Writing Flash Fiction For Camp NaNoWriMo

If you’ve been following my blog for a while now, you’d know that a big feature on here is my Short Story Sunday. I post a short story or flash fiction, occasionally a poem, on here every single Sunday.

It’s been the longest running feature on my blog, the first one being posted in January of 2014. It’s been a hard one to keep up with – writing 52 stories, one a week, isn’t as easy as you would think.

I think I can safely say I haven’t skipped a Sunday for at least two years, if not a little longer. That’s because, one day, I had the brilliant idea to write them in bulk during Camp NaNoWriMo.

Writing Flash Fiction For Camp NaNoWriMo | Short Story | Creative Writing | RachelPoli.com

I can’t remember when I had decided this, but since Camp NaNo is so flexible in what you can write and how long you want it to me, I thought why not work on my short fiction? 50,000 words worth of flash fiction, each one ranging anywhere between 300 and 1,500 words. I get a lot of stories written with a goal of 50,000 words.

So, this is something I’ve been doing the past couple of years for at least one session of Camp NaNo. I usually end up getting through about 26 stories, or half of the year, before I either reach 50,000 words or I burn out from writing so much short fiction.

I still had July through December to get through for 2018 so I decided to through some flash fiction writing in this Camp session along with my other projects. Honestly, I think has been the easiest session so far.

I already had the first week of August written as well as the first two weeks of September (I have no idea why) so that left me with 24 stories to write. However, I realized I can’t write the rest of August because that’s when I write an interactive story with you guys. That story is what inspired The Scribe. I’m sure the next interactive story will be just as fun to write with you all.

I also ended up writing all the other stories within the first week of Camp so, even though I thought I would be writing flash fiction for 2019 during July’s session, I’m getting a head start on it right now. It’s been great!

I enjoy writing flash fiction. It’s a nice change of pace from novel writing, which I love but is, of course, a lot of work. Working on my flash fiction this past week or so has been refreshing for my writing and also for my imagination.

Have you ever worked on flash fiction or short stories for a Camp NaNo session? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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12 thoughts on “Writing Flash Fiction For Camp NaNoWriMo

  1. That’s a great idea to write flash in bulk during an event and get ahead of the game. I’ve never done Camp Naniwrimo but once upon a time I was in a LiveJournal flash fiction community and discovered I am horrible at flash fiction! I get interested in the characters and don’t want to quit. I also never have any good ideas for twist endings that are a staple of flash fiction. But it’s always good to know your weaknesses, so at least I got that!

    • Oh, I know. I’ve had my fair share of flash end up turning into something bigger. But that’s also what I love about it too because you get so many ideas from it.
      Yeah, you’d think it’d be “easy” because it’s quick and short, but it’s really not, lol. Also, I used to be on Live Journal too… I had completely forgotten about that website until now.

  2. Hi Rachel!

    I’ve a silly question… but what exactly is Camp NaNoWritMo?

    I mean, I know what it is – a way to force yourself to pound out that novel in a short period of time. I’ve even attempted it a time or two myself. The thing is, I’ve never been able to figure out exactly what its purpose is, other than the completion thing (which is huge, I’ll admit). I feel like an idiot here – as I say, I’ve actually participated in it without truly understanding it – but sometimes you simply got to ask. Thanks so much in advance.

    • Well, that is the point. It’s just completing a first draft of a novel or completing something, anything. So many people procrastinate or can’t find the time to get their writing in. Or sometimes they feel like their writing isn’t good enough or they get stuck in their writing and either set it aside or they give up altogether.

      When it comes to writing a book you obviously want quality over quantity, but the main point of a first draft is for you to tell yourself the story, to just get it written. Once you’ve got that, you have the basic foundation for a great novel. All you need is editing. NaNo just helps with that first step.

      NaNo is a way to push yourself to keep working toward your goals and dreams. It offers a vast community to help you along the way – to encourage you, share ideas, answer questions, etc. I guess, in a way, one major point would be to connect writers with other writers. We understand each other the best, I think. 😉

      Sorry for the long answer, I hope that helped. 🙂 Did you enjoy it when you participated in it? I know it doesn’t “work” for some people (the pressure, deadline, quantity over quality, etc.)

      • Hi Rachel!
        Thank you so much for the answer – that’s pretty much what I thought it was, but the whole cabin thing and the social aspects of it confused me. I was also confused by the “winning” part. How do you “win” at it? Is it both quality and quantity? If so, it feels a bit like a super long flash fiction contest! 🙂

        As for my experience, I liked NaNo well enough; I just wasn’t far enough along in my plotting out the story to make a real go of it. Also, I kept forgetting to log my word count. 🙂

        I’ve found Wattpad works almost as well as NaNo, and in some ways, even more so because I have persistent readers asking for more. I know a lot of Wattpadders do NaNo, and I have a writing acquaintance whose NaNo book won a Watty.

        As for me, I certainly haven’t ruled out trying it again, but only when I’ve finished other projects and am not inundated at work!

        Thank you again for taking time to clear things up! I appreciate it!

    • So am I! I already wrote the first part and I personally like it. I think it’ll be fun. 🙂 Maybe it’ll turn into another Wattpad story like The Scribe did.

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