Writers assemble. BlogBattle is about to engage with April’s CampNaNo. Do you have a tale to write with us in the BB writers group now live there?
As you all know, BlogBattle has altered it’s format with an increased word-count maxim from 1000 to 2000 words a month. There is also a minimum requirement of 250 words to try and separate it from flash fiction. Poetry being exempt from the minima.
The maximum is not there to be a target to meet. That is up to the writer. Moreover, its role is to level up personal writing ambitions. Try your hand at longer pieces and consider projects that might end up as chapters or even a novel.
This leads me to another area we have mulled over for the best part of a year. How to get our community involved in something longer? Not isolated, but as a group where there is a forum to send messages, queries or just seek support.
Most of you will have heard of National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWrMo as it is more widely referred to. This is a “main” event held in November with a set target of 50,000 words. It can be a formidable experience, filled with euphoria and gloom depending on how you perceive the outcome. The rate breaks down at 1667 words per day. Fall behind and the target grows smaller, disappearing into the distance. Many take losing sight of the goal as failure. My take on that has been described elsewhere. Suffice to say it isn’t. Not if you find a story not working, have an issue that takes over or just find time to fully commit waning. Any writing is writing.
How does this affect BlogBatte?
A lesser known part of NaNoWriMo are the NaNo Camps. This year they have merged the sites together onto the main NaNoWriMo page. If you have an account, then navigating between these is now much simpler.
Camps are month-long events and have a similar theme to the November marathon with one massive exception. The author decides on the word-count goal or self assigned target. This might be a new or old project, editing an existing one or anything linked to a WIP that an author hasn’t got round to.
This makes little room for excuses not to be productive. If you’re doing BlogBattle then this is the natural upscale. Consider absolutes though. If you do an average of 500 words a day then you will achieve 15,000 by the end of the month. Keep that going for six months and you have a 90,000 word novel.
Or, if novelettes are something you’ve not yet tried, one month will create just that at the rate given above. Push harder and you may even reach a novella. Then again, if you participate in both April and June you have the potential to be two thirds through an actual book just by joining in.
What to do now?
Register an account with NaNoWriMo. Once you have a username, spend some time creating a profile. Then let us know what name you are using and we can invite you to the BlogBattle writing group. From there we can all send you a buddy request and add your blog URL to the writing group page header.
Please note. At present the group size is restricted to 20 members. We have no control over that. Anyone currently doing BB will have priority. If more people join over time we can set up a second writing group.
Consider a project. If you have an idea already then that’s fine. If you’re struggling then, go to your favourite BlogBattle story and try expanding that. If you have an existing WIP then develop that further. If it’s stuck, then edit what you have and try to find out why. Use the group forum to ask questions and find support. Most of us in the BlogBattle community already know each other so this is a fantastic opportunity to engage and grow friendships.
Choose a sensible word-count or project that fits your lifestyle. Don’t make it unreachable. Remember we all write at different rates and from different life points. Young children, for example, are tremendously good at knowing when you’re trying to concentrate. Work can also throw in curve balls. Do not be tempted to look at other peoples goals and think yours is less. It is your goal and yours alone.
Get ready. If you’re a plotter then now is the time to start. If you freeform then clearly you won’t! Either way you need to start with a concept and goal in mind.
Announce it. This part doesn’t go live until March on the NaNoWriMo system. Once it does there will be banners and headers which are downloadable to use as announcement graphics. Creating your project on their site and declaring it will be available at the same time. This means you have a head start in thinking about what to do before committing.
If you choose to blog about your participation or intentions, then drop the link here. That way we can all see your project and generate some excitement in advance of starting.
If you have any questions or want to take part let us know in the comments section.
One last thing, April’s word prompt will go live as normal. For anyone taking part in CampNaNo an extract from the project will suffice. Don’t feel obligated to do the prompt and the Camp at the same time. If your goal is high there may not be time. Instead feel free to give us a taster of what you’re working on. We’d all love to add feedback and see if writers are enjoying the new experience and may consider the second Camp in June.
Beyond that, welcome to the inaugural BlogBattle CampNaNo writing challenge.