M. S. Harris: The end of Camp July 2016

It’s been done. Over with. We sat down, we wrote, we sweated cause it’s summer, we cursed cause the coffee got from cold to hot too fast and then we wrote some more. That was the plan anyway.

Life tends to get in the way, whether we like it or not, family members tend to ignore the fact that we are writing and we want to keep writing and they bother us as much as possible. Actually, they seem to be bothering us more the moment we sit down to write.

All that aside though, I did it. I finished the second draft. Thorn teared up a little at the end and I’m going to count that as a success. It’s done though. All of it. The plot as tight as I can make it for the first round of edits but I already know there need to be more edits. And such is the life of the writer.


I have to admit, it wasn’t easy. I skipped more days than I wanted or should have during July. For some, I was actually sick, for others I was just lazy. So I stayed up until 4-5 in the morning for the last two days, until that cursed third act was through. and it was. Damn it, but it’s done.

And do you know what I need to do now? I need to finish Ava, a short story of mine. Poor Ava has been waiting since November due to my laziness and it’s not her fault. I’m sorry, Ava. I’ll get to you, I promise. I’ll finish your third act.

Huh. I’m sensing a pattern here.

Finishing a story is hard, all right? Don’t judge me!

And while I’m doing that, September is getting closer and September is exam-season. Isn’t that a joy? That doesn’t mean I will procrastinate too much. Maybe. I need to separate my just finished second draft into actually chapters. Now it’s just scenes. And then finish Ava. And then Edit the novel again. And Edit last Nanowrimo’s short stories.

This is a lot of work. No one wants to do a lot of work.

But I kind of enjoy it.

Now if I could convince people to let me do this all day, I’d be happy.

How was Camp Nano for you? Did you reach your goal? Did you write? Even one word, is more words than what you started with. For me, Nano is a marathon, not a race. You run for as long as you can and if you stop, it’s all right. As long as, at the end of the day, you keep writing.

~ Harris


Thorn~ Camp Nano 25-30

Thorn~ Camp Nano 25-30

“Confessing your love for me and still being all bossy in the process.” he shook his head.
“Don’t get over your head, I wasn’t confessing my love for you.” she told him and he laughed.
“You didn’t deny there was love though.” he pointed out and she tried not to smile.

As everyone may know, Camp Nano is coming to an end. I see it as a little bittersweet, honestly. On one hand, the bit of stress and pressure it brings I don’t miss. Also the guilt. The guilt of not making my daily word goals or my total word-count.

In all essence, I wrote MORE than enough words to hit my goal. Just not on my writing project assigned to Camp. Well over 30 k. Maybe even past 50k. About 4 to 5 a day maybe, right Harris?

I’m not going to bother myself to count it all up. It would just be a bit of an unnecessary distraction. But I realized today. I CAN do the words, I’m just having trouble applying these words to my first draft.
It may be understandable, or it may just be inexcusable.

No if we are counting words for my current project… I am just shy of 15 k. Which is half my decided goal. I wish I could have done much better but in some ways I am improving. Today I added to that and one this last day of Camp, I’m going to add as much as I can until the countdown ends.

This is 15 k more words than I had before I started, and I am heading into my third act. It’s just so much of a struggle to get this story out. Mostly because I feel like I could never do this any justice. It could be done better. Nothing I write really pleases me.
Actually I just HATE most of it. Then I love it. Then I’m in tears for a minutes, which isn’t all bad once I compose myself.
Then I’m pointed out all the nice, lovely little parts that are so… right. Which has to be two words for every hundred or so, but still. Those little bits get me to carry on, and try to barrel through this whole first draft and then I can rip it all apart as I please.

So even if Camp is over soon, I write on to the end and pray that I don’t start looking back and stalling myself all over again.
I’ll finish this one way or another and when its done, I can breathe easy. Sorta. More work is ahead of me in this. Like working on my language, word-building and plotting out my stories.
This one included of course, the plot holes in this thing are part of what is driving me so insane on going forward. Its been rocky, with me stumbling around and its not super fun.

Writing takes work though, work and practice. Buckets of coffee, fancy pens and notebooks, lovely friends and a cat companion. Or two. Or five. Lets ignore that.
All my point is, you have to keep working at something to get better at it, you can be god awful but with some work and time put into it, it might turn into something far worthwhile.You might not want to talk about it when its all said and done but if you did it, you did.
Even if you didn’t do more than a few thousand words in Camp, you didn’t exactly give up, did you?
So, early congrats to all those Camp Nano winners out there, and even to those that didn’t meet those word goals. Enjoy your last day of Camp and have a nice cup of coffee or something when its all said and done.

Thorn ~ Camp Nano 17 – 24

Thorn ~ Camp Nano 17 – 24

“Are you trying to flatter me?” she asked and he smiled.
“Is it working?” he asked and managed to snatch the tray from her.
“Annoying Thief.” she muttered.
“Stubborn Princess.” he retorted and she tried not to smile.

It’s time for another update, for better or worse. Maybe worse. Its been long and more unproductive than productive. My mood hasn’t been to great. A mix of miserable, miserable how weather and endless laundry.
My brothers wear more clothes in a day than I do in a week. Who needs to change clothes this much? Seriously?
I have the answer. My brothers, the both of them, the older and younger.
I’m sure you aren’t here to hear me complain about laundry and brothers though, you are wanting to hear about Camp and writing and how it is going.

Can you hear me screaming? Are you sure? I thought Harris did, all the way from Greece while I am all on my lonesome in the US. I’m laughably behind on NaNo but the last few days have been better. I don’t have a word-count for you because I am scared to see my lack of progress.
Tonight I have don’t some and I am regretting that I stopped. I give myself so much trouble starting after all.
No-one argues with me other than myself. I have all the good arguments on both sides and lately I am figuring out that my procrastinater is the boss.
Far too much. She needs to stop and let me get writing, I tell her.

Now I’m not out of hope yet, with six days left. I can get somewhere if I work on it more. It’s not likes I don’t have it in my head what to write after all. It’s just the actually writing that seems to be put off.
In a minute? I can’t tell myself that because I get distracted easily. I really do.I just don’t have a lot of focus, especially when other people are involved on interrupting my focus.
Late at night, when I should be sleeping, like now, is when I actually get the focus to write. No-one bothers me, not my family, not my cats. Not even the internet really.
After midnight is the best times because I am getting too tired to deal with other things and I get my urges to out my fingers to the keys.
That’s all I really need to do, even if it’s for a few minutes here and there, I just hate leaving things unfinished. If I can sit and finish writing out a scene I’m dissuaded from trying.

Which is funny cause this whole novel is unfinished and THAT bothers me. I just wish I could do this story more justice. It’s my first draft though. It’s allowed to be a frightening mess that I get to beat into shape later.

I want this dont before NaNo in November after all. It’s only July, so even if this drags into August, I have time.
For now.

How is Camp going for the rest of you? We are heading into out last week? Does that pump you up or just make you panic and get frantic like me? I am a little both honestly but if I want to make an attempt to be an early bird, I need to head to bed soon.
So sorry, Harris. I know I didn’t give you nearly enough to read tonight.
We are making more crawl dates tomorrow? Today? In the morning?
Try to enjoy the rest of Camp everyone. Have a good rest of the month and let me know how your July project is coming along.

~ Thorn

M. S. Harris : Third Week of Camp Nano

Hello wonderful people!

How have you all been? How’s Camp treating you? How are your stories/projects? I hope you are all doing great.

I, for one, am not.

The reason why? Because I missed a whole week of writing being sick with a fever. Sick in summer is the least fun experience I’ve had this far and now a whole week has gone by and I’ve barely grazed the beginning of my third act and I have but ten days to finish it!

*pumps myself up*

I can do. You can do it. We can all do it. This is the final stretch and we have to make it worth it.

But before that, I need to work on my plot. The story has grown and changed so much, it amazes me. Characters I thought I would have to cut because they played no role have found their own way in the story and they’ve established themselves. My twists have worked so far and I can’t wait for some of the more exciting scenes I know wait for me in the third act. Then I’ll have Thorn read it because she is my unfortunate Alpha Reader and she reads everything first.

I save Gee for later, as a Beta.


To be honest, I’m liking where the story is going so far and not only that, I’m liking pretty much all of the plot. I want to believe I haven’t left many big gaps in it, that I’ve worked out most of the issues so on the my third draft, I can separate my scenes into chapters (finally some might say) and then start smoothing and fleshing everything out. My baby will be closer to being completely and my heart is beating hard just thinking about it.

I realise though that there is still a lot of hard work to come, a lot of hours typing away on a computer, editing, fixing up the story. But still everything will somehow be worth it when it’s done and the whole year and a half I’ve spend on it will pay out.

I don’t know. I’m excited. A bit high from leftover fever still I suppose, but excited.

I was also considering my three short stories. They are up next once I’m done with this second draft. They are up and at least working through them is going to be faster than it’s on a 90k words novel.

Though my research says I shouldn’t be calling them short stories. They are Novelettes and isn’t that just a wonderfully fancy word for what is basically a bigger short story?

I was thinking of publishing said short stories, but I am considering it. Would anyone be interested in reading them in the future?

Gee, Thorn, you don’t count. You are going to be forced to read them. *innocent smile*

~ Harris


Thorn ~ Camp Nano 6 – 16

Thorn ~ Camp Nano  6 – 16
“Yes but, I still think he hits like a girl.” Dakira said and they laughed.
“Oh thanks, Dak.” Julian grinned at her.
She glared at him “That isn’t what I meant. You don’t get it.”
“Oh I get it, if I hit like a girl, I hit like you.” he explained.
“I only know one girl who can hit harder.” he added with a glance at Rayne. 
Current Word-count: 10839
Hello again everyone. How are you? How is Camp? Hopefully going good. It’s the middle of the month and we are halfway done with the month. Can we say the same about our word counts?
Me, not so much. I have to admit I’ve slacked off in that area far too much the last few days. I last wrote on the ninth and as you can see I am a little over ten thousand into my Camp goal. Thirty thousand is my goal this month, and I know it’s not impossible for me to reach it still.
It might feel like it sometimes, but really I know it isn’t.
Especially I… oh I don’t know, write? It had just been one of those busy, distracting months.
In between valid reason for not writing, there has been a bit of procrastination. I’m sure you have heard of the new Pokemon GO game. Seeing as it is a HUGE obsession right now.
Yes, I’m on it too but that honestly hasn’t taken up a lot of time. I’m in an isolated area when it comes to Poke Stops and all that.
Games are still to blame for my lack of writing, namely one on my computer and I really… really need to stop. Diablo 2 is a bit of an older game but more of a … classic favorite that I drift back into every once in a while.
It was a bad idea to install a game for my mother shortly before Camp NaNo and now I’m stuck on it a bit. I’ve even names my game characters after actual characters from my writings.
So it’s a big distraction on the hours I’m not busy, namely after a long day of shopping or chores and all that not so fun stuff.
If you are trying to convince yourself that you can just play an hour and get down to working, don’t believe it. I can’t trust myself anymore. I need to take my Neo and get settled in bed early. Earlier than usual. My late nights are partly to blame for this.
I am wholly to blame for it all, I know but I’m working on it and seeing as this is my official first draft of this book, I’m struggling to put it to paper… or well, keyboard.
Also I have a little fear of finishing it. Also of everything being so after I want to burn it and act like it all never happened.
Harris says it’s all great, she loves some parts, but these characters are favorites of hers as if they were her own. She is like my character godmother, so to say. Which is great and terrifying for them, if you know Harris any.
Just teasing! No need to go and kill anyone now.
In her books I mean, no panicking now.
One thing I really struggle with is the write and move on part. I am itching to delve into the story and rip it apart and make improvements. Things needed remodeling. I am aware that I can’t make everything perfect on the first go, but being aware of it doesn’t make it bother me less.
I feel like everything could be better, mostly because I have so many holes in my story plot that  I’m tripping over them. Though I’m working on pushing through the issue and make note of my problems with things as I go.
I’m only a couple good scenes away from the end of my second Act and things are really about to get interesting with all that goes on. Armies, battles, deaths, all these fun things. Things won’t be going that well for my characters, some at least. Some have a few nice things going for them.

I hope the month has been kind to you and your word-counts sky-high. Mine aren’t high up there but at least I am getting some done and will get more done in the future. My odds will improve once I get in bed with Neo, one of my most favorite gifts from Harris, and have no distractions. Just me, Neo and Pandora.
Try to have a good month for the rest of Camp. After this we can assess the damage we have done to our characters lives or go outdoors and chase down some Pokemon.


M. S. Harris : Second week of Camp July


*clears throat*

The second Act is finally over! It’s done! Wrapped up! Finished!

And it feels so good!

Now I just have to finish the third one *cries* .

It will be all right. It has to. I have two weeks to finish. Right now I’m a bit over 22k which means I’m well on my way to the 30k goal I put for Camp Nanowrimo. And I’m well on my way to finishing this draft by the end of July.

Keep your fingers crossed for it.

Though, to be honest it hasn’t been smooth-sailing because I had to take a day off just to fix the outline and fix the pacing of some scenes by switching them about and add the drama.

At least, if Thorn reads and she is still surprised by my twists, then I suppose that’s good. She has read so much of my work, I have to admit it seems weird that she can’t see right through it. At least she is loving the story. I think so. Maybe.

THORN DO YOU LIKE THE STORY? DO YOU? *grabs Thorn and shakes her*

*clears throat*


Thorn picked that line. The two people behind them, she finds adorable and cute and I do to. *pushes them together* *makes them kiss*

Sorry. It is late and I have discovered double doubleshot at Starbucks. I’m high on caffeine most of the time. Which is good for me and the word counts. My nerves do not appreciate it though.

What’s going on with the story? The ending is going to be the same. Somewhat. The ending is going to be the same generally, but the events that lead up to it have to change just because the middle changed and some things are different, some people were moved around, one person who was dead isn’t. All the fun stuff.

I don’t know how good the story is so far. Hopefully is good. Hopefully all the time I’ve put on it is showing. Hopefully the plot is going to be as close to perfect as I can make it, because that’s the only thing I can aim for.

How have you all been doing? How’s Nanowrimo for you? I’m thinking of getting one of the T-shirts. Any suggestions? I want me some Nanowrimo merchandise! I need it!

 ~ Harris

July NaNo Update 1st-5th

July NaNo Update 1st-5th

“You need to stop acting like you don’t like me.” Julian told him.
“And you need to stop acting like I won’t knock your head off your shoulders if you keep being too annoying. Get going.” Vergil answered, but he wasn’t fooled, he caught the smile as he turned away.

Word-Count Total: 6824

Camp NaNo is getting into full swing this month. Even for me, shocking, I know. 😛
Though honestly my friends are crushing my word-count a bit. As you all can see, I am just shy of 7000 and I am exceeding my goal of 1000 words a day, for the most part.
This month I’ve set my total word-count goal for this month at 25k , just to give myself some breathing room if I make it past that, I’ll simply add to it.

Though the point of NaNo, either Camp or regular is to make a habit of writing and that’s what I have been doing, I have yet to miss a day, cause yeah there is every chance of that.
So far, so good and maybe I can get into writing more and more EVERY day.
Do you think my odds are good so far? It’s only the fifth day, still in the first week.
As long as I stick to getting some words down each day, I’ll be good.

My main issue is…I want to go and rip my outline apart and piece it all back together. The urge to outline and fix plot holes and issues, is strong. Each new scene I am writing I see all the issues but… I am accepting it and pushing through this first draft.
I am using a new notebook and started a list on things I need to include, remove or change and so far I have a page.
That was just some quick notes from the latest scenes. Maybe before bed I can read through my scenes down and add to it. Or I can write. The latter is probably what I should be doing. If I can finish this scene, it will be great. It was going smoothly earlier today, before  distractions.

Camp NaNo aside, I have little else to discuss. It’s been a quiet start to the month, hence why my writing is flourishing a tiny bit.
You could argue that it would be even better if I wake up before noon. Also maybe If I hit the bed before three in the morning.

I used to be such a night owl, ask Harris. Given our eight-hour time difference, she is often waking when I get in bed. I used to be up on my phone for hours talking to her. That still happens… sometimes.
All nighters don’t agree with me so much anymore. I can’t start off with good intentions but…nope. Doesn’t work.

It sounds tempting sometimes, because I end up missing so much writing time with Harris and the rest because I am too lazy to get out of the bed. Sometimes it takes as far as my cat nipping at me to get me up. Which he really does, he thinks they are love nips.
Though it works out for him, aside from the fact that I wake up yelling at him and he just does it again. Until I am out of bed and can give him his allotted love and attention.
He is a cat, what do you expect?
He even helps me out… sometimes. Yes he is here, watching me. So I have to put in a good word for my baby. He IS cute.

So I believe this is it for my update, its been a quiet week. Oh! Except for the 4th of July. Yes I forgot. Though me and my family aren’t that big on holidays, we did have a nice dinner and at night I shot off some fireworks with my mother.

Later in the night this resulted in my slipping up and hitting myself right in the cheek with one. No worries! No flames were involved and I only have a bit of a red mark on my face from it. Lesson learned, but ouch.

So hopefully the rest of you, the ones that do celebrate 4th of July, enjoyed the weekend and are enjoying the start of NaNo. Or maybe you are sitting at your computer and banging your head on the table like you could knock the words out. I don’t envy you but you have my sympathy. Those days are as common for me as anyone else.

Good luck to all of you this month and if things go well I’ll have more updates on my Nano progress, hopefully with numbers hitting higher from now one.

~ E.C.Thorn