Camp NaNoWritMo [Summer 2015] Update #4

It’s down to the final few days for this Camp NaNoWritMo session, and (not surprisingly) I’m nowhere near reaching the (self-assigned) word count to “win”. Real Life things have cropped up, which (in the grand scheme of things) take precedence, and will definitely require my full attention – though that doesn’t necessarily mean that the plotting, pondering and (gasp!) actual!writing will cease. In the immediate future, there will (most likely) be intermittent hiatuses with the actual!writing, and the plotting and pondering will always be a never-ending, complex occurrence. As for 50 Shades of Sunset, the odds of the story leaving my (cluttered) brain space and onto a Word document are most certainly not in my favor, but compared to my previous Camp NaNoWritMo efforts, I’ve actually!written (with little to no editing) more this time ’round.

So that’s a quasi-victory in and of itself.

While this month’s efforts have been sporadic, and prone to unexpected giggle fits, it’s also been quasi refreshing to focus the Muses, plot bunnies and other writing entities on a story unrelated to my various works in progress. It’s afforded me some distance from those works, though I’m sure a few of the aforementioned Muses have secluded themselves in an undisclosed location within the Land of Exposition to plot and ponder about the various narrative arcs within the MASC Chronicles. Considering all the moving parts (narrative arc, characters, etc.) within that series saga, it’s a wonder how my mind hasn’t wandered to that part of the forest this month. I suppose it’s a testament to my (quasi) promise to my fellow Camp NaNoWritMo participant (who has already “won”) to adhere to some of the “rules” set forth shortly before this Camp NaNoWritMo session, one of which was to actually!write an original story unrelated to the various works in progress (a “rule” she almost immediately “broke”, though I failed to adhere to the subsequent “rules” of not keeping up with the recommended daily word count quota and refraining from editing whilst I write).


Six days left until month’s end and a good portion of the narrative is quasi-written in my head, stuck somewhere between there and my fingertips. What’s been written thus far has been rambling and expository, which will undoubtedly be relegated to the “deleted scenes” portion of the story (if I ever get around to actually!writing this fan fiction quasi-parody.

Whether or not I will continue to work on this story beyond these next six days is questionable, as my works in progress have been on their (partial) summer hiatus and no doubt would want my full attention. Then again, I can easily add this to the (ever increasing) list of works in progress and figure out how to juggle all these stories.

Total Word Count (thus far): 1,242 (out of 10,086).


Camp NaNoWritMo [Summer 2015] Update #3

So here we are at the midpoint (give or take) of this round of Camp NaNoWritMo and actual!writing has moved at a quasi-glacial pace, since last week, but that was more due to real life (non-writing) commitments upon which I needed to focus.Not that that had stopped the (internal) plotting and pondering (and intermittent giggle fits) for 50 Shades of Sunset. Plotting and pondering how to tackle (as it were) the “missing” (rated R to borderline NC-17) scenes from Sunset Boulevard that (obviously) could not have been included when the film was made/released or when the musical adaptation was produced (though there are quasi-vague rumblings that the show might have a comeback return in the (relative) near future.


In a quasi-promise made with a fellow Camp NaNoWritMo participant, I have resisted the (overwhelming) urge to edit/rewrite the (little) actual!writing I’ve actually!written for this project, electing to plow ahead with the plot as it unfolds.


Mostly resisted.

I’ve made a few edits – a word or phrase here and there – but no major rewrites, as I realized that I (probably) should have started the story at a different point in time, which would have led right to the sex and the killing [spoiler alert!] then flashed back to how it all began. Then again, I could still write that proposed, plotted and pondered opening and plop it in front of the already actually!written bit, but that would defeat the objective of the whole NaNoWritMo (camp or regular) concept, which is to just write something for the duration of the month.

Well, I still have the remainder of the month to catch up on my Word Count quota and get some actual!writing actually!written. After all, I have managed to write (at least) 300+ words every week for this blog for the past 2.5 years, even though most of it is quasi-conversational musings and quasi-rambling ramblings with not too much (actual) substance. But then again, the title of this blog is “Musings of A Mystery Novelist” so the “musing” part has become the more prominent component, though I hope I can actually share details about my various works in progress (or at least when I quasi-finalize the actual details and such).

Enough blathering – back to actual!writing

Total Word Count (thus far): 928 (still out of 10,086).

Camp NaNoWritMo [Summer 2015] Update #2

So, a little over a week into Camp NaNoWritMo and the actual!writing process (once again) is moving ever so slowly, though the plotting and pondering (along with the quasi-usual giggle fits) is moving along at the usual pace. While it’s quasi-liberating to not focus on the Usual Suspects – my various works-in-progress – it’s a challenge to actually!write something new.

Well, kind of new.

This camp session’s novel (as announced with little-to-no reaction last week) is 50 Shades of Sunset – a quasi- mash-up of Sunset Boulevard [drawing from both the 1950 film and the 1994 musical adaptation] and 50 Shades of Grey, though as I plot, ponder and actually!write my (quasi-twisted) version of the story, the more salacious aspects of the 50 Shades series is less evident, yet the title will still remain. I suppose it has more to do with the fact that my writing style up until this point, has (for the most part) been asexual or at best indifferent to romance and stuff like that. As mentioned (several times) throughout this blog, I’m pretty indifferent to romance (as it’s probably my least favorite literary genre) so my mind just doesn’t “go there” (though for the sake of full disclosure, I have read some “M” rated online fan fiction, so I have a general idea of what goes on after the camera fade out)


As a return to my writing roots, 50 Shades of Sunset is written in 3rd person perspective (though it’s turning out to be 3rd person limited rather than omniscient, though as the writing-as-I-go-along process moves along, that might change) and there’s a bit of italicized flashbacks and internal monologues. Perhaps I might have been better off reinterpreting this story as a screenplay than as a novel – I have fleeting thoughts of adapting this (somewhat darker, a little bit dirtier, yet still PG-13) version of the story as a stage and/or screen production. But as I’ve already ensconced myself in writing in prose, I’ll carry on with what I’m doing – as quasi-challenged by a fellow Camp NaNoWritMo participant, I’m going to keep actually!writing, without editing (much), though I’m 89.6% sure that the beginning I’ve written will be scrapped during the editing process.

Of course, as time is a wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey ball of… stuff, I could make some leaps in the story, writing in a non-linear fashion, figuring out the actual sequence of events afterwards. There have  been scenes / sequences written in my head, but they occur later on in the story; a good number of them are scenes I feel are “missing” or off-screen/stage  from the aforementioned film/musical which could explain/expand upon exposition and situations left quasi-vague or unexplained in the film/musical.

That’s all I’ve got to say about the process thus far, or at least as much as I can detail right now.

Hopefully, I’ll make more headway in the coming weeks.

Total word count at the moment is (a mere) 775 (still out of 10,086).

Camp NaNoWritMo [Summer 2015] Update #1

To all Americans, (at home and overseas), Happy Independence Day! To everyone else, Happy Saturday!

In quasi-honor of Independence Day (and America’s 239th birthday), and to kick off the summer session of Camp NaNoWritMo (my 2nd attempt at the summer Camp NaNoWritMo session, and my 6th overall attempt at NaNoWritMo), a (quasi) declaration of (writing) independence.

I decided to attempt to write (and hopefully finish) something absolutely and utterly unrelated to any of my works in progress, many of which were past (failed) attempts. Well, technically speaking I was challenged by a fellow writer and frequent NaNoWritMo participant to actually!write something original and unrelated to my (many) works in progress, as I seem to be quasi-stuck in the Land of Exposition and hardly get any actual!writing done for any of the novels within the (Epic) Series Saga.

So here we are.

My initial thought was to write a variation of the Meta story, which would not have violated the aforementioned challenge of actually!writing something new, as I haven’t actually!written anything for the Meta story aside from pondering notes about the Meta story. The Land of Exposition would have figured into that story, with a possible “skirmish of wit” between two different groups of Muses (loosely based on the shenanigans in one of the Facebook writing groups into which I belong). That idea fizzled out shortly before I “declared” my novel on the Camp NaNoWritMo site, as it became to complicated to tackle (at least for the duration of the Camp NaNoWritMo session).

Thankfully, a deliciously absurd idea sprang up from an equally absurd Facebook conversation with a dear friend of mine (and fellow writer/playwright), coupled with Facebook newsfeed posts about the Twitter Q&A Session with E.L. James. For those who might not know (though I doubt there is anyone out there in the dark who doesn’t know) E.L. James is the author responsible to blame for the 50 Shades of Grey train wreck trilogy, a series based (stolen?) on the Twilight saga written by Stephanie Meyers. Both series are most definitely not in my preferred genre, and both are badly written/plotted out (an opinion shared my millions of other readers, even though there are those who actually like them… to each their own I suppose…)

But I digress.


The deliciously absurd (yet utterly brilliant) idea borne from a confluence of bizarre circumstances was to incorporate elements of 50 Shades into other existing works – a parody of sorts, as there are plenty of those out there (since that concept has made E.L. James a buttload of money). As I have a great love for musical theatre, my first inclination was to attempt to write 50 Shades of Phantom, injecting Phantom of the Opera with shades of 50 Shades (see what I did there?). There are some parallels between those two stories, and it would have been fairly easy to mash them together, but then I thought, surely that’s already been done – (possibly) written by other fan fiction writers, and, from a certain point of view, already covered by the Sequel That Was Never Needed or Wanted and Therefore Should Not Even Exist (those who know me know what this is).

So, with that notion thrown out the window, I moved on to another favorite musical of mine (which kinda sorta has a similar plot line), that could benefit (?) from this mash up. The more I thought about it, the more giggly I became, and the more I thought it would make for an interesting change and something completely different.

Of course this is a (very) long-winded explanation/preface to the July 2015 Camp NaNoWritMo project:

50 Shades of Sunset

As in Sunset Boulevard, my third favorite musical of all time (Les Miserables and Phantom of the Opera occupying first and second place, respectively) and one of my favorite (classic) films. I plan on using the film and the stage adaptation as the basis for this mash up, with (perhaps) a dash of horror thrown in (because, why not?). I’ve actually got some actual!writing down for this, with a good deal of internal plotting and pondering, and have great expectations to actually!write and actually!finish this effort.

Whether or not I’ll muster the gumption to insert some of the more smutty aspects of 50 Shades story remains to be seen, but at least I’m motivated to make a valiant attempt.

Word Count thus far: 422 (out of 10,086 – one can set the word count in Camp NaNoWritMo, and that number is of great significance in Sunset).

This should be fun.

I hope.