Writing contest stokes the fires

by Lori Hoeck on April 30, 2009

Here I am, blogging again, and this time under my own name. Many of you who will initially read this know me  — and my first blog — as SpaceAgeSage. Those first steps into blogging turned into an opportunity to write on personal development. It kept me writing for nearly a year before I wrapped it up with a post last February. In that final entry, I wrote that in the future, “I want to ramp up my writing so that I post higher quality prose — perhaps even poetry.”

Well, I’m back in the saddle again looking to wrangle some words together. I place all the blame at the feet of both Sean Platt and David Wright, the collaborative geniuses behind Collective Inkwell. Their recent writing contest fired up the fiction writer in me again. Try as I may to fight it, one of their two story prompts kept haunting me to finish it. Here is the pesky, little rascal: “Well, this is odd, he thought to himself.”

I have no idea how many stories lines welled up inside me like a geyser because of those #@%! eight words. One involved blood spatters, one a goofy ninja story, and one a science fiction tale that changed its plot flow every time I sat down to write.

To make matters worse, the science fiction tale wanted to turn itself into a novel. I’m not a short story writer. I’m trained as a journalist to write news that fits in newspaper columns, and I like to write sweeping adventure stories. My draft for a future best-selling novel (prayers appreciated) is at 84,000 words now, but I expect to write another 30,000 words to finish it.

The contest’s suggested maximum length was 2,000 words, and it took a lot of hair pulling to keep it near 3,000.  You can read the full story over at the  Collective Inkwell contest post. Scroll down to the comments section if you want to read it, and I know you will because here is the tasty first paragraph:

“Well, this is odd, he thought to himself. Time travel shouldn’t be this easy, should it? In less time than it took him to nervously swallow hard, Marco and his friend Baktu jumped 10 years into the past. One moment they stood on an alien planet, and now they found themselves in the cargo hold of the Union of Stars, flagship of the first emperor’s space fleet. They were here to stop an assassination and alter the course of human history.”

Sean and David have attracted some great writers for this contest, so grab a cup of coffee and take in some fun and even some scary fiction over in the comment section of their contest post.

As for this blog, I will post an assortment of poetry and prose both old and new. Let’s see where it will lead, shall we?

Thank you for visiting,
Lori Hoeck


Writer Dad May 1, 2009 at 8:28 am

Hi Lori,

Awesome site and I LOVE your tagline. Playful, funny and flat out PERFECT. And I like the black too.

Lori Hoeck May 1, 2009 at 8:43 am

Thanks, Sean!

Nice to have you comment first, since you helped get me motivated and into fiction again. Of course, you will pay for this, you know. My couch potato self is pretty miffed right now.

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