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Summing up Camp NaNoWriMo July 2020.

1 Aug

As far as doing Camp NaNoWriMo July 2020 went, my goals were low. I’ve had quite a difficult relationship with being creative recently. I’ve pretty much completely moved my model to submitting stuff, rather than writing or creating new stories. However, I decided that I would like to try writing again during Camp Nano July.

GOALS:- Any of the following –
Write a total of 20,000 words.
Write a total of 20 different stories.
Write for 20 days.

Camp Nano July 2020, day 1.

1st story of day 1 written. 1,192 words (The Dream Police) so far & 1446 words (Viskar Says Koklyev). Total of 2638 words.

Dream Police was literally inspired from reading a tweet which said “Who are you, the dream police?” Viskar Says Koklyev was an idea where you could spend years working for a person who only ever said one word and you couldn’t understand them.

Camp Nano July 2020, day 2. 1139 words (This Reality Is Collapsing) & 975 words (Dear Transnational Death Tank Company). Total of 4752 words.

This Reality Is Collapsing was an idea about being in an awful situation & having to think laterally to get out of it. Dear Transnational Death Tank Company is one of my experiments with epistles which I learned about doing Cat Rambo’s flash fiction course. Those have really been proving fun and easy to write. If you can find the right subject, these almost write themselves.

Camp Nano July 2020, day 3. 1670 words. Total of 6422 words.

Praise The Lord, this is already out in submission so I don’t want to say too much about it. I know I enjoyed writing it. Maybe you’ll be able to enjoy reading it soon? Fingers crossed!

Camp Nano July 2020, day 4. 2112 words. Total of 8534 words.

The Dive, inspired by seeing the movie “Underwater”, which I thought was awful, and not remotely entertaining. It’s a mix of SF & horror. The style wasn’t easy to get right, I hope people like it when I start submitting it.

Camp Nano July 2020, day 5. 725 words. Total of 9259 words.

Quick summary of Camp so far. I’ve written 6 stories. Not all of them are shit. A few may be saleable. Some may need beta readers.

Todays story was The Wokklesok, inspired by a user on Kongregate called Wokklesok. I said “Hey, man. Can I use your nickname in a story?” and he said have at it. So I did.

Camp Nano July 2020, day 6. 2316 words. Total of 11575 words.

TITLE REDACTED, day 1. I was frightened to start writing this, it’s a scary subject. Also, I’m not sure anyone has ever written a short story about this subject, so I won’t be mentioning the title, or the subject.

Camp Nano July 2020, day 7. 3049 words. Total of 14624 words.

Day 2 of TITLE REDACTED. Finally got it finished!

Camp Nano July 2020, day 8. 0 words. Total of 14624 words. I’m putting this here now. Writing yesterdays story was quite stressful so I am taking today off. Yes, I could write later today, but I don’t want to so I’m not forcing it.

Camp Nano July 2020, day 9. 1067 words. Total of 15691 words.

War Driver, a short cyberpunk style piece. Just an experiment really.

Camp Nano July 2020, day 10. 2476 words. Total of 18167 words.

Rescue Mission, based on an image prompt.

Camp Nano July 2020, day 11. 604 words. Total of 18771 words. Yeah, a short one today. I don’t mind, I wrote something. It just didn’t work out much longer than I had hoped. Daily goal has been 500 words and we’re beyond that.

London By Data-tape (Sensorium Version). I hoped I could get more from this idea, but struggled to get much beyond the daily 500 word goal.

Camp Nano July 2020, day 12. 1724 words. Total of 20495 words. And that is my goal, reached. A total of 12 stories finished. I’ll decide tomorrow if I am going to keep writing or not. At least there’s no pressure now.

Todays story was We Came Back In Winter, also based on an image prompt. It’s not a great story but hopefully with some refining I can fix it.

Camp Nano July 2020, day 13. 1912 words. Total of 22407 words.

I Made A New Friend Today. Exactly what it sounds like, part sf, part horror.

Camp Nano July 2020, day 14. 1456 words. Total of 23863 words.

Snurgul The Knurgal, short, maybe too short. Might need more work.

Camp Nano July 2020, day 15. 818 words. Total of 24681 words.

Letters From The Phased Photonic Travel Company, another epistle. I like it, I think it works and is funny.

Camp Nano July 2020, day 16. 1483 words. Total of 26164 words.

Declaring Dependants, a story set in COVID times, not sure if it works.

Camp Nano July 2020, day 17. 0 words. Total of 26164 words. Declaring today a down day, to relax, smell the flowers & just chill. I’ve 2 titles I can work on, but not today.

Camp Nano July 2020, day 18 & 19. 0 words. Total of 26164 words. As I am starting a week-long writing course Monday, I’m going to declare no words for today & tomorrow right now. I’m fine, I could totally write now if I so wished. I’d rather save it all up for that week.

Camp Nano July 2020, day 20. 2592 words. Total of 28756 words.

Death Cache Trial, I’ve been watching a Belgian livestreamer on Twitch recently, he does geocaching, and it gave me several ideas. this also needs some work.

Camp Nano July 2020, day 21. 0 words. Total of 28756 words.

Camp Nano July 2020, day 22. 1386 words. Total of 30142 words.

The Blue Package, I’d been watching Upload this week and had a few ideas of my own about living in a virtual enviroment.

Camp Nano July 2020, day 23. 875 & 936 (1811) words. Total of 31953 words. And that is my 20 stories completed.

Dial Stuck On Summer – short, set in a simulation. Needs some work, & Field Motivator Unit 349 Joins The Townswomens Guild – Really needs a lot to fix it.

SUMMING UP:- Goal to write 20,000 words was achieved, and then some. Goal to write 20 stories was achieved, barely. Some of them aren’t great. You can really spot the ones I fought to crank out.

While I didn’t write for 20 days, I didn’t feel I had to. I got 2 of my 3 possible goals, which I was more than happy with. I’m nowhere near back to where I was, easily able to write at will, whenever I want, but it’s a lot easier than it was before. I’m calling that a win too.

I wrote a very difficult story I had been putting off doing. It will be going out to submission, probably in August. At least 16 of these 20 stories feel like they could sell to the right market, with minor tweaking.

I put the entire list bar TITLE REDACTED online, people are enjoying the sound of them. I’ll use August to prepare for the September Submission Event which might possibly be the final one. I am either shelving the project, or potentially taking the next step on my own, to try a year long challenge of submitting 1 story per day for 365 days.

I’m not confident of my health, with COVID. I am working like every day is my last. Get stuff done, get it subbed. Worry about dying later. It’s probably just paranoia, but I am honestly frightened.

I don’t want to sound down, but life is fucking scary right now. You never know if you’ll wake up tomorrow, so just live like you will. Stay healthy, friends!

So I made a decision…

21 Jun

If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, this won’t be news to you. I’m doing Camp NaNo July 2020.

I’ve set quite a low goal of either 20,000 words or 20 complete stories over 500 words.

I did a quick riffle through my stuff by the PC and have come up with 20 things I’d be happy writing. I’ve also had a brief look through my partially written stories, my incompletes and my works in progress. Lots of things to write there.

Hopefully I can find the motivation to get that done.

Camp Nano July 2019 – The Rules!

24 Jun

I’d like to start by saying I WILL be taking part in Camp Nano this July, despite the fact I’ve got a hospital appt in the very middle of the month. It may or may not be for actual laser surgery on both my eyes. If this is the case then I’ll be losing at least one day to the procedure & the recovery process.

STATEMENT OF INTENT:- During the month of July 2019 I will be writing at least 40,000 words across numerous short stories of varying lengths. 40k is my minimum goal, the goal may be shifted up (or down) at any point during the month. I’m setting it low due to the recent creative lull I have barely just got back from. It’s a goal of 1290 words per day.

THE RULES:- I can use any ideas I’ve already outlined. I can also use ideas I’ve already started writing but I can’t count any of the words I may have already written. Any revisions or inserts CAN be counted.

BAIL-OUT CLAUSE:- I reserve the right to call an end to Camp at any point, for mental health reasons. I don’t want to have a repeat of April 2019 Camp where I basically lost my mind & couldn’t get going again then resented writing for the next few months.

ACCOUNTABILITY:- I will be completely up front on the days where I write stuff I have already started. I will report those wordcounts truthfully Failing to reach the daily goal is not a failure of Camp. Camp will only be deemed failed if I call an end early or I don’t reach whatever the current set target is. Daily & Total wordcounts will be posted on Twitter & Facebook so my followers can not only track my progress, they can offer their support or keep me honest.

I’ve never lied during a Camp or a NaNo before now, and I’m not about to start now.

GENERAL OUTLINE & HOPES:- I’d like to complete 20 or so short stories so I’ve got new material to submit out. I’d also like to get myself enthused about writing and being creative again.

APRIL CAMP 2019; LESSONS LEARNED:- Not to be in a hurry to get a big lead. Not to write too much in the first week or so, and burn myself out physically & mentally. Camp is a marathon, not a sprint. Every word written is a step in the right direction. Don’t place unnecessary pressure on myself to write a certain amount each day. The goal is achieveable & there’s an entire extra day from a regular Nano to win in.

Wish me luck, I am all in from here.

Summing up Camp NaNo July 2018

27 Jul

This month I decided to set my official goal at 50,000 words, reaching it by writing various different short stories. Here’s how I got on!

Day 01 – Daily word count 4724, total word count 4724.
Day 02 – Daily word count 2120, total word count 6844.
Day 03 – Daily word count 2668, total word count 9512.
Day 04 – Daily word count 3850, total word count 13362.
Day 05 – Daily word count 5301, total word count 18663.
Day 06 – Daily word count 3253, total word count 21916.
Day 07 – Daily word count 4247, total word count 26163. Broke halfway point!
Day 08 – Daily word count 2020, total word count 28183.
Day 09 – Daily word count 1947, total word count 30130.
Day 10 – Daily word count 2670, total word count 32800.
Day 11 – Daily word count 4542, total word count 37342. Added 84 words to day 6 story.Total=37426 words.
Day 12 – Daily word count 2688, total word count 40114.
Day 13 – Daily word count 4468, total word count 44582. Added 79 words to yesterdays count.
Day 14 – Daily word count 1286, total word count 45868.
Day 15 – Daily word count 2058, total word count 47926.
Day 16 – Daily word count 3330, total word count 51256. Win on day 16!
Day 17 – Daily word count 1818, total word count 53074. Unofficial new target now 60,000 words.
Day 18 – Daily word count 1022, total word count 54096. 1 like from #Pit2Pub
Day 19 – Daily word count 1208, total word count 55384.
Day 20 – Daily word count 1600, total word count 56984. Win claimed!
Day 21 – Daily word count 1363, total word count 58347.
Day 22 – Daily word count 1498, total word count 59845.
Day 23 – Daily word count 712, total word count 60557. Unofficial goal reached!
Day 24 – Daily word count 1378, total word count 61935.

Claimed end of camp on day 25, no writing took place that day.

I wrote and completed 27 new stories. I’d stand by all bar 3 of them to be saleable.

I managed to write something every day, despite this being the hottest July on record. One of my novels is currently being read by a publisher.

I did okay this month.

Camp NaNoWriMo July 2018 Rules

15 Jun

To have a little order, I need to establish rules and guidelines, these are they.

OBJECT:- To write at least 50,000 words (or more) in 31 days.

This does NOT mean that I have to write 1 story every day.

Not writing a story each day WILL NOT deem the challenge to have been failed.

Failure is to not write at least 50,000 words in the entire 31 day period.

There is no daily goal, just a goal for the whole month.
But more than 1667 words each day would be a good idea.

Between the period of midnight July 1st 2018 and July 31th 2018 23;59:59 I MUST write at least 50,000 words.

If by August 1st 2018 I have not done this, I have failed.

I am allowed to write stories longer than 1000 words, there is no upper word limit.
I am allowed to write several stories in one day. There is no daily word count to reach.

Stories can come from image prompts or word prompts.
I can use prewritten outlines, as long as they aren’t actually started stories.
I cannot use stories I have already started & merely type them up or finish them unless they were created in the above time period.

Stories do not need to be spellchecked or proofed.

These are the rules, to ensure fair play and no cheating.

Let’s Talk About Novels

11 Jun

As my 2nd novel is currently being read by an agent (thankyou #Pitmad!), I thought I’d take a bit of time to talk about my other novel and the ones I’ve either never finished or never started.

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Successful novel #1 was The Impossible Lean. Written during Camp NaNoWriMo of April 2016 (despite not knowing it actually existed!), this was the first novel I actually finished, and also did it in under 30 days.

Impossible Lean is a YA survivalism spec-fic piece set on a distant human colony where the occupants struggle to survive. It’s still in edits, and if I’m honest, it’s probably always will be.

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Obviously, Impossible Lean wasn’t my first attempt to write a novel. The first attempt started WAY back in 1986 before a lot of people reading this were even born. And I’m actually still writing it. Sort of.

The first novel was actually a Hitch Hikers Guide To The Galaxy fan-fic piece called “Don’t Panic!” The story was my idea, it was written before the 5th Adams book came out. It was an attempt to combine TV, radio & books into one definitive world. I created a few new characters and used existing ones in new ways than they’d been seen before.

It still exists, it lives on my old blog.

http://allaboutanythingatall.blogspot.com/2008/06/dont-panic-my-hhgttg-fan-fic.html

It’s there, if you feel like reading it. I had an idea for an end too. I just never finished the whole thing.

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My second attempt at a novel started while I was in the RAF. I owned an electric typewriter and I started getting back into writing seriously. I wrote at least 1 poem most days, normally more.

The second attempt was a fantasy/SF cross-over (this genre didn’t even exist in 1992, when I started writing it) called The Saga Of The Invisible Knight. It’s set about 1000 yrs after a nuclear war where the remnants of society have reverted to a medieval style existance. I typed some of it, I handwrote some of it. There’s an absolute shit ton of notes for it. I was lucky, in that I found it when we were moving house having thought I’d lost it many years ago. I could literally pick it up tomorrow and start writing it as an actual novel.

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My next idea for a novel came off a short story I wrote about 4 years ago, The Space Museum. It’s a story about being the last American woman left alive after a global war/pandemic. I hadn’t decided which. There is a brief outline that exists, I’m not sure if I’ll ever write it.

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My last attempt to write a novel failed 3 days into the task, that was another try during NaNoWriMo of 2016. It was a story of someone who ran aground on what he thought was an island that turns out not to be. I wrote about 6000 words but it died on its arse because I couldn’t sustain the plot with only one chararacter. I’ve still got what I wrote, and I might finish it as a short novella or novelette one day.

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There’s one last collection of notes and ideas that exist almost as an outline, which I’m considering writing for this years NaNoWriMo. It’s more a dramatic piece, with a little dystopian twist. I don’t want to give away too many details as it’s a good idea that would be easy for anyone to write themselves.

So there you go. The novels I started, or didn’t start, or gave up on.

So this was April…

1 May

We’ve already reached the end of the fourth month of 2018.

So what’s happened so far?

SALES:- I’ve made 3 sales so far, to Third Flatiron; “The Doomsday Machine Retires” for their Monstrosities anthology and to WolfSinger Publications; “Muse” for their Cat Tails anthology. I haven’t been given permission to announce the third sale yet, I’ll tell you who it was to and the story when I am allowed.

SUBMISSIONS:- I’ve already submitted 103 stories this year.

REJECTIONS:- I’ve had 91 rejections so far.

ANY OTHER BUSINESS:- In the pipeline is the publications of “Uncle Ping’s Evening Farewell” from Insignia. Still no official date on this. I’m sorry I’ve not got more news on this. I’m just as anxious to see it come out as you are.

Third Flatiron released the “Monstrosities” anthology featuring “The Doomsday Machine Retires”:- https://www.amazon.com/dp/B079Q9N7Q1?ref_=pe_2427780_160035660)

Cat Tails – War Zone from Wolfsinger (featuring my story “Muse”) is available to buy at Smashwords:- https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/802052

I had a fairly successful Camp NaNoWriMo this month, I wrote over 40,000 words, 18 new stories, especially as I’d set my target at 30,000.

There are a few places opening to subs this month and I’m hoping to get a few more answers back before the end of the month too. Fingers crossed for more sales.

Summing up Camp NaNoWriMo April 2018

23 Apr

Let’s start on a high, shall we? It’s day 23. And I have a VALIDATED WIN!

Here’s the breakdown for stats purposes.

Official goal was 30,000. This remained unchanged for the entire time.

Day 01:- 1715 words written, 1715 total.
Day 02:- 2112 words written, 3827 total.
Day 03:- 3192 words written, 7019 total.
Day 04:- 2825 words written, 9844 total. 2 stories written today, 1390 & 1435 words.
Day 05:- 2474 words written, 12318 total.
Day 06:- 2784 words written, 15102 total. Just over half way to goal.
Day 07:- 3937 words written, 19039 total.
Day 08:- 2310 words written, 21349 total. Amost didn’t write at all today, felt so tired this afternoon. Couldn’t find any motivation. In the end, I just started and hoped to do at least 1000 words. I guess you never know what you can do unless you try.

Day 09:- 1806 words written, 23155 total.
Day 10:- 2974 words written, 26129 total.
Day 11:- 1582. words written, 27711 total.
Day 12:- 2351 words written, 30062 total. That’s a confirmed win on day 12!
Day 13:- 0 words written, 30062 total.
Day 14:- 0 words written, 30062 total.
Day 15:- 3270 words written, 33332 total.
Day 16:- 0 Words written, 33332 total.
Day 17:- 1902 words written, 35234 total.
Day 18:- 0 words written, 35234 total.
Day 19:- 0 words written, 35234 total. Official win on day 19! Fully validated WIN.
Day 20:- 0 words written, 35234 total.
Day 21:- 0 words written, 35234 total.
Day 22:- 0 words written, 35234 total.
Day 23:- 0 words written, 35234 total.
Day 24:- 0 words written, 35234 total.
Day 25:- 0 words written, 35234 total.
Day 26:- 993 words written, 36478 total.
Day 27:- 2150 words written, 38628 total.
Day 28:- 0 words written, 38628 total.
Day 29:- 0 words written, 38628 total.
Day 30:- 1800 words written, 40428 total.

I wrote 18 new stories in the last 30 days and surpassed my goal by over 10k.

I chose to leave my goal at 30,000 words after my disaster during Story A Day September where I totally failed to wrote 30k. I didn’t even write 30 stories. I was doing this purely to regain my confidence.

I am pleased to say that one of last year’s Camp stories has sold, I’m not allowed to say which one or who to (yet) but I will when I’ve been given permission.