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Camp Care Package #1: Say "Yes, and..." while writing your first draft.

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Author Angelina Lopez 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) Say “Yes, and…” not “No” while writing your first draft:

You have plenty of time to edit and revise your work. You first draft is your opportunity to let your voice and creativity flourish. Say “yes, and…” to your wild ideas and bonkers inclinations. Follow where they lead; don’t shut them down. The uniqueness of your voice is what will lead to your success, and you unlock that voice by letting it sing.

2) Trust your process:

I’m writing my fifth book for publication and I still have to tell myself this. I know what works for me — a couple of weeks research before I start, a bare outline, pantsing a book, knowing the book will strengthen in tone, theme, and character development in revisions. But I still have moments when I’m certain my career is over. Figure out the writing process that works for you, don’t worry about what others tell you is the “right” way to do it, and trust that your process will deliver you a book that you’re in love with.

Writing Dare: Spend five minutes making a list of all the weirdest, wildest things that could happen to your main character. Try to think outside the box! Not everything on the list will make it into your novel, but use this brainstorming to figure out what you feel most excited about writing, or to help you out later if you get stuck.

author photo

Angelina M. Lopez has been writing professionally her whole life: first as a journalist for an acclaimed city newspaper, then as a freelance magazine writer, and now as a romance author. Her new book, After Hours on Milagro Street, has received rave reviews from Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, Entertainment Weekly, and Booklist. Angelina lives with her family in Houston, Texas.

What's up at Camp?

  • Camp NaNoWriMo Virtual Write-In, ft. Angelina Lopez — Wednesday, July 6, 1:30 PM PDT (Your Time Zone) Make progress on your Camp NaNoWriMo project, plus ask questions for this week's author guest, Angelina Lopez! During this hour-long livestream, we'll share a few writing prompts to help you brainstorm ideas, and you can chat with other Camp NaNo writers. 
  • Writers of Color Meetup, ft. Mia P. Manansala — Saturday, July 9, 10:00 AM PDT (Your Time Zone) Writers of color in the NaNo community are invited to come to this virtual Zoom meetup featuring guest Camp Counselor Mia P. Manansala! Build community and ask Mia your writing questions. (Writers of color only, please—thank you for respecting the space!)

  • Try something new this Camp — focus on world-building! The world of your story can determine what kinds of challenges your characters face, and can reveal so much about the things you want to explore with your writing. Check out our World-building page for more how-to resources!
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