Writing Resources

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Camp Events
Camp Counselors
Non-Novel Resources
Novel Resources

The greatest thing about Camp NaNoWriMo is that you don’t write alone. Whether you’re tackling a first draft or a seventh, a script or a memoir, there are writers who’ve forged similar paths, ready to offer their help.

Check out inspiration, advice, and encouragement from these trailblazing authors as you set out to discover your creativity.

Have questions about using the Camp site? See our FAQs.

 


Events

To see what time an event starts in your time zone, click into the event, then click “copy to my calendar”.

 


Camp Counselors

Each Camp session, we’re joined by published authors who act as “counselors” in your Camp Messages inbox and on our blog.

Your Current Camp Counselor:

Cass MorrisCass Morris works as a writer and educator in central Virginia, and she occasionally moonlights as a bookseller in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. She completed her Master of Letters at Mary Baldwin University in 2010, and she earned her undergraduate degree, a BA in English with a minor in history, from the College of William and Mary in 2007. She reads voraciously, wears corsets voluntarily, and will beat you at MarioKart. Her debut novel, From Unseen Fire: Book One of the Aven Cycle, is a Roman-flavored historical fantasy released by DAW Books.

 

April 2019 Camp Counselors:

Adib KhorramAdib Khorram is the author of Darius the Great Is Not Okay. If he’s not writing (or at his day job as a graphic designer), you can probably find him trying to get his 100-yard Freestyle under a minute, learning to do a Lutz Jump, or steeping a cup of oolong. He lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where people don’t usually talk about themselves in the third person. You can find him on Twitter (@adibkhorram), Instagram (@adibkhorram), or on the web at adibkhorram.com.

 

Alexia Gordon

Alexia Gordon is a Virginia native, a physician by training, and an author by passion. She writes the Gethsemane Brown mysteries, from Henery Press: Murder in G Major (Lefty winner, Agatha nominee, Suspense Magazine Best Of); Death in D MinorKilling in C Sharp; and Fatality in F. Find her on Facebook, Instagram, or visit her website.

 

Lilliam RiveraLilliam Rivera is an award-winning writer and author of the young adult novels Dealing in Dreams and The Education of Margot Sanchez, both from Simon & Schuster and available now in bookstores everywhere. Her work has appeared in Elle, Los Angeles TimesTin House, and The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, to name a few. Lilliam lives in Los Angeles.

 

Cass MorrisCass Morris works as a writer and educator in central Virginia, and she occasionally moonlights as a bookseller in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. She completed her Master of Letters at Mary Baldwin University in 2010, and she earned her undergraduate degree, a BA in English with a minor in history, from the College of William and Mary in 2007. She reads voraciously, wears corsets voluntarily, and will beat you at MarioKart. Her debut novel, From Unseen Fire: Book One of the Aven Cycle, is a Roman-flavored historical fantasy released by DAW Books.

 


Non-Novel Projects

We encourage a huge variety of writing during each Camp session. Here are guides to just a few of the projects our participants have worked on.

Editing: A Resource Guide

Epic Poems: How to Tackle Them

Flash Fiction: Why to Write It

Nonfiction: A Resource Guide

Poetry: Why to Write It

Prewriting: How to Tackle It

Scripts: A Resource Guide

Graphic Novels: Writing Tips

 


Expert Advice

We keep an archive of advice from our Camp Counselors in past years. Click through the questions, or check back for a chance to ask your own!

Planning

How do I decide what to write?

What’s better: planning or pantsing?

How much research should I do? (I)

How much research should I do? (II)

How do I create a unique world?

How do I make sure my plot is compelling?

How do I plan out a trilogy?

Beginnings

What needs to be in a first chapter?

How do I make exposition exciting?

How do I develop my setting?

How do I meld genres?

Characters

How do I create realistic characters?

How do I come up with good character names?

How do I write a convincing villain?

How do I develop supporting characters?

How do I keep each character’s voice fresh?

How do I avoid writing a “Mary Sue” character?

Scenes

How do I find the right words for a scene?

How do I balance dialogue, action, and description?

How do I avoid over-description?

How do I use humor in serious scenes?

How do I write good “issue” scenes?

Structure

How do I deal with transitions?

Should I write scenes sequentially?

How do I use foreshadowing?

How do I keep the middle of the novel from sagging?

Language and Dialogue

How do I write dialogue that drives my plot?

How do I write a character’s inner dialogue?

How do I avoid cheesy dialogue?

How do I “un-blandify” my writing?

How much “technobabble” is too much?

Clichés

How do I avoid clichés?

How do I write a non-cliché love triangle?

How do I avoid…

“Letting out a breath”?

Hate-at-first-sight love stories?

Visiting a character’s childhood home?

“Mirror” character descriptions?

Food-based character descriptions?

Endings

How do I escalate conflict and wrap up toward an ending?

How do I know when my story is finished?

How do I write a satisfying ending?

Revision

How do I start editing my story?

How do I get some distance while editing?

The Writing Life

How do I make myself write?

How do I escape writer’s block?

How do I balance writing and “real life”? (I)

How do I balance writing and “real life”? (II)

How do I stop editing while I write?

Should I let my friends read my work-in-progress?

How do I query an agent?