I've been writing in one form or another for several years, but one thing I have never done is participate in NaNoWriMo. I came close November but chickened out at the idea of 50,000 words in 30 days. Then I discovered they also offer a NaNoWriMo Camp, which among other things, allows you to set your own writing goals. It starts in a few days (April 1st) so I thought it would be cool to document the journey.
How to Sign Up
When you go to campnanowrimo.org you will see several sections that you need to complete. The Account Settings section includes basics like name, email, and password. Remember to include a photo so others will recognize your posts immediately.
The Camper Info section allows you to tell others more about yourself. I would take time to plan and polish your bio section. Who knows, you might need that when you publish your story! Remember to include your website link if you have one. Some of these contacts may last longer than 30 days.
The Project Info section includes a synopsis, excerpt, and cover photo. If this is your first project you may or may not have all of this yet. But like your bio section, these things will be important when publishing later. This is where you grab your readers attention as quickly as possible.
The Cabin Settings is where you select your own support group. Depending on the information you provide, you can be grouped with up to 19 other writers within your genre or you can choose to group together with writers you may already know. Even though there may be thousands participating this is where you bond and make personal contacts.
How to Set Up
Depending if you are starting from scratch or working on an existing project, there are certain things you want to think about before day one. In my case, I started with Word originally but have been using Scrivener for the last several months. I had to make sure everything I was working on was in the right format. Decide now on your font, size of text, and how you plan to keep track of your word count.
If you have an existing starting point, read it several times before you start writing again. If you don't already have a character sketch, now would be a good time to create one. Nothing is more embarrassing than having a blue-eyed character on one page and several chapters later you describe dark brown eyes.
How you organize your story can vary greatly. Some people write down a few character names and a basic synopsis in one paragraph, others will write a 30-page detailed outline including every plot point. Personally, I start somewhere in between. I use a Beat sheet that I create specifically for that story. I use the basic three-act structure that gives me a beginning, middle and end with several key points I want to cover. The whole thing boils down to one sheet that I use as a roadmap.
How to Get Going
Setting a time and place to write sounds good in theory, but don't get so locked into a schedule, that it stresses you out. If you usually write in the morning but have a family emergency, try writing that night. It might surprise you what a different perspective can do.
The number one rule when writing is to write. I know that sounds obvious, but what I'm getting at is... there's a time for writing and a time for editing. Do NOT do them at the same time. I've been known to spend an hour rewriting a single paragraph. The goal here is not to write a completely polished, ready to publish, award-winning novel. The goal is to complete the basic rough draft. The rest you can do later.
I strongly suggest letting others know you plan to participate in NaNoWriMo. Force yourself to commit, tell everybody you know. Those who are not writers can encourage you IF they know you are doing something. Those who are writers can give ideas on perspective, characters, and storylines. The bottom line is you write alone, but you don't have to feel alone. This is supposed to be fun.
Even if you are thinking about writing a book, this will be good for you. Planning the story, writing a synopsis and expressing yourself can build your confidence dramatically. Interacting with other writers can be a great learning experience. I personally believe every person on the planet has a story to tell. You have everything to gain and nothing to lose. If you don't have the time, then at least you know writing is not for you. If you make the time this might be the start of making your dreams come true.
Award-winning writer/photographer Tedric Garrison has 40 years' experience with both of these skills. As a Graphic Arts Major, he has a unique perspective on visual arts and believes that creativity CAN be taught. His photography tells a story and his writing is visual. Tedric shares his insight at http://writephotos.weebly.com
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Tedric_Garrison/88147
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Many writers get crushed when their 120,000-word novel is rejected. What happens when you enter a contest that says 500 words or less and you end up with 894 words? You might spend years writing your story or hours writing an article, but that doesn't mean you're done. It means you've completed the first draft. That's great, congratulations are in order, not everybody makes it that far. Remember it's a lot easier to cut words than to add them. I can picture several of you thinking, "Yea right, my editor wants me to cut 10,000 words!"
Believe it or not, it's not as terrifying as many writers think. Let me give you an example. When I first thought about writing this article the name was: "How to Cut Your Word Count Down by 10,000 Words or More, in 3 Easy Steps." That's 16 words long, but it catches your attention, right? Then I came up with: "Three Easy Steps to a Better Word Count." When I read both to my wife, she said, "That's the same thing." She was right, except that now it was only eight words long. If you look at the top of the page, you see I ended up with "The Word Count Diet," which is only four words long. Did I change the meaning? No. Did I ruin the title? Obviously not, you're still reading it, aren't you?
One sentence is different than a whole story, but the concept is there. The more time you have invested, the harder it is to cut words from your baby. But let's face it, you want your baby to grow up someday and leave the nest, right? That's called editing. There I've said it, you don't have to hold your breath anymore. But I'm a creative soul, you think, why would I want to tear it apart?
Listen to this statement; "Editing is not destroying, it's simplifying, it's enhancing, it's making it easier to read." With that in mind, where do you start if you're not a professional editor or English major? I suggest you look at three areas that will improve your work. These areas are adverbs, adjectives, and glue words.
Adverbs are modifiers of verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs. The easiest way to identify an adverb is that it usually ends with the letters LY. Why is everybody against using LY words? Many writers, editors, and readers consider it lazy writing because you don't show anything. Example: She lightly tapped on the door. The word tap means "a light knock", so it's kind of redundant. You could say: She tapped on the door with a gentle caress for fear of waking the baby. Not shorter, but it is more engaging. I also could have said definitely not shorter, but it serves no purpose. When you look at most LY words that's what you find, they don't add any substance.
The phrase 'all things in moderation' means stop using so many stupid, pointless, space wasting, disgusting adjectives. I could have said, stop using adjectives, but what fun would that be? Many writers have the mistaken idea that the more adjectives you use, the better. This is not true. It slows the reader down. Mark Twain exhorted writers to "kill" any adjectives they could catch. I don't know if I would go that far. Soft brown eyes are fine but... soft brown, glowing, golden eyes like pools of honey... is a little much, don't you think?
What exactly is a glue word? Glue words are the 200 most common words in the English language. The problem is they are so common it's easy to overuse them. Words to look out for include: like, the, so, very, and, or, but, big, tall, up, down, etc. For example, you could say, "Sally walked across the room so she could check out the full-length mirror and see how good her new dress looked." (21 words) Or you could say, "Sally admired her new dress in the mirror." (eight words) The meaning has not changed, but the word count has. The other concern with glue words is they are so vague, they don't mean anything. Don't say very sad, say depressed. Don't say really tired, say exhausted. Nine times out of ten you can remove the word that and nobody will notice. Maybe it's only a word here and there, but when you know which words to look for it can add up. Look at the title again, from 16 words to four words. Even if you only do half that good, your bloated 120,000-word novel has just become a 60,000-word best seller. Think about it.
Award-winning writer/photographer Tedric Garrison has 40 years' experience in both areas of expertise. As a Graphic Arts Major, he has a unique perspective on creativity. His photography tells a story and his writing is visual. Tedric shares his insight, experience, and skills at his
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Tedric_Garrison/88147