Saturday, September 21, 2013

Bitch and moan. Yep, it's another writing competition.

So I decided to go ahead and enter yet another one of those writing competitions that don't tell you what you're going to be writing about until after you've ponied up your application and entry fee, in spite of the fact that I've had horrible luck with them.  Last time I did this one, they gave me romance as a genre.  I hate romance as a genre.  It's sooooo predictable.  Adorbs couple meet cute, stumble through problems that could easily be solved quickly by just sitting down and talking about it (but then you wouldn't have a 90 minute movie), then eventually it all works out and they adorbs live happily ever after as the credits roll.  Thanks, but no thanks.

I want to write about bad people doing terrible things, and smart, good people figuring out what they've done and making them pay the price for it.  But because I felt like I should welcome the challenge, I did it again anyway against my better judgement.  And what did it get me?

Hello, Group 15.  You bastard.

And the thing is (whine, whine, whine) I can't even think of it in terms of Oh my God, those aren't marshmallows, they're...(dun dun DUNNNNN) BRAINS!!!  Because, sometimes that stuff gets splattered about when bad things happen.  But no.  Because this:
Feel free to interpret your genre, location, and object assignment in uniquely creative ways...we're looking for interesting and inventive stories. But also know that we won't be able to accept submissions that are completely off of the assignments you are given. For example; if your assigned genre is drama, a story that reads as an outright comedy will most likely be disqualified.
So, think outside the box, but don't think outside the box.  Get creative, but don't get too creative or you will most likely be disqualified.  If your assigned genre is romance, don't turn it into a murder mystery.  But feel free to interpret your genre, location and object blah blah blah.  So honestly, with those instructions I don't have the faintest idea in hell how much I can really run with this.  I just know that I want to and need to go nuts with it.  Because that's the truly creative aspect of it, and that's the reason I write.  To go nuts with it.  To tell a crazy and potentially disturbing story.

On top of all that, I think the thing that bugs me about this assignment (as well as the one I got the last time I did this competition) is that it just seems to lend itself to something so obvious and cliched.  Last time it was a romance in a bakery with a repair involved.  I probably should have gone the obvious porn route just for laughs.  This time it's a lovey-dovey couple roasting marshmallows at a haunted house.  How adorbs.  Roasted marshmallows = smores.  Smores, romance and ghosts.  What the fuck ever.  I guess I was expecting them to go the Chopped route and throw a bunch of things that don't seem to go together at us and force us to be really clever in pulling it all together.  That's my idea of a challenge.

Then there's this: NYC Midnight was kind enough to post a couple of previous winners and guess what?  Both stories involved murder: I See You, Santa Claus and Without Parallel.  So, my genre.  Also, crazy and disturbing stories.

You know what?  Despite the "color outside the lines but don't color outside the lines lest you be disqualified" instructions, I think I'm going to just run wild with this baby.  I mean, what are they gonna do - disqualify me for being too creative?  I'd wear that like a badge of honor.

At least I'm not alone:

It could actually be worse.  I could have gotten sci-fi.

Update: Written and submitted.  Detectives in love.  Turns out my biggest issue was the word limit (1,000) more than anything else.  Could have used 2,000.

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