NYC Midnight Results, Story, and feedback

So yesterday I finally found out the results of my entry into the NYC Midnights 2020 Short Story Competition. Sadly, though not necessarily unexpectedly, I didn’t progress to the next round.

I’m okay with this, I re-read my story on Monday, and was cringing at the mistakes which I somehow had missed on read throughs prior to submission, and even at the time of submission I knew it was fairly high level summary like, and sparse on details. It was probably the wrong plot, of the wrong implementation of the plot for a 2,500 word challenge.

If I were to have another go at this, I’d probably quadruple the word count, but that wasn’t the challenge. Hopefully next year I don’t end up with genre: historical fiction, subject: a water shortage and key character: a lumberjack. For some reason I just found that really tough, and most combinations of two of those three elements I could have worked with much easier. Still, I’m proud I came up with something.

So, without much a do, here’s the story, and afterwards the feedback I got from the judges:

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Daily Flash Fiction Challenge, an update

So today was the 34th entry in the challenge, so I figured I’d have a little catch up with you all.

I’m quite proud to have gotten so far, it’s proved as much of a challenge as I expected. So how have I done?

34 stories written
1 late by one day
6 done just in time

The one that was late, I completely forgot about until the next day, so on the 31st December I did two stories.

It’s a great challenge though, it’s given me the opportunity to try some new things, different styles, and genres. There’s plenty more things to experiment with yet, so I’m going to make a list. The list will come in handy when I’m running short on ideas, because keeping the ideas coming for another 331 stories is a worry.

The rules have been refined a bit along the way, so the rules are as follows:
One per day (anything extra is not part of the challenge)
To qualify it must be a story of 500 to 1,000 words in length
Editing is allowed to reduce word count, otherwise editing is discouraged
Stories must not be sequels to previous pieces of the Flash Fiction Challenge, or stories from outside of the challenge – however stories can be set in an existing universe
Research limited to no more than twenty minutes per fic (that’s a new rule, it’s too easy to get lost in detail you’d never be able to use, and not actually get to the writing at the comfortable time)

I think that about covers it – though the rules are somewhat restrictive in places, they’re all meant to help with writing.

A friend of mine from NaNoWriMo is doing something similar at 750words.com – the rules are a bit different, but the concept of writing daily is enshrined, which I like. I like the act of sharing though, the majority of what I write never sees the light of day, and if you’re not telling stories, you’re not a sorry teller.

It’s that sharing, putting the story out there to be appreciated or criticised, even with family and friends on Facebook, which is the number one thing I like about my challenge, I don’t judge, I don’t critique my own work, I just post it. That’s a good feeling. That’s not to say I’m going to post everything I’ve ever written, the big stuff will continue to sit in my editing pile, but when it is edited, I’m going to feel more positive about doing something with it.

So, head down back to writing. Ta ra folks.

Jonathan L. Lawrence