Category: camp care packages

“Keep writing because someone out there is going to love your book. Someone out there needs your book. Someone out there is going to call you their “favorite writer”. That feeling you get when you hear that readers have connected with your work, that they “got it,” is so special that it’s totally worth all the creative agony.”

Katya de Becerra was born in Russia, studied in California, immigrated to Australia in 2006, and now lives in Melbourne. She earned a PhD in Anthropology from the University of Melbourne. She is a mentor with 1st5Pages Writing Workshop, where she provides free critique to help foster new writing talent. Released in 2018, her debut novel What The Woods Keep is a genre-bender combining mystery, science fiction, and dark fantasy. Her second novel Oasis is forthcoming in 2020. Follow @KatyaDeBecerra on Twitter.

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““Write what makes you blush” is my favorite writing advice. It comes from the brilliant non-fiction writer, Lee Kofman, but it translates well into other genres. Writing horror? Write what you fear! Your book is science fiction? Write what makes your inner science fan excited! Regardless of genre, you can draw on your personal knowledge, experiences and emotions to fuel your writing. It could really make a difference to how readers engage with your work and how well they relate to your characters.”

Katya de Becerra was born in Russia, studied in California, immigrated to Australia in 2006, and now lives in Melbourne. She earned a PhD in Anthropology from the University of Melbourne. She is a mentor with 1st5Pages Writing Workshop, where she provides free critique to help foster new writing talent. Released in 2018, her debut novel What The Woods Keep is a genre-bender combining mystery, science fiction, and dark fantasy. Her second novel Oasis is forthcoming in 2020. Follow @KatyaDeBecerra on Twitter.

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“The act of writing is to create, and sometimes it’s easier to let that urge manifest itself in other ways, if you feel stuck. […] It is often through doing something else that I feel rejuvenated about writing. Don’t force it. The flow will come back to you.”

Yangsze Choo is a NYTimes bestselling author of The Ghost Bride (soon to be a Netflix Original series) and The Night Tiger, Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club Pick, Amazon’s Spotlight Pick, and one of USA Today’s best books of the year. Yangsze loves to eat and read, and often does both at the same time. She lives in California with her family and several chickens. Dark chocolate is her writing inspiration. Visit her blog at www.yschoo.com or follow @yangszechoo on Twitter.

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“Sometimes your characters will want to choose difficult or inconvenient things. It’s all right. Let them go ahead. Later you can decide whether that fits in with the story arc or belongs elsewhere. There is no need to maintain perfection in your writing world. In fact, I find letting the characters wander around alternate storylines very helpful. Even if you never use the material, it adds richness and depth to the world—you will know whether character A is really the sort of person to do x and y!”

Yangsze Choo is a NYTimes bestselling author of The Ghost Bride (soon to be a Netflix Original series) and The Night Tiger, Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club Pick, Amazon’s Spotlight Pick, and one of USA Today’s best books of the year. Yangsze loves to eat and read, and often does both at the same time. She lives in California with her family and several chickens. Dark chocolate is her writing inspiration. Visit her blog at www.yschoo.com or follow @yangszechoo on Twitter.

Your Camp Care Package is brought to you by Camp NaNoWriMo. Sign up to receive more Camp Care Packages at campnanowrimo.org.

“Character arcs and plot should be closely intertwined—each should affect the other. Does your plot push your character to develop and change? And does your character’s growth allow them to then make decisions that shape the plot?”

Kat Zhang is an author of books for teens and children. Her Young Adult trilogy, The Hybrid Chronicles, is published with HarperCollins, and she has two Middle Grades, The Emperor’s Riddle and The Memory of Forgotten Things, as well as two picture books, Amy Wu and the Perfect Bao and sequel Amy Wu and the Patchwork Dragon with Simon & Schuster. She wrote her first novel for NaNoWriMo a great many years ago! Follow @katzhang on Twitter.

Your Camp Care Package is brought to you by Camp NaNoWriMo. Sign up to receive more Camp Care Packages at campnanowrimo.org.

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“Even the most Fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants writer can ease the way while drafting by doing what I think of as “mini-synopses”. If plotting out your whole book isn’t your style, but you find yourself writing yourself into corners or staring at a blank page, try describing what’ll happen next in a stream-of-consciousness, synopsis-style paragraph or two. You can even stick in dialogue. This allows you to see the shape of the next few chapters (and possibly realize some sticking points!) before you commit to writing out everything in detail.”

Kat Zhang is an author of books for teens and children. Her Young Adult trilogy, The Hybrid Chronicles, is published with HarperCollins, and she has two Middle Grades, The Emperor’s Riddle and The Memory of Forgotten Things, as well as two picture books, Amy Wu and the Perfect Bao and sequel Amy Wu and the Patchwork Dragon with Simon & Schuster. She wrote her first novel for NaNoWriMo a great many years ago! Follow @katzhang on Twitter.

Your Camp Care Package is brought to you by Camp NaNoWriMo. Sign up to receive more Camp Care Packages at campnanowrimo.org.

“Did you ever read a book and just feel so glad it exists?
Or maybe it was a single scene or one minor character who wandered in and out just long enough to connect with you.
At some point in your life, a story helped you feel Not Alone.
Because it rang true.
And something you write could do that for someone else out there. People respond to and connect with stories that feel vulnerable and honest. Whether they are scifi or mystery or romance or any genre.
So, go write your truth. Someone’s waiting for it.”

Kat Yeh is the award-winning author of middle grade novels, The Way to Bea and The Truth About Twinkie Pie (an NPR Best Book of 2015 written during NaNoWriMo!) from Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, and picture book, The Friend Ship, from Disney-Hyperion—as well as others. Kat currently lives with her family in Philadelphia, PA. Learn more at katyeh.com, or follow @yehface on Twitter.

P.S. You pronounce her last name YAY!

Your Camp Care Package is brought to you by Camp NaNoWriMo. Sign up to receive more Camp Care Packages at campnanowrimo.org.

“Some people say write what you know—I say write what you feel. After all, if there’s one thing we all know, it’s how we feel. […] Your emotions are your strongest writing allies. And when you write from a place of real feelings, your reader will feel it, too.”

Kat Yeh is the award-winning author of middle grade novels, The Way to Bea and The Truth About Twinkie Pie (an NPR Best Book of 2015 written during NaNoWriMo!) from Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, and picture book, The Friend Ship, from Disney-Hyperion—as well as others. Kat currently lives with her family in Philadelphia, PA. Learn more at katyeh.com or follow @yehface on Twitter.

P.S. You pronounce her last name YAY!  

Your Camp Care Package is brought to you by Camp NaNoWriMo. Sign up to receive more Camp Care Packages at campnanowrimo.org.

Text added over original image by Debby Hudson on Unsplash.

“When you find yourself forcing things, try something novel: Stop. Take a walk, a shower, a drive. I’m stubborn about not doing this—it can feel like admitting defeat—but when I take these little reprieves, I almost always curse myself… for not having done it sooner. This is when whatever was tripping you up—whether the twist for the next scene, or the fix for the last one—will come.”

Jessica Strawser is editor-at-large at Writer’s Digest, where she was editorial director for nearly a decade. She’s the author of the book club favorites Almost Missed You and Not That I Could Tell, a Book of the Month selection and Barnes & Noble Best New Fiction pick for March 2018 (both St. Martin’s Press). Her third novel, Forget You Know Me, is forthcoming in February 2019. She has written for The New York Times Modern Love, Publishers Weekly and others, and is a popular conference speaker. Connect with her on Twitter at @jessicastrawser and on Facebook @jessicastrawserauthor.

Your Camp Care Package is brought to you by Camp NaNoWriMo. Sign up to receive more Camp Care Packages at campnanowrimo.org.

“If you can’t picture exactly what comes next in your story, but you do know what happens a little later on, just skip ahead. (This works even near the end, with multiple strings to tie up!) We’re all aiming for a cohesive beginning, middle, and finish, but no law says you have to do it in order. My first published novel was written out of sequence, and I doubt it would’ve come together any other way. I firmly believe the truest writing comes from penning whatever is most vivid to you in the moment; you can bridge the gaps later.”

Jessica Strawser is editor-at-large at Writer’s Digest, where she was editorial director for nearly a decade. She’s the author of the book club favorites Almost Missed You and Not That I Could Tell, a Book of the Month selection and Barnes & Noble Best New Fiction pick for March 2018 (both St. Martin’s Press). Her third novel, Forget You Know Me, is forthcoming in February 2019. She has written for The New York Times Modern Love, Publishers Weekly and others, and is a popular conference speaker. Connect with her on Twitter at @jessicastrawser and on Facebook @jessicastrawserauthor.

Your Camp Care Package is brought to you by Camp NaNoWriMo. Sign up to receive more Camp Care Packages at campnanowrimo.org.