Of Doctors, Incentives and Writing Camps.

Introducing Doctor Jack for Camp NaNoWriMo:

One of my biggest problems is procrastination and discipline. Over the past two months, my writing output has slowed down due to irregularities in my writing schedule.  Last year I was concentrating on short stories. Competition deadlines proved a very effective incentive for establishing a daily writing schedule. I was on a roll.

This gave me the confidence to finally start writing my manuscript The Department of Curiosities – but it has been a two-edged sword. Over the past (almost) two months, my writing schedule has become more erratic. I have managed to complete 30% of my manuscript (which I am extremely happy with) but the barreling pace for my ‘stream of consciousness’ first draft has slowed down.

I started looking for something to give me a kick up my butt. I had discovered NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writing Month – last year. It was tempting; deadlines have always worked for me. But, due to my health situation, I decided the added stress would not be advisable.

It is now almost six months later and I have discovered Camp NaNoWriMo – a less stressful and more flexible version. Like NaNoWriMo, Camp NaNoWriMo is held over 30 days. Instead of a 50,000 word target, there is a flexible 10,000- 999,000 word target, which also allows for short stories and work on other projects (NaNoWriMo in November is aimed at starting and finishing a single manuscript project).

I have decided to dip my toes in and get a feel for how intense November may be. My April limit is 10,000 words – towards a new short story – Doctor Jack – featuring my two Victorian doctors – Viola Stewart and John Collins.  Any shortfall will be directed at continuing my manuscript. I am hoping a short break will give my creative brain time to bubble away and sort out two plot points that have been bugging me for The Department of Curiosities, while I write another Viola Stewart Adventure (and stop my friend Sue from bugging me for a new story!)

I was hoping to put pen to paper and start writing the actual story today but, alas, I was sidetracked by necessary research. I should have done this earlier but my headspace was still immersed in The Department of Curiosities.  I did manage about four hours of reading research, up to 1000 words on background research and a really cool map (yes, I did need the map for times and reasons for travel).

I now have a basic outline for the plot with one or two motive/plot holes I am trying to plug. My creative brain is feeling really hinky right now. Welcome to the world of Doctor Jack.

Doctor Jack research 1404


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