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QUESTION: Preparing for Round 3

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Alex Grey View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Alex Grey Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Apr 2019 at 9:46am
I was sad not to even get through to Round 2 as Round 3 is on my birthday and, in my mind, I would have been writing a marvellous short story fuelled by prosecco and cake - alas, what might have been...:-D
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Random Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Apr 2019 at 9:51am
Originally posted by Alex Grey Alex Grey wrote:

I was sad not to even get through to Round 2 as Round 3 is on my birthday and, in my mind, I would have been writing a marvellous short story fuelled by prosecco and cake - alas, what might have been...:-D


Now, a stress free, relaxing birthday fueled by Prosecco and cake!  How awesome is this?

Happy birthday in advance!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cassalass Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Apr 2019 at 9:57am
I'm glad you asked this as it's all unfamiliar to me too. I'm thinking I'm going to chicken out and write a part two of my round 1 story as people seemed to like that one. It probably is not an issue though. My round 2 story is not really working for reviewers on the forum so I don't expect it will for the judges.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote manifestlynot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Apr 2019 at 10:00am
Write what you know. The finals prompts are always very vague and leave lots of room for interpretation (2018 screenplay finals were open genre/homemade/a loner), which is great but also terrifying. You are typically also up against the best of the best, so your story has to stand out.

That’s why you write what you know. The judges like genre mashups that are done skillfully and incorporate the prompts in a creative way, so make sure one of those genres is your comfort zone, and the other one is something bold and atypical.

And I echo the need for time to find the right idea. In Screenplay I wrote five false starts, including one totally finished and submittable draft, before the idea hit me a few hours before deadline and I wrote that instead. I got 4th place on that one, while in Short Screenplay I committed to an idea I didn’t love and got an HM. You have to love it in order to write it well.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lisa_Who Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Apr 2019 at 11:06am
I did a repeat of what I did before Round 2--I told my boss I might have to take Friday DDMMM off but I wouldn't know until Wednesday of that week, and he was cool with it for Round 2, and in the incredibly unlikely chance I make it to Round 3, he says he's cool with me doing so for that week as well. :D I honestly can't think of anything else that would actually be a meaningful preparation activity! 

Edited by Lisa_Who - 12 Apr 2019 at 11:07am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote awayatpost Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Apr 2019 at 12:14pm
Last time I made it to round 3, I had sketched out a very general outline beforehand, thinking I could then customize it to the prompts once I got them. I'm very weak on both plotting and being concise, and I thought if I created a "one size fits all" outline, it would help me avoid panic in a situation that played up my two biggest flaws. Pro: I did not panic. Con: the prompts really didn't fit the outline, and trying to shoehorn them in resulted in a weak story that did not place. I probably would have been better off abandoning it and starting with a new idea, but I didn't, because I'd already committed to the outline. So this year? I'm going to prepare *three* outlines. (Sigh.) 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chrissie0707 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Apr 2019 at 1:31pm
Originally posted by awayatpost awayatpost wrote:

Last time I made it to round 3, I had sketched out a very general outline beforehand, thinking I could then customize it to the prompts once I got them. I'm very weak on both plotting and being concise, and I thought if I created a "one size fits all" outline, it would help me avoid panic in a situation that played up my two biggest flaws. Pro: I did not panic. Con: the prompts really didn't fit the outline, and trying to shoehorn them in resulted in a weak story that did not place. I probably would have been better off abandoning it and starting with a new idea, but I didn't, because I'd already committed to the outline. So this year? I'm going to prepare *three* outlines. (Sigh.) 

While I know we're all on the honor system here, I think that might *technically* be cheating. I'm pretty sure on the Rules page it states that all creation must take place during the contest time. I definitely wouldn't advertise here that's your plan.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Random Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Apr 2019 at 1:57pm
Originally posted by chrissie0707 chrissie0707 wrote:

Originally posted by awayatpost awayatpost wrote:

Last time I made it to round 3, I had sketched out a very general outline beforehand, thinking I could then customize it to the prompts once I got them. I'm very weak on both plotting and being concise, and I thought if I created a "one size fits all" outline, it would help me avoid panic in a situation that played up my two biggest flaws. Pro: I did not panic. Con: the prompts really didn't fit the outline, and trying to shoehorn them in resulted in a weak story that did not place. I probably would have been better off abandoning it and starting with a new idea, but I didn't, because I'd already committed to the outline. So this year? I'm going to prepare *three* outlines. (Sigh.) 

While I know we're all on the honor system here, I think that might *technically* be cheating. I'm pretty sure on the Rules page it states that all creation must take place during the contest time. I definitely wouldn't advertise here that's your plan.


All “Creative Development” for the stories created must take place within the window of time between: (A) the date and time of start of each Round (“Genre, Subject & Character Announcement”); and (B) the date and time of the end of each challenge (“Story Submission Deadline”).

The only fuzzy term I see is 'Creative Development'. 

It's a hard rule to enforce unless you have a written confession, like someone announcing their entry is another installment of a series they write (preexisting characters, etc).  I saw that here once, don't remember who or when.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote awayatpost Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Apr 2019 at 1:59pm
I did no drafting; not a single line. This was on the order of thinking about what scenarios, conflicts, characters, plots would work well in a compressed word count. If that's cheating, then I'm chronically guilty, as I think about these ideas and jot notes all the time. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote J-HardyCarroll Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Apr 2019 at 2:09pm
The tightening timelines force us to do what we did before, only more efficiently. Find a good story, draft it out, refine and rewrite, read it to somebody, do it again. You can bang out 1500 words in a couple of hours, but the meat of the work is in revision. I'd suggest practicing by doing some shorter pieces in the meantime. Improve your skills at telling a clear story, using POV well, and (above all) creating empathy with your character. There will only be a few who advance, and fewer still who win.
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