This year our contests are designed for writers to think outside the box. For example, the contest that just closed was a short story romance. I am so far from a romance writer, nor do I read them. However, some of the "romances" that were highlighted in our January meeting were "Sid and Nancy" and "Twilight." There are no heaving bosoms and no Fabio-like men on the covers of those books. I brought up the movie Fargo when someone got spitting mad and said that "all romances have a happy ending." If I went over the edge and chopped up my husband and put him in a wood chipper, it would indeed be a happy ending...for me.
I submitted two entries to the romance contest. Neither one involved a man and a woman. Neither one even involved two people. And probably, neither one has a chance of winning.
So why enter, if I'm fairly certain that I will be deemed a loser? Because one, it got me writing. (Actually, it was more "recycling" but that's beside the point.) And two, it got me thinking outside my comfort zone.
At the meeting, a new member leaned forward and asked me, "What kind of outside-the-box ideas are there, besides the 'mystery' of childbirth?" (She's too new to realize I'm the wrong person to ask that kind of question.)
|photo by mikaspics|
This photo gave me a bunch of new ideas...The "murder" of an apple or a pumpkin...
"Murdering" an expensive piece of meat by roasting it until it's dry as a bone. The
possibilties are endless...
I replied, "What about the mystery of men? We try to figure out how they work, but are probably just overthinking them. What about the mystery of hair? As we age, on some parts it starts to disappear and on others," (and I gestured toward my "mustache" that needs to be macheted away every month) "it grows more prolifically." At lunch after the meeting, we spoke of murder by frozen leg of lamb. One of the members--I won't name names, but she has the same name as one of the Brady Bunch daughters--is working on a story involving a knife, and when someone in the works-in-progress group asked, "How big a knife are you talkin' about?" she pulled a knife out of her purse! (She claims she was taking it to get sharpened after the meeting, but I don't know. I think I am going to make sure I don't tick her off from now on.)
So, check out the contest. The romance contest did not have too many entries, so your chances might be good.