NYC Midnight : Creative Writing & Screenwriting Homepage
Forum Home Forum Home > GENERAL DISCUSSION > Creative Writing Corner
  New Posts New Posts RSS Feed - Well, that was (nearly) impossible!
  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Events   Register Register  Login Login

Well, that was (nearly) impossible!

 Post Reply Post Reply Page  123 4>
Author
Message
Nbelousova View Drop Down
NYC Midnight Groupie
NYC Midnight Groupie
Avatar

Joined: 06 Oct 2019
Location: Canada
Status: Offline
Points: 194
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (4) Thanks(4)   Quote Nbelousova Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Well, that was (nearly) impossible!
    Posted: 25 Jan 2020 at 11:21pm
So, having just submitted my first ever attempt at a short story challenge, I thought I'd share some reflections. I'm coming to this having just done two rounds of the microfiction challenge, and a writing workshop where I have been writing weekly pieces based on various prompts.

This will surprise absolutely no-one who has done this before, but... This was a thousand times harder than any of that. I found my genre, subject and character assignment extremely prohibitive, and had a lot of trouble coming up with a workable idea for a story. Every time I thought of something that fit two out of the three criteria, I would remember the third and the whole thing would fall apart. Microfiction was difficult, to be sure, but essentially you just have to write one scene, there's just one central point to be made and once I had that for both rounds of the challenge that I got to be in, the writing was relatively easy. Here, I had to come up with an idea and actually develop it into a story, while still restricting myself to just a couple of central characters and plot points to keep it under the 2500 word limit.

In the end, I came up with just two story ideas that fit my heat's requirements, and rejected one after writing a thousand words or so because it was just going to be too complicated. The other barely fits the required criteria. In fact, if I get a judge who's not really paying attention (or if I failed to clearly communicate the point of the story), I may be disqualified for not addressing the necessary subject.

But, the positive is: I did write a story. And while it's not the best thing I've ever written, it's an actual, complete story, which I churned out in less than 24 hours (because I kept on waiting for inspiration to strike and suddenly it was today and I just had to sit down and write the damn thing). So it's nice to know that I can write when I'm under pressure, and that I can come up with ideas even when initially, the challenge seems impossible. Of course I hope I get through to the next round, but it seems unlikely. I am, however, infinitely glad that I had an opportunity to take on this challenge, and that I didn't give up when I got my heat assignment.

So anyway, good luck everybody, I hope you all surprised yourselves as much I did, and I can't wait to read your entries!

Back to Top
Flake Cosmo View Drop Down
NYC Midnight Newbie
NYC Midnight Newbie
Avatar

Joined: 28 Jan 2017
Location: Edmonton
Status: Offline
Points: 77
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Flake Cosmo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Jan 2020 at 11:48pm
First, welcome to the short story challenge. Glad you were able to complete a story. It can be difficult. This is my third time in the contest, and my 5th story entered, and every time, when I get my prompts, my first thought is, I am not going to be able to come up with anything for this! But in the end, I always do. And I usually find myself writing as the deadline is swiftly approaching. This time, my jaw dropped when I saw my prompts. I shook my head and said 'there is no way I'm going to be able to do this.' I was the same, I could fit two together, but not three, until a couple of days ago when something finally started coming to me. I think this is probably an experience that many here have. Thanks for sharing your reflections! It's always interesting to hear other people's perspectives on the challenge.
Back to Top
Suave View Drop Down
NYC Midnight Black Belt
NYC Midnight Black Belt
Avatar

Joined: 25 Jan 2015
Location: Thailand
Status: Offline
Points: 16268
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Suave Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Jan 2020 at 11:58pm
Haha, congrats!
The prompts we get can make things very difficult. I just jot the first thing that comes
to mind down and then work with that, some times it works. I know starting in the last
two days is hard, been there more than a few times.
The good news is that it gets easier every time, they are secretly changing your brain
chemistry, NYCM has plans for the world, maybe global conquest.


Edited by Suave - 26 Jan 2020 at 12:05am
Back to Top
Mattmyth View Drop Down
Newbie
Newbie
Avatar

Joined: 17 Jan 2020
Location: Auckland
Status: Offline
Points: 6
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mattmyth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Jan 2020 at 12:25am
Feel your pain.
  I had several problems. Cramming everything into 2500 words for starters.  
  Then I was worried the terms and slang wouldn’t translate to the American judges, so I stripped it out.  I think the characters are all flat now.
  So my story turned out as dog sh*t haha.
  But, I’m pleased with my work ethic and pleased I got it done.    Just have to keep bashing the keyboard to get better. The worst thing that can happen with these sorts of things is that we learn.
Back to Top
Nbelousova View Drop Down
NYC Midnight Groupie
NYC Midnight Groupie
Avatar

Joined: 06 Oct 2019
Location: Canada
Status: Offline
Points: 194
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Nbelousova Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Jan 2020 at 9:01am
Haha, I'm Australian, so I always wonder how much I should "Americanize" my language. And I agree regarding the word count. 2500 words seemed like such a luxury after the microfiction challenge, but once you start writing an actual story, so many extra plot elements just creep in! I am pretty certain I know what the judges will say they wanted to see more of - there are things I refer to which I should have been able to show, but I simply didn't have the space to do it.

So yes, ultimately, it was a great learning exercise even if the final product was a bit of a mess. I think my biggest takeaway from this is to just write something as early as possible so you have enough time to edit. The idea I ended up going with came to me on Tuesday or Wednesday, but I ended up waiting until Saturday to write it because I kept hoping I'd come up with something ebtter.
Back to Top
Nbelousova View Drop Down
NYC Midnight Groupie
NYC Midnight Groupie
Avatar

Joined: 06 Oct 2019
Location: Canada
Status: Offline
Points: 194
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Nbelousova Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Jan 2020 at 9:05am
Yes, I have to keep reminding myself that I started doing this primarily to force myself to do more writing and thereby to improve. In the future I think I will try to start writing earlier, like you say, just go with the first thing that comes to mind (in my case, the first thing that came to mind was exceddingly complicated and couldn't possibly be done as a short story, but the second - the one I ended up writing - could've been started on Tuesday or Wednesday, instead of Saturday.)

I'm also still figuring out just how much flexibility the judges have around the subject/genre/character definitions. My genre was "mystery", which I've never written before and not read all that much of, and my story, while it has a small mystery in it, really reads much more as drama. And the subject, well, I think I've addressed it, but it may not obvious that I have, so there's definitely a chance I'll get disqualified...
Back to Top
f6ken View Drop Down
Newbie
Newbie


Joined: 19 Sep 2019
Location: Villa park, IL
Status: Offline
Points: 1
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote f6ken Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Jan 2020 at 1:04pm
Glad I'm not the only "slow starter." I had a number of ideas throughout the week and started to write synopses first, then realized they were all basically brain farts. But, as always I found the germ of an idea Friday night and didn't gain any traction until about seven hours before the deadline. I got it in with 10 minutes to spare. Last year I had seven minutes to spare and in 2018, my first time I had less than five minutes to get the last revision submitted.

It always seems impossible until it isn't...
Ken
Back to Top
DukeREK View Drop Down
NYC Midnight Regular
NYC Midnight Regular
Avatar

Joined: 26 Jan 2020
Location: Australia
Status: Offline
Points: 328
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote DukeREK Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Jan 2020 at 9:50pm
I hear that.

Romantic comedy sent me scrambling into mental caverns I have never explored and that I dynamited after I had. I even sat down and watched When Harry got mail or somesuch.

I then wrote over 1000 words for each of seven different stories before deleting them and reformating my hard drive in case proof of their existence ever cropped up again. 

Number eight was the one that I hated the least.


Edited by DukeREK - 26 Jan 2020 at 9:51pm
Back to Top
Nbelousova View Drop Down
NYC Midnight Groupie
NYC Midnight Groupie
Avatar

Joined: 06 Oct 2019
Location: Canada
Status: Offline
Points: 194
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Nbelousova Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Jan 2020 at 10:24pm
I'm just "getting stuff past the radar". My genre was mystery, and I essentially wrote drama with a small mystery as the catalyst for the plot but not really central to it. Like, the mystery is solved about halfway through the story. I read the genre description and it was like "Drop clues for the reader to guess what the answer is" and I mean, how are you supposed to do that in 2500 words anyway? I've read a small amount of mystery - really small, since it's not usually my cup of tea - and it's always been novels. No idea how to do mystery in a short story. We live and learn.

I feel your pain with Rom Com, I got straight Romance in the second round of the Microfiction challenge, which, just, UGH.
Back to Top
Beamishgirl View Drop Down
NYC Midnight Newbie
NYC Midnight Newbie
Avatar

Joined: 15 Jul 2019
Location: Australia
Status: Offline
Points: 72
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Beamishgirl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Jan 2020 at 4:45am
Oh, I can relate to so many of these posts! 
Changing the language because I was afraid the judges would struggle with Australian English. Tick. 
Not starting until day six because I was completely flummoxed by the prompts and genre. Historical fiction. Erg! Tick. 
Finally producing something (pretty sure I won’t have to worry about round two!) in the last two days and wishing I’d just started earlier. Double tick!! 
It’s nice to see I wasn’t alone on struggle street. Misery loves company. Smile
Oh and I sooo genre fudged! Is it still historical fiction if it’s set in 1980 and I don’t actually refer to anything else about the 1980s other than the date?!!
Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply Page  123 4>
  Share Topic   

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down

Forum Software by Web Wiz Forums® version 12.03
Copyright ©2001-2019 Web Wiz Ltd.

This page was generated in 0.125 seconds.