The Best Writing Update Yet!
Let’s start with the most important question of all: Have I finished my book yet??
The answer is no. No, I am not finished, but I am 20,000 words out and feeling so accomplished! I’m actually not mad about this and here’s why.
In the month of April, the sixth month of writing this novel, I participated in the yearly event called Camp NaNoWriMo. It is an online event that runs from the 1st to 30th of April and works similarly to NaNoWriMo in November except for the fact that you can choose your own writing goal for the month.
Camp NaNoWriMo 2020
This is the first year I’ve participated in Camp NaNo. Although, I have been part of the NaNoWriMo challenge (the November event) since 2016 and have seen improvement year after year!
My goal for Camp 2020 was to reach 60,000 words on my novel.
I started off the month with roughly 40,000 words as per my last writing update, which meant that I only had approx. 20,000 words to write to reach my goal.
I tracked all of my writing using the NaNoWriMo website, but also on a separate personal tracker so I can use it beyond the month of April. Whenever I wrote, I managed 2,000 or more words and on exactly April 30th, my novel had reached 60,000 words!
What Did I Learn from Camp NaNo?
- I can write 20,000 words in a month!
If there’s one thing I have proven to myself this month, it’s this. I’ve never written 20,000 words in a month before and it feels good. It also reassures me that this draft won’t take another 6months to be completed and I can possibly start editing as early as mid-June!
- It’s completely impossible to estimate how many words a story/ first draft will be.
If you’ve heard of NaNoWriMo, you may know that the magic number for a completed novel is 50,000 words. For me, who has never completed a novel before, this number has been the magic number! I thought that when I hit 50k my entire WIP would wrap itself up nicely and a cursive ‘Fin‘ would appear at the bottom of the page. But alas, that was not the case. You can make estimates of course but don’t be disappointed when you cannot meet or exceed the goals you’ve set.
- Planning is my best friend!
I am so confused by people who just write without a plan. I’m convinced they’ve sold their soul to the devil. Like, how does that even happen? Do you not forget things? Do you just write?
I’ve tried the whole pantser method before. Didn’t really work out so I became a planner and just fell in love with being able to know the direction of my story and fill in the gaps as I wrote. To me, planning is very much like I’ve written a shitty first draft, then my actual first draft is an enhanced version of that.
- There’s something soothing about writing chronologically.
Even though I plan out my novel chapter by chapter, there is no way that I can write out of chronological order. Writing all over the place causes me stress before I’ve even typed a word on the page. Writing chronologically and finishing chapter after chapter has the same feeling as ticking items off of a to-do list.
Where To From Here?
From the things I’ve learnt and just going through the whole experience, I have created a rough plan on what I need to accomplish to reach my goal of completing my first draft ever!
I’ve done a little estimating and as per my plan, there are 7 chapters left to write. With each chapter maybe having 3,000 words each, that leaves me with about 21,000 words to go, bringing the estimated final goal for this novel to upwards of 80,000 words!
Since I wrote 20,000 words in the month of April, I am hopeful that I can have this novel finished by at least Mid-June (since I do nothing all day anyways).
You can follow my writing journey and see all of the updates on my Instagram @thebookishbree. I post to my stories and save everything to story highlights on my profile.