I’m in my last week of Camp NaNoWriMo, a summer version of November NaNoWriMo in which you get to set your own word count goals and bunk in a virtual cabin with other writers. I wish I could say I met my goal, but I fell far short, partly because it was ridiculously high but also because I hadn’t found the story I wanted to tell yet.
My Camp NaNoWriMo frustration brought back my struggle to learn how to make gimp bracelets at summer camp years ago. Others were churning them out and I was tangled up in plastic threads because I wanted to dive in before I knew what I was doing and hated following directions. This time around I decided to learn about the craft of story-telling by reading Save the Cat, and to think more about my story before I got tangled up in words. So yeah, missed my word count goal, but now when I put those words on a page I won’t just be spewing them out. Hopefully I’ll be weaving the story version of a twisty multi-colored gimp bracelet. Here are some thoughts from other YA writers about writing and how they found their stories.
- In this moving Q & A for Publishers Weekly, Beth Revis talks about her decision to move away from her bestselling science fiction series and write A World Without You: a contemporary young adult novel inspired by memories of her brother.
- Are You a YA Writer and You Don’t Even Know It? makes an eloquent plea to writers of literary fiction to “understand the wonderful elasticity of YA” and consider whether their stories of childhood trauma might resonate with a young adult audience.
- 6 Golden Rules of Writing Middle Grade has some great tips for writing believable characters of all ages.
- If all this talk about gimp is making you long for summer camp in a self-torturing way, check out these 12 Young Adult Books About Summer Camp.