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have you ever failed to come up with a story?

Printed From: NYC Midnight : Creative Writing & Screenwriting
Category: GENERAL DISCUSSION
Forum Name: Creative Writing Corner
Forum Description: Discuss NYC Midnight Creative Writing Competitions or Creative Writing in general.
URL: https://forums.nycmidnight.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=35292
Printed Date: 07 Mar 2021 at 12:42am
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Topic: have you ever failed to come up with a story?
Posted By: ChristiLB
Subject: have you ever failed to come up with a story?
Date Posted: 16 Jul 2020 at 3:16pm
Has anyone ever suffered such severe writer's block in this competition that you were unable to write and submit a story?

Sadly that happened to me, for the first time, in this first challenge for flash fiction. I got completely stuck with the genre of thriller. I read about all the tropes online like needing high stakes, what does the character stand to lose or gain by succeeding or failing, needing a ticking clock, fast paced, etc. But everything I came up with felt too complicated for a 1000 words. I tried to have my character being blackmailed but then I thought that he wouldn't be a likable character if he was doing something bad enough to be blackmailed for it. I was a complete wreck all weekend and finally had to make the decision to just let it go because I was pulling my hair out and driving myself crazy over it and it's supposed to be fun. I'm so disappointed that I couldn't pull it off but hopefully I'll still be able to try challenge 2 of this first round in August.

Just wondering if this has happened to anyone else? Anyway, I'm off to read what you all wrote - Can't wait. I always enjoy them. Smile


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MF'20 RD1 H79 https://bit.ly/2yQ0btf" rel="nofollow - The Secret Room



Replies:
Posted By: chrissie0707
Date Posted: 16 Jul 2020 at 3:51pm
Happened to me in the first round of SSC this year. I was assigned Spy, and spent the first couple of days plotting a really, probably TOO complicated story with a sci-fi twist. With two days to go in the comp, I had about 400 rough words written, and a writer friend pointed out all the little things that would need explaining, or didn’t make sense, and questioned my MC’s entire motivation. It completely killed my creativity. I bowed out instead of stressing myself out (even more than I already had) to force a story by the deadline. 

Try not to be too disappointed in yourself, and knock it out of the park in challenge #2!


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SSC#1 https://forums.nycmidnight.com/gp-152-in-the-eye-draaamaaa_topic38306.html" rel="nofollow - In the Eye


Posted By: ChristiLB
Date Posted: 16 Jul 2020 at 4:01pm
Originally posted by chrissie0707 chrissie0707 wrote:

Happened to me in the first round of SSC this year. I was assigned Spy, and spent the first couple of days plotting a really, probably TOO complicated story with a sci-fi twist. With two days to go in the comp, I had about 400 rough words written, and a writer friend pointed out all the little things that would need explaining, or didn’t make sense, and questioned my MC’s entire motivation. It completely killed my creativity. I bowed out instead of stressing myself out (even more than I already had) to force a story by the deadline. 

Try not to be too disappointed in yourself, and knock it out of the park in challenge #2!

Aww, thanks so much for the kind and encouraging words. Sounds like I did to myself what your writer friend did to you - questioning too much and finding too many holes in the story. Spy and thriller both seem like tough genres to write in short stories in because they really do require lots of intricacies. Oh well, glad to know I'm not the only one it's happened to. Smile


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FF CH2 https://bit.ly/2ERrqXl" rel="nofollow - The Enchantress And The Creature
MF'20 RD1 H79 https://bit.ly/2yQ0btf" rel="nofollow - The Secret Room


Posted By: KelsNotChels
Date Posted: 16 Jul 2020 at 4:47pm
Originally posted by ChristiLB ChristiLB wrote:

Has anyone ever suffered such severe writer's block in this competition that you were unable to write and submit a story?

Sadly that happened to me, for the first time, in this first challenge for flash fiction. I got completely stuck with the genre of thriller. I read about all the tropes online like needing high stakes, what does the character stand to lose or gain by succeeding or failing, needing a ticking clock, fast paced, etc. But everything I came up with felt too complicated for a 1000 words. I tried to have my character being blackmailed but then I thought that he wouldn't be a likable character if he was doing something bad enough to be blackmailed for it. I was a complete wreck all weekend and finally had to make the decision to just let it go because I was pulling my hair out and driving myself crazy over it and it's supposed to be fun. I'm so disappointed that I couldn't pull it off but hopefully I'll still be able to try challenge 2 of this first round in August.

Just wondering if this has happened to anyone else? Anyway, I'm off to read what you all wrote - Can't wait. I always enjoy them. Smile

Oh, I’m so sorry writers block got a hold of you last weekend. I think anyone who’s been writing a while can definitely empathize with you. Next round, you’ve got this! And just in case part of the problem was not having a writing buddy to bounce ideas off of, feel free to message me for challenge #2. Sometimes we just have to commiserate together and have someone say our ideas aren’t crap! :D 



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FFC2
https://tinyurl.com/yyxsmjjn" rel="nofollow - The Ironic Life and Death of Clementine Walker
C3
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Posted By: DonInAZ2020
Date Posted: 16 Jul 2020 at 4:54pm
I thought that was me last weekend, for the Flash Fiction contest. I got suspense (never written it before), sauna (really??), and pamphlet (in a sauna, for real?) and by Sunday morning I had nothing. I was resigned to not submitting anything. Then, miraculously, an idea developed. Happily, I was able to write it and edit it in time.

But I can definitely relate. I'm sorry you had that experience. I hope you'll continue to enter and try. Basically, my reason for entering the FF contest was to force myself to write, and it actually worked out that way this time. Hang in there and keep trying!


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http://www.theempoweredtraveler.com/nyc.html" rel="nofollow - My stories


Posted By: BarbaraFL
Date Posted: 16 Jul 2020 at 5:15pm
Yup, it happened to me for short story this year - also with thriller. Tried and tried and started a bunch of things, but it just wasn't happening. Bummed to lose the entrance fee, but not the end of the world - hope you get something great for Challenge 2!

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SSc Ch3 https://bit.ly/3oMp25W" rel="nofollow - Bad Lovely Road
SSt R1 https://bit.ly/3tjAxnX" rel="nofollow - Will


Posted By: sidle_by
Date Posted: 16 Jul 2020 at 5:21pm
Happened to me this time, too! Had spy, which I'd never got before and was super excited about. Came up with a steampunk sort of vibe, had a great opening line, knew the plot, has my characters, and then... nothing. It just would't flow. 

I've written in a number of these comps. For a handful of rounds, I worked absolutely hideous weekend shifts where I slept single digits over the entire weekend period, but I always somehow managed to cobble something together right before deadline. I sort of just assumed I'd manage it again. But midnight rolled around (deadline my time is 5am) and I didn't even have the first paragraph, so I decided to pull the pin and get some rest instead. Slept really well, as it turns out LOL

The thing is, I've forgiven myself for it. There was a number of reasons I didn't manage to write, and that's the way it is sometimes. I'm lucky that I'll get to write in round 2, so the comp isn't over for me yet. Realistically, the only downside is that I'm very unlikely to make round 3 - but hey, I've done this comp twice before and only progressed once despite writing both stories both times, so it's not like missing one round has made a huge difference to my overall success.

I'm here in solidarity. Forgive yourself for not writing, enjoying snooping on the talent of your heatmates, and see if it all goes better in round 2 - i figure that's the best we can do, anyway!!


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Flash Rd 2- https://forums.nycmidnight.com/topic35813_post376653.html#376653" rel="nofollow - Nunc est Natandum
Short Rd3- https://tinyurl.com/yb2lk7el" rel="nofollow - All the Devils are Singing



Posted By: dcontarato
Date Posted: 16 Jul 2020 at 6:30pm
Hasn't happened to me yet but I've realized that when I'm not interested in the assigned genre I get really stuck because, to quote the original poster:

Originally posted by ChristiLB ChristiLB wrote:

it's supposed to be fun.

... and there are a few genres in the roster here that I'm not interested in and don't find fun to write. So the temptation of giving up hangs around all weekend when I'm not enjoying the process, and I might fall prey to it eventually.


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SHSC20, R1 https://bit.ly/2ScTdV9" rel="nofollow - The Gig, the Girl and the Galaxy


Posted By: readerum2
Date Posted: 16 Jul 2020 at 6:40pm
This happened to me in the first round of the SSC earlier this year. It wasn't so much that I was struggling with writer's block, but that the whole thing was ill-timed with the birth of my daughter only a month before. 

There just wasn't time and I was too exhausted every night to try and bang something out (if I recall correctly, I wasn't loving the genre I pulled either), so I took a forfeit (and stayed in my wife's good graces).

That said, my daughter is 7 months old now and I did manage to submit something for FF R1 last weekend, so maybe this is do-able now. 


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R2 https://forums.nycmidnight.com/topic35874_post376824.html#376824" rel="nofollow - Revenge is a Dish Best Served Sour


Posted By: Guests
Date Posted: 16 Jul 2020 at 6:45pm
It's never happened to me, but I've had times where I was force-writing the story and wasn't pleased with what I came up with. It seems to have less to do with the prompts and more to do with my mental game. One weekend during last year's flash fiction, I attended a bad tap-dancing class and couldn't get my mind in the game afterward. My story was less than stellar, and I've realized how important it is for me to clear the decks and not do anything extracurricular during these contests (the exception being round 1 of short story, since it lasts eight days). But next time this happens, come and find me and we can brainstorm for story ideas!! That's part of what makes it fun!! I wish you wouldn't put all the pressure on yourself to overcome difficult prompts!! I guess it's not the same thing, but I had to ask a lot of people to describe food co-ops to me this round. Apparently, we don't have them in Louisville. I'm sad that you struggled so much!! Maybe you had something on your mind that you didn't even realize was bugging you, or something like that, and you couldn't get in the game. It certainly happens!! Please, don't pull your hair out! Yikes! 


Posted By: justmel
Date Posted: 16 Jul 2020 at 7:44pm
Yes. I've been doing these since 2015, and it's happened to me several times (four, I think: both rounds in Flash 2018, then again in Short Story this year, then again in Short Screenplay this year). I won't bore you with long-winded details--I'll just say there were legitimate reasons (there always are, whether it's a nasty set of prompts or something awry in your personal world), and you know what, sometimes it just happens. It's OK. Like falling off a horse or a bike or whatever, just get back on in Challenge 2. And if Challenge 2 defies you (it probably won't, but it did happen to me that one year), then you just shake it off and try again in the next comp. It's OK. Really. You are not alone!

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https://forums.nycmidnight.com/topic36604_post386527.html#386527" rel="nofollow - R2Grp9 A Matter of Time


Posted By: jennifer.quail
Date Posted: 16 Jul 2020 at 9:47pm
Not yet, but I have come very, very close. 

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SSC2021 R1 Gr 56: https://forums.nycmidnight.com/topic38378_post406599.html#406599" rel="nofollow - Terra Nova


Posted By: td333777
Date Posted: 16 Jul 2020 at 11:45pm
Don’t beat yourself up—every year there’s at least one heat (usually in the second challenge) where less than HALF the writers bother to submit something.  Be it writer’s block, or a belief they won’t score high enough to advance, or real life getting in the way...sh*t happens.  Just don’t use it as an excuse to give up entirely—keep writing, keep struggling to create new characters and new stories.

TD


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FFC 2020 - 7th place
SSC 2018 - 2nd place
FFC 2017 - 1st


Posted By: MissMoosie
Date Posted: 17 Jul 2020 at 7:26am
It's happened to me three or four times! Or I've just cobbled something together at the last minute.

In the last SSC, my script was so rushed I forgot what my main character was called halfway through! Oops!

I had another challenge when I had crime caper and I didn't know where to start. So I just didn't start...

But on the two-part challenges, I don't necessarily think it's a bad thing as it can free your mind up more for round two - and you can definitely still get through to round three!




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R1 G43: https://forums.nycmidnight.com/r1-g43-stuck-in-the-middle-with-uhu_topic21140.html" rel="nofollow - Stuck in the Middle With UHU
R2 G6: https://tinyurl.com/yxhm769s" rel="nofollow - One Last Job


Posted By: Crystal Highlands
Date Posted: 17 Jul 2020 at 9:46am
I got thriller too and I also had an idea that was too big for 1000 words. 

I got wise advice that thrillers should be in the moment, to focus on the present and what is happening right now. That advice helped me pare down my idea, though I still struggled with amp'ing up the action.

I don't read thriller books or watch thriller movies and focusing on action isn't my interest, but giving it a go was a good assignment, and I think I could handle a thriller better next time. So, I'm kind of proud of that progress.

My initial instinct was to go with a humorous thriller (thinking of a character Melissa McCartney would play), but I backed off. I regret holding back as I think my story would be much better if it were funny.




Snipped
Originally posted by ChristiLB ChristiLB wrote:

I got completely stuck with the genre of thriller. I read about all the tropes online like needing high stakes, what does the character stand to lose or gain by succeeding or failing, needing a ticking clock, fast paced, etc. But everything I came up with felt too complicated for a 1000 words. 


Posted By: fioOxf
Date Posted: 17 Jul 2020 at 12:18pm
Yeah, last year Challenge 2. I was travelling the whole weekend - minibus for 9 hours, two planes, bus... I'd expected to be able to at least plan in the minibus, but I sat in the middle of a huge argument between two people behind me and two in front, which was just the wrong kind of white noise. Plus I'd hated challenge 1 (horror in a cake shop) and drew sci-fi in a pet shop, so was grumbly about the prompts anyway. I came up with an idea that turned my bickering travel companions into clone animals (in tune with their personalities)....... and then thought "seriously?!" and settled down to enjoy the scenery. Life, innit. Sometimes it happens, sometimes sh*t does. Frustrating at the time, but then you just do the next one. 
Hugs, anyway. 


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Posted By: Helou
Date Posted: 17 Jul 2020 at 12:37pm
I would say it happened to me this time for Flash. I moved house last Saturday, which included about 18 hours of travel and un/packing. I *tried* to think about my prompts, but I just couldn't. I ended up getting so time crunched that - without having thought of a story - I started cramming words into my gdoc 2ish hours before the deadline and ended up submitting something 1 minute late. 

The result doesn't really adhere to the genre, there's almost no actual story, and there's no intended meaning behind anything I wrote. Its words for the sake of getting something 'done' in time. A genuinely pointless piece of writing, which is especially problematic given that my genre was polsat. 

I don't really feel too bad about it given how hectic and stressful a weekend it was, but I doubt I'll post it to the forums. Is there any point asking for feedback on something that I put so little thought into? I think its a product of my grasp on the English language, as opposed to my creativity.


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FF Finals(!): https://tinyurl.com/uouqqsz" rel="nofollow - Operation Pareidolia
CH3: https://tinyurl.com/yx8b2bz3" rel="nofollow - Man's Best Friend (Sci Fi)


Posted By: ReaderWriterRagan
Date Posted: 17 Jul 2020 at 2:25pm
I feel for you! We came *so* close this round, Suspense was our genre and it just felt impossible. I think it's because, you know, with other genres, you have the ability to shape what *kind* of story it will be, like, say it's "Sci-Fi", you can make it a Romantic sci-fi, or a thriller Sci-fi, or a Crime Caper sci-fi, or with Historical, same thing, you can spin it however you want, suspenseful, funny, etc. But with Suspense (and Thriller too, I think) it's like there is less flexibility. Whatever you write it HAS to be suspenseful. I don't know if I'm explaining it right but we for sure were beating our heads against the brick wall!

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Posted By: ChristiLB
Date Posted: 17 Jul 2020 at 6:59pm
Originally posted by KelsNotChels KelsNotChels wrote:

Oh, I’m so sorry writers block got a hold of you last weekend. I think anyone who’s been writing a while can definitely empathize with you. Next round, you’ve got this! And just in case part of the problem was not having a writing buddy to bounce ideas off of, feel free to message me for challenge #2. Sometimes we just have to commiserate together and have someone say our ideas aren’t crap! :D 


Aaaw, thanks so much for your kind words and generous offer. I'll definitely take you up on it if I am struggling during the second challenge. I usually do make a post on here when I'm having trouble and get some great feedback but I just felt the time slipping away this weekend and didn't think I had any time left. I won't make that mistake again.


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FF CH2 https://bit.ly/2ERrqXl" rel="nofollow - The Enchantress And The Creature
MF'20 RD1 H79 https://bit.ly/2yQ0btf" rel="nofollow - The Secret Room


Posted By: ChristiLB
Date Posted: 17 Jul 2020 at 7:05pm
Originally posted by sidle_by sidle_by wrote:

Happened to me this time, too! Had spy, which I'd never got before and was super excited about. Came up with a steampunk sort of vibe, had a great opening line, knew the plot, has my characters, and then... nothing. It just would't flow. 

I've written in a number of these comps. For a handful of rounds, I worked absolutely hideous weekend shifts where I slept single digits over the entire weekend period, but I always somehow managed to cobble something together right before deadline. I sort of just assumed I'd manage it again. But midnight rolled around (deadline my time is 5am) and I didn't even have the first paragraph, so I decided to pull the pin and get some rest instead. Slept really well, as it turns out LOL

The thing is, I've forgiven myself for it. There was a number of reasons I didn't manage to write, and that's the way it is sometimes. I'm lucky that I'll get to write in round 2, so the comp isn't over for me yet. Realistically, the only downside is that I'm very unlikely to make round 3 - but hey, I've done this comp twice before and only progressed once despite writing both stories both times, so it's not like missing one round has made a huge difference to my overall success.

I'm here in solidarity. Forgive yourself for not writing, enjoying snooping on the talent of your heatmates, and see if it all goes better in round 2 - i figure that's the best we can do, anyway!!

WOW, your experience sounds exactly like mine, right down to having a great opening line. I had such a funny opening scene between two characters discussing their costumes (It probably would've been the first thing my betas suggested I cut HAHA) but yah, I had nothing after that. I've been in that situation with these competitions before, like you, and have always managed to pull something out at the last minute but I was just getting too frustrated this time and I could feel my blood pressure going through the roof so I just had to pull the plug. I felt so much calmer after that. Hopefully we'll both have better luck with round 2.


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FF CH2 https://bit.ly/2ERrqXl" rel="nofollow - The Enchantress And The Creature
MF'20 RD1 H79 https://bit.ly/2yQ0btf" rel="nofollow - The Secret Room


Posted By: ChristiLB
Date Posted: 17 Jul 2020 at 7:08pm
Originally posted by readerum2 readerum2 wrote:

This happened to me in the first round of the SSC earlier this year. It wasn't so much that I was struggling with writer's block, but that the whole thing was ill-timed with the birth of my daughter only a month before. 

There just wasn't time and I was too exhausted every night to try and bang something out (if I recall correctly, I wasn't loving the genre I pulled either), so I took a forfeit (and stayed in my wife's good graces).

That said, my daughter is 7 months old now and I did manage to submit something for FF R1 last weekend, so maybe this is do-able now. 

Hey, sounds like you had a great reason for forfeiting your round - Glad your daughter is at an age now that makes it easier to turn something out. Smile


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FF CH2 https://bit.ly/2ERrqXl" rel="nofollow - The Enchantress And The Creature
MF'20 RD1 H79 https://bit.ly/2yQ0btf" rel="nofollow - The Secret Room


Posted By: ChristiLB
Date Posted: 17 Jul 2020 at 7:13pm
Originally posted by Zelda Zelda wrote:

It's never happened to me, but I've had times where I was force-writing the story and wasn't pleased with what I came up with. It seems to have less to do with the prompts and more to do with my mental game. One weekend during last year's flash fiction, I attended a bad tap-dancing class and couldn't get my mind in the game afterward. My story was less than stellar, and I've realized how important it is for me to clear the decks and not do anything extracurricular during these contests (the exception being round 1 of short story, since it lasts eight days). But next time this happens, come and find me and we can brainstorm for story ideas!! That's part of what makes it fun!! I wish you wouldn't put all the pressure on yourself to overcome difficult prompts!! I guess it's not the same thing, but I had to ask a lot of people to describe food co-ops to me this round. Apparently, we don't have them in Louisville. I'm sad that you struggled so much!! Maybe you had something on your mind that you didn't even realize was bugging you, or something like that, and you couldn't get in the game. It certainly happens!! Please, don't pull your hair out! Yikes! 

I think a big part of my problem is that I'm a perfectionist (in my own mind at least) so when I got thriller I wanted to really hit all the tropes and do it right and thriller is not a genre I read or watch at all so I had nothing really to go on for inspiration. The closest I could come up with was the movie Double Jeopardy but that, like most thrillers, is so intricate and complicated and it just seemed to require too much detail for a 1000 words. I'll definitely look you up next time if this happens to me again. Thanks so much for your understanding and sympathetic post - It's much appreciated.


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FF CH2 https://bit.ly/2ERrqXl" rel="nofollow - The Enchantress And The Creature
MF'20 RD1 H79 https://bit.ly/2yQ0btf" rel="nofollow - The Secret Room


Posted By: ChristiLB
Date Posted: 17 Jul 2020 at 7:22pm
Originally posted by Crystal Highlands Crystal Highlands wrote:

I got thriller too and I also had an idea that was too big for 1000 words. 

I got wise advice that thrillers should be in the moment, to focus on the present and what is happening right now. That advice helped me pare down my idea, though I still struggled with amp'ing up the action.

I don't read thriller books or watch thriller movies and focusing on action isn't my interest, but giving it a go was a good assignment, and I think I could handle a thriller better next time. So, I'm kind of proud of that progress.

My initial instinct was to go with a humorous thriller (thinking of a character Melissa McCartney would play), but I backed off. I regret holding back as I think my story would be much better if it were funny.




Snipped
 

I love your advice on focusing on the present for thrillers - I'll definitely remember that if I get thriller again (God help me if I get it again ShockedShockedShocked


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FF CH2 https://bit.ly/2ERrqXl" rel="nofollow - The Enchantress And The Creature
MF'20 RD1 H79 https://bit.ly/2yQ0btf" rel="nofollow - The Secret Room


Posted By: ChristiLB
Date Posted: 17 Jul 2020 at 7:30pm
Thank you all so much for your kind, generous and sympathetic responses. I really appreciate all the support that everyone on this forum always offers to one another. I'm so glad I'm not the only one this has happened to, and am sorry for all of you that have struggled as well in previous competitions. I'll be thinking positively that we get some favorable prompts next time. Smile

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FF CH2 https://bit.ly/2ERrqXl" rel="nofollow - The Enchantress And The Creature
MF'20 RD1 H79 https://bit.ly/2yQ0btf" rel="nofollow - The Secret Room


Posted By: stephenmatlock
Date Posted: 17 Jul 2020 at 9:19pm
Yep. A few times. I've been entering since 2013, and in the past 18 months I've paid for and skipped three times. For me it was some stuff going on behind the scenes that took the energy out of me to be creative. 

Soldier on, and if you can't get something--you can't get something.


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FF2020 R1G38 Romance | https://bit.ly/2OpGhJR" rel="nofollow - Paper Cuts
SSP2020 C1G14 Ghost | https://bit.ly/34gbbvs" rel="nofollow - RAISING HOLY HELL


Posted By: ShroudedWolf
Date Posted: 17 Jul 2020 at 9:37pm
I got so depressed after one round, I quit the internet for 3 months and skipped the second challenge, then didn't write for about 2 years. Now, that's not normal me, but I do suffer from severe depression and anxiety and other factors were a part of the decision, but I regret it.

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CH2:G18 https://forums.nycmidnight.com/topic35970_post377151.html#377151" rel="nofollow - "Drinking and Driving in Traffic" Mystery


Posted By: orion323
Date Posted: 18 Jul 2020 at 12:35pm
For some reason, I've been perpetually plagued by the spy genre for years now.  It got to the point where I didn't even look at assignments until the morning cuz it ruined my night.  I just have zero interest in or ability to write spy stuff.  I've always somehow coughed up a word hairball in time for the deadline but that's cuz I'm Aries and refuse to tap out.

This time I got crime caper and kicked shenanigan rocks in my head for a day and a half.  I finally came up with a story that I liked at noon on Sunday and skidded sideways into the 8:59 deadline...only to realize on Tuesday that I uploaded my first draft onto Submittable.  It's a flaming pile of hot hot garbage, run on sentences, and spell check gone awry.  I'm so embarrassed for the judges that have to read it...lol

Oh well.

Fwiw, a couple years ago I was one of the unicorns that got a 0 first round and a 15 the second and was able to move on.  Don't count yourself out just yet!


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Posted By: Crystal Highlands
Date Posted: 18 Jul 2020 at 1:27pm
Snipped
Originally posted by orion323 orion323 wrote:

...only to realize on Tuesday that I uploaded my first draft onto Submittable.  It's a flaming pile of hot hot garbage, run on sentences, and spell check gone awry.  I'm so embarrassed for the judges that have to read it...lol


Oh no! The good news is....this mishap could be a kernel for a future story. 

:)




Posted By: Frefallr
Date Posted: 18 Jul 2020 at 3:14pm
What a bummer! I was totally afraid I would come up blank. This is my first time doing this, and I really struggled with the genre, and the location which was a sauna, and I felt like all the situations I came up with were so clichéd at first. I'm nervous about the next assignment because I found it very difficult to write honestly (?) organically (?) -not sure what the right word is- with preassigned genre and location. I found it reassuring to think that so many people around the world were all dealing with the same 48 hours of pressure. It's bee inspiring to read the stories posted. I'm sure you'll be back in the game with the next prompt and I look forward to reading it!

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R4Aperture


Posted By: KarenB
Date Posted: 20 Jul 2020 at 3:34pm
So sorry you had this experience. It hasn't happened to me yet, but my fall back plan would be to default to a 100 word story and to run with whatever developed -- just to pop something in.  I imagine that might be a sloppy sounding plan to writers of a higher caliber than myself, but that's my plan, should I ever get stuck.  Wishing you only the best of luck in knocking the second round out of the park. Happy Writing!! SmileWinkBig smile

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Posted By: Suave
Date Posted: 21 Jul 2020 at 12:27am
Only once, a couple of years ago I was traveling in Vietnam,
and would have wrote, but I got spy for the third time and
I hate spy and and decided not to waste my vacation on 
something I hated. Had I got anything else I woulda wrote.
Since then I have been on the receiving end of spy once more,
I hate spy, but got 2 points for it as I just wrote it as a comedy.


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Posted By: sgspeed
Date Posted: 21 Jul 2020 at 11:12am
It happened to me in the Short Screenplay challenge. I got stuck on the prompts, and because screenplays are harder for me than prose, it just felt like an ordeal. On Sunday morning I decided that writing should not be torture, and it was time to walk away. Had a wonderful day out and away from the computer and that was that. It was a relief.  When Rd.2 came up, I thought I should write, but then I got fantasy, which totally intimidates me, and also thought about the possibility of pulling points away from someone who actually had a chance to move forward, and decided the contest was over for me.  

And guess what I got this time?  Fantasy, but i was in the right head place this time and it wasn't so bad!



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Posted By: ChristiLB
Date Posted: 21 Jul 2020 at 7:18pm
Originally posted by ShroudedWolf ShroudedWolf wrote:

I got so depressed after one round, I quit the internet for 3 months and skipped the second challenge, then didn't write for about 2 years. Now, that's not normal me, but I do suffer from severe depression and anxiety and other factors were a part of the decision, but I regret it.

Oh no, I'm sorry to hear you took such an absence from writing - I can understand how it could happen though since writing is such a personal thing and so tightly tied to who we are. Glad to see you're back. Thanks for sharing, I hope you are well.


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Posted By: ChristiLB
Date Posted: 21 Jul 2020 at 7:27pm
Originally posted by orion323 orion323 wrote:

For some reason, I've been perpetually plagued by the spy genre for years now.  It got to the point where I didn't even look at assignments until the morning cuz it ruined my night.  I just have zero interest in or ability to write spy stuff.  I've always somehow coughed up a word hairball in time for the deadline but that's cuz I'm Aries and refuse to tap out.

This time I got crime caper and kicked shenanigan rocks in my head for a day and a half.  I finally came up with a story that I liked at noon on Sunday and skidded sideways into the 8:59 deadline...only to realize on Tuesday that I uploaded my first draft onto Submittable.  It's a flaming pile of hot hot garbage, run on sentences, and spell check gone awry.  I'm so embarrassed for the judges that have to read it...lol

Oh well.

Fwiw, a couple years ago I was one of the unicorns that got a 0 first round and a 15 the second and was able to move on.  Don't count yourself out just yet!

HA, I love the way you described your process for writing your crime caper, LOLLOLLOL I'm guessing comedy is the genre you excel at, Smile You've given me a shred of hope to hang on to with your experience of getting zero in challenge 1 and 15 in challenge 2 and moving on. I better come up with something brilliant haha. Thanks for response.


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Posted By: ChristiLB
Date Posted: 21 Jul 2020 at 7:33pm
Originally posted by KarenB KarenB wrote:

So sorry you had this experience. It hasn't happened to me yet, but my fall back plan would be to default to a 100 word story and to run with whatever developed -- just to pop something in.  I imagine that might be a sloppy sounding plan to writers of a higher caliber than myself, but that's my plan, should I ever get stuck.  Wishing you only the best of luck in knocking the second round out of the park. Happy Writing!! SmileWinkBig smile

Thanks for the kind words and encouragement. Hopefully I'm able to do that with the second challenge if something doesn't readily come to mind for a story. Tongue


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Posted By: ChristiLB
Date Posted: 21 Jul 2020 at 7:37pm
Thank you to all the new comments I received on this thread. I replied to a few of you but wanted to send out a general "thank you" to everyone for all your kind words and support. It's so reasurring to know I'm not alone in this unfortunate experience. I'm looking forward to challenge number 2 and getting another chance to succeed. Smile

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Posted By: Sara02
Date Posted: 21 Jul 2020 at 10:15pm
This happened to me with the last contest. I just could NOT come up with a spy story. Finally got a little inspiration the last 2 hours. Then I over complicated my plot and my keyboard messed up so I copied and pasted and emailed to another computer. I didn't even get to finish the story, much less edit it. Pretty sure I was 400 words over. I'm trying not to think too much about it but it is comforting to know I'm not the only one who struggled. 


Posted By: ChristiLB
Date Posted: 24 Jul 2020 at 10:08pm
Originally posted by Sara02 Sara02 wrote:

This happened to me with the last contest. I just could NOT come up with a spy story. Finally got a little inspiration the last 2 hours. Then I over complicated my plot and my keyboard messed up so I copied and pasted and emailed to another computer. I didn't even get to finish the story, much less edit it. Pretty sure I was 400 words over. I'm trying not to think too much about it but it is comforting to know I'm not the only one who struggled. 

Oh no, sorry to hear you had so many setbacks. I definitely know the feeling and am equally comforted knowing I'm not struggling alone during these competitions. Thanks so much for commiserating with me, Smile


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Posted By: Lord Xoon
Date Posted: 24 Jul 2020 at 11:24pm
Yeah, I'm going to get something down even if it's completely wrong. Hell, I wrote a romance where they didn't hook up or end up together. I wrote a fantasy without magic. 

But I paid my $ so by God, I'm going to make those judges earn their money.

Oh, and for anyone interested, no my romanceless romance and magicless fantasy didn't do well.


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