Camp NaNoWriMo 2016 by Olivia Rivers

April has arrived, and with it comes the first NaNoWriMo event of the year! For anyone unfamiliar with NaNoWriMo, it’s short for “National Novel Writing Month,” and it challenges writers to write 50,000 words in a period of 30 days. Traditionally, the event is held in November, but the organizers of the event have also opened sessions in April and July and dubbed them “Camp NaNoWriMo.”

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Camp NaNoWriMo launched on April 1st, and if you’re like me and participating this month, you’re probably hitting that point where serious fatigue is starting to set in. Personally, now is always when I start losing focus on my project and wasting time on pointless distractions. I know a lot of other writers have the same issue, but I think getting distracted is pretty inevitable when it comes to NaNoWriMo. It’s just not humanly possible to focus on one project for an entire month without going crazy.

I figure if distractions are inevitable, they may as well be productive. So here’s a list of six websites to check out during April that will inspire your writing, improve your craft, and help you reach that 50k finish line:

  • Be sure to follow NaNoWriMo on twitter. They keep up a wonderful twitter feed full of inspiration, advice, and funny memes all throughout the month of April. If you need a short break from writing, it’s an awesome place to spend your time.
  • If you’re interested in building an online audience for your NaNo story, check out Wattpad.com. It’s important to note that posting your work on Wattpad gives away your first publication rights, which can make it difficult to get a book deal for that particular book. But if you’re not planning on traditionally publishing your NaNo work, Wattpad can be a fun and interactive place to share your writing with others and build an online audience.
  • Join the forums over at NaNoWriMo.org. There’s an entire forum dedicated to this April’s Camp NaNo event, and it’s full of people talking about their sprint toward 50k.
  • Check out the software developers “Literature and Latte” and their writing program “Scrivener.” Scrivener is a wonderful tool that’s beneficial for all stages of novel writing, from brainstorming to plotting to drafting to revising. Personally, it’s really helped streamline my writing process, especially when it comes to moving around large chunks of text during revisions.
  • Also check out the software “Write or Die.” This software is a bit more intense, as you can probably guess by the name, and it’s not for everyone. Basically, you pick a typing speed, and the software forces you to write that quickly for a programmed length of time. If you start writing slower, the software beings to delete your words. If you’re a little bit of a masochist and really desperate to meet a word-count goal, this software can give you the ultimate incentive to crank out a lot of words really fast.
  • Last but not least, the main NaNoWriMo site has a list of authors who have published their NaNo works. I don’t know about you, but I find this list insanely inspiring, especially since there are quite a few best-sellers on here. The list gets bigger every year and continues to fill with a wide variety of names, and it’s a good reminder of what NaNo is all about: taking normal people and turning them into novelists.

Olivia Rivers is a Young Adult author who writes in multiple genres, ranging from Epic Fantasy to Contemporary Romance. Her fascination with technology led her to become a hybrid author, meaning some of her works are independently published, while others are traditionally published. She has a passion for representing diversity, and you’ll often find disabled main characters in her novels. Olivia is represented by Laurie McLean of Fuse Literary.

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