Wednesday 5 August 2015

(vol 2) Chapter 30: “How was Camp(NaNo)”

2015 Flash Fiction Word Count =         40683

2015 CampNaNo Word Count =           22122

2015 TOTAL WORD COUNT =           62805

CampNaNo. A place to write whatever you want, with whatever word target you feel comfortable achieveing. Some use it to finish new projects, while others rewrite something gathering dust. What did I use it for this year? To get my first ‘Chris And Mike vs’ novella underway, and also get warmed up ready for the big show in November.

Here’s how my last two July days went.

Day Thirty – 778 words.

Lunch time contained several distractions, so I didn’t manage to hit my 1000+ target like I’d hoped. But I did write some really fun stuff that sort of came from nowhere, stuff that’ll need to be wrapped back around the rewrite.  

It’s all about the zombies now. I realised as I wrote the church infiltration scene that the book didn’t have a real villain, as such. Sure there was the shadowy figure from chapter one, and let’s not forget the mysterious and deranged Dr Gellibrand. But they’re characters from the bigger Chris and Mike story. I’d neglected to build up to this individual novella’s villain.

I started the chapter worried how paper thin he was, but the details quickly came out of nowhere. He’s witty, violent, and has a devious world changing plan up his rotting sleeve. That’s the villain checklist.

Unfortunately, my initial pass at him will have to be altered. My first instinct with the villain’s background seemed clever, but I think it’s a little controversial looking back over it. I don’t want to put readers off my work, especially when the only reason for the villain’s history is ‘that it would be cool’. So the character now has no name (other than ‘zombie leader’) but I’ll work on that.

Other than that, the scene is the obligatory ‘heroes captured, villains plan revealed, evil looks like winning’ scene.

Day Thirty-One – 228 words

I was determined not to have a non-writing day, but only just managed it. Due to an abnormal Friday (6:00am work start, half lunch, early finish to head home and take care of my son, the wife’s evening plans being cancelled, and fish & chips while watching 22 Jump Street), I only had a short space to do any NaNo writing. This was on top of my other Flash Fiction commitments (ie: trying for my second Flash! Friday win – spoiler; not this time).

So despite crossing my self-set finish line last Tuesday, the story still doesn’t have an ending as July comes and goes. It’s been fun (as always) and I feel all warmed up ready for November’s NaNoWriMo. And now I have a nice little project that needs polishing up and pushing out into the world.

And that’s another NaNo project done.

I’m going to take a break from the non-Flash Fiction writing for now; maybe just a week. I’m looking forward to getting back into reading, if I’m honest. While I managed some during July, I mostly felt guilty if I hadn’t at least hit 1000 words for the day.

During the writing of CHRIS AND MIKE vs THE RISING DEAD my mind was constantly discovering new things to add and alter as I went. The point of NaNo is to power through though; write now, edit later. Because of this, I never went back and changed anything during that 31 days, at least not on paper. The plot twists and new character appearances are all in my head, ready to be worked back into the messy draft that I’m currently the owner of.

The second draft is the one that people will see (or maybe the third). That’s the one that will resemble the finished product. Right now, all I have is a messy plan in novel form.

And after that? There’s more Chris And Mike adventures to write, I guess. I’m going to keep expanding the Micro Bookends entries until a) I get bored; b) you get bored; or c) it’s clear that it’s not working.

Thank you for following the posts the last month. Apologies if reading about a story that you can’t read is a little confusing and/or boring. Hopefully it will make more sense once it’s sat on your bookshelf, front and centre.


When I ‘won’ CampNaNo last year, one of the perks was earning a discount code for a writing program called Scrivener. I was already interested in getting it at its normal price of £28.14 GPB ($40.00 USD), so half price was a no brainer.

Scrivener is a fantastic little program that can be very useful to writers either established or fledgling, once you’ve learnt what it’s fully capable of. I’ve used it for all my writing projects outside of Flash Fiction since purchasing last summer and I love it.

When I collected my ‘winners goodies’ this year, I noticed that Scrivener had once again partnered with the NaNoWriMo to once again offer a 50% discount code if you crossed the finish line. Obviously, as I already own a copy of Scrivener, it’s pretty useless to me.

And then I thought, I wonder if any of my online writer buddies would like to have it instead. The link for the code does state that if you already own Scrivener to feel free and pass the discount onto a friend.

So that’s what I decided to do. But how could I choose? I didn’t know who already owned scrivener and, more importantly, who out there wanted it. I could have asked out loud and waited for a list of people to build up, but there was no fair way for me to decide who to hand over only one code to.

“Contest?” said my brain.

“Good idea,” I replied.

After a little brainstorming, I came up with a plan. And I think it’s a good one.

So, if you’re interested in purchasing Scrivener and would love to benefit from paying 50% less for it, here’s what you have to do:

Starting tonight, you have until 9pm (GMT) Tuesday 11th August to write your own Chris And Mike vs story based on the below photo prompt. The story is to be no more than 200 words, and (here’s the cool bit) they will be judged by the REAL Chris and Mike.

Starting now, post your Flash stories in the comments below. Once the deadline hits, I’ll give the legendary judges a week to choose their favourite. The results will be announced on Wednesday 19th August, both via Twitter and on this blog.

So get thinking, get writing, and let’s see what you guys can do with the weirdest characters I’ve ever based on work colleagues.

Those rules again.

Deadline = 9pm (GMT), Tuesday 11th August 2015.

Length = No longer than 200 words (not including title).

Title = Must start ‘Chris And Mike vs’.

Entries = 1 per person.

Details = Don’t forget to leave your Twitter handle so that I can contact you if you’re picked.

Winner = Will be announced on Wednesday 19th August.

Prize = One 50% discount code for Scrivener on Mac or Windows (normal prices £28.14 or $40.00).

Rights = The rights to your story shall remain with you. All I ask is that, by posting it on the blog, you give permission for me to reprint the story elsewhere in any future Chris And Mike related ventures (where you will still receive full credit for the piece). I also ask that you refrain from publishing the stories elsewhere (ie; you own blog) until after the results for the contest have been announced.  


Photo by Brian S Creek

And I think that’s everything. Hopefully I haven’t missed anything (it’s my first blog contest, eek!). Good luck to all who enter.

See you in seven.


  1. I'm definitely going to write something - I, too, have a Chris & Mike, my two best friends in fact. I fear that the story may end up more in their personalities, but they'll certainly get a kick out of it.

    And if (when) you publish your Chris & Mike adventures I know I'll be purchasing three copies!

  2. My entry!

    200 words

    "I forgot my wallet," Mike said.

    "How convenient," Chris said.

    "Wait, did you hear that?"

    The team knew a scream when they heard one. The other patrons took no notice.

    "Pretend to be drunk."

    Mike staggered over to their waiter.

    "I love you, bro," he said. He squeezed the waiter in a hug.

    Chris snuck into the kitchen. Two robots were lowering a gagged man into boiling water.

    "Stop ruining my favourite diner!"

    One robot turned and blasted Chris through the wall. He landed, stunned, at the waiter's feet.

    The waiter was now (unsurprisingly) a robot – and so were the other patrons. Mike was in their clutches, being tickled relentlessly.

    "We are the Torture Bots. You will be broken," the waiter said.

    One of the other robots shed its exterior and revealed…a grizzly bear.

    "I was hoping for a human," Chris groaned.

    The grizzly grabbed the heroes and hauled them out the door.

    "Duck!" she yelled.

    The diner exploded behind them.

    "Where will we eat now?" Mike demanded.

    "Did anyone save the guy in the kitchen?" Chris asked.

    "Never mind that," the grizzly said. "I've been looking everywhere for you. The world is in great danger. I need your help!"


    200 words

    “Whoa man, look at that.”

    Mike wipes the rain off his glasses, peering into the dusk to see what Chris, up ahead, is pointing at.

    Slogging on, rain running down the back of his neck, Mike mutters as he goes. “Stupid idea…..could have waited till daylight….who cares about a Giant Heid anyway? WHY, does always rain in Scotland?”

    A rumbling crash vibrates through the valley, followed immediately by a flash of jagged light.

    For those few seconds Mike sees the Giant Heid looming over Chris.

    Jagged grass-hair, earthen ears, googling eyes lit from inside spewing blue fury. The Heid begins to rise.

    “Aaaaarghhhhhhhh,” Chris crashes back into Mike. Both land in the puddles on the ground, cling to each other briefly, scrambling to their feet.

    The Giant Heid roars out a rebel yell, “Raaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaoooooor.”

    Already up and stumbling forward, Mike fumbles in his pocket. Finding what he is looking for he gets as close as he dares, lobs the contents of his fist up with all his might, aiming for the eyes and maw.

    Whoop-fizzzzzz-BANG. The multi-coloured dust hits its mark. The earth shakes and grates.

    The Giant Heid crumbles to dust.

    Chris catches Mike up, “Tartan Haggis-Dust?”

    “Aye, man.”

  4. Chris And Mike Vs The Ex-Men
    200 words

    Chris pushed against the ropes and craned his neck to peer at the robed figures filling the subterranean church.

    “So you’re mutants?”

    The head priest frowned.

    Ex,” he said. “Ee, ecks.”

    “Zombies then.”

    “What? No! I don’t even-“

    He lowered his axe, pinched the bridge of his nose.

    “Look, we’ve transcended our original forms to become something better, okay?”

    Chris turned to Mike on the next stone altar along.

    “Got anything we can use on post-op transsexuals?”

    Mike wormed his hand into his pocket while the priest counted slowly to ten.

    “Fifty pee and an Argentinian bus ticket.”

    “So that’s a no then.”

    The priest sighed.

    “Hello? Man with an axe?”

    “Can we borrow it?”

    “Enough! We are acolytes of the great Ga-Room-Ba! When I remove your yammering head, He will infuse this effigy of sod and stone and He. Will. Rise!”

    “Rockling disciples!”

    “Yes! Finally! Now-“

    Chris bit down on his fake tooth, breaking the implanted gas pellet. The priest raised the axe, breathed deeply, then toppled over backwards. His acolytes followed suit.

    “I knew that would come in handy eventually.”

    Mike strained against his ropes.

    “You couldn’t leave one to untie us?”

    “How sharp is that fifty pee?”