Camp NaNoWriMo Prep and 5 Writing eBook Recs


T-minus two weeks until Camp NaNoWriMo begins! You can find me at camp under the username: mlvalentine if you want to connect individually. I am significantly decreasing connectivity in April, because I’ve got a lot of words to write for both work and camp.

To help you prep, I’ve picked out ten reference ebooks on writing that are available on I’ve either read these books or have them sitting on a shelf in my reference library, and I’ve made notes where applicable.

  • Dynamic Characters – Written by Nancy Kress, I really liked this character reference book because it reminded me of being in workshop. Dynamic Characters utilizes a mixture of advice and examples from popular fiction, so you can see the logic in Kress’s advice.
  • A Writer’s Guide to Persistence – Persistence and discipline are two keys to being a writer, and sometimes it’s hard to find the energy or motivation to have both. This book focuses on persistence by offering tips, advice, and journaling exercises to help you push through a hump. I’ve found this book to have long-term value; it’s not unusual to have more than one slow or frustrating period as a writer. Getting back on the proverbial horse is super important, and this book offers a different perspective.
  • 90 Days to Your Novel: A Day-by-Day Plan for Outlining & Writing Your Book – Outlining my original fiction is something that’s been helping me remain focused and get more done. There’s many different methods of outlining (e.g. The Snowflake Method), but I’ve rarely seen a book that combines outline with planning. I haven’t sat down and tried the plan yet; current goal is to start in June and wrap writing into July’s Camp NaNoWriMo.
  • 101 Habits of Highly Successful Novelists – Sometimes, writing advice can be challenging to give and receive because what works for one writer may not work for another. Secondarily, the path to success varies so wildly from one writer to another, that sometimes it can be challenging to figure out if you’re on the right track. This collection of habits helps to reinforce what you’re already doing, but also give you ideas on how to model your actions after super successful writers.
  • 20 Master Plots and How to Build Them – On the pragmatic side, this book is filled with big picture lots and has a lot of checklists to ensure you’re on track. I’ve referenced this during outlining and revisions, and found it helps serve as a reminder for the big picture stuff.

If you’re taking my Make Art Not War 2017 Challenge, this does count towards the challenge. You’ll want to plan approximately two hours a day to make your daily word count goal of 1,667, and commit to some brief outline sketches ahead of time. Additionally, if there’s other administrative or Life, The Universe, and EverythingTM tasks you need to do, it’s a smart idea to get that done ahead of time and make room for words. That way, if something throws you off-kilter then you won’t veer as far off track.

Happy prepping!

    Mood: Monday Monday
    Caffeinated Beverages Consumed: So much espresso!
    Work-Out Minutes Logged Yesterday: Walking my ass off
    In My Ears: Whiny cats
    Game Last Played: Final Fantasy X-2: The Last Mission
    Book Last Read: Black Unicorn
    Movie/TV Show Last Viewed: Legend of the Seeker
    Latest Artistic Project: Make Art Not War 2017 Challenge and Rules
    Latest Releases: In Volo’s Wake for Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition. Read my end-of-the-year list of releases for an overview of what I’ve put out for 2016.
    Current State of Projects: Read my latest project update. New project update coming this month!

Monica Valentinelli is an author, artist, and narrative designer who writes about magic, mystery, and mayhem. Her portfolio includes stories, games, comics, essays, and pop culture books.

In addition to her own worlds, she has worked on a number of different properties including Vampire: the Masquerade, Shadowrun, Hunter: the Vigil, Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn, and Robert E. Howard’s Conan.

Looking for Monica’s books and games that are still in print? Visit Monica Valentinelli on Amazon’s Author Central or a bookstore near you.

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