Wednesday, July 5, 2017

I'm A Camper!

Is it weird that it sounds weird to call it "Independence Day"?
Sorry for the day-late update. Took a lazy day, so I slept in a bit. It was an American holiday - THE American holiday - it was the first week in months that we have enough people at work for us to have TWO days off a week, I got today off as well, creating a rare "weekend" for me, plus, I actually wrote this week. I think I earned my delayed post. Plus, we had Shadow surprise us late yesterday morning - Hubby had invited him over for festivities, but we were expecting around 1pm - and then we took an impromptu trip to Ronoxym and Cyhyr's home for a grill-out get-together. Yesterday just didn't offer itself to be a good "stop and write something" day.

But let's talk about the day I DID write. It's not much, and I slacked off the rest of the week thus far, but on Sunday I buckled down and wrote out the startings of a story.

Well, technically I started out on the ending of a story. I'll get to that later. First, how I FINALLY got out of my slump.

Mouse commented on Facebook about a week or two ago how she was prepping for a month-long challenge she put forth to herself. She then mentioned that coincidentally it's the same month as Camp NaNoWriMo. She was also a bit shocked because she didn't know that Camp NaNoWriMo is a thing.

It was created in 2011 and was, I believe, originally designed as a way to encourage young writers to keep writing during the summer months outside of school. There were two monthly sessions: July and August. The following year it was June and August. Then, in 2013, they decided to spread out the NaNo months to November being the main event, then Camp in April and July. This was partially to fill the void in April left behind by the not-as-successful Script Frenzy event while still having one Camp in the summer.

Thing is, I was still stuck in the mindset of the first two years where Camp NaNoWriMo was in August, so I didn't even realize Camp time was upon us.

Much like NaNo, I have known of their Camp version for years, but I've never actually participated. So, when Mouse commented that it would occur in July, coinciding with her own private month-long writing challenge, I was tempted to give it a whirl.

Maybe a challenge would be my push to get me back into writing? It's always helped when Ali Luke ran challenges over at Writers’ Huddle. I wasn't sure I was ready for a NaNo challenge, though, because I really had no clue what to write. I had no new story idea to start. No desire to continue an existing one. Yes, Camp was a much simpler version of NaNo. It's sometimes considered "NaNo Lite" because there are no forums - although there are mini-forums called "cabins" where 19 participants are gathered as "cabin mates" and can talk among themselves - and there isn't that 50,000 word goal. Participants set their own writing goals, be it the normal 50,000 or as little as 31 - one word a day just to get yourself writing ANYTHING.

Mouse poked me a couple of times the last few days of June. With her encouragement, I bit the bullet and signed up. I had no clue what to write, and I still had no desire for anything. Still, I went with a modest 10,000 words this month. It's not much, but it's a heck of a lot more than what I've written the entirety of spring. The trick then was to figure out what to write this month. All I knew was that, regardless what I decided on, I had committed myself to 10,000 words.

I started off with the idea of getting back into world building. I've been kind of stalled with "Glitches" so maybe go back to Gyateara? I haven't done much with The Divine Legends in years. Maybe I could do another legend per day throughout the month. Thirty-one new deity myths each running only about 300 words each. Heck, I knew I wouldn't be able to write that succinctly, so why not make it 15 deities at about 600 words each?  Or 10 at 1000 words? Then the world-build stall settled in. I still had no clue what to even come up with for the legends. Creation of the world? The reason certain laws are in place? What happened when the deities didn't keep their truce about staying isolated within the realms they created? The possibilities were so endless I was overwhelmed. Then I thought "I should probably work backwards: create the world first and come up with the legends when needed."

So, Legends wasn't really an option. It was closing in on midnight on June 30th; I didn't have the time to figure out my map or any of the other stuff in order to have enough to build legends around.

I was signed up. It was July 1st. I still had no desire to write anything. My one idea quickly petered out. What was I going to do?

Then I remembered Mouse's challenge to me. I had told her that I'm becoming more and more like my Wonder Twin Ronoxym; I was distracted by shiny new story ideas and never seemed to END any story. Even with my short stories, they were always scenes. Completed scenes, but not ones with "endings." More story could be told about any of these tales.

So, now back to what I started this update with: "Well, technically I started out on the ending of a story."

This is thanks to Mouse's encouragement again. I was commenting about how I was on the edge about joining Camp NaNo, but my wavering was because didn't know what to write. My inner editor was stopping each idea I had.

Mouse: You should try! Keep the goal realistic based off your schedule! Maybe it would spark something. And punch your inner critic in the face. If this is what you want and what you love, then you just gotta run forward! Even if you give yourself like....a five page goal for the month, I bet you would feel a little better....
I have a challenge then. Write backwards! Start with some kind of conclusion first. 

So, now that I am signed up and couldn't think of a story, I went back to her challenge. Start with the ending. What did I want for an ending, though? I ended up missing July 1st because I still didn't know.

Then, as I was falling asleep after dropping Hubby off at work I had my idea. Apparently my muse only shows up after midnight....

And apparently the muse comes in the shape of Devon....

A few years back - late 2012/early 2013 - Hubby came up with a time skip on the X-Future board to try to jumpstart the game again. At the time, Ron wasn't very active, and so, since it seemed he was done playing, Hubby actually "killed off" Devon to sort of thin out the character list. After the fact, Ron stated he was still interested in the game. So, Hubby revived Devon, however, he still "died" first. It was an epic battle between Devon and his hated enemy Trish. I was supposed to write the actual story, but slacked off at the time. I've tried multiple times over the years to write the showdown, but nothing seemed quite right. I then paused to see if Ron wanted to co-write with me, and that never came to fruition. In the meantime, Hubby just had a generic "Devon and Nyssa went to this place, and presumably met their demise. Two Brotherhood members that appeared to be Lighter and Agony were seen fleeing the scene." He then also had a scene with the revived Devon where his throat was cut, he nearly died, he collapsed due to loss of blood, and was found by the mutant Kira, and became an amnesiac.

I think this challenge is the perfect time for me to finish this story, or rather, write it in the first place. I know where it ends: Devon's throat slit, Nyssa stuck inside a burning building, Trish thinking she's victorious in her defeat of her rival, and Agony there as back-up. Now, to work backwards.

I only wrote on the 2nd, but I'm already almost 1000 words in. Ron seems excited to see how things turn out. I might have him beta and edit for me before posting though, we'll see how it goes.

While I'm working on that this month, though, I promised you two writing practices to make up for me not finding my journal last week. I probably should have added a third story to also make up for the day-late update, but I didn't want to postpone any longer so I could type up and edit one more piece. Next week, guys!

This first story is under 500 words. It was when I first fell into my writing funk this spring. I went outside to re-embrace sunshine, listened to my wind chimes, and jotted this down. You could tell I was rusty. Whoo-boy, you should have seen the misspellings and "typos" in the journal. There were a couple of sentences there where I had no clue what I was trying to say. It was like my mind was trying to write three sentences at the same time! Hopefully I managed to clean it up to something readable though.

"Mountain Man"

And for another treat, I'm back again with X-Future, and another Lia story at that. When I wrote this Lia put herself up on the roof of the mansion, and the story flowed fairly well, although Ripley seemed a touch out-of-character. Problem is, canonically speaking, Lia probably wouldn't run away to the roof because she gets sick the further she is from the ground.... soooooo, I had to figure out a new venue for the story. In doing so, I also had to rework how I introduced that they were at the Xavier Institute for Gifted Youngsters. I also reworked Ripley a touch. When all was said and done, I basically rewrote the entire opening and ending to this story.
"Late Night"

Alright, well, again, a day belated, but to all Americans who read my blog:

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