As many of you know, I am currently participating in Camp NaNoWriMo, which is a month-long writing challenge where you choose a word-count goal and try to complete it by the end of July.
My goal for this Camp NaNo was only 15,000 words because I didn’t want to overwhelm myself or make myself stressed out by it. Things are actually going really well so far, and we are only halfway through the month!
I am so happy to say that as of now, I am nearly at my goal. I just hit 10,000 words today! In total, my manuscript is almost at 30k words, which is exactly where I wanted to be as of now.
I thought that for this post, I would answer some of your writing questions (which I asked for on Instagram & Twitter), so let’s get into those!
What is my brainstorming/outlining process like?
I got a couple of questions related to my pre-writing process, so I wanted to start with this! My ideas come usually start with one single plot point, and then comes the main character (I think, “What sort of person would get themselves into this situation?”).
From there, I create an outline. For my current work in progress, I followed the Save the Cat! Writes a Novel method, which is basically a series of 15 beats (or plot points). I HIGHLY recommend trying out this method, especially if you struggle with the structure of your stories.
My outlines are always a couple of pages long at least. I’ve had one project where the outline was, like, six pages long. I am definitely a plotter. I like to know where my novel is going before I start writing it, but I know that this doesn’t work for everyone.
However, I will say, usually about halfway through, the story takes a couple of different turns, and I stray from my original outline. At this point, I go back and fix my outline to match where the story is going.
What is my writing routine?
I definitely prefer to write in the mornings. For Camp NaNo, I have been trying to wake up around 5 am, then I meditate and stretch, before writing until 6:30 or 7:00. This is not the only time I write. In fact, there have been quite a few days where I was too tired in the morning, so I didn’t write until the afternoon or evening.
I want to develop a stricter writing routine, though, because I think consistency when drafting helps to get you into the mood and correct mindset for writing.
I tend to write in sprints, between 15-25 minutes long, with 5-15 minute breaks in between.
How do you develop your characters and get to know them?
This is a really fun question, but if I’m being honest, I don’t really know? I usually focus all of my attention on my main character, meaning the protagonist. I start by figuring out what they want, what they actually need, and what is standing in their way (more in a tangible way- money, an evil villain, geography, etc.). I also think of what their fatal flaw is- the thing in themselves that stands in their way.
From there, I write out their physical features, and assign them personality traits and interests. I also spend an ungodly amount of time picking their names, as this is the most important part of their character to me. I need to get it just right.
I also give them a bit of a back story- where do they live, who are their friends, where is their family from, etc.
I do a much simpler version of this for the supporting characters, mainly just describing their features and personality.
I think that the best way for me to get to know my character is just to keep writing them. The longer they spend on the page, the better I know them and how they will act. As far as developing them, I think that if you have a solid structure for your story, that should come naturally! Overtime, the obstacles and challenges your main character faces should shape them in some way, and overall change their attitudes and beliefs.
Character Aesthetic: Best Friend
Here is a little aesthetic I created for one of my characters. I’m not going to share too much else about her, but I think this fits her really well!
I hope this post gave you a bit of an insight into me and my writing! If you want to get more updates, I post them on Instagram and Twitter, so be sure to follow me on there.
If you’re participating in Camp NaNo, please let me know how it’s going for you (& good luck with the second half of the month- you got this!).
Anyway, I will see you all in my next post!