FFC 2019 R1 C1 – Jingle, Jangle, Judgment

I’m trying something a little different this time around with this post. My story is staying on Google Docs, because it’s a lot harder to copy/download/whathaveyou out there. I’m also going to give you the link right here, and if you’re interested, you can read my about my prompt, reaction, and writing process below. If not, you can…

Skip all that nonsense and go straight to the damned story already.

Prompt: Fantasy / a courtroom / a tambourine

Still with me? You’re the best.

A few months ago, I was excited for the NYCMidnight Screenwriting contest. It had been a while since I’d participated writing screenplays, and it just sounded like the thing to do. The day of the contest, I ended up in the ER from what amounted to “too much stress.” The doctor told me to chill out for a week or so. I emailed NYCMidnight when I got home and told them what was going on. As a 5-year veteran of these contests, and a constant repeat offender multiple times per year, I hoped they’d cut me some slack. They did. They sent me a very nice, “Get well soon! We’ll miss you this time around!” email and told me to go ahead and let them know when I’d like to participate again and they’d roll my entry fee forward. Seriously… they’re awesome.

I decided on the Flash Fiction contest. This is my 6th consecutive year, and I wasn’t about to miss it. Never mind that the first challenge of round 1 was on my husband’s birthday weekend. Never mind that round 3 (assuming I get the nod) is on my daughter’s birthday weekend. I write on tight deadlines all the time, right?!

Of course, the prompt is always the major variable in how successfully I can pull off writing a story in a whirlwind.

This time around, the prompt gods smiled upon me. I finally… FINALLY… pulled fantasy for my genre. Six. Years. SIX. Every flash fiction contest. Most short story competitions. A smattering of screenplays. 5 effing crime capers. (Not that I’m bitter) And on this weekend, when I had so much to do and no time to do it, I fell right into my comfort zone. YES!

The title and logline came to me immediately. The entire world and its characters formed before my eyes. I started writing the minute I got the prompt. I was up until midnight and nearly finished the story. But I hit a wall… a big brick one that did NOT have a proper ending conveniently written upon it.

So I went to bed. I’ve learned to trust my muse. She’s never failed me during contest weekends.

The next day, I still wasn’t sure where my story was headed, but I realized that I needed to add tidbits throughout… details, you know… to make it make sense? Yeah. Those. I did some beta reading for others in the contest, made some minor edits, and went and did some birthday shopping. Then I sat down and BOOM! There was my ending. It was so obvious!

I whipped out my draft and posted it for my beta readers. They offered surprisingly few edits. They are not known for holding back. I was like, OMG, does it actually make sense? My husband read it and was like, DAMN! THAT ENDING! It’s not very often I catch him off guard.

I let it sit overnight and gave it a look Sunday morning. I added a couple of “for the judges” tidbits (after 6 years of this contest, I can almost write the feedback I’ll get). Who knows how it will score. I’m not too fussed about that. I’m just pleased with how it fell out… and I’m really pleased with the fact that it basically wrote itself on a weekend when I had no time to devote to such things.

So, yeah, I feel pretty good about this one. Which means it’ll score a 2 and my judges will profess that they don’t understand fantasy or something. Eh, whatevs. It’s not about the judging, anyway. It’s all about the challenge.

Ready to read it? Great!

Prompt: Fantasy / a courtroom / a tambourine

Jingle, Jangle, Judgment

Geneth used her first wish to put herself at the Left Hand of the Scribe, a position of power in the Queen of Easrath’s court. She only hoped her second wish would hold the power to save Reyland from a Final Verdict.

2 thoughts on “FFC 2019 R1 C1 – Jingle, Jangle, Judgment

  1. “So, yeah, I feel pretty good about this one. Which means it’ll score a 2 and my judges will profess that they don’t understand fantasy”

    lol *definitely a veteran NYCMer

    Liked by 1 person

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