The thoughts and work of Sam Witt

Camp NaNoWriMo – Go Big – Day 2

Go Big Day 2

Day Two of the big project. Oof.


Guinea pigs, you know? I thought to myself, “Self, let’s just run the girls down to pick up those guinea pigs they’ve been wanting, so they’ll settle down and you can get on with your bad self and crank out the words.”

While we’re at it, why not some dinner?

And, hey, it’s been a long day, so what will it hurt if you take a wee little break and play some You Must Build a Boat to zen out and get your creative juices flowing and . . .

Well, look at that. It’s 9 goddamn 30.

This, my friends is how you almost blow your whole big plan before it even gets off the ground. One little thing, then another little thing, then just one more little thing–and now your night has slipped betwixt your fingers and the choice becomes words or sleep.

Choose wisely, because one step will put you on the path of righteousness and the other will lead your idle hands down to the devil’s workshop.

DAY TWO: The Plot! (Nailed It)

I reread all of Libbie Hawker’s book on plotting (Take Off Your Pants) today. If you’re a writer and you struggle with plot or pacing, AT ALL, get thee to Amazon and download this thing. Rub your Kindle against the sweating meat of your forehead until the phosphors penetrate the brittle plate of your skull and the knowledge etches itself across your misfiring neurons. Every time I read it, something new pops out at me and makes me realize that I can always, always, learn something new about getting the words down on paper.

After I emerged from the sweat lodge of knowledge and downed a brewski, I busted out my Moleskine and my Vanishing Point and got to work. It was tough, but I ended up with 12 solid scenes after a couple of hours, then spent another three hours beating them out. I’ll probably add a couple of scenes that will serve to link this novella to the other books in the series, but the core story is rock solid. I’m really going to dig writing this book.

And while I spent two days of my 31 days plotting and generating 0 words, I’m cool with my progress. The plotting work I’ve done laid the foundation for the rest of the work this month. With the plot in hand, I can probably write five or six times as fast as I would be able to if i were pantsing everything. The plot is my story GPS, and it shall guide me to the promised land in record time. I can’t stress this enough–if you want to learn to write fast, learn to plot. It will get you where you need to be.

Tomorrow, I’ll let you in on another little secret about writing fast.


Words on the page. I’ve got tomorrow and the rest of the weekend off, so my goal is to bust out a whole buttload of words. With any luck, I’ll get a huge headstart on Novella #1 and carve out some of the last chunks of Long-Dead Gods.

Looking Forward

The next few days are for writing. I’ve got my plot, some characters, a theme, a setting, and an overarching story, so I’m ready to kick ass and take names. I also need to spend some time coordinating with my Editor (I’ve been real shitty here, please forgive me Jason and do not banish me to the wilderness of dead words) and figuring out what I want to do with the cover. Due to time constraints, I should really, really hire that out, but that shit ain’t cheap, yo. Maybe I can spend some time looking for a pre-made (hint, hint if you have some pre-made covers with an apocalyptic feel, hit me up). Hmm, that pre-made looks wrong. Need to go and talk to the editor.

Glide Path

On track!

About Sam

I am the author of the popular Pitchfork County series of horror novels. I also write a newsletter with great reading suggestions and free fiction.