April Diary / Camp NaNo 2018

Hello, campers!

In my post April Camper I mentioned that this April I’m participating in Camp NaNoWriMo. Each day, I’ve been writing just a little bit about how it’s going, and I decided to compile it for my blog. A little diary, as you will.

The reason I’m posting this now instead of at the end of April is because I reached my goal! 10,000 words written in seven days. That’s right, baby.

Day One


Camp is going strong so far (even though it’s only been a day), and I’m excited to jump even further into this writing project. My stats for the month told me that in order to reach my goal of writing 10,000 words in April (to bring my novel from 45,000 words up to 55,000 words), I would have to write 334 words a day. This is more than manageable, but I hope I stay continually inspired throughout the month or it won’t be pleasant.

I’ve managed to write 1000 words already, which is a great start to camp. I’m expecting there to be hard days, but if I have enough really good days, I’ll get by.

Word count by the end of the day: 1218 / 10,000

Day Two

Not as many words as yesterday, but a few hundred more than what was suggested. I think yesterday I filled in all the ‘easy’ scenes, so today was a bit harder finding the words to make my novel flow. Will it keep going downhill? I hope not; I hope my writing stays fairly consistent throughout this month.

Word count by the end of the day: 1941 / 10,000

Day Three

I have nothing to say and it’s only day three.

After struggling with writing 200 words, I’ve shut my laptop in an attempt to not get frustrated. It hasn’t even been a week. Why am I doing this again?

A few hours later: I found the groove and the word count is climbing much higher than I was originally expecting. Woowoo! I thought of a few ways to add texture to my novel, which means a lot more words on their way. I can’t believe how much I’ve written so far??

Word count by the end of the day: 3147 / 10,000

Day Four

Okay. I feel energised.

I’ve discovered a couple of YouTube channels that have inspired me greatly. Writers giving legit good advice and just motivating me to keep going, even when you think what you’ve written is bad. I feel inspired and I’m ready to get this done. It’s a first draft, anyway; there’ll be plenty of time to edit once the writing itself is done. I get so caught up in wanting it perfect as I’m writing it, but sometimes I just need to write so it’s on the page.

If you remember from my April Camper blog post, my Camp NaNoWriMo goal was to write 10,000 words. This would bring my current novel from 45,000 words to 55,000. Well, today I cracked the 50,000 word mark! It’s the furthest I’ve ever gotten with a project, so I’m veeery excited. Novels that I’d written in high school (I call them novels, but they weren’t really) were probably only 20,000 words (maximum), I reckon. They’d finish there, either with really abrupt, sudden endings, or I would just delete it all at that point because I was stuck and didn’t know where to go, or because I wasn’t happy with my own writing.

I think this novel is different because a) I’m older and my writing has genuinely improved and the themes are more serious and b) I plotted it out. After writing the first 15,000 words in 2015 and 2016, I knew it needed direction. As it was, it felt more like a bunch of short stories forced together. So I got out a pad of paper and wrote down what I wanted to happen in each chapter.

Since then, I’ve had to shift a few chapters, and it’s actually about eight chapters longer than I was expecting, but the plots that I thought up back then are how my novel stands now. Plotting changed my life. After that, I could write a scene knowing exactly how it would fit, and knowing what would flow from it. Each scene, each chapter, should flow from the one before it and flow into the one following it. By planning every conflict, relationship, etc., I could write knowing where that character’s growth was at, where their flaws were at, etc.

Word count by the end of the day: 6346 / 10,000

Day Five

After writing down some points I want to add into my story last night, I now have an even more specific direction for the rest of Camp. Instead of just knowing where the book is going, I now know what scenes I want to add into chapters, I know what character growth I want to write more fully.

What I wrote today wasn’t my best writing, but I’m still happy with where it’s at. I added in some extra scenes to help make some side characters more three-dimensional, so I’m happy that they’re well on their way.

Today I also bought my comfy pants, which makes me very happy and excited (probably more than it should).

Word count by the end of the day: 8110 / 10,000

Day Six

Today is savoury muffin day. It’s not even noon, and I’m feeling inspired and have written 200 words of dialogue so far. Dialogue is probably something I struggle with the most because I like prefer writing in detail about someone’s facial expression, or their actions, or the kettle boiling. I could write for hours without dialogue before realising that oh, actually, all these two characters have done is watched each other whilst drinking tea.

I’ve still got some good flow happening with my writing, so I’m excited to keep going. (Whilst eating a savoury muffin. Oh yeah, I know how to party.) (My comfy pants are also hanging on the line, so they’ll be ready to wear; two thumbs up, am I right am I right.) I don’t know if it’s having a goal or what, but I’ve never written so easily before; I’m actually so surprised at how quickly I’m meeting my writing goal.

Word count by the end of the day: 9080 / 10,000 (so close, but I need sleep.)

Look at mer babies.

Day Seven

I have officially reached my goal, and in a week! This excites me, and gives me hope for the actual NaNoWriMo in November. Just having a goal motivated me to keep writing, and I didn’t have any major blocks. I definitely had a few moments of “I don’t want to do this”, but overall it just flowed so easily and I found myself really enjoying the process.

I think part of the reason I did this so easily is because I don’t have many other activities on right now. If I was studying, for instance, it would be hard if I was typing out an assignment and then had to go and write ten thousand words of a novel. No matter how much you love writing, there’s a limit to how much you can do at once, especially just sitting looking at a screen. I’ve been able to go off and do other things (like baking) and then come back to my novel when I feel like it.

Word count by the end of the day: 10,142 / 10,000

Some additional thoughts…

One of my favourite things to do with my novel is the actual organising of it, and organising it on paper rather than on a word document. The first time I got out sheets of paper and just wrote down every single chapter and what I wanted to achieve with every chapter was one of the best feelings in the world.

I still do similar things, on occasion. I have a pad of paper that I use specifically for my novel writing, and I love writing down editing notes, scenes or dialogue ideas. My novel has three different point of views, and I love writing down each chapter and high lighting them to make sure all of these characters get similar time devoted to their story. Highlighting is one of the best things in the world, I tell you.

A few days ago, I actually decided to add in a few chapters in the middle of the book. Out came my pad of paper, and I scribbled all over it to make sure the story flowed, to make sure it would work with the different point of views, etc. It’s so satisfying smoothing out the creases to my story and making it as neat and tidy as possible.Especially if it means I can physically highlight a piece of paper. So beautiful to look at.

Well, there you have it. My seven day Camp NaNoWriMo 2018 journey. It’s been fun!

Sarah xx

8 thoughts on “April Diary / Camp NaNo 2018

  1. What great momentum! And your right, staring at a screen all day at work makes me not want to write sometimes, because it’s a lot more screen time (especially blogging). But I do love writing by hand, and I have several journals going at once – and one pretty one I’m trying to save so that it is a complete project and not just random scribbling!

    Liked by 1 person

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