For those who have followed my writing "career", you'll know that most of my creative output was produced during certain months of the year when the good people at the Office of Letters and Light (OLL) in California run their month-long writing challenges: NaNoWriMo (short for National Novel Writing Month), and Camp NaNoWriMo.
The original NaNoWriMo -- which was created in July 1999, but moved to its current place of November on the calendar in 2000 -- tasks ambitious writers to produce a 50,000-word novel within 30 days, and in some instances, develop a caffeine addiction in the process. In 2011, OLL opened up a summer version of the challenge called Camp NaNoWriMo. "Camp" is set up the same as the November version, but with a few tweaks.
First, and most important, participants have the option of setting their own word count. This means, they're not bound by the mandatory 50,000 words in a month criteria. If they feel they can only hammer out 20,000 in the month, they can set that as their word goal. What's more, there are two sessions during the summer one can partake in. This year, people have a choice to participate in either April, or July, or both. But, in the event of ones partaking in both sessions, each month has it's separate word count goal.
To help add to the fun, participants have the option of opting to be put in a "cabin". This is a small group of fellow writers the budding writers are partnered up with to help cheer on, share in their miseries of Writer's Block, or offer up solutions to whatever "plot bunnies" might scurry past them. The groups could consist of their friends who are taking on the challenge, fellow writers who are doing the same genre, and/or random mash-ups the "Camp" algorithms match up with you.
The April 2015 session will start this coming Wednesday, but if that's too soon to come up with an idea, sign-ups for the July 2015 session will start in June. For more information, you can check out the Camp NaNoWriMo website at: http://www.campnanowrimo.org
As for my writing plans during next month's session, I plan to continue work on the first draft for the fourth book in my "Gary Celdom Case Journals" series, with this month's goal to add 30,000 words to my manuscript. It should be an interesting month ahead as I will be busy the first two days with work and personal commitments leading up to a 2-week vacation to visit my sweetie/editor.
To my fellow Camp participants, may the plot bunnies stay under control, and not multiply at a rampant pace.