Monday, 19 September 2016

The NYC Midnight Flash Fiction Challenge (part 2)

I'm signed up on the NYC Midnight Flash Fiction Challenge this year. It's a nightmare! They give you just 48 hours to write a 1,000 word story... and that's far less time than my brain needs to polish something to perfection! People who can write that fast, I salute you!

The results for last time came out and I didn't do too badly. My story was given 9 points out of 15, which means I ranked 7th in my group of 35. That sounds okay, but only the top 5 go through to the next round... so it was far from good enough!

One of the best parts of this competition is that it provides feedback! From the comments I received, it seems the judges liked my writing but I lost points because I didn't root my story properly in time. Historical Fiction was the genre - and I suppose I should have realised that my story needed to mention a date, at the very least, if not a country as well!

Ah well, we live and learn!

Almost as soon as the feedback arrived, we were all allocated a new genre, location and object. This time my group was given:

  • Genre: Thriller
  • Location: A wildlife refuge
  • Object: A silver spoon

Last time, I wrote myself a method of how to tackle this competition. Because there's only one weekend to write the story, one of the main things I noted was that it was essential to come up with a good idea on the Saturday... because that means you can have a sleep before the editing and polishing. (I find that a break is really important between the first draft and the edit.)

Anyway, things went a bit wrong this time around. I couldn't come up with a good idea on Saturday, and so I panicked and just rushed out an action scene between a few characters. It was pretty bad, if I'm honest. I went to bed on Saturday with a wonderful case of the grumpy writer blues.

Humph :-(

On Sunday I decided to try a different story altogether. I managed to write a couple more stories but then I had three different stories and only a few hours left to choose which one to edit into something worth reading. 

I'd completely run out of time but I polished one of the stories as best I could, then sent it off with only minutes to spare. The next day, I read the story and hated it! But I guess that's just part of the job of being a creative writer. Sometimes you produce rubbish, and sometimes you produce a story that you love.

Never mind - at least now I won't have high expectations when the results come out in November! :-)

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