Camp NaNoWriMo

Completed Camp NaNoWriMo

On July 25 I completed my Camp NaNoWriMo July goal of writing 25,000 words in the next Jaya Jones book. (Apparently I forget all about blogging when I'm in the midst of writing a novel!)

The novel is a mess right now, but I've learned that's an important step in how books start to take shape. By signing up for National Novel Writing Month's summertime virtual camp with a publicly-declared writing goal, I was able to write some scenes and plot twists that I never would have thought of if I waited for inspiration to strike. Inspiration isn't a muse. It's the dedication of setting an alarm and getting started writing.

Camp NaNoWriMo

I'm participating in Camp NaNoWriMo this month. It's a virtual writing camp, but it's effective—and a lot of fun—all the same.

Camp NaNoWriMo grew out of the original National Novel Writing Month, which takes place each November. November isn't the best month for some people to write a 50,000 word novel draft, nor is 50,000 words a good goal for everyone. That's where Camp NaNoWriMo comes in: it's in both April and July, and you set your own writing goal.

My goal: to write a 25,000 word outline/draft of the third book in the Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mystery Series. (Book 2, Pirate Vishnu, is already in my editor's hands, and is scheduled for a Feb 11, 2014 release.)

Why am I going to a virtual camp to write the book? Yes, I know I could sit down and write the book on my own, but I'm someone who benefits from structure. Without it, I'm likely to struggle with a certain scene or plot point that isn't working, rather than moving forward and fixing things during revisions. And most importantly: some of my best ideas come when I'm writing quickly without censoring myself.

Here's what the "camper" page looks like. You enter your progress so you can see it visually (another helpful feature for those of us right-brained writers). I'm writing in Scrivener and upping my usual three days a week of writing to four days a week. This time, Jaya heads to France...