How to Win the Survivor Contestbydirtyjoe69©
Now I know it is too late for those of you who haven't started and the contest is coming to a close very soon but for those of you who are interested here are a few pointers on how to win the Survivor Contest next year.
First you must be in it to win it. The prizes are pretty good for the work you have to do to finish among the top five. If you are not sure if you have enough stories in you to actually get to the top (I know it seems like a daunting task to write 200-400 stories but if you did one a day that gives you over 360) just write a couple for your own enjoyment and you might find yourself (like I do sometimes) in a groove and before you know it you have ten then twenty done.
Second, don't be like me and wait until the middle of the contest to start writing! I started in the middle of June and that is going to cost me first place. I have been playing catch up ever since. Also since I am in the navy I just don't have the same amount of time to write as the other contestants. Between sails and courses I actually worked it out that I only really wrote for two months. So if you pace yourself throughout the entire year you will find you have more stories than you know. Unlike me this will leave you in a comfortable spot when the final days are approaching. I have to belt off about 20 to 30 stories a day in the final few that are left and I don't care how good of a writer you are you just get tired and your mind starts to wonder trying to write that many in such a short time.
Third, please if you are in it to win it just don't write a bunch of crap. I have done a few crap stories to push the numbers but I am proud that most of the stories I have written have posted a grade of over 4 out of 5. And some of the lower rated stories of mine have been rated low more out of disagreement (I like to do rants and this pisses some people off and instead of voting on my writing they vote on whether they agree with my opinions or not) as opposed to whether the story was good or not. Personally if someone that writes a story that brings out emotion enough to piss you off they wrote a good story!
Fourth, be creative and don't write the same story over and over and over again. I try to take different angles and perspectives for my stories. Change it up, first, second or even third person perspectives can really change your writing. Don't get locked in. Even though you are trying to get the most stories out as possible you still want people interested in reading what you have written. Let me tell you it is a rush when someone emails you to tell you the story you have written was beautiful, or the hottest thing they have ever read!
Fifth, don't be afraid to let people comment on your stories. Yes you will receive bad comments but this can only help you in your writing and it will also drive you to do better. I love all comments good or bad and when reading the comments I take them for what they are...opinions.
Sixth, be sure to have your email accessible so people who won't comment on the board can send their opinions privately. This also allows you to get story ideas. Many of my stories (at least 30%) have been requests from readers who like the way I write. They email me with ideas and that makes it a little easier to get the numbers because they are basically giving you a story line you just have to provide the filler for the story.
Seventh, keep to it. Don't get frustrated because people aren't responding like you think they will. I write for myself first then my wife second. When I feel good about a story or my wife thinks it is good then I know I have done my job. You are not going to please everyone all the time (just look at some of the comments on my stories some of them range from hate it to love it) just try to please some of the people some of the time. You will be less discouraged that way.
Eighth, start with topics that interest you. Doing this it will keep you interested and get the writing juices flowing. Soon you will find yourself writing in the other topics that you have less desire in.
Ninth, try to fill at least one story in every topic. The bonus points are crucial to winning this contest.
Tenth, if you have a real long story break it in to chapters and send in each chapter on different days. It may only be one story but it might be long enough to count for two or three.
I hope I helped any of you writers out there that are thinking of playing next year. I just wish I would have taken my own advice this year. I might have actually had a shot at winning the thing. Because I will be on course for most of next year and have a demanding sailing schedule I don't think I will be writing very much but for those of you who have enjoyed, hated, agreed, disagreed or even threatened me for my stories, your comments were appreciated and welcomed. I am glad I could stir up enough passion for you to comment!
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Editor's Notes: Survivor 2007 is already in planning stages. Click Here to find out more.