Sunday, July 31, 2011

Excess Writing

I'm sure many of my readers know, because I've spoken about it before, about NaNoWriMo and the new summer programme, Camp NaNoWriMo. If not, here's the gist of it: you have one month to write 50,000 words. In regular NaNo land, that's 30 days and an average target of 1667 words. In the Camp version, you get 31 days with an average of 1613 words to write each day. Sounds simple enough, if you're used to writing a lot.

Now pretend you didn't write for most of the month. Say, for twenty days of the month.

Okay, have you done that? That was me. I started on July 3rd. I then proceeded to only write on the 4th, 5th, 6th, 12th, 23rd, 27th, 28th, 29th and 30th of the month. Last night, I finished.

Happy dance time? I think so.

The book is far from finished, of course. I'm not going to pretend that I wrote the whole novel in the month. But I managed to do what I thought would be impossible and I'm happy with the results. I met a lot of great writers when talking about the book on Twitter and I got to develop the idea I'd had brewing in my head for nearly two years, now.

I wouldn't have done it if the plans I'd had for the weekend didn't fall through. Unless I'd kept writing early on, this book never would have reached the fifty thousand word mark this month. I should have been in Mitchelstown in Cork at a music festival, but the person I was supposed to go with wasn't able to follow up on our decision to go. I'll admit, I wasn't entirely happy about that given that I had gotten the weekend off work, but I did what I could and made the best out of a bad situation. Only that I had the time off work and I wasn't at the festival, I wouldn't have finished Camp NaNoWriMo.

I could bore you with the details of how I did it - statistics and whatnot from the month - but the main key to my "success" was tea. Lots and lots of tea.

I imagined I'd have more to say on the matter today, but I think the last four days have taken their toll on me. I wrote over 25,000 words between Wednesday and Saturday, which just about knocks any previous writing sprints on the head. The closest I got to that before was writing a novella in a few days last summer, but that book was about 5,000 words shorter than what I wrote the past few days.

I don't think I'll be doing that again soon, to be honest. Next up for me is to finish the novel, then to finish edits of Meet Sam and then to write a play to hopefully be put on in college (a man can dream!). I'm also planning on launching a website too, soon. It'll be filled with some sample writing, tips about writing (it'll be low-key, easy to read stuff that I learned over the years, and not a comprehensive guide on how to write a bestselling novel - I don't have that sort of expertise) and the obvious writer's bio that is necessary for a personal website. Don't laugh. (Okay laugh, but at least laugh to my face so I know who's not getting a Christmas card!)

I'm still mulling over some stuff to make it stand out as a website. Given that it'll be hosted on, there's only so much I can do in terms of design. If anyone has any recommendations, I'd love to hear them! I'll gladly read every suggestion, and consider the ones I deem most suitable for my particular set of skills. (Name that movie!)

PS Sorry about the very poor quality writing in this post... in my head it was much grander.


Fergus Halliday said...

Gratz! Good work with Camp NaNoWriMo

Paul Carroll said...

Hey, thanks Fergus! :)