Camp NaNoWriMo – What It Is, Why You Should Do It, and What I’m Doing

Camp NaNoWriMo - What It Is, Why You Should Do It, and What I'm Doing -

If you’ve been following my blog for awhile, you’ll know that I love NaNoWriMo. It’s one of my favorite events, and I look forward to it every year.

If you don’t know what NaNoWriMo is, here’s an explanation:

NaNoWriMo, which stands for National Novel Writing Month, takes place every year during November. Participants of NaNoWriMo attempt to write a 50,000 word novel in just 30 days.

Of course there are always NaNo rebels, who write things other than novels or who choose a different word goal.

What is Camp NaNoWriMo?

Camp NaNoWriMo is a less strict version of NaNoWriMo. While NaNo rebels are common, and encouraged, Camp NaNo allows for complete freedom.

For your Camp project, you can choose to write anything, including, but not limited to:

  • Short Stories
  • Poems
  • Scripts
  • Novels

You can also choose different kinds of end goals, like words, hours, minutes, lines, and pages, as well as the how many of that unit. For example, you could choose an end goal of 30,000 words, or of 60 hours, or 200 pages. It is completely up to you.

The beauty of Camp NaNoWriMo is that it allows for freedom of goals and writing.

Another great part of Camp NaNoWriMo are the cabins that you can join. Cabins hold 20 writers, and offer a private chat place for you and your cabin mates.

You can create a private cabin and send invites to specific people, you can be invited to cabins, you can be sorted into a cabin with similar writers, or you can be sorted into a completely random cabin! The choice is up to you.

Why You Should Do It

Here are the reasons why you should do Camp NaNoWriMo:

  • It gives you complete freedom to work on any kind of writing project
  • It gives you an awesome way to keep track of your progress
  • It has cabins that allow you to meet and interact with other writers

If you’re interested in Camp NaNoWriMo, you can participate 2 times each year. The event runs every April and July. That means that with both Camp NaNoWriMo and NaNoWriMo you have a grand total of 3 different, month-long writing events that you can participate in each year!

If you’re interested in signing up, you can do so at the Camp NaNoWriMo website.

What Will I Be Doing for Camp NaNoWriMo?

For Camp NaNoWriMo I have big plans. I’m going to be doing a rewrite of the novel I wrote for NaNoWriMo 2017.

Except, instead of 50,000 words, I’m going to be aiming for 80,000 words.

When I reached the end of my story during NaNoWriMo, I realized that the story itself wasn’t actually finished, and that it would need a sequel. I also learned that the ideal word count range for a YA fantasy novel is around 80k words, and other YA novels around 50k to 70k words.

Since my novel is a YA urban fantasy story, I figured that I should combine my original story idea and my sequel idea into one story, and aim for 80,000 words total.

Besides the larger word count goal and the added plot, I am also going into Camp NaNoWriMo differently than I did NaNoWriMo.

Last year, I was planning on writing the first half of the first book of an epic fantasy trilogy for NaNoWriMo.

The problem was that I had too much going on to be able to do that successfully. I had only been blogging for a couple of months at that point and so I didn’t have any kind of buffer, and I was nowhere near my planning goal for that trilogy.

For the month of October I was trying to plan out an epic fantasy trilogy, publish blog posts twice a week, and write up extra blog posts so that I wouldn’t have to worry about that during November.

And I failed. I had no extra blog posts, I wasn’t finished planning out even the overarching story-line of that trilogy and NaNoWriMo was approaching rapidly.

About a week before the first day of November, I was watching some videos on NaNoWriMo and writing on Youtube, and one of the recommended videos had the word ‘Milkshake’ in the title.

I never ended up clicking on that video though, as I started thinking about milkshakes, and how cool it would be to write a story that has a theme of milkshakes.

But then I remembered how I liked to write things that match my mood and surroundings better. I live in Canada so it gets very cold very quickly during the late fall.

Milkshakes are more of a summer thing, so I thought about other beverages that are good for fall and winter. My mind landed on hot chocolate.

What does hot chocolate have to do with urban fantasy?

Nothing. Unless you had spent a week outlining a fluffy romance story taking place in a cafe, and then after the first day of writing decided to turn the cafe into a place where witches hang out.

After the whole witch thing, I decided to remove the love story and throw in demons and reapers in its place.

Since at that point I was completely making up the story as I went along (something I’ve never done before while writing a novel) my plot became a huge mess.

During Camp NaNoWriMo of April 2018, I plan on fixing up that mess as best as I can, and I may also add in a romantic subplot, to keep a thread of my original idea going.

For more than a month now, I’ve been working on planning out my novel, down to the scenes. I’ve also started up a blog post buffer, so that I can focus just on my novel during April.

As for that fantasy trilogy I had started planning last year? Maybe I’ll revisit that idea in a few years, but for now I’m focusing on YA urban fantasy. Besides my witch novel, I’m also going to start rewriting a different YA urban fantasy novel that I wrote a couple years ago, maybe in July.

If you enjoyed this blog post, or found it interesting, please consider leaving a like or a comment.

I blog on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, so check back soon for new posts.

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