Camp Polyglot NaNoWriMo

Okay, so I know I’ve been promising this ‘mystery post’ for quite a while now… and I’m sorry to have to tell you that actually, this isn’t it. I thought I’d manage to get it finished for this month, but sadly, that isn’t the case. However, it’s worked out quite well because there’s something else I’d like to announce this month – Camp Polyglot NaNoWriMo! This is something we’ve never done before, so there’s a chance it’ll change a little between runs just to make sure we get it right. And I should say, I actually have no idea how the actual Camp NaNoWriMo runs – so this could end up being exactly the same with a multilingual twist, or it could end up being completely different. But I guess there’s only one way to find out! I imagine you’ll have some questions, so I’ve tried to anticipate what they might be and will do my best to answer them below. Let’s jump in, shall we?

What the bloody hell are you going on about this time? Well, okay, firstly – rude. Secondly, well… let me explain. Basically, how it’s going to work is that it’ll run over the course of a month – the goal is to get you thinking about the project you might want to do for Polyglot NaNoWriMo, or it could be completely separate and just get you practicing writing in your chosen language. I’ll be posting a prompt every Monday, Wednesday and Friday (for a total of thirteen prompts) and they’re mostly character based, so get thinking about your characters… now!

Holy balls, you could have given me some warning! This isn’t really a question, is it? That doesn’t matter, though, I suppose. Don’t panic – I am giving you some warning. This isn’t starting today, it will actually be starting next month – the first prompt will be coming to you on Monday the 2nd of August.

Where can I find these so-called prompts? Alright, I don’t care much for your accusatory tone. These prompts were formulated by a panel of experts in the field (or… okay, it was me and a couple of friends) and are designed to help you flesh out your characters before you start to write about them. They can be applied whether your main character is going to be a regular old human or a monochrome unicorn called Brian that shoots black, white and grey rainbows out of the third eye on their forehead (but that’s copyrighted to me so no stealing my idea!) I’ll be posting them on Twitter, using the hashtag #CampPolyNaNo, so you can follow that hashtag if you’d like or just keep your eyes on my Twitter feed!

Okay, I like the idea, but I’m not sure I’ve got the discipline/motivation to do a whole month. What do you suggest? WELL, that’s actually a very good question. Polyglot NaNoWriMo has been running for years, and to be perfectly honest with you, total stranger on the internet, I’ve never once managed to win. However, for the first few years it was basically just something I did on my own – but people have started to join in over the past few years, and that’s been motivating. I’ve done better and better year on year as more people have taken part. So my suggestion to you is to form a little group and do it like that, OR, if you’re feeling sociable, you could join my Discord server which is all about languages and language learning, and there’s a thread for Polyglot NaNoWriMo where we’ll be tracking our progress, answering questions and just generally motivating each other. If you’d like to join in the fun on Discord, drop me a DM on either Instagram or Twitter (I’m sprakskatan on both) and I’ll send you a link!

If by some bizarre twist of fate I haven’t anticipated your question, and it’s still taking up space in your head (hey, it’s free real estate), then you should drop me a line and ask it. Because honestly, it might be something I hadn’t even considered, and it could be pretty important! So again, you can contact me on both Twitter and Instagram (where my handle is sprakskatan for both), or you could just drop a comment on this post! If this is something you think you’d be interested in, again, please let me know – or you can tweet or Instagram with the hashtag CampPolyNaNo! As always, thank you very much for reading my nonsense (there have been just over 3,000 of you so far, and that fact absolutely blows my mind!) and I’ll see you next month for both your first prompt and indeed the fabled blog post I’ve been promising since the beginning of the year. Take care of yourselves!

– J.

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