It's NYC MIdnight time again! The 2015 NYC Midnight Flash Fiction Challenge began last month, and as usual, it pushed me outside my comfort zone.
The last two years, I was assigned Romance as the genre for my first story. I was all prepared for Romance 3.0, but no, the Powers That Be threw me a curveball. I was assigned to write a fantasy this time around. Now, I've read Lord of the Rings and Chronicles of Narnia, but fantasy is not a genre I read widely or relate to very well.
Obstacle #1: find a subgenre of fantasy that I could write comfortably within the assigned 48-hour window.
Part 2 of the prompt was a location. In my case, a skateboarding park. My entire knowledge of skateboarding can be summed up thusly:
Obstacle #2: learn enough about skateboarding to write about it convincingly.
Part 3 of the prompt was an object: a projector. Easy peasy.
I got my assignment around 11 pm Friday night. I slept on it, because when I do that, I often wake up with an idea. This time, not so much. I did my usual Saturday-morning volunteer work at the local animal shelter and then went for a swim after. Somewhere in the middle of my laps, a premise came to me: Cursed object! The one ring! My preciousssss!
By the time I finished my swim, I had the whole story outlined. I even had the name Donnie Doheny, named for the California beach near where I used to live. The trick? Remembering my awesome plot until I got home. Thank goodness for smartphones! I sat in the locker room and typed my outline on my phone.
I wrote Draft 1 that night, Word open on one half of my screen, the Wikipedia entry about skateboarding on the other.
The next day I revised and edited: 12 words over the 1,000-word limit, 7 words under, 4 words over, back and forth, back and forth. I finally found a version I was happy with at 995 words. Story submitted!
I brought the story to my writer's group for their feedback. THEY LOVED IT! They gave me suggestions for fleshing it out a bit, and I'm still working on those changes. What I've posted here is my original story with one change: I had to rename a character because I realized that I'd inadvertently borrowed it from a series I love. Oops.
Click here to read "The Legend of Donnie Doheny."