So, I made it. I submitted my NYC Midnight piece and it got acknowledged and now the waiting begins again. Sure, they pretty much suck with keeping to deadlines or giving you feedback or any of the other things they promise, but their competitions are actually really fun… once I stop procrastinating.
I was set scifi, which killed me. I had no idea how to tackle it. I like scifi as a genre; I watch quite a few scifi movies. I don’t tend to read scifi books. Requires too much thinking, which I just don’t have the energy to do these days. When I read, I need a switch-off, so am reading a fair bit of dodgy shit on the Kindle. (Although that has the added bonus of showing me if they can get published, then surely I can.)
It was when the character came to me, on the late train home from work on Friday night, that my piece took off. Hal came to me with such a strong narrative voice that he wrote himself, basically. My only trouble was trying to stop him long enough to work out an ending. I’m still not happy with what came out, but I like the ambiguity of it: what happened? What IS Hal anyway?
I had to resist calling the story “Critters”, lest it conjure up 80s b-grade horror notions in the reader. I don’t like the title Hallo-frickin-ween, but it seemed to sum up Hal’s voice quite well. I may change it.
The boyfriend said he wanted to read more set in Hal’s world. Maybe I’ll get there.
One thing’s for sure, doing these NYC Midnight things have shown me that it’s the genres I try to avoid that I’m actually quite good at writing. Now I’m contemplating a scifi/horror mash up novel, and THAT is a really bad idea.