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Camp NaNoWriMo 2017 and Scribophile

For those of you who don’t know, Camp NaNoWriMo is the summer-camp–themed version of NaNoWriMo. Instead of writing 50,000 words in a month, you can set your own goals. Much like summer camp, writers are broken up into cabins of up to 12 people. You can either be assigned a cabin randomly, or you can start one with friends.

This year, one of my cabin mates set a goal in minutes instead of words. Intrigued, I went to check it out and noticed that you can now choose whether to set your goal in words, hours, minutes, lines, or pages. “Winning” Camp has always been a challenge for me—meaning, I’ve never hit my goals in April or July when I participated—so I thought maybe setting my goal differently might help.

Since I’m working on revisions of my next Fandom novel (which, not surprisingly, I wrote during NaNoWriMo this past November), I decided to go with pages. My draft is sitting at 181 pages right now, so I set my goal to 180 pages. It’ll be interesting to see how that affects my motivation this month. It’s currently April 4, and I’m sitting at 0 pages. Time to get going…

Another resource I’m using to help this draft along is the website Scribophile. Feel free to add me if you’re on there too! On Scribophile, you can post your work chapter by chapter and get feedback as you’re going along. Of course, I’ll still use my beta readers/editors once I’m done, especially for the overall story arc, but it’s nice to get additional outside feedback as well. Not only that, but I can stretch my editorial muscles by leaving feedback for other writers, too. It’s pretty fun.

In my next post, I’ll share a preview of my work in progress, The View from the Balcony.

Win 1 of 5 signed copies of Flowerantha!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Flowerantha by Bek Castro

Flowerantha

by Bek Castro

Giveaway ends April 13, 2017.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Career Map

In my last post, I mentioned that during the UW Writers’ Institute this year, Nina Amir closed the weekend with a talk called “Create Your Successful Author Career Plan.” She went through ten (assuming I wrote all of them down fast enough) questions to answer as an author when planning your career. I’ll list them out here, and then I’ll answer them myself.

  1. What do you want to achieve?
  2. What are you passionate about?
  3. What do you feel compelled to do in the world?
  4. What are your values?
  5. What topics do you want to write about?
  6. What theme connects all your books?
  7. What products and services could you offer?
  8. How do you want to be known as an author (branding)?
  9. Do you have a website?
  10. Do you have a platform?

Continue reading Career Map

My Takeaways from the UW Writers’ Institute

This was my third year attending the UW Writers’ Institute. Just like in the previous years, the best part of this conference was being around so many people on a similar journey as I am. It’s such a supportive, encouraging, and nice bunch. I can’t help but bristle at the word “networking,” but it’s hard not to connect with these people. I’m excited about the new connections and friends I made, and I’m rooting for all of them.

Last year, I wrote about my favorite part of the conference and highlighted points from the Sunday keynote. And in 2015, I wrote about what I learned at my first writers’ conference.

In the past, I enjoyed attending the sessions on craft, but this year, I focused more on the marketing ones. As always, I kept a list of snippets that resonated with me from each session. And now I’d like to share those with you.

Continue reading My Takeaways from the UW Writers’ Institute

It’s That Time Again: NaNoWriMo!

It’s the happiest time of the year! At least for me. It’s Week Two now, and this is when things can get discouraging. Like they say (“they” being pretty much anyone who’s ever participated in Nano), any words you put down this month are more than what you had before. So good job! Keep up the good work!

Some time around the end of October, I was talking to my husband about my upcoming NaNoWriMo plans, and he said something to the effect of, “you’re doing that again, huh?”

I responded with:

“It’s the one month of the year when I feel like I’m doing exactly what I’m meant to be doing.”

Ideally, I would write consistently 12 months out of the year, but unfortunately, that just doesn’t happen. With Nano, the daily attainable goals, the impending deadline, the friendly competition, and the supportive community keep me coming back for more year after year.

At this point, I can’t imagine not participating. Don’t get me wrong, I get some pre-Nano jitters that last week of October. What if I run out of material? What if I don’t finish? I’ve won all the other years—what if I skip a day, fall way behind, and never catch up? Then November 1 hits, and I’m right back at the keyboard, banging out my next project. It’s a good feeling.

I believe that if you want to write a novel and make the time (as opposed  to finding the time) to do so this month, you won’t regret it. Even if you don’t hit that 50k. So find a good spot to work, or try a bunch of different spots, and type things! My favorite place to write is the Milwaukee Public Museum, which I’ve mentioned before. However, I get the most done sitting at my desk at home in silence with Write or Die flashing red at me if I stop typing. Go figure.

Good luck to you!

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