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Camp Care Package #5: Writing is all about rewriting.

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

1) How to write realistic dialogue. 

Dialogue can make or break a novel. If your dialogue isn't convincing it can affect everything from the strength of your characters' relationships to the suspension of disbelief needed for your plot or world to work. Best way to write realistic dialogue? Listen to people talk. Go to cafes and eavesdrop on the people around you. Listen to talk radio or podcasts where the hosts do more conversational interviews. Read movie scripts and plays where almost all the heavy lifting plot-wise is done through speaking. Take note of word choice, speed, if they pause to think and where. Incorporate it all. 

2) Find inspiration in a picture.

My favorite prompts usually come from images. Often when I'm stuck, or if I just need to write about something random to get my creative juices flowing, or if I want to develop a new idea from scratch I go to Tumblr and hit the Explore tab, or to the New York Times Picture Prompts. Both offer a variety of free, weird and interesting images that are perfect to use for free writes. Check them out.

3) Don't stress the ending.

Endings are important, but just because you might be nearing the end of this draft doesn't mean your work is done! Writing is all about rewriting, so push to get to this, the first of many endings, congratulate yourself and refresh your brain by taking a nice long break (I recommend at least a few weeks!) and then get ready to dive back in. Even if you don't make your original deadline, set a new one and push hard toward it. All forward motion counts, and you've almost made it.

 Let Ashley know if you followed her advice, or thank her for her #CampCarePackage!

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Ashley Woodfolk has loved reading and writing for as long as she can remember. She graduated from Rutgers University with a Bachelor of Arts in English and worked in children’s book publishing for ten years. She wrote her first novel, The Beauty That Remains, from a sunny Brooklyn apartment where she lives with her cute husband, her cuter dog, and the cutest baby in the world: her son Niko. When You Were Everything is her second novel.

What's happening at Camp?

  • Join our last Virtual Write-In tomorrow, Wednesday, July 29, 1:00 PM PST (Your Time Zone) — Write with Wrimos from around the world! Our next Virtual Write in will be hosted by Communications Manager Katharine.

  • Join the Camp NaNoWriMo: The Musical! Singalong on Friday, July 31, 5:00 PM PST (Your Time Zone) — In this final event of our "Camp NaNoWriMo: The Musical!" track, your Camp Counselors Morgan Smith and Abigail Greenwood will be working with professional singers and performers to bring some musicals to life!

  • Worldbuilding Simplified — Worldbuilding is many people’s favorite part of writing, but it can also be be one of the most confusing parts of drafting a novel! Here's some advice for creating a simple world building plan.
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