Becoming Hamilton || Joining Camp NANOWRIMO, labels, and my WIP

Becoming Hamilton is a new installment/series on Fictionally Sam, where I take the plunge in documenting my journey of writing a novel. New posts every Saturday of July, follow me as I attempt to write like I’m running out of time.

I don’t know what I was thinking but…
Ya girl is joining Camp NANOWRIMO. This will be me attempting to write something that isn’t Jonas Brothers fan fiction (no I will never tell you where those are because wow the cringe). Since this is my first time doing Camp NANOWRIMO and actually setting out to do this shindig, I thought it would be fun to document it!
My aspiration with this new series is solely to give myself something to look back on after I complete the first draft so that I can either be like “See? It wasn’t that hard Sam” or “DAMN HONEY LOOK HOW YOU CAME THROUGH!” If I am being honest, I am hoping for something in between those to outbursts 😂. Do you guys even want to see/care for this content? Probably not, but YOLO so you’ll be getting it! Every Saturday in the month of July I will be posting a check in, where I rehash my week of writing through daily entries that will be filled with my thoughts, frustrations, and comical revelations. As usual I can almost guarantee my snarky humor/sass will be on full display–because that is just me staying on brand.
But with that’s said, I wanted to jump in and give you guys a look (albeit super jumbled and probably not even coherent) at what I have been doing this month to prep for July and some of the goals that I have for Camp! So without further ado, grab your popcorn and confetti, and let’s take a gander at my attempt of becoming Hamilton.

Image result for write like you're running out of time gif
Source: Ozarks Romance Authors

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AuthorTube: My Right Hand Man

What really helped solidify my decision in actually writing the story stuck in my head for months (maybe even years?) was watching a shit ton of author tube videos and vlogs. Watching them chase their passion and do things they loved, made me want to also do the same thing.
After deciding to do this shindig, I began watching different prep videos from previous camp sessions as well as writing advice videos; because lets face it–no matter how many times I tell myself or someone tells me that I am a good writer, there is always room to improve and I don’t know everything. Couple that with my insane obsession with doing research, and you can see by my browser history that many hours and notepads were filled with notes.

Some of the channels I have grown to love and respect:

Kate Cavanaugh | Alexa Donne | bytheBrooke | Emily Bourne

My name is…Character Charts

Ya’ll when I tell you there are a plethora of character charts, I MEAN THERE ARE A PLETHORA OF CHARACTER CHARTS OUT THERE!
Image result for the big sick gif the truth is out there
So far I have been using one I found online during my play-writing days, that I really liked and helped me really go deeper into my characters background; as well as one that I created several years back with some tweaking here and there to better fit my style now. If you want, you can take a gander at the one I found online here.
As of now, I think I have solidly nailed my MC and am in the process of tweaking and defining my love interest’s story so hopefully I can get that done before the stroke of July? 🤞

Plantser (The World Turned Upside Down)

I never really felt like I was fully a planner when I write as I felt to constricted by the outlines I would make or the general concept of planning in general (which I know complete shocker, cause ya girl is a type A). However, I also almost always shit my pants at the thought of going in with absolutely no guidance whatsoever. So while watching authortube one night (this will be a reoccurring theme) I heard Alexa Donne reference the term of Plantser as someone in between being a planner and a pantser and I immediately went to look up the definition.

Source: Wikiwrimo

Suddenly it was like the heavens opened and doves and angels cried out in unison as I reached the catalyst. I finally found my sweet spot label (because I like labels) and was finally able to navigate my writing in this new mentality. No longer was I trying to force myself into doing something that I wasn’t fully comfortable with, but now I knew what I could be doing instead.
Ya girl got direction.
Image result for Duff gif

Outlining my way out…

With my new found identity in tow, I also found an outline template/format that actually made sense to me and worked with my plantser ways–Beats.
Beats is a form of outlining that was formulated by Blake Snyder in his craft book, Save The Cat! The Last Book on Screenwriting You’ll Ever Need. I had previously used this gem back in university when I took extensive script writing classes, but completely forgot about it’s wisdom until I was yet again, watching AuthorTube videos late at night and Alexa Donne (again. I swear you guys need to follow her if you don’t–she is a gem!) mentioned it in her intro video to Story beats:

Another moment of almost Nirvana happened and I was outlining like I had been outlining my entire life. Alexa breaks this down and explains each step in a way that made me comfortable and excited to organize my story onto paper. By the end, I was actually kind of proud of myself that I have created an almost feasible story. Like the bones are here folks!

The Room Where It Happens: My WIP and Camp Goals

A little while after making the above outline, I decided to take the plunge and join Camp! I have never actively done camp before, so this is going to be a new experience for me as I waddle into making the story stuck my head a actual thing.
Image result for i said what i saidUntil I figure out a title for this shindig, my WIP is going to be affectionately nicknamed Project Disney and is a NA contemporary friends to lovers romance with a splash of the fake relationship trope thrown in because I’m a slut for those. I completely and irrevocably suck at making synopsis’ so the above is all I am going to divulge because if I do more you will know the entire plot and then what will the point of me writing the book be?
CaptureThis book will definitely be a slow burn with, I’m hoping, a nice dose of snark and humor that I personally have grown to love when reading romance. If you wanted, you could call my WIP a fan fiction to the romance genre 😂.
From my research (because I never go into anything without knowing) I found out that Camp is way more chill than the NANOWRIMO event in November. Getting to create my own goal for the month of July I am aiming at a word count of 30,500; which according to their websites math bunnies I will be right a little under a thousand words a day. Current Sam finds this data super doable, but who knows if I will hate myself in the future. Only time will tell…

And that is my aspirations for the month of July! So tell me storytellers: are you doing Camp NANWRIMO, if so what have you been doing to prep? If you aren’t doing Camp this time around, what is your favorite Hamilton song?

Let me know!



  1. Heather @ The Frozen Library

    June 26, 2019 at 12:32 pm

    I did a post series like this for camp back in April, so I love reading posts like this too!
    I’m not even into Hamilton, but the only song I know/like is Non-stop, and every time Nanowrimo rolls around I get it stuck in my head cuz it’s just the perfect anthem for it. XD XD
    I love Kate Cavanaugh!!!!!!! I think I recently found her channel a few months ago, and she definitely inspires me to be a better writer too! I love how much fun she always has and is able to laugh at herself, and even though it may not be the smartest thing to share all of the details of her WIPs, XD I still love that she does it and shares her thought processes with her plotting because it helps me figure out my own. XD Also, her video; 10 Steps to Move Beyond the First Draft, is what I plan to follow for my WIP that I started drafting in April, and I hope to finish it for July’s camp! 😀
    Hey, I’m a Plantser too! At least I THINK I am. XD That’s the approach I’m taking with this WIP anyway. It’s a fantasy, which I’ve never really done before, so I knew I would get too overwhelmed if I didn’t worldbuild and outline a little bit first, and I always get stuck from the middle to the end of the book, so I needed to plan it out. XD But also I am trying hard not to be a perfectionist this time and just get whatever I can out of my head and onto the page, so I think I kind of need to be a pantser too. 😛
    Will your WIP actually have anything to DO with Disney at least? XD
    I think 30,500 is a good goal to start with. 🙂 I started small and for each Nano (even the real one that’s supposed to be 50,000) I’ve been slowly pushing myself to work up to 50,000 words cuz I haven’t been able to do it in a month yet. But competing with myself makes it a little easier and more fun. 🙂 Last April my goal was 40,000 and this July it’ll be 45,000. (I’ll probably fail it though cuz I’m just trying to finish my draft and I’m not sure how many words I’ll actually need to do that, but it’s okay. XD ) In April I kept getting really behind though, but I was DETERMINED to meet my goal so I kept having to write like 2,000-4,000 in a day to catch up. XD And honestly now it’s a lot easier for me to get to 2,000 words in a sitting without even thinking about it, when only a few years ago I struggled to even get 500 down in a day. 🙂 If you keep challenging yourself it’ll get better!
    Good luck with camp and I hope you have fun writing!!! 😀

  2. selfcaresloth

    June 26, 2019 at 1:03 pm

    This is my first time joining in as well! I really haven’t done much planning, but I’m hoping something will come together!
    I’m aiming for 30,000 words and also planning on doing a diary-style series on my blog, so I’ll be checking in on your posts for sure 🙂

  3. selfcaresloth

    June 26, 2019 at 1:06 pm

    This is my first time joining in as well! I haven’t done much planning but fingers crossed it all comes together! I hope if I can at least hit my word goal (30,000) I’ll have something I can go back to and edit.
    I’m planning on writing a diary-style series on my blog as well, so I’ll be checking back in on your posts for sure 🙂
    Good luck!

  4. Isabelle @ BookwyrmBites

    June 26, 2019 at 6:13 pm

    HECK YES JOIN US. (also lol same, way too many of my most recent WIPs are just fluffy shippy fic)
    I actually don’t really watch authortube, but considering how much Hank Green’s recent-ish video about writing (or maybe it’s actually old and just ended up in my recommended? idk. the YT algorithm is a mysterious thing) it’s definitely seems like a great source of inspiration! and also research ofc. standing on the shoulders of greats and all that.
    character charts are amazing. people are so complicated and so hard to nail down on the page, I have so many spreadsheets from past WIPs. though not this time, up until last week I was actually still on the fence about partcipating in camp next month 😅 so I have a basic plot and the MC, but everything else is still up in the air. the term “plantsing” is new to me, but it sounds a lot like what I’ve been leaning towards (but have yet to really putting into practice bc ya girl has commitment issues and old habits die hard).
    so honestly my prep has come down to “commit to actually doing this thing and set a more realistic goal bc I havent hit 50k for years”, but I’m wishing us both the best of luck and I look forward to seeing your updates!

    1. Sam || Fictionally Sam

      July 1, 2019 at 9:29 am

      Authortube is literally a huge source for inspiration for me so I def recommend it!
      And lmao that is a deep mood, it’s gotten to the point with me that I’ve just had to change my wallpaper to “do it” because I suck at commitment when it comes to writing. But here is to hoping and wishing that we kick ass and take names in our writing this month!

  5. Jeimy @ ANovelidea

    June 26, 2019 at 6:34 pm

    I always join Nanowrimo but never could finish it, i always get stuck. The writers block has been a real pain in my butt for years now. I’ve always had their camp in mind and one of my goals this year was to join. Hopefully it helps me break through that ugly mental wall separating me and my ideas. I can’t wait to read about your journey, Sam! Sending creative vibes your way!

    1. Sam || Fictionally Sam

      July 1, 2019 at 9:35 am

      Honestly same! I have never ever won a NANO in my 7(?) years of attempting it. Hopefully we demolish the writing wall and make headway! Good luck Jeimy!

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  8. TheCaffeinatedReader

    June 27, 2019 at 4:44 am

    All of Hamilton. How can you pick just one?
    I’m so excited to see your Camp Nanowrimo journey!! Of course we care and want to see, what a ridiculous thing to think otherwise lolol. I’ll look forward to watching you and Isabelle and the rest! I’m too lazy to do it, but maybe next go around!

    1. Sam || Fictionally Sam

      July 1, 2019 at 9:35 am

      The only true answer honestly lmao
      Ah shucks Haley, you are gonna make me blush! <3

  9. Jayati

    June 27, 2019 at 5:37 am

    WOo, congrats on taking this step and deciding to participate!
    I’m already loving what I’m hearing about your WIP and I just can’t wait to see how it turns out!
    I’m also taking part in Camp NaNo to keep me motivated to work on my WIP (and the storyline has taken a turn I did not expect it to and I am crying because the story seems to have become its own person now) but my goal is nowhere as high as yours – it’s just 10,000 words so as to keep me going!

    1. Sam || Fictionally Sam

      July 1, 2019 at 9:37 am

      Thank you!
      ooo I love when storylines do that! It’s like this creative idea has shaped itself into it’s own entity and now you are no longer the driver but the rider. UGH A TIME. Good luck with your writing!!!

  10. Gerry@TheBookNookUK

    June 27, 2019 at 5:49 am

    Oooh, first of all – I love Wait For It, I think that might be my favourite Hamilton song but for some reason I find Say No to This so darn catchy!
    I’d be very interested in how you get on with Camp NaNo. I keep meaning to do them but haven’t yet although I’ve done two NaNo’s and will be attempting to do my third this year. I tend to find it quite isolating so I’m always up for writer buddies/ encouragement buddies/ commiseration buddies 😛 Whatever you want to call them!
    My struggle is always outlining and plotting so I will check out the ‘Beat’s’. I’ve watched some Alexa Donne videos before and they’re very useful, I also like Jenna Moreci as well!

    1. Sam || Fictionally Sam

      July 1, 2019 at 9:40 am

      The ensemble MAKES Say no to this, because they are literally me when he can’t say no lmao. Ugh Wait for it is such a bop too!
      Writing/commiseration buddies are the best! Which I am really loving camp so far because of the cabin system. But since I have a car now, I’m gonna try and waddle to some write-ins come November!
      Outlining and plotting has been the bane of my existence lmao, so I feel you there, but the Story beats are a real game changer so I hope they help you! Def will be checking Jenna out now! Thanks! <3

      1. Gerry@TheBookNookUK

        July 1, 2019 at 11:37 am

        Oh god they’re so good! Just saying ‘ensemble’ makes me go ‘NO NO!” in the way they do. I’m now feeling like I have to go listen to the soundtrack for the trillioneenth time!
        I was too nervous to go to write-in’s when I did NaNo so I need to try and gain the confidence to go. I was rubbish when I did the last Camp NaNo because I wasn’t as active in the cabin either and so many people in it updated A LOT and I couldn’t keep up so in the end I bailed! I need a slow pace, I think this is why I haven’t made it onto Twitter 😛
        I’m excited to use the beats because I’ve tried the snowflake method but not too sure how that’s working for me. I think I’m just stuck on a bit!

  11. AhanaRao

    June 27, 2019 at 10:08 am

    Go Sam go!!!! *throws pom poms in the air* ❤️❤️❤️❤️

  12. Jonny Pongratz

    June 29, 2019 at 11:09 am

    Congrats on making the decision to do Camp Nano! It’s hard work, but you can do it!

    1. Sam || Fictionally Sam

      July 1, 2019 at 9:58 am

      Thank you! I’m nervous excited!

      1. Jonny Pongratz

        July 1, 2019 at 12:02 pm

        Haha, me too. I ended up signing up as well.

        1. Sam || Fictionally Sam

          July 1, 2019 at 12:23 pm

          Yay! Good luck to you then!!

          1. Jonny Pongratz

            July 1, 2019 at 2:05 pm

            Haha, yes, to both of us!

  13. Clo @ Book Dragons

    July 2, 2019 at 9:03 am

    I signed up for camp but erm…we’ll see. OMG you know I’m actually a total pantser when it comes to writing like I have no organisation I just sort of dive in and see where things take me. I should waddle over to be a plantser though cause I feel like I need some structure.
    I think I may take part and see if I can make a dent in this WIP I’m working on…xD but I wish you the best of luck and I also would LOVE to read this fanfic you did ages ago *presses nose to screen*

    1. Sam || Fictionally Sam

      July 3, 2019 at 8:57 am

      No guidance scares the ever living geebus out of me! I like rules and love to stick with them but I also like to wander and tip toe in between the rules–so plantsing is my sweet spot I am thinking. Though I am learning to like outlining more and more, so we shall seeeee
      OOOOOO YOU TOTALLY SHOULD! Sending you inspirational and creative vibes to you!!!
      And you will never–and I mean never–find those fanfics. #never

      1. Clo @ Book Dragons

        July 3, 2019 at 1:25 pm

        Saying never makes me want to go on a deep internet search just to try and find them xD
        *hugs the vibes closely in the hopes she’ll do something creative soon* XD

  14. Kal @ Reader Voracious

    July 8, 2019 at 9:47 pm

    I just have to say how much I LOVE the Hamilton theme you have going on for your Camp Nano, and I am wishing you the best of luck on this journey!!!

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