Summer Camp 2022
The 2022 edition of World Anvil’s annual Worldbuilding Summer Camp begins on July 1, and I’m here, just like last year, to speak briefly about what I hope to accomplish during this amazing month of spaghetti and amazeballs.
In case you’re not familiar, “[d]uring Summer Camp,” World Anvil challenges writers, gamemasters, and other worldbuilders like you and me “to answer 31 prompts of world building!”
My Creative Goal
As I’m nearly wrapped up with my Stains of Time book series, I’m looking toward the future when it comes to my worldbuilding.
As such, my creative goal for Summer Camp 2022 is to continue worldbuilding The Land of Eden—the primary setting for my next series.
My Challenge Goal
I aim to complete all 31 prompts this year, thereby extending my two-year streak of Diamond Badges to three years.
BUT, even though I’m aiming to do all the prompts, I’m sending my writing brain to Annie Stein’s Camp Chill to get this work done. No overdoing it this year, man. Diamond will be cool if/when I get there, but I’m not going to slay myself to reach the goal.
Nnie's Camp Chill Guidelines
- Remember the prompts are suggestions, not requirements.
- Write what you're passionate about, leave what you aren't.
- Relax when you feel tired.
- Fight off any pesky brain-squitos trying to make you doubt your work.
- Don't abandon your non-summercamp goals! Write that article you're itching to write, even if it doesn't fit any prompts.
(Shared with permission from Annie Stein. Read her thoughts on 'Camp Chill' on her Camp Pledge.)
My Thoughts on Themes
Last year’s Summer Camp introduced the idea of “themes” to the annual release of the prompts, something to tie each batch of worldbuilding we did together with a nifty bow. And apparently I wasn’t the only one who thought this was a downright cool idea. That’s why themes are back this year. WA surveyed us, we told them what we loved, and they listened.
The second homework assignment for Summer Camp Prep Month asks us to “think about how the themes might fit into what you’re creating” and to “add a short paragraph to your Summer Camp Pledge about how these themes might connect to your world setting and your goals.”
So, here goes:
EXPANSE (COPPER THEME)
The first idea that comes to mind here is the expanse of cities that make up The Reek. I mentioned this on the World Anvil livestream where this homework assignment was announced and someone brought up the term ecumenopolis, which I’ve definitely heard before but which I now desperately want to work into one article or another.
LEADERSHIP (SILVER THEME)
Something I haven’t shared much about my Land of Eden is that it partially sprang forth from a vision of a time-displaced Abraham Lincoln sitting in a post-apocalyptic library and reading a book about his own assassination. I’ve been itching for an excuse to write about that character and/or that vision, and that’s the first thing which comes to mind on the subject of leadership.
DISCOVERY (GOLD THEME)
In “Bü‘ükopo Oadü,” my article for the Rivers & Waterways Competition, I mentioned for the first time a species called amicus imaginarium—the literal imaginary friends of my world. I’m thinking that “discovery” might be a fun place to write about them.
If there’s a species prompt here, that is.
MONSTROUS (DIAMOND THEME)
When this one came up on the livestream, I half-jokingly suggested that “leaders can be evil.” That said, I’ve already written about some of the most monstrous leaders in my world—Oscar Diggs and his Invasion of Oz, Elavaris the Wicked and her tormenting of that same country—so I’d love to think outside the box here.
Given that the land of Nunya is the part of my Edenian map that’s the least filled in, perhaps that’s where the monsters will turn up.
We shall see. We. Shall. See.
Before the third bit of homework for Summer Camp comes out later this week, I’m pausing here to enumerate some species I have art assets for and would have fun building out if right prompt came up. Also: some species I’ve just been thinking about:
- Splash Pandas
- Amicus Imaginarium (as mentioned above)
- Winged Moose
- Piano Tuna
- Yeti, so I can write about Yeti Wrestling finally
- Qhirat—the species of Roway: The Crowned Jester
- Mushroom People
I’m writing this section more than a week after homework assignment #3 came out, and at a moment where I’m not feeling super-inspired about anything—including life, in general—but I remain hopeful that Summer Camp will take this frown on my face and turn it upside down.
The first place where I’ll take inspiration from is my own art and the feeling it conjures in me to look back at these cool visual things I made after twentyish years of doubting my artistic abilities (because of a couple negative influences in college).
The second place I’ll take inspiration from is my “Reznor Playlist” in Apple Music, which compiles everything Mr. Michael Trent Reznor has ever released into one place. From Nine Inch Nails and How to Destroy Angels through the myriad film scores, I’ve got it all, and it’s my go-to writing music.
I’ll also keep the soundtracks to Westworld, Game of Thrones, Stranger Things and all things Star Wars handy.
Lastly, I’ll be pulling from whatever I’m reading or watching during July. This is sure to include the final part of the aforementioned Stranger Things fourth season; the just-started Westworld season four; Taika Waititi’s Thor: Love and Thunder; and the book currently on my nightstand, Monica Byrne’s The Actual Star.
My Plan for Success
It’s going to be hard to write these next sentences, given how down on myself I’m feeling right now, but I sense that things might be turning around soon. Hell, even the fact that I’m finally out of bed and writing these words to you is a good sign. It’s been one hell of a fortnight, and at times I didn’t think I’d ever get here.
A Date With Myself
I will endeavor to write every morning before work, from approximately 7–9 am, which was my established routine until mid-June when my work schedule and life started to get in the way on the regular.
I will also stream my writing and worldbuilding each weekday, from 1–2 pm eastern, on twitch.tv/eccbooks. This will be another return to an established pattern, and will be super-helpful for me from a support angle. My Twitch viewers are some of the most supportive friends and acquaintances I’ve ever made.
I’ll also keep my monthly writing dates with my brother John and with my friend Lissa.
If I can manage it and it won’t take me away from family time, I’ll stop by World Anvil’s Homework Club streams each Sunday.
And lastly, I’ll be participating in the Tourney of Tales with the rest of the Game of Tomes community—where I’ll be competing alongside my fellow dinosaurs in House Sauropoda.