Why bother with a novel writing month in the summer?
I know, I know, Nanowrimo is approaching and you have a lot of other things to do. Camp Nanowrimo is not on your radar but maybe it should be. There are a number of ways it can be useful. It’s a great time to plan and prepare for the big push in November. No, it’s never too late to start. Even one week’s attendance is helpful.
Instead of writing the actual novel, you can gather all the information, resources, and tools you need and chronicle your daily activities in a project journal. Or you can focus on a new form and try your hand at a bit of memoir or short story writing as a way to prime the pump.
Try the Camp Nanowrimo cabin feature
Now’s the time to rally the troops and get a little Nanowrimo spirit going. I hadn’t noticed this before but you can now virtually bunk with other campers and pull together your own Team Nanowrimo. You can totally leave it up to the gods and be surprised at who you’re bunkmates are, or you can put in for specific campers and invite new ones.
I’ve emailed a few friends that I know have done Nanowrimo in the past but am not sure they’re in for the August summer camp. We’ll see what happens. Don’t worry, you can use the time as a solo retreat and be by yourself in your cabin, too.
Announce your intentions and add accountability
Often it’s too easy to let the days slip by when the only one holding your feet to the fire is yourself. When you set up your profile, you can add your writing intentions. Since I’m a bit late and a lot vague, today I simply said that the novel was Untitled, the genre undesignated, and the month was August. I haven’t added the wordcount yet and my synopsis simply says:
At the moment I just know I want to write. I’m late getting started so I’m going to think about this for a few hours and then get started. Look for changes as we go along.
Best reason to attend: practice the habit of writing
For me, the best reason to go to writing camp is to exercise my fiction muscles. I’ve lost that connection to fiction that always allowed me to sit down, close my eyes, shift to the left, and let that river of words from my fictional landscape flow. I’m doing okay with the nonfiction these days but fiction remains a problem. The only way to get it back is to practice and practice every day.
For you the best reason may simply be to spend time organizing, planning, thinking and writing about the work. You want to get your head in the game, to mentally prepare. Whatever the reason, why not give it a try? You set your hours, your subject, and your tasks. Whether you write in the morning, plot in the afternoon, or talk to your characters all night long, it’s simply up to you. Whatever you do, I guarantee by the end of August you’ll be closer to your end game.
Check the place out, sign up, and shoot me a note. Just look for “vikk.” See ya!
Books on how to write a novel in a month
Chris Baty, founder of Nanowrimo, has written these two books to help writers who want to write a book in a month. They aren’t necessary but they do provide tips, information, and guidance through the process.
For more information: Summer Camp Nanowrimo
- IMAGE & AFFILIATE CREDITS: Any book covers and titles are affiliate links and sourced via Amazon; Camp Nanowrimo care package photo courtesy Camp Nanowrimo