Camp Nanowrimo

Flash Fiction – A Man’s World (and a quick update)

This is from a writing prompt posted in my writing group. It was the amazing picture of a man kneeling down on one knee with several arrows sprouting from his back. It took me quite some time to come up with an idea but when I finally did, I wrote this in a 25 minute timed exercise.

A Man’s World

Conneth dropped to one knee as Elyse approached to survey her victorious champions. Exhausted with blood loss he was glad of a reason to rest. The arrows still lodged in his back might kill him but not kneeling before the crown Princess would definitely cost him his head. He hadn’t fought and killed scores of men for her just to end up one of her victims.

As she passed by, he chanced a quick glance. The royal brat wrinkled her nose up at the sight of the injured but devoted men prostrated before her. He returned his gaze to the ground. Rumor had it she threw men she didn’t have killed in the fabled dungeons of Sarvon for not showing the proper deference.

Not for the first time Conneth wished men could rule. Elyse’s older brother Landor would be a great ruler. He understood the plight of men in this kingdom, but it would never happen. If Elyse didn’t survive to become queen her closest female cousin would ascend the throne, even if the girl hadn’t reached her majority.

Someday, probably not in Conneth’s lifetime, men would not be thought of as lesser creatures. They would not be bred merely to cater to a lady’s whim or to fight wars started by women. What he wouldn’t give to be able to choose his own wife and make his own decisions.

Being paraded at the multitude of Men’s Balls for some random female to bargain with his mother for his hand was degrading. It didn’t help that he was reaching an age where he was almost too old to be marriageable. It was unfair that he would be forced to either marry a stranger who would rule his life or risk being labels a bachelor. His stomach tightened painfully at the thought.

His head jerked up at unexpected movement in front of him. Elyse stood looking down at him. There was a light in her eyes he didn’t like. She stared at him for several minutes as he defiantly glared back. The blood running down his back distracted him but if he was going to die, he was going to go out in his own way.

“This one,” Elyse said to the man beside her, her personal slave mage. “Heal him, send him to my tent. Oh and find his mother.” She turned and walked away.

Confused he stared at the mage as the man bent over him and began the healing.  “What is going on Victor?”

“You poor bastard. You’ve been chosen as the Princess Elyse’s next consort. I probably should have let you die. Maybe you’ll survive longer than the last three. I gave you a little extra stamina, you’re going to need it. Her um…appetites are voracious.” The sympathy on the man’s face was almost painful.

“Sex?” he asked but he knew the answer. Wasn’t that what women really wanted men for? For the first time in his life Conneth passed out from fear.

*rough draft: 496 words

I am choosing not to edit this due to Nanowrimo starting tomorrow. My inner editor is safely tucked away and I hope not to see it until December. I’m going to the kick off event tonight and will start writing my novel at midnight. I’m wimpy so I won’t stay very late but I like the way it starts off Nano. On Tuesday I’ll write for as many hours as I can handle (which of course my stupid back will decide).

I have a procedure scheduled for Thursday, an injection, which will mess up my writing stride but might enable me to get through November and finish Nano.

There is no way to know how often I’ll be posting here during next month. My regular Wednesday posts hopefully and the Saturday post for sure will show up. Updates will be sporadic.

You might see some excerpts but no more short stories as I’ll be concentrating on one project (hopefully).



I have almost completed five flash fiction stories. I’m writing them using a method I am unaccustomed to so it’s taking longer than I normally would. I’m not sure how I feel about this approach but I’m determined to stick with it for at least these five pieces. It’s from a free flash fiction course called How To Write Flash Fiction That Doesn’t Suck.

The process is to write them a piece at a time, as in write the beginning of each, then the middle of each, then the endings. Seems straightforward enough and since I write flash fiction from beginning to end I figured this would work for me. It does, however I don’t think I’ll do any other stories this way.

The problem for me is once I’ve written the beginning of one, I want to keep going until I’m finished with the entire story. Stopping after a couple of paragraphs is hard if I already know what I want for the ending.

The good thing about this method is when I started it I had no idea what I would be writing about. I came up with my five ideas, carefully following the listed steps. I wrote the beginnings and for two of the pieces I had no idea where they were going so I stuck to the plan and eventually came up with and wrote the middles of each. For the first three I desperately wanted to get on with it as quickly as possible. I knew what I wanted to write and the drive to do so was strong. But, the last two were a mystery to me so I didn’t veer off course.

I’ll be working on the endings today. The three I know what to do with will be easy and completed. The others I simply do not know. I believe they will be good in the end but trying to keep five different stories in my head while slowly putting them to paper is making it difficult.

I think from now on I need to work on one at a time. Coming up with several ideas at once and writing down notes on them is all well and good but working on all five a bit a time isn’t for me. It was a great way to come up with five completely different stories because I had to write all the ideas on one page. If one was too similar to another I took one out and came up with something new. In that respect I’m glad I did this. A couple of these new stories will probably be posted soon. The others I’m saving for a different project.

As for my WIP, I have done some work on it as well. I had an awesome ‘what if’ moment a couple of days ago and I’m going with the new idea. Lucky for me I won’t have to change much of what I’ve already written. I will have to add a prologue (probably) but I’m okay with it. Basically someone who was super important and absolutely couldn’t die is going to do just that. My main characters and their friends won’t know it until the end of book one. Their entire goal is to stop the soon to be dead person from escaping her prison and destroying the world. My muse decided this character wasn’t the ‘ultimate big bad.’ Now my poor ensemble cast has no clue who or what they are contending with. I fought against it a bit but I see how it’s a good thing now. Thanks muse!

Reading update: I am rereading The Aurian Saga. It’s not well-known, nor particularly popular but I love it. It’s a four book series and I’m on the last one. They have their flaws but are still favorites. These are novels I’ve reread so often it’s time to replace them. Pages are trying to fall out. The cover of one is mostly destroyed, which really ticked me off but probably happened in a move so I calmed down. The spines are in bad shape and one has a mystery spill on it. I want to be mad about that but I’m the only one in my family that touches these books so whatever is on it (tea maybe) is my fault. I read the first three novels in a couple of days. It was pretty easy because I was sick and in bed for most of two days.

I feel much better today so I’m determined to do more than just read. My plan is to finish the flash fiction or at least three of them. I also want to keep working on catching up on the big class I’m taking. I have physical therapy today so I probably won’t want to move very much by the time I get home but sitting at the computer doesn’t require a whole lot of range of motion. I’ll be miserable but I’ll try to work through it. I think the therapy is helping but I’m a big baby when it comes to pain so it’s hard for me to say if I’m in less pain than when I started it.

Writing this post was a nice warm up so I’m off to write some fiction!

Oh and I thought about doing Camp Nanowrimo this month but due to a human glitch I can’t see official notifications in my region’s nano Facebook group (the people in this region never look at the nano website). Hopefully this will be fixed by November because even though I think I shouldn’t, I probably will do Nanowrimo at that time. For now I wasn’t sure if I wanted to add something else on top of all the other things I have to do anyway. Are any of you doing camp this month?

Writing Updates

First – Camp Nanowrimo. I don’t really think it’s for me, at least not for this month. I might try again in June but we’ll see. I don’t think it’s a bad idea but I can’t seem to make myself care about a word count goal. I’ll meet it, probably tomorrow but not because I was determined to “win.” I’ll make the word count because I’m writing often, although maybe I shouldn’t mention the last few days. I’ll just sweep those under the rug and get back to normal. For the people for whom having a word count goal is awesome I wish you all the best of luck. I think it’s great how Nanowrimo can be such an encouragement to so many.

Second – My fantasy series. There are a couple of updates in one here. I have decided on this being a trilogy. If it grows beyond those bounds, I am okay with it but I’m going to write with three books in mind. This was a problem before because I wasn’t sure how many books it needed to be. This might sound weird but it either needed to be three or six. Three works in my head. Also, I had my first Skype chat with Holly Lisle, the instructor of the class I’m taking. It was amazing! One big thing that happened in it was she blew up my story. Sound bad? It’s not! With one ‘what-if’ question everything changed, for the better. My mind went in a thousand directions and ideas were flying everywhere. Like shrapnel, some stuck. Okay nothing like shrapnel but you get the point. She actually asked several questions and helped me nail down some stuff that needed to be settled and it was like re-finding inspiration.

Third – Aforementioned class. It was going great! Beyond great actually. I already knew how to write but this course is giving me new tools and new ways to think about things. For a person like me, who is a creature of habit, this is a good thing, priceless. It’s good to get out of one’s comfort zone, at least occasionally. I’m actually a week behind on the lessons but mainly because I’m taking the current lesson slow. I tend to move fast with everything and that’s not always good. The next lesson is about outlines. I suck at outlines so I need to be able to give all my attention to that one. I am on this kick of taking the challenge when I think I’m bad at something. That’s why I write flash fiction and why soon I’ll be posting longer short stories. I’m not letting anything involving writing get the better of me! Except erotica, I’d be a giggling mess if I tried to write that, so that genre can win and I’ll let myself be bad at it.

Fourth – Don’t be terribly surprised when photography posts start appearing. I am getting a new camera tomorrow and I might go a bit overboard on the picture-taking. I’m absolutely a beginner but I’ve wanted to do this for years and I won’t be an amateur for long. I’ll try to keep those post to a minimum, and yes, I know some of you are already shaking your heads. Probably because you’re right, I will overdo it lol.

I should have a couple of stories to post soon. I’ve been writing many but I plan to put together a collection to publish so I can’t post them all here. I’ll keep you all updated on that.

Troubles With Camp Nanowrimo

I am participating in Camp Nanowrimo this year. Well, mostly participating. Some days I’m happily reaching my goal and others I’m barely trying. I don’t know why but it’s hard for me to take this as seriously as Nanowrimo in November. Part of it is definitely that I am taking a very time-consuming class. Another part is I find myself wanting to work more on my WIP than my Camp goals.

It’s so strange because in November I felt horribly guilty if something kept me from reaching a daily goal. Even worse when I wasn’t able to write at all due to life. This month, if I can’t concentrate on Camp, I feel…nothing. I try to make up for it of course, but I feel no remorse.

It could be that I’m all self-reproached out from November. Also, why on earth should I feel bad that I want to work on my WIP, my most important project?

My goal isn’t as high as Nano was, I set it for 25,000 words. I am sitting at 7687 for Camp only writing. I believe I can reach my set goal, especially now that I’ve changed tactics a tiny bit.

My original objective was to write a collection of short stories, whether they be flash fiction pieces or traditional shorts. The word count I selected was a best guess really. Before yesterday I had written several of these and begun several more. Yesterday during the writer’s discussion group everything changed.

I can blame Daredevil for this one. Most of the people in my group had binge watched it. I was planning on watching it later that day before the Game of Thrones premiere. I was at one end of the table and the folks at the other end started talking about the show. At first everyone tried to hold back on spoilers but the inevitable happened and I needed to tune them out until they had it out of their system.

I picked up my pen and I wrote a scene with a conversation between two of my main characters. These two characters are oil and water yet drawn to each other and the scene was an argument. So getting lost in it was easy and fun. It basically consisted of a man who was angry that a woman was so secretive and hard to trust. She was angry that he wanted to know all her secrets and always watched her.

When I finished I had lost all interest in what the people around me were saying. My mind had jumped ahead to the man griping to his brother about the woman, and the brother having zero sympathy, so I wrote that scene too. After completing it I decided I should write a short story showing why a major character had to be protected at all costs (backstory). This led to several other short story ideas, all backstory, that cover a part of a specific character’s childhood/young adulthood that defined who they were as an adult.

What I’ve managed to come up with are several stories that are companions to the main piece and several that will make it into the books themselves.

This is what I will do for the rest of April as my Camp Nanowrimo project. It’s the best of both worlds for me. I’m still writing shorts, but I’m staying in the WIP that I don’t want to put aside for a month. I have so many ideas that this could carry over past Camp, we’ll see.

I do hope by November that I am able to somehow found middle ground. I haven’t been taking Camp Nano seriously enough and I took Nanowrimo entirely too seriously. I want to participate but I don’t want to stress myself out the way I did last year.

For others participating in Camp Nanowrimo, I hope it’s going well for you, but if it’s not, don’t beat yourself up. Good luck! As for me, I need to go write a short about my Big Bad’s first meeting with his evil god.

Oh and to anyone in my writing group who reads this, sorry if it seemed like I was ignoring anyone, but we all know how it is when inspiration hits.