Funny, when I went to camp back in the day, I sent my letters to Mom. Somehow though, writing about my journey through April’s Camp NaNoWriMo feels more appropriate addressed to you. Maybe it’s my way of catching you up from wherever you are now. Still miss you after nineteen years.
Here I am on the last day of March, ready to dive into 30 days straight of drafting the first book in a new series. These NaNo months are freeing in many ways, as if I’m not confined by the usual things I worry about in the draft stage. Of course, a number of those projects crashed and burned, never to be seen by anyone but me, but I always learn something from the process. That’s why I keep coming back, though November often works better than the camp sessions.
After years of identifying myself as a pantser, I’ve been doing some plotting this time. Not for one book, either. No, this is for a four-book series (along with a novella) which interconnects with one another. Each can be read as a stand-alone, but I have an overall arc for one character. I love my work so far, and I’m excited to sit down and begin drafting. Also, more than a little nervous.
I have experimented with plotting before, only to find when I went to write the story, I felt I’d plotted the life out of things. Is that going to happen this time, or did the new software I am using (Plottr) to wrangle this series help overcome this? Things seem more organic, less “Now I must hit this beat, followed by this beat, followed by this one, intro love scene here.” I can’t write that way, and I resist the calls from those who insist I must.
Things appear loose enough I believe there is much left for me to uncover. Today, as I made notes, I added in a supporting character for Book 1 who can ramp up the tension. Will she be a boon or roadblock for my female lead? I don’t know yet, but she needs to be present. I realized a character who impacts the later books should appear in the first one, so must be woven in.
Which brings me to this moment. I could begin today instead of tomorrow, but I’m going to wait. I’m also going to fill the creative well as much as I can, because I will be pulling heavily from that energy source. All the necessary notifications for tracking my progress are set up, and I announced my goals to my accountability partners. Kinda like making certain name tags are in all my clothes.
I’m ready for another round. My hope is to update you every day, an ongoing journal of what I learn and experience. Because you read those first, tentative efforts of my teenage years, even if we didn’t talk about it until we both were older, this month is for you.
See you tomorrow when the fun begins.