The #StoryWords winner for the Spring 2017 edition is…
FATIMA FAKIER DERIA! (aka @famitafderia)
Fatima wrote a thriller about a man following a trail of clues and intent on saving a woman who has been hung by a rope . Can he save her? Or will he be too late?
Read her Twitter Thriller here: https://twitter.com/i/moments/859209779209797633
And check out her website where she writes short stories and flash fiction: https://www.ffdwrites.wordpress.com/
If you enjoyed Fatima's story and would like to read mine too, you'll find my Noir-style thriller "Alien Kidnapping" here:
I'm very pleased with the success of my first Twitter challenge! I had four fairly steady participants and a good handful of people who tweeted out lines from their works in progress on random days when the word prompt for the day was advertised.
I know what you're thinking. "Wow, Richelle. Really? Four participants? You think that was successful?"
I do! And it's because it all depends on how do you define success when running a Twitter contest (or anything else, for that matter). Is it getting retweets? Having a lot of participants? Getting enough attention to garner new followers?
The question of success came up in a Twitter author chat I participated in last week. The question was, when you publish a book indie-style, how do you know if, or when, you've been successful? I think success actually depends on what the initial goal was, because you cannot measure success without measuring against the goal. To compound the matter, we tend change our goal as we start to reach it and we also often set our goals against highly successful people with the idea of, "if they can do it, why can't I?"
And the problem with that is, we rarely know what "their" goals were or what ultimately went into "their" success. My suggestion for writers new to the authoring game is NOT to set your goals against what you see happening around you. Unless, of course, you've only surrounded yourself with people who have the same author experiences as you, started their authoring journey just when you did, and have the same exact connections as you. Which basically means, you've both either been living in a bubble together or are conjoined at the hip (only the last one of which could bring you instant fame since you probably have an amazing "own voices" story to share).
So, if you shouldn't set your goals based on all the successful people around you, how should you set them? Well, that is the question, isn't it? Unfortunately, there's no magical answer. There is no exact science that says, if you do these ten things before, during, and after you write your book, you will find whatever you think success is. Well, there are, but I promise you, they're charlatans. Your success is going to depend on your quality of work; the time you spend perfecting your craft, writing and editing your piece of art, building your social media platform, and marketing yourself; and also, who your current and future connections are.
Those are a lot of moving pieces you need in order to "find success" and we all fall on these scales of ability related to each of those cogs in the machine. I might score high on writing ability, but very poorly on marketing, whereas the next person needs a lot of editing help, but makes social connections every time they walk into a new room. You need to be honest with yourself. How good are you at each of these pieces? And, how much time are you willing or able to commit to each of them.
So, back to your earlier question. Richelle, how can you think your Twitter challenge was successful if you only had four participants? And the answer is, my goal was to get 200 new followers in the month I ran the challenge knowing I would not do much marketing (because frankly, I hate that part of being an author – I'd rather be writing). I had 106 new followers by April 5, and I continued to average about 100 followers every five days. I doubled my goal.
Of course, all those followers can't possibly be attributed to my contest (you have to take into consideration that I picked up a lot of random followers which is the nature of twitter, as well as people who saw me participating in twitter chats – I have no way, without some deeper analysis to determine why people followed me and I don't care to take the time because I'm just not that motivated), but I met the goal I set for myself. Now it's time to reevaluate the goal.
If I had spent more time marketing my contest, I probably could have gotten A LOT more followers. So, in a couple months, when I run my Summer edition of the contest, I'm going to plan to do more marketing. I'm going to set a couple higher goals:
Five times the participants in the contest – 20
More followers throughout the contest – 1000
Until then, I'm going to do a little research on Marketing. In between writing, editing, my day job, shuffling kids to soccer practices and games, making dinners…you get the idea!
Here are the April 2017 #StoryWords - Good Luck!
This contest has ended. Check out the Winner's Story!
How to Play
#StoryWords is a Twitter challenge for writers looking for a creative writing exercise. On March 31st, watch for the initial post for #StoryWords which will list the 30 word prompts to be used in crafting your story (or come back here for an update to this post). You will have all 30 words for Day 1 (April 1st), but you should only post one line per day per story. Feel free to write as many stories as you'd like, but on Day 1, use the Day 1 word prompt.
For the ease of finding and reading your story, announce that you are participating with an opening tweet that says something like "Count me in for #StoryWords in April" and include the genre tag and a title for the story you're crafting. From this initial tweet, add comments for each day of the month, one comment per day, using the word of the day.
I will be picking my favorites stories to post on my web page and will link back to your announcement post. If you want to be considered for being a "favorite pick," tag me in the announcement post as well. I will not pick someone as a winner if they have not tagged me because I will assume they want to participate on the down-low instead.
Here's an example of an announcement post:
I'm in for #StoryWords in April with "Earth's Great Beginning." #SciFi @Richelle_Renae
Be sure to read and retweet other participants' stories! For best results, retweet the participants' announcement tweet so everyone can read their story from the beginning.
Throughout the month, search for #StoryWords posts and like or retweet your favorites. At the end of the month, search for #StoryWords again to find everyone's full stories.
Want to see how I did this in the month of March?
I created a story using the Descriptive Writing Challenge words created by @noelle_nichols in March, 2017. Noelle's challenge was to get us writers to work on writing better descriptions, but my first couple posts felt like the start of a story and I ran with it.
My big mistake was not posting comments on my initial Day 1 tweet to keep the story all in one string. (That's how I recommend you do it if you join in the fun for this writing challenge.) At any rate, you can click the link below, scroll to the bottom, and then work your way up to read my story.
Here is my #WIPwords story.
How will I pick the "winners?"
I'm going to pick winners by how well the story is developed, starting with a great Day 1 hook. Your story needs to have a clear beginning, middle, and end just like a normal story arc has. It should have some sort of conflict/resolution going on.
If we break the 30 days into the typical story arc, the first quarter (7 or 8 days) will be for building a hook, introducing characters and scene and starting the MC on some journey. The next 14-16 days will be building up some momentum and conflict. And the last quarter or so should be the dramatic arc and resolution.
Please note, I will not pick Erotica as a winner because my genre is YA and I would like to keep this contest as family-friendly as possible. Doesn't mean you can't participate with that genre and share with all your friends, but just be aware of Twitter's policies about content. Beyond that, I don't care which genre you choose - I like to read everything.
When will winners be announced?
I will do my very best to announce winners within a day or two of the end of the month, however, this all depends on the number of participants.
What do the winners get?
Winners get bragging rights! What could be better than that (besides a gift card or a free book or cold hard cash - yeah yeah, I get it)? Oh, and winners will also get a link from my page. Heck, I'll even throw in a link to your website or book promo page if you tweet the link to me.
Ready to play? See you on March 31st!