Writing Resources

On this page

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. Our Camp Counselors for April have hung up their whistles, but stay tuned to find out who our July Counselors will be!

Your Current Camp Counselor:

Our Camp Counselors will start their sessions in July!

July 2019 Camp Counselors:

Kat YehKat Yeh is the award-winning author of middle grade novels, The Way to Bea and The Truth About Twinkie Pie (an NPR Best Book of 2015 written during NaNoWriMo!) from Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, and picture book, The Friend Ship, from Disney-Hyperion—as well as others. Kat currently lives with her family in Philadelphia, PA. Learn more at katyeh.com

P.S. You pronounce her last name YAY!

 

Kat Zhang

Kat Zhang is an author of books for teens and children. Her Young Adult trilogy, The Hybrid Chronicles, is published with HarperCollins, and she has two Middle Grades, The Emperor’s Riddle and The Memory of Forgotten Things, as well as two picture books, Amy Wu and the Perfect Bao and sequel Amy Wu and the Patchwork Dragon with Simon & Schuster. She wrote her first novel for NaNoWriMo a great many years ago!

 

Yangsze ChooYangsze Choo is a NYTimes bestselling novelist and a fourth generation Malaysian of Chinese descent. After graduating from Harvard University, she worked in various corporate jobs and had a briefcase before writing her first novel, The Ghost Bride, which is currently in production as a Netflix Original series. Her second novel, The Night Tiger(February 2019 Flatiron Books and Quercus UK) was Reese Witherspoon x Hello Sunshine’s Book Club Pick for April 2019, as well as Amazon’s Spotlight Pick for Best Book of the Month, February 2019.

 


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?