IWSG – July at Camp NotNaNo

Published July 1, 2020 by Iphis of Scyros

Ack, I totally forgot the first was a Wednesday!  Normally, I pre-write IWSG posts to go up first thing in the morning, but today… *sigh*  Well, at least I remembered while it was still Wednesday!

Anyway, as NaNo has not (as of yesterday) fixed the brokenness that is its new website, I am not officially doing July CampNaNo, but I am doing one of my unofficial, off-site NaNo things, using the blog to keep tally.  My goal this time is just to put in at least an hour a day on any aspect of the writing process, because I’ve been so overwhelmed by the prospect of the necessary research to finish the worldbuilding on my low-fantasy-with-elements-of-steampunk series that for most of the last month I’ve done very little.  And yet I’ve also made some good progress, and have a lot of directions I know I want to go in.

Earlier this month, amidst the earlier part of the ongoing protests against police brutality and systemic racism, the independent game hub itch.io put up a game bundle called the “Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality”, in which all the products included in the bundle had been digitally donated by their creators, because every cent being paid for the bundle was being split between the NAACP’s Legal Defense Fund and the Bail Fund.  (This will eventually connect to my earlier topic, I promise.)  Since it was an important and worthy cause, I paid a much higher amount than itch.io was requiring.  (Seriously, $5 split two ways does not do much.  Fortunately, I don’t think I’m the only one who went over the minimum, because they raised over five million dollars.)  A lot of creators donated their creations, to the extent that it takes 59 pages to list everything in the bundle.  (It took me like a week just to sort through it and see what of it I actually wanted.  I also encountered quite a few things I’d either backed on Kickstarter or already purchased via itch.io or on the Switch.)  Anyway, itch.io doesn’t just have video games; they also have light novels, resource packs for making video games, and tabletop RPGS.  Some of these tabletop RPGs really gave me some great ideas about various events that could go in the backstory of that world (like one about being the last librarian in a massive library under siege by an invader), and I ended up downloading a lot of them to use as writing prompts for past events that will likely never actually be mentioned in the novels, but will shape the present.

Also in the bundle were some writer’s guides on worldbuilding.  I’ve now skimmed over one of them, and found it didn’t really suit my needs, for the most part, but in a few places it pointed me in some directions I’d overlooked, and I’ve now got a much more firm idea of the deepest part of the world’s past, which led me directly to reshape my conception of exactly what the MacGuffin is that the leads spend the whole series chasing down pieces of, so that’s a good, promising situation.  (I’m still working on a name for said MacGuffin.  Its old name was no good.)

But the research into all the different cultures upon whom the cultures of that other world are based…that’s a hornet’s nest of “how do I know when it’s enough?” that I’m still a bit dreading wading into.  (And yes, there’s now actually a good reason, in-world, that they’re all so similar to Earth cultures.)  Still, without the CampNaNo “do one hour of work a day” rule hanging over my head, I might not be able to force myself to get moving on it.

I got my hour in this morning, really, really early, because it was so hot in my house that I woke up at 4 a.m. and couldn’t really get back to sleep, leading me to give up and get up at about 6, at which time I got in an hour and twelve minutes (nearly thirteen minutes, in fact) before I got tired and decided to try getting some more sleep.  (Thankfully, I did get another couple hours then.)  Of course, today’s work on writing was much easier than the work will be in a few more days, because right now I’m editing a fanfic so that I can post it, and that’s a lot easier and more simple than diving into the world of online research.  (Given that I’m just trying to get the flavor of the cultures and not present the actual, real-world culture, I’m hoping I won’t have to go much further afield than Wikipedia.)

I’m probably going to have all the time in the world to work on it, because over the past month, the board of directors at the museum where I’ve been working since 2015 (where I volunteered for five years before that) got together and decided that after losing so much revenue to the COVID shutdown (including the revenue from renting out the parking lot for use of people going to the stadium down the street) they needed to let half the staff go, and I was unsurprisingly in the half that suddenly became unemployed.  It’s very frustrating, but…well, I was very upset about it at the time (though I think I managed not to let my now-ex-boss realize I was crying by the time the phone call ended) but now I’m more or less kind of sort of sanguine about it maybe.


Anyway, I do have a plan regarding a new job.  I want to find work as a freelance proofreader.  (Don’t let my occasionally sloppy grammar and spelling on the blog fool you; I can be quite meticulous.  I just usually don’t bother with my own work, either due to laziness or for effect.)  I’ve posted a “looking for work” on an itch.io forum in the hopes of getting hired on to proof some visual novels (I’ve been playing one recently that was in the bundle, which was originally written in Spanish, and was not well translated, and that was what gave me the idea, because if the English translation was better the game would be just about perfect), though I have a feeling I won’t get many bites, because independent game developers don’t really have a lot of money to spend on proofreaders.  But I’d like to get some paid jobs as a proofreader under my belt before I try signing up to any of the sites that are more…official.  I do have one in mind, though, because when I ran a simple search about how much a proofreader gets paid, I found a blog post on the subject of how much to charge as a proofreader, which was posted on the blog of a site that connects people for such purposes.  (I didn’t look to see how much the site charges or who it charges, come to think of it.  I’ll need to look into that when the time comes…)  As far as sources of income go, it’s a work in progress type of idea, but at least it’s an idea at all, and one that’s going to have openings a lot sooner than any museums in my area will start looking for new staffers.

Today’s Camp result:  1:12:51.48  (yeah, I used the stopwatch feature on my phone…)

July’s total Camp result to date:  1:12:51.48

Today’s Camp result: 2:14:15.81

July’s total Camp result to date: 2:14:15.81

One comment on “IWSG – July at Camp NotNaNo

  • Thanks for this interesting IWSG post. Modern writing does really offer masses of unexpected outlets and ressources to further our learning and creative ambitions.
    Sorry about the job at the museum. I am sure you will find something engaging in the near future. Wishing you inspiration and good cheer for the summer.


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