Who’s Excited for NaNoWriMo? Let’s Check In!

Written by Ryan R. Campbell

Ryan R. Campbell is an International Book Awards finalist, the founder of the Writescast Network, and the co-founder of Kill Your Darlings Candle Company.

Posted on October 13, 2020

Filed under On Writing

It’s been a while since I’ve shared updates on the actual writing process, and with all of our in-person events canceled this year, I haven’t had a chance to hear from you.

First, I’ll share, but be sure to comment on this post to let me know what you’re up to as well, whether for NaNoWriMo or in general!

Right now, I have two projects as my primary go-tos when it comes time to write. The first, SCAMBAIT, is the story of a corporate layabout who’s obsessed with the contents of his spam folder. In what most find an annoyance, he finds his calling: the more time he spends stringing scammers along, the less time the scammers have to swindle the unsuspecting.

But when his long-deceased father contacts him through his spam folder, his world is turned upside down…

SCAMBAIT has been through a couple of drafts, and its first thirty pages have been read by one of the two critique groups I’m in. A few friends (some of my newsletter’s readers included) have read the entire manuscript, and I’ve received some wonderful feedback on the story thus far! I also recently submitted the project to Pitch Wars, an online mentorship program. We’ll see how things pan out for it this year before I start to query it in early 2021!

The other manuscript I’ve been focusing on is one I’m calling TO HAVE BEEN RICH. The pitch for this one isn’t as tidy as that of SCAMBAIT, but its tagline would be something like:

“Neither of them wants a child, but that won’t stop them from trying.”

This manuscript is, essentially, as fellow author and friend Maggie Derrick recently called it, a millennial’s worst nightmare. It’s the culmination of thoughts on what would become of characters who unabashedly committed themselves to the cultural dogma that has buoyed the prevailing narratives many of my generation have been force-fed since birth. 

Is it angsty? You bet. Is it, in the end, a story about self-discovery, about the triumph of love for oneself and one’s family, no matter the shape it takes? Darn tootin’.

I’m closing in on completing what we’ll call a first draft of TO HAVE BEEN RICH, but it is, after SCAMBAIT, the novel I’ve felt most at home writing. Some new thoughts over the weekend (thanks, Lacey!) also have me embracing a whole new world of possibilities for it, so I’m eagerly looking to finishing this draft and getting into revisions.

That’s what I’ve been up to, anyway.

Do either of these manuscripts sound like they’d appeal to you? If so, which one and why? Share your answer to these questions in the comments below, and don’t forget to tell me what you’ve been working on this year, too!

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