JuNoWriMo Host, Participant and Winner Interview – Becca J. Campbell

For the final interview in my JuNoWriMo Interview Series, please welcome Becca J. Campbell.  She, along with A.E. Howard, created JuNoWriMo.

Tell me a little about what you are writing for Junowrimo.
I’m writing a New Adult Urban Fantasy novel. Here’s the synopsis:
Eva has the curse of randomly disappearing, unable to be heard, seen, or felt in any way during her absences. During those episodes she can only watch the rest of the world pass her by. The worst was a period that lasted nearly ten years.
Now, indefinitely back to being visible, her ten year high school reunion is upon her, and though she isn’t looking forward to it, she has to go. It’s the only way to find the answer to her burning question, the one eating her up during those ten long years. But to find the answer she has to face the pain buried deep in her past. She has to face Kade.
Is this your first time doing this type of challenge?
Nope! I’ve won NaNoWriMo two years in a row, which is what spurred the whole idea of JuNoWriMo. J
What did you learn from the last challenge that is helping you with Junowrimo? 
From my previous NaNoWriMo experiences I’ve learned that I am a hard-and-fast planner. I require a full synopsis in outline form that directs me scene by scene through my novel. So I did as much prewriting as possible this time through. It really helped, too. I didn’t get stuck at all this year. I only skipped one scene that I was unsure of, and beyond that, I made it to my final chapter when I ended the month.
What is your typical weekly writing schedule like; time of day, # of words per day.
I usually write in the evening, sometimes also in the afternoons when my kids are having quiet time. I aimed to get ahead early on, approximately 3,000 words per day. I didn’t achieve that every day, but I was ahead of my quota the entire month. I met the 50K on day 23.
What was your final word count for the Challenge? 
Unfortunately, I got sick the last week of this month and haven’t been able to write, otherwise I would have finished my whole novel. I stopped at 54,624 words, though, and I’m happy with that. At least I won JuNoWriMo. I’ve got to accept what’s reasonable and what isn’t and though writing 75K in a calm month might be possible for me, this month was incredibly busy. Plus, I can’t write when I’m sick.
How did you and Anna decide to host JuNoWriMo?
I decided sometime around February or March that I wanted to write a novel NaNo-style in June because the timing worked out really well for me. But I thrive on the energy from other writers and I knew if I could get more people to do it with me I’d have a much better chance at success. So I tweeted about the idea, jokingly saying I was going to do “JuNoWriMo.” What I got was a handful of other excited writers saying they would do it with me. One of those was Anna, a creative lady who happened to know a ton about web design and have a lot of helpful ideas. So we partnered together for this creative adventure. It was a match made in heaven—our differences complement each other quite well.
What is the future of JuNoWriMo?
This month has been amazing! I’ve been astounded by the numbers of participants we rounded up in just a few short months. I can already feel a strong sense of community here and I absolutely love it. Because of all that (and because my June totally rocked—except for the getting sick part), we’re doing this thing again next year. Anna and I are on board, hoping this will be an annual deal you can count on to get you through your summer novel. We’re even scheduling the release of our future books around it so we are set to handle everything. In the meantime, tell your friends and neighbors, and spread the word. Next year it’s going to be even bigger and better! And if you really want to share the love, donate a buck or two. (http://junowrimo.com/about-us/donate/) We’ve donated many hours of our time and a ton of effort birthing this thing and helping you get that novel written. Thanks for joining us for the ride and I hope to see you next year!

Make sure to visit and connect with Becca.

Blog:  beccajcambell.com

Twitter:  @beccajcampbell

Click here to visit Becca’s Author Page on Facebook and Goodreads.

JuNoWriMo Particpant Interview Felicia Wetzig

I am so excited to feature one of my favorite bloggers on the net and JuNoWriMo Winner, Felicia Wetzig. 

Tell me a little about what you are writing for Junowrimo. 

It’s a paranormal story, loosely based on a dream I had about a tiger with green eyes. A few weeks after the dream, the image was still vivid in my mind and I began to think about a person whose spirit could leave his/her body and become an animal. There are a lot of spirit based entities in my story (not in a religious sense), I’m using various shape-shifter legends and some Faerie legends.

Chloe’s a normal country girl who’s spent most of her life in the forest, but when a strange energy in the forest draws dangerous creatures to the area, her safe haven begins to fall apart. The only person who seems to be able to help her, a new student at her college named Keegan, shares the exact appearance of the ‘man’ who brutally attacked her. 

Is this your first time doing this type of challenge? 

Yep. 

How has it meet your expectations so far? 

It has been quite a ride. I was hesitant about getting involved. I wasn’t sure how it would really help or hinder the writing process, but in the end I’m glad I did. I would have never written 50,000 words in one month. My first project ended at about 100,000 and that took me more than 6 months. It’s been great having other people to push me along; the camaraderie was the best part.  It has also been a lesson in not thinking so much about every little thing and, instead, letting the words flow unedited. 

What was your writing schedule like this past week; time of day, # of words per day.

Oh boy…  I had a lot of catching up to do this week. The first week of the challenge I was ahead, but things (work mostly) got in the way. As of last Sunday, I was 16549 away from the finish line.  I wish I could say I have a consistent writing schedule but…

Sunday 4013

Monday 1600

Tuesday 854

Wednesday 715

Thursday 0

Friday 3190

Saturday 6349 (my biggest day for the month)

I crossed the finish line about 15 minutes before midnight. 

Did you do any planning for Junowrimo?  If so what type of planning and how are your plans working out so far? 

Not really. I’m not a big planner. I knew my two main characters, and I had a basic understanding of the paranormal rules I’d be following. Beyond that I don’t plot or create formal outlines. I just let the scenes happen and then I fill in missing points later. 

What is your word count as of June 30th?

At midnight I had 50,172 words, and still more work to do before it’s finished. 

For more information and to connect with Felicia visit her on her website,The Peasants Revolt, Twitter and Facebook.
Website: The Peasant Revolt – http://scotzig.com   Twitter: @Scotzig      Facebook:  Felicia Wetzig

Camp NaNoWriMo Participant Interview Morgan Hyde

Tell me a little about what you are writing for Junowrimo.
Err… is this a bad time to admit I’m actually writing this for Camp NaNoWriMo? Which just happens to also be in June (and August!)? I hope not. I think both Camp NaNo and JuNoWriMo are awesome. Anything that gets people writing is!
Anyways, for my unspecified June novel writing challenge, I’m doing a rewrite of a YA fantasy story that began life during NaNoWriMo 2010. It’s called We Who Are About To Die (WWAATD), and I’m on my fourth full draft. This June, I’m making some of the biggest changes so far, re-focusing the story on my protagonist, and her personal growth. WWAATD is set in a world similar to ancient Rome, in a land with an insane king who has established blood sacrifice as the state religion. The story follows Renata, a wealthy farmer’s daughter, who tries to rescue her cousin from the High Priest, and ends up convicted of treason and sentenced as a gladiator. She must then learn to fight and face the loss of friends in the arena, eventually gaining the strength and skill to figure out how to save her cousin.
Is this your first time doing this type of challenge?
Nope. I’ve done NaNoWriMo three times in November, and this is my third Camp NaNoWriMo. Plus I’ve done Script Frenzy three times (once doing a movie version of WWAATD), and FAWM (February Album Writing Month) for the past three years as well. As a procrastinator, and someone who works well in high pressure situations, these challenges are an amazing resource to give me the motivation and community support that helps me finish projects. I’ve kind of become addicted!
What did you learn from the last challenge that is helping you with Junowrimo?
The biggest lesson I’ve learned from all my ‘creativity with a deadline’ challenges is that the quality of my writing & storytelling drops as I speed up. But I’ve also learned that I can mitigate this loss of quality by having a rough plan in mind. For example, despite huge plot changes since draft #3 of WWAATD, I knew what a lot of the key story points would be ahead of time for this draft. I’m filling the time between the key points very differently, but (spoiler alert) I’m still killing off her boyfriend, and she’s still going to successfully rescue her cousin.
As well, albeit indirectly, participating in NaNoWriMo 2011 helped me figure out what needed to happen for this draft. In December, I posted in the forums, opening up WWAATD for critique, and to my surprise and delight, plenty of people were interested in reading it. The feedback I received from them was invaluable in shaping the changes I decided to make for this draft. Truly, one of the best things about NaNoWriMo-style events is the community. 
What was your writing schedule like this past week; time of day, # of words per day?
My last exam (I’m a graduating senior in high school) was last Friday, so I’ve been writing 2000 to 3000 words per day since then in an effort to catch up. But I was extremely far behind before that, and I’ve been lazier than I should have (sleeping in, relaxing, enjoying NOT studying), so I’m still WAY behind. I’ve generally been writing in two separate sessions: one immediately after breakfast (around 11am) and one in the evening, sometime after 10pm.
Did you do any planning for Junowrimo? If so what type of planning and how are your plans working out so far?
I didn’t do any planning specifically for this challenge, but I had accumulated plenty of notes and ideas for this draft, since I originally planned on finishing it this spring, not starting it in June! I basically had the existing drafts, a few specific major changes I knew needed to happen, and a general idea that the story needed to centre more on my protagonist. In writing this draft, as I make all sorts of changes (including a POV change to first person), I can feel the story becoming so much better than before, and that’s incredibly rewarding.
Although I didn’t have a detailed plan before June started, I’ve ended up with one since then, mostly by accident. Because this is June, and I was in school for most of the month, I wrote a lot during my spare, and so I decided to keep my novel in an Evernote note, accessible from my computer and online at school. This is a big change from my past habits of handwriting and later writing in Scrivener. As it turned out, having my entire novel in one document really helped me plan. When I wrote something that I wanted to reference later, I just added a line about it further down the page. When I got an idea for more plot, same thing. In this way, a novel plan now nearly 500 words long grew organically just below the text of my novel. It’s easy to change, easy to reference, and really helping me stay on track.
What is your word count as of June 28th?
32 000 words. I’ve never been this far behind so close to the end; I’m generally one of those annoying people who writes roughly 1667 words a day without fail and wins a day or two early. This month, I will be lucky to reach 50k. I’m still aiming to finish, but whether I win or not, I’ll be proud of what I’ve accomplished and happy to have a lot more novel than I did on June 1st.
We will forgive Morgan for not being a part of JuNoWriMo.  Any of us who take on the challenge to write 50,000 words in a month are all on the same side of crazy.  
Good luck with the rest of the challenge, Morgan!
For more information about Morgan, please visit her blog and follower her on twitter.  
Blog: onelifeglory.blogspot.ca
Twitter: @Amethystars

JuNoWriMo Participant Interview A.M. Schultz

Here is the next installment of my JuNoWriMo Participant Inteviews.  Please welcome A.M. Schultz.

Tell me a little about what you are writing for Junowrimo.

I had been toggling ideas for three different WIPs prior to JuNoWriMo. The one I choice to focus primarily on for JuNoWriMo has been a fantasy piece. Choosing Fantasy over the other two has had some advantages, but there is so much world building required that much of my “word count”  has been used to outline characters, nations, etc. I’m not sure I’d have made nearly as much progress without the challenge aspect, though.

Is this your first time doing this type of challenge?

Something this formal, yes. I used to write fiction pieces on weekly deadlines here-and-there, but this is my first time taking a multi-writer challenge of this magnitude.

How has it meet your expectations so far?

It’s been “different,” in the sense that I won’t have 50,000 pages of a manuscript completed at the end, but I will have a much more developed world at my disposal by the time the month is done. I started 7 days into the challenge, and intentionally took on a project that I knew would need tons of polishing either way.

What was your writing schedule like this past week; time of day, # of words per day.

My schedule has been pretty bonkers. I am a full-time student through the year and actually took the Summer off, so I assumed I’d have tons of time to just write. I still hold a full-time job, too, and between setting up a better platform for my website, redoing the graphic work, etc, and then working on book cover graphics, blog posts,  I’ve just had to squeeze writing in when I can.

I carry a pocket Moleskine notebook about with me everywhere, though, and sketch an idea down, expand it in one of my larger notebooks, then type out the ideas later. For the fantasy world, I actually used the PC game “Civilization IV” by Sid Meier to create the map (which crashed on me after about six hours of plotting the world the first time), and it has been incredibly helpful.

All-in-all, JuNoWriMo work and miscellaneous stuff, I’m logging a good 60-70 hours a week, so hopefully this all pans out eventually.

Did you do any planning for Junowrimo?  If so what type of planning and how are your plans working out so far?

I actually found out about JuNoWriMo on the 7th of the month after seeing a few friends on my Twitter feed using the #JuNoWriMo hashtag, so no planning. I was aware of NaNoWriMo, and had told myself I would consider taking that challenge later in the year. If anything, I think I realized that this isn’t the type of challenge you can complete successfully without some type of gameplan.

What is your word count as of June 22th?

I’ve got about 8,500 words, which is WAAAAAY off the mark. But, I have a better idea of where I want the story to go than had I just started writing aimlessly, so I’ll take it. I’m hoping to be sitting around the 15,000 mark by the end of the challenge.

To learn more about AM Schultz, please be sure to visit his site and following him on Twitter.

Website: amschultz.com and Twitter:  @am_sch