Thinking of deleting or shredding all those wasted competition entries which are clogging up your hard drive or files? Think again!
In early 2015 I entered a NYC Midnight Screenwriting Challenge. We were assigned a three ran-dom aspects, which had to be included in our story, and were given a time limit to complete the task. As the entrants progressed through the rounds, each task became more challenging with less time to complete the screenplay. In the semi-finals, I was assigned Horror - A Billionaire - A (spoiler) at Sea.
Horror! Really? Dayumn!
True, I’d had some success with horror in one competition before but found it a challenging genre.
The first day of the task, I had nothing. Not a damned thing. The next day, the wastepaper basket overflowed with screwed-up, half-completed beatsheets, all of which contained ideas which I knew wouldn’t cut it. By day three I was desperate and resigned to not making it into the finals. My worst nightmare. Then a little voice (you know, the one that sits on every writer’s shoulder?) uttered in contempt “Really? That’s your worst nightmare? I thought being burned alive was your worst nightmare!”… Ah. Bingo! An idea at last.
Long story short, I submitted “Crime Wave” to NYC Midnight just short of the deadline. Phew! As luck would have it, I made it through to the finals. In feedback received later, the story was praised for some aspects but criticised for others; all useful info’, which I kept.
A year later, I heard of the opportunity to write an entry for Create50’s Twisted, an anthology of short horror stories and my mind turned straight away to adapting the screenplay of Crime Wave into prose. (Normally the other way around, I grant you, but writer’s can’t be choosers!) I took on board the feedback from the NYC Judges and also the excellent and detailed feedback from my fellow Create50 entrants. (Thank you; you guys rock!) The story became much darker and I drew on my innermost fears.
A sister story, renamed “Deep Conviction”, the tale deals with issues arising after a wealthy man buys a jury’s verdict and what demons lay in wait for him, seeking ultimate revenge.
I’m over the moon that this “Groundhog Day for a murderer” story was liked enough to make it into Twisted’s Evil Little Sister, along with thirty two other fantastically gruesome tales from other tal-ented authors. My thanks go out to Chris Jones and ALL involved in bringing to fruition this re-markable project.
So if you ever think of giving up on a competition or deleting those redundant entries from your computer, even if they are in genres that you don’t normally visit; maybe just stick with it and then pop them on a memory stick… just in case, eh?
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