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NYC Midnight 100 word Challenge

Updated: Jun 23, 2023

As an Author I love participating in the NYC Midnight challenges! An entrant for a few years now I really enjoy the change of pace and genre writing - seriously SO much fun. Whether your a writer or just love writing - get involved!

My Round 1 April 2023 entry as follows.


GENRE: Suspense and/or Thriller

ACTION: Putting a message in a bottle

WORD: Cook

TITLE: Dulcifer

Eyes glazed, I stirred today's beef casserole. Your favourite.

Suddenly I find myself holding the spoon so tightly. You would watch me cook. Grabbing at my hips when I wasn't looking. My heart flutters every time you touch me.

My tears are burning this page as I write. I miss you. I ache for you. Watching you, glisten in the ocean laying your ashes to rest, I promised you I would always love you. Today, again I placed this letter in a bottle for you. As it floats out to sea, with every tide I know you think of me.

And here's the feedback - Ashes glisten because they contain teeth, gross huh!?!

Dear Marcia Anita Hobbs,

The feedback from the judges on your 1st Round submission from the 100-word Microfiction Challenge 2023 is below. We hope you find the feedback helpful, and you are proud of the story you created. Thank you for participating, and we hope to see you in a future challenge!

''Dulcifer'' by Marcia Anita Hobbs - WHAT THE JUDGES LIKED ABOUT YOUR STORY - {2312} I enjoyed the tragic turn this story took - exploring the progression of someone's grief and longing was a fascinating choice that instantly engaged my empathy with the character. It led to a lovely twist on the idea of a message in a bottle, which worked well for the story {2138} The image of 'grabbing at my hips' is really evocative and immediately demonstrates a keen intimacy between these two characters that's visual for the reader, helping to establish who they are to each other. The shift to 'My tears are burning this page as I write' is also a subtle suggestion of how to visualise the character as they move through the story. {2038} The sense of loss in this story is both sweet and palpable. There's some lovely detail ("beef casserole"). The image of the bottle floating out to sea has a beautiful, ritualistic quality. WHAT THE JUDGES FEEL NEEDS WORK - {2312} Because the story jumped around quite a lot between past and present tense, it made it a little difficult to follow as a reader, particularly in the jump from "stirred today's casserole" to "I find myself holding the spoon". Smoothing out these changes and ensuring you're only changing tense when absolutely necessary to convey some change in the setting of the story would really help strengthen the reading experience. {2138} The time frame of this piece reads a little awkwardly. Your narrating character says "you would watch me cook", which indicates past tense, but then we read "My heart flutters every time you touch me" which is in the present tense. At this point I'm not sure whether the 'you' character is still here/alive or if they're gone, perhaps dead. I'd suggest paring back a little, writing out the story beats and ensuring that the reader can follow your intended trajectory through the narrative. {2038} You switch back and forth from past tense ("stirred") to present ("flutters") -- i would suggest leaving everything in the past tense, or perhaps just switching to present with "My tears...". The line beginning "Watching you glisten in the ocean..." is a little confusing. How would ashes glisten? Also the phrase "I promised I would always love you" is a little cliché. Instead, I'd suggest sharing more specific detail about what she misses about their life together -- perhaps, as a line from the letter.

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