How Goes Camp NaNo? 50k + Snippets!

Camp nano header

How goes Camp NaNoWriMo for you? Has it been a good month or a bad one? So far, for me, it’s been a pretty good Camp because on Monday 16th I reached 50k, which was my goal for the month!

So today, I’m going to briefly update you on how my Camp NaNo novel (When Infinity is Empty, which you can read about here) is going!

I started a day late this month, on the 2nd instead of the 1st, because the first was not only a Sunday but Easter Sunday, so it felt a bit wrong. Anyway, that doesn’t seem to have impacted the story a lot. It was so much fun on that Monday just to plunge into this story (which I’ve been planning since New Years Day) and to immerse myself again in the world that I basically solely lived in last November. It’s been amazing to go back and visit Chessy, to expand her world and to deepen the relationships she has with the lucky few who managed to survive the last novel. I’ve also loved introducing the new characters, in particular the Caelans, Dr Alexander Manly and Zac Stoner. And I’m setting everything up for the third book too, which is really exciting 😀 (This third book is going to be epic).

Not that the last book wasn’t epic, or that this one isn’t epic, because both are.

Phantom of the Opera

Let me tell you quickly about my novel. Basically, it’s a retelling of A Tale of Two Cities, it’s told from the first person point of views of Chessy and Justice and it’s about, you know, revolutions and fighting and secret imprisonments and that sort of thing. A few months ago, I did a whole post on it, and though it’s changed a bit since then, that has most of the info you need (read it HERE)

Anyway, I’ve got 50,000 words, so I’m finished Camp, but, like, of course this novel wasn’t going to be wrapped up in 50k. At the start of April, I gave myself a deadline of May 15th to finish the whole novel, so I’m still going to be pecking away at this keyboard until then.

For now though, I’m going on a relaxing camp (like an actual camp) for a few days, and I’ll hopefully I’ll come back ready for anything Chessy tries to throw at me!


And now for the snippets the completely unedited first draft snippets that were written during word wars…hmm…

From the Prologue:

Resurrected. Alexander Manly was alive. And not only alive, but free.

Resurrected. Free.

In his mind’s eye, Jean could see a man, stooped and bent, not with age, but with grief and pain, white-haired, desperate. I’ve come to resurrect you. Jean could hear himself saying to this man. I hope you desire to live again.

I can’t say, the ghostly figure muttered in return. I can’t say.


Quillon shook his head. “Nope. No job, been kicked out of law school. It’s terrible. I have nothing to do with my life except play games with a three year old. I think I’ll die of boredom!”

“Where do you keep him, Caelan?” my father called out to our guide as we followed the twisting passage.

“In the attic, Verde. He’s locked in the attic.” I could no longer see Errol in front of us and his voice echoed eerily in the darkness.

“Locked in the attic?” My father’s voice was high pitched. “Why?”

“He would kill himself otherwise…or kill someone else. He has spent nineteen years behind a locked door and to unlock it now would terrify him.”

I heard a sharp intake of breath behind me. “Is it really that bad, Caelan?”

There was no reply.

“Is he much changed?”

“Changed!” Errol’s voice came out as a shout. He struck the wall, then kicked it. His savage ferocity spoke louder than a direct answer ever could have done. For the first time all day, I felt afraid.

But the dirty witness, who had so far done no witnessing, had been writing on a small scrap of paper, which he had no scrunched up into a ball. He took careful aim and lobbed it at my defence. It caught him right between the eyes and awoke from another doze. He scrabbled a bit while he read it, and then he growled between his teeth.

Both his actions and the actions of the dirty witness had drawn some attention and silence had fallen. I was not interested.

The witness appeared to grow impatient and he suddenly stood up on his seat. “Excuse me, Your Honour.”

The judge thudded his gavel down on the desk. “You are speaking out of turn, sir. You speak in contempt of court!”

“I speak in contempt of everything.” An all encompassing wave of his hand accompanied this statement. He pointed at the barrister, who was still squinting furiously at the square of paper that had been thrown at him. “I believe he has something to say, Your Honour.”

“Sit down,” the judge ordered, glowering at him. “Or I’ll have you thrown out.”


Where we stood now was well beneath ground level and almost completely dark, the only light filtering in from a skylight above our heads and from the electric torch Errol held in his other hand. Here, the Guard pulled the keys from his pocket and advanced to a tiny door in the wall. This place was so old. My time in prison had been one of security codes, hand prints and retina scanners, not keys.

“Words are easy,” Zac muttered, rolling his eyes, then wincing and putting a hand to his head. “I resigned because of Chessy.”

The hair on the back of my neck stood up. “Chessy?”

Zac nodded. “Yes. Because I love her.”

I choked. I didn’t laugh, just as I’d promised, but I did choke. “You love her?” I exclaimed. “Chessy? Even though you hardly know her? And you gave up a position I have wanted for five years, because you fancy yourself in love with a girl you only just met?”

Let me leave you with an awesome piece of art the amazing Skredder at Kingdom Pen did for me. All the credit goes to her (and please don’t steal her hard work!)


Theresa Caelan


Are you doing Camp NaNo? How is your current project (NaNo or not) going? Which was your favourite snippet? What’s your WIP about? 

9 thoughts on “How Goes Camp NaNo? 50k + Snippets!

  1. Congratulations on reaching your goal–the snippets you posted are so cool! The Jane Austen/romance fan in me says my favorite is the one with Zac and Justice talking about Chessy. I’d love to do something like Camp NaNo, but school is kinda crazy right now…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Whoo! Congrats on 50k and winning so quickly! Whew, I wish that I was doing so well this Camp NaNo session! As always, your novel sounds awesome and I loved the snippets! I especially loved the courtroom scene! I’m quite fond of those dynamics and kind of reminded me of some of my characters’ antics in Clemency when they, themselves, were in a courtroom at one point or another! 🙂
    My WIP for Camp is about a girl who’s trapped in the Seattle Underground, trying to grapple with all of the immorality and ultimately trying to escape. It’s easily the most frustrating thing that I’ve ever written but I’m trying to push through the month so that I can get back to Clemency and (finally) get around to a round of editing!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Your WIP sounds great! I’m a huge Tale of Two Cities fan, so I guess I would think that. 😉 Just out of curiosity, is it based in France and England like the original story, or somewhere else?
    As for how Camp NaNo is going for me… haha. It could definitely be better. I’m behind, but I’m still hoping to catch up before the end of the month. We’ll see.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you! I’m having so much fun with it! No, it’s actually set in my futuristic version of Australia, in my semi-fictionalised home town and the island of Tasmania :D.
    I’m sure you’ll do great 😀 And hey, less words is better than no words, isn’t it?
    Thanks for commenting!


  5. Sorry for the late reply 😀 Thanks so much! I really like Justice and Zac’s snippet too. I completely understand about school. Luckily, I’m on school holidays at the moment 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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