Today I entered the Women On Writing Flash Fiction contest. The Women On Writing site hosts a quarterly short story contest that seems like a great opportunity, and also seems fun, so I was excited to officially sign up for the winter contest today. I haven't sent in my actual story yet, I have until February 28 to do that, but I sent in my registration.
I just wrote the story I intend to submit yesterday, when I was stressed out after a lousy week, and felt like writing because it helps me relax. I know I need to review it and do some editing, but overall I'm happy with it. The contest stories can't be more than 750 words, and my story has 744, so I just came in under the wire.
I got the idea for my story using The Writer's Toolbox by Jamie Cat Callen. I ordered this from Amazon nearly a year ago as I thought it looked like a fun kit, but after I opened the box, I promptly put it in a drawer and didn't give it another thought.
But yesterday morning when I felt like writing, something made me think of that Toolbox, so I dug it out and started playing around with it. One thing that caught my eye was a group of little sticks with "first sentences" on them. You choose a stick, and then use the sentence on that stick to start a story.
I browsed through the sticks, and came upon this sentence:
"I put tulips under all the pillows, and then I set fire to the house."
Isn't that a great sentence? I thought it was so intriguing, and so full of possibilities. I like thrillers and suspense stories, and this sentence was so dark and chilling, it caught my attention right away.
I sat down with my laptop and wrote out a story in a few hours. I changed the sentence to fit my story and didn't use the same wording, but the idea behind the story came right from this little sentence stick.
It was a lot of fun to write this, and I'm excited about the opportunity to enter the story into the contest. I'm so glad I decided to get my Toolbox out yesterday, as I'm anxious to go through the rest of the sticks, and also through the other tools, and see what kinds of ideas they generate.
I don't know why it took me almost a year, but I'm glad I finally put the Toolbox to good use.
Hope everyone had a Happy Valentine's Day! :)