Recently—not like I don’t have anything better to be doing (like working on DH or the IPS sequel, etc…)—I’ve been delving into the world of short story contests. It started sort of as an extension of the writing classes that I took via Coursera last year, where, at least for a period of time, I had relatively short deadlines in which to write a somewhat cohesive story (or fragment thereof). I also liked the idea of potentially getting some direct feedback on my writing, which not all contests provide but some do, so it’s definitely a great perk (almost better than winning, in some cases) if you can find those that offer it.
In any case, the first one I did was the NYC Midnight Short Story Challenge 2019, in which they send you a set of parameters (genre/subject/character) and from there you have a specific length of time to hit your wordcount and submit. In the first round we had eight days to produce a 2,500 word short story. My group got sci-fi/summer school/fork-lift operator to work with—which was pretty much universally met with cries of anguish from all involved, and at least one other participant (in another group) actually chose my story as her favorite “making due with terrible prompts.” Unfortunately, I didn’t make it past the first round, which to be fair, I didn’t really expect to, but I did get some really great feedback from my judges. So, especially given that it was my very first time submitting, I wasn’t too disappointed.
Undaunted, I decided to try the Spring 24-Hour Short Story Contest, which—like it says on the tin—gives you one single day to write and submit your story. The topic and max wordcount is unknown until the day of the contest so you can’t cheat. In this particular case we had 925 words or less with which to write our masterpieces. There (literally) aren’t enough words to express to you how hard that was for me to accomplish. I was initially WAY over my wordcount and it was rough cutting everything down while still maintaining the the emotion and detail and cohesive plot (on the given topic). But, not only did I manage it… I just found out that though I still didn’t win, I did make Honorable Mention this time!!!!
Anyway, I promise I am still working on my major projects (slowly but surely), however at the same time, I’m finding that doing these contests is a fun way to keep the creative juices flowing. All while (hopefully) helping to make myself a better writer!!
If you know of any other short story contests, feel free to post about them in the comments. I’m always looking for new ones!!
2018 was a super exciting year for me. Getting In Plain Sight out into the world was a dream come true and I’m thankful to all of you who stuck with me along that journey. It took a while, but we did it!!
Looking to 2019, I’m really hoping to have Darkharte, if not published by the end of the year, at the very least I want to have a finished manuscript. Considering how long it took me to get IPS whipped into shape, I know it’s ambitious, but it’s a goal. And it’s a good time of the year to make dreams and set our goals.
I’ve mentioned it before, but I also have a possible sequel to In Plain Sight simmering around in my brain. It’s in the very early stages, and it will be a while before I’m in the right place to work on it, but it’s there and I think you’ll like it. I’d never thought to write a sequel (or even considered that IPS needed a sequel), but then this idea plopped into my head fully formed and it wouldn’t go away. So a little funsies for the New Year, now through January 31st, 2019 (11:59pm PST), use the Contact page to send me your guess as to which character from In Plain Sight might merit their own book and why. The first 5 people to correctly guess will win a free audio version of In Plain Sight. Winners will be notified and receive their Audible promo code by February 4th, 2019. If no one gets the right answer, I will randomly draw 5 names from everyone who submits a guess.
On that note, I wish you all a blessed New Year. Be kind – not only to others, but to yourself as well. Dream lofty dreams and even if you don’t fully realize them this year, remember that each step you take puts you that much closer to making those dreams a reality. So don’t be afraid to take baby steps, and if you stumble along the way, that’s ok, get back up and keep going. Ask for help if you need it. Life is a journey and we are all in this together. And together we can all do amazing things!!
Know it’s been a bit quiet on the homefront, but honestly if it’s November, most of us a NaNo-ing anyways, right?!
With that in mind, I’ve been making good progress on getting a full first draft of my next book – DarkHarte – completed. It’s a fantasy and you can read a brief excerpt here. Those dreaded middle sections are the bane of my existence, but I’m slogging my way through and have every confidence that I will get it done.
In other exciting news, I’ve just received word that the audio version of In Plain Sight is done!!! Once it’s been through the final review process it will be available through Audible and on iTunes. I’m hoping that it will be out before Black Friday, but either way it will be ready before the Holidays. As soon as it’s live, I will let you all know!!
Well, that’s it for now. Happy writing!! 🙂
Take notice… this is why we always order a proof copy first!!
I really thought I was done editing, but as I was reading through, I found a lot more issues than I was expecting. Thankfully, most of it was minor stuff – spacing, a few random typos, duplicated words in short proximity, etc… I mean, it was probably fine as it was, but if I noticed them, I’m sure someone else would have too.
I expect that there are still things I’ve missed (and once it’s released, if you find something please let me know), but at this point I really think I’ve done just about as much as I can to it. Of course, I thought that before too.
What? I’m a perfectionist. I can’t help it. XD
I’m currently working on my newest project – potentially titled “Is This The Real Life”, as part of Camp Nano, and though I should be typing away at my 1000+ words a day goal, I sit here pondering point of view instead.
I was/am seriously considering writing this one from a first person point of view, really wanted to, since a lot of it, especially in the beginning is all just the main character sort of nattering on about her life, but I know too that once the other characters come into play, it’s going to be harder for me to stick to that. First person is not a comfortable writing style for me at all – guess that’s why I always had a hard time keeping a diary as a child. XD
- What point of view styles work best for you all? Or does it vary depending on what you are writing?
- What ways do you find it best (when writing in first person) to convey the thoughts of others, or to convey actions/events that may have happened outside the narrator’s presence, but that are somewhat central to moving the plot along?
- Should I just abandon first person and go with third person, or just keep at this and see how it goes for a bit?
Inquiring minds want to know!!
April 1st starts Camp NaNoWriMo, which is a much more laid back version of NaNoWriMo which happens every November. Both are great motivators, for those who are need a bit of an extra boost to keep to a writing schedule, but the great thing about Camp is that you can set your own word count goals. So it’s not quite as grueling as the 50K words in 30 days, that NaNo generally is.
I’ve had a few things kicking around in my head for a while, so I think I’m going to give Camp a go. If anyone wants to join me, feel free to poke at me, and we can find a forum or something for motivational support, or Twitter/Tumblr, etc… Whatever works. Not sure how this one will turn out though, since I don’t have it nearly as well planned out as I did with my last NaNo effort.
Either way… shall be interesting.