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Camp NaNoWriMo Prep (Mine and Tips for Yours)

I’m up early enough today that I beat the cat up. She’s not ready for breakfast yet. Which gives me a few minutes to ramble here about Nano prep when I should be starting my novel. I have a vampyric MC this time around and I’m excited. Teenage Maggie would be head over heels to know I’m writing vampire romance at all now. I guess somethings never change.

Except they do. I’d sworn off Camp Nano after the last time. I really did. It was a good experience and I wrote a great novel that went on to do well, but it was sooo stressful. Why was it stressful? Because talking about writing and writing a novel at the same time is stressful. I haven’t forgotten this, but my life is different now. (How could it not be with the pandemic, right?) Also, that was like 3 years ago I think. Maybe 2 years ago. I’m not even sure anymore. What I’m getting at is I think I learned some better time/word management since then. At least, I hope so. We’ll find out in the middle of April if I’m banging my head on the wall or not.

So… What am I doing to prep for Camp NaNo?

Honestly, I’m lucky with this one. I already know what I need/want/am going to write. It’s the next book in my Love by Glitter Bomb Series. It’ll be book 7 in the series. I know who my MCs are. I know one of them quite well. He’s a dragon shifter. The other is the newcomer to the series. So, to help myself get set up I think I’m going to blog through the steps.

1. What’s Standing in My Way of Writing?

I ask this question every time I set down to start a novel. What’s going to get in my way. Your list will probably be different than mine, but here’s a look at what a list might look like. Be sure to be honest with yourself. You can plan around obstacles if you don’t admit to them.

  • April is storm weather in Appalachia sometimes. (If you’re a longtime reader you know my storm anxiety isn’t going anywhere.) Tonight we’re in for another bad storm after having one at the end of last week too.
  • Part time work. (Covid economy sucks, but you gotta do what ya gotta do.)
  • I’ll need to get the publishing stuff ready for Dead Mates Society (The short story that is Love by Glitter Bomb 6.5)
  • I’ll need to get the next box set up for pre-order/publishing.
  • There is one question that is important to the plot that I don’t know the answer to right now.
  • I plan to put out a lot more blogs than usual.
  • As the weather warms up I’ll have to tell people to buzz off. People will want to hang out and I probably won’t want to hang out. For me, since I’m not eligible to be vaccination in my state the pandemic is the best excuse I have.
  • Normal CPTSD crap.
  • I’m participating in 2 book club reads and a buddy read next month.
  • I’m eating healthy again and I swear sometimes meal prepping feels like it takes up more time than it saves.
  • Existential dread has been my middle name for the last month or two. This isn’t healthy for writing.

Now, your list will probably include things mine doesn’t touch on and that’s okay. Just be honest with yourself and plan around these things. This week leading up to camp I plan to share some tips on how to manage that.

2. Gather Supplies

Since writing is for the most part my full time job. I don’t have many supplies I need to go out and get. At this point outside of my planners I mostly do everything virtually. But figuring out what you need before April gets here will save you so much time that you can in turn use for writing.

3. Are You a Pantser or Plotter or Some Combination of?

I’m a combo. I usually know my ending, my beginning, and have a vague idea (not written down) of what will happen. Then I usually write until my characters and the plot are a bit fleshed out and then I’ll plot the rest of the way. If you’re a hardcore plotter you might want to do this part before April.

4. Don’t Fall into the Trap of Trying to Write the Same Amount Every Day

Okay, so, yeah, I know that camp is for finishing projects or doing your own thing, but even if you’re writing the tale end of a novel, I think this will help you out. Don’t plan on writing the same amount every day. Don’t plan on writing every day. I know – some of you are making the scream face right now and that’s okay. Just hear me out, alright? Thanks!

Some days are busier than others and unless you’re writing full time it’s not always possible to squeeze in a full length writing session. Plot your hopeful word counts ahead of time, but leave wiggle room. Maybe only aim for 500 on busy days or less if 500 words seem like a lot to you. I use Pace Maker (Thanks Karsyn for telling me about it forever ago if you’re reading this!) It’s free and it has a lot of features that you can adjust to help you plot out how many words you need to write on any given day.

Be nice to yourself. You’ll get there, but not all in one day.

5. READ!

I know this is some of the most common advice given to aspiring writers – but it’s so important. By reading you learn so many little things and how they work together. You get a feel for what makes a book a book. I know a lot of people who write are avid readers, but I have a friend working on the second draft of a novel who isn’t really a reader. It happens, but believe me your writing life will be easier if you read.

What are you doing to get ready for Camp NaNo?

Writing/Reading Info:

WIP: Love by Glitter Bomb Book 7.

What’s with the editor: Dead Mates Society (Love by Glitter Bomb Book 6.5)

What am I reading: Nothing by Annie Barrows and A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towels.

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