After pulling ahead in Camp NaNo the third week of July, I slipped behind again as I struggled with chapters 14, 15, and 16. This was the start of the major-rewrites section I mentioned in my last post: a dragon attack that originally happened later in the story was moved up and relocated, and instead of being a random dragon it involves the antagonist.
All these changes definitely make sense and have the potential to strengthen the scene. It’s also more plot-relevant.
But this is the third draft of the story overall. And the new scene is in its first draft. And it was really hard to convince myself to work on a crappy, first-draft-quality scene in the middle of a third draft. Especially because I kept doing stupid things like writing myself into corners. You know things are going well when I write sentences like “and then somehow Edna was outside the hospital even though it was in lockdown mode.”
At some point, I had to stop agonizing over the issues and write through them. It’s a first draft, it’s a first draft, it’s a first draft. Just let it suck. Write shit like “and then somehow, even though.” Damn the torpedoes and full speed ahead.
After chipping away a few hundred words at a time for days, I forced myself to write 2000 words on Tuesday. And on Wednesday, at a cafe downtown, I scribbled out 3000 more, in an hour and a half, and broke 50k.
Then I cried a little. I tried not to, because I was in a cafe at one of its busier hours, and it felt silly: it’s not as if I haven’t won the big NaNoWriMo event in November several times before.
But the thing is, I won Camp NaNo. I won. After six years of false starts and not-botherings, I won Camp NaNo.
Then I went home and submitted five poems to Nice Cage, after agonizing over a cover letter possibly even more than I agonized over chapters 14 through 16.
Anyway, I still have about half the story to go, so I’ll be continuing Draft 3 in August. Hopefully I’ll be ready for the next round of readers by the end of the month – much-needed revisions of the new chapters notwithstanding.
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4 thoughts on “I Won??? A Camp NaNo Update”
Congrats on your Camp NaNoWriMo success! It sounds well fought for! And, absolutely, don’t feel bad about mistakes and problems with your first draft. That’s what it is there for – to flesh out the story. You can work on everything else later! (For me, the problem is that I’m a perfectionist. Always analyzing, always editing, never finishing. Hopefully you aren’t like that!) <3.
Thanks! I used to do exactly what you do, but my first-ever NaNoWriMo back in 2010 cured me of that. It was just tough this time around because this *one section* is a first draft, because it’s new, but the rest of the story is in its third draft, so it sucks to have this first-draft-quality bit smack dab in the middle.