Camp NaNoWriMo: Week Four

We’re in the final stretch! April was a fast month.

Camp NaNoWriMo: Week Four | Creative Writing | Writing | Cozy Mystery | Mystery | RachelPoli.com

I say this about every time I rewrite George Florence and the Perfect Alibi, but I have to say it again – this draft is coming out so much better than previous drafts!

While I’ve gotten into writing slumps, I’ve never lost passion for this novel. I’ve had novel ideas and have been excited about them before. I write them, edit them once or twice, and forget about them. Sometimes, I don’t even get to the editing stage or don’t even complete the first draft.

George Florence is different though. He came to be in January 2011 (if I remember correctly), so it’s been nine years. I’ve written and rewritten countless drafts and, as I said, even though I get into writing slumps here and there, I’ve never lost my passion for this novel, for this series. I love these characters and I can’t wait to publish them someday. (Someday, hopefully, soon.)

With that said, I think I’ve made more progress in this draft than I ever have before. I won’t go into too many details (it’s confusing and… well, spoilers) but my characters did me a favor.

I know, usually, they run amok and argue with me every step of the way. This time was different though.

A lot of ideas I had for this book (for the series as a whole) have continued to exist in this draft but they make a lot more sense. The major plot point, however, hasn’t changed. Yet, I always had a hard time connecting the dots.

Well, guess what? This past week, I wrote a chapter. My characters had a heart-to-heart (totally unexpected, I was just trying to get some words down) and – lo and behold – their heart-to-heart lead to a major breakthrough in the case. That breakthrough was the one piece I needed to complete the puzzle of this mystery.

They did it and it actually makes sense.

Needless to say, the novel is going pretty smoothly. I reached 50,000 words on the novel on April 23rd, so I reached my goal for NaNoWriMo. I’m still writing 2,000 words a day, but I did skip one day. I’m still taking that as a win.

Daily Word Count

Day 21: 2,200
Day 22: 2,820
Day 23: 2,058
Day 24: 2,036
Day 25: 0
Day 26: 2,232
Day 27: 2,231

I’ll reach 60,000 words today. Let’s see how far I can go with this draft before the month ends. I hope this month has been a productive writing month for you as well.

Are you participating in Camp? If so or if not, what are you currently working on and how’s it going? Let me know in the comments below and let’s chat. If you enjoyed this post, please share it. 

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Camp NaNoWriMo: Week Three

We’re already nearing the end of this Camp NaNoWriMo session and the month, believe it or not.

Camp NaNoWriMo: Week Three | Creative Writing | Writing | Mystery | Cozy Mystery | RachelPoli.com

This was another good week for writing. In some ways, I don’t know where this manuscript is going. At the same time, George Florence and the Perfect Alibi is the best it’s ever been.

I’ve noticed a lot of differences between this draft and previous ones, that I decided to talk about in a separate blog post in the future. For now, here’s my word count for the week.

Daily word count

Day 14: 2,018
Day 15: 2,163
Day 16: 2,042
Day 17: 2,069
Day 18: 2,027
Day 19: 2,028
Day 20: 2,514

Are you participating in Camp? If so or if not, what are you currently working on and how’s it going? Let me know in the comments below and let’s chat. If you enjoyed this post, please share it. 

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Camp NaNoWriMo: Week Two

We’re already two weeks into April, into another Camp NaNoWriMo session, if you can believe it. On Easter, April 12th, I was proud of myself for writing every single day. Normally, I get ahead and skip a day or two, but I’ve kept up the routine. I thought I had been writing every day for about seven or eight days before I realized we’re farther along in the month than I thought.

Camp NaNoWriMo: Week Two | Creative Writing | Writing | Mystery | Cozy Mystery | RachelPoli.com

Week two of Camp went well. Honestly, the week flew by for me. I stayed productive and on the routine with my writing. Normally, week two is a bit of a slump for me. My mind is tired from so much writing and it’s hard for me to get any words down during the second week.

It wasn’t like that this time. I’m not sure why. Maybe the routine is working for me. Maybe it’s because I haven’t written in such a long time. Maybe it’s just that it feels good to get back into writing my mystery. I’m not sure. I’m not complaining though.

Something I try to do every NaNo session (that almost never happens) is write at least 4,000 words on Saturdays. My daily goal is 2,000 words and I have more time on Saturdays than any other day of the week, so I try to double it. It allows me to get even further ahead and is an extra boost. I didn’t do it the first Saturday of this month. I have no other reason other than I forget. I’m pretty sure I wrote my 2,000 words and then played Animal Crossing: New Horizons for the rest of the day.

I was able to do it this past Saturday though, which was good. The story is coming out great so far. I’m sure I’ll think differently about it when I start editing, but I won’t knock it for now.

Daily word count

April 7: 2,467
April 8: 2,051
April 9: 2,021
April 10: 2,124
April 11: 4,118
April 12: 2,109
April 13: 2,237

Overall Total: 30,501 words

Camp is going well this month. I think I had a more successful week this week than I did the first week. So, that’s something I’m glad.

Are you participating in Camp? If so or if not, what are you currently working on and how’s it going? Let me know in the comments below and let’s chat. If you enjoyed this post, please share it. 

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Camp NaNoWriMo: Week One

Another session of NaNoWriMo is upon us. It feels like just yesterday was November and yet, at the same time, it feels so long ago.

Camp NaNoWriMo: Week One | Creative Writing | Writing | Writing Update | Mystery | Cozy Mystery | Novel Writing | RachelPoli.com

No prepping for me

I normally spend the entire month of March planning and outlining what I’m going to write for Camp NaNo in April. I didn’t do that this time though. One reason being that March through the entire world into a tizzy and things have been weird. Writing wasn’t exactly on my mind, but I thought about it once in a while. Such as, “I should really figure out how to tackle Camp next month.” But that’s all it was – a thought.

It wasn’t until the very end of March (meaning March 30th and 31st) that I really starting thinking about Camp NaNoWriMo. I knew what I wanted to write, but I wasn’t entirely sure how to go about it.

Preparing to write draft number… I’ve lost count

I guess I should say rewrite instead of write. I’ve been working on book one of my cozy mystery series, George Florence and the Perfect Alibi, since 2011. I’ve written and rewritten it so many times, I’ve lost count. Each draft is drastically different from the previous and I think I’ve finally gotten it this time. (Although, I think I might have said that about the last draft.)

I lost count, but I’m pretty sure this is the seventh or eighth “first” draft. So, I guess you can say I’m on draft 1.7 of the book. Sure, let’s go with that.

When it comes to writing a mystery novel you need to have the case solved yourself first and I think I’m going through the motions of investigating with each draft I write. Every time I write I get that “ah-ha” moment of figuring something else further in the case or I connect a character to another or something similar. Which, is a good thing.

With that said, I decided to rewrite the first draft for Camp this month. (I’m hoping this is the final “first” draft.)

During Camp NaNoWriMo

I have the series as a whole outlined for the most part. I’m sure things will change with each book I write and there are still a few things I need to figure out. I also need a solid outline for book one since it’s changed so many times.

With that said, my goals for the month are to complete the first draft, have an outline of the first draft (I’m working on this as I write), and have a clearer outline for the series. We’ll see how it goes. So far, it seems to be going okay.

Daily word count

April 1: 2,509
April 2: 2,340
April 3: 2,241
April 4: 2,055
April 5: 2,180
April 6: 2,049

Overall, I’m keeping my steady pace of writing at least 2,000 words a day, which is about a chapter for me.

It feels good to get back into the swing of writing. I hope it continues beyond Camp.

Are you participating in Camp? If so or if not, what are you currently working on and how’s it going? Let me know in the comments below and let’s chat. If you enjoyed this post, please share it. 

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I Finally Got Scrivener

Scrivener has been a writing program that’s been in the back of my mind for a long time. So many of my writer friends that I’ve met through WordPress, social media, and NaNoWriMo swear by it. Even though I typically reach my goal each NaNo session and claim a “win,” I’ve never taken the opportunity to get 50% off of Scrivener. Until this summer.

I Finally Got Scrivener | Creative Writing | Writing Programs | Writing Community | RachelPoli.com

Too Comfortable With Word

In the back of my mind, I knew I would make the leap someday. I’ve seen people post screenshots of their work using the program on Instagram and other social media. I’ve always thought, “That’d be cool to use!”

I mean, the way I write my novels are using Word document and having a large poster with post-it notes along with a notebook or two of outlines and research. It’s a lot and if you use Scrivener, all of that is in one place.

(Who am I kidding, I’m still going to use the post-it notes and notebooks because I’m visual in that sense!)

Also, I’ve been using Word since I’ve learned how to type. I feel like, if I stop using Word, I’ll be cheating on it in some way. All my novels are already on Word and I know how to use it. So, part of me didn’t want to make the switch because I didn’t want to learn how to use something new. I didn’t want to take that time away from actual writing. Not to mention I didn’t feel like moving my novels from one program to another.

Too Much Money

Silly me, I thought Scrivener was too much money. Even though I get 50% off, I thought it would still be about $50 for me because I thought the program was $100. I also thought it was a monthly or yearly subscription. It just wasn’t something I wanted to commit to.

So, after all this time, I looked it up at the end of July, early August when the last Camp NaNoWriMo session ended. I got the 50% off code and decided to check it out.

Apparently, it’s a one-time payment and it’s only $45 which means it was about $22-$23 for me. In other words, I should have made the switch long ago.

Do your research, kids.

I Finally Got Scrivener

I’ll admit, I haven’t used it much yet. I’ve mostly been exploring what I can do on the program and am working toward moving some of my novels over onto it. Needless to say, I haven’t really sat down and “wrote” using Scrivener just yet. I’m looking forward to starting something new with it though. I’ll be continuing my mystery and other novels, but I might try to start something new so I can learn the program as I go along with a new writing project.

I think I need something fresh like this to get myself back into the habit of writing again. I think, between Scrivener and NaNo coming next month, this is a good opportunity for me to get back into that routine. I’m looking forward to it.

Do you have Scrivener? How do you like it? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around!

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