Tag Archives: Camp NaNoWriMo

Plans for June

QT by Rhonda ParrishDear _______,

As I write this there is a clock counting down the hours until Camp NaNoWriMo begins. I’m quite nervous.

It’s a little bit silly. Since 2003 I’ve participated in 8 NaNoWriMos (6 times successfully) and for several years I ran NaNoLJers. NaNoWriMo is not a new thing for me, and Camp NaNoWriMo is really only that transplanted from November into June.

If anything I really ought to be excited about this because it will be all the things I loved about NaNoWriMo with fewer of the things that had begun to drive me nuts and contribute to my NaNo burn out. And  yet… and yet…

My worry isn’t completely unjustified, to be fair. I mean, I am going to be trying to write a novel based on some character ideas and a concept with no real idea what the plot is. I’ve been taking some of the advice I received in my Hollow Children call for help blog post, but I’m starting out late. While people’s suggestions have helped me firm up some of my ideas and start to get a vague idea about the shape of the story, I don’t really have enough time to firm it up too much.

And whose fault is that? Um. Mine. LOL

Also, did I mention that I signed up for The Whittakers again this year? I did.

The Whittaker Prize is a writing contest wherein you write a story, poem or both (depending on what you sign up for) every two weeks and submit it for scoring. Usually there are 9 rounds but this year it’s a shortened schedule with 6 rounds instead.

It’s sort of become a tradition for me. I never expect to win, but I love having the deadlines and getting feedback on the work I send in. It’s a fantastic way for me to write several short stories that I can then spend the rest of the year refining and sending out for submission. The only problem? They begin on June 8th. *facepalm* Yes. That’s right, while I’m participating in Camp NaNoWriMo and working on the first draft of a nebulous novel I will also have to write at least one, and closer to two, short stories.

So, in order to combat a situation that could easily result in creative burnout I’ve decided to really embrace the whole ‘camp’ theme for the month. Everything I do will be camp themed. My workouts will become ‘hikes’, some meals will be cooked over an open flame, blog entries will be letters home–hell, I might even set up the tent in the backyard and spend a Saturday night or two out there. Why not?

What’s more I’m going to cut myself a lot of slack on anything not directly related to writing Hollow Children and my Whittaker Submissions. That means I’ll likely be slower than usual replying to emails, and I may be on social media/visiting other people’s blogs/etc. a lot less. The internet connection at camp is spotty at best, doncha know?

I will continue my T4T posts and I’ll try to write you all a letter once a week, but I can’t promise anything.

I’ll be thinking of you though.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to get back to sewing my name into all my underwear and maybe getting a little bit more brainstorming time in on this story.



Hollow Children

Camp NaNoWriMo is next month and I am very nervous about it. Very. I’m going in nearly blind, and midway through another huge project (revisions on Twixt) which seems like a recipe for disaster but…well, it seemed like a good idea at the time, and now I’m committed. I freaking hate breaking commitments so, despite how unprepared I am, I’m going to suck it up and give it a shot. Who knows, maybe something awesome will come out of it and I can’t possibly end Camp NaNo with less than I started with, right? So, there’s that…

My project in June is going to be Hollow Children.

A few months ago (man, it might actually be a year ago now :-/) my daughter, Danica, and I decided we wanted to write a novel together. We searched through stock photography sites to find an image that sparked both our imaginations and chose on the image you can see to the left. We brainstormed together and came up with a couple characters then borrowed a story concept I’d been working on before and combined them.

I wrote an opening scene and passed it over to Dani to write the next one. She struggled with it. She’s possibly even more of a perfectionist than I am, and writing isn’t usually her “thing”. So we decided instead of sharing the writing duties, I would write the story and she would illustrate it.

And then I got stuck.

History has shown when I get stuck like this it’s because I’m starting the story in the wrong place, or haven’t really gotten into the brains of my characters. I suspect both are issues when it comes to Hollow Children. To make things even worse, our plot is only a nebulous concept still so I have no freaking idea what is going to happen in this book.


And now I’ve committed to writing 50,000 words on it over the month of June.

What was I thinking? LOL

Right now I’ve got the cover image (which I purchased the right to use) as my desktop image on my laptop so I’ll see it all the time. I’m hoping it will spark something in my brain but if all else fails I’ll draw a couple characters out of my fishbowl (or traits to help flesh out the characters Dani and I created earlier) and write random scenes. I can always try to fit them together once it’s time for revisions, right?

That being said, I’m very open to any suggestions anyone might have about how to find the skeleton of a story in a hurry LOL


Camp NaNoWriMo

I may be crazy. Ah hell, I might as well own it, right? I am crazy.

I just signed up for Camp NaNoWriMo for June. Camp NaNoWriMo is the same as regular NaNoWriMo but it takes place in June or August rather than November.

I signed up because I’ve really been struggling with writing new fiction this year. I’ve created several poems I’m really fond of, but when it comes to fiction I haven’t written anything new all year. I’ve re-written a few stories, and I’m up to my eyeballs with HTRYN revisions on Twixt, but brand new from nothing drafts? Nada. In five months. That’s unacceptable.

So, that’s where Camp NaNoWriMo comes in.

I have a story I’m meant to be working on with Danica. It’s called Hollow Children and the idea is that I’m going to write it and then she will illustrate it. I’ve decided to make it my Camp NaNo project. Perhaps the daily word counts, accountability and a NaNo-light atmosphere will help me get it done. It will then sit for a few months until I find time to revise it, but it will be written and maybe that will break through this wall in my brain that is keeping me from getting any new fiction written.

Or, maybe I’m just crazy.