As I mentioned in a past update, I was admitted into the NYC Midnight Short Challenge as a gift/surprise. I waited anxiously for the start of the competition, even staying up past my bedtime so that I could learn of my random story assignment at midnight. Yeah, they send it to you at midnight - right on brand. The idea for me was that I would read the assignment, digest it a little bit and then sleep on it, letting my subsconcious do the work.
The assignment was a ghost story, involving a theater director with a theme of first love. What? What was I supposed to do that with that? I’m a science fiction and fantasy writer. A horror writer as well, but ghost stories don’t count. And first love? Argh. I guess that’s why it’s called a “challenge”. Anyway, I set to researching “ghost story” tropes and the stage play industry to learn more about theater directors. And, of course, I also researched and brainstormed on how first love could be used as a theme.
Out of the eight days allowed to write the story, I just researched and pondered for six. Around day four, the story started to come together in my head and I put down a few paragraphs. It wasn’t until day seven that I started actually writing. I finished about a third of it that day and then wrapped it up the following morning - it was a Saturday. I spent the whole day editing and revising, based on editorial input from my wife.
Getting the entire story to fit within the 2500 word limit was difficult, and it only confirms my trend of making the story bigger than the budgeted number of pages. Anyway, I’ve posted the story here on the site, called Stagecraft. It’s a double-entendre that possibly only I get, but that’s okay. Enjoy!