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24 Hour Fiction Contest

on January 25th, 2010 by Shannon

I entered the 24-Hour Fiction Contest over at Writer’s Weekly this weekend. The concept is simple: they email you a paragraph with the theme at noon on Saturday, and you have until noon on Sunday to come up with a story. Here is this year’s topic:

From her lap, his shiny black eyes stared up at her as
she admired his permanent red smile. Fingering his tiny
overalls, she pictured the little ones’ faces, pressed
against the icy windowpanes, waiting for her to arrive
with another basket of her lifelike, homemade gifts.
The last strand of hair was finally in place. As she
gently inserted the needle to tie a knot, he lurched
in her hand and a high-pitched voice said…

That’s it. 900 word limit. They specifically want you to think outside the box, as they get a number of entries each time that are similar. And they love the surprise ending!

I really struggled this year, finally settling on a theme around 4:30 in the afternoon. After that, I had a lot of research to do on the internet, followed by a period of ‘mesh’ time in my head. I finally got up at 4:30 Sunday morning and hashed out a rough draft, then spent the next four hours tearing it apart and rewriting it.

In the end, I was happy with the results, but I must say that is the most I’ve worked on something in a single sitting for a long time. It was exhausing! And I still have no idea if my story was unique. If it turns out that everyone else wrote about the granddaughter of a voodoo priestess who falls back on her Gogo’s methods in order to keep her boyfriend faithful, I’m going to cry!

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