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Camp Care Package #2: Learn to fail spectacularly.

Author An Na is your Camp Counselor this week. Find all Camp Care Packages in Breaking News throughout the month of April, or learn more about Camp NaNoWriMo!

1) Give yourself permission to fail: 

Every time we sit down to write, we risk failure. So instead of being afraid, you might as well embrace it. Fail with style. Fail with humor. Fail spectacularly! Without risking failure, you will never know the flavor of courage that lives inside your belly. The only thing worse than failure is that hollow guilty feeling you get from not sitting your butt in the chair and doing the work.

Writing Dare: What's the wildest, wonkiest, boldest scene or story you've imagined but have been too nervous or afraid to write? Set a time for 10 minutes and write it! If it helps, post a quote about failure somewhere in your writing space to inspire you. Here's one I like by Robert F. Kennedy: "Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.”

2) Use music to create a mood:

When thinking about creating a certain mood or feeling for pivotal scenes or turning points in your story, consider listening to well chosen music or sounds in order to add texture and rhythm to your sentences and words. The musicality of your writing in those moments will unconsciously transfer to your reader’s inner ear creating an emotional resonance.

Writing Dare: Assign theme songs to important characters or scenes. Think of it as the music that would play when the camera zooms in on a character, or when the scene starts. When it's time to write about that character or moment, listen to the corresponding theme song!

author photo

An Na was born in South Korea and grew up in San Diego, California. She is the author of three novels: A Step from Heaven, Wait for Me, and The Fold. The Middle Place, a forthcoming young adult novel, will be published by Atheneum under Caitlyn Dlouhy Books. Her awards and honors include the Michael L. Printz Award, International Reading Association Award, National Book Award Finalist, ALA Best Books for Young Adults, New York Times Book Review Notable, and Junior Library Guild Selection. She lives in Vermont.

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