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My Vocal Goals ~ 2024

Challenges ~ Stories to Screenplays ~ Creator Recognition

By Joyce O’DayPublished 5 months ago 3 min read
My Vocal Goals ~ 2024
Photo by Илья Мельниченко on Unsplash

2023 was my first year on Vocal, and I truly believe that my skills as a fiction writer have significantly improved thanks to the challenges I have entered. I honestly feel that every major story I have written for Vocal has been better than the last. Plus, to my complete surprise, I have immensely enjoyed the poetry challenges.

I have three goals for Vocal in 2024: (1) continue to submit an entry to every challenge, (2) transform some of my previous Vocal stories from 2023 challenges into screenplays, and (3) be recognized as one of the “Creators We’re Loving.”

Participating in Challenges

Since joining Vocal in March 2023, I have participated in every challenge except one. During the time of the “Tales Retold” challenge, I was on a month-long vacation, and I honestly could not find the inspiration to retell a fairy tale. To compensate, I created two very personal entries for the “Identity”: challenge: “From Scarface to Miss Bitchin” and “Finding My Identity: An Adoptee’s Search for Self.”

I was proud and honored to receive “Runner-Up” status on three challenges: “Past Life” (When I was a Conquistador), “Extraterrestrial” (Touring the Las Vegas Strip with my New Alien Friend), and “Pitch Your Pilot” (Family Affairs). I even had my “Whodunit” story (The Bounty Hunters) rejected by Vocal for violating “Community Standards,” which I decided to take as a compliment. NOTE: After twice requesting a “human”review of the “The Bounty Hunters,” it was finally accepted. Sadly, it was too late to be considered for the “Whodunit” challenge.

It is an awesome experience to be presented with a fresh prompt and see where my ideas take me. I am excited for the upcoming challenges. Bring ’em on!

From Stories to Screenplays

My foray into Vocal came when I was taking a break from editing a novel I had completed for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). From the start, I have envisioned my novel as a Netflix series. Obviously, my “Pitch Your Pilot” Runner-Up winner, “Family Affairs” would make an excellent TV show. Similarly, my stories “Chateau Memoire,” “When I Was a Conquistador,” “Silent Goodbyes from the Dirty War,” and “Seven Deadly Sins” all written for Vocal would be perfect for “Black Mirror” or “Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities” episodes.

Before writing on Vocal, I had no idea that my style ventured into the category of horror. It is not slasher-movie-style horror, but rather weird-shit-be-happenin’-style horror. This realization has been so profound that I recently joined a local horror-writers group.

The first step in this process is purchasing the screenplay writing program Final Draft. Then, I need to rework my stories into screenplays and get the copyright stuff settled. Finally, I will be ready to submit to agents, studios, and competitions.

“Creators We’re Loving”

Ultimately, I would love to be acknowledged as one of Vocal’s “Creators We’re Loving.” It is always nice to be recognized. It would also be lovely to be included in the “Top Stories” section. It has been a pleasure getting to know the work of the exceptional writers on Vocal. It is a community I am happy to support — happy enough that I became a investor/shareholder when Vocal presented the opportunity.

My Goals for Vocal in 2024

I would like for Vocal to offer more challenges, be more responsive to writer concerns, and pay better attention to the details of challenge rules. I would love for Vocal to have at least three challenges a month. Vocal needs to be more responsive to member concerns. As noted above, Vocal rejected one of my stories, and I had to reach out twice before a human approved it. This story — “My Vocal Goals ~ 2024” — was originally rejected because it was under 600 words, even though the requirements for this challenge states in two places that the submission only needs to be 500 words. This is not the first time that the challenge rules (particularly word count) were neither clear nor accurate.

In Japan, there is a concept called “Kaizen,” which means continuous improvement. This should apply to both the writers on Vocal and the platform. We all need to improve together.


About the Creator

Joyce O’Day

After retiring from teaching world history for over 20 years, I am living every day on holiday: enjoying life with my family, traveling, gardening, engaging with my community in Las Vegas, and reflecting on the current state of the world.

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Comments (1)

  • Dharrsheena Raja Segarran5 months ago

    Congratulations on placing as a Runner-Up in those 3 challenges! I'm so sorry that your Whodunit entry was approved a tad too late for it to make it before the deadline. But then again, it wasn't your fault at all! They should have compensated you by entering it into the challenge. Anyway, I wish you all the best for all your goals! ❤️

Joyce O’DayWritten by Joyce O’Day

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