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Camp Care Package #2: What is the heart of your story?

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Author Christina Li 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) Find the heart of your story: 

A helpful question to ask during the writing process is — what is the heart of your story? What are the questions, topics, or emotions that you want to explore throughout the story, that you find yourself constantly coming back to? If you feel like you’re stuck on the plot itself, or that things aren’t moving forward in the story, it can be helpful to set the “heart” of your story as your compass, write around it, and let it guide your way.

2) Switch it up to unblock yourself:

The incredible Stephanie Perkins once gave the advice of writing up Love Lists — a bullet-pointed list of things you absolutely love about your novel—to help gain momentum and excitement for your project. It can range from the absolute epic to the smallest of details. For every NaNo project, I write a love list on a sticky note and keep it near me when I write. Give it a try!

Writing Dare: Spend 5-10 minutes writing a Love List for your project. Hang it up someplace you'll see it, and feel free to add to it throughout the month!

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Christina Li is a student at Stanford University studying Economics. In her spare time, when she is not stressing over her latest stats problem set, she is writing up characters and stories for children and young adults, or perhaps procrastinating on said writing by drinking copious amounts of tea and binge-watching Avatar: the Last Airbender. She started NaNo-ing in sixth grade with the NaNoWriMo Young Writer’s Program and hasn’t stopped since. Her debut middle grade novel, Clues to the Universe, is coming out from HarperCollins/Quill Tree Books in January 2021.

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