Camp NaNo Starts in One Week!

It's time to dust off your keyboard, wipe the cobwebs from your creative brain, and bust out the metaphoric tents. Why, you ask?Camp NaNo is almost upon us!

If you don't know, April is one of two "off season" NaNoWriMo sessions, known as "Camp NaNo." These camps, since they aren't the official November NaNo, offer more flexibility. You can choose whether you want to write a novel, a collection of short stories, nonfiction, screenplays, etc., and you can also set your own word goal, anywhere from 10,000 to 999,9999.

So, what am I doing next month? Something old and something new!

My Something Old

Throughout the month of April, I will continue to revise A STOLEN THRONE. I'm about 25% of the way through, so there's still plenty of revising ahead of me. And I'm trying (very hard, I might add) to not become daunted by the remaining 75% that still needs to be fixed. As I head into the murky middle of my revision, I'll be employing a variety of writing techniques. For some scenes, I'll use my traditional method (go through the scene line-by-line and make changes on the page before typing them into Scrivener), while other scenes will require a full rewrite (like the scene I'm currently working on...it's a huge mess).

I'm excited to get to the middle of the novel (and I'm SUPER pumped to get to the end), because I'll also be writing some brand new scenes (and a whole new, extended ending!).
My overall motto for this revision is to go slow, take my time, and enjoy the process. I'll do my best not to stress about how long it takes. That whole "doing it right the first time is faster than needing to do it twice" thing. Granted, with revisions, it may still take multiple rounds of edits, but I think the same ideology applies.

And Something New

Since I've been working on A STOLEN THRONE for five months (has it really been five months?! That feels so long), my brain has been craving something new. So, while I revise in the morning, I'll draft a new novel in the evenings. I'm only aiming to write the first 30K (so I can be sure to devote enough time to revisions) of my first ever non-fantasy novel!

So, what am I writing?

I'm writing a YA contemporary novel about rival figure skaters. I'm still hammering out the details of the plot, but my main characters are really coming together in my head. And I've been doing lots of research, which mostly means asking my Day Job supervisor a bazillion questions (she's a figure skating coach).

As I've been brainstorming this new novel, I started to get frustrated with how little it seemed to be coalescing, despite the amount of research I was doing. And that's when I realized something important (though probably really obvious):

Research and plot are not the same thing.

I know a lot about the daily lives of my characters, but the plot of the novel isn't going to follow them through their day-to-day lives. That would be incredibly boring. I don't need to use everything I know from my research. But simply knowing all those pieces will help make their lives feel more real, feel richer.

In the next week leading up to April 1st, I'll be pining down the plot for my new novel, revising more of AST, and just enjoying the process of creating new worlds and new characters where once there was a blank page.

You tell me -- are you participating in Camp NaNo this year? What project do you have in store?

-Isabel