Camp Nanowrimo (Week One): Editface


It’s the second week of Camp Nanowrimo and I’m still steadily editing (say that five time fast) Odd Duck.

I only pledged an hour a day but it’s hard to stop, once I get started.  Thank heavens.

Now that I know what the book is about, I’m smoothing the logic, beefing up the evidence, rearranging the furniture to enhance the literary feng shui, and pulling the extra scenes and subplots that didn’t quite fit the theme. Those, I’m sticking ‘em in my “Bits” document, where all my darlings languish, their sentences commuted from deletion to imprisonment with the possibility, if not the probability, of parole.

I’m also watching my metaphors.

Duck!2Repetitions, too: there are a couple of phrases I enjoyed so much that I had nearly every character try them on for size, and I was particularly fond of “plus”, “mostly”, and “probably”—though that last one may disappear by later chapters, once I started throwing clues at my MC and we both had a better handle on the plot.

Once again, my characters are nodding and blinking and drinking and raising their eyebrows and fiddling with coffee cups. If you watched it on fast forward, it would resemble a St. Vitus’ Dance Marathon sponsored by Maxwell House.

And speaking of overcaffeination, what was up with those four paragraphs missing random letters? At least two of my fingers appeared to be dancing to different drummers or moonlighting on a different project—not, apparently, one of mine.

But it’s all coming together and I’m leaving solid, if not polished, chapters in my wake, a word, a scene, an hour at a time.

The last camp I went to, I came home with a couple lanyards, a terrible sunburn, a total of five (mismatched) socks, and five cumulative pounds of sand.**

At the end of this one, I may have a decent book and third degree editface.


*And the ability to play the soprano crumhorn, practice the bassoon under a concentrated attack of mosquitos and bitchy singer/actresses, and MacGyver the center communal washing machine into accepting fewer quarters than it originally demanded. Interlochen is indeed the total experience.


Do You Want to Build a Cabin? (Doesn’t have to be a cabin . . . )


Because we’re planning a big, two-week family trip this summer and because my loyal Rocinante had to have a complete transmission flush, new front brakes, and various realignments and balances a week ago,* I can’t use any of my precious vacation time or nonexistent savings to go to any of the writing conferences and workshops I was hoping to attend.

So I’ve decided to run away to camp next month, in my brain.

If you dropped in around here last November, you already know (possibly more than you cared to) about my experience with National Novel Writing Month, during which writers of all ages, abilities, and levels of optimism pledge to write 50,000 words in one month to earn bragging rights and the first draft of a (short) novel they wrote themselves.  All it costs is time, effort, and (for some of us) semi-professional amounts of caffeine.

You also know (possibly more than you cared to) how much I enjoyed myself.

Imagine my excitement when I heard that the same organization is going to host a Camp next month!

It’s organized a little differently, but that’s all to the good:

  • Participants set their own word-count goal from 10,000 to 999,999 (or 334 to delusional per day) during the 30-day month.  You don’t have to complete the project, just the goal.
  • Editing and non-novel projects totally count: one hour of active editing equals 1,000 words.  One page of scripts and graphic novels equal 150-200 words.
  • The participants can go it alone or join “cabins” for support.  Cabins are 12-person writing groups that can be assigned either randomly or according to specific criteria (genre, age, goals), or created by the participants through invitations.

For my first try at Camp Nanowrimo, I’ve decided to set a 40 hour editing goal—a nanoEdmo—for Odd Duck, because 93 minutes of active editing a day seems completely reasonable with my current schedule and also the schedule I’m likely to have once I start my new job on April 13th.**

And for kicks and moral support, I thought I’d join a cabin.

Which is where y’all come in.

I originally set my criteria set for genre and goal, but then I thought about all those summer camps I went to as I child and how much better they were when I already knew people and they had been warned about knew me.***

So, if you would like to get a word-count goal or editing project off the ground (or keep one going) or or would like to try a different genre or format or whatever for one month with no pressure, sign up here.

And if you want to be cabin buddies, drop me a line either though e-mail or through the Campers message system (I’m Sarah W there, too).  In our cabin, everyone can have a top bunk and their own bathroom—there’s even an on-call barista/masseur!

Cabin assignments start in nine days and Camp starts in fifteen.  Plenty of time to decide!^

I’ll bring the graham crackers, you bring the marshmallows!

 Smore Yum


*All of which cost just enough to wipe out my vacation savings, but not quite enough to warrant trading him in for a newer model.

**So reasonable that I could/should/would have been doing that much already.  I don’t really have any excuses for this.

***Except for my cousin Brian, who was an arrogant jerk in the way of most thirteen year-old boys to their twelve year-old female relatives.

^If it just isn’t possible for you to participate (c’mon, it’s only 334 words or thirty-three minutes a day), care packages will be (barely) acceptable in lieu of your presence.^^  Please send chocolate, caffeine, clean socks, highlighters, post-it notes, and good wishes.

^^Or, in the case of my cousin Brian, more than acceptable.  He’s still an arrogant jerk.