What can YOU say in six sentences?
I tried to compose a story in accordance with the demands of a story-writing contest and found myself at a loss for words. It was like being chained to the bed and then being asked to reach the door-knob. It clipped the wings of my imagination as I tried to think of characters and incidents to fit into the given scenario and ended up writing stuff that could not match up to even the most ordinary stuff that I have written and worst of all it left me feeling unsatisfied and dubious.
I have some other story-lines on which I intend to work but I wanted a platform on which I can make a beginning and hence the contest , but sadly things haven't worked out the way I wanted them to. The story is lying unfinished and I do not feel like completing it.
I would rather work on my own story-lines but am afraid that it may not find many takers, me being a rookie. It has been quite a disappointment for me.
The contest did not ask for a fee. They gave three tables- setting, object, theme ; each with an object's name and a number assigned to it. One could choose a combination of setting, object and theme by choosing one from each of the tables. I chose, setting - old palace or bungalow, object - book ; and theme - a strange day or night. You see ? I could think of a plot but could not write a good story and became quite fed-up with the writing ; it seemed sub-standard to me. I have thought of writing with a different combination of setting , theme and object.
For someone just starting out, I'd recommend this: Don't work from a list of elements! Think about the things that are important to you as a person, whether it's a lover, a friend, an aspiration, an issue in the larger world, politics, history, math, or what-have-you. If you're writing a story about something that matters to you on a real, personal level, I'd wager you'll get much better results than when you choose from a random--or, worse, externally framed--list of elements. UNFETTER.
Does any one know of any good contests to enter for YA paranormal/fantasy?
Jadie, I just did a quick google search using this:
ya paranormal fantasy writng contests
try it, there might be something in the mix that comes up that would appeal to you. Just be careful to check the dates, some of these citations are a year or two old, and not always updated the way they should be.
rajeev, write those stories. thinking about them doesnt help you a bit, and eventually they'll just disappear. You will never know which ones work, and which ones dont, unless you get them on paper. And you considered that a novel is not always the way to go? Many fine writers simply cannot sustain the effort to write a novel, and yet they can turn out amazingly good short stories. And many novels started out as stories, and just took over.
You don't know until you try. =)
Just don't get discouraged about one contest--each one is different, and there are lots of them around. See if you can find one which suits your own writing style, rather than trying to construct something that frustrates you.
Rajeev, this discussion has given you some excellent advice.
It has...thanks to everyone.
Sometimes I will write something and leave it on my desktop for months thinking that it is crap. Then, one day, I will see a story-writing contest, go back to my 'crap' and edit it to death to try and make it fit any and all demands of the contest. There have been strokes of genius when I was given constraints rather than letting my mind wander. Instead of stifling my creativity, I just tend to gain more focus when custom editing.
HOWEVER, there are circumstances where I truly botch a story that was not as bad as I believed it to be just so I could remain in accordance with some contest's rules. Either way it goes, I have the original saved as well as my new version.
The ultimate advice is to believe in yourself. It does not matter if you are a rookie, you surely know a good story when you have written one. When it is perfect, don't touch it for anyone.
Thanks very much. These days I am working on some short stories and I feel I have come up with some good ones. There are some ideas around which I am trying to weave stories but sometimes I just draw a blank. But still I have written five short stories this month which I think is not very bad. It's quite fulfilling to have something of my own creation written over 120 pages of my notebook.