Hey everybody! Lolli here! And this is the first contest where I am the judge! Exciting, right? Well, anyways, you're probably wondering, "Lolli, why the name 'Golden Picture?'" or "'Golden Picture?' That doesn't make any sense!" Well, let me tell you, it will all become clear in a few moments!
Many of us have heard of the saying "As good as gold." It means that whatever the person is talking about, whether it be an object, (This novel is as good as gold!) a person (Adele is as good as gold!) or a joke (That 'Yo mamma' joke was as good as gold!), that thing is so good it's compared to one of the well known (and expensive) metals: gold. By now, you must be trying to piece together how this simple phrase has any connection to anything I've just said. (It does.) People often say "A picture worth a thousand words." Well, why go with the norm? I didn't! So I changed it up! "Golden Picture!" What a glorious idea! Now you must be wondering what exactly that means for this contest. Well, here it is; the contest part!
This is a contest of pure IMAGINATION. Yup. That stuff that a lot of people loose after they turn eleven. That adventurous, crazy, fearless, joyful stuff that for some reason never left a writer. This contest will be triggering that dusty, old part of your brain that you thought didn't exist anymore. IMAGINATION ! defe! I'll be giving you pictures to choose from. You write a whole story off that one picture. But don't worry, you won't have to come up with the whole thing by yourself. I've also supplied the first paragraph or two; just in case you need help cleaning out the old IMAGINATION box!*
The Rules Are As Follows:
1. Short stories only. No poems, novels, or songs. No exceptions.
2. No erotica, gay/lesbian, or non-fiction.**
3. Have a creative title.***
4. Have fun and enjoy the writing!
How Will My Story Be Judged?
Good question! Your story will be judged by the following criteria in a point-based system:
1. Little to no grammar mistakes. I am the dreaded grammar police. I cannot stand poor grammar. (That's one of the reasons I loathe texting!)
2. Little to no spelling mistakes. I get it. We all screw up. We're human. I bet you at least once in this whole she-bang I spelt something wrong. But please, please, please... DO A SPELL CHECK! It takes all but a few seconds to check, and a few minutes to correct.
3. Creativity. I am a creative monster who cannot stand lack of originality or desire to create a new reality. Just don't be boring, really!
4. Promptness. I will accept all stories five days after the deadline. No later. You lose one point each day it is late. So my advice? Have it ready a day or two before to be safe. I'm aware that sometimes Booksie acts up and there are technical difficulties, but if you have it in a few days ahead of time, it can be corrected before the deadline.
5. Overall story. You can be creative and not have a plot. There must be a solution to the story, even if it is a 'cliff hanger.' Make sure your story has a plot.
6. Characters. In order for a story to be good (in my opinion) there should be more than one character. Not only the number of characters is important, though. Make sure the characters are developed and important to the story. Otherwise you leave the reader with a hollow feeling inside that doesn't allow them to connect to your story.
What's The Best Score I Can Get?
Here is how the point system works (lower number = worse score):
Grammar. 1-5. 1 being the worst; more than five mistakes. 5 being the best; one/no mistake(s).
Spelling. 1-5. 1 being the worst; more than five errors. 5 being the best; no errors.****
Creativity. 1-15. 1 being the worst; not creative, boring, not interesting. 15 being the best; outstandly creative, exciting, captivating.
Promptness. You get an automatic 5 for being on time with the deadline. As each day passes, you lose a point. Once your story is six days late, you are disqualified. I cannot stress this enough to you: be. on. time.
Overall Story. 1-20. 1 being the worst; no plot, too much or little actions/dialog or details. 20 being the best; well thought out plot, correct amount of action/dialog and detailed.
Characters. 1-10. 1 being the worst; one character, undeveloped character(s), or unimportant characters. 10 being the best; more than one character, well developed characters, and each character has a specific role in moving along the story.
And now, for the moment you've been waiting for...
There will be three winners!
Grand Prize Winner. I will fan you! (I know, it's not much of a prize, but O WELL!) Obviously, if you won, I really do like your writing. You will also inform me of two pieces of work you would like me to read/comment on. Two. No more. And you will be the main character in one of my upcoming short stories. A new page will be created, the link given to you in your fan request from me, in order to get the details on what the story will be about. DO NOT ABUSE THIS. PLEASE DON'T GIVE AWAY THE LINK. IT'S A PRIZE SO KINDLY GIVEN TO YOU. DO. NOT. RUIN. THIS. FOR. OTHERS.
First Runner-Up. I will fan you, read one piece of your writing, and make you a minor character in an upcoming short story. I repeat, a new page will be created, the link given to you in your fan request from me, in order to get the details on what the story will be about. DO NOT ABUSE THIS. PLEASE DON'T GIVE AWAY THE LINK. IT'S A PRIZE SO KINDLY GIVEN TO YOU. DO. NOT. RUIN. THIS. FOR. OTHERS.
Second Runner-Up. I will fan you and read one piece of your writing!
*Yes, you must use the supplied first paragraphs.
**You must be asking, "Non-fiction? How unusual!" I'm one of those people who cannot stand the drear of non-fiction. Look, if I wanted to read it, I'd go through my history textbook.
***You're probably also asking "Creative title? Is she serious?" Yes. I'm dead serious. I absolutely loathe when people put "My Contest Entry for so-and-so's contest" or "Title-of-the-contest" as their stories title. Urg! Be creative! Please!
****Yes, no errors are accepted to get a five in the spelling category. Not one, not one half, zero.
Okay, for the actual stuff you've been waiting for! The pictures/ paragraphs!
The hardest thing to remember always seems like the simplest. My name. It flashes across my mind, and then it's gone. I always assure myself that it's only because I'm sleeping. Dreaming my life away. No matter what happens, though, I want to wake up. No, scratch that. I need to wake up. The funniest part about it all is that I know I'm sleeping. Sometimes, I'll be so close to waking up I can see the darkness behind my eyelids, but then the deep slumber overtakes me. I don't remember how long I've been like this, but I know it's been a while. And I know the slumber is close to ending when I hear loud, echoing footsteps making their way across the floor, to me.
Silence. I hate it. It's the worst when it's so quiet, a ringing can be heard in my ears. It's like a constant reminder that I'm alone, and I always will be. Like the people around me used to say, "Who could love a mute girl?"
Buzz. Buzz. Buzz. My eyes flash open, and I grab my phone off my dresser, peering at the bright screen through my tired eyes. I yawn, then proceed to see who texted me. My girlfriend. I look at the small, digital numbers in the upper right-hand side of the screen. Two thirty? In the morning? She better have something important to say to me. I look at the text.
sorry to wake u up. just miss u. wish u could sweep me away like romeo did to juliet.
Okay, life officially sucks. I've got the best girlfriend in the world. She's a gorgeous blonde with a rockin' bod. Always funny. Always hot. Totally into me. What more could a guy ask for? A lot more, apparently. My girlfriend has a best friend. What girl doesn't? See, this best friend of hers has been hanging with us lately. And damn, is she perfect. She's always in a happy mood or cracking a joke. She's got this weird thing about her that drives me mad. It's like she's got a spell cast on me. A spell that makes me fall for her. I mean, God, she even has me thinking she's beautiful. Yup, I am officially screwed.
I was running. Like a maniac. As fast as I possibly could run, the words of the one I thought was my everything ringing in my ears. "Bud, I think that 'us' is a bad idea." That's what he always called me. Bud. I was nothing more to him than that. A friend. How had I been so careless? To follow him to the train? What did I think I was going to do, stop him? Convince him that he loved me? Tears streamed down my face, and I didn't stop to wipe them; I had to get away. From him. From me. From the train.
All my life I thought I was free. I was nobody's puppet. I could make my own decisions, choose my own actions, say my own words. I could decide when to be strong and when to be furious. I could do whatever I wanted to. I don't think I've ever been more wrong in my life.
Everybody has a bad boy in their town. The one who dates, dines, and dumps nearly every girl. A player, in other words. I always assumed that there was one side to our town's bad boy: the player side. I was proved wrong on the day I was dragged to the supermarket with my carefree mother. Very wrong.
The beach. Nothing better than the sun, sand, and tanning girls. Every guy's heaven: half naked girls just lying around. I'm that awesome kind of guy who so kindly helps the oh-so-clumsy ladies get their sunscreen on to their backs. I take it out of the kindness of my heart to help them out. But, apparently, not everybody appreciates it. For example, just now, I had so kindly asked if this redhead needed any assistance to keep her delicate skin safe from the harmful sun and its evil rays. She did some weird hand thing and I ended up on my back, sand ruining my perfect hair. Then, to kick me while I was down, she had the nerve to say, "You stay away from me. I can assure you, you'll never get me to fall for an ass like you." Oh, little redhead, it is so on.
I've finally got my nerve. I've run away. From home. From hatred. From the town. I was planning on doing it later this week, but the time was right. I grabbed my childhood companion, Mr. Bear, and my suitcase full of clothes, food and whatever money I could find, and just ran away. I'm about two hours away from home when I realize I've made a horrible mistake. I've been followed. By him.
"Dude. Did you see that?"
I glance up from my book at my younger brother, an eyebrow raised. The only similarity between us is our eyes. Other than that, we could pass off as two random guys. "See what?"
He's pointing out towards the coast. I can see the waves lapping gently against the shore, but apparently not what my brother saw. He grows impatient and says, "I swear to you, I saw a mermaid!"