I made it to the final round of this year’s NYC Midnight Flash Fiction contest. I’m really happy and proud to have made it through three rounds of judging. The prompt for the final round was Open (genre), a windowless room (setting), and a cloche (object). We had 48 hours to complete the story.
With my bias to sci-fi and fantasy, my head immediately went to the windowless interior rooms on a spaceship. The bones of the story took me a few hours to work out, then the first draft a few more hours to write. True to form, I had way too much story and world-building to cram into a thousand words. Julia helped me immensely, reading my first draft and helping me quickly identify which parts of the story were essential, and which could be vented out the air lock. I had a second draft done by the end of the first night and then I put it away to sleep on it.
It’s amazing how much distance you can get in only one night’s sleep. =) I reread the story first thing in the morning on Sunday and immediately found another ninety words of fat to trim, which I could then replace with more even meaty goodness. After enough iterations with the NYC contests, I know that the key to success is iteration, and refinement, each step whittling the story down to the core essentials, and making sure that each word is pulling more than its weight. It’s a process that I frankly dreaded last year when I entered my first flash/micro fiction contest, but I find I really enjoy it now.
Click here to read my final round submission, Foster (1000 words). The story is hosted on my Patreon, but you don’t even have to be a patron to read it. =)
Thank you for reading and let me know if you liked it!