Summer Short Story Comtest!

Writing Contest Guidelines

Website: The Write Practice

I now enjoy writing short stories. An idea hits you and you can pretty much pants out one to two thousand words. Even though number three under Urban Fantasy is the exact description of my entry for the Spring Contest. I realise I just can not copy and paste with updates and corrections, but there’s more in this competition. It is open to writers of all kinds to write a new story based on the contest theme, workshop it in our writing community, and submit it for publication.

All writers who participate may be published if they choose.

Maximum length: 1,000 words.

Contest theme: Choose one of the following writing prompts to base your story on:

Urban Fantasy

  1. What happens when Jeanette Tanner finds out that her father, a New York City police officer, is a vampire?
  2. What if a pack of werewolves takes over the mean streets of South Central Los Angeles?
  3. You see a otherworldly creature on the way to work. No one else can see it. What do you do?

Science Fiction

  1. Tell us about a secret government facility tasked with cloning every dead American president.
  2. What will the American government do when it finds out that the Chinese Premier can read minds?
  3. What happens when Admiral Peter Kane’s fleet of starships gets ambushed by the Russian Federation?

Action/Thriller

  1. What will NCIS Special Agent John Rathbone do when he’s forced to retire because of a botched investigation?
  2. A washed up Medal of Honor recipient walks into a bar. What’s happens next?
  3. What if a CIA-sanctioned assassination of a foreign president goes awry?

Enrollment deadline: To participate, you must enroll for the contest by Monday, June 5. Your story will be due for work shopping on Monday, June 12. Your final submission is due Monday, June 19.

10 Grammar Tips


1. Who/Whom

Use who with he/she

Use Whom with him/her

2. Nor

Nor follows neither and

or follows either.

3. Affect/Effect

Affect is mostly used as a verb and

Effect is mostly used as a noun.

“An affect (verb) causes an effect (noun).”

4. Hanged/Hung

Hanged only refers to the type of execution that strangles and breaks someones neck.

Hung is the past participle of Hang.

“I hung a picture on my wall.”

5. Me/I

Should I use “Him and I,” or “Him and me.”

A good rule is that the sentence should still make sense if you take the other person out of the sentence.

“He doesn’t care much about my brother and me.” This still works as:

“He doesn’t care much about me.”

6. Loose/Lose

I don’t like the spelling of these words as they seem backwards to me.

Loose means not tight.

Lose means you don’t know where it is at the moment.

7. Fewer/Less

If you can count it then use fewer, although if it is uncountable then use less.

“I have less tea in my cup and fewer biscuits.”

8. Alright/All Right

Alright—THIS IS NOT A WORD, DO NOT USE IT.

I have used Alright in an assignment and got the response that it’s archaic.

9. Ultimate

If you take the word to the letter “Ultimate,” it actually means the last one. So—”The ship Titanic sank on its ultimate voyage.”

Advice—Do not call big events in anyones life “An ultimate day in ones life,” unless of course it was the last day of someones life and a tragedy.

10. Then/Than

Use Than when comparing

“My home is warmer than yours.”

With everything else use ‘Then.’

Websites & Apps For Writers

  1. Grammarly
  2. Hemingway Editor
  3. Medium
  4. Marked 2
  5. WordPress

The websites and applications listed above are what I use most days. I am still in the write/edit zone. I do not write within any of these applications as a little red line appearing under the last word you wrote is a little disheartening. But at the end of a long writing stint I do copy and paste into these website or applications. The WordPress is a website creator where you can create your own website for free or for £30 per year get your own web address.

Grammarly

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Grammarly is free on the internet, but if you want an application to fit into Microsoft Word or scrivener. I use it a lot ans it gives you weekly word counts and an assessment of your writing.

It is comprehensive, but I got a 100% good report for mt short story and I was told on a review that I had gramma problems. He didn’t say what though.

Hemingway Editor

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The Hemingway Editor analyses your words and indicates vague words and words that require changing. It is free on the internet. Hemingway Editor also supplies a reading grade

Marked 2

This application is not free but it does highlight words that you can list as vague and not wanted. It is available on the Apple App Store.

My Short Story Reviews

Two reviews of My Short Story are listed below:

  1. First Review:

    I LOVE the Big Bang Theory, and this could’ve been a very clever and funny story that referred back to that series. However, there were far too many grammatical and wording issues, that got in the way of enjoying the story. It is muddled and confusing tale, and the ending is the only funny and easy to understand aspect of your story.

    There were several sentences that didn’t make sense.

    For example: “ Work is one of those locations where you do something for someone else, and they pay you money.” Most people know what work is, this was a completely unnecessary sentence.

    In that same paragraph you say this: “ I turned the stereo on to my CD, and the music of Elvis Presley became evident.” The wording here is awkward.

    Neither sentence was germane to the story, and in a story that’s 2,000 words or less, you need to be judicious with the words you use, and these kinds of random sentences feel as if they have a point, but that is never made clear, and this can cause the reader to lose interest.

    Also, it was never explained why the aliens chose this character, he had no connection to the government, and no real power to help the alien.

    The whole story felt lost, as if it was trying to find its way but never did. However, the premise here is wonderful, and with some work this can be a funny and engaging story. Do not be discouraged, keep writing, and working on what appears to be a wonderful imagination. Take care.

  2. Second Review:

    This might not sound like much, but I want to give you full credit for having a comprehensible story. It was easy to follow from beginning to end and never got choppy with the timing of events or description. That’s a core skill many aspiring writers are missing.

    One issue us that the majority of the story is a set up for a Big Bang Theory joke at the end. That’s mostly fine, but there wasn’t much information letting the reader know that’s where you were heading. Other than the aliens being dismissive of English, there weren’t a lot of clues throughout the story that hinted at this being a comedy. It’s vital to set the tone early, so that the reader isn’t thrown so hard they break immersion with the tale. It’s been said before that the best ending to a story is both inevitable and surprising. Of those two, inevitable is the harder aspect to manage.

    That said, you have lot of potential. You can tell an oddball, even silly, story without it being confusing. I hope you keep improving. I hope you keep writing.

Contractions


Within the text of a novel, it’s best to use contractions. Here are a few:

Its or It’s
The contraction of it is = it’s
The possessive term of it = its
Examples:
It’s my Birthday.
My dog wags its tail.
I leave my house by its front door.

There is no such term its’

Who’s or Whose
The contraction of Who is = Who’s
The possessive word of who = whose
Examples:
Who’s paying the bill?
Whose house is this?

They’re or Their
The contraction of they are = they’re
The possessive term of they = their
Examples:
Bill said they’re his clothes.
The problem is their fault.

Using Numbers in Text

When writing a novel, there will be numbers used like dates, times, years, ages, money, and just quantities of anything.

Do not start a sentence with a numeral, as it is distracting:

59 tickets were sold last Tuesday.

The common practice is:

Fifty-nine tickets were sold last Tuesday.

Some writers spell out all numbers from one to one hundred and use numerals for anything higher as nine thousand four hundred and sixty-two is a little more wordy than 9462.

“Brian gets £45 an hour,” is somewhat better to read than, “Brian gets fourty-five pounds an hour.”

Conventions on numbers from publisher to publisher varies.
Just stay consistent.

                 

Plot or Story

What’s the difference?

There is actually a difference between a plot and a story. It’s like a novel and a movie.

So, movies show a lot of scenes with action things happening that are usually dramatic. Most movies show activities from the perspective of many people. Things happen to the characters, the protagonist and antagonist, along with other extras embark on a journey of excitement. Each character shows emotions and attitude towards or against the things happening.

A Movie, most movies show activities and show their feelings towards some action. Some movies follow a narration from the protagonist or antagonist. This character is always in every scene, and thus narration.

A Plot

A plot is the action and what happens within a scene in a movie or novel. Movies are flooded with the plot.

A Story

A story is the emotions that the characters experience. The emotions of characters in a novel are quickly shown and described. It is a lesser part of a movie as the emotions are only presented with actions.