April Camp NaNoWriMo 2018 Recap

When I say that this Camp NaNoWriMo month was like no other, it’s an understatement. I’m talking literal blood, sweat and tears.

Biting my chapped lips out of stress until they bleed. Concentrating on plot problems until I sweat. Working out character arc problems until I burst into tears.

Pin if you can relate.

No exaggeration.

Instead of letting this month’s writing struggles defeat this determined warrior spirit, however, I completed my goal by 200% despite unexpectedly losing a week in which to work.

Writing undefeated for the win. ?

Let’s jump right in to what I’ve worked on, what I learned, and—true to the featured image—snippets I’ll bet you can’t survive. >:)

(I documented my first week of Camp here, if you’d like to check it out too.)

All kunoichi warrior Ari Kireina wants is for someone to deem her worth something. But when she willingly fails her most important mission yet, she ends up on the run and then on the hunt for the man she failed, deems her worthless, and wants her most—with the help of a samurai warrior torn between his hatred and his love for her.

For April Camp this year, I wanted to put 60 hours toward the first macro edit of my historical fiction epic Warfare Book I.

I’ve drafted this four times, completely rewritten it twice, but am only now conducting a plot structure, theme, and character arc edit known as the macro edit.

Days 8-12

Hours These Days: 2
Hours Total: 13

My family is beyond all levels of awesome, but we all fail to communicate.

This resulted in me having to take an unexpected two weeks off of my online projects and almost a week off of writing, which put me really behind. I was able to squeeze two hours of reading up on character arcs in one day, but that was it.

Before then, however, I was able to build my revisions list.

The real revisions list is much longer, but this looks prettier.

I also discovered the epic, dramatic music I love is actually its own genre: epica.

If you’re ever in need of epic music, try Two Steps from Hell and Brand X Music. If you want dramatic music with equally dramatic lyrics, try Tommee Profitt.

Day 13

Hours Today: 7
Hours Total: 20

First up on the revisions list was determine Rasako Deyuan‘s place in the plot.

I added him in the first draft so Ari (my protagonist) could have a long-lost older brother, but he was adding nothing to the plot and I hated his character anyway, so I cut him out.

He could be an important link to Satsujin-sha in the later books, but Kira is already a major link. He’s not that important.

He did, however, inspire something else entirely; a male shinobi academy.

So now the kunoichi (female ninja) academy and shinobi academy are rivals. And there’s nothing I love more than boy vs. girl rivalries when they end up falling in love!

Literally, my very first story was a boy vs. girl rivalry and then they fell in love. It’s a theme I just adore. It’s in, like, every single one of my stories.

Every single one.

Day 14

Hours Today: 2
Hours Total: 22

I was still behind and wasn’t making as much progress as I needed to.

Next up on the revisions list was to redo the Big Epic Mission (yes, that’s what I refer to it in plotting ?) that comprises the majority of the plot.

To start that, I had to make all the conflict thematically-pertinent. To do that, I had to know what the theme was.

Then I realized my protagonist’s character arc wasn’t in relation to the theme very much.

Oh, Lord, save me.

Cue the 4 A.M. wailing! The agony of character arcs will never leave!

On a scale of 1 to 10, how “big” is the Ghost?




Day 15

Hours Today: 3
Hours Total: 25

I hate crafting character arcs, and they hate me back. But they’re vital and necessary to creating a story with a powerful theme.

After much tearing up, stressing out, bombarding the fabulous Josie Beth with question after question and even bothering K.M. Weiland with one, I finally got a handle on Ari’s super complicated arc.

They get to the door, the only thing they can’t be quiet about. Once they break it down, it’s a matter of seconds before they’re captured, so they have to move like lightning.

They put the bomb on the sliding door lock and hide out of the way BUT A CUTE LITTLE SAMURAI TODDLER is walking by it.

Day 16

Hours Today: 4
Hours Total: 29

By now, I was still super behind in blog posts, emails, comments, projects, promises, giveaway packages to send out (!!!) and my dear Camp NaNo goal and writing.

I was beyond discouraged. But faint heart never won a fair book contract.

If there’s one thing I know, it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish the race.

So what did I decide to do? Not only was I going to make my goal, I decided to double it.

5 hours a day and 9 on the weekends? Let’s grind that goal into the dirt.

look at my chubby little German nose! (I’m 25% German.)


We want this to be AAAP—as awesome as possible.


Day 17

 Hours Today: 5
Hours Total: 34

This is where I spent the majority of my April.

Cramped up against my loft bed ladder, sitting on unpadded carpet much to the chagrin of my joints and injured tailbone, writing on a doll table I stole from my 18″ buddies.

Ugh I have no idea.

UGH THIS IS SO CONFUSING! It’s epic but it feels so random?


My highly uncomfortable writing spot and the frustrations in my plot made me very grumpy.

Day 18

Hours Today: 5
Hours Total: 39

Konran smirks. “Can’t take the insults, termagant?”

Hinoki steps in front of Ari protectively. “Only I call her termagant.”

During the sequel, Ari kind of decides Hinoki has a point. When they’re putting their horses up, Ari is like, “It would be nice to take a mission on something I’m passionate about, regardless of whether it makes me useful for people.”

Hinoki grins. “First mission on something you’re passionate about: give me a hug.”

Day 19

Hours Today: 5
Hours Total: 44

Ari screams for Hinoki, BUT HE DOESN’T COME. She really made him mad this time!

And they’re like ? [spoiler name] wasn’t really dead!!

They see water and fire and are like, hey let’s do this. AND THEN BAM THE LETTERS ARE GONE.

Day 20

Hours Today: 9
Hours Total: 53

Ari hugs him, but Hinoki gently pushes her back. “It’s not like that between us.”

Ari is shocked, and sad. She whispers, “Why can’t it be?”

And Hinoki responds, “It just can’t.”

Ari takes the two swords… and with a deft throw tosses it to the guard next to Maruko, who stabs him. The room erupts into chaos, no one knows what they’re doing, they’re all after Maruko but he escapes, yay us.

Day 21

Hours Today: 8
Hours Total: 61


We’re done with the BEM Scene Outline Test #1!

Finally. I finished re-brainstorming the BEM and moved onto the next thing to knock out:

I didn’t give Maruko a full-fledged arc in the fourth draft because he wasn’t even onscreen until the climax.

But now that I’ve re-brainstormed the BEM and made him more involved, I got to murder some more stupid character arcs. 😀

… just kidding. I got so frustrated that I burst into tears and quit for the night. Don’t let my smile above fool you.

I’ve never cried or even teared up (negatively) about anything related to Warfare but character arcs.

Have I mentioned that I hate character arcs?

Day 22

Hours Today: 5
Hours Total: 66

Thankfully, the ever-patient Josie Beth was willing to take pity on me and graciously share her writing wisdom, no matter how many times I bombarded her with questions.

Go tell her she’s awesome by subscribing to her blog.

Maruko Character Arc

Lie: Complete worth is gained by complete power.
Truth: Complete power doesn’t give you worth from those you’re ruling.

Day 23

Hours Today: 10
Hours Total: 76

What do you want readers to find most sympathetic/interesting about Maruko?
His cleverness.

Maruko Characteristic Moment Summary

Kira gives the Masatoshi assassination mission.

In it, she talks all about Maruko; his strategic patience and cleverness, his huge goal and passion, and his need to be absolutely respected.

She walks in bearing a fresh scar (ACTUALLY—maybe he shattered her face or something and she has multiple scars and her wrist is broken! >:D) and someone asks about it and wonders if she disrespected him.

A few gasp and giggle, but Kira keeps up her straight expression. She returns a smart comment but in the subtle way she returns it we can tell that yes, she got the scar from Maruko.

“He’s too old for you, Sensei.”

Kira frowns. “For the record, he’s seven years older.”

“Ooh, you even know his birthday.”

Day 24

Hours Today: 5
Hours Total: 81

What event occurs at the end of the First Act that causes Maruko to leave the Normal World and irreversibly engage with the main conflict?
Ari Kireina and Hinoki Ajin’omto—who would’ve thought—want his help to track down his own warrior. In exchange, they’ll most likely take him to Nijo! He accepts.

In what way might this be surprising even after the Inciting Event?
Who would’ve thought?

Day 25

Hours Today: 5
Hours Total: 86

How is Maruko demonstrating confusion or frustration about why his old Lie-based methods are no longer working for him?

This makes me giggle no matter how many times I read it.

And for one that makes me sad:

How will your final scene be a downbeat one that demonstrates the broken dreams and ideals Maruko was forced to sacrifice to a dark Truth he couldn’t fully handle?
Maybe he silently cries an itty-bitty tear in Hinari’s resolution scene and Ari pities him. His dreams have been destroyed. He couldn’t handle the Truth.

After Maruko’s character arc (which I had to do twice because I messed it up) came the fourth thing to fix:

One of my settings is Nijo Castle, which was home to the Tokugawa dynasty in Edo (now called Tokyo), Japan.

Nijo Castle is where the advisors of Japan advise the shogun of Japan, and where the shogun usually lives… if he’s not assassinated, of course. Which he is.

XD Tokugawa Ietsuna actually died prematurely, but in my story, it’s because one of my characters assassinated him.

The first couple of books in my series take place during the one-year power struggle that ensued in 1680 before the next shogun finally came to power in 1681.

Day 26

Hours Today: 5
Hours Total: 91

See that crossed swords icon? That’s the symbol for the Warfare series.

If I’m taking notes in church and the pastor says an epic line, I’ll draw that symbol to let me know it could be a good line for Warfare.

It’s an emoji, too: ⚔

I’m thoroughly convinced I have the best brother in the world, no matter how times I call him Russell Duane the Insane.

He buys me candy and doll-sized trinkets just because. I had a grand time eating these Skittles while working on the next revisions list item:

(Not an hour after I wrote the above two paragraphs about my brother, he came home from MMA and plopped a bag of Sour Patch Kids in my hand, saying, “I bought something for you!” ?)

I may or may not have gotten a little carried away drawing stick-figure ninja, shuriken, katanas and the face of my protagonist, Ari (that masked woman with curly hair). ?

Despite how worried my mom is about my caffeine consumption, she made me a mocha every day to help cope with sleep loss.

Day 27

Hours Today: 5
Hours Total: 96

Next came a bunch of stuff:

I re-outlined my story’s climax and upped its emotional stakes…

How will Ari’s new resolve and understanding about herself and the world be challenged one more time?
Maruko will be like, “Why are you doing this? You’re not proving anything to anyone.”

How will Ari respond to this challenge?
“I am. I’m proving it to myself.”

… made my protagonist’s strengths more prominent…

Bc Ari is a shinboi, she should also make clever, sneaky decisions … decisions that think ahead and are planned & timed well that involve sneaky spy shinobi stuff hehe. She needs to be an active player in the conflict, not just an emotional wreck along for the ride like she was in the fourth draft. ?

(Yes, I actually draw emojis in my outlining XD)

… and verified the pertinence of the head sensei of the male shinobi academy in the plot.

So Norin is in the plot for leads for Kazanawi bc it takes a shinobi to track down a shinobi. And for Hinoki’s Characteristic Moment.

I’ll have another!

Day 28

Hours Today: 5
Hours Total: 101

No, really. His arc was so bad, he earned the name Freaking Flopping Fish from my alpha readers. ?

I have hopefully redeemed him with my outlining.

What went wrong?
The scene disasters were inconsistent and not foreshadowed all the way through. In short, he was a freaking flopping fish.

How can we fix it?
Tighter foreshadowing and no more I-hate-yous and I’ll-kill-yous after the Midpoint.

I proceeded to update his character arc.

Now that the main conflict has been resolved, what is Hinoki planning to do next?
Pursue a relationship with Ari. He’s just too paranoid to ask yet!

How will this choice for a new life contrast the choices Hinoki would have made back in his first chapter?
HAHA it contrasts dramatically. He would never have decided it then. He’s a changed man for sure.

Then, I jumped back and fourth from strengthening the theme, figuring out relationship characters, upping the story’s emotional stakes, and making sure my plot and theme were working together.

It was a very confusing time. 😀

After that, I outlined the main ship’s romance.

Inciting Event for the romance:
When Hinari dances. They could be so right together, but they’re not ready yet.

Time for a pop quiz: what’s almost as bad as character arcs?


*screams and pulls hair out*

It was the Great Tribulation. There was weeping and gnashing of teeth.

I spent a frustrating two days brainstorming the epic possibilities, reading all K.M. Weiland’s posts on subplots forwards and backwards and striving to grasp the concept, and realizing I know even less of what I’m doing than I thought. ?

But that means I’m only going up from here.

When I X things out, I really X things out.

Day 29

Hours Today: 10
Hours Total: 111

Josie saved the day again. (Third time this month! She gets an award.)

I ditched the subplot idea and just found out what I liked about the idea and incorporated that into the main conflict instead.

Warfare alpha/beta readers: spoilers ahead!

• I think it would work better as just foreshadowing. Kira does kill Tallinn.

• After we find out Kira is married to Maruko, right before the Second Pinch Point and after Konran swipes the letters, we hear the dramatic “I am your shogun” scene and then they kiss and Ari is like ?? “Maruko!”

I also named my character Kira “The Epic, Unstoppable Show with Soul-Wrenching Secrets”.

So now we’ve got Hinoki the FFF and Kira the EUSWSWS. I’ll have to think of funny names for the rest of the cast.

Then it was time for amping up my character archetypes, in which I find out Hinoki is a serious multitasker:

Protagonist: Ari
Antagonist: Maruko
Sidekick: Tori, Hinoki
Guardian: Kira, Hinoki
Reason: Masatoshi
Emotion: Tori, Tallinn, Kazanawi
Love Interest: Hinoki

Day 30

Hours Today: 9
Hours Total: 120

I had to “kill a darling”—fiction speak for removing one of my favorite parts of my story to make it stronger.

Han’na is the sweetest character forever, and I just loved the idea of Ari having two sidekicks; the spunky, murder-minded, conscience-seared Tori and the super sweet and innocent Han’na.

But… Han’na just wasn’t adding anything to the plot, and having a character just floating around without affecting the story is not good.

So she had to go. It bwoke my wittle heart, but it strengthened my story.


The sobbing emoji is really fun to draw. XD

Oh, but what should return just right after I get over the trauma of subplots?

Just guess.

Minor Character Arcs


K I R A   A S H I
Goal: To make her husband Maruko happy
Conflict: Maruko is hard to make happy. Her student is causing him insane amounts of trouble, and Maruko is furious about it. Kira tries to stop Ari, but Ari is relentless and determined.
Resolution: Maruko divorces her.
Thematic Pertinence: Kira gets her worth from Maruko, which is her motive. She even blatantly states it. “I have no problem killing innocent men. But betraying my own country is hard.” Kira swallows. “I’m worth nothing if I can’t make my husband happy. You have to understand that.”

E R I K   K O N R A N
Goal: Make Maruko shogun so he can get paid, so he can settle down for a happy life with his soon-to-be wife when this is all over.
Motive: He wants a fulfilling, relaxed life with a family and regrets getting involved with this whole plot.
Conflict: Ari. She never gives up and is on his trail.
Resolution: He is executed, having lost the chance of the life he always wanted.
Thematic Pertinence: Well… none.

AWWW. Ari gets to pretend to be Konran’s fiancée to find out important information, meaning she has to dye her hair and teeth black and paint on fake eyebrows like rich Japanese ladies back then, so that’ll be fun.

Finally, after 30 days of turmoil and determination, I got to the most relieving part.

I returned to the Outlining Your Novel Workbook and flipped through to see what I could do to make this whole macro edit easier.

I got to the General Sketches part and squealed, because I finally get to write down all the scenes I know of so far (I plotted 30 scenes for the Big Epic Mission and was worried about how that would fit in with the 15 scenes before and 15 scenes after).

Now I get to see everything in a linear order.

This clears my confusion and allows me to quickly answer questions about the scenes, if I need to add new ones to fit in with what I’ve got, take some out, re-order them, change them… SQUEEEEE!

I ended April on a high note!

What’s next?

First, a few days off.

My uncle bought me some dinner to celebrate; my favorite cuisine, Japanese (fitting, isn’t it? ?)

I think I crashed and burned, but I’m really happy I doubled up on my goal instead of lessening it due to busyness.

I would’ve much rather shot for the high goal and missed it than have shot for a low one and made it.

Then it’s back to continuing that macro edit on my regular writing schedule; 9 P.M. to 12(ish) A.M.

I have orders from four cabin mates to get some celebratory sleep, to which they’ll be happy to know I am! I slept in until 10:30 yesterday. ?

Speaking of cabin mates, I was blessed to be surrounded by the old Campers and new additions to our Wordsmiths 3.0 cabin.

The following deserve medals for putting up with me:

Josie, Sarah, Chloë, Clara, Nicole, Danielle, Lydia, Sapphire, Julia Rose, Rebekah, Tess, Julia Herkel, Kendall, Suzy, Olive, Liz, Enni, and Rose.

As well as my lovely family: my dad for leaving me alone even when he missed me, my mom for lessening up on school and chores, my sister for her hilarious sarcastic comments that cheer me up, and my brother for buying me candy, new music, and making sure I wasn’t lonely.

Tell me all about your Camp NaNo goal, because I want to hear. Share with me your favorite snippet, whether you crushed your goal or learned from it, and verify your survival of my snippet-shoving.

Or, if you didn’t do Camp, I’d love to hear about your latest writing project!

By | 2019-05-28T14:12:01-04:00 May 3rd, 2018|Snippets, Warfare, Writing|96 Comments

About the Author:

Hey! I'm Madi, a blogger, writer, doll collector, & minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. You can learn more about me by clicking here and more about this blog by clicking here.


  1. Tess (blackiesunshine) May 3, 2018 at 12:40 pm - Reply

    Awwwwwww I’m so glad you won! 😀 This post made me so happy – I loved all the pictures and BOII I WISH I HAD SPKS DURING NANO. Those are legit my favorite candy.
    NOOOO NOT HAN’NA *sobs*
    Yes, I survived the snippets; actually, I enjoyed them!!! I love your style/stream of consciousness…it’s so fun to read.
    I’m SOOOO looking forward to the next draft of Warfare! It’s going to be sooooo awesome, with all this planning. AND HINOKI WILL NO LONGER BE THE F.F.F.
    When you get a reference in one of Madi’s posts and you’re just like….hehehehehehe.
    The only thing I want to see is MBTIs for your babies. Other than that…I’M SO PUMPED.
    Keep it up! <3

    • Madison Grace May 3, 2018 at 1:32 pm - Reply

      Awwww, THANK YOU TESS! Aww I wish I could send you some… AREN’T THEY DELICIOUS.

      I KNOWWWW I WAS SO SAD *cries*

      Awww I’m so glad you like them! That means so much <3

      I'M SO LOOKING FORWARD FOR YOU TO READ IT! I really hope Hinoki will be better this time around. ?


      MBTIs coming right up! *salutes*

      You too, and thanks so much again! <3

    you know about my failed writing endeavors ?


  3. Hannah May 3, 2018 at 1:03 pm - Reply

    AHH YOUR BOOK SOUND SO GOOD!! I’m working on writing a book, and it’s well, I’ve got the first chapter of the first draft done. And my sister says it sounds good but she says it drags, I can’t figure out where it drags. XD XD XD I’m waiting to hear what my friend says before editing it though 🙂 Hopefully one day my book will actually sound like something! XD Yours looks great Madi!

    • Madison Grace May 3, 2018 at 1:36 pm - Reply


      LOL! Siblings are so harsh with their feedback. My brother goes “That’s so stupid I’m gonna die!” and the proceeds to make suffocating noises. ??

      Best of luck writing and editing! Your book is sure to be amazing. Thank you so much for commenting! <3

      • Hannah May 3, 2018 at 2:38 pm - Reply

        Indeed! Aww, thank you so much!

  4. Chloë May 3, 2018 at 1:34 pm - Reply

    *cheers* GREAT JOB MADI! You were a lot more productive in April than I was. 😀 YES JOSIE DESERVES MEDALS.

    • Madison Grace May 3, 2018 at 1:37 pm - Reply

      THANKS CHLOË! Hey, you wrote 20k. That’s incredible! ?? YES SHE DOES SHE’S SO NICE TO US.

      • Chloë May 3, 2018 at 1:38 pm - Reply

        But I’m probably not even gonna use that 20k, soo…. YES YES.

        • Madison Grace May 3, 2018 at 1:40 pm - Reply

          Aww, why not? (But even if don’t end up using it, you still wrote more, which means you sharpened your writing skills!)

          • Chloë May 3, 2018 at 1:42 pm - Reply

            I just hate all of it. *shrugs* I guess you’re right, though. (Nearly wrote write XD)

            • Madison Grace May 3, 2018 at 1:44 pm - Reply

              Awww, I know how that feels! Are you enlisting beta readers? Maybe they can help. (LOL, I do that so much. XD)

  5. Julia May 3, 2018 at 1:50 pm - Reply

    This was super fun to read! ? I am super shipping this. You should totally make a guide on how to replot a story after already doing it before, and be strong enough to kill your darlings and let go of the old plot and wave in the new. (I need so much help with that ?)

    • Madison Grace May 3, 2018 at 1:53 pm - Reply

      Thanks so much, Julia! I really must do that. ??

      • Kirstyn Todd May 3, 2018 at 7:51 pm - Reply

        Hey, at least you didn’t have to WATCH YOUR CHARACTER LITERALLY DIE. I am SOOOO horrible at killing characters! A common theme in my stories that no one knows about yet is characters dying and then later WAAAT NO WAY THEY DIDN’T ACTUALLY DIE *Insert the Geanie Jaw Drop from Aladdin (you get me here? XD) because IT WON’T LET MEEEEE UGHHH*

        This veeery original situation shows up so much it’s become grotesquely redundant. XD XD

        Seriously, though. Killing characters… *Tears*

        *Choked voice* Enough said. ;(

        • Madison Grace May 14, 2018 at 6:04 pm - Reply

          Awwww! XD Killing characters is definitely hard to do. Unless, of course, you aren’t attached to the characters. ?

          • Kirstyn Todd May 14, 2018 at 6:47 pm - Reply

            PFFT. Yeah, killing characters you don’t care for as much isn’t as bad.

            • Madison Grace May 19, 2018 at 8:57 am - Reply

              Not at all. XD Quite relieving, actually, but then I realize that if I’m just killing them off because I don’t like them, they probably shouldn’t have been in the story in the first place. Whoops! ?

              • Kirstyn Todd May 25, 2018 at 11:17 am - Reply

                XD yeah…

  6. Caleb E King May 3, 2018 at 2:06 pm - Reply

    Yay! Congrats on winning double your goal!! 😀 ? That’s amazing!
    How do you write ten hours some days?! That just blew me away! XD

    • Madison Grace May 3, 2018 at 2:08 pm - Reply

      Thanks so much, Caleb! LOL, I do it with a lot of epic music to drive me on and while multitasking chatting online so I’m not lonely. ?

  7. Laura Beth May 3, 2018 at 2:21 pm - Reply

    I love this post. Wow! I have A LOT to learn. But, I’m now loving K.M. Weiland, thanks to you, Madi!

    I also wanted to say thank you. Thank you for inspiring me and encouraging me to sign up for my first-ever Camp NaNoWriMo! I’m excited to sign up again in July. I’m even considering doing November 2018 for the first time in FOUR YEARS. Yay!

    Congratulations on doubling your goal, and smashing it! I’m so happy for you!

    Like I mentioned on my blog, my ultimate goal for the end of 2018 is to finish my book, and get it edited. My best friend has already offered to edit it once I’m finished. So, no pressure, right? Haha. I want to reach at least 50,000 words, but I’m hoping to write more than that.

    Thank you for being wonderful!!

    • Madison Grace May 14, 2018 at 4:44 pm - Reply

      Thank you so much, Laura! And YAY! K.M. Weiland is so awesome.

      Aww, that means so much! I am so happy! I hope you love your time in July and November, too! <3

      Thank you soo much!

      You can do it! The quote "You can't edit something that isn't there" always urges me to write more. XD Best of luck with your awesome book, and thank you for commenting!!

      • Laura Beth May 14, 2018 at 4:50 pm - Reply

        You’re so welcome! I love that quote – It’s so true. I’ll be keep that one close by as I work through this process. Thank you for the luck, and I love commenting!

  8. Clara May 3, 2018 at 3:21 pm - Reply

    THIS WAS SO FUN TO READ, MADI. Your recaps are always so awesome! You did such an AMAZING job in Camp Nano, I’m seriously impressed! I’m so excited to read Warfare whenever you want more people to read it. XD Your snippets were amazing and I loved all the dramatic pictures and various hilarious commentary. 😛 It’s so wonderful that your family supports your writing – that’s something that not everyone has!
    Oh dear. *hands medal back* Thanks, but you deserve this for putting up with me and my weird questions and unhelpful commentary. XD
    My camp NaNo goal was to outline my novel (tentatively named Treasure which is an awful name that I need to change), but it morphed and changed SO much over April that is doesn’t even resemble the outline I had at the beginning of the month. I love it so much more now, though, so I think that’s a good thing! 😀
    Again, this was so fun and funny to read! Always love your posts! 😀

    -Clara <3

    • Madison Grace May 14, 2018 at 4:55 pm - Reply

      AWW, THANKS CLARA! That means sooo much! <3 I know, right? I'm super grateful for them!

      NOOO. *puts medal around your neck* XD

      Hey, that is a good thing! New ideas are always SO exciing. 😀

      Aww, thank you so much, Clara! 😀

  9. Amie May 3, 2018 at 4:53 pm - Reply

    Sounds like fun! Your little brother sounds so sweet! <3 I should try and convince my brothers to do that for me. Oh, I forgot, they don't even like getting me a birthday gift. ? I didn't know you were 25% German. That's cool, since I'm 50% German. Ever just have the longing to go to Germany?

    • Madison Grace May 14, 2018 at 5:58 pm - Reply

      He is! <3 AWW HOW RUDE. ? Oh my gosh, that's so cool! My grandfather is 100% German and I don't know the exact percentages, but I'm at least 25%. XD Yes, I really want to go sometime!

      • Amie May 15, 2018 at 2:26 pm - Reply

        Hmm, maybe if you have German blood, you long for the homeland? Just kidding. 😉

  10. Kirstyn Todd May 3, 2018 at 7:11 pm - Reply

    “Have I mentioned that I hate character arcs?”



  11. silverfoxstudios May 3, 2018 at 7:14 pm - Reply

    I failed my Camp project. 🙁 But I’m planning to stay up as late as I can before clonking out on the keyboard tonight to get a good dent in the word count.
    I’m so happy that you actually got somewhere, unlike me! 🙂 And about your snippets, well, I may have skipped just a few snippets here or there. *grins nervously*
    I’m super busy with my dolls, school, an just other family and friend things. I’ve learned to handle my time better, instead of putting it off.

    • Madison Grace May 14, 2018 at 6:01 pm - Reply

      Hey, at least you made some progress! You can do it.

      No skipping the snippets! *waggles finger* Just kidding. XD

      I’m still learning how to handle my time better, too. It’s hard! Do you have any tips?

      • Silverfoxstudios May 14, 2018 at 7:04 pm - Reply

        The one thing I mainly do is, finish things ahead of time. So if I have a project due in 3 days, then I’ll do the entire thing today, instead of little sections throughout the days. That way I have more time to write on the other 2 days.
        Or, I’ll write at night before going to sleep. That way I can finish what I need to during the day, I still write at night.
        At for your last tip, I’d say: Put away whatever distracts you. I can distracted easily with what ever’s going on outside my window, YouTube, chatting online with friends, or even the music I listen to. So I solved the problem by sitting with my back facing the window or by sitting under the window. I just unbookmarked YouTube and just tried out my self-control. I just stopped chatting with my friends online, and started talking to them at school more. And lastly, I strongly advise instrumental music. Music with lyrics often distract me, but I couldn’t find any epic instrumental music. After searching, I found a 58 minute track on YouTube titled, THE WAY OF THE SAMURAI. It felt pretty fitting for my ninja novel

        • Madison Grace May 24, 2018 at 3:08 pm - Reply

          Oooh, thank you so much! Those are super helpful. And I’m totally gonna have to check out that track; it sounds awesome!

  12. Kirstyn Todd May 3, 2018 at 7:39 pm - Reply


    I survived the snippet shoving.


    I don’t think I survived all the complaining and writerese.





    Enlighten me, Madi. I need an in-depth post or ebook on the process of writing. Sorry to add to your workload, but… You’ve just got to understand me, here.

    I’m desperate.

    Clueless. *Sobs*


    lol wat was dat

    • Madison Grace May 14, 2018 at 6:02 pm - Reply

      All you need to do is read through every single post on helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com and you will be smarter than 75% of writers and way more advanced in writerese! That’s what I’m doing. Just 191 pages of posts to go. ?

      • Kirstyn Todd May 14, 2018 at 6:48 pm - Reply

        Okay. *Sniffles and wipes tears*

  13. Zielle May 3, 2018 at 7:52 pm - Reply

    Congrats on winning you goal (double)! 😀 I’ve never gone into in depth character arcs before, so I would say that for me, plotting (especially sub-plots) makes me wanna rip my hair out. XD

    I don’t think I’m NaNo material because my problem is that I worry too much about good writing and the words I use instead of actually working on the plot. 😛 But I’ll still be at camp in July. 😉 I hope I’ll see you there??

    Btw you did AWESOME! 😀

    • Madison Grace May 14, 2018 at 6:06 pm - Reply


      I love crafting prose more than plotting, too! I just adore tightening and editing and writing epic lines. Plotting is just so hard. XD

      Yay! I’ll definitely be doing Camp in July too.

      Aww, THANKS! 😀

      • Zielle May 15, 2018 at 12:52 am - Reply

        You’re welcome! 🙂
        Yess so do I. XD That’s the best part. 😛

  14. olivehiddenhollow May 4, 2018 at 7:20 am - Reply

    And with all the busyness you could’ve just made it to your goal, 60,and felt great, but NOOOOOOO, you had to go for 120! I shall say it. You, Madi, and a nut case and should be locked up for your own safety.
    Buuuuuuuut I’ll allow you a pen and two sheets of paper for one hour everyday, so you can finish the series, because I really want to read it. ?
    Now that I think about it, I actually do agree with most of the things you’re trying to fix. Not cutting out Han’na though, I just MAKE my characters fit! like when I was fist getting the ideas for the book I was just working on for camp, I was like, there is two girls and a dragon going on a rescue mission. This isn’t going to work. They should be joined by at LEAST two more people, preferably elves. So I did, I made two elves, decided to make one half human, so he’d be friendly-er than the other. I made him very like able, and helpful to the plot, and I gave the other a complicated personality and some elements to make readers get more attached to her as the books go by. I also made her and the dragon about the only reasons they get out of their messes alive. ? so fun!
    Eww skittles ? but your brother buys you candy!?!? my brother wouldn’t do that in a million years. my littler brother might though….if it was my birthday….and I shared some with him….where’d you buy your siblings I want mine replaced. ?
    Most crazily, ~Olive

    • Madison Grace May 14, 2018 at 7:17 pm - Reply

      HEHE YAY

      You know, I heartily agree.

      I know, I wanted to make Han’na fit so bad! There was just no way for her to fit. *wails*


  15. Skipper Spirit May 6, 2018 at 5:34 pm - Reply

    Your writing life is so much more interesting and humorous than mine! I write when I want to, mostly, and I procrastinate… ‘=/ Your writing notes remind me of what I COULD do if I could STAY FOCUSED.

    As for Camp Nano, I entered with what I thought was a reasonable goal of 5k, but badly crashed and burned before I even started. I would *love* to devote as much time and effort as you my fellow authors do to their stories, but I don’t have much time that I can commit to that… ='(

    As for snippets, I don’t really have those, either. Unless you count the random thoughts I have on any particular story buzzing about in my head. ;3 My favorite snippet, in that sense, is the one I have concerning my character Amabel. She’s a naive romance author, and she thought it would be a *grand* idea to release Rio, her pet bird and my protagonist, into the wild after she comes upon hard times. (I’m still mad at her… >=[ )
    *angrily glares at Amabel until she shrinks into a shadowy corner, whimpering and trembling*

    • Madison Grace May 14, 2018 at 7:26 pm - Reply

      Procrastination is a hard one to beat for sure! BUT YOU CAN DO IT.

      Awww! I’m sorry your Camp goal didn’t work out. ? If you do Camp again, I hope your next goal is way more successful!

      AWW, poor Rio! Bad Amabel. XDD Your story ideas sound epic!

      • Skipper Spirit June 2, 2018 at 8:22 pm - Reply

        Thank you! I’m trying to beat procrastination with this book I bought recently by author Victoria Schmidt. It’s called Book in a Month, or BIAM. So far, it’s been really helpful, and I’m thinking I may actually finish something. Yay! ^^

        Thank you! I’m glad to hear that you like my story ideas. It’s a big encouragement. =3

        • Madison Grace June 6, 2018 at 3:40 pm - Reply

          Ooh, that book sounds awesome! I hope you make tons of progress with it.

          Aww, you’re so welcome! They’re awesome.

  16. […] & Em // Sarah // Charis Rae // Cynthia // Dani // Hannah // Madi Grace // […]

  17. Kendall Henson May 7, 2018 at 3:15 pm - Reply

    YAY YOU GOT SLEEEEP!!!!! Good job *applauds* 😀
    Omw, camp was so fun and I’m freaking out remembering it! Also freaking out over the complete epicness of your series *dies of Warfare love*
    Can you tell I’m excited? 🙂
    I am so impressed that you doubled your goal! (and quadrupled mine O.O)
    Also, being in a cabin with you was so fun… I’m already getting ready for July!!

    • Madison Grace May 14, 2018 at 7:31 pm - Reply

      YAY FOR SLEEEEEP! *gets more* XD

      Wasn’t it awesome?! I’m both sad and relieved it’s over. XD Awwww, I’m so glad you like Warfare! That means so much. 😀

      I can’t wait for July, either! It’s going to be awesome!

  18. Silverfoxstudios May 7, 2018 at 8:13 pm - Reply

    I’m super happy that you doubled your goal and still accomplished! Epic music plays a big role in my maotavtion to write. I found this video on YouTube that is an hour of Samurai Epic music! It is my go to writing music!
    Do you think you can send me the Macro editing guide? I’m planning to do my macro editing during the Camp in July. I know, that’s two months away. But yesterday I planned out my entire writing for the summer. XD

    • Madison Grace May 14, 2018 at 7:34 pm - Reply

      Thank you so much, Carlye! YES, epic music is so awesome.

      Sure thing! Have you visited this page yet? This’ll sign you up for my email list at the same time, but if you just want the PDF, here you go!

      • Silverfoxstudios May 14, 2018 at 11:05 pm - Reply

        Thank you so much! I’m heading towards that process soon, if I stick to my plan.

        • Madison Grace May 24, 2018 at 3:09 pm - Reply

          Eeek, that’s so exciting! I hope all goes well with your plan. Macro-editing can be tough (I’m trudging through it now) but I hope the guide helps!

          • Silverfoxstudios May 26, 2018 at 12:52 pm - Reply

            I have a question if you don’t mind me picking your brain all the time.
            Where did you get your guide? As in, was it a book from K.M. Weiland or just from the internet?

  19. Zella T May 10, 2018 at 1:20 pm - Reply

    I’m so happy for you! It’s really great that you had all that support from your family and friends. I’m waiting to do Camp in the summer ’cause I couldn’t possibly convince my teachers to not give me homework for a month so I can write my epic allegory ?. I also like your idea of eating candy ? while you write! While I’m not a candy girl, I l❤️ve hot chocolate ☕️ and will drink that during what will most likely become a grueling process. Oy! I’m looking forward to Camp in July!

    • Madison Grace May 14, 2018 at 7:35 pm - Reply

      Thanks so much, Zella! Hah, yeah, that sounds smart. XD YESSS I LOVE HOT CHOCOLATE. That’s what I usually drink while I write, unless it’s at nights… then I usually can’t. XD

  20. Xyra May 11, 2018 at 4:49 pm - Reply

    Wow! Your book sounds very interesting. I hope I get to read it sometime. 🙂

    My own projects…well, at work I am a Technical Writer and editor. Very little creativity there, hence the blog. As you found out sometimes other things take us from our personal goals. So far April and May have had little spare time for blog posts. However, I think I am getting back on track there. Yay!

    Keep up the good work. I love how you changed your space – the small desk is outstanding!

    • Madison Grace May 14, 2018 at 7:38 pm - Reply

      Aww, thank you so much! I hope you get to read it too. 😀

      Wow, your work sounds interesting! But I’m glad you have your blog too. I’ve been a little off track from blogging during April, too, but I’m starting to get back!

      Thank you so much again!

  21. Devin May 22, 2018 at 1:35 pm - Reply

    Scrolled down after reading day 1 to write this, excuse me ma’am you KILLED RASAKO?!?! He was my favourite male character from Loyalty (except Hinoki of course, and the Darth Maruko dude) but still. HE WILL LIVE ON IN MY HEART AND OUR ARCHIVED ROLEPLAYS. rip

    • Madison Grace May 24, 2018 at 3:21 pm - Reply

      I’M SORRY I’M SORRY. He was a great little guy, but he just wasn’t important enough to stay… HE WILL LIVE ON IN MY HEART TOO.

      • Devin May 30, 2018 at 3:25 pm - Reply

        Okay wait so who saves Ari at the end of book 1 then?

        • Madison Grace June 2, 2018 at 4:05 pm - Reply

          Book I is completely replotted. It has an actual climax instead of cutting off with that cliffhanger. Maruko does almost kill her, and Hinoki saves her, but there are still two more short recovery scenes after that.

          • Devin June 14, 2018 at 9:06 am - Reply

            So, like, Hinari h/c at the end?? MADI

            (h/c, since I know you’re not in the fanfiction community, is hurt/comfort, usually after some sort of angst, another highly used term, and it’s usually with couples or master/padawan bonding aka Kanan and Ezra (not Kanan/Ezra that ship is disgusting)….this is getting out of hand. Remind me to give you a crash-course in fanfiction terminology, all writers should know them even if they’re not fanfic writers, they come in handy.

            • Madison Grace June 14, 2018 at 5:45 pm - Reply

              Sure, whatever that means! ? Oh, hurt/comfort? Then yes.

  22. Devin May 22, 2018 at 1:42 pm - Reply

    And then you killed Han’na…. Rasako AND Han’na?!?! This is Hurricane Madi’s biggest death toll ever. Stay tuned for more details.

  23. Germaine July 15, 2018 at 11:46 am - Reply

    When you’re ready for betas… tag me. 😉

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