For those of you who are part of the online writing community, you will likely already know that Camp NaNoWriMo starts tomorrow!
If you’re not familiar with the concept of NaNoWriMo, to summarise, NaNoWriMo is a term short for National Novel Writing Month and is an online community run event for writers to join and try to write a novel. The main one takes place in November where everyone who joins in aims to write 50k words, but they now host two “camps” over April and July where you can choose your writing goals.
This July, I’m going to be joining in with Camp NaNoWriMo by attempting to write a short story I’ve had brewing in my mind for a while! But before we jump straight into it, there are a few things we need to have figured out.
Do you have a plot outline ready?
Yes! After a lot of mental back and forth, I have a fairly detailed outline plotted out on a Trello board, alongside some details about my characters, and links to some useful resources I might need to refer to when writing.
How much do you plan to write?
I’ll be aiming to finish with around 20,000 words overall, and as I already have just over 3,200 words of it drafted, during Camp NaNo I’ll be aiming to write 16,800 words. That’ll give me a weekly aim of around 4,200 words – hopefully a reasonable aim.
When will you be able to write?
This is an important question to answer, because if I know I won’t have much spare time over the month, I might need to reconsider my writing goal.
I had a look at my month ahead and at the plans I have in my diary already, and I’ve worked out that if I do this, I’ll be able to squeeze in around 70 hours into the month around work and events I have planned.
How can you keep yourself on track during Camp NaNoWriMo?
First of all, join a Camp NaNoWriMo cabin and get talking to everyone, and make sure you prepare as much as you can before it starts!
It’s useful to have a vague plot outline ready, and to make time to write when you have the time to spare. Visit some of my previous posts if you need tips to prepare for Camp NaNoWriMo, tips on staying motivated during Camp NaNoWriMo, or tips to get over the halfway hump.
It might also help to map out a writing schedule, and keep it up-to-date! You can set milestone reminders on your phone, and by reviewing your progress regularly you can adjust these easily milestones if you need to (whether you’re ahead of schedule or behind).
If you find it helpful to talk through your thoughts, you can write a diary, or even dedicate a blog for checking in your progress. And don’t forget, you can always chat to your cabin mates in the cabin forum to help get everyone else motivated too.
How are you preparing for Camp NaNoWriMo?