Tag Archives: writing tips

Camp NaNoWriMo v NaNoWriMo: What’s the Difference?

Hey everybody! Every year there’s two different sessions of Camp NaNoWriMo. The second session is coming, which is in July.

But wait, I’ve gotten ahead of myself. I haven’t talked to you about what these things are.

NaNoWriMo is a National Novel Writing Month that occurs every November. People all over the world try to write a novel for at least 50k words in one month. The excitement each year is almost palatable. You’ll see all kinds of think pieces on blogs, videos about it, and so much more. You’ll find sprints on Twitter and NaNoWriMo Facebook groups are all of the sudden on fire, there are so many people posting and chatting it up. On the NaNoWriMo site you can create a profile, measure your progess, talk on message boards, and chat with friends who you’ve added, who are on this crazy ride.

 

 

With Camp NaNoWriMo, the atmosphere is absolutely different. The buzz is more of a murmur like the crickets at the end of a summer’s night. You don’t have a friend’s list in Camp NaNo, which I think is an unfortunate oversight. But, instead of friends list, you can join a cabin. You can get put into a randomly, join a friend’s cabin, or create a cabin and invite people yourself. (See how the whole camp thing comes to play?). In order to join a cabin, you first need to create a project. You have to choose a project type (novel, short story, script, etc…) and then your goal which measured in either words, hours, minutes, lines, and pages.  With the added bonus of being able to encourage your cabin mates, the Camp option  is a really flexible alternative.

Some writers find the flexibility helps them along and others like the madcap mayhem of a 50k word month. I like them both for different reasons. I use the Camps to finish projects and NaNo is to start something new and really dig into it for a month. I am trying to establish a daily writing routine and doing the NaNo events definitely helps.

Check out my NaNoWriMo and Camp NaNoWriMo playlists. Let me know in the comments below, do you prefer one NaNo over another? And I’ll see you next Monday!

Aloha y’all

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A New Novel Approach

How are you doing? What have you been up to this month? I’ve been working on a novel and I feel like I’ve established how I’ll be writing novels, or at least the next few, when I’m free falling without an outline.

This month for Camp NaNoWriMo, I’m working on a new novel. Camp NaNoWriMo is a challenge that happens in April and July. You set your own goals, whether it’s page number, word count, or hours written. And you can work on whatever project you want. It’s the much more laid back version of NaNo. And since I could make any goal I wanted, I decided to see if I could push it to 70k.

Seventy. Thousand. Words.

In one month.

I am often a very optimistic lady. And I like to stretch myself with my goals. I like to make things challenging. I like to try hard to get there. If I don’t make it, I’ll end up with a nice clutch of words regardless. That’s how I’ve looked at this challenge.

I wanted to write two novellas in April. One for Blood Roses and the other was going to be an erotica based off of the short story I started on here, but didn’t finish Just One Night. Two stories that I had good ideas for that would be relatively “easy” to write, which is why I decided to just discovery write them.

Meanwhile, the story decided to morph and shift into something that I didn’t even know was brewing up there! It’s a fun one. I’m having such a good time writing it. I’m tapping into ideas that I haven’t explored before, but that I’ve been interested in. I can’t wait to see how it ends.

That’s not to say that I’m giving up on Blood Roses and Honeysuckles or the the cozy mystery. Not at all. The plan now is to publish the three of them by the end of the year.

So keep on a lookout for those updates.

Like I said, this month, I’ve been working on the new story, which has shaped into more of a thriller than a cozy. I’m totally discovery writing it. I wanted to have freedom for it to go any way possible and to see what would happen. I didn’t want to be hindered by any expectations for the story.

What I typically do, when I’m writing a story this way, I’ll start the story and do a lot of word sprints. I’m writing down the first ideas that I have, learning my MC as I go along.

After I write a few chapters, generally speaking, my brain will start to throw scenes that are out of order. Ideas that do not fit yet, but are intriguing. I write them all down. I use Scrivener, so I can move the ideas around. I have a file that I’ve called “Spare Scenes.” That’s the catch-all shop where I put all of those spare ideas.

As I’m writings, I often have questions that I need to answer so that the story will make more sense. Those questions, I type in the document and make them red and increase their font. At some point, I take all of those ideas and add them to a different file. I labeled that: RED Questions. I paste them into the file and then I add which chapter I pulled it from so that I can go back to look at the context. With these questions, I’m able to figure out what I need to research, what isn’t work, what I need to build up in the beginning so I can give my readers a good path to follow.

After I’d written about 15k words, I moved things around so that I could

Then I’ve been having chatting sessions with my Mathmagician. I told him the story because telling the story out loud helped me to hear what I missing. It also helped me to know what I really enjoyed. And this book discusses cryptocurrency, so I talked to him about that aspect and what I need to research. It’s really helpful to know what I don’t know.  Does that make sense?

Like I said, this month, I’ve spent a lot of time doing writing sprints. I’ve also been hosting them on my channel where I’ve co-hostd with a friend. The last one will be this Thursday 4/26  at 7 p.m. EDT on my channel. Below are the videos that I’ve already hosted. You can retroactively write with us.

With Amber Craft:

With Alina Popescu:

With Clare Kauter: 

This first week of Camp NaNo went by like a flash for me. I started off with a bang, but then health-related issues popped up and I wasn’t able to write as much and be as productive as I wanted to be. I had to remind myself that I can’t measure my progress and my health by other people’s standards.

This was my latest vlog for Week 2. I talk about my writing process, I ask you a few questions, and I added some fun edits that do include flashing lights. If you’re sensitive to that, you may want to skip the library section of the video.

 

If you’re interested in checking out my writing products, go to my Amazon page where I show you my writing stuff. It’s an affiliate link, which means I’ll earn a couple of pennies if you purchase something with no added cost to you.

Thanks so much for spending some time with me. I’ll be posting more often, now that I’ve moved my blog and I can actually access it.

 

Are you doing Camp NaNoWriMo this month? Or are you working on something? Let me know in the comments.

 

Aloha y’all!

 

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Giant AuthorTube Collaboration

Hey everyone!

I’ve been doing the most, as per usual. New freelance positions, getting further along on the Blood Roses and Honeysuckles edits, meeting new writers, and of course, flying out here to West Virginia! It’s that time of year when we travel (for far too long) to the mainland and remind our family and friends that we exist. I like to think they enjoy the experience as much as we do.

In addition to that, of course, #writestuff is still a thing. Join us every Tuesday at 9 p.m. EDT on the Twitterverse. You can follow me @penpaperpad. We chat about different aspects of writing. It’s nice to take a break, commiserate with each other, and learn. It’s all part of growth and you get to hangout with cool writers.

Speaking of cool writers…

Another project I’ve gotten involved in is AuthorTube. This is a fairly new writing community on YouTube. We’re a bunch of writers who make videos about writing, our projects, books, and other related. I don’t know how often you’ve tried to find writers on YouTube, but it’s pretty difficult. #authortube and #writetube are two keywords to try to find them, just fyi.

Each of us is hosting a question on our channels and some of us answered that question. My question is- What is the hardest part of the writing process. I had a lot of fun answering the question and editing together this video. Do check it out and subscribe if you haven’t already. Let me know in the comments- What do you think is the hardest part about writing?

Aloha y’all! 

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