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How I Plan to Spend My Summer Vacation

Creative goal and motivation, hm? Like many others here, I have a world in my head that I'm trying to put into words, and have a hard time focusing long enough to do that. I see the challenges as a way to light a fire under my butt. So my motivation for Summer Camp this year is rather unspecific, peeling back the edges of the fog that covers my world. But where? The thickest cover is between the River Culture migration and the opening of the conduits. That's a 12,000 year gap! Though the fog has cleared in a few small patches over that time, it remains a daunting task. But does a creative goal of "put more things in my world" even count?   ...Well, why not? With that in mind, here's my official Summer Camp creative goal:

Learn More about My World

And, honestly, it doesn't all have to be concentrated in that great unknown of the Oceanic Era. The stories I've written so far are set in the Prehistoric and the Volcanic, so it makes sense to polish those eras as well. Anyway, I won't really know where things will fit until I see the prompts. So until then, I'll try to organize some of my questions relating to the promised themes:


What is the river valley like? What about the mountains the River Culture came from? What regions did the exile bands pass through on their way? Why didn't they stop and settle anywhere until after they passed the waterfalls?
How do people maintain a living on the delta with its ever-changing watercourses? How is the Long Coast broken up politically? Where do the major ocean currents flow? What are the important weather patterns? What constellations do navigators use?
How did Mraydor develop its system of rotating zones? What different ecosystems exist in the Cluster Islands? After 2,000 years of human habitation, are there any unexplored parts of the islands left? How well does anyone understand the true size of the planet?


How did the bands of exiles resolve the argument over who would be in charge? What happened to the style of tribal leadership as the bands formed agricultural settlements?
What are the different governments among the various states of the Long Coast? Was the shift from moon worship to ocean worship calm or turbulent? How did tiderider dynasties develop and decay?
How were the Cluster Islands governed before the Unity was formed? What was Walemin's vision for the future of the Cluster under her rule? What Kezlaf's? How are the Allied Isles doing in the post-Unity era?


How did the River People adapt to their new surroundings? What plants and animals did they domesticate, and why? What new resources did they find? How did they get from rafts to sailing ships?
How did the art of navigation develop? Why didn't anyone find the lands south of the equator? What spurred on the major waves of exploration? When did they realize the atolls were eroding?
What brought on the recent interest in exploring the ocean's Great Gaps? What does the Exploratory Corps intend to accomplish? What was the chain of science and invention that led to the modern standards of technology? What new research is changing that?


What forced the River Culture bands into exile? How were their most cruel practices brought to an end? What were the hazards of traveling along the river? What fears were exploited to keep children in line?
How did the Valdian custom of vicarious death come about? What happened as birds came to be considered sacred to tideriders, but not to mainlanders? How much of a problem has piracy been? How is conflict on the open ocean handled?
Why are Water Seekers so hated in Miridaswi? How did Kezlaf learn what he could do with water tuning? Who thought a device like the Eruptor would be a good idea in the first place?

Last year I achieved diamond, despite stumbling across Summer Camp with zero preparation, and several of the articles I put out still make me cringe. But several others turned out to dovetail perfectly into gaps in my writing I didn't even realize I had. This year I hope to reach diamond again, and this time be more satisfied with my work.
So, after all of that, I'm doing NONE of it. Instead, I am apparently worldbuilding a minor side story--a sequel of a sequel--and averaging one article every two days. Urgh. Still, I'm reminding myself this is how hard it felt last year, and I wound up with diamond in the end. So, no losing hope! Just gotta sit down and hit my head against the keyboard until it makes words!
I hit silver! ...With my face. I didn't set out meaning to link all the second batch of articles together, but that's what ended up happening, so I kept editing in tandem and submitted them all at once the day the gold prompts appeared. It feels good to have them up there, but I have to admit it was kind of grueling. Especially sitting there in front of the very last article, wondering where I was going to find another sixty words...but they finally showed up. (That's another thing quotes are good for.) I also finally polished up some non-camp articles that I hope help fill in the gaps.
Week 3: Behind again.
Week 4:
I am SO CLOSE! Two days left, and only one article to go! My goal is to get it finished and submitted before bedtime so that I can enjoy what remains of my weekend. Not that I don't enjoy writing, but Summer Camp has been taking up most of my energy, and I'm exhausted. Besides, this is like writing nonfiction, which I am terrible at. So I better get back to it before I end up falling asleep at my desk. Wish me luck...
Final update:
I did it!  Thirty-one articles!  And all that prep wasn't wasted after all--I managed to answer a few of those questions.  So, time to lie down and be unconscious for several hours, and tomorrow I'll go through and proofread and count words.

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