Writing without a road map

In November of last year, I completed something that I thought I would never be able to do, I wrote a 50,000 word novel… well a first draft of one anyways. It was part of a competition called NaNoWRiMo or National Novel Writing Month but most people just call it NaNo for short. In this competition, you do not compete against other people, you compete against yourself to see if you can make it to 50,000 words. There is a website (nanowrimo.org) that you can use to track your progress, forums and chat-rooms where you can communicate with other writers and in person meetings called write-ins where you can get together with people and write.

Well, why am I writing about this now when the next NaNo is not until November? Well, they have another event called Camp NaNo; it’s a lot like normal NaNo but a little more relaxed. In Camp NaNo, you can choose your word goal, and you can also choose what kind of project you are going to write. You can do a script, a blog series, a bunch of short stories, or a novel. Camp Nano is April 1 through April 30 so the same number of days as NaNo in November.

For the last month or two, I have been thinking and planning out my November novel idea and when I saw Camp, NaNo was coming up, I did not want to use my November book idea on it, and I did not feel like planning out another book with the level of detail I want to plan out my November book, so I had an idea… I won’t plan at all. For Camp NaNo, I am going to write a book without even a single word of pre planning. I am going to write a 50,000 word novel and invent the story, characters and plot as I go. I am excited and a little nervous about this plan; it could be amazing or a disorganized mess, but I think I will learn something from it, and that is always of value.

I will be opening up a page on this website for updates on that book, look for a link above that says, “Camp Nano.” Anything I do with Camp NaNo will be on that page, and I hope to update it every day of camp Nano. I did not do a very good job of this with Nano 2012, but I am getting better at writing and time management. I also will be posting parts of the book so you guys can read and enjoy.

I look forward to this challenge, and I hope it makes me a better writer.

The Fedora Nerd – Ben Crawford

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