Novice to Novel: Camp NaNoWriMo – Week 1

This is hard.

But in the best way possible. The constant terror of falling behind (and wow have I already fallen behind) has been incredibly motivating. I don’t think I have ever been so productive while trying to write a novel before. Here are the stats:

Stats for April 1st – 6th

I am already three thousand words behind in terms of trying to keep up with my original pace. But there is a reason I am so behind already.

I changed my freaking ending!

Let me explain what happened. There was a throwaway joke that I ended a chapter on, about my character being excited for the new year on New Year’s Eve. I hadn’t really thought about what year this story takes place in before. Then it hit me, wouldn’t it be ironic if the new year that he is excited about is 2020? It is funny because, as we all know, 2020 was pretty damn awful for most of us, and it would be pretty damn awful for my character as well.

I then realized that that means my character is going to die right when the pandemic started in earnest in the United States, which is where my story takes place. I realized that I could not continue with the story that I had originally planned because if I made that 2020 joke and then did not mention any of the horrible things that happened in the first three months of 2020, it would come off as ridiculous.

Here is a refresher of some of the things that happened in just the first month of 2020:

  • January 2nd: Australian wildfires get really bad. (They were already bad but this is when the character first notices.)
  • January 3rd: Iranian General killed by the US.
  • January 7th: Covid-19 is first discovered in Wuhan, China and given its name.
  • January 8th: Iran shoots down a Ukranian international flight, killing 176 people.
  • January 20th: First case of Covid-19 discovered in Washington State.
  • January 26th: Kobe Bryant dies in a helicopter crash.
  • January 31st: Brexit becomes official.

That was just JANUARY! Leaving all of that out would have been incredibly disruptive to my story.

Now, I realize that I could have just made my story in 2018 and everything would have been fine. But, my book is a dark comedy at its core. There is no better possible year for a dark comedy to take place in other than the beginning of 2020. It was too perfect to ignore.

That was the moment that it all clicked together. I had the new ending to my book. My character would be responsible for all of the horrible things that happened in 2020. He gets access codes to the universe (basically), and when he changes things, everything else goes horribly wrong.

So long story short, I decided to rewrite most of the plot for the second half of my novel. That took up most of my time this week.

The really good news is that the second half of my book is So much better. I absolutely love it. I can’t express how much better it got. Also, I got so carried away writing this whole new direction I am now taking the book in, I have a pretty detailed outline for what I am going to write this month. Hopefully, this means that the next 24 days of writing will be much more productive and easier to do.

Fingers crossed everyone.

For the next week, I want to try something different. I am going to budget my time in advance. I have been seeing a lot of advice online that says to be more productive with writing you need to establish a routine. I am usually more of a when-opportunity-strikes kind of writer, but I think that that strategy might be holding me back. So tomorrow I am going to post my routine and I will do my absolute best to stick to it for a week and see what the results are.

Thank you guys so much for following me on this journey. I can’t wait until I finish this rough draft and start getting into the nitty-gritty of “I wrote a novel, now what do I do?” Because I truly don’t know what I am supposed to do. Hopefully, we can figure it out together.

~Chris Joy

Categories: Novice to NovelTags: , , , , , ,

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