Thursday, August 11, 2011

Totally Cliche'd

Back in April and May, MormonMommyWriters, had a writing contest for an e-book compilation of short stories they wanted to publish. Of course I wanted to win a chance to have my name on the front cover of a book, and win other goodies too, so I spent a couple of days writing "Scared Stiff."

This is the winning book cover! It's the one I voted for, which makes it especially great, I think.

The theme to the anthology was Totally Cliché. What this means is they wanted us to go out there and have some fun with one or more of the many banned writing clichés, (you know, the things agents and publishers supposedly hate). For example we could begin our story with “It was a dark and stormy night.” Or, our hero could be “tall, dark, and handsome.” (Mine was!) You get the picture. The more creative our spin on the cliché the better our chances (though good writing won the day, I hope). We picked any cliché we liked and had fun!

The content had to be clean. MMW’s version of clean, not necessarily the writer’s. So the general rule of thumb was: No swearing. No gratuitous sex. No vulgar romantic stuff. And no graphic violence. The characters did not have to be LDS. They were open to a lot, but the content had to be clean and, of course, creative. Who doesn’t love being scared stiff?

I had a total blast writing my first YA first person POV story, but I got a bigger kick when I was notified that I'd won second place. Whoo hoot!! It should be coming out sometime in September or October, I think, just in case you'd like to read the adorable stories MMWs were able to put together. I plan on buying several and printing them out for Christmas gifts. (Can I even do that?)

I enjoyed writing a YA, or Young Adult, story. I haven't done one before this, and although it was only 3,400 words long, it tried my language skills. It's been a very long time since I was a teenager, or even had teenagers at home. Even when my sons were younger, they didn't talk like typical kids, and they definitely didn't talk like teenage girls. I didn't have any frame of reference for their particular lingo, so I relied on the critique of volunteers who did have that species living in their home to help.

I can't wait until I can download it to my Kindle for Mac. I'll let you know when it's available.


Kate said...

Wow! Congratulations!

Jolene Perry said...

I got halfway through my entry, and simply ran out of time with everything else. BUT I can't wait to read what everyone else did!

Debra Erfert said...

Thanks, Kate!

Me either, Jo. I heard a little bit about them, but I have to wait like everybody else. I can understand why you didn't have time to complete an entry. You're suuupppeerr busy.

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