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QUESTION: Preparing for Round 3

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RichmondRoad View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RichmondRoad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Apr 2019 at 6:36am
I am highly unlikely to feature in the 3rd round (and was staggered to do so in the 2nd) so I do not speak from a position of authority. But I agree with Trish - preparing specifically for round 3 seems a bit pointless. If you have aspirations as a writer then you have already been preparing for some time ... the next few weeks is unlikely to make a lot of difference.

If you get a thumbs up from the judges then you just pick up your pen again and see what happens. That’s what we do. 

Isn’t it?

It does perhaps depend on your perspective, though. Are you trying to win a writing competition or are you trying to write? Would winning this thing mean more than writing something that you could proudly hang your hat on? I know what I would prefer.

I hope that it goes without saying that I have, thus far, written nothing of the sort.

But I will continue entering this competition in the hope that the inspiration it provokes might lead to a day that I might.


Edited by RichmondRoad - 30 Apr 2019 at 6:39am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote awayatpost Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Apr 2019 at 7:26am
Originally posted by RichmondRoad RichmondRoad wrote:



It does perhaps depend on your perspective, though. Are you trying to win a writing competition or are you trying to write? Would winning this thing mean more than writing something that you could proudly hang your hat on? I know what I would prefer.

I hope that it goes without saying that I have, thus far, written nothing of the sort.

But I will continue entering this competition in the hope that the inspiration it provokes might lead to a day that I might.


I'll respond, since I was the one (unfairly) accused on here.

If I enter a competition, it's safe to say that among my goals for doing so is winning the competition. I don't see a dichotomy between doing that and "trying to write" or trying to create something to "hang [my] hat on" (note: wood works better). But that's because I'm not trying to "Create Art."

Possibly because I'm coming to creative writing after retiring from a long career as a political speechwriter and journalist, when I sit down to write something I'm not trying to commune with The Muse, I'm thinking, "okay, x number of words, here's my deadline, here's what I know about my audience and how they'll respond, here's the top three things I want to convey, go." Creativity within a framework of rules -- what I think of as writing within the sonnet form, regardless of whether I'm actually writing a sonnet (and who writes sonnets these days?), that's what I enjoy.

Perhaps this is just the age-old debate between "Art" and craft. Happy and proud crafter here.
I'm not critiquing anyone who happens to get their dopamine squirt from aspiring to Art. I don't know you. But maybe back off the prescriptivist musings in return? Just a thought.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Littledaylight Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Apr 2019 at 12:05pm
Originally posted by awayatpost awayatpost wrote:

If I enter a competition, it's safe to say that among my goals for doing so is winning the competition. 

This is a very good point. Of course we all have the opportunity to benefit from the review forum, and just practice writing in general through the challenge... but I didn't pay the entry fee for that. I payed it for a chance to win. 
It's a competition! Or "challenge", whatever! Of course I want to put my best effort forward and cross my fingers that I'll place well.

I've been reading a lot of Brené Brown... one thing I learned is that we have a tendency to downplay our hopes and dreams, for fear of embarrassment if they don't turn out. We falsely believe our disappointment will be less if we don't publicize our excitement, and if we tell ourselves we don't really care so much at all. Instead, that sabotages our chance for an authentic experience of joy if our hopes DO come true. It's okay to admit your dreams and how much you want them. 

I would love to win this competition.

That doesn't mean I think I WILL. But I sure would love it and I'm certainly aiming for it! Proudly:)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tricksie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Apr 2019 at 3:48pm
I think we'd all like to win. I mean, I'd love to win. I also love the way this contest in particular allows me to write things I would NEVER have written otherwise in genres that aren't my thing. 

And I write at least 5 days a week, regardless of this competition. 

But...HELL YEAH, I'd like to win. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The_Duke Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Apr 2019 at 8:48pm
I just discovered that the 3rd round begins almost precisely as I board an international flight for my sister's wedding. Going to have to start making some detailed plans for if I make it through! =/
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jennifer.quail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Apr 2019 at 9:38pm
Originally posted by RichmondRoad RichmondRoad wrote:


It does perhaps depend on your perspective, though. Are you trying to win a writing competition or are you trying to write? Would winning this thing mean more than writing something that you could proudly hang your hat on? I know what I would prefer.

From the NYCM website:

Quote
1st Place

• USD$5,000 Cash

• One (1) Complete Self-Publishing Package from BookBaby (valued at USD$1,299). The Complete Self-Publishing Package includes 25 custom printed books, professional cover design, eBook conversion and distribution, worldwide distribution with Print on Demand, Direct-to-reader sales with BookShop, and an ISBN for your book.

• 1 WriteItNow 5 Download (valued at US$59.95).  WriteItNow is a program for writing and organizing novels. It has sections for chapters, characters, locations, events, notes and ideas. It includes a storyboard, timeline, writing prompts, spellchecker, thesaurus and readability calculator.  WriteItNow was awarded the 2017 and 2018 Gold and Excellence awards by TopTenReviews. It runs on PCs and Macs.

• 1 copy of Scrivener for Mac OS X or Windows from Literature and Latte (valued at US $45).  Tailor-made for long writing projects, Scrivener provides everything need to craft your first draft. Used by best-selling novelists, screenwriters, lawyers, students, journalists and more, Scrivener brings together tools familiar to writers everywhere in new and exciting ways.


2-6th get cash along with prizes, too.

I can write a better-than-decent story that I can likely sell for at least semi-pro rates any day. If I make it that far, the odds might be long, but it would be nice to win. And supposedly these people actually pay (FictionWar owes me $1100 at the moment. I'm not holding my breath.) 

However, since by pure coincidence I now don't have to work on that Friday, there's zero chance I'll make it to round three. I still have notions in my head, but I always have SOMETHING I can pull out if I need an idea. The question would be what would fit the prompts? That's the kicker, the big thing you can't possibly prepare for.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote td333777 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 May 2019 at 1:02am
Oh trust me, they pay.  I’ve gotten checks twice, both times within three weeks of the end of the contest.  Plus they give you a 1099 form for your taxes. ;)

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Seacore Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 May 2019 at 1:07am
I'm definitely on the side that says it's perfectly reasonable to consider if its possible to prepare for spending 24 hours writing a 1.5k piece capable of winning this competition.

The answer on whether it is indeed possible is harder. And harder again is the how. And it all depends on the kind of writer you are. Some people might gain nothing out of preparing for this. Others might practice throwing together pairs of prompts into feasible ideas. Others (and I'm one of them) should probably try writing a few 1.5k word stories on any subject, just so I know how long they are. (2K words sped past me and it definitely hurt my round 2 story).

I think it's unfair to suggest that anybody trying to win is some kind of lesser writer. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RichmondRoad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 May 2019 at 5:23am
Oh, goodness. I certainly was not trying to ‘accuse’ anyone of anything - and I certainly intended no offence.

What I was trying to say (very poorly, it seems) is that the winning piece will be one of great writing (have a look at the examples provided on the website - they all intimidate me and blow me away) and that I believe we do our best writing without adopting a tactical approach. Though I may well be wrong.

The fact that people can successfully submit stories written here to publishers elsewhere seems to suggest that conforming closely to the constraints of the competition is not really the important thing. In the end I don’t think that the prompts or how you react to them is what sways the judges .... good writing will win in the end.

And don’t get me wrong .... I’d love to win it. And I’d love to write something that I was genuinely proud of. Ideally the two events would coincide, but if I had to choose between one or the other then I would opt for the later. I perfectly understand if somebody has the opposite view.

Most importantly, though ... I am horrified to think that I may have caused any offence and apologise unreservedly if I have done so.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Random Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 May 2019 at 8:40am
Originally posted by jennifer.quail jennifer.quail wrote:

• 1 copy of Scrivener for Mac OS X or Windows from Literature and Latte (valued at US $45).  Tailor-made for long writing projects, Scrivener provides everything need to craft your first draft. Used by best-selling novelists, screenwriters, lawyers, students, journalists and more, Scrivener brings together tools familiar to writers everywhere in new and exciting ways.


Oh!  There's a better way (than Word) for this, asks the guy with a copy of FD11 that only gets used during NYCM screenwriting challenges?

For $45 this is worth a try.  Now I have to wonder why I never bothered to look before...probably because I'm a Luddite.  Or old.  Or all of the above.
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