Going to Camp

I’ve been toying with the idea of getting into the Flash Fiction arena for some time (though my wordiness tends to work against me in that plan).  I’ve also been toying with the idea of participating in Camp NaNoWriMo, though I can guarantee that I do not have time to write 50,000 words in April.  For the past few weeks I’ve been thinking of ways I could do both – participate in Camp and also start writing Flash.  Yesterday, Grant Faulkner, Executive Director over at the Office of Letters and Light, posted his plan to write 30 Shorts in 30 Days over on the OLL blog.

Flash Fiction Camp?  I love the idea!

Looking at reality, I wonder if how I can actually do this.  I mean a story a day starting April 1 when I’ve written barely a dozen stories in over a year?  How crazy am I?  Add in the fact that baseball games for the team I manage start on April 1, the garden needs to start going in on or about April 1 and I have crazy work deadlines in April and really this is probably a bad idea. Nonetheless, the more I think about it, the more excited I am getting about going to Camp and starting this project.  I have the ideas to accomplish it, so now it’s time to start writing.  And, as the subtitle of this site says: just keep writing.

I am going to spend the next few days putting together prompts, much like Grant suggested in his post.  I’ll likely use a lot of the Today’s Author Write Now prompts, but I have others as well. I am not committing to posting each and every story on my blog right away, but my goal is to put them out there in some form during the month and/or after April is done.

So who else is participating in Camp this April?  What projects are you starting, whether for Camp or not?  I’m still not positive that I haven’t lost my mind in considering this, as there’s no way I can be writing a flash fiction and flashing signs from the third base coach’s box on the baseball field, but I’m going to give it a go.  Are you in?  Let us know what projects you are looking forward to starting. After all, putting it out there for all to see makes it more likely we’ll get started, right?

Oh, and if you have any tips for being successful with writing flash fiction, share them, too!


If you are doing Camp, find me on the site – my username is Lousy Writer 13. Looking forward to writing with everyone!


18 thoughts on “Going to Camp

  1. I did NaNoWriMo in November and it helped me immensely. I’m a career editor, so it’s very hard to turn off my internal editor and just let the words and ideas flow from my brain to my fingers. I highly recommend doing Camp NaNo. I’d be doing it, but I’m going to be on vacation for most of April. I like the idea of writing a mini-story a day. That will really get your creative juices flowing! It doesn’t matter if you don’t succeed; just trying will help limber up your writing muscles. Besides, all writers are a bit crazy! Why else would we spend our time making stuff up?

    A suggestion, if you don’t mind one from an “old” writer: Change your user name to something more positive. (Or if you can’t change it this time, do it the next time.) Self-fulfilling prophecy and all that. You’re certainly NOT a lousy writer!

    The best to you, and happy writing!

    • Thanks. I’m a 7 year veteran for NaNoWriMo (7 wins) and a huge proponent of it. My kids participate, my wife participates… I was a moderator for the YWP Forums this year as well as for the Tech forums on the main site. I *never* plan when I write, because everything else in my life is scripted (well okay, I planned once)… so the whole “write with reckless abandon” thing comes kind of naturally to me. But turning off that internal editor is still difficult, even after all these years of doing it.

      My username, Lousy Writer 13, is simply that: a username. I kind of like it. I completely understand the self-fulfilling prophecy issue, but when I created it so many years ago, it was mostly to take the pressure off after a very long absence from writing. I had to change my name on the YWP this year since I was “official” and all, and that brought a lot of questions from the kids about why I’d abandon “such a cool name”. That said, if/when the functionality allowing username changes comes online, I may be changing it (to my real name). But as I said, I kind of like this one.

    • And I would have thought being on holiday for most of April would have been an ideal time for writing… Perhaps you could do a 30 in 30 challenge. 30 poems, 30 pieces of flash fiction under 500 words, 30 unusual stretches etc. Have a lovely holiday.

      • Thanks for the suggestion, Tracey. I’m actually working on my second novel (just indie-pubbed the first on Amazon). I’ll be on vacation in the Florida Keys with my husband and niece, so my time won’t be all my own. But you can bet I’ll be writing some of the time. Thanks for the holiday wishes.

  2. One thing about flash fiction: don’t be afraid to experiment. Try different genres, tones, content. Never written a first-person Western? Or an all-dialogue, no-tags horror piece? Or 1000 words, all in a single sentence? Now’s your chance! It’s not that these are throwaway pieces… it’s that they are little nuggets of writerly freedom.

  3. Great idea. I’m going to join you inspite of the fact that we are away on work assignments for over half of April. I look forward to seeing your prompts if you choose to share. I will be writing on my ipad or use an old- fashioned pen & notebook.

  4. I will enjoy it vicariously through you. A story a day! Not in my genetic make-up. I hope you keep us up to date, put a count-down on the blog somewhere…

    • Jacqui… a story a day could be a poem a day, a blog post a day, a diary entry a day… whatever works to get you writing if you’re not (or even if you are!). But yes, I’ll keep you up-to-date on how it’s going.

  5. Tony Noland :

    One thing about flash fiction: don’t be afraid to experiment.

    This is actually one of the things I’ve been thinking about all day today is how I can use this to explore, consider and/or experiment with new things. Thanks for the encouragement.

  6. lifepath45 :

    Great idea. I’m going to join you ….

    That’s great! I’m likely going to use a lot of the current and upcoming Write Now prompts here on this site, so that will be one source of prompts. But yes, I’ll share whenever possible. Good luck!

  7. I’m trying to complete a 3rd book (put the chapters together in book format, and review, revise), and repair the 2 earlier works. Then it’s off to beg Oz to seriously consider my queries. Have never done NaNoWriMo or any off shoots. Sometimes I think my best (most creative) work is the emails I send family and friends. Best wishes on your April project. If enthusiasm is a measurement, you’re bound to be successful.

  8. Sound like a worthy goal.

    For the next 3 weeks, I’ll be writing a scene (500-1,000 words) a day on my short story, “Life”. I also plan to read at least one good short story each day and do a blog post about it. I borrowed this idea from Julie Israel at “The Read Room” (a WordPress blog).

    It will likely mean I’ll be on hiatus from “Write Now” prompts, but I’ll stay in touch.

  9. Yes! I am already signed up for Camp next month. I am planning a novella (17500 words), for which I have been occasionally plotting scenes and characters. I am excited and most likely will also be taking a periodic break or two from Write Now…we’ll see how it flows 🙂

  10. I’m signed up as well. This will be my first NaNo anything and I’m really excited. My goal is to use this time to actually finish something. I’ve been planning like crazy and know where this story is coming from and going and I really want to finish it. That said, my head is also spinning with new story ideas that I keep wanting to throw onto paper in flash fiction form so the idea of doing 30 flash fiction pieces in 30 days is also really appealing.

  11. Not this time around, but I plan on joining in on Camp NaNo in July, where I won’t be nearly as busy. June and August aren’t good months because I end school late and start school early (not that I won’t be doing Algebra all summer), so I’m really pumped for July. I plan on writing 15,000 words, because my goal on the YWP this past November was 10,000 and I could’ve done more.

  12. hmm. I had thought I had managed to weasel my way out of doing camp nano in April with some set of excuses I can’t think of at the moment, but this idea of 30 in 30 has now been sitting in the back of my mind the past two days like a double dog dare. I may just have to take this challenge…

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