Congrats, everyone! We made it to Friday.
Overall, I had a good week…though, much of it was spent recouping from last weekend, after the crazy 24-hour final round of the NYC Midnight Short Story Challenge. Simply put, I’ve felt like a zombie. I still can’t believe how much those 24-hours drained me, both physically and emotionally. However, all the pain and tears were worth it. On Tuesday, I was given the thumbs up from the competition to publicly share my story. And, so far, Into Paradise has received positive feedback.
To be honest, I wasn’t sure what people would think of my story. I based the entire thing off a rather sensitive topic, so I knew there was a risk of rubbing someone the wrong way. But, so far, people have told me I handled the topic in a respectful, gentle, even hopeful manner, so I’m pleased. That was my intention, after all. In fact, I purposefully kept my setting for Into Paradise vague, even misleading. I didn’t want people to be focused on where/when this was happening. I wanted them to be focused on my protagonist and the difficult choice she had to make.
…It’s funny, though. I did make it pretty clear by the end where/when this was happening, yet some people still didn’t grasp it. Meanwhile, as vague as I tried to keep it at the start, some people knew instantly where/when this was happening.
It doesn’t really matter. Like I said, the setting wasn’t the focus. And, either way, people have told me Into Paradise is a heart-wrenching, yet touching story. Even comforting. So, I’m good 🙂
The only real complaint thus far–and this is from a few of my competitors–is that I didn’t use the “jealousy” prompt in a satisfying way. Some think I squeezed it in. In retrospect, I can see what they mean. But to be honest, I wouldn’t change it. I used the jealousy prompt in a way I felt fitting for my story. I mean, maybe if I’d had more words to use (1,500 is so limiting!) I could’ve weaved it into the plot more. But, then again, it likely would’ve weakened the story, so I’m glad I didn’t.
If this “issue” means I lose favor with the judges, then oh well. It’s not like I have high hopes of winning the competition. I’m competing against 39 highly talented writers. I’m just honored I made it this far. I know it’s cheese-to-the-max, but I feel like a winner already.
Anyways, now that this harrowing short story journey has come to an end, it’s time for me to put all of my focus back into my manuscript. Unfortunately, due to making it this far in the NYC Midnight Short Story Challenge, I doubt I’ll be meeting my spring deadline for a first draft 😦 But don’t worry. I’m bound and determined to have a solid draft ready to query by the end of summer. So, it’s time to roll up my sleeves, stomp on those distracting butterflies, and get to work!
In honor of my hard fight last weekend, and all the pain and agony I endured while writing Into Paradise, here is today’s Friday Funny!
How was your week? Better tell me now! I’m going into the zone with my manuscript starting tomorrow and will be in la-la land for awhile.
P.S. Thank you for all of YOUR positive comments on Into Paradise. I can’t tell you how much each one meant to me.
Jen’s Weekly Roundup
Into Paradise – Final Round Entry – NYC Midnight Short Story Challenge