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I wasn't going to sign up for short story

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nod1v1ng View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote nod1v1ng Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Jan 2021 at 6:42pm
Originally posted by catnamedeaster catnamedeaster wrote:

My birthday is also this week (the 26th). At least there will be cake to drown my anxieties in.

Woot! You & me & dash should get extra birthday points! 


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dashesndots2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Jan 2021 at 9:36pm
Originally posted by nod1v1ng nod1v1ng wrote:

Originally posted by catnamedeaster catnamedeaster wrote:

My birthday is also this week (the 26th). At least there will be cake to drown my anxieties in.

Woot! You & me & dash should get extra birthday points! 



Aquarians unite!  And yes please on the extra points, haha!


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Random Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Jan 2021 at 9:44pm
Originally posted by LizMS LizMS wrote:

This is my first time!  Any tips for a newbie??  :-)


Ignore all the overly dramatic tales of panic and procrastination. 

Relax and have fun with it.  If this is work you're not doing it right. 

That doesn't mean it won't take some effort  Wink
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote nod1v1ng Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Jan 2021 at 10:00pm
Originally posted by LizMS LizMS wrote:

This is my first time!  Any tips for a newbie??  :-)

Don't freak out trying to figure out what the judges want. Write a story that resonates with you and you've succeeded. 

Don't try an emulate anyone else's process. Do what works for you. 

Have fun, create something new. Again, if you do so, you've succeeded. 

When the all clear comes through, post your story in the forums and participate in the peer review. That's where the real value is at - it's essentially the cheapest workshopping seminar on the interwebs.

Did I say, have fun?


Edited by nod1v1ng - 22 Jan 2021 at 10:13pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Suave Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Jan 2021 at 10:09pm
Originally posted by LizMS LizMS wrote:

This is my first time!  Any tips for a newbie??  :-)

Write what pleases you, then if you achieve what you were aiming at, 
you will do well!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sara.E.Tall Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Jan 2021 at 10:41pm
Originally posted by LizMS LizMS wrote:

This is my first time!  Any tips for a newbie??  :-)

Have you see the beta sign-up sheet? It's a chance to swap stories with others throughout the competition and get some great feedback.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Heartstart Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Jan 2021 at 10:55pm
I've signed up for the 2021 Short Story contest, after taking last year off (I was actually judging a different short story contest, so it was interesting to see things from the other side of the fence, so to speak!). 

My tips for newbies are:

1. Don't stress if an idea doesn't come to you immediately. 

2. Brainstorm all possible ideas. Get a piece of paper and scribble down whatever comes to mind, no matter how naff it seems. 

3. Do something else. Take a break. Go for a walk. Cook a meal. Do chores even. But keep your prompts at the forefront of your mind. I find this helps me generate ideas, when I'm doing something else, away from my writing space.  

4. Try to come up with a creative take on your prompts. This will help your story stand out from the pack. 

5. Make something happen in your story. Include sufficient conflict. Let your main character have a goal. I say this, because I've read many stories which were proficiently written, with wonderful descriptions of settings and characters, but with non-existent plots. 

6. Leave yourself some time (preferably a day or two) for editing. 

7. Have fun and don't be too hard on yourself! Make sure you submit something, no matter how lame you think it is. The very fact that you've written and completed a short story is something to be proud of! 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Suave Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Jan 2021 at 11:03pm


PS - besides writing to please myself during these longer contests,
I will just stop everything an clean my bathroom top to bottom. Honestly.
If nothing else happens I get a good feeling from having a clean bathroom.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote stephenmatlock Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jan 2021 at 12:27am
Originally posted by LizMS LizMS wrote:

This is my first time!  Any tips for a newbie??  :-)


1. Sign up for the beta spreadsheet. It will be invaluable to find people to give you insight. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1NIJzSsCzs6e-rr46FHuDIBQRLdsI131AYKlBOUb4AIQ/edit#gid=0
2. Get to work right away in some form. Even if you just spend the next 18 hours doodling or walking or having a cuppa, have at the back of your mind that you need to get something out the door to your publisher by Sunday.
3. Relax, though. This is a contest, and it's under pressure, but the joy is in the journey. Share on this forum, read others to let off steam, yell at your computer, be willing to write pure unadulterated trash in your first few drafts. GET THE STORY OUT so you can start shaping it.

And remember, when you're done, you'll have a story never told before!

Good luck!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote theinquisitor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jan 2021 at 3:20am
A few practical suggestions to help avoid any last-minute panic:

1. Familiarise yourself with the formatting rules now.
2. Remember that you need a title page with a synopsis.
3. Open a Submittable account, if you don't have one already. You need it to submit.
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