Camp NaNoWriMo 2018 aka My Doom

Posted July 1, 2018 by Amber in Writing / 12 Comments


I am notorious for deciding at the very last minute that I should do NaNoWriMo.

Lots of people spend months getting their NaNo stories set up… extensive plotting, incredible character sheet, months of subject research… I’m not that type of person.  For most things, I plan waaaay in advance.  For example:  I’m going to Venice and to Greece in September 2019 and I’m already watching flight and hotel prices.

I write very differently.  The more time you give me to plan, the more I fall apart.

My first NaNoWriMo was November 2010.  I decided on October 31st around 2pm that I would be participating.  I won.  I am further on edits for Strange than any other novel.

So, I mean, when I decided on Thursday to participate in an event that starts on Sunday, that was super planning ahead for me.  And I am using that time to my advantage!

First of all, on Thursday morning while I was incredible motivated, I made a cover.  It’s beautiful. Especially for 3am.

Second, I spent Thursday morning plotting.

I know, right? So uncharacteristic!  I will thoroughly enjoy ignoring all my pretty little notecards and going rogue.  Um, also, while I was plotting, one of the characters became a villain.  Not cool.

If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll know I’ve mentioned my #BountyHunterWIP a couple times.  At this point, that’s a terrible hashtag, as only one of the characters is a bounty hunter and the story is not about bounty hunting (I mean maybe?  It’s sort of… treasure hunting at this point.  But there’s a monster).  If you want more play-by-plays of this adventure, definitely watch that hashtag!  I love tweeting when I should be writing.

July is going to become a writing-centric month, so in honor of Camp NaNoWriMo, I’m pulling back on some of my discussion posts in honor of writing-based posts and discussions of my WIP.  I hope you stick around and encourage me (or throw tomatoes at me, whatever you need to do)!


Have you ever participated in NaNoWriMo?

Have you ever gone to summer camp?

What’s your favorite summer activity?

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12 responses to “Camp NaNoWriMo 2018 aka My Doom

  1. I always sign up for NaNo last minute too, I actually only signed up this morning for this one (my username is phoenixlife if you want to look me up). I’ve set the bar low in terms of word count as I know I will be super busy this month, but it’s worth having a go if it encourages me to get writing daily again. Which software are you using for plotting? I used to have Scrivener on my old laptop but it died and I don’t have it on my new one so just relying on Word. I like your cover and your WiP sounds interesting.

    • Amber

      I love your username. Phoenixes are the best. 😉

      I’m so competitive, so I’m in a cabin with one of my IRL friends and I’m hoping we will keep trying to one-up each other and write more (I’m winning so far, but in all fairness, she’s probably still in bed!). Having the accountability definitely helps me – I don’t like to lose and I’ve grown to like the flexible, group environment of Camp NaNo better than regular NaNo. I hope it helps with daily writing. We should cheer each other on!!!

      I’m writing in Dabble at the moment. It’s a cloud-based service – actually one of NaNo’s sponsors. I’ve flirted with just about every writing software out there and while I’m being REALLY honest, I like MS Word… it’s just that my OneDrive is pretty much full and the firewalls at work block the major cloud-based services. I like being able to write on whatever computer I happen to be near without toting around a flash drive (which is also blocked my work’s firewall, sooo). Dabble is small, so it gets through… but it’s a subscription which I also hate? Ugh. I pay $24.99 a year because I got in last November while it was in beta. There’s a whole story about how I got to Dabble (MS Word > Scrivener > MS Word > Novlr > Ulysses > Dabble is the short version) but I *really* like it. Even if it doesn’t get further developed than it is now, it has plotting tools and a notes section where I put my character bits, so it’s more than I need, really. I can use it on any OS and since it has a desktop version, I can also use it offline. I’m paranoid, so I back it up to Pages… but honestly, I have zero qualms with this one except that I’m cheap and wish it was a one-time payment.

  2. Danielle

    Rachelle Moon?! That’s not your name, Amber lmao! I’ve done Camp Nano maybe 2 years ago, and it freaked the hell out of me because I thought I had to have done all the research, planning, outlining, etc. before hand and I hardly got to WRITE anything other than notes. I feel like Nano is good if you already have an idea of what you want, but if you need to start from scratch, then it’s kinda useless. I also did a buddy-write session with my friend in NY and she also didn’t see the use for Nano much. ? But at least you’re using it well!

    • Amber

      Hahaha it’s a pen name I’ve been using for like 8 years! I know it won’t be a final pseudonym or anything, but my name is still not a great writerly one (might have to use my maiden name…) so I’m still attached to it for drafting purposes. 😛

      I think NaNo supports very different kinds of writers. I am a *terrible* planner and this is the second time I’ve plotted anything (and, honestly? It was plotted in less than an hour). I do research on the fly and just let myself get into the groove of the story and write. I tried to use it for editing last summer and it definitely didn’t work for that. So as a pantser trying to achieve a word count, it’s *great*. Sure as heck doesn’t roll out a quality story, though, and I really struggle finding an *ending* before the end of the month.

  3. Good luck with NaNo!

    I haven’t done NaNo before, because I’m just starting get into writing, but I’d really like to, and am thinking I might do it this fall… I actually considered doing it this month, but… I don’t actually really know how it works, and more importantly, I’m not quite ready to start writing my WIP, because my plot is… severely lacking (also my villains still don’t have names. Or personalities. No big deal I’m sure…), and I’ve tried to write a few things without plotting before. And failed. Because I get one page (or two pages if I’m lucky), then realize I don’t know where to go with my story because it has no plot yet.
    Soooo… plotting is pretty important for me! (and also villains with names are useful…)

    And I’m looking forward to more writing based posts this month! I always love seeing what people are writing 🙂

    • Amber

      Camp NaNo is the EASIEST. You set your own goal, report in, AND you have the option of being “sorted” into a cabin with up to 19 others who are also writers and you can connect with new people (or do cabins with with people you know). Since I’m doing a word-count-based goal, I have the standard 50k challenge. I use the word counter in my processor to see where I’m at, and there’s a box at the top of the screen to enter it. … That’s it! In November, it’s a strict 50k work goal, but in the summer you can say “25 hours of writing” or “76 pages” or “2200 words” and it’s all great!

      My plot is severely lacking too. I’m actually here replying to comments because I was working on a scene and it’s so thin it’s see-through. I know I’ll need to go back in later drafts and fix some backstory and relationships to make this scene work, but the point of NaNo and the point of first drafts is just to get stuff *written*. I’ll worry about the logistics in edits. 😀

      • Ooh, okay, thanks! That will be helpful to know in the future!

        And yeah… Even my parts that I do have plotted are… lacking… (my current “fix” for one of my plot holes is literally that a character was stuck in a tree, and couldn’t get down quickly enough… Not even kidding. Yeah… I’ll need to find a better reason later… :D), but I barely even know what’s going to happen past the half way point, and I know if I start writing now, I’ll quit once I run out of plot…
        I do plan to start soon, I’m just not going to rush myself to be ready in time for nano (too late now anyways I guess…). But once I have a few of my big plot points I do plan to start. (Also once my villains have names… they still need those… 😀 :D)

        • Amber

          Absolutely do not rush!!! And names can always be changed later, so don’t let those villains get you down. 😉

    • Amber

      Psh, who needs preparation when you can go in blind! Haha.

      I hope you make some progress on your WIP anyway, NaNo or no. 😉

  4. Ohhh best of luck for NaNoWriMo, this is so exciting! I hope you will manage to get a lot of writing done. I’m usually a planner when it comes to writing and participating in NaNo – or for anything, really, so I think I might wait until November to actually really do NaNoWriMo. Maybe, if I am motivated by then haha 🙂
    I love that cover! Best of luck xx

    • Amber

      Thank you! Only 3 days in – I’m really enjoying it! Thanks about the cover – considering it was 4am-ish, I’m still quite pleased with it haha.

      I like Camp better than regular NaNo for its flexibility, but I think that it’s easier to slack I the gorgeous summer! And besides, you’re heading to Scotland soon! You should focus on that. 😉