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.
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:
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!
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.
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.
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.
Until 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?
This 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!