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Why didn’t you just quit?

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KelsNotChels View Drop Down
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    Posted: 03 Sep 2020 at 12:07pm
As I’ve mentioned in a few places in the forum, last round was the first time I almost ac happy threw in the towel and just didn’t write/submit anything. 

As a teacher, I’m overwhelmed by real life, and contest time was the weekend before school starting (in-person, btw), and I just didn’t feel connected to the prompt. Combine that with “only*” 4 points on challenge 1, and I just really almost did nothing at all. 

But Sunday rolled around, and I’d been involuntarily brainstorming on Saturday, and the idea of just not doing anything proved to be contrary to some fundamental quality in my personality, so I put something together and turned it in. 

I think for me, it was the fact that with writing, you CANNOT know what the opinion of a reader will be, and I couldn’t justify tossing out my story just in case the writing-fates might smile upon me? 

If you wanted to quit, but submitted anyway, what pushed you over the edge?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lnLala Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Sep 2020 at 12:31pm
This year I feel like the prompt gods were much kinder to me, but last year I was right there after the first round. I'd had an unfamiliar genre in round 1, turned in a 'meh' story and gotten 0 points. I was really not feeling round 2, and then got rom com as a genre for round 2 and was REALLY not feeling it. At the end of the day I decided I had paid for the opportunity to write and get feedback on 2 stories - so that was what I intended to do. As it turned out, I actually enjoyed writing rom com, so that was another win.

And that round I got DQ because of the location... but I was still glad I submitted something. I needed the prompt and deadline to force me to write something outside of my comfort zone. 

So, I guess I didn't quit because I am a cheapskate and wanted to get my money's worth. 
FF2020 Ch2 Gr107 Never Trust a Nixie
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ruagray Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Sep 2020 at 12:53pm
I had a severe bout of apathy mid-Saturday afternoon when I realized that all 3 plot ideas I was working with ran into the same wall: who are the characters and why would that explain their actions? 

I was also still riled up by the completely worthless judge feedback from round 1 that honestly set a new low for this contest, which I already consider a disgrace considering the price.

While it irks me to pay for something (professional judge feedback is one of the selling points) that I'm not getting, at the end of the day I am writing for myself and not just to win a contest. However, I'm still in the phase where I often rely on 3rd party accountability to get stories done. So for the cost of a couple pizzas, I instead pay for the experience of making myself write a story that I can polish up and shop around later. It's some mental gymnastics, but it works.

Finishing the story usually entails the thought of "screw what the judges might think, half of them are idiots who won't get it no matter how you write it" that allows me to just write my story for my own ideal audience and be at peace with it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote alelha Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Sep 2020 at 12:54pm
I was tempted to not bother this round. I'm also a teacher and feeling overwhelming stress at the moment. Plus I got a 0 in round 1 and after a 15/15 last year, it was devastating. I made myself look at the prompts at midnight just in case, woke up with a fully formed idea in my head and I couldn't help but explore it. 

I'm terrible at finishing things without a deadline so I took this as an opportunity to have another story that I can work on and perhaps submit somewhere for publication. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chrissie0707 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Sep 2020 at 1:07pm
Knowing that I need to score HUGE to move on to Challenge #3, I was crossing my fingers for the prompt faeries to be kind of drop one of my favorite spec genres on me. Nope. Romance. That it itself was enough to get the doubt/ugh/bleh/blah/whybother mind-train rolling out of the station. 

I try to not go with my first idea, but my first idea this time was a sci-fi twist that had me worried it would be too big for its britches. End of Saturday, I had about 480 words, and a general idea of the plot and characters. 

Waking up on Sunday, I realized that "general" ideas weren't going to cut it, and I wasn't actually in a good place with the story. The dread monster reared its head, and I didn't think I was going to make it. Thank Chuck I had some breakthrough revelations in the shower, and managed to whip up a full first draft just after lunch, and then weirdly submit by 4:30PM.  

I have not finished a comp story twice this year. I'm not looking to give up on myself again. 
FFC #1: Beneath the Surface 6pts
FFC #2: Protocol Twenty-Seven
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BarbaraFL Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Sep 2020 at 1:18pm
I was SO frustrated Sunday morning because I just could not come up with anything for the genre that seemed possible - I had exactly one sentence and two bad ideas. I came up with a third thing was was absurd and probably will get me DQed for not fitting the genre, is not great, but my score was high in Challenge 1 and I perservered in the chance I could advance. I don't expect to and glad I came up with something but my CH 1 score was the motivation LOL
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote LyndaD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Sep 2020 at 1:52pm
Another exhausted (Distance learning) teacher, here. I wasn't sure I'd be able to write, and since I had a big fat zero in the first round, I didn't feel too motivated to even try. Then Saturday morning I woke up with a complete idea fully formed in my brain, and it actually took me about two hours to write the story.
It may not really fit the genre, but I figured I had nothing to lose since my chance of moving on is slim-to-none. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote nod1v1ng Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Sep 2020 at 2:47pm
Originally posted by chrissie0707 chrissie0707 wrote:

Thank Chuck I had some breakthrough revelations...

OMG, dying. #Iseewhatyoudidthere
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Alex Grey Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Sep 2020 at 2:57pm
Whenever you feel downhearted about only getting one or two points just remember that zero is also available!

I got zero for my Ch. 1 story which made me cross, not the points so much as I though it deserved better feedback (one judge took against the story very badly) so I was in a state of crossness the whole weekend. I have some writing buddies that pushed/persuaded me to write and I did like my prompts so I wrote what I wanted - which was a 2,000 word mystery - trimmed 1,000 off to make it a sketch and submitted - I have no stake in the competition now but the story's the thing - one day it will be in print and I will laugh (I'm old but not very mature!). :-D
Flash 20 Ch 2 It Takes Two

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote nod1v1ng Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Sep 2020 at 2:58pm
Originally posted by ruagray ruagray wrote:

While it irks me to pay for something (professional judge feedback is one of the selling points) that I'm not getting, 

I know a lot of folks feel this is very frustrating, and I can certainly agree. However, if you are participating the peer review, chances are you are getting feedback from professionals who are just as  credentialed as some of the judges listed on the NYCm page.

Sure there are a wide range of experiences in the competitor field - but there are so many folks here that I know personally who are published authors, who teach creative writing and MFA programs, who are professional editors, and free lance writers, etc. 

Personally, I've given up on judges' feedback as a perk, and tell myself I pay the bucks for the cheapest writing workshop on the interwebs...  and back to the original question, that's what keeps me striving to submit, so I have a story to workshop in the forums. And eventually, something polished up for shopping out.


Edited by nod1v1ng - 03 Sep 2020 at 2:58pm
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