Crystal Kamm

Written by

Crystal Kamm

31 March 2021


Camp NaNoWriMo Starts Tomorrow and I’m Already Tired

Camp NaNoWriMo starts tomorrow, and I’m having one of those nights. My mind is racing and I just can’t sleep. I wasn’t even thinking about the start of Camp NaNoWriMo–although that is pretty exciting–but my story was keeping me up.

At three a.m., I jumped awake from a tense dream. I lay in bed, trying to make myself fall back to sleep, but to no avail. Since I was awake and already thinking anyway, I started thinking about my novel. I’m in my third full draft of the thing, so the work right now isn’t to come up with new ideas but rather to add details and make what is already there even better.

I found myself in the mind of my main character and asked myself, “What wakes her up at three a.m. with a racing mind?”

At around 70K words into my third draft, this is the novel’s low point. My MC’s dark night of the soul. I’d be surprised if she wasn’t waking up with a racing mind. Her world is currently shattered, she’s been betrayed and misused, and on top of that, she is incredibly lonely. There’s no visible light at the end of the tunnel, and she’s sinking into the knowledge that things must change.

From that place, the nuance of the fateful scene came to me, so I got out of bed and wrote it.

Have you ever used your middle-of-the-night sleeplessness to craft that tough scene? As Camp NaNoWriMo starts tomorrow, maybe you can give it a try. Using your experiences can be a powerful tool for writing a scene where your character experiences something similar.