Camp NaNoWriMo Results

Well, I didn’t reach my goal of 10,000 words, but I did write 7,282 words.

I’m actually happy with that. I think I set my word goal too high for the type of story I wanted to write about The Campground Creeplies.

A cool thing happened when I asked my 17-year-old daughter to draw the Creeplies for me. She asked me questions about who they are and what they do. As I was telling her about them, she chuckled a few times and seemed sincerely delighted.

I’ll keep writing and editing it until I have something I find worthy of showing the world (i.e. you).

Hopefully, you’ll be as delighted with the story as my daughter when I’m done.

That time Stephen King told me what to write

So I was just hanging out, watching an online streaming service and fiddling with my phone when Stephen King looks me straight in the eye and tells me what to write.

Well, he didn’t exactly look me in the eye.

Alright, he doesn’t even know I exist!

I was just checking out my Twitter feed and saw a post he wrote. He’s one of the many writers I follow. Which is kind of weird in a way because I’ve never read his books. I’ve seen movies based on his books. Some of his books were given to me. But I’ve never read them. I should probably read them…

Anyway, so the tweet was:

“The best stories, it seems to me, deal with friendship put under stress.”

Huh. Really? I guess I could see that…

I went back to the show I was watching.

Friendship under stress. Friendship under stress. Friendship under stress.

Those words would not let go of me. Could I write a story about friendship under stress? Do I have any such experience? Of course I do! I’m 42-years-old. I’ve had many friendships come and go. Some of those friendships were definitely under stress. Some were even born under stress.

Then I started thinking about a particular friendship. I started embellishing and dramatizing the reason why we drifted apart and it started to make me upset. Then she appeared. I don’t know her name yet, but she started yelling her story at me so intensely that I can’t deny her, I’ll have to write it. Even if it’s a type of story I would’ve never thought I would write. Her story must be written.

It seems that by taking my writing seriously, I’ve opened myself up to all this inspiration. A tweet here. A song there. A memory. A conversation. An ordinary daily occurrence. And voilà! A story idea is born.

I can’t wait to see where they take me.

Camp NaNoWriMo – Mid-point update

Three days in, I was stuck. I didn’t quite know where to go with my story. I was starting to lose heart and just wanted to give up. Why the heck did I sign up for this challenge? I should have thought things through before jumping in.

When I went into this, I had a rough idea of what I wanted the story to be about, but I wouldn’t have been able to explain it to anyone. I didn’t even know the point to my story. And if I didn’t know the point, why would I even bother writing it?

So instead of giving up, I decided to do a little research.

What I was going through was a type of writer’s block. Looks like outlining and writing prompts are going to get me through this. The better the outline, the better the story. At least, I’m pretty sure it’ll be the case for me.

Also, while researching story outline guides, I found writing prompts to help me expand on certain topics in my story.

I know I’m a decent business writer. However, the writing I do for work has a purpose, and I know it going in. “This is the message we want to convey. Now convey it.” Easy peasy! And I can even do it in a creative way. (I love it when they let me get creative with corporate information.)

My creativity needs to be on somewhat of a leash. Otherwise it just runs around in circles until it gets dizzy, falls to the ground, and starts counting its toes, and then takes a nap.

I’ve also researched short story word counts. Looks like I may have been a little over zealous when I set my goal at 25,000 words. According to a few different sources, like the Nebula Awards, short stories are under 7,500 words. So, I readjusted my word count goal to 10,000. It’s a little more than the NA rules, but seems more manageable for my first short story than my original goal.

I got a little bonus help, too. I talked about my issues with my partner and with a work colleague. They both threw some interesting and fun ideas, questions, and comments my way that have inspired me with possible twists for my story.

Now I need to get back at it and finish this challenge. I’m not sure I’ll ever share this particular story with the world, but I must write it!

Camp NaNoWriMo

It’s 4:54 PM on Friday, June 30, 2017. I’m about to start my first Camp NaNoWriMo experience.

I decided at the beginning of the week that I’d finally take my writing seriously. I’ve been blogging since January 1, 2015, and write at work as a public servant, but I’ve always dreamt of writing a novel. So I’m dipping my toe in by challenging myself to a Camp NaNoWriMo event.

For those of you who don’t know:

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to creative writing.

On November 1, participants begin working towards the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 PM on November 30.

Valuing enthusiasm, determination, and a deadline, NaNoWriMo is for anyone who has ever thought about writing a novel.

With Camp NaNoWriMo (held in April and July) you set your own goal. I decided that I’d write a short story and gave myself the random goal of 25,000 words by the end of July.

According to Writer’s Digest, short stories range anywhere from 1,500 to 30,000 words. I intend to participate in the official NaNoWriMo in November 2017. So I figured challenging myself to write a short story was as good a place to start.

I have mixed feelings about it. I’m excited and look forward to taking this step. But I’m also afraid of not rising up to the challenge. I know the goal is not to stress myself out about it, but to get a virtual kick in the butt to get going with my writing. I don’t need to participate, but it seems like fun.

Here I go!