Camp NaNoWriMo 2017 Update #2

Sometimes, things just don’t go the way I planned them.

Last week, I finished reading The Night Circus.  It was glorious.  I loved it so much that I went and purchased the hardcover copy the next day.  This post is not about The Night Circus but if you want to read all about my love of it, you can do so here.


My point is that sometimes you read a book that comes together so perfectly, it makes you go back and reflect on your own work.  The Night Circus did that for me, and I spent several hours that day thinking about my current draft.  You know what?

Pantsing is fun, but it doesn’t create a good story.  Not for me.  My initial plot of “Angry witch lady captures little girl with a wild imagination and her older brother has to go to the dream world to save her” is a really raw beginning of a plot outline, but it’s not a story.  It’s not something I would pick up at a bookstore, so why would anyone else?

As a result of these musings, I’ve begun again.  I know the world.  I know my characters.  I know one of the subplots… and now I am learning more.  Other than my daily writing, here’s what I’ve done this week to strengthen my story:

  • Separated the tale out into 5 POVs.  Each one has its own folder, and I switch between POVs to tell what each character was doing at the same time.  This has resulted in 3 really solid chapters, 2 that could be refined, and 1 that isn’t probably going to be used but was really good character motive and behind-the-scenes story development for me to remember later.
  • Left notes on chapters.  This is a new option for me, since previously I’ve written in MS Word (bleh) or Novlr… Ulysses is a great resource for a writer with a scattered mind.  I have a few thousand words in background notes and future plot thoughts, as well as research discoveries.  Yes!
  • Asked for perspective.  My best friends have an eight-year-old daughter who I’m loosely basing one of my MCs on.  She’s a bright, imaginative girl and loves to read.  She has a great imagination.  Despite the fact that Lucy Brown has been in my head for five years, I’m 28 and it’s not easy to get in the mind of an 8-year-old.  That was a long time ago.  Fortunately, my friends’ daughter was more than happy to offer some perspective, and she gave me some answers I wasn’t expecting.  Also she wants a copy of the book someday.  Which gives me a goal publication timeline… 4-8 years from now when she’s old enough to read it and her mother won’t kill me!


I think it’s really good to be able to step back from something I’ve spent a lot of time and effort on, be able to look at it objectively, and be able to say “This isn’t working”.  It’s hard, it sucks, but I’m excited to move forward taking a different path.


Also there’s no way in the world this will be finished by the end of July.

The Strange Case of the Rejected Lady & the Half-Blood Myth – #IMWAYR


It’s Monday, What are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by The Book Date.  It’s a great way to catch up on all the literary ins-and-outs of the previous week, and see what everyone is up to.  Check out this week’s linkup!

It’s been a little while since I’ve done one of these!  My entry “Confessions” pretty much sums up my absence this time…. I do apologize, for anyone reading, mais voila!  Here I am again!

thenightcircusaudiobookI’ve actually had a very productive week as I’ve delved back into my audiobooks and finished an ARC I won back in January (*guilt*).  The highlight of my week was definitely finishing up The Night Circus.  I just felt like it was this beautiful, magical book  I posted a review of that one Friday afternoon, you can check it out here.  If I start talking about it again I’m going to get all gushy and attached!  My husband is listening to the audiobook now; I’m so excited to chat about it with him.

The other finished book, aforementioned ARC, is Pistols and Petticoats by Erika Janik.  I actually have a lot of scattered thoughts on this one, but I’ve got to write a review of it later this afternoon, so we’ll discuss it in greater depth then.  In short, I’d say it was really interesting, but I found it hard to follow.  But more to come!

So replacing those two books as my go-to physical book & audiobook are The Lady of the Rivers by Phillipa Gregory and The Strange Case of Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson.  Jeckyll & Hyde is a short listen – only about 3 hours, so that’ll be finished most likely tomorrow.  While I haven’t cracked open The Lady of the Rivers yet, Jeckyll & Hyde I’ve listened mostly through.  I do like classics, but this one is not going on my list of Classics to Read Before You Die.

My husband and I are now co-listening to Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling.  We’re getting close to finishing out the series, now – I’m going to have to find something new!  I really want to get him to listen through Stephen King’s Dark Tower series, so maybe that one!  Goodness know I could listen to it over and over….

Rejected Princesses: Tales of History's Boldest Heroines, Hellions, and Heretics by Jason Porath

Finally I have my “forever” books – the ones it seems like I will never finish!  Rejected Princesses by Jason Porath – a series of short illustrated essays about the strong women in history who often get overlooked – has been relocated to the bookshelf, so really it’s on a bit of hiatus for now.  I can not emphasize enough that this is nothing to do with the book!  It’s awesome, I just have trouble getting through short stories so I pick them off a bit at a time.  Right now, I’m more focused on writing than reading, so this one has fallen to the way-side.  My “forever” audiobook is, of course, The Great Courses series of lectures of Myth in Human History, taught by Grant L. Voth.  This one, I’m actually getting close to finishing!  I only have about six lectures left.  Right now, we’re working through the trickster gods (think Loki).  Like Rejected Princesses, I actually find this series incredibly interesting, but due to its formatting, I just can’t swallow a lot of it at a time, and sometimes I am not in the mood at all, so it has taken a while.  I think I should have this one finished before October.

I’ve been writing through Camp NaNoWriMo this July as well… nothing fancy and nothing new.  I’ve acutally been using it to try and muddle through revisions on a story I wrote for NaNoWriMo in 2012, so I’m doing a chapter a day and will continue to do so past July – it just seemed a good time to start and get in on the fun!  I will probably do a writing update later this week.

That’s all I’ve got for this week – keep your eyes peeled for the Pistols & Petticoats review!