When I submitted my entry for NYC Midnight’s Short Story Challenge earlier this year, I never dreamed that I’d advance to the second round. But I did. Stop laughing, I really did!
I made it to Round 2 and though I didn’t advance to Round 3, my small success was a HUGE confidence builder. Huge. Like, massive.
While still riding the high from my previous short story ‘success’, I signed up for NYC Midnight’s Flash Fiction Challenge which happens to have started this weekend.
I received my writing prompts on Friday night and was given 48 hours to write and submit a 1,000 word short story. My prompts were as follows: Fantasy, A Mountain Stream, Milk. Weird, right?
I’ve read many of the stories that have won in previous challenges, which are linked to on the NYC Midnight page, and I wanted to find a unique idea. Something to catch the attention of the judges. Something different from the usual fantasy fare. So I spent Friday night playing with ideas and pondering where I wanted to go with my story.
Then I spent Saturday night writing in a frenzy. Like, all night. Writing in a sleep-deprived, manic-as-fuck, Red-Bull-enhanced frenzy. It was intense. Just look at this reenactment of me typing. Frenzilied. Can you tell how intense it was? Yes, I really type like that, why do you ask? And what do you mean, ‘frenzilied’ is not a word? It’s totally a word. That… I made up. You’re laughing again… don’t make me cut you.
So I submit my first short this evening and now I wait God knows how long to get prompts for the next round. Waiting is the suuuucckkk…
I will update here once I get prompts for Round 2.
Okay, I will. #promisenotpromise
Update: Scoring, or whatever will pass for it in Round 1, will take place on September 16… which also happens to be my birthday. Guess what my wish is? *crosses fingers*
Tonight I received my ranking in Challenge #1. Note that all entrants submit a Challenge #2 story this weekend, regardless of whether they received any points in Challenge #1.
Out of the 29 entrants in my group (there are 48 groups altogether), the top 15 were ranked on a points system for Challenge #1. 15 points is 1st place, 14 points is 2nd place, and so on and so forth down the line. 14 entrants (115 in some groups) will receive zero points but will have the chance to earn points on their Challenge #2 story. The top 5 entrants in each group after Challenge #2 points are awarded advance to Round #2/Challenge #3.
So, on to the Challenge #1 points!
I seem to have received 15 points and placed 1st in my group. Just… wha?? Happy birthday to me, huh?!
Aww, thanks for your enthusiasm Rachel & Phoebe. I’m touched!
I get my Challenge #2 Prompts in 2 days…
I received my prompts for Challenge #2 the other night. My genre: Comedy. Damn. My location: a school detention. Double damn, I can’t get ‘The Breakfast Club’ out of my head. Hey, don’t judge, I was a teenager in the 80s, anything with ‘school detention’ automatically makes one think of that movie. It’s totally true. Anyway… prompts. My object: A pretzel. Ok, I can work with that.
I spent that evening and the next morning pondering my prompts and mostly staring at the wall, at the computer, at the backs of my eyelids. I slept on it. I whined to my friends, who suggested a few amusing things. I went to work and considered characters and dialogue and such.
I came home last night and labored over those 1000 words. I finished my story that night and sent it to some friends to review this morning. It was done. I had finished… and to be honest, I felt pretty ‘meh’ about it.
I awoke this morning feeling WAY more than ‘meh’, and I couldn’t rid myself of thoughts of what my friends had suggested. I turned off the alarm before it had a chance to go off (weird, right??), saw my friends’ equally ‘meh’ reactions to my story, and started fresh with a new story. I had it basically finished within 90 minutes and fired it off to my aforementioned friends, who seemed to like it much better than my first go-round. Yay!
I submitted my second attempt at my Challenge #2 story a little while ago. Now I get to wait for about a month to get a score for this story. If, when combined with my 15 points from Challenge #1, my points place me in the top 5 in my group, then I will advance to Round #2 of the Challenge.
Wish me luck!
I received feedback from the judges on my Round 1 story… you can find it below the story, if at all interested.
Seriously, go read it. I’m quite proud and the cockles of my heart have been warmed. I have all the feels and warm fuzzies and whatnot. Go read, what are you still doing here??
Well… it’s been an interesting few days. I received scoring Wednesday night (10/21/15) on my Challenge #2 story. I actually dozed off on the couch while waiting for the email to hit. You see, they generally send emails at midnight ET, which is 10 PM here in the Land of Enchantment. I’m usually still up at that hour, but they were running late with scoring the other day so I dozed off while waiting. I woke at 1 AM and as I blinked stupidly at my computer and wondered what I was doing on the couch, I noticed that I had an NYC Midnight email.
Oh yes, scoring.
I opened the email and followed the provided link to the scoring page to see what, if anything, my Challenge #2 story netted. Remember that I received top marks in my Challenge #1 story but in order to advance, I would still need to receive enough points on my second Round #1 story to place me in the top 5 in my group.
I blinked stupidly at my computer again for a few moments before it sank in that I had scored 13 points, placing me third in my group on my Challenge #2 story. Added to the 15 points from my Challenge #1 story, I was sitting at first place in my group. Good old Loki, always looking out for the little guy.
So I had advanced to Round #2 (!!!!) and would have to wait for two days to receive my prompts for my Challenge #3 story. I spent that two days celebrating, though I can’t bust a move like Stephen Colbert.
I drew a mystery for my Challenge #3 story, which didn’t seem as difficult as my last challenge of comedy. At least, not at first. I think I was stuck in comedy mode, however, because my mystery story seemed to amuse people much more than had my comedy. I just hope that any funny bits don’t overshadow the mystery aspect of the story in the eyes of the judges, and thus disqualify the story from the Challenge.
Whatever the case, it’s submitted and now I wait once more. This time, I’ll only have to wait some three and a half weeks to get my score.
I’ll provide feedback to my Challenge #2 story as soon as I receive it later this week.
While I received an honorable mention for my Challenge #3 story, I did not advance to the final round.
Insert all the sad faces.
But I had a hell of a good time with this challenge! And I greatly appreciate every single person who came here to read my stuff. 🙂
Also, I’ve got feedback!