The end of November is so close and I am so happy, but also a bit sad. I love writing. I love having this pressure to write daily, because it really helps me to stop making silly excuses and write. But on the other hand, my schoolwork and other less fun activities have been really lagging. I’ve barely done anything more than the absolute necessary. And I hate that, because all my free time is taken for writing, and there are so many other things I want to do.
However, the month is almost over, and I’m so close to the 50k mark. I’ve had so many downs this week, but also ups. I’ve barely written on one day (I wrote 1 word, how smug) and another (I wrote 4… but I literally had no time to write more), and then there are the days like today on which I write about 3k.
Week three of NaNoWriMo has arrived and it has gotten harder and harder to keep up with the 1.667 words per day. Not only is it harder to find the motivation, I also got a bit more school work to do. New classes at my university started and I’m already behind (oops), but I also have to attend more classes and work more on projects. So time is a bit of an issue. But somehow I’m still on schedule.
This is the second week of November and I’ve officially been writing for NaNoWriMo twelve days and it have been twelve crazy days. At the beginning of week two of NaNoWriMo (last Wednesday), my motivation was so low! I just couldn’t get myself to write and eventually had to force myself to keep going. After that Wednesday, things went up and down, my motivation is still not that high but it’s better than it was. On Friday I almost didn’t write at all, which was so demotivating! However, on Saturday, I suddenly wrote 3k.
NaNoWriMo has started and I am so excited! Last week I wrote about how I really wasn’t excited and since then a lot has changed! On Tuesday, the day before NaNo started, I finally realized that working on a WIP that didn’t excite me anymore wasn’t gonna do me any good. I, instead, changed my story idea to something that I’ve been wanting to write since this summer and had been afraid to start. And it is so much fun to write!! More about that story idea later.
What I noticed already is that my drafting is going way easier and faster, because I’ve finally come to realize that drafting does not need to be perfect. My draft is gonna be a mess, with incoherent sentences, spelling errors, repetitions and messy dialogue and you know what? THAT’S OKAY. This draft can be as messy as I want it to be because in the words of Jen Wang: First drafts are like practicing dance moves in your room alone in the dark; it doesn’t matter what it looks like because it’s just for you.
So what’s my story idea?
You might remember, I once wrote a post with several story ideas that I was considering writing for NaNoWriMo, one of those was a transgender Mulan retelling. I was so excited for that one and I’ve finally decided to just go for it. Research can come later, now I just need to get the story out.
The story initially was set in 5-6th century China because that is where the story of Mulan originated but I’ve decided to change it to modern-day China. I wanted to include modern media and it was much easier to make the story diverse, which is something I really wanted.
My current working title is Making Mountains Bow. The story is about Xiulan, who is a transgender boy but not openly because his family doesn’t understand. I don’t want to spoil the entire story but it includes: an amazing sibling relationship, quirky friends, a tragic death, a war, dragons, expectations, betrayal, battles, strong male and female characters, and much more!
I have created many character aesthetics for my story, some of which are below! Some of these characters I haven’t introduced yet and there’s even one that I have no clue how to work into the story.
I’ve currently written 6.813 words and I’m really happy with that! I hope to write another 1-1.5k today, but I have obligations so I’m not sure I’ll be able to write a lot. So far I’ve had one day on which I just couldn’t write more than 1k, which was because I wasn’t feeling very well.
I’m having a hard time finding snippets I love, because the prose I use right now is not that good. But that doesn’t matter right now, anyway, I can change it in the rewrite. I do have a lot of dialogue that I just love so here are some snippets from that:
“You look like shit,” she said pointedly. Another thing about Kailee, she never knew when not to talk. She had no filters between what she thought and what she said.
“Well, thanks, I hadn’t noticed,” he said sarcastically. He felt like it too.
“Wild night?” she smiled, “got to meet any cute girls?” She and her girlfriend had just broken up a few weeks ago but she was already on the look-out for new flings.
“Ha, if you call my sister cute, then yes. Or champagne, is champagne a cute girl? I met a lot of champagne.”
She grinned widely, “ooh got a little tipsy, then?”
“I think I rambled on about the stars, walked into twenty people, puked in a bush and then woke up with an axe hammering my head. Figuratively then.”
“So your ordinary Friday night.”
“I’m sorry for ruining your night,” he said softly, the guilt biting at his voice.
“No! You didn’t ruin it, you were a sweet drunk. Very… wise.”
He chuckled, “oh god, I made a fool out of myself, didn’t I?”
“Only a little bit.”
How is writing going for you? Are you taking part in NaNoWriMo? What’s your favourite snippet that you wrote in your NaNo project? Any tips or tricks you’ve discovered?
I am looking for people who are Chinese and/or transgender and would like to help me out with the representation, so if you’re either of those and don’t mind me contacting you ask some questions while writing, please let me know!
It was a bit of a strange week, on some days I wrote a lot on some not at all. For those who (still) don’t know what it is, Camp NaNoWriMo is basically a smaller version of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), in which you can set your own goal. For NaNoWriMo your goal is 50k, but for Camp NaNoWriMo I set my goal to 15k.
I have just finished the one-but-last chapter I was planning to write for Camp, and tomorrow and the day after I will write the last. It feels good to have so many words down already, but I feel I’m getting into the mid-month slump. Luckily, or sadly, depending on how you see it, I will only be participating for two more days. I’m going on vacation and won’t have my laptop with me.
I am really looking forward to going away and I plan on getting some more inspiration while I’m away and maybe add some minor storylines and add some character development, things like that! I think a small break from writing can really help me get inspired again! I will be writing (or at least try to) while I’m away, but that will be on paper. With an actual pen. Yeah, I guess I’ll see how that goes!
Week two of Camp NaNoWriMo has just ended. For those who don’t know what it is, Camp NaNoWriMo is basically a smaller version of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), in which you can set your own goal. For NaNoWriMo your goal is 50k, but for Camp NaNoWriMo I set my goal to 15k. This is not a lot but I’ll be going on a vacation in the middle of July and won’t be able to write from then on.
I am currently in a small writing slump, I’m at a chapter and I don’t really know how to finish it. I’m sure I’ll figure it out once I get myself to actually write some more. Yesterday I wrote only 60 words and that’s a big disappointment for me. I can do better! I’m going to try to write at least 1000 words today but I’m pretty sure that won’t reach it. It’s already late afternoon, and I haven’t written more than 150 words… I’ll try though!
I found that I am really good at randomly improvising and adding in characters or storylines on a whim. Sometimes it just clicks and I write a thousand words about stuff that isn’t even in my outline. I created a character that I think will have quite an important role later in the story. I’ve also gotten to know my characters better, especially Noa. I really like how all the characters come alive on the paper.
Wow, just wow. It’s Wednesday evening as I’m writing this and I just finished my final words. I just went to the camp page and entered my final word count and just wow. I feel so incredibly good. I feel like dancing and screaming and crying and just everything at the same time, but first I’m going to finish this post.
So what happened since Sunday, I wrote wrote wrote and then wrote some more. When you’re reading this I’ll be camping (yeah for real this time), I’ll be away from Thursday until Sunday and writing is not really the easiest thing to do on a camping, so I decided to just go for it and write so much I won’t have to write much anymore when I was camping. Due to my horrible math skills (seriously writing is eating up my neurons, one by one, until I can no longer do math), I miscalculated and was done a lot earlier (as several thousand words and one evening earlier) than I thought.
My book is far from complete. There are a million things I have yet to add and I’m only about halfway through my story. I’ve added so much and wrote so much more words than I had planned, so it all stretched out a bit. I’m planning on continuing writing during May and June and maybe participate in Camp NaNoWriMo in July, although I will probably go on vacation and miss most of July. I’m planning to make it to 60k and wrap it up as my first draft. Yes, that’s right, there’s going to be a second draft. As I was writing, I was already thinking up things I wanted to add and relationships I wanted to elaborate on, characters I wanted to put more depth in, conversations I wanted to improve.
I’m going to do a more elaborate post on things I’ve learned from Camp NaNo later but this is just my initial thoughts on my process and finishing.
As I’m finished writing for this month (I don’t think I’ll be writing much for the rest of it), I’m thinking of a new name for my book. Currently, I’m using Drive On as my temporary title, but that was back when most of the book was about the road trip, now it’s a smaller part of the book (about half probably). The idea behind that title was that it was about continuing life after something horrible happened, keep on going, drive on. However, I kind of dislike it. I’ve got a list of titles I like but none of them are perfect, either I think they’re cheesy (this book is not cheesy) or not fitting.
It’s so weird to call it a book, like, I’m no writer, how can I call it a book, but on the other hand: I write. Which in conclusion means I’m a writer. I think, therefore I am, right? I write, therefore I’m a writer.
You pass so many faces every day and yet you never stand still and wonder who these people are. They’re there, but they might as well not have been there at all. Ghosts, with a face and a name, but nothing more.
The city sparkles below us and the sky above us. “You know how stars that shine the brightest, burn up the fastest? I read about it online a while ago, it’s because of the heat of the fuel, I don’t really remember.” I trail off, “It reminds me of mom. Mom was probably the brightest star on the horizon.”
Random thought #1: this last one is actually the final lines in my draft at this moment and oh my gosh it’s the perfect way to end this project.
Random thought #2: I should call my novel: Bright Stars Burn Fast (or quickly? or swift? What do you think?).
If you want to follow my aesthetics board on weheartit, you can find me here.
Happy writing! How did your Camp NaNo end? Happy or not?