Thursday, 31 July 2014

Last day of July Camp NaNoWriMo 2014: 31 July 2014

Well I've made it through another camp, and I am a winner again this time. As always, camp has been so much fun, and I caught up with friends, and I've met new people and gained more experience. I can't wait till tomorrow to collect my winners goodies! 
Camp for me is always a rollercoaster ride of excitement, and feeling a bit nervous, but I always manage to achieve my goals. 
I know that different people work in different ways, and what works for one person does necessarily work for another, but here is my list of tips I would give to other people wanting to do NanoWriMo or Camp   NanoWriMo, based on what works for me:

 Create a novel writing timetable. Which days/ times will you write? When will you relax? When will you catch up with friends, or see that new, blockbuster movie that is just out? As the summer sales are on now, I took a few days out to go to them, and found some good bargains (my latest novel from this time at Camp is based partly on my experiences as a self-confessed shopaholic.) 
We all have our 'off' days, if you do not feel like writing one day, or part of a day DONT: forcing yourself to work when you are not in the mood is not the best for coherent writing or productivity. If you feel so tired, or even ill to concentrate, take the time off but go back to your novel as soon as you feel you can to make up for lost time. 
Good research is to read novels in your genre you may have already or buy some, and see the writing style. 
 Plan your novel , and do the research you need to do for it, AT LEAST a month in advance of the event starting. During  my first NaNoWriMo in November 2013, I spent the first 4 days planning my novel, and completed it on the 18th, as I found out quite by chance the event was on. This system made me feel a little rushed at times, but despite that, I met my target, and won. 
When planning in advance, you feel more relaxed when it comes to the actual event, and have a physical plan of how your novel is going to look which you can refer to  when writing. 
Download a novel planning app, such as the My Story app for iPad. This helps you organise your ideas  Create a detailed profile sheet for each character (names, age, nationality appearance  likes, dislikes, pets, friends, personal traits, hobbies etc) so you can really visualise each character. 
Create a flow chart style diagram of your plot outline in SHORT sentences , this is a quick and easy way to see the sequence of ideas and scenes for your story.  This really helped me as a quick reference guide  You can add detail later or whilst writing, but it is good to get the basic ideas down. 
Know which time of day you work best at, and always try to work at the same time of day. For example, I work best in the mornings, and treat the afternoons and evenings as my relaxation time. 
Always have somewhere to keep your novel notes. I use my iPad and a notebook.
If you don't have an account, create one on the website for each event, and update your profile as soon as you can before the event starting, to have it completed well before cabin assignments begin . If you do have a NaNoWriMo  account, use the login details for that.
Some people may find it is easier to keep track of accounts by creating to separate accounts: one for NaNoWriMo,  and one for Camp NanoWriMo .
Write every day, or, failing that, as many times in a week as you can, but keep the days you write as consecutive as possible in order to miss skipping days, as a day mussed is a day's worth of writing you could have done but didn't. 
Prioritise  what you have to do each day during NanoWriMo or Camp NanoWriMo,  and  decide what you can go without doing that will not affect your concentration or progress during the event.  (Chris Baty has a Time Finder technique in his book No Plot No Problem!) 
 Try your best to reach, or go over, your daily word count every day, not only will this give you some focus for the day, it is a real feeling of accomplishment when you reach the daily target.
For those who like reading, read when you aren't writing.
Buy or download some writing advice books or guides.
Follow on Twitter, follow their blog on and subscribe to their YouTube channel. Like other Facebook pages related to writing or camp or Nano.
Start your own writing blog, Facebook page or website, and chart your progress on it. Post regular updates.
Take regular breaks from writing to do something you enjoy not only will you relax, but here is where the inspiration will come.
If you can't think of what to write, stop until you can

 and finally… have fun! I hope to see you at NaNoWtiMo this november, and also at next year's Camp! 

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