One of the catalysts for getting back into writing was the 2010 Blizzard Short Story contest. I figured it would be a good test of my talented. I mean if I was really a talented writer, I could bang out a short story, win the contest and be on my way.
I just have to shake my head and chuckle at the way I was thinking last summer. Oh you silly, silly, little man.
That short story was pretty rough. The funny thing is you really can’t tell much of a difference between an untrained, but talented writer and an untrained, but not so talented writer. They both look pretty bad. I’ll always be eternally grateful to Rhoelyn and Steve Hall for critiquing that story for me. As you have probably surmised that story didn’t win the Blizzard contest last year. It didn’t even come close. Of course, all that Blizzard will tell you is who the finalist were and who the winner was. They received something on the order of 15,000 stories. All they say is if you made the top 20. I could have been #21 and eliminated on the last cut down or #10,021 and eliminated on the first pass, but I’ll never know.
In addition to the lessons I learned from Rhoe and Steve’s critique, the biggest take away from last year was finishing. I’m notoriously bad for getting all excited about a project, starting with vigor and then petering out when the emotion wanes and never finishing. The great success of the 2010 Blizzard contest was that I finished.
Now I know I’ve grown and improved as a writer and it’s encouraging that Rhoelyn and Steve have seen that as well during their critique of my unicorn short story. I still feel like I’ve got some writing talent (apparently my hubris knows no end) but honestly I’m not sure anymore if that is even a helpful question to ask anymore. It’s more important that I’m willing to work, to keep writing and keep getting better.
To that end, I’m once again entering the Blizzard Short Story contest. I’ve got the first draft written and some of the Saucy Ink members are giving me a critique. I don’t expect it’ll win or even be a finalist. I’ve still got a long way to go before my writing is at that level. But it’s one more chance to write, edit and learn.
And now I've found out that the story I chose to do was done by Blizzard. My story is about how the Val'kyr came to join the Forsaken. That was covered in Edge of Night short story which I obviously haven't had a chance to read yet. Of course in Edge of Night, events happened much differently than I imagined in my story. The story came out on September 27th. The short story contest started back on September 4th. Edge of Night was not even published when I began working on my Val'kyr story. I didn’t even know Edge of Night was on the Blizzard site until I read about it on a blog late last week.
It's too late to write another story and get it critiqued. I either turn in the one I've written or I don't enter the contest at all. My story now has zero chance of winning. But I think I will turn it in anyway.
Even without the lore conflict issue, I don’t think my story would win anything. But really, I’ve got nothing to lose by turning it in.