While better organizing my writing projects today, I had a complete epiphany on why I’ve been really struggling with my Camp NaNoWriMo participation this month. I approached the month of April with a readiness to continue something I had already started, the second draft of my Untitled Horror Project. My notes of what to edit, rewrite, add in, take out, and so forth were at the ready. All I had left to do was the work of writing it out. I even set myself a low goal of 20,000 words for the month so I wouldn’t feel the pressure of rushing through my work. I was confident I could easily do at least 2,000 words per day. So I set out to jump right into writing out this next draft. However, when the first week of the writing challenge arrived my words seemed to choke on me.
Granted I did get sick during week one, but bouncing back has been difficult on the writing front. I couldn’t figure out why I felt so stuck in where I was at. I looked at draft one and my notes constantly. It baffled me why my fingers and mind weren’t magically working together to write out draft two. Everything I needed was right there. Then, it hit me. Untitled Horror Project is the first novel I’ve actually taken the time to write out a basic outline for. Normally I’m a “pantser” with notes, but this time I opted to try a more plotter friendly approach. This came to be more for the fact that this novel would be a little more complex with otherworldly elements. So I wrote an outline, then a draft based mostly off that outline.
After that I had proceeded to go through and make my notes for all of the changes that needed to be done. I knew I was going to be adding in big plot points including a new character. I had a lot of rewrites, removing, and additions to be made from the first draft. It was as if a whole new story was unfolding before my eyes and I was too blind to see it that way. Looking back, I feel like in the moments of preparing for this draft I wasn’t allowing myself to really put it together properly on paper. I just had all these random notes written down next to the first draft of what now feels like a different story. So here I was trying to work off something that didn’t even make sense to what the story has evolved into. Needless to say, that just wasn’t working for me.
Taking a small step back from my original plan of action this month, I have decided to go to writing a new outline for this novel. I feel it is in the best interest of the story being told, and me as its author, to take this step in order to make this novel the best I can. A lot has seriously changed from the initial concept and I just strongly feel it’s the right thing for me to do for this project. So for the remainder of this month, I will first be working on the writing of the new outline, followed by at least a start of a new draft. Since I am still aiming to hit 20,000 words, I am still participating in Camp NaNoWriMo this month. Also, for those curious this step back does not derail me from my deadlines that I am aiming to hit in order to publish this year.