Camp NaNoWriMo: Figuring it Out

So I’m doing Camp NaNoWriMo and it’s all going fairly well. But as I kept going and going, writing and writing, I  realised I didn’t feel comfortable writing about characters who I didn’t actually know that much about.

Normally, I tend to start writing and my characters develop more and more as I write them. I love doing that, mostly because it means minimal work, also because I can just get right into the story without having to do loads of background research.

But, unfortunately, that just wasn’t going to cut it this time and, as my word count got further and further towards reaching my ultimate goal, I became less and less confident with this project and these characters.

Now, I love my premise and I love my idea. But I needed more than that. I turned to the Writing Resources on the Camp NaNoWriMo wesite and – tah-dah! – I found everything I needed. It has all sorts of tips and advice on how to implement your characters and get to know them better before you start writing.

You can see it here.

Now, usually, I hate this kind of stuff but, right now, I am actually loving it. As lame as this sounds, I’ve conducted interviews with my characters, written and planned out their entire back story and where they will all go in life even after the novel has finished (yes, some of them die). I’ve discovered things about them I didn’t even realise and, more than anything, I feel like I know their place in this novel a lot better than I did before.

What surprised me most is that I’ve developed new plot points.

I still need to keep going with this. I am in no way done. I’m writing the actual project alongside the planning stuff, so it is all still a bit wobbly.

But, hey, at least I’m getting things done – which is more than I was before. Reading all the inspiring blog posts about what people are doing this month – and how they’re managing it – is really prompting me to kick my ass into gear.

It’s a Monday, it’s 8am, and I’ve already written almost 1,000 words today. I definitely think this is progress. I know I just have to keep going, which is the hard part.


6 thoughts on “Camp NaNoWriMo: Figuring it Out”

  1. I have been struggling with the exact same thing. I think I’m going to check these resources out too – thanks for the tip! 🙂 Interviewing characters has really helped me in the past. I think I was too eager to get on with the story, that I skimped on getting to know my characters. I’m gonna try what you’ve done and see if it helps me move forward 🙂 Did you do the interviews for all of the characters, or just main ones? I always struggle to know how much I need to know about secondary characters.

    1. That’s exactly what I felt like as I was writing – I dived in way too fast and didn’t get to know my characters that well at all. I’m glad it’s taking shape now though. I interviewed the main character, her love interest, and the main character’s family (just an aunt and her mother). It was actually really fun.

      I thought I would just set out to interview the main character and the guy she falls in love with, but ended up doing a few more! I don’t think it matters how many you do, just as long as you feel yourself getting into the story more that’s when you know it’s working 🙂

      1. That’s exactly it – it’s something I always seem to do when I write. I’m always so impatient to get to the actual writing! But the actual writing is so hard when you don’t know enough about the characters. Ooh that sounds great – I think I’m going to stick to the main characters too – the main character, love interest, and family. I like how stories can take a completely different direction when you do this, because you find out so much new stuff about the characters. 🙂

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