Wow, sorry about ALL THE BLOG POSTS today – I would have spread out the reviews, but I copied the wrong link and then sent it in and theeeen had to post it today. SIGH. Planning is not my forte. IN ANY EVENT. Each week, I send out an inspirational email to anyone who’d like one, encouraging us to write and finding new and interesting ways to get our writing out there. This week’s was perfectly fitting for the blog, and I want to attack this with both feet first, so I’m letting you all see a sample of the newsletter. Enjoy!
I’m really one to talk nowadays, sending out this email every week and telling you all to write, and having enough of a trouble with it myself. Honestly, you’d think better of me, somewhere along the line. But I have been writing, and I have some projects that I’m polishing up for hopeful publication, and it’s been a good time of it. So! I think that this week, I’ll talk about one of the events I am most excited about–and now that I have a little more free time on my hands, something I’m thinking about doing this time around.
Some of you are familiar with NaNoWriMov, or the National Novel Writing Month. Every November, authors from all around the world get together, online or in person, to try and write 50,000 words in the 30 days of the month. (This works out to roughly 1667 words a day, for those of you wondering.) Yes, this can be a daunting challenge, and yes, it’s difficult. But it’s a wonderful push for people struggling to write their first novel…and for those of us who have completed it before, we can take on extra challenges. For example, this most recent November, I pushed myself to write 50k on two different projects, making my total 100k–and managed to do it! It was a great project for me, and I had a lot of fun. 2013 was my eighth year attempting the challenge, my sixth year winning, and the second year I served as a Municipal Liaison (or ML) for the New York::Elsewhere region, which caters to the parts of New York who don’t have a nearby big city to join up with.
In April, the Office of Letters and Light (the group in charge of NaNo) is doing their event they call Camp NaNoWriMo. Camp takes place twice a year (last year it was April and July, and will probably be the same this year) and is a “lite” version of the November challenge. Participants can choose their word goal, so it doesn’t have to be 50,000 words, and are each assigned a “cabin” of other writers, who can help push you toward success the way the regions can in November. It lacks a bit in the social aspect, in that it is a smaller group and thus has less overall community support, but for people who are busy or aren’t quite sure they’re ready to jump into the several thousand word-deep mire of November, it’s a great place to get started.
I’m planning on trying to do Camp this year, and in many ways will be working on the same two projects that I was poking at in November. I have a novel draft to finish, and a serial to keep working on, and I’ve found it very hard to concentrate on either of them since November. (Shame on me, I know.) I’ll be chatting about my progress here in the emails, so if you’d like to try it yourself, feel free to tag along! I write these emails a great deal like I do my regional messages during November, so it can be just like you’re an extended part of the Elsewhere group! (That being said, in November I did all of my messages themed after Welcome to Night Vale and I don’t think I can keep that up in April, but…)
Interested in the idea? Trying to figure out what you could write about? Here’s your weekly writing prompt, and also much of how my most recent novel project started!
Take a character guide, like this one–which is rather robust, I’ll warn you!–or any of the ones you can find online under a search for “character creation chart”, and make a character. Don’t spend too much time working on details; just get the basics and worry about kinks later. Then take the city you live in, or a city you are familiar with, and drop them into the middle of it. Have them figure out how to deal with it (especially if you’ve made a character who normally wouldn’t be in your city!), walk around, interact with people…just see what you can do. Sometimes, you could be surprised at what you learn!
I have fond memories of my main character starting in much that exact way. Ah, first drafts…
Excited? Good. I’ll see you next week.
Interested in getting this newsletter? Just shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll add you to the list! It’s sent out every Wednesday, schedule and the Fates permitting. Please specify if you’d like to get a copy of the previous 6 emails.