August 1, 2012

let the camping begin

Camp NaNoWriMo kicks off, today. Are you joining the fun?

For those of you who do not know, Camp NaNoWriMo is a new-ish program sponsored by the same people who bring us National Novel Writing Month every November. The idea is to write a novel, or 50,000 words, in 30 days and join others worldwide in the quest.

Though June was not quite the camp experience I hoped (I completed 20,000 of the 50,000 words), I'm giving the challenge another shot beginning, today.

Only, this time I am doing it as a rebel. No, I am not going to be the kid who throws my cabin mates' underwear up on the flagpole, as fun as it sounds. I am simply going to write 50K words on a project already in progressing.

Having spent the bulk of July revising my two complete manuscripts, my poor June Camp NaNoWriMo project has gone mostly unattended. I planned to add 50,000 more words to the story with hopes of finishing it in September. That will give me more than a month to play with it, before joining the mayhem that is NaNoWriMo in November.

But, I changed my mind, yesterday. I have an opportunity to develop that novel through some upcoming experiences. I'm not going to spill details yet, but I'll update you as soon as it is more official. So, with that in mind, I am putting that project on hold for a few.

Fortunately, I have a history as a love 'em and leave 'em writer. Thanks to that I have four other works in progress started, but left unfinished after 10,000 to 20,000 words. I'm going to work on one of those and see if I can't give one of my old loves the treatment it deserves.

Stay tuned for more details on this project as it develops.

In case you are a last minute plotters, be sure to try any (or all) of these plotting devices I use to prep my stories:
  • Character Sketch: Give your character a name, description and back story. Well-developed characters are important. Readers will follow a story if they care about what happens to the character.
  • Before and After: This is a good resource for developing both your characters and plot. A story is what happens to the characters.
  • The 10-Scene Tool: I first read about this in James V. Smith Jr.'s The Writer's Little Helper and have loved it ever since. 
  • Sell It: Write down what you imagine will appear on the back cover/inside flap of your book. 
  • Working Synopsis: Write a paragraph or three about the main action that will occur in each chapter in your book. 
  • The Ultimate Plotting Kit: Once complete, you will have a mobile novel kit that can go anywhere with you. 
What plotting devices do you use before starting a story?

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