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Why Did I Enter the Fiction Writing Challenge in 2021?

My first work of fiction fell flat on its' face!

By Justiss GoodePublished 2 years ago 4 min read
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Why Did I Enter the Fiction Writing Challenge in 2021?
Photo by Shalone Cason on Unsplash

The road that takes you from writer to book author is often a long and tedious journey. I learned this first-hand, along with many of the other important life lessons, as they relate to being a serious writer.

As difficult as it is for me to confess, I realize now, that my very first work of fiction that I ever self-published; it basically fell flat on its' face!

My entry for the Vocal+ Fiction Writing Challenge was a way for me to finally revisit an idea that's been stuck in my brain for years.

Without providing any spoilers, allow me to tell you why I entered the 2021 short story writing competition, and why I submitted the story I did.

My "Fragments of a Dream" Story and Image

Unsplash - Ning Shi

The story I entered in the fiction writing challenge is called: "Fragments of a Dream" and it is a fantasy tale, set on an isolated island in New Zealand.

I used this story as my entry, because I wanted to extrapolate what I thought was actually pretty good writing, from the first novel I wrote and self-published online.

This short story is reminiscent of my very first work of published fiction in 2014, titled: Experimenting With Murder (EWM).

I used the fiction writing challenge as a way to bring an old story of mine, to life in a whole new way.

Confessing My Failure and Confronting My Mistakes

Before I could ever go back and deal with the mistakes I made with EWM, I had to recognize and confess my failures in regards to the book. That helped me eventually confront, and even correct some of the earlier issues.

Thanks to those corrections, several separate projects have resulted from the original story. Fragments of a Dream is now among those projects.

My journey involving EWM was a worthwhile one, though it didn't seem like it at the time.

I released: Experimenting With Murder in 2014, and sold it mostly via Amazon's KDP program. Eventually, I took it off the digital shelf and even reclaimed the one print copy I loaned to my neighborhood library.

It didn't take the trickling of sales (and even less reviews) to let me know just how bad the book was in certain places. I had always been confident in my writing, but that was when it came to non-fiction.

EWM helped me realize how writing fiction is a whole other animal!

Over the years, I grew as a fiction writer and eventually discovered what works and what doesn't.

In spite of the fact that some very specific details were extracted, to help create the recent 2021 contest entry, there are lots of differences when it comes to the original EWM story.

  • I self-published Experimenting With Murder as a full length novel
  • I authored the book as: Charm Baker - my primary pen name at the time
  • The novel was long, too wordy, and all over the place (intricate plots, mixed genres, excessive amounts of characters)

Thankfully, many of the issues that relate to writing a novel are not the same when it comes to writing shorter fiction.

The years have helped me be able to recognize, correct, and improve on things relating to plot, pace, scenes, characters, dialogue, and so many more areas that affect a story.

Now I get my opportunity to see how well I've applied what I learned.

Final Thoughts

Whether I'm one of the winners and score a $5000 award with my short story entry or not, I still feel like I've won.

I loved having a chance to revisit EWM, and to consider lots of fresh ideas for dismantling other parts of the original story. I can actually create a whole series of either related or unrelated short stories, all built around the same theme, and possibly some of the same characters.

I confess, the thought is a little intimidating, because there is so much I want to say and do with the ideas, but I don't want it to become convoluted again. So for now, maybe I'll just wait to see what the results of the fiction challenge turn out to be. Perhaps it may be a bit of good news about the story. 😄

Thanks for reading, and don't forget to check out: "Fragments of a Dream."

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About the Creator

Justiss Goode

Old crazy lady who loves to laugh and make others smile, but most of all, a prolific writer who lives to write! Nothing like a little bit of Justiss every day :-)

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