Writing Resources

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Camp Events
Camp Counselors
Non-Novel Resources
Novel Resources

The great 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. This April, they’ll be dispensing words of wisdom, advice, and encouragement to all our NaNo Campers:

Your Current Camp Counselor:

Check back in July for more information about your new Camp Counselors!

 

April 2017 Camp Counselors

Heidi HeiligHeidi Heilig is the author of the YA historical fantasy The Girl From Everywhere and the sequel, The Ship Beyond Time. She holds an MFA from NYU’s Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program. She is bipolar, biracial, and pansexual, and enjoys surprise twist endings.

In partnership with We Need Diverse Books.

 

Karuna RaiziKaruna Riazi is a born and raised New Yorker, with a loving, large extended family and the rather trying experience of being the eldest sibling in her particular clan. Besides being an overworked undergraduate senior in the English department at Hofstra University, she is an online diversity advocate, blogger, and publishing intern. The Gauntlet (S&S/Salaam Reads, March 28, 2017) is her MG debut.

In partnership with We Need Diverse Books.

 

Kami GarciaKami Garcia is the #1 New York Times bestselling co-author of the Beautiful Creatures and Dangerous Creatures novels. Kami’s solo novels include Unbreakable and Unmarked (The Legion Series), The X-Files Origins: Agent of Chaos, and The Lovely Reckless. Kami is a cofounder of YALLFEST and a member of the NaNoWriMo Writer’s Board. She was a teacher for seventeen years before coauthoring her first novel on a dare from her students. (Author photo credit: Vania Stoyanova)

In partnership with We Need Diverse Books.

 


Preeti ChhibberPreeti Chhibber works as a book-slinger for Scholastic Reading Clubs. She has words on BookRiot, BookRiot Comics, and The Mary Sue, among others. You can find her co-hosting the podcast DESI GEEK GIRLS and hosting RIVERDALE: #HotArchie Edition. She usually spends her time reading a ridiculous amount of Young Adult (for work, she swears!), but is also ready to jump into most fandoms at a moment’s notice.

In partnership with We Need Diverse Books.

 

Danielle PaigeDanielle Paige is the New York Times bestselling author of the Dorothy Must Die series, and the upcoming Stealing Snow series. In addition to writing young adult books, she works in the television industry, where she’s received a Writers Guild of America Award and was nominated for several Daytime Emmys. She is a graduate of Columbia University and currently lives in New York City.

 


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

 

See our word-count guidelines for non-novel projects.

 


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 user 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?