It’s been a while since I entered a writing contest. I mainly entered this one, because it sounded fun and I knew it would shake me out of my creative rut.
The NYC Midnight Flash Fiction Challenge is pretty cool. You’re given 48 hours, a genre you most likely have little experience in, an odd location and an even stranger object. In 1,000 words you have to make sense of it all and hopefully entertain a group of strangers into giving you points. Two months later, you do it all over again. After two rounds, your points are tallied and not everyone makes it to the third round. This goes along until the 4th, where, I can only imagine, the real pressure is on.
It’ll be a couple months before I find out how badly I stunk at writing a horror in a pottery studio with a brain tumor as my queues. I will say, it was a lot of fun to write. My first draft was actually an entirely different story. At the end of it, I reread it and genuinely thought, “Is this what I’m going to hand in? I’m putting my real name on this?” I couldn’t do it. So, for “fun” I opened up another blank document and a brand new story just poured out of me. In one night I had written over 2,000 words, with two very different stories involving the same genre, location and object.
I never would’ve just come up with that on my own, so that in itself is a victory. When writing creatively, I tend to stick to the same few genres with similar characters. I wiggled out of my comfort zone for this. I don’t know if the judges will approve, but at least I’m writing outside the box again.
Good luck to the other writers! No matter the outcome, I’ll definitely be entering this again.