Camp NaNoWriMo is over for another year

I have reached the end of another Camp NaNoWriMo experience.

The weather was good, the marshmallows tasty and the words managed to seep out of my head and onto the screen, which was the point of the whole experience so that was a good result!

I finished the month with 50,128 words of LttV written. Breaks down like thus:

  • I wrote on 19 of the 31 days which is 61%;
  • 18 Chapters and 35 scenes are complete;
  • The average word count for the 19 days was 2,641;
  • That extrapolates to 80k words if I’d done that every day;
  • I managed two days over 5,000 words.

I have a chart for all you geeks out there!


The first week we were on leave so other than day two when I was unwell, I was delighted with the good start. Then, when I returned to work the evening writing stopped and I relied on weekends to get me through the challenge. The only exception to this the last couple of days as I was DETERMINED to hit the 50k mark in July.

And I did, so it was worth it?

You betcha!

At the end of my second experience of Camp NaNoWriMo, what have I learned?

I was beginning to think I might be transforming into a Pantser! That feeling only lasted a while as my writing over the final weekend stagnated as I reached the end of my planning. I didn’t know where to go and that slowed my progress.

When I have a plan the characters can choose to ignore it for a while. They go off on their tangents and I use the plan to steer them back after a couple of scenes or chapters.

When I DON’T have a plan they stand around and stare at me. Expecting me to come up with all the answers. πŸ™‚

I’ve learned that I REALLY am a Planner. I will continue to embrace it. πŸ™‚

I’m taking the weekend off to plan the final third of the book. I know what I want to happen, but I will bullet out the chapters and scenes to steer me away from the rocky road of the dreaded blank page and the staring characters.

If you participated in Camping this year, I hope you achieved what you hoped for and the writing is going well. If not, I highly recommend having a go at this challenge. If you’re interested, the original NaNoWriMo will take place again this November.

I haven’t finished this draft yet, but I hope to by the end of August and I’ll have the thrill of the challenge to thank for it.

Happy writing and thanks for reading.

A random photograph. I attended a training event in Salford Quays recently as whilst in the kitchen fetching a drink I took this picture of the view from the window. I could get used to working so close to water!


About Pete Denton

I'm a writer working my way through the redrafts of a British crime novel. I also write short stories, flash fiction and some screen writing. Check out my blog for more.
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38 Responses to Camp NaNoWriMo is over for another year

  1. I am impressed and inspired! Well done Pete; carry on and get that draft done! πŸ™‚

    • Pete Denton says:

      Thanks. I’m pleased to have reached the end of the Camp NaNo challenge, but I’ll only be happy when the full draft is finished. No rest for the wicked!

  2. Kate is says:

    I love a good chart. I feel the same way about going with out a plan, like I’m lost in the woods. Writing when I get home from work is so hard, and particularly in the winter ( dark, cold, wet) so I’m a weekend pecker as well.
    Congrats for another successful camp. I shall be doing November.

  3. Congratulations, Pete! Well done! And thanks for the bar graph for us geeks!

  4. Congrats on making your 50K! Good luck on finishing. And I agree, for a long work, planning is a must. I use scene cards with a sentence composed as: Protagonist vs Antagonist with a Conflict in a Setting with a Twist. If I can compose a sentence about my scene using this method. I can write a great scene without much other planning or note taking.

    • Pete Denton says:

      Thanks, Connie. That’s a good method. I use Scrivener in much the same way. If I can get a good idea of the scene it certainly is easier to write πŸ™‚

  5. I really wish I could plan my writing but I find it a case of having to fit it in when I can and then when I have a window of time I feel I am not in the mood to write or if I am then I have no inspiration 😦

    • Pete Denton says:

      I know what you mean. I’m lucky that I’d not got much else on when NaNo time came around. The rest of the year is more stop-start for my writing, but perseverance will get me there!

      Happy writing πŸ™‚

  6. Jemima Pett says:

    Well done, Pete! I knew you could do it πŸ™‚
    My chart would be quite weird, since I had a blob near the start when I had flu, then finished the book over a week before the end. Then I rewrote most of it in the present tnese :O I think it improves it.
    Nice chart!

  7. Impressive. Well done.

  8. Well done! I’ve never been to camp NaNoWriMo, but have participated during the NaNoWriMo month (November) where I learned that I definitely am a planner (characters took the story in too many tangents!). Whta planning method did you use? I’ll check your previous posts (been sort of on the downside for a bit).

    • Pete Denton says:

      I’ve had the idea for the sequel to my other crime novel rolling around in my head for years. I always approach a plan with thirty chapters in mind and three scenes per chapter. I don’t always keep to either number, but it gives me an idea for the start.

      Now that I’m using Scrivener, I can plan and write in the same programme. Much easier πŸ™‚

      • Thanks for the tip, I’m amazed at your planning. Are you saying you do this before NaNoWriMo? If so, how long does that planning take you?

        • Pete Denton says:

          Before I started Camp NaNo last year, I’d planned about 12 chapters the first ten and the last two. After a few days, my planned C10 was already C15 and a few other bits had taken shape. I like the plan as a guide, but enjoy the freedom to change as the mood takes me.

          I’m definitely a thinker and a note taker. Usually the notes help.

          This Camp NaNo I’d planned less, but the characters are familiar with this being the second book in a series. I already knew them and had enough story to make a start.

          I just need to work out how I get from where I am now to the end of this first draft!

  9. Great job! I’ve never participated or attended, but hear only good things. Sounds like it really helps not only the writing process, but with organization skills.

    • Pete Denton says:

      Any of the NaNoWriMo competitions are good to get into a writing routine. Declaring you’re going to participate on your blog is a good motivational tool to make sure you hit the target as well!

      The two Camp NaNo let you set your word count target as oppose to the original November 50k competition. A plan definitely helps πŸ™‚

  10. jmmcdowell says:

    Congratulations on a successful camping trip! πŸ™‚ I’m still trying to plan my current story, but I have broken away from that path to write a few opening scenes. I may have to go with that emerging “plantsing” description…. Have fun finishing up the draft!

  11. davidprosser says:

    Congratulations Pete. Impressive figures especially allowing for the absences. I like the Salford Quays picture. Is that the Manchester Ship Canal? If so, I’m very impressed with the look of the area and the water.

    • Pete Denton says:

      I presume it is though not certain.

      It is nice around there and I could get used to having a view like that from my work window. Shame you could also see Old Trafford. Still you can’t have everything πŸ™‚

  12. coreymp says:

    Congratulations, Pete! Love the chart and the pic! πŸ™‚

  13. Kourtney Heintz says:

    Congrats on hitting your 50k goal! And what a great lesson now you know you are a planner and don’t have to experiment with the spectrum of pantser to plotter. πŸ˜‰

    • Pete Denton says:

      I’m suffering from a bit of burn out now though. Not written anything since. Need to get back on track. πŸ™‚

      • Kourtney Heintz says:

        I’ve never been able to draft a novel straight through. I usually need to switch gears each month. Like draft 25 k, then edit something else, then draft 20 k, then revise something else. I find my drafting well runs dry at about 20-30K and it needs a month to refill. πŸ˜‰

        • Pete Denton says:

          I’ve decided to pause on that one at the 50k mark and move back to my other WIP. Seems more appropriate to finish that one and send it to my beta readers and then return to finish the first draft. Hopefully that works πŸ™‚

  14. Jools says:

    Congratulations on a prolific output! As someone who has taken 3 years to get to what now resembles a final draft of #myfirstnovel, I salute you! On the way, I’ve realised that I, like you, am a planner. I didn’t plan my first in enough detail and as a result, I rambled back and forth for months before I found the story in amongst all the ideas. We live, we write, we learn. I didn’t know about Camp NaNoWriMo before seeing your post either. Loved the pic.

    • Pete Denton says:

      Thank you πŸ™‚

      Camp NaNo and the main November NaNoWriMo certainly help focus my writing, but I do need the plan or things grind to a halt.

      Happy writing and editing πŸ™‚

  15. Congrats on all the words! What’s a Pantster??

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