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Participant Pep Talk from Diya A.

Hello,​ Writer.

​So, Camp NaNoWriMo is here! I’m sure everyone has at least one idea that’s itching to be on paper. Something really good. But maybe you don’t know what to write. This has happened to me so many times. I like to call it pre-writer’s block. Luckily, as I have written more and more stories, I have found more and more tips and tricks to turn the idea in your head into a fully fledged novel in no time!

1. The Plot.​

Let’s take the idea that’s in your mind and put it on paper. Literally. Describe your story in 2-3 sentences, sort of like a summary of your whole book rather than a blurb. This way, if you get stuck when you are drafting your book, you can refer to these sentences to keep you on track. Here’s one of mine:​​

A teenage boy finds his childhood hero, Raymond Bain, stuck in his closet. His only goal: to get Raymond out of there before anyone sees him.

It’s not very good, but it makes sense, and now I know what my plot is and how I can make it more interesting.

2. Character Development

​You probably have at least one character in mind, along with some characteristics in mind. Now, when I am at this stage, I like to draw out a character plan. I usually try to answer these questions:

  • What is this character's full name?
  • Where are they from?
  • What are their pet peeves?
  • What are their strengths?
  • Who is their family?

...and so on. You can go really in depth with everything or you can just make a brief overview of the character. This helps me a lot during the first 2 or 3 chapters, when I'm not sure who the character is just yet.

3. Drafting Chapters

Now, similar to the first trick, we can do the same thing for each chapter. It doesn't really matter how long the chapters will be, you can still summarize them easily. For example, using the same example for the first step, I could sum up my first chapter like this:

Davis (the teenage boy), learns that his childhood hero has gone missing (Raymond Bain) and the police can’t find him (watches this on the news). He walks up to his room to get ready for school when he finds Raymond in his room. (end on cliffhanger)

You might have noticed that I have used some brackets for some notes. This helps me plan out my chapters even better. Planning out your story will make your writing process easier.​

Another way you can plan out your story is by using the Novelist Workbooks from the YWP Learning Resources page! Just choose your level and download the PDF. I used this for NaNoWriMo last year and I'm using it for Camp NaNoWriMo this month.

Hopefully, I have given you some useful tips and tricks to help you plan and write an awesome story for Camp NaNoWriMo!

photo of Anna C.

Spending her whole life exploring the world, Diya A. is an avid writer, artist, dancer, singer, and more, who likes writing short stories about absurd things from her bed in Finland. Currently in 7th grade at the International School of Helsinki, she expects to finish her novella by the end of the summer. Diya hopes to study medical research and neurology in the future, but that’s a long time away.

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