Preparing for Camp NaNo



Hey guys. This year will be my third year of participating in Camp NaNo. Below are some tips that help me prepare to write during these events. If this is your first time or you just want to better prepare yourself, I hope that some of my tips will help you to become better organized and motivated for the event–as well as for  your new book!

#1: Decide which month(s) you want to participate in.

If you’re just starting out, I recommend only going with one month. You can always try for both the next year once you have the hang of it. I especially recommend this if you’re also aiming to do NaNoWriMo in November as well.

The year I attempted both months (which had a month free in between) was the year that I got so burned out that it was difficult to write after Camp NaNo had ended. Since then, I have decided to only go with one round because I always do NaNoWriMo in the fall each year as well.

But if you think you can handle both months, go for it. Though at this point, there’s only one. But if you want to go for two next year, have at it.  🙂


#2: If you like to be prepared, have an idea of what you want to write before the event.

For me, it’s easier to have an idea of what I want to write before the event starts. It helps with my motivation once Camp NaNo officially begins.

If you’re better at writing whatever comes to mind without any kind of planning, you might do better just doing the opposite.


#3: If you like to be prepared/organized, have your outlines and notes completed before the event starts.

Keeping an overall outline helps me stay on track. It doesn’t mean that everything I have written down will make it to the book or that new stuff won’t find its way in. I just find having an outline to be comforting. Maybe you’ll feel the same.


#4: Design (or have someone else design) a mock cover for your book.

Maybe it’s because I’m also an artist, but I find myself having much more motivation for writing when I have a book cover to go along with it. It makes the story feel more real.

Mock Book Cover for The Birthday Bash
Mock Book Cover for The Birthday Bash


#5: Create a Pinterest board or have a folder containing images that inspire you regarding your story.

This could include a casting call, illustrations of your characters, items that your characters may own or find, scenes from your book, pictures of settings, and more. If you’re more of a visual person, this may also help you as you write (describing, etc). When I wrote Faith, Love, & Peace, I found it very helpful to save pictures of prom dresses that the girls in my book were wearing. It made it easier to keep up with who was wearing what and also in describing.


#6: Create a music playlist for your book.

Some big name published authors do this, such as Stephanie Meyer and Gayle Forman. I was skeptical when I made my first playlist, but they have really helped me get in the mood to write. It’s like having your own personal soundtrack. I’ve made several for my stories–I may even share my playlist for The Birthday Bash. But only if you’re nice. 😉 I find that listening to the playlist right before writing to be beneficial to finding and keeping the motivation to write. You can make a playlist in most music players such as iTunes or Windows Media Player or on sites like Spotify. I like using Spotify because some of the tracks that go well with my books are hard to find elsewhere.

Warning: Making playlists for your stories can be addictive!


Now I’m ready for Camp NaNo. What about you? What helps you to prepare and become motivated for Camp NaNo?






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