Thursday, September 8, 2016

All I Do Is Win (or Help Writing A Writing Contest)

A Post By Jonathan 

Do you ever have those weird cycles of life where nothing seems to happen and then they do? Things have been really slow for me lately, but they've just started to heat up.

Do you remember that short story contest I told you I entered in my last post? Well I won! I didn't get any money or anything, just bragging rights and some kind of plastic tiara that is passed around from winner to winner (pictures of me wearing it to follow...). But hey, it's something for the resume right? As exciting as the win is, I also have to set the parameters for the next contest! So I was hoping, having never written a writing contest before, ya'll might be able to help me figure it out by choosing one parameter from the following list of three. Please put your votes in the comments below. And thanks a ton!

CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE

I have always wanted to write a choose your own adventure book, and I think it could work well in the short story format as well. Whether you are a romance writer, mystery writer, thriller writer, YA/MG, whatever, every time the protagonist comes to a decision point it gives the reader a chance to participate. It also gives the author some fun options when it comes to their choices. You can only have two to three decision options, to keep it simple. Label the paragraphs/paths 1, 2 or 3 to give the reader a road map to know where their next choice is. 1,000 to 4,000 words.

THEIR TIME IN THE SPOTLIGHT

As writers, we have all either written books or short stories with one or more secondary characters that we secretly love or wish had more screen time. Well now is your chance to write a story from their perspective. Orson Scott Card wrote an entire book (called Ender's Shadow) from a secondary character's perspective. Surely you can write a short story from one of yours. If you're currently working on a project, this could be a great exercise in fleshing out who your main character is and other potentially important things going on in the story. 1,000 to 4,000 words.

FAN FICTION

I've never written fan fiction, but I may actually do it for this contest. The worlds are built, the characters are there, all you have to do is imagine (and write!). I can remember watching the Wizard of Oz as a kid and wondering what was going on in the hills beyond the forest and the yellow brick road. That is fan fiction. Perhaps you're a Friends fan and want to write a new romance between Joey and Rachel, or maybe you've always wondered (like every other teenager on Earth) what would happen if Harry had actually married Hermoine, or maybe you're not satisfied with how Madmen ended. Whatever the scenario may be, now is the time to make it a reality. 1,000 to 4,000 words.

Kudos to Kimberly for the inspiration for this last parameter.

So which one do you like folks? None at all? Have a better idea for me? Please let me know-- and, as always, thanks for stopping by!

10 comments:

  1. Thanks for the props, man! I vote no. 3!!!!

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  2. Congrats, Jonathan! Just because it has a lower bar of entry than the other two (the knowledge you would need of existing worlds) I'd be interested in the "Choose Your Own Adventure." I'd also be fascinated to see how that plays out in a short.

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    1. Thanks, man! I kind of like Choose Your Own Adventure too. Could really be fun to see it in a short story. Heck, I might roll out all three at this point!

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  3. Congrats, Jonathan! I like all three ideas, but I'd vote for #1. I've been tossing around my own 'choose your own adventure' concept for a future project, so that's probably why I'm drawn to that one more than the others.

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    1. Thanks! That's two votes for number one...!

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  4. Awesome!!! Congrats!!

    I vote for #2. I'm always fascinated by secondary characters and often find them more interesting than the protag (who sometimes necessarily has to be a bit boring so readers can discover things with him/her). But I always wonder about the side characters and what they get up to...

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    1. Yeah, I supposed you could combine all three categories and write a choose your own adventure about Nevil Longbottom! That's one vote for number 3/all!

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  5. Congratulations on your win! I like the "Choose Your Own Adventure" option. I think as a reader this is cool and I like the idea, as a writer, of providing 3 alternate endings. Although I can also see it being a complete nightmare as a writer because would you have to plant different clues throughout to lead the reader down each potential path? I can barely keep track of my story to write a sequel, so this would be absolutely daunting!

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    1. Thanks, Brenda! That's another vote for CYOA. Maybe you should participate in the contest and see how the adventure turns out?:)

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