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

Your Current Camp Counselor:

Good luck with your writing, everyone! Your new Camp Counselors will arrive next April.

July 2018 Camp Counselors:

Claire KannClaire Kann hails from the glorious Bay Area where the weather is regrettably not nearly as temperate as it used to be. Let’s Talk About Love is her debut YA contemporary novel, published in 2018 with Swoon Reads/Macmillan. A sucker for instant gratification, she also posts new stories regularly to Wattpad, including the two Watty Award-winning stories: The Scavenger Hunt and #Fatgirl Magic. To connect with her, please visit her website ClaireKann.com.

 

Gloria ChaoGloria Chao is an MIT grad turned dentist turned writer. She currently lives in Chicago with her ever-supportive husband, for whom she became a nine-hole golfer (sometimes seven). She was once a black belt in kung-fu and a competitive dancer, but that side of her was drilled and suctioned out. American Panda is her debut novel, and Misaligned is forthcoming fall 2019. Visit her tea-and-book-filled world at gloriachao.wordpress.com and find her on Twitter and Instagram @gloriacchao.

 

Kirstin ChenKirstin Chen’s new novel, Bury What We Cannot Take, has been named a Most Anticipated Upcoming Book by Electric Literature, The Millions, The Rumpus, Harper’s Bazaar, and InStyle, among others. She is also the author of Soy Sauce for Beginners. She was the fall 2017 NTU-NAC National Writer in Residence in Singapore, and has received awards from the Steinbeck Fellows Program, Sewanee, Hedgebrook, and the Napa Valley Writers’ Conference. Born and raised in Singapore, she currently resides in San Francisco. Visit her at kirstinchen.com

 

Jessica StrawserJessica Strawser is editor-at-large at Writer’s Digest, where she was editorial director for nearly a decade. She’s the author of the book club favorites Almost Missed You and Not That I Could Tell, a Book of the Month selection and Barnes & Noble Best New Fiction pick for March 2018 (both St. Martin’s Press). Her third novel, Forget You Know Me, is forthcoming in February 2019. She has written for The New York Times Modern Love, Publishers Weekly and others, and is a popular conference speaker. Connect with her on Twitter at @jessicastrawser and on Facebook @jessicastrawserauthor.

 


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?