How I Prep for NaNoWriMo

Hello everyone.

I released a new YouTube video today discussing how I prepare for National Novel Writing Month.

You can watch my new video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KdnDou7mqSs

This year I am rewriting the first half of my epic fantasy novel, A Clash of Crimson, and hopefully I’ll be able to write the unfinished second half.

Since I already had my idea and most of my characters going into Preptober, I didn’t have to come up with something new. You might think that gave me an advantage. Honestly, I’m not sure if it did. I’ve changed so much and questioned everything.

This past month I’ve created a new 9-page outline for my novel, worked on the goals/motives/backstory/personality types for my main characters, reworked the cover of my novel, created maps of my world and cities, and I’ve been organizing everything.

I also let people (strangers, btw) read the last draft of A Clash of Crimson for the first time. I provided a few chapters and received some great feedback.

I’ll be back with more posts as NaNoWriMo begins. Until then, thanks for reading, and I’ll see you next time 🙂

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NaNoWriMo Prep begins

As always seems to happen, we’re now a month away from National Novel Writing Month, and I’m freaking out because I don’t feel prepared.

Usually by the time NaNoWriMo comes around, I had been working on my novel in July and August and completely forgotten about writing. Neglecting my writing for most of the year seems to be a trait of mine.

This time around, I actually did some worldbuilding and outlining in September!

It feels like I’ve accomplished nothing and I’m freaking out, but looking back I got a lot done in September.

I redrew my world map and actually designed a digital copy with Adobe Photoshop. It’s looking real good and I’m very impressed with it. This resulted in renaming a few kingdoms and that sort of thing. Now I just need to focus on nailing down the climate patterns, plate tectonics, and volcanism.

I also started thinking about the different cultures in my world. I have a long way to go with that one, but it’s something I’ve meant to do for years.

Finally, I changed a ton of the plot and I’m rethinking everything. Maybe not the best place to be, but I think I’ll come out of October with a stronger plot than before. The main plot hasn’t changed, but I have a better understanding of my protagonist and antagonists than before, so it necessitated a few major changes.

I’ll keep you all updated as we approach NaNoWriMo!

Are you participating this year? What have you done so far to prepare? I’d love to hear from you!

Camp NaNoWriMo Update

Camp NaNoWriMo wasn’t as successful as I’d hoped, but I’m still proud of my accomplishments so far.

Camp NaNoWriMo wasn’t as successful as I’d hoped, but I’m still proud of my accomplishments so far. There are still a few days remaining in the challenge I set for myself to rewrite part of my epic fantasy novel and I probably won’t reach my goal.

That’s okay.

April Camp NaNo has never gone well for me. I usually don’t find time to write until the July version. This April Camp NaNo is my most successful so far, even though I’ll likely come out short.

My plan is to get through rewriting another chapter or two by the end of this month and I’ll be satisfied with that. There are some huge changes in my life right now that will require my focus, and I’m glad that I was able to make some progress this early in the year.

 

 

 

Camp NaNoWriMo Day One

What I accomplished on day one of Camp NaNoWriMo

Progress: 1721 words

I managed to get some rewriting done in my epic fantasy novel late last night. Right now I’m focusing on rewriting the story and not worrying so much about grammar. I’ll save that for when I finish the novel.

So far the beginning of the prologue has been greatly expanded and I tried to slow the pace and make one particular scene a little creepier. I haven’t succeeded with the latter, so I’ll spend some more time with that today (after I start my math homework for college).

One thing I should note is how I do my rewrites. I count the number of words in the new draft rather than hours spent rewriting the story. I have two Word documents open and I write a line at a time, usually reworking it completely. It takes a while, but I’ve seen great results between my drafts in the past.

That’s all for this update. I’ll have a new video on YouTube today about my first week of Spring Quarter classes at the university, which you can find on my channel at 11am PDT.

Edit: the video is now live here: 

How did your first day go?

Camp NaNoWriMo is here

After making considerable progress in my contemporary fantasy novel this week, I will be shifting my focus toward my epic fantasy novel.

Happy Easter and happy April Fool’s Day! It’s also the start of Camp NaNoWriMo’s April edition.

After making considerable progress in my contemporary fantasy novel this week, I will be shifting my focus toward my epic fantasy novel. I want to use Camp NaNoWriMo to rewrite the first half of Clash of Crimson. As much as I was having fun experimenting with vigilantes, magic in a modern setting, and writing about a character who had suffered much loss in his life, I need to take a break.

Firgrove has been an idea of mine dating back to 2014 I believe, but I realized while writing it that I didn’t know the story I was trying to tell. That’s the point of a first draft, but I couldn’t connect all of these crazy ideas that I had for the novel.

I think it’s best that I keep thinking about Firgrove and jotting down more ideas for it throughout April. Rewriting Clash is my priority because I think it’s about damn time to actually finish a draft of a novel. If I remain on track, I might actually be able to finish a complete draft of the novel this year of early next year. That’s a big deal, because I’ve been trying to finish it for 5 years. Considering that this is supposed to be the first book in a larger series (I have enough ideas for like 8 books), you can begin to see why I’m shifting my focus back to it.

Unlike Firgrove, I know the story I want to tell with Clash. I’ve had 11 years to think about where I want the series to go. My biggest problem has been forcing myself to sit down and write it. Working on a novel every November and July isn’t enough. I need to start working on it as often as I can.

That’s why I’m trying to rewrite as much as I can this month. I have new characters to add to the story, a new interpretation of the plot, and some much needed clarification on the setting.

I’m in a cabin for editing and revising this month, and so far some great resources have been shared that I’ll be using in my rewrite. I’m exciting see how much I get done with everything else that’s going on in my life.

More on that later. For now, I have writing to do.

What are you writing for Camp NaNoWriMo? Have you had any day 1 successes?

 

World Building Like Crazy

I spent the last two days doing some major world building for my novel. There were a few details that I had neglected to figure out and I realized that having those details would make it much easier to piece my world together.

I figured out approximate populations for countries and major cities and created maps for two of the kingdoms where most of the story will be taking place instead of just having a world map.

I also changed a few place names around and created distinctive regions in each country.

I also did a little bit of writing in A Clash of Crimson and I was able to add about 1000 words to the story. If I can keep this momentum up I will be looking good for NaNoWriMo.

As a quick side note, I’m attending a diversity journalism conference in Oregon next week. Because of this commitment, I had to refuse an offer for two $50 tickets for row 17 to see Def Leppard in Tacoma on October 1. Ugh. I really want to go to that concert.

In the mood

I feel in the mood for writing.

I tried writing in Clash of Crimson again last week and I failed. I got some stuff accomplished, but then I went nine days without even looking at my novel. I knew that I needed some inspiration and something to get me going.

So, I decided to spend yesterday watching the entire extended edition Lord of the Rings trilogy on Blu Ray. There’s honestly nothing like those films to get me in the mood for writing high fantasy.

Now I’m hoping to get some writing done today and maybe a little bit of revising my outline so that my path ahead is clear.

Then maybe, just maybe, I’ll be ready to write part 2 for NaNoWriMo in November.

Writing, Writing Again

I was inspired to write a little bit more in my novel yesterday. A Clash of Crimson has been the absolute biggest headache and the hardest project of my life, and it doesn’t look like it will ever be finished. But, I’m pushing forward.

I gave up on my rewrite at about the 30,000 word mark in the middle of Camp NaNoWriMo – July 2016. Now I’m trying to play catch up so that I’m ready to begin writing part 2 for NaNoWriMo in November. I figure if I can at least get a little bit of writing in each week, then I’ll be in good shape.

September 11, 2016

Starting Word Count: 30,177

Ending Word Count: 30,836

Difference: +659

Camp NaNoWriMo: Day 6

Welcome to day 6 of Camp NaNoWriMo!

After writing yesterday’s blog post I sort of kicked it into high gear with my novel. I realized that I really want to finish rewriting this to the point that I start writing new chapters all the way until the end.

Of course, that means that some of my edits aren’t going to be perfect and some scenes will be left mostly how they are. But, that’s okay for now because the novel isn’t even done yet. I’ll worry about trying to be perfect AFTER I write “The End.”

I’ll just walk away knowing that my novel is better after this Camp NaNoWriMo than it was before I started rewriting. That’s all that matters: It’s better.

Yesterday I passed the 13,000 word mark in my rewrite and reached the end of Chapter Two. That’s a big achievement this early in the game, because I only have 11 chapters written, and many of them are much shorter than Chapter Two was.

How I finished rewriting the dreadful second chapter:

Yesterday I complained that Chapter Two was awful. Well, I’m feeling a little bit better about it now. I ended up keeping the plot of the chapter exactly the same.

I expanded a scene in the middle of the chapter where the main character, Arrellia, originally was just corner by merchants who wanted to mug her and was rescued by an old man named Tancard and her knight in shining armor, Bedric. Now, she actually does kind of get mugged, which adds a bit of a thrill to the chapter. Plus, I was able to hint at the dangers of a certain coin Arrellia was given, whereas originally she was just given it and it later came back to bite her. Kind of a plot hole right there. But that’s all cleared up now.

I also made Tancard a little bit creeper by adding only an additional line of dialogue. Originally he gives Arrellia a letter for her grandfather and she thinks nothing of it. This time around she realizes that this stranger had the letter prewritten, and Tancard admits that it wasn’t a chance meeting.

Ooo, mysterious.

Hopefully today will be another great day of writing!

 

Until next time,

Chase

 

Camp NaNoWriMo Word Count as of 1:28 pm: 13, 555

 

 

Camp NaNoWriMo: Day 5 & Fireworks Video

Happy day 5 of Camp NaNoWriMo!

I haven’t done any writing yet today, but I’ve finished some very important world building to assist in my rewrite. It partly had to do with reorganizing the main country’s government and actually drawing the capital city so that I could keep everything straight.

Now I’m hoping to get 2,000 words written today.

Chapter Two is really just a big mess. It’s my least favorite chapter in the original draft of my novel, and I’m starting to see why.

  1. Even though there’s a really good hook to start off the chapter, it quickly loses steam. There’s plenty of big events in the chapter to keep it interesting and to build the plot, but it just doesn’t seem to work.
  2. There’s a lot being introduced to the readers here
  3. It’s 17 pages long, which would be fine if it was better

So, I’ll be trying to work through that chapter or at least figure out how to make it better.

In the meantime, I also uploaded a new video to the YouTube channel. It’s just some of the neighborhood fireworks from last night’s Fourth of July festivities. Now you can see why I’ve been annoyed by people letting them off all week. There’s just so many people in the neighborhood lighting them off.

Until next time,

Chase

Camp NaNoWriMo Word Count: 8004