Want to write a book? How one summer at Camp NaNoWriMo can get you there

Want to write a book? How one summer at Camp NaNoWriMo can get you there

Do you have a writing friend you want to go to camp with? Share this post with them! Camp NaNoWriMo – Even Writers Like Camping… When It’s Online! by Casey Rusinowski, SinnersTongue.com Most of you are probably aware of–and probably fans of–National Novel Writing Month (aka – NaNoWriMo). Oh yeah, of course. It’s in November. But did you know the same folks host an additional month of support and writerly fun in July. Camp NaNoWriMo functions as an online camp a la summer camps of old. Think Bill Murray in Meatballs but with more productivity. Before you ship off to Camp, here are the basics Camp runs July 1 through July 31 but cabins will be assigned June 25 (yes, you heard right, they are actually assigning “cabins” to maintain the feel of being at camp!). If you aren’t interested in being assigned to a new group of writers, have no fear, private cabins became available yesterday. So if you already have a ragtag group of ne’er-do-well writers you trust with your work, you can make that happen. The private cabins hold up to 11 people. Camp NaNoWriMo is not just for novelists Another difference between traditional NaNoWriMo and camp is the broader range of writing projects. If you don’t have a novel you are attempting to complete, but still want to enjoy some camaraderie with your fellow writers, there are a few more options: Nonfiction Poetry Revision Script Short Stories Whether you want to write something new, something short, or revise what you’ve already got, there is a place for you at Camp. The sign-up process is free and...
The Chris Baty Interview, pt. 2

The Chris Baty Interview, pt. 2

And now we continue our interview with NaNoWriMo founder Chris Baty with Crossroads Writer Makenna Johnston Makenna: Do you still try to write a novel every November? Chris: I do still write a novel every November! M: NaNoWriMo focuses on the get it done, fast first draft mentality of writing. We’d love to hear your thoughts on the ‘then what?’ and revision process. C: That first NaNoWriMo was such a shock because I discovered that you can write a totally credible novel draft in 30 days. But the subsequent thirteen years I’ve spent revising my NaNoWriMo manuscripts have taught me that getting a novel from promising first draft to finished product is HARD. I absolutely believe that the first draft of a story is best tackled in a deadline-driven frenzy. When you write for quantity rather than quality, you end up getting both. But when it comes to revision, you can’t just wing it. And because editing requires years of mucking around with a not-quite-there story, it’s really easy to lose momentum and give up. There are two tips I’ve found really helpful in keeping a book moving steadily through the rewrite process. 1) Work out your entire story arc before you start on the second draft. I tend to write up a ten-page synopsis of my book and share it with readers. Then I revise the synopsis based on their feedback. You’ll save yourself months of aimless wandering if you make a map before you head into the wilds of your novel. 2) Let your prose be ugly until you reach the third or fourth draft. This is...
The Chris Baty Interview, pt. 1

The Chris Baty Interview, pt. 1

One sunny November 1st in New York City, I started my first attempt at NaNoWriMo, steamy coffee mug in hand. I thought to myself ‘why not write a novel in a month?’. The answer? It wasn’t as easy as I had though. When November 31st rolled around, I hadn’t completed a novel, but I had spent a month writing daily, drank some 100 cups of coffee, and successfully sat in 20 different coffee shops late at night. I’d call it a success. What I did learn, other than that writing a novel in a month is arduous, is that being a writer wasn’t as novel or romantic as I thought it would be (pun intended). And I certainly didn’t need a fedora or a tweed coat to do it. So what sort of guy convinces thousands of people year after year to sit down and write a novel in a month? The inimitable Chris Baty. And guess who’s coming Crossroads this year?! The Chis Baty. The main inspiration and mad man behind NaNoWriMo, I’m not excited, I swear. Ok so maybe I am really excited. I asked a number of our Facebook followers what they wanted me to ask him. I hope I did your bidding appropriately good Crossroad-ers. Without further adieu: Makenna: So Chris, what was the impetus for you to write a novel in one month? Chris: Oh man. Such a good question. I think there were several things afoot that lead to the birth of NaNoWriMo. The most important one was just my life-long obsession with novels. I’m an only child, and books were my siblings...