April Camp NaNoWriMo Check-In


April is a Camp NaNoWriMo month, so I’ve been working on the revisions for Swords & Shields book two.  My goal was to rewrite the first 100 pages.  I picked this number using the 250 words = 1 page formula.  I neglected to actually check how many words per page my current formatting produces.  It’s a little closer to 450 words per page, so I was being more ambitious than I originally thought.

Despite that, I’ve been doing very well this month.  I’ve been hovering near par for the day (and even fell behind that a couple times) but going into day 26 I was one page above par at 87 pages completed.  I’m confident that I’ll reach my goal this weekend and be in a good place to keep the momentum going into May and June so that I can have a completed draft before July’s Camp NaNoWriMo session.

The story has undergone a lot of changes since the last draft.  I cut out the first third of the book, which was slow and wasn’t really accomplishing what I’d intended.  I’m reworking the story to remove two characters completely, and reshuffle a few others to better balance my cast.  I’m also ending the book several chapters earlier than the last version.  Those chapters will make a much better beginning to book three than they make an ending for book two.

None of these revisions would be possible without the honest feedback I receive from my last set of Beta readers.  Paige and Liz were very honest with me and weren’t afraid to tell me that scenes or chapters were slow and boring and could be cut, or remind me that I needed to thin the cast of major characters so readers could better focus on and get to know the ones that were actually important to this story.

Overall, it’s been a great April of writing for me personally.  It’s also been a pretty good month for write-ins in our region.  There was the fiasco of musical bingo at our usual Tuesday night location, but they seem to be happier in the locations they’ve tried since then and will hopefully find a new home soon.  We also found a great community partner who has space they’re willing to allow us to use for free and we had our first event there this past Saturday.  It was a really great space and the staff were amazing, friendly, and helpful.  We’re looking forward to doing other events there in the future.

It’s been a great April for me.  How about you?  What’s gone right this month?


My Camp NaNoWriMo April 2018 Project: Swords & Shields Book 2


The second book in my Swords & Shields series has been in the works since before the first book, Strong Fort Spathí, was released.  It’s been a long process getting the draft to the point it is now, and it still needs some major work, so that’s my goal for Camp NaNoWriMo 2018.

My initial idea was to try to get through one revision pass in April, but as I look through everything that needs to get done, I think that’s a little ambitious.  So I’m going to aim to get half done in April.  If I’m productive through May and June, maybe I’ll be done by July’s Camp NaNo Session.  If not, then I’ll finish it in July.

To give you an idea of what I’ll be working on without any spoilers for future readers, I’m going to talk about the revision process so far, and some of the pitfalls I run into because I’m a pantser (as opposed to a plotter who goes into a draft with a plot already outlined). Continue reading

Camp NaNoWriMo Time Approaches


For anyone who’s been on my blog across a November, April, or July, you’ve probably heard me talk about National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) before.  This paragraph will be to catch up anyone new to the concept.  NaNoWriMo is a writing challenge that occurs every November.  Hundreds of thousands of people around the world challenge themselves to write a 50,000-word novel from scratch in the 30 days of November.  Whether someone makes it to that word count or not, it’s a month full of crazy inspiration, challenge, and an amazing community.  Camp NaNoWriMo is a similar challenge held in April and July where participants can select their own goal (words, pages, lines, hours, or minutes are options this year).  This gives participants the versatility to say they want to do 500 lines of poetry, a 100-page script, or a 120-minute screenplay. Continue reading

March & April Writing Reflections


So it’s May now, which means April is over.  Anyone who has been following along the past couple months knows that for me, April means two things: Camp NaNoWriMo and the A to Z Blogging Challenge.

This post is reflecting on how those two things have gone this year.

So, they both technically happen in April, but with two things going on, I prep for A to Z in advance and schedule out all the posts, so that’s usually more of a March project than an April one.

Not so much this year. Continue reading

Writing Adventures of April


So April is going to be a month full of writing adventures for me.

I love a good writing adventure, so this is great, but it will also mean I’m going to be very busy and possibly a little frazzled.

I covered the A to Z challenge in last week’s post and revealed my theme the week before, but writing for that is still going to be progressing into April.  Normally, I’m a little more on the ball about it and I’ve written all my posts by the end of March.  This year, not so much.  So I’ll be finishing up the twenty-six posts for that which will probably translate to about 26,000 words in total by the time I’m done.  And then I’m sure I’m going to want to finish the story by then, which will mean lord only knows how many more words.  But that’s a May problem.

The other big thing I have in April is Camp NaNoWriMo.  Anyone who’s spent much time on my blog knows that National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a huge part of my life.  I’m a volunteer regional leader during the main challenge in November, and I’ve participated in the Camp NaNoWriMo session each April and July since I discovered them. Continue reading

The Hands that Mold: NaNoWriMo and the WriMos


For those new to my blog, the Hands that Mold series of posts is about the people in my life that have helped shape me into the writer I am today.

This post is about NaNoWriMo and the WriMos.

If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time, you’ve probably heard me talk about NaNoWriMo before, but for those who don’t know yet, that stands for National Novel Writing Month. NaNo is an amazing event that happens in November every year. The challenge for participants, called WriMos, is to write 50,000 words in 30 days. More specifically, to start and finish a novel in a month.

I started taking this amazing adventure with other writers in 2010 when I did the challenge with my friend Manda. I was hooked from the start and haven’t missed a year since. In 2014 I started doing Camp NaNo in April and July as well and haven’t missed one of those since I started either.

One of the most amazing things about NaNo is the practice of writing each and every day. It’s great for getting into (or back into) this habit. It’s also great because it gives me a goal and deadline to work toward, which is amazingly helpful in motivating me to write no matter what else is going on. Continue reading

Life, The University & Everything Else


July has been an exceptionally crazy month for me.

I accepted a new job, which means I also gave two weeks’ notice at my old job, worked those last two weeks, and started a new job all in the same month.

Plus the job change meant a cell phone change so we had to go through all the hassle with that and issues with ordering and way more trouble than it should have been.

Plus I’m trying to do Camp NaNoWriMo this month.  Even with a 25,000 word goal that’s been stretching me pretty darn thin.

And I still have a whole week of the month left!

And I’m not even complaining.  I’m super happy about everything going on this month. Continue reading