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  • Writer's picturealaurafilbin

1 April 2021: Camp NaNo Begins!

The time for Camp NaNoWriMo has come yet again! For those not in the know, Camp NaNo allows you to set your own goal for April and July rather than the 50k that is typical for November. It's a great way to stay in the writing habit throughout the year, in part because of the widespread participation encouraging you to stay involved.

My goal is only 10k this time, but I can always bump the goal up as I go—it wouldn't be the first time. However, if it hasn't become abundantly apparent, I'm still struggling with Rory & Boone, so I'm writing something completely different for Camp.

Okay, well, not completely different. It is still a romance.

What I'm currently calling Tumbleweed Hearts is a sapphic historical romance set in 1930s Reno, Nevada, focusing on two women on a divorce ranch who are fulfilling the six-week residency to obtain their divorces.

Though I'm not usually a plotter, I'm taking a stab at it for this project and am hoping it will keep me on track throughout the month. Using all the different writing craft books I've added to the collection, I created my own version of a plot beats outline, as well as one specifically for Tumbleweed Hearts, and I'm hoping it will help:

  • Status Quo: slice of life with a hitch

  • Disruption: something disrupts the MC's life, key story problem

  • Resistance & Encouragement: MC doesn't want to change, hesitant to move forward. Outside force pushes MC to make a decision (ex. a challenge, an ultimatum, etc.)

  • Burning Bridges: MC makes a decision that cannot be taken back, forces them forward

  • New World Challenges: MC in an unfamiliar situation, things are different. MC faces multiple challenges and can succeed or flounder

  • Intro of Theme Personified: MC introduced to someone who represents the theme and helps the MC

  • Butterflies: MC meets their love interest

  • No Way: MC states either internally or externally they will not fall in love with love interest

  • Inkling This Could Work: attack of false belief they won't fall in love (ex. intimate moment, witnessing a good deed, sharing personal truths or secrets, defending the other, etc.)

  • Deepening Desire: characters beginning to fall for one another, can no longer deny they're attracted to each other

  • Top of the World: characters giving into temptation, getting intimate and being vulnerable with each other, everything seems perfect

  • Gut Punch: story problem drives a wedge between MC and love interest but internal flaws prevent them from addressing it

  • Retreat: characters state either internally or externally what they fear about the relationship and retreat to protect themselves

  • Rock Bottom: MC and love interest are apart, story problem is at its worst, internal flaw most apparent

  • Epiphany: MC realizes the truth they've failed to see, what they've done wrong and must fix, realizes it may be too late but must try anyway

  • Make Amends: MC gathers the team, makes amends, rebuilds alliances, admits they were wrong, asks for help

  • Can This Work?: Final plan/grand gesture/big battle/etc., something seems too good to be true—it is. Something goes wrong

  • Leap of Faith: last ditch effort, trying one more thing they never would have at the start, and demonstrates their internal change; success

  • Reward: MC finally has both what they need and what they truly wanted, their love interest. MC achieves their goal

  • Aftershot: showing the MC's life after their HEA. How have they grown and changed?

Fun fact: the beat sheet for Romancing the Beat is quite distinct from other beat sheets, so I had to play around with the different beats in order to find a flow I think will work for the story. I may deviate, but who knows?

If you're interested in a general beat sheet, compiled from the various books I read, I will be releasing it with my newsletter later this month! Be sure to subscribe before April 15th in order to receive it.

In any case, wish me luck with Camp. Between that and all my other commitments, I'll need it!

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