December 7, 2023

Welcome back to the latest episode of Scotty Writes. This week I want to update you on two projects, including one (The Monterey Weekly’s 101-Word Story Context) that many of you were kind enough to help me out with. A sincere thank you goes out to all of my peeps who generously took some of their valuable time to give my stories a read and help me figure out which ones to enter into the contest.

As you may recall, the contest will accept up to three stories per writer. I went through my inventory and selected 12 candidates I thought might be contest-worthy. I divided them up into three categories, the idea being that I wanted to enter three very different types of stories, possibly improving my chances.

Some folks expressed an interest in seeing how the voting came out, so here are early returns based on our exit polling. Wait. That’s not right. I apologize. Guess I’m warming up for the upcoming primaries.

These were the winners in each category.

Category A: Serious Drama

#236 Reading between the lies
Note: This one just barely beat out #31 Guess I missed the memo

Category B: Dark Drama

#202 Honesty should count for something

Category C: Light Comedy

#521 Excitement at the Senior Center

If you’d like to go back and read any of the Baker’s Dozen that were on the ballot, here’s the link. I gotta say, it was fun to see how the voting went. While there were clearly crowd favorites, I don’t think any of my stories didn’t get at least a little love, and some of you made comments (which I ALWAYS appreciate), indicating that you had some tough decisions to make. In at least a few cases, voters gave me two votes since they couldn’t decide which one they preferred. Those are the kinds of problems I love!

Contest winners will be announced on December 21st. Naturally, I’ll keep you in the loop just in case any love comes our way.

Elsewhere in writing news, I want to update you on my National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) project. Writers all over the world signed up and pledged to write a 50,000-word novel during November. I had a slightly different goal. I wasn’t interested in writing a 50,000-word novel. I knew I needed something bigger than that, but I did want to write at least 45,000 words during the month. As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, my 5 a.m. writing sessions were a game-changer for me. By the end of the month, I’d written 57,570 words. I’m not saying they’re good words—or even that they appear in a logical order. Since I haven’t gone back and proofread the stuff, I might find out that since I was writing in my sleep, I may have not even had my fingers on the right row of keys. It could all be gibberish.

I don’t know if this will become the new writing normal for me or not, but since it worked so well, I decided not to mess with success. When the month ended, I was happy to see that the NaNoWriMo website lets you start up a new project at any time, so on Dec 1st, I created Part Two and jumped right back into it. As of today, the novel continues.

After one of my alert readers asked me about it last week, I realized I hadn’t provided any details about my work in progress. The working title is “Questionable Characters,” and it’s based on three (mostly true) adventures from my former life. The main part of the tale centers around a group of undercover cops working a long-term sting operation. A second element involves a mysterious criminal who turns out to be a seriously corrupt cop, and the third piece deals with a serial rapist moving throughout the county. All three elements collide in what I hope will be an entertaining mixture of wise-cracking, jaded cops who get themselves in and out of dangerous situations, where they have no one but each other to count on as they live double lives, doing the work most cops wisely choose to stay far away from. I have no idea how long it will take before I have a draft worth sharing with anyone, but it will absolutely happen at some point.

That will do it for this week. As always, thanks for listening, and once again, I truly thank those of you who helped me select my contest entries. You guys are the bestest!

Scotty out

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