1. Sydrak
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    Sydrak Member

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    Entering writing competition, help with theme

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Sydrak, Jun 22, 2013.

    I'm entering a small writing competition held by the library where I live, and the theme is "memories." I don't want to pick something standard like childhood memories of the summers at my grandmas place, it has to stand out more. But I don't want to pick a memory that's too painful either because I don't want that on print with my name all over it.

    Probably difficult to help since you guys don't know what kind of memories I have:p But I have thought of the terror acts in Norway(I live here) 22nd of july, 2011. My best friend was almost caught in the bomb-blast in Oslo, and was thinking about writing about how I remember the lump in my chest as I knew he would be near the area where the bomb went of. And how I called him only to get a message that his phone was either out of reach or switched off(imagine what went through my head! But he was fine btw!)
    But I don't know if I should, many had a much, much worse outcome so it almost feels like I'm whining:\
     
  2. Thomas Kitchen
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    Thomas Kitchen Proofreader in the Making Contributor

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    Is this a fiction comeptition? If it is, remember that you dn't have to write about your memories; you can make something up. And whether it is fiction or not, also bear in mind that it's not always the people who choose the less obvious routes of the theme that win - if the competition is a sound one, it is the best writing that will undoubtedly be the winner. Choose what is comfortable for you. :)
     
  3. killbill
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    killbill Contributing Member

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    Write it if you think there is a story to tell, and I am not talking about just the "lump in your chest". You will most probably sound like whining if you write only about the aftermath of the blast on you. You may also include a quick glimpse of the "before", perhaps a fight between the two of you, or simply a telephonic chit-chat just like normal people do when their mind is terror free.

    Also, don't write every bit of emotions you felt and every little things that you did in your real life ordeal. Try to treat it like just another story you are writing (very difficult thing to do) and include only those details which you think is necessary to convey the story. This is a major pitfall for anyone who writes stories based on their true life incident.

    Lastly, do the rules of the competition says it has to be an actual memory of the writer? If not, then you can have limitless numbers of stories because the theme "memories" is very broad.
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Any time I write to address a theme, I try to look for a double meaning, or at least a different interpretation of the theme. Just don't carry it to extremes. A story about computer memory chips would probably be viewed as a gimmick rather than a serious entry.
     
  5. Sydrak
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    They didn't say anything about genre, just that the theme was "memories." But I think I might be able to write with more emotion if it is something that really happened, but afraid to include unnecessary things. Plus, july 22nd, 2011 is still a topic where one should step carefully here.
    They didn't say it had to be a an actual memory either, so I can write fiction which is my comfort zone. The theme is very broad, yet I have difficulty "thinking outside the box," like a dual meaning like Cogito suggests. I would love to add a nice twist to it at the end, something totally unexpected. I love twists!
     
  6. killbill
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    killbill Contributing Member

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    where the mind is without fear...
    Let July 22nd be the background, tell your and your friend's story, the human story. And don't try to give opinions and preach.

    A person with lost memories (amnesia) tries to built/gather memories.
    A slave robot can remember its erased "memories/data".
    Memories of a cocaine sniffing dog. Reveal it's a dog's POV at the end and you'll have your twist!...

    Really, it's limitless.
     
  7. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Keep in mind that the site rules limit assistance on homework, contest entries, or other work intended to represent or evaluate the person's own abilities.

    Please limit responses to general strategy recommendations.
     

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