Writing, Writing, Writing – Flash Fiction Challenge Round 2 and NaNo

Whew! I survived the weekend. Guess what I did? I wrote. A LOT!

First off was Round 2 of the Flash Fiction Challenge 2013. Now, things got off to a bit of a rocky start Friday afternoon when I received my results from Round 1. (Yeah, not happy about that. It gave me no time to absorb the results, and worse, no explanation as to why I received those results.) Only the top 15 stories in each group got points. If you didn’t score high enough, you received zero. I received zero. Why? I don’t know! Haha! Over 400 people read Muck and Mire,  and I’d say 95% of those people loved it. A few even told me it was their favorite…I’m guessing my risky format got me disqualified. Or the person who judged it happened to be in that 5% who didn’t care for it. *Shrug*. I’ll find out later this week the exact reasons for my low score and get back to you.

I’m not going to lie, I was upset for about an hour after I saw my zero point scoring. Then I laughed. Because, come on, what else can you do? Rejection hurts, and unfortunately, we writers work in the Industry of Rejection. It happens and it happens often (well, for most of us). The only way to survive is to laugh, brush off the sting, and move on. Which I did. I woke up on Saturday with a positive outlook for Round 2. I eagerly opened the email with my next assignment:

Picture 1

First thought? Phew! After being assigned romantic comedy for Round 1, I figured I’d be assigned something darker and more serious for Round 2 (mystery, horror, drama, ghost story). Of all those, I’d been hoping for horror. I’ve never written a full one and wanted to try. Plus, with Halloween just behind us, I was still in a horror-mindset. So, I was very happy to see that as my genre. The only thing that threw me off was the crowded beach location. I had some cool ideas for horror, but none of them worked with a CROWDED beach. So that was going to be the true challenge in this round.

I ended up taking a much different approach for Round 2 than Round 1. In Round 1, I was stressed and crazy and frantic. This time, I decided to kick back, relax and just have fun with it. So, instead of plopping myself down in front of my computer first thing Saturday morning, I went to the gym. While I worked out, I brainstormed concepts for my story. Then on my way home I called my favorite critic, my mom, to bounce ideas off of her (I wasn‘t going to repeat my time wasting mistake from Round 1 and work all day on a story that was “blah”). With my mom’s valuable input, I was able to nail down my concept by the time I got home from the gym.

But did I head straight for my computer to start writing? Nope. I decided to shower and eat a nice breakfast instead. Relax, relax, relax. That was my motto.

meditation1Finally, after a second cup of coffee, I sat down and began writing my horror story. Within two hours, I had a solid rough draft. I sent it to my mom to read and approve. She loved it (phew!). So, I took another two hours to embellish and edit it. Thankfully, I only had to worry about chopping 50 words to make the 1,000 word count limit (not 500 words like I had to cut from Muck and Mire). I wisely stuck to a much more traditional format this time, just in case that was why I bombed Round 1. And I stayed away from anything funny (since comedy was part of the last round), hence I didn’t go with my zombie seals idea ;-).

Now, will the judges like the story I came up with? Who knows. I hope so, but after Round 1, I can’t expect them to. It’s sooo subjective. I do know that I had a lot of fun writing the story (titled, Why?) and I really like how it turned out. Horror is such a chillingly wonderful genre to dive into. I can’t wait to post it for you guys in a few days. Stay tuned!

Now, all of that happened on Saturday. I still had to work on Fallers for NaNoWriMo. And because of the flash fiction contest, I was behind by almost 4,000 words. Great start, right? Haha, ugh…So, I buckled down and wrote all day Sunday until I reached my quota and then some.

My current NaNo word count is 5,600 words.

So, I survived my crazy writing weekend. And as exhausted as I am, I feel great. I’m excited about my horror story for Round 2 of NYC’s Flash Fiction Contest 2013, and I like the new direction I’ve taken Fallers during NaNo. Hopefully the good times keep rolling! I just need to stay relaxed and have fun with my writing. I think that’s key.

How about you? Feeling good about your writing? How’s NaNo for those participating?

7 thoughts on “Writing, Writing, Writing – Flash Fiction Challenge Round 2 and NaNo

  1. Man, I would have loved to see how a story about zombie seals turned out :p I’m trying to tackle zombies for my Nano project but…we’ll see how that turns out. Congrats on having such a productive weekend! It sounds like the relaxing approach really worked!

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    1. I know, if I hadn’t done comedy last time, I may have taken the zombie seals on, lol. I’m going to try to maintain this zen-like approach with my writing. It seems to be a winner. How’s NaNo going for you? Keeping up with your word count?

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      1. I’m a little behind unfortunately. I’ve been getting pretty frequent migraines and the computer screen was not helping this weekend lol But I managed to get around 4,500 so I’m only 500 or so words behind. I’m determined to catch up this week! Thinking of trying your approach 🙂

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      2. Yes, I know how the headaches go. I’ve been having them too being on the computer 12-14 hours a day lately. Ugh. But, yes, just relaxing about it seems to really help. Good luck! You can do it!

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