Thursday, February 18, 2010

Mardi Gras Mystery-Name Contest!

Want to be the next hero in one of my stories? Fat Tuesday has come and gone, and the somberness of Lent looms before us, so I’ve decided to kickoff my 40 days of penance with a series of short-stories contests! Each week I will write a super short tale (about 500 words) with a complete hook and story, but minus one very key element. The name of my central character…YOU!


Each story will feature some current event, and the name of one of my blog’s followers (selected by lottery) will fill-in the place of the hero in each tale. This week I’ve decided to write a short-story about Mardi Gras. The opening line reads: “[Name] awoke that morning with absolutely no idea he/she would fall in love.” Every week I will post the entire short up on my blog, and then submit it to a small press or magazine for publication. Obviously, only a small portion of submissions sent to a small press or magazine ever get printed, but that’s why I plan to write lots of these over the next 40 days. Just think, your name could end up in print. This opening line here could read Lawrence Ma or Hannah Pralle or [Your Name Here].


The game here is to make this fun. If a friend or acquaintance of yours on this blog ends up in the story, you can suggest what you’d like to see happen to them over the course of subsequent tales. Each week the names are selected at random in a hat, so you could potentially become the hero in more than one story! Will you find yourself embroiled in a scandal? Will you get rich? Find true love? Will you meet a horrible end? Either way, I plan to post it on the internet for everyone to read.


In order to enter the weekly raffle of name selections all you have to do is belong to my blog as a follower (see right-hand side of the screen). Anyone can join. You just need to have a gmail or yahoo or twitter or AIM, etc. type of account to login. Each week I’ll supply the new topic and first line of the short-story, but I’m of course open to a wide variety of suggestions. Even though I write a lot of historical fiction, I’ll keep these stories contemporary of course. One such idea I’ve heard pertains to writing about the seven deadly sins, a new one for every week. I like this notion as it adds instant tension to a story. This week’s Mardi Gras piece I think will fit “Lust” to a T. And “no,” I didn’t get the seven sins idea from watching too many Morgan Freeman films. It just sounds like a fun challenge.



Let the fictions begin…