Okay, you've all been waiting for it so it's time, without further ado, to announce the theme to the first A Twist Of Noir contest, which technically begins in March.
I say technically because the first order of business here is that you can start work on your submission whenever you wish (as if I could stop you) and send it in anytime you wish between now and March 31, when the contest door slams shut.
Let's get another couple things out of the way before I tell you what the theme is, if you can bear with me.
The word count will be going up to 5,000 words for the contest and for the contest only. That still means that you have to limit yourself to 3,000 words for any other submission.
Second, for this contest, I'm going to limit the submissions to one per writer. In the future, that may change. So work hard, ladies and gentlemen. You only get one shot at this this go-round.
Third, when you send, be sure to put your name somewhere in the body of the submission and CONTEST SUBMISSION in the subject line of the e-mail.
Fourth, series characters are welcome in the contest.
Fifth, this must be an original story. Sorry, no reprints in the contest.
Finally, the theme.
I've been thinking about a number of themes and I had some suggestions made but, in the end, I decided to keep it as simple as possible while possibly being difficult.
Bastard, aren't I?
The theme for March's contest is alienation.
What? Alienation? Yes, alienation.
Turn your character's life upside down and make it seem like there's no one else that can understand what they're going through.
Walk that man, woman or child through what seems like an ordinary day and completely flip the script.
Take that woman that's been in the joint for ten years and show us that her girlfriend has moved on with her worst enemy. In fact, the girlfriend's with the guy or woman that put her away for those ten years.
I want to feel the character's confusion and I want you to show me how they intend to get it back the way it was, even though there's a better chance of keeping an ice cube from melting in hell.
Anything else you throw into the situation is yours to play with.
But alienation must be evident.
Above all, have fun with this contest. Push the boundaries of your talent and see what you come back with. You might surprise yourself.
And good luck to all those that enter.