Progress Report: Camp Nano Recap

My goal was to write four short stories and submit four stories to paying markets during July. Since July isn’t exactly four weeks long, I tacked on the extra time to the first week.

The original synopsis I posted on the Camp Nano site:

  1. A humorous fantasy featuring a boy with two problems and a plan to deal with both at the same time.
  2. The Minders keep everyone in line, unless you’re an untouchable– those they just kill, and Emma has no one to protect her anymore.
  3. Twelve year old Liri wants nothing more than to join the Diadem, but at her age, the risks of complications are high.
  4. An experimental android spontaneously awakens during its construction and struggles to deal with his burgeoning sentience and its ultimate erasure.

What really happened:

  1. This was a new idea going into Camp Nano, and it evolved into something less humorous than I at first imagined. It was the longest of all the stories, but I still haven’t figured out how it ends. Still working on it. And by working on it, I mean “letting it percolate in my brain for a bit.”
  2. I think I enjoyed writing this one the most even though it’s also not quite finished at 3,057 words. At least I know how it ends, it’s just a matter of finishing it. The week ran out on me, though, so I started another story just to keep up with that end of the goal of writing four stories.
  3. I switched this one out to tackle a piece that I’d written previously. The first draft was an unfocused mess. I couldn’t settle on how to present the story, and honestly I’m still wavering on that. I did write 1,914 words of second draft material that is certainly more focused, I’m just not sure I like how I went about focusing it.
  4. Wrote 1,156 words, kinda know where it’s going, but a little unclear how I’m going to get there just yet.
  5. Extra Credit: Wrote a very short flash fiction and subbed it to a paying market.
  6. Extra Credit: Wrote a flash fiction piece that I subbed to an online workshop.

Towards the end I figured out a couple of things:

  1. Writing shorts in one sitting is the best option. Unfortunately, I’m horrible at that. I get too restless. The housework, chores and summer schedule don’t help either. I’m too distracted by activities and events and interruptions. It’s so hard to get back in the groove when I pick it back up the next day. I’m looking forward to things getting back to normal when school starts.
  2. I’m never going to write a story longer than flash and sub it in the same week. I am amazed by the number of typos, grammatical mistakes, continuity errors, etc I don’t see at the end of one week of writing. I realized this after subbing my longer flash piece for critique. Ouch. No more rushing just to get a sub in.
  3. As mentioned in a previous post, and tied in with the above, at this point in my journey, subbing to a paying market once a week isn’t going to happen. I’ll be satisfied if I have one sub a month to a market, and the rest of the week’s subs will be for critique.

Overall, I did fairly well this month. Better than I expected, since I was worried that even the low, low goal of 10,000 words was going to be too much. The subbing part proved problematic, but I’ve re-evaluated my goals and come up with a better plan that is a better fit for me, and doesn’t undermine the spirit of the challenge.

I’m hoping to do better next month with the revised goals in place. There’s a few things on the calendar, but it isn’t near as overwhelming as July proved to be. I’m not starting out strong, though. It’s been a bit of a bust so far this week. I haven’t even finished my QuEST update for the week, never mind writing a story.

Time to get busy!

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