June has ended and along with it, Camp NaNoWriMo. After two attempts last year, I am pleased to announce that I finally won with a grand total of 53,145 words!
The fruit of my camp labor is tentatively titled SISTER STAR. That is completely subject to change but it was one of those rare instances where the title jumped out at me right away.
Anyhoo, here’s the gist of the story (I’m still working on this too, obviously! :))
The youngest of three siblings, 14-year-old Collette, aka Collie, lives in the shadow of her older sister, Nicole. Fearless, flamboyant, and fiercely talented, Nicole attracts attention wherever she goes. Shy, stoic, and solidly grounded, Collie shuns the spotlight at all costs.
When her parents encourage Nicole’s aspirations to conquer Hollywood everything changes. Her sweet older brother is sullen and angry. Her mother obsesses about wealth and status. Her stepfather struggles with running the household alone.
As her future grows more uncertain, everything familiar becomes foreign and Collie’s forced to move from the wings to center stage.
SISTER STAR is a young adult novel that examines what happens when you can no longer perform the role you thought you were born to play.
So here’s what I learned from this year’s Camp NaNoWriMo experience:
- Thank goodness for outlines! I’m a pantser at heart, but June was so ridiculously busy that I would’ve chucked this story out the window by the end of Week One if I had tried to make it up as I went along.
- Schedule your writing time. I made a point to schedule at least 45 minutes of uninterrupted writing time each day. It may not have happened the same time each day, but I got it done.
- It’s okay to make mistakes. I had to sequester my inner editor otherwise the compulsion to revise would have completely derailed my efforts. There’s plenty of time to fix that stuff later.
- Write out-of-order. I had to keep reminding myself that it was perfectly fine to do this because I had a road map. It was easier to follow my inspiration and write whatever scenes felt best that day, rather than trying to do it all in a linear fashion.