We are well into Camp NaNo. We are well into the yearly summer challenge. Some aren’t doing NaNo but I know that the summer is when I want to challenge my writing more (mostly because I tend to slack off if I don’t).
So today I’ve brought to you some alternative ways to work on your writing muscles besides NaNo.
Short Story Challenges or Poetry
Especially if you’re a long form writer, working in some short stories or poetry can help you work out different forms of writing or specific parts. Poetry can help with concise writing and descriptions. While short stories challenges give you different writing styles, and genres to work in that you might not normally write in. Plus there’s no commitment besides just a few thousand words. Just look for challenges on places like twitter and do them for yourself (or for contests).
Writing with a co-partner or with a group of people can be both fun and challenging. You work together with your own plots and concepts while trying to put forward a cohesive story. Or you can write a sentence at a time as an exercise that challenges you to keep a story going forward with crazy different ideas. Once my friends and I suddenly made a story that involved a superhero hamster. It’s great fun.
Fanfiction is great for honing the craft of staying in character or sticking to lore. If you’re writing stories about characters that are already fleshed out, you have to accurately portray the feelings and actions of the characters. It also extends your favorite worlds, helps you get involved in a community of people who have similar tastes. It has definitely helped me as a writer.
There are hundreds of ways you can get yourself into character roleplay. There’s my tried and true, Dungeons and Dragons. There’s LARP which means live action roleplay where you embody the character you want to play. And my new obsession, GTA RP where servers playing the Grand Theft Auto game have people be characters. It’s acting improve and gives you a chance to develop characters and understand dialogue with other people.
Let me know in the comments below if you’re working your way through Camp NaNo or if you’re challenging yourselves in other ways. I’d love to hear from you.