Preparing for Camp NaNoWriMo

So it’s almost July again.

And you know what July means! That’s right, it’s Camp NaNoWriMo time. For those of you who don’t know what NaNoWriMo is, it stands for National Novel Writing Month. Clever, right? The proper NaNoWriMo is held in November, where a bunch of crazy writers decide they’re going to write a novel in a month (well, 50,000 words of one). Camp NaNo is the same, except with less participants, and it’s more informal in the amount of words you should write.

Last year I participated in the July Camp NaNoWriMo at the very last minute. It was on the 1st of July that I decided, hey, I was going to write this thing anyway, might as well do it quickly! That’s when I wrote the first draft of The Daisy List – about 60,000 words of awful writing within the space of 31 days. I still haven’t finished the second draft of The Daisy List, but I’m getting there!

A quick rundown of what happens during any NaNo period: 



Day 2. Still excited.

Day 5. Still feeling pretty good.


Day 15. *sobbing* I don’t know what to write anymoooooore….I’ve run out of ideas….I’m a failure…*wails*


Day 25. I don’t even care anymore. I just want to finish this story.


Day 30. Almost…there…



Day 1 of the new month.


But seriously, I have three tips.

1) Don’t edit. Seriously, just don’t. It’s going to be awful, because it’s a first draft. Just smash that keyboard and keep going.

2) Plan something. If you don’t have any idea what you’re going to be writing, it’ll be REALLY hard to get all the way through NaNoWriMo. Even if you’re a pantser, have some idea of where you’re headed.

3) Don’t be too hard on yourself. Even if you don’t get to your goal, realise that life sometimes gets in the way – and besides, you’ve still got more words than you started with!

I’ll be writing Wanderland, my Alice in Wonderland retelling (EEEEK SO EXCITED TO START). I’ve still got to write my scene-by-scene outline, which I will not follow at all, but is always really useful. Plotting a fantasy is so much harder than contemporary, that’s for sure! But it’s coming along well. Do you want to hear some of the setting names? DO YOU? Well, you don’t have a choice. So basically it goes through all the colours.








(lots of Google translate was used. I also enlisted the help of my sister to ask if she could pronounce the names. They changed a lot when I found out most of them were un-pronouncable. What do you think of these ones?)

Are you participating in Camp NaNoWriMo? If you are, good luck! Do you have any tips? Questions? GIFs that express NaNoWriMo perfectly?


30 thoughts on “Preparing for Camp NaNoWriMo

  1. I’ve been an avid fan of NaNoWriMo. Only watching the partaking of the event, but I am considering being an actual participant of the event. But I wish you luck, and I am sure you will do just fine!

  2. I’m participating in Camp NaNoWriMo! I tried to participate in the April Camp, but April is probably the worst month for me to do anything but worry about school and finals so I only wrote about 30,000 words. I think you pretty much covered everything I’d recommend, but I’d say to anyone who’s participating for the first time to just relax. It’s a lot more fun and your writing comes out a lot better if you have fun and experiment with writing. It’s not supposed to be work =)

    • Yay, high five! April is way too hard for me as well – right in the middle of a bunch of school stuff. July works much better. Relaxing is a great tip. On my first NaNo I had so much fun because I wasn’t stressed out at all. Crazy that that was two and a half years ago!

  3. I’ve tried NaNoWriMo a couple of times, but just never had enough ideas or time to actually get anything done. I think I’m going to try Camp NaNoWriMo because it’s summer, so I have more time, and because I actually have an idea that will work! I’ve planned a little bit of it so far, but I’m leaving most of it open for when I start writing more.

  4. I heard someone mention Alice in Wonderland retelling? I think I may be even more excited than you are. I’m in awe of anyone who can put pen to paper (or fingers to keys) and create a story from nothing but their imagination. Good luck, not that you’ll need it and please keep us updated 🙂

  5. I’d love to do Camp NaNoWriMo, as long as I get my parents’ permission. I’ve actually wanted to do NaNoWriMo and Camp NaNoWriMo for a long time because I know how much it will help me with my writing. I figured now is a great time to just jump right in and try it out!

  6. Where did you find all those epic and perfect gifs?!! THEY ARE THE BEST. And can you believe, I’ve never ever done NaNo!!?? I know right. -_- Buuuut…I wonder if I should break that and do it. Eh. I’m editing. I think my brain would explode if I did both. BUT OMG YAY FOR WANDERLAND. I CANNOT WAIT UNTIL YOU’VE WRITTEN THAT AND IT’S PERFECT AND ALL THAT AWESOME STUFF. Then I can read it. Mawhaha.

    Also: your tips are 100% perfect. For any draft really. x)

    • In the epic and perfect land of Tumblr. 😀 HOW have you never done NaNo? I don’t understand how you write so ridiculously fast without it. I’m like a sloth writer without NaNo. YESSS I’M SO EXCITED FOR WANDERLAND. But you know very well that it’s going down a deep dark hole after the first draft is finished 😛

  7. Oooh good luck with NaNoWriMo! i was thinking of participating but goodness, I don’t think I’d make it lol. I love the idea of a retelling of Wonderland. The names are pretty awesome. And yes, to those tips!

    Lovely post, Em! <33

  8. Good luck for Camo Nano you talented girl! I participated in NaNo once but failed miserably. I couldn’t keep to my schedule at all and got distracted really easily haha. Wanderland sounds SO SUPER AMAZING! And the place names as well. Good luck Em xx

  9. Oh my gosh this is *such* an accurate post haha! I can’t wait until July starts, though admittedly, I haven’t yet really started to plot anything yet. Um. I probably should, right? 😛 I usually just have a vague idea of where I’m going with the story — then just make it up as it goes along. Because regardless of whether I plot or not the first draft always turns out crappy. Given, having a detailed outline does make the drafting process go faster, but… Once a pantser, always a pantser. 😀

    • Haha, I’m glad you liked it! I can’t wait for July, because 1) holidays and 2) this. But you’ve done NaNo like a billion times, right? You’re a pro by now! I know what you mean about first drafts being sucky anyway, might as well do it faster 🙂 (you crazy pantser, you. Plotters have things sorted)

  10. I TRIED NANO TWICE AND FAILED BOTH TIMES D: I usually gave up at around day 5 haha! I don’t plan beforehand so it ends up being a disaster and I just get tired of being so confused all the time .__. GOOD LUCK, EMILY! I sincerely hope your brain is still intact after. 😀

  11. “Plotting a fantasy is so much harder than contemporary, that’s for sure!” That shows how different writers are, since I’d naturally disagree. After NaNo, I’ll be writing (or: I want to) a NA uni romance, but I find my planning isn’t going so green because of lack of material. My NaNo, on the other hand, I have loads of ideas for. It’s a Steampunk adventure.

    Let’s do this! I keep forgetting to create my scene-by-scene plan this month. (To be fair, I have an excuse of working two days straight for the Uni Open Days and then the summer ball last night.)


    • Exactly, it’s different for everyone! I find plotting spec fic harder, but maybe that’s because I’m more accustomed to contemporary. I’m very late on starting the scene-by-scene plan…maybe I’ll become a pantser this time *gasp*

  12. Pingback: What Happened This Week: Stacking the Shelves and Happy Birthday To Me | The Loony Teen Writer

  13. Hi, I’m JR and I was wondering, if you’re going to be blogging about Camp NaNo, if I could add you to my list of Camp NaNo bloggers. I’m creating a post including all the different Camp NaNo blogs I can find, because I don’t know about you, but I really enjoy reading about how other people are going throughout the month. It keeps me motivated. So if that’s okay, I’d like to add you to my list of bloggers for anyone else who likes to do that too.
    Thanks, JR

  14. Hey! I’m doing camp too!!! I’m really excited 🙂 you should post your word count on here every once and a while so we can keep up with how you’re doing!

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