Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Preparing For Camp NaNoWriMo #1: What To Write?

Welcome to the start of what will probably be a 3 part series of Camp NaNoWriMo related posts!

First, I know you're dying to know, am I doing Camp NaNoWriMo in April? But, I mean really, if you've been here for any length of time you more than likely would just assume that I am...because I always do. Literally, since I discovered it back in July 2014 I haven't missed a session! Making this my 4th Camp experincae and my 7th NaNoWriMo all together which I find very exciting!

Participant 2016 - Web Banner

For newbies:
What is Camp NaNoWriMo?
NaNoWriMo stands for: National Novel Writing Month and takes place every November wherein a ton of writers attempt to write a novel (50,000 words) in just one month. Camp happens in both April and July every year and differs in that you can customize your word count goal, you can write a first draft or rewrite or edit or whatever, and you can choose to be put in a cabin with 11 other writers to have lots of virtual fun around bonfires.

Now that that's out of the way, we're starting this series of posts with a very important question, one I often find hard to answer.

So you've decided to do it, try your hand at camp NaNo, you have your marshmallows packed, you've met up with a group of awesome cabinmates...but what are you going to write???

The reason this is a hard question for me is I have so many ideas. Some half formed, some outlined, the barest thread to build a story on or one I've had in mind for literally years. And it's an important question, you're going to try to write a whole novel in one month, you don't want to pick something you aren't completely invested in and give up halfway through the month. On top of that, I, personally, am a chronic overthinker.


Literally me.

Therefore I have invented a checklist for you in case, like me, you are horrible at making decisions.

A few things your Camp novel (or screenplay or fanfic or ect.) should come with:

-  excitement. You should be brimming with excitement for this project. Don't pick something you're only halfway invested in, I did that for my very first NaNoWriMo and I haven't touched that book since.

Okay and that's about it.

So, now comes the part where you have a million projects you are super excited about. Do you write them all? How do you pick just one?

In my humble opinion, and just in my experience, I don't recommend working on more than one project, it's distracting and can just mix your head up so much. BUT you could plan to write one 10k novella and one 40k Middle-Grade novel or something like that.

Now to choose between projects, I suggest making pro/con lists. Take a blank piece of paper for each novel you want to work on and list out the pros and cons. What about this project makes you excited for it? What are you excited to work on? What makes this novel something you could potentially run into trouble with? Maybe there's a giant plot hole that you don't how to fix and you could run straight into it while writing. Maybe you don't have as good a grasp on the characters in this novel as you do in that other one.

As a massive plotter the details are what help me decide, so, do I know this world? Do I know these characters? Am I going to lose the plot halfway through the book and just wander around aimlessly?

Then as you jot down random ideas you should (hopefully) find yourself gravitating towards one and BAM! You have your project.

In the end, I really just recommend working on something you're excited about, that you'll have fun writing. And if none of this helps then play eenie meenie minie mo, or have your brother pick for you (I've done both these things before).

NOW. The reveal... What am I going to write for Camp???

Well I've mentioned a few times before that the first book I ever wrote (oh my god was that really almost 4 years ago???????????) is a novel currently called DRAGON HEIR. I wrote it, I edited it, I queried it waaaaay before it was ready and then I set it aside to work on in the future... Last year, I started completely rewriting it as I know so much more about...everything now. But again I put it aside to edit my big project.

HOWEVER the time has finally come to rewrite it. I'm basically scrapping the whole old novel, keeping only the basics, which I'm going to write and then spend agonizing months editing and revising and torturing myself (don't worry, this won't come until later this year as the new first draft will have to sit for a few months).

Anyway. It's part of a series that I am outlining right now because I never outlined the whole world and series and I know this will help with actually writing it again. It's so much fun already, getting back into this world I've had in my head literally since I was 13 years old...7 years...How's it been 7 YEARS???

What can I tell you about this novel? Not a lot because it's my precious and must be guarded. BUT, it's upper middle grade (which is my home field, it's where I started). Fantasy (YES! Finally getting back into fantasy which I haven't written in over a year). There are DRAGONS, so many dragons, in fact the most important thing about the book is dragons. There are tons of other magical creatures, including a faerie named Apricot who wants to save the world. Centaurs who are very vicious and smart. Fae who are pretty evil. And, of course, Dragon Heirs. It takes place on a magical world and there's sword fighting and magical powers and so many things.

Stay tuned for part 2 of this series to find out how I outline these days!

So my faithful readers and friends, can I convince you to join me in the epic event that is Camp NaNoWriMo??? Who's doing it, who's not, and if you aren't doing it do you have any fun plans for next month??? Who's gone to real camp? I never went to a real camp but virtual is so much better you can literally go to camp from your BED.


  1. I did Camp NaNoWriMo in November and it was so brutal. I mean, it was good because it motivated me to actually write. But I think I learned that I may not be cut out as a writer. Good luck to you on this year's NaNoWriMo!

    1. Aw, I'm sorry to hear that Cynthia! April's NaNo is much more relaxed because you can set your own goals. And hey, maybe it's simply that you aren't cut out as a NaNoWriMo-er. It can be intense doing NaNo for the first time, espeically if it's your first novel. Thanks for the luck and if you ever want to discuss writing things I'm here! For more than just trying to convince you to give NaNo another shot, in fact I'm skip right over that. =D

  2. I have started NaNoWriMo a couple of times, but never could fully dedicate my time to it because I was so incredibly busy! That's why I want to do one in the summer (is there a July session? I don't remember if there was). I do really want to write, but sometimes the words don't come to me, or my sentences are awkward because English. Or I just don't have the time to, which is my main concern.

    Have you completed every single NaNo you have participated in? Also, Dragon Heirs sounds really cool! If you ever get published, let me know ;) Because I'm sure you will. (You're my writing role model)

  3. I wish I could do Camp NaNo! April is the month where uni really piles on the work though, so I don't think I can cope with the pressure this month. Your novel sounds really interesting! That's wonderful that you've carried around the world in your mind for 7 years -- you must know a lot about it by now! Good luck, and I look forward to reading your updates on this project :D