Avon Van Hassel

Building Worlds and Filling Them With Magic

So I did a post about National Novel Writing Month in November. If that sounds a little intense for you, you might want to try Camp NaNoWriMo first, just to get your feet wet. 

National Novel Writing Month is a 30-day challenge in November to write a 50k-word novel, start to finish. But that’s a huge mountain to climb, and it was chosen to be in one of the busiest months on purpose–the idea being that if you can knock out a 50k-word novel in November, you have no excuse for not writing the rest of the year.

But, for some people, it’s simply not possible. Not that many words, not November.

So, for those people, we have Camp NaNoWriMo, which differs in a few significant ways

Two events in the summer

Camp NaNo actually refers to two separate events, in April and July, usually. So most of us maniacs get three events in per year. It’s also so that if you miss one, it’s no biggie because there’s another one. And you can feasibly end up with three novels a year. It sounds impossible, but it’s really not.

Cabins, rather than regions

In NaNoWriMo, everyone is divided up according to their geographical region with a team leader, called a Municipal Liaison. Your ML hosts writing get-togethers, represents you to the Office of letters and Light when there are fundraising and charity events, and generally builds you up and keeps you motivated. I was a co-ML myself, once, for my region. This is so that if you’re struggling, you know where to find people locally to support you and help you out. Also, the OLL does a lot for literacy charities at schools and libraries, so the more active and successful the region, the more likely they are to get aid for their local institutions.

In the summer events, you’re divided up into cabins. You can elect to be put into a random cabin (either totally random or chosen for you according to genre), you can create a cabin for just you and your friends–local or distant, or you can go it alone. It’s up to you. In this system, your cabin earns points together, just like at summer camp. You might not have local people to go to for help, but you have people you’re almost guaranteed to have something in common with.

Flexible word count goals

This is the big perk for most of us. Instead of the 50k-Or-Bust goal we have in November, you can choose the goal you’re aiming for, here, anywhere from 10k to a million. I used to aim for 50k anyway because that’s the sort of person I am, but then life got away from me, and I settled for 25k. And these days with all the balls I have in the air, I like to take a neat little vacation and call it good at 10k. I’m a terrible influence, I know. But you know what? My outlines are incredible, because…

Flexible project requirements

It doesn’t have to be a novel. In November, you write a 50k-word novel, by yourself, start-to-finish, in 30 days. In April and July it doesn’t have to be 50k words, it doesn’t have to be a novel (it can be non-fiction, fan fiction, an anthology of shorts, an essay, or just notes for your November NaNo), you can co-author, you can work on a project you started sometime in the past, and if you’ve been keeping up, you’ll remember that thirty-one days hath July.

This flexibility is nice because you can realistically get a novel written while enjoying your summer hols, or just practice and warm up for the Big Event.

So if that sounds like the kind of wild fun you want to have next month, you can sign up absolutely free here!

And if you want some tools to help you stay focused and on track, I recommend these!

One thought on “Camp NaNoWriMo: NaNo’s Chiller Little Brother

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