Wednesday 29 July 2015

(vol 2) Chapter 29: “CampNaNo 2015 – Day 29 (+ FF Bonus!)”

2015 Flash Fiction Word Count =         39588

2015 CampNaNo Word Count =           21106

2015 TOTAL WORD COUNT =           60694

Notice anything different about the above banner?

That’s right, I’m a winner (in more ways than one, but more on that later). Yesterday I crossed the finish line for my CampNaNo 2015 project. Admittedly the word count is shorter than the one I’ll attempt in November, but I see CampNaNo as the smaller brother, warm-up project.

There’s still two more days of writing to go, and I’m determined to keep going, instead of dropping of early like I normally do.

Let’s take a quick look at the last seven days.

Day Twenty-Three – 1167 words.

The story became a sort of chase movie at this point. Escaping the clutches of Dr Gellibrand (damn, just remembered that I meant to add a moment of ‘villains dead body is missing’. Do’h!) I got Chris, Mike and the old man, Jonas, onto a train heading south. It was another exposition scene (and one that will get chopped up in edits) so I threw another bout of action at our heroes. I ended the chapter with a vague location and some running, but I’ll fill things like that in later on.  I then got everyone back into a car (I can’t stop myself putting people into cars) and carried on the journey.

Day Twenty-Four – 1604 words

This was a fun scene to write as Chris returns to a place from his younger years. I didn’t have time to build up the tension required in the scene (one more thing to do later), but it was good to explore his past a little and get to the thing our characters have been trying to find for a while.

With only an hour lunch to write, if ideas come to me, I just need to get them down. When this is the case, my draft can have the feel that it was written by a child who’s spent all afternoon at a party and had all the e-numbers he or she could get their grubby little hands on. But this is a first draft; no one should see it. It’s the first rewrite where things get a little cleaner, a little more coherent. So, for now, it’s okay to vomit ideas onto the page. This part is just emptying the box of all the puzzle pieces.

Day Twenty-Five – 0 words

You may start to stop a pattern here. Weekend equals no writing. I didn’t even have time to enter Angry Hourglass. I spent the morning playing toy cars with my son, an afternoon of dealing with ‘angry son’, and an evening of Formula 1 qualifying and dinner. But at this stage I was nearly 2000 words ahead of my necessary target, so I didn’t beat myself up about it. However, if this had been November . . .

Day Twenty-Six – 0 words

Oops, I did it again. This takes my total of non-writing days up to six, but I’m hoping that that’s where it will stay. Today’s excuses were sponsored by, shopping, dinner at my mother’s (hello mum – thank you for a great roast dinner), and of course, the best Formula 1 race of the season so far. I went to bed with 1288 words profit, so things were still good.

Day Twenty-Seven – 932 words

If you don’t count my zero days, this was the lowest amount produced since July 16th. I was a little annoyed that I didn’t hit four figures, but better 68 short, than 680.

I finished off the scene where Chris and Mike retrieve the journal of Chris’ father. Next I moved onto what should be the final confrontation with Dr Gellibrand. That’s right, dropping her out of a window wasn’t enough, and neither was leaving her on that train. Who is this woman? Hopefully we’ll find out later.

Or will we? I decided to use an ability that, in the Flash version of the Chris and Mike vs stories, doesn’t come in for quite some time (see adventure 26 – vs SCUM AND VILLAINY). I’d kept Chris’ ability to control two tattoo’s on his arms in the back of my mind, but hadn’t decided if he would gain within the stories or already have them.

When the fight came up, and I realised that Chris and Mike were easily out matched, it seemed like the only way to victory. Of course, things don’t go well for our evil psychiatrist and her bodyguard, but hey, they were evil, right?

I wasn’t sure if it was too much until I went onto the next chapter . . .

Day Twenty-Eight – 1070 words

Chris and Mike had finally come to an agreement and were on the same page. But buddy movies don’t work like that, right? When the friendship looks like it’s at its most solid, something has to come along and spoil it.

The overpowering use of Chris’s tattoos did just that, as Mike outright disagrees with how Chris handled the situation, totally not agreeing with the violent method that Dr Gellibrand was dealt with. A wedge has been drawn between the two now, a line representing justice. Chris stands on one side, willing to do what it takes. Mike stands on the other, firm in the belief that murder shouldn’t even be a last resort (I’m guessing he wouldn’t have like the neck snap at the end of Man of Steel).

I ended with a short chapter where Mike realises that Chris is holding onto the memory of his childhood when they were best friends, and he understands now that Chris’ childhood was stolen from him.

Sadness all around.

Day Twenty-Nine – 1020 words

I was over the moon yesterday with crossing the finish line but, as with all of my NaNoWriMo projects, just because I’ve hit my word target, it doesn’t mean that the story’s over.

I thought it funny that, the day after I hit my word target, I started on the scene that is based on the original Chris and Mike story from back in January. That’s right, the boys are finally at the church and, as my i-phone game sometimes says, “zombies are coming”.

It was a little strange building on top of what was a 100 word story / scene. The stuff about Chris’ medication is out (having been much of the first half of the novella this time round) but the gravestones, the baseball bat club, and the hand grabbing Mike’s foot are all there.


So, as I said, there’s still two days of writing to go, and I am planning to use them (as well as writing the latest Chris and Mike adventure tomorrow). After that I’ll take a little break before diving into this projects edit phase and seeing what I can do with the mess. More on that next week.

Before I go, there is just one more thing I wanted to talk about.

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, then you’ll know that the main thing I write is Flash Fiction. Since switching to this format as my primary writing method, I’ve had some fantastic accomplishments.

I have a few weeks of contest judging under my belt thanks to Rebecca Allred.

I managed four Angry Hourglass wins at the beginning of this year.

I had a story picked for June’s NFFD Flash Flood.

Two stories have been posted up at Paragraph Planet.

And of course, I’ve had eight stories published in print thanks to those amazing folks at FDHQ.

Through it all though, there has been one goal, one trophy, one flaming badge of honour, which I’ve hunted with a passion. I came close on a couple of occasions, but I’m tremendously excited to announce that this Friday just gone . . . I got my first ever Flash! Friday win!!!!!!!!!

It was an odd Friday, one where I went into work two and a half hours early to get some writing done. I managed 1604 words for CampNaNo and even found time to get my Flash! Friday entry done. I thought I could relax for the rest of the day, even so far as taking a book into read over lunch.
But something kept nagging me all afternoon, something at the back of my mind wanted out, so that evening I wrote it down. It was a mess in that early form but I moulded it, taking influence from where I could. I thought about the Arabian Tales I’d read when I was younger, and how I couldn’t wait to see the same excitement for reading in my son’s eyes when he was old enough. I looked to the work of fantastic director Guillermo del Toro, as well as fellow Flash writer Voima Oy. And when it all came together, I felt it was the best I could have done.

I posted it up and thought nothing more of it.

When the results went up on Monday night I couldn’t believe it. It reminded me of my third driving trust when my brain heard the word ‘fail’ despite the driving instructor saying ‘pass’. I scrolled up the page and back down again, making sure I’d seen my name in the correct place on the page. I refreshed the page. I closed down my browser and pressed the twitter link again.

And then it sunk in. I had finally accomplished the goal that I’d set myself.

14 months.

61 Flash! Friday contests.

89 stories.

1st Flash! Friday winners badge.

See you in seven.


  1. Well done to you especially The Flash Friday Winners Badge... (I want one :) )

    1. Thank you Stella. You're optimistic messages have been a great help. Now I can focus on supporting you on your road to victory!!!

  2. That's some going. Well-deserved congratulations 👏

    1. Thank you, Steph. I think I might take it easy for August, catch up some reading (desperate to get back into fellow FlashDog Tamara Shoemaker's 'KINDLE THE FLAME').