My Round-One NYCM short story, “The Price of Progress,” scored a solid second place in my heat. I’m pretty pleased, considering I didn’t write for the first four days of my eight-day round, and then dumped three ideas down the hole before finding my stride.
So yeah, second place. That meant I was provided a prompt on Thursday at midnight NYC time (9:00 PM my time). And that meant the stories would be due today… Easter Sunday.
Being the heathen that I am, that really shouldn’t matter. But dammit, I have a ham to cook!
Fortunately, I had Friday off of work. And it was a good thing, too, because I used it! My prompt – Suspense / A DNA test / A grocer – was probably the first time I’ve ever ran with the first idea that hit my brain. As is typical, I slept on it and woke up with character names, a rough idea of the general conflict, a loose understanding of the plot… and no idea how it was supposed to end.
So I wrote all but the ending.
Saturday morning, I woke up with tons of ideas, ready to write! A client project! NOT my story! Seriously, I didn’t even bother until later on Saturday… and then the ending just came to me. At this point, I threw it out to my beta readers, who weighed in, helped me find holes, and gave me a general idea of what was working and what had to go.
Long story short, by noon on Sunday – Easter – I had a final draft ready to go. And I actually kind of like it, though I really dislike being made to write suspense.
The story will be up in a couple days, once NYCM receives all the entires and sends their confirmations. Until then, you’ll just have to read the title and logline in anticipation. For Round 2, Suspense, a DNA test, and a grocer, my story will be:
Ricki felt so grown up, living on her own and making her way as a cashier in her hometown grocery store. Her life was simple until a stranger revealed her past, and a secret that could very well cost her life.