My Creative Writing Dissertation and Camp NaNoWriMo

I’ve decided to use Camp NaNoWriMo to write my dissertation this year. That means it should be much easier than last year, since I’ll be aiming to write 12500 words instead of 50000! Since I’m on holiday on the 19th of July, that means I have to have it done before then, so I have to write about 700 words a day – much easier than 1600.

I figured it would be a good idea to use Camp NaNo, so I can have my first draft written and ready to be edited and revised when I get back from Spain in August. My dissertation is due in September, so it should work out nicely. I’m actually going to print it out as soon as I’ve finished, so I can take it on holiday with me and read through it. Dedication!

My dissertation will be a collection of character driven short stories. There will be seven stories altogether, so about 1800 words each, give or take. They’re going to be pretty dark – the characters that the stories are based on are going to have tragic flaws that the story will be based around.

Here are my chosen story topics:

- Agoraphobia

- Suicidal thoughts

- Domestic violence (I haven’t decided yet whether to do it from the victim’s POV, or the abuser’s, or maybe a third party)

- Addiction

- Obsession (This will be from the abuser’s POV – I thought it would be interesting. Sort of an unrequited love/stalker story)

- Revenge

- Apathy

A lot of the topics and characters have turned out very different to what I expected during planning. For example, my suicidal character is one that you really would not feel at all sorry for; he’s arrogant, self-obsessed and the situation he’s in is entirely his own fault. I’d expected to feel pity for this one at least! The revenge topic isn’t really revenge focused anymore – not in the traditional sense, anyway. Finally, my addiction piece is going to be about exercise addiction (unless I change my mind!) – not the obvious choice.

They should be interesting stories to write. I can’t wait until Camp NaNo starts next week! They’ve certainly been interesting stories to plan. It’s a good job I’m going on holiday as soon as I’ve finished them, because they’re going to be depressing to write!


  1. Agoraphobia is a really interesting topic, really interesting all the ideas in here, really hope that you do a good job writing them despite how depressing they can all be.

  2. Hi, Laura,

    Great plan... what fascinating topics for your dissertation! And you're right, you'll need the time in Spain. Writing about such depressing subject matter will affect you.

    When I wrote my second novel about teen abuse, I was feeling very depressed and on edge. The topic was very intense and was difficult to write at time. Even in revisions I need to be careful.

    Take care and GOOD LUCK!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Goodness... they are seem like hard topics! Really great idea. And you must keep us posted! :-)

  4. Wishing you all the best on your dissertation. Sounds like you're planning ahead and that's always wise.

  5. Wow, those are some really interesting topics! Good luck with your dissertation :D

  6. Those sound like difficult topics, but I love that you decided to use Camp Nano to write your dissertation. 700 words a day - you can totally do that! :)

  7. Good luck with your dissertation/Camp NaNo. You can work your socks off and go on holiday knowing you deserve it. Have a great time x

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