NYC Midnight Contest is over!!! (Round One anyways….)

Take a good look at this amazing picture. No, a closer look.

Okay, okay, it may not look like anything to you, but to me, it is beautiful. Triumphant, even.

Yep, that is a short story. A FINISHED short story. A finished short story that I WROTE.

A finished short story that I wrote in 8 DAYS.

In my last post, I laid out the prompt that my heat was given for the first round of the NYC Midnight short story contest. I wasn’t feeling too confident about my story choice, and I was kinda bummed I hadn’t been more productive.

But dammit, I feel GREAT today. I feel AMAZING because on Saturday, I finished and submitted my 2486 word story. And that was after finishing the rough draft on Wednesday, getting notes from a couple of trusted friends, rethinking my first draft and giving myself some time (and a night of heavy drinking at a friend’s show at the Roxy) to help me get enough distance for a rewrite, and then doing an all out rewrite and polish, allowing myself enough time to turn it in 7 hours early.

So yeah, I feel good. I feel good because this contest forced me to work on something and demand the best for myself. Even though I wasn’t crazy about the concept I came up with, I wanted to make it the best version of that story that I could write, and I actually followed through with it. I especially felt great after looking over the forums on the contest website and seeing how many people waited until the last minute to finish it…..that is usually me!

And thinking about how much I got done in one week makes me see the potential of how much more I could get done if I spent more time knocking out the rough draft of my novel, even if it is just a couple nights a week of 2 hour sessions. It just takes buckling down and not allowing myself to get out of my chair, no matter how much I want to turn on MSNBC or eat some ice cream and Magic Shell.

I don’t find out if I made it to the next round until early March, but to be honest, I don’t expect to. I’ve already gotten so much out of this contest just by accomplishing what I did in a week, and I’m looking forward to the receiving the judges’ feedback.

And in case you were wondering, I did celebrate finishing the story by going out for a drink for my brother’s birthday. And by a drink, I mean a beer tower.

NYC Midnight Contest, 3 Days In…..

I received my prompt late Friday night for the NYC midnight contest, and now I find myself three days in having nearly finished my first draft and SO happy that I entered! Of course, I’m frustrated with my lack of productivity (I’d hoped to to be finished with my rough draft by now) and I’m worried that I didn’t choose the right idea to pursue, but all in all, this contest has given my imagination a run for it’s money and pushed me to complete a story that a week ago did not exist, not even in my own head.

My heat received the following guidelines for our first round story:

Genre: Fantasy

Subject: An attack

Character: A singer

First of all, I was pretty excited to get Fantasy as my genre, but I wasn’t entirely sure about the definition of “Fantasy” in terms of this competition. Were they looking for a Lord of the Rings-style story that took place in an entirely different universe, or would a story set in present day with fantastical elements work as well? I was even more confused by the fact that another heat was given “Fairy Tale” as their genre. The two seemed somewhat interchangeable.

In the end, I chose a story set in the present time, in the South, but with fantastical elements…..creatures to be exact. In short, the story is about an unhappily married woman who frequents a shoddy karaoke bar run by elves, who is about to hit her high note one night when her husband bursts in and demands that she come home.

I know, my brain works in weird ways. But I figured, write what you know, right? And I know a lot about shoddy karaoke bars. Too much maybe.

I have until Saturday night to finish the story (and keep it under 2500 words!) so wish me luck. If all goes well, I’ll be heading to a shoddy karaoke bar immediately after I send it in.