There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed. – Ernest Hemingway
Sometime in May of this year I decided that I wanted to compete in Camp NaNoWriMo.
Camp NaNoWriMo is where one tries to write a certain amount of words in a month. Traditionally it is fifty thousand words, but during Camp NaNoWriMo everything tends to be a lot more flexible.
It is in November when one is doing NaNoWriMo that things are less flexible. Actually, everything about it is pretty flexible except for the fact that one is trying to write fifty thousand words in a month. The traditionalist also say that it should be on a new story that nothing has been written on (except for outlining, character plotting, etc.). Some people listen to this rule and some don’t. I usually do just because I enjoy writing new stories.
This is the fifth time that I have participated in Camp NaNoWriMo and I have done NaNoWriMo three times, so I thought that I had a pretty good idea of what I was getting myself into this year.
It turns out that it didn’t. Big surprise there, right?
I think it was late May when I decided what I was going to write this July.
I decided to write a story about original superheroes. I placed in a world almost exactly like our own except for the fact that there were superheroes with real superpowers. However, the three main characters that I choose for my story were not quite normal superheroes in that world. Well, one of them was. One of the others didn’t have superpowers. And the last had had her superpowers messed up in an accident. I wanted this to be a story that focused on both these three becoming real superheroes and working together, but I also wanted this to be a story that showed how difficult it would be to balance being a superhero and having a normal life.
I started to work on getting ready to write this story. There was not much to do because I had actually planned to write this for July Camp NaNoWriMo of 2017, but then at the very last minute I changed and wrote a fantasy retelling of a Shakespeare play.
So, I really did not have much to do to get ready for this story.
But the closer I got to July the less excited I was about writing this story.
I still liked the idea. I just was no longer excited about it.
Since I didn’t want to put this idea aside again (also I had no idea what else I would write about) I decided to completely start over with my characters and I decided to add another main character.
The characters that I had figured out before stayed pretty similar during their second time being figured out, but somehow they felt more real. They had motives for what they were doing. I no longer looked at them and thought that they were a bit too similar to some of the Marvel superheroes.
And then there was my new character. She is amazing! I could hardly wait to start writing about her, and even now her perspective is my favorite.
The only trouble with my characters was I put off figuring out most of about them until the week before July started. I know, that was a really smart thing for me to do, and I do it a lot with NaNoWriMo, unfortunately. It’s a habit that I should try to break.
Finally, it was July. I got to start writing on my story. I was going for thirty thousand words, so I had to write just under a thousand words a day which really isn’t that bad.
In the first day I got about a thousand words ahead and I stayed about that far ahead. My story was going pretty well. The plot was going slower than I wanted though, but I could deal with that later.
So, that was how it was going for me until I got to fifteen thousand words. I was just over half way through.
And I hated the way that it was going.
Nothing was going right. The plot was moving way too slow. The characters were great, but they were not getting a chance to show their full potential.
Then on July 17th I became so frustrated with my story that I decided to throw everything that I had written so far away and start over.
I reset my word count to zero. I got up a new page on Google docs. And I began to write. At the first the words came slowly, but as I continued on this new beginning of the story things began to go faster and faster.
I know that I made the right decision in starting over which is something that I had never done before in Camp NaNoWriMo.
I still am not quite caught up. I don’t know if I will quite get to my thirty thousand word goal.
I hope that I will, but I’m not sure.
But I am sure that I made the right decision.
I’m excited to see where my story leads me in these last few days of July.