CampNanoWriMo starts April 1st. Those words don’t have to induce a panic attack. At least not one that lasts forever. Today I’m sharing 8 tips to help you prepare and ready to dive in.
1. DECIDE WHAT TO WRITE
The choice maybe difficult depending on what stories you’ve got on the burner. However if you’re struggling, consider choosing the story that’s always percolating in your head, or the story with the characters who won’t shut up.
2. CHOOSE YOUR WORD COUNT
While this option is a must if you’re signed up on the Camp Nano site, you’re not tied to it. You are allowed to write less or more. The option is for tracking your progress: how many words left to write, how many words written daily, which is handy for motivation.
3. CREATE AN OUTLINE
If you’re a panster reading this, don’t close the screen or roll your eyes. I promise the outline I’m suggesting is simple. It consists of listing the main plot points or scenes in your story from start to finish. Don’t know everything that’s going to happen? No worries. Just write down the what you know. Once you have the list, write a brief summary for each scene or plot point.
When building your characters consider two options:
Character profiles: physical descriptions, a bit of back story and a brief description of their goal, motivation, and conflict.
Character ARCs: who they are at the beginning of the story, how the journey impacts them, and how they’ve change by the end of the story.
5. SCHEDULE/SET ASIDE TIME
Writing takes time. Time that won’t magically appear unless you carve it out of your daily life. Setting aside time is crucial if you want to meet your writing goals during CampNanoWriMo. If you have family, let them know so they respect your writing time. Scheduling a set time makes it easy to be held accountable for your writing time and goals.
6. DEVELOP SETTINGS/BUILD YOUR WORLD
Settings are a big part of a story, but the last thing you want is to stop writing during the challenge to create your settings or build your world. Write out brief descriptions of your settings or world using your five senses. I find this method quick and easy and captures great details you can use during the challenge.
7. PREPARE YOUR RESEARCH
Research is a must for your story, and can hold you up for days surfing through the web to find what you need. You can list out items to research while going through the preparations for the challenge and goggle them as you need them or you can finish all your research before the challenge starts.
8. CHOOSE A STARTING POINT
Decide where to start writing your story. It doesn’t matter whether it’s the beginning, middle or the end, the important thing is to know where you’ll start. If you’re not sure, consider starting at a point where the scene speaks to you or one the characters won’t stop talking about.
If you have a blog, the thought of participating in a month long writing challenge might start your eye twitching. But, before you cross CampNano off your list, why not consider:
Writing and scheduling your blog posts before the challenge starts so you won’t be distracted when CampNanoWriMo starts.
Making your blog post topics about CampNano: your goals and progress at the end of each week.
Instead of stressing about blogging or feeling guilty for leaving your followers out in the cold for a month, you’ll connect with your readers by sharing about your CampNanoWriMo experience.
There you have it, my tips for preparing for CampNano. If you’re participating this year and would like to connect with me, leave a comment with your username and I’ll add you to my cabin.
Have you every participated in CampNanoWriMo? What was your experience?