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Camp NaNoWriMo Goals and Fears

I can't help feeling like this blog is becoming a series of embarrassing confessions, but here we go again. I've been a member on the NaNoWriMo website since September 2013 and I have never won. Yup, I'm a notorious NaNoWriMo loser.

I imagine if you have stumbled across this blog then you already know that NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. Traditionally held in November, writers come together and try to draft 50,000 words of a novel. The website also holds two "camps" in April and July with more flexible goals and a greater emphasis on community.

I want to defend my loser status a little bit. As a Scottish teacher November is hell. It's the run-up to our prelims (mock exams) and as an English teacher I'm usually also marking hundreds of writing folio pieces that need to be sent off in as polished a form as possible to the exam board shortly into the new year. It is not a good time to be trying to write that amount of words in that amount of time. I usually come home in the dark of night and face-plant on my bed and spend the entire month existing on a diet of toast and crisps.

However, it is now July. I am on holiday (which given the current circumstances vis a vis Coronavirus basically just means I've put my work iPad in a drawer so I don't have to look at it anymore). I am officially trying my hand at Camp NaNoWriMo this month.

Over the last week or so I've been consistently hitting my 1000 words a day goal. So my Camp Goal? I want to write 30,000 words. I'm writing historical fiction where the final word count should be between 80,00 and 120,000 words. I know there is probably a lot of detail I will need to add in subsequent drafts and edits, so I'm aiming for my first draft to be somewhere between 70 - 80,000 words. By this estimation, Camp should take me to the midpoint of my draft, or just after this.

That makes it sound so easy. But I have concerns.

I am starting Camp right on the beat that I find the most difficult; the very beginning of Act 2. I feel a little bit like my characters are just wandering around the Scottish Highlands with very little purpose right now and I'm scared that I'm going to get inside my head and just...well, give up!

I know that once I make it to that midpoint I'm going to get a fresh burst of enthusiasm. I have such a clear idea of my story from that point until the end. It's this next 30,000 words which are going to be the most difficult. Great planning by me.

Basically, I know what I write during Camp is going to suck and I just have to suck it up! This draft will be bad. I must accept that and continue to march on towards those tantalising little words. "The End."

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