Camp NaNoWriMo Day 3 – Editing, Writing, Editing, Writing

So far, Camp NaNoWriMo is rocking along for me.  I’m working on editing my novel from November’s NaNoWriMo.  I’ve never edited something this long before.  I’ve printed it out so I can scribble on it.novel 1st draft - 1

Yep, this stack of paper isn’t imposing at all.

The great thing I’ve found is that I’ve had enough time away from the story (having just added bits and pieces since November) that I can scratch through the text freely.  The naively unexpected thing I’ve found is that reading through it makes me see gaping holes that I want to fill with more writing.

That’s good, right?  I’m going with good and letting myself write in those missing details or change exposition to dialogue, rather than limiting myself to cutting things.  I have read that some writers focus their editing that way, limiting it to pruning and making notes for parts to add after they are done.  But I’m writing as the inspiration comes, at least for now.  This is a big learning experience of me.

In a future post, I’ll talk about how I found my cabin mates for Camp NaNoWriMo and how much interacting with them is adding to the experience.

Happy camping!

Writing Talismans and Camp NaNoWriMo

This is my writing scarf.

It’s my writing scarf because it’s a little spooky and my family gave it to me to wear while I’m writing.  I wore it occasionally, and then put it on for the first day of NaNoWriMo last November – great for keeping warm in the chilly spot where I sit in the kitchen – and by the end of the month it was constantly draped over me or the back of my chair, a fixture like my tea pot.  It became code in our house, that if I was wearing it, I was writing, in my head or tapping on the keys.

I’m quite affectionate towards it at this point.

It’s been getting warmer and I haven’t been wearing my scarf as often.  But Camp NaNoWriMo starts tomorrow, so I grabbed it on the way out the other day.  I planned to fit in a couple hours on a short-story while my teen was at a school practice.

Wow!  I managed 1600 words in a couple of hours.  The words flowed; I twisted my magical scarf while thinking.  It was a productive morning.

Whether or not my scarf is imbued with actual magic, I believe our rituals make things slide into place in ways.  The hot tea, the scarf wrapped around me, pulling my computer up to the same spot on the table make everything come together and tell my brain it’s time to write.  It’s comfortable and exciting.

Anyone else going to Camp this April?  There’s one more day to sign up.  Come check it out here.  Come say hi if you do – I’m Leaves and Cobwebs over there, too.

Writing as a passion, and as a pursuit

I love writing when an image forms in my head and the story starts running. Catching it and putting it on the page feels amazing. And I love writing when I make it a priority, when I spend dedicated time on it, and it’s as important on my schedule as any business meeting. Completing my first NaNoWriMo last year forced me to create even when the words weren’t coming easily. And by month’s end, I had a larger body of work than I’d ever created before. Again, amazing feeling.


A perfect place to keep my hand-drawn diagrams and notes: my Grimm journal, a gift from my family who know how much I love monsters.

Those ladies and the river that ran through their lives is still filling my head.  They kept talking and talking to me last November.  They were especially excited to tell me about the really nasty things that happened by that river.  Now comes the harder part, slogging through to edit the first draft.  Some of that is fun, but it’s work figuring out how to tackle this size story.  I recently attended a workshop by Jamie Morris on that helped me organize my thoughts.  Framing the story’s structure is showing me where I need to add more detail, and points where I want to make sure to bring the characters together. So I’ll be wading back into that river again, taking care where I step, of course.  You never know what you may find in there.  And I’ll be sharing my writing story here, and some of my stories and poetry, as I go along.