ever read. It’s probably a sign of how integral it is to the genre. But I have some larger ideas now for how to play with the trope. All year, I’ve had prophecy in mind, but recently I’ve discovered how it would be turned on its head. So I’m excited to play with that as I continue through the series, as I’m not actually sure how it would apply in this first book.
My mentor character has become more complex! A month or two ago I created a mentor-like character for my protagonist. Over the last week, she’s become a much more dubious character, which was a little hard for me because I liked her before the change. But I think was ultimately the right decision. Before, she was a lot more straight-laced and now she’s a bit more savvy to things that are happening and…I don’t want to say unreliable, but I do think readers will not know what to make of her at first. Which I think can only make the story that much more interesting.
As I now have a much better understanding of the story I’m writing, I really hope to be at 20,000 words by next Wednesday. That’s not anywhere near where I should be on the 20th, I don’t mind if I don’t fully get all the way caught up until the end of the month. Even if I don’t end up making it to 50,000 by the end of the month, but to 40,000 I’ll be really happy with myself. I plan to continue writing past April, so I’m not going to stress myself out about an arbitrary deadline.
If you’re participating in Camp NaNoWriMo this month, I hope you’re doing well and staying motivated. Motivation and staying excited about what you’re doing is so important for succeeding. If you’re no confident about what you’re writing find a way to become inspired again. For me, that’s by watching others talk about their writing on YouTube. And getting feedback on what I’ve written from my writing buddy. Let me know what inspires you in the comments below!