It’s the 2nd round of the contest, and I do not feel like writing.
It’s tough to even write this post. I couldn’t do it a few days ago, when I got my results for the 1st round, and I couldn’t do it yesterday when I got my feedback and new parameters for the 2nd round.
I have just about 12 hours to write my submission for this round, and I haven’t even started.
Part of this inability to start comes from the fact that I did not place in the 1st round. I earned no points. In a group of 31 people, my story was not in the top 15.
The feedback was positive only from the context of the content. They loved how original it was, from the setting to the character names, and even the pronoun introduction. I will cherish that they loved my idea.
However, I guess they didn’t like my execution. They commented on how difficult it was for them to figure out the world that the characters lived in. They found my punctuation of my dialogue distracting and thought the dialogue lacked authenticity. They also didn’t like the ending. One even commented how it was supposed to be a romantic comedy, and how there was only one funny quip in the whole story.
I could argue about my negative feedback. How I didn’t want to spell it out for the reader that the story was in the future (even though I did include a hint in the title: A Bright Future for the Old-Fashioned). How I wanted them to be enthralled from the beginning, opening with a car crash in a car that is unusual to us in the present day. I wanted the reader to discover the world, and that’s why I chose not to include a year or some sort of obvious “This is set in the future” kind of thing.
As for punctuation and inauthentic dialogue, I’m going to look at that. That may be the most useful feedback yet. Although I’m not sure how to combat inauthenticity.
In regards to the ending scene and lack of funny moments, I felt my brain scream out, “I ONLY HAD 1,000 WORDS!” I had worried about the genre. I had googled the definition of a romantic comedy so I could get it right. Apparently, it just wasn’t enough to have one funny quip, a budding relationship, and a happy ending.
This was the first time I’ve ever shared a literary work of mine with anyone, and I may have been mistaken to share it in a contest first. It was heart wrenching enough to have people read it prior to submission for edits. It was discouraging, and I don’t know if that was part of my loss in “authenticity”.
With this feedback, it can be hard to look back and remember how much fun I had in writing my story last time. It was fun up until I had people suggest edits, I must hold onto that. I remember getting my parameters and typing out some cool plot ideas to incorporate them all before going to sleep that night. I remember choosing one in the morning because I was more excited to see how that plot would play out. I remember typing it out, and completing the general storyline in only a few hours. I had entered the contest with so much gusto.
For this 2nd round, I stayed up late enough for my parameters to be revealed to me almost by accident. I was going to just go to bed, but then I remembered that I’d get the email in 20 minutes so I stayed up. I don’t even have a potential plot, whereas last time I had 2 solid ones within 10 minutes. There’s little excitement, and with that there’s a lack of ideas. My passion just isn’t here right now.
To be fair, I had to work last night. I worked from 1:30pm-12:30am. A solid chunk of time I couldn’t devote to working on the contest like I could last time. Today I am tired. Drained from the day before, I’m just laying here in my bed with my feet up, typing this out and hoping I don’t sound too downtrodden.
I feel disappointed. I feel frustrated. I feel down. I anticipated that opening myself up to get hurt might cause a disinterest in continuing with writing. I just need time. I wish they had given us more than the few days prior to the 2nd round to receive our results, and the day before to receive our feedback. I wish I could process this before having to write another one.
At least I don’t have to write another Romantic Comedy.