Writing Prompt Challenge Accepted #22

Yes, the slacker has returned. ūüėČ And she finally took up the challenge. ¬†If you’re wondering what I’ve been up to, take a look at Chapter 4 of the Dragon Age fanfic under “Scribbles”. ¬†This goes back to my last post about writers and their OCDs. ¬†It’s a problem (and there’s still more to come).

These were written late last night in an effort to write, well, anything else.  I call them flash fiction Рno prep, quick, with little editing Рstream of consciousness style.  
Something Dumb

Bad Idea

‚ÄúHelp, I did something dumb.‚ÄĚ

We all stared at her – various parts of her body were bandaged in a makeshift manner, there was a faint smell of burnt hair, and the lights from the room behind her flickered to an indiscriminate beat.

‚ÄúAll you had to do was keep watch.‚ÄĚ The captain was flabbergasted.

‚ÄúI was forced to get creative.‚ÄĚ

Water quickly pooled at our feet, and continued to rise. There was a groan of metal and we all looked at one another worried.

‚ÄúI said it was dumb.‚ÄĚ

We lurched sideways.

‚ÄúWill it at least work?‚ÄĚ The captain asked gravely.

‚ÄúI suppose we‚Äôll soon find out.‚ÄĚ

That was not reassuring.

GoldDustRitual

She hadn’t set foot in the temple in a hundred years. It was both strange and familiar. Little had changed over the millennia, although it was beginning to show signs of age. She twirled the gray streak in her hair fondly with one hand as she gingerly let her other hand rest on one of the columns.

They had endured.

She began to hum a haunting melody; the sound filled the empty space. As the song swelled, her body moved in fluid rhythm until she positioned herself under the great rotunda and twinkling golden light shone down upon her. She had come to pay her respects, as she had done countless times before, and they in turn offered her their blessing.

Despite how she had witnessed the outside world change, this ritual allowed her to remember how it all began.

auroraThe Hereafter

I knew I was dreaming. I always dreamt of him – the faceless man my heart knew.

I wore the same gown, we walked the same path…it was always the same.

I know you, I walked with you once upon a dream.

I found happiness in this place, but always felt a cold bitterness at its loss.

And I know it’s true that visions are seldom all they seem…

We always chased the fading sunlight, but today it seemed to grow brighter.

I shielded my eyes and saw a haloed figure.

That look in your eyes is so familiar…

I suddenly felt a warm breeze upon my face, a warm hand in my own.

A faceless man was helping me up.

You’ll love me at once…

‚ÄúThe way you did once.‚ÄĚ He started.

‚ÄúUpon a dream.‚ÄĚ I finished.

~*~

It’s never too late to join in the Writing Prompt fun! ¬†If you’ve been inspired, please share! ¬†Happy Writing!

Writer’s OCD

TypewriterFontWriterIf you Google the above, you’ll get a slew of articles and posts about how writers suffer from various forms of obsessive compulsive disorder. ¬†I know I have my own tendencies, I can thank my years in fine dining for that – put this exactly here, move that slightly to the left, straighten it, remove the clutter, organize! ¬†This doesn’t disrupt my daily life, so I suppose it just means I like things a certain way.

And then there’s the writer side – reorganize your desk, yet again, remove the clutter around said desk (which is really just procrastination) oh, and of course, get that story out of your head! ¬†Whenever and wherever.

I’m trying to be a screenwriter. ¬†I mean, I am a screenwriter, but I’m trying to make a profession out of it, so you can imagine the annoyance at having a completely unrelated story taking over your life. ¬†I can’t seem to focus on any other story beyond the one I’m working on now, and it’s bloody fan fiction. ¬†((exasperated groan))

I’m wondering how many of my fellow writers out in the ‘verse have this problem?

I don’t know how it happened. ¬†I posted a writing prompt of concept art from the video game series Dragon Age a long time ago, and after writing a small chapter, 6,500 words, it slowly began to consume me. ¬†I was struggling with my own work at the time, I remember, and I just wanted to write something. ¬†It became a refuge from my unsatisfying server job, but then I found that I enjoyed thinking up scenes that were unseen in the game or expanding on conversations, etc.

When I write a screenplay, I agonize over every detail, every word, and I found with the fanfic that I could just write – whatever I wanted, without worry, without much forethought or editing. ¬†It was so freeing.* ¬†What I’ve posted so far sits at about 68,000 words. ¬†Are you kidding me?! ¬†I think this is where the writer’s OCD comes in. ¬†After so much time and energy invested, I have to finish it.

The problem is two-fold.  1) This has taken away from the writing I want to do for my livelihood, but then again, any writing is good, right?!  2) Writing this story has opened up more possibilities, and now I want to explore those story lines.  When will it end?!

I feel like I should be asking for help, and yet, I am loving every moment.  I keep thinking if I write one more chapter, or finish a particular story line the OCD will subside, but it just seems to be getting worse.  I think another part of the problem is that at my old job I was alone a lot, without much to do, so I could escape, now there are too many people around.  The routine I had set has been disrupted and needs a new avenue to find its way.

So I guess I’m looking for advice or validation. ūüėČ

If you suffer from a similar predicament, let’s commiserate!

*Just type Dragon Age or fanfic into my search bar to see what I’m talking about.

 

Writing Prompts 101 & 102

In case you missed last week’s post with the word “smorgasbord” in the title (yeah, it contained a bit of everything), you may not have seen¬†Writing Prompt #101. ¬†So here it is again, because I think it’s great!

Something Dumb

Now, in order to get back on track, because it’s Wednesday and I’ve been terrible lately at being timely, here’s #102.

GoldDust

Are you inspired? ¬†Don’t forget to link back to my page¬†so I can read your lovely words!

Happy Writing!

*All images have been found via Pinterest.  I do not own any of the writing prompt images I share, and I do my best to give credit to their creators.  If you ever recognize a piece, please let me know so that I may credit it accordingly.

Quote of the Week

CelebrateEmojiGood afternoon, my friends!

I am riding on a new kind of high Рthe one in which you learn that your original TV pilot has advanced to the finals of one of the contests you entered.  What an amazing feeling!

I struggled for some time (I still do), and I think as creatives, we all have a tendency, at times, to doubt our abilities. ¬†Sometimes it takes years to obtain any outside validation, and¬†I think that’s something we need a little bit of in order to keep moving forward. ¬†One can only stay positive, on their own, for so long.

That’s why this week, I’ve decided to share the following quote:

NeverLettheOdds

I’ve known people who gave up on their dreams, and they’ll never know how close they were to getting what they wanted. ¬†We need to remember why we started, and all those other quotes on positivity that keep us motivated!

Wherever your passion lies, fan the flames, and keep the dream alive!

It’s a Smorgasbord

Hi-SmileyEmoticonA lot has happened in a short time, and much of my free time has been taken up with, albeit good things, but time consuming nonetheless.  I have had very little time to do the things I enjoy, like writing here.

Hi! ¬†I hope you’re all well. ¬†Today I’ve decided to share a little bit of everything, I’m so very behind. ūüėČ ¬†There’s some good news, a quote, and a writing prompt.

So the good news. ¬†I got a new job and start this week. ¬†Yay! ¬†This has made it necessary to buy a “new to me” car, which is where all my free time has gone – research mode.

And then the best news of all, my pilot advanced to the semi-finals of the Fresh Voices contest. ¬†Yes! ¬†Yes! ¬†Yes! ¬†(Happy dancing ensues!) ¬†Positive feedback is hard to come by in this, my chosen field, so you can imagine the boost to my psyche upon learning such wonderful news, which I had to read four times to see if my eyes were deceiving me, in part because I was having this weird side effect of water drippage. ūüėČ

Now, the quote.  This is about staying positive, which is sometimes hard to do:

Life

 

And then there’s¬†this¬†Writing Prompt, number 101, for those of you up to the challenge:

Something Dumb

I hope to be back to the old routine soon.  Wishing you all the very best in your endeavors!  Happy Writing!

Where Does the Time Go?

I was scattered all last week. ¬†It was my birthday, again, can you believe it?! ¬†I asked for the day off because in the environment I work in, working on your birthday is grounds for ¬†inflicted harm…on others. ¬†I don’t care that you want a side of ranch with your fries, in fact, I hope you choke on those fries. Kidding. ¬†Sort of.

In order to get my birthday off, I had to pick up another day in exchange. ¬†This is the third rhairday off I’ve asked for in over a year and a half by the way. ¬†So I had one day on, one day off¬†– all week, hence, I got very little accomplished. ¬†Although, I did manage to squeeze in this –>

The hair grows like a weed, and for a couple of reasons,¬†I let it grow and grow until all the kids were calling me Rapunzel or¬†Elsa. ¬†With the birthday looming on the horizon, it was time to mix things up a bit. ¬†Now I have to do my hair everyday. ¬†Sigh. ¬†ūüėČ

This week, I just haven’t been able to get to the computer. ¬†I’m planning to cosplay this year, one of my 2017 resolutions, and I’ve been out hunting for supplies, tools, etc. ¬†I¬†thought I would share¬†the process and the progress. ¬†As a newbie, it will be interesting to see when I finally break down and cry. ¬†More on that later.

And then there’s the writing. ¬†Not much of that happened last week. ¬†Actually, nothing happened last week. ¬†This week I’ve turned my attention to finishing the first draft of a new screenplay. ¬†I was about 45 pages in when I abandoned the project, and because of it’s theme, it’s rather timely, I should probably get back to that. ¬†I’m giving myself a deadline…it is submission season after all.

How the time flies whether you’re having fun or not. ūüėČ

How was your week? ¬†I hope you’re doing better at reaching your goals than I did¬†this past week. ¬†Happy Writing!

Screenwriting Tips for Submission Season

HelpfulTipsLast week I shared a list of the 10 prominent screenwriting contests and their approaching deadlines to give you a heads up of what to expect the next few months. ¬†Hopefully, you’re not like me, in the middle of a major rewrite instead of just a polish.

Ah, the sweet agony of a deadline.

This week I thought I would share a few tips on how to be best prepared to submit. ¬†I’m not sure where I originally found this checklist – my apologies to whoever¬†created it. ¬†It’s a list of 10 things to look over/be aware of before you hit send.

  1. Opening image
  2. Opening line
  3. First scene’s setting
  4. Genre/Tone
  5. Character roles
  6. Character motivations
  7. Structure
  8. Scene focus
  9. Spelling/Grammar
  10. Concept/Logline

*If you’re interested,¬†I can expand on each of these in more detail. ¬†Just let me know in the comments below.

One of my favorite pieces of advice came from Good in a Room‘s Stephanie Palmer who suggests –

Choose a contest and a deadline. Then, submit at least one script to one of the top screenwriting contests I recommend.

If the script gets recognized in any way (i.e., it doesn’t win but it makes the second round, or top 10%, etc), revise it and submit to three different contests.

If the script doesn’t get recognized, then keep it in your library of projects, pick something new from your development slate, and write something else.

Instead of submitting multiple projects to several contests (which can get expensive), you only make multiple submissions when you have objective evidence that your work is good enough to have a chance to win, and you spend more of your valuable time writing new material.

That’s plenty of work, I know.

And it doesn‚Äôt take into account the other aspects of how to be a professional writer that have nothing to do with writing…

But over time, if you write and submit at least one script every year to one of the best contests, you will get better and your material will get better. If you submit multiple scripts only when they have received positive feedback, your chances of being successful go up.

I hope you find this helpful, and I wish you all the best this submission season!

Writing Prompt #100

On Wednesdays, I like to share images or phrases that hopefully inspire you to create something new or, by some chance, add to a work of yours in progress. ¬†Sometimes I look for something that speaks to me in regards to what¬†I’m working on, but¬†the purpose of the the prompts are to help us break from routine.

I write flash fiction pieces from them, but my Dragon Age fanfiction “problem” began with a writing prompt as well, so be forewarned that I take no responsibility for what path these may lead you on. ūüėČ ¬†Create at your own risk.

magicball

Happy Writing!

 

Quote Monday

It’s time to get back to routine, and as most of you probably remember, I used to enjoy my routine. ¬†It’s a bit of a vague memory at the moment. ūüėČ

On Mondays I like to share inspiring quotes Рsomething to start the week off right.  I like this one:

situationelevation

Keep working towards your dreams!

It’s Submission Season!

submitHey fellow screenwriters! ¬†Are you ready for another year of petrifying “submit” clicks? ¬†Yep, it’s that most wonderful time of the year, again.

If you haven’t done the search for what deadlines are approaching, let me share what I’ve learned. ¬†Here are 10¬†of the more prominent competitions:

The one I think all screenwriters dream of winning is the prestigious Nicholl Fellowship,¬†which is for features only. ¬†The early deadline is March 7 ($45). ¬†I’d also recommend following them on Facebook as they share reader comments throughout the competition. ¬†It’s always fun to wonder if that lovely review is about your work.

The Austin Film Festival is also garnering a reputation for its screenwriting competition in both feature (with the added perk of being genre specific) and teleplay (including specs) categories.  The early deadline is March 31 ($45).  You can follow them on Twitter.

PAGE International¬†is already open and the regular deadline is fast approaching – February 17 ($49). ¬†This is for features only, but they’ve also branched out into being genre specific as well. ¬†They’re on both Facebook and Twitter if you’re interested in keeping up with the latest.

I entered my pilot in Scriptapalooza‘s TV competition, which reopens April 15, but the feature category, again, has been accepting since the beginning of the year. ¬†The regular deadline is March 10 ($55). ¬†You can follow them on both Facebook and Twitter, but they also have a mailing list that will keep you current.

I may have entered my pilot into this one, it’s all sort of a blur at the moment, so I have to double check. ¬†How terrible is that?! ¬†Script Pipeline offers a number of competitions to choose from, such as their First Look and Great Idea (both TV and feature) contests, in addition to the TV and feature competitions – which share the same date and fee for their early entry, March 1 ($50). ¬†They also have a mailing list and are on all social media.

Finish Line is another competition that offers both feature and TV categories, and has received positive endorsement from the film community. ¬†Their early deadline is, again, fast approaching – February 17 ($40), but if you’re like me, procrastinating on that final polish/rewrite, a more “reasonable” regular deadline is April 28 ($45). ¬†You can follow them on Twitter.

Screencraft not only offers valuable information via their blog, they have a wonderful setup in their competition department – it’s genre specific! ¬†The deadlines are scattered throughout the year, so I would highly recommend joining the mailing list to stay up to date. ¬†Currently they are accepting submissions for Sci-fi and Fantasy features. ¬†Early deadline is February 16 ($39). ¬†They’re on all social media as well.

Final Draft¬†just announced that¬†they’ll be ready to accept submissions for 2017’s Big Break¬†starting¬†February 22. ¬†They have both feature and TV categories, but the entry fee section has not been updated on their site yet (early fee last year was $40). ¬†And of course, they’re on all social media too.

BlueCat is another site I recommend following for their useful advice via their blog, in addition to their newsletter and social media accounts.  Their competition is open for features, shorts, TV, and plays.  The early deadline is March 1 and fees vary depending on the entry. Features Р$45  Shorts Р$35  Pilots Р$40  Plays Р$30

Finally, there is the¬†Sundance Institute‘s¬†Screenwriters Lab which is not open yet for submissions for 2018, but if you have a script that is Sundance Film Festival material, get it ready! ¬†Last year the application period was from March 15 – May 3. ¬†I would love to take part in the Lab, but sadly, I don’t think any of¬†my material is small budget. ūüėČ

So get those screenplays “submission season ready” and let’s go after our dreams! ¬†Happy Writing!