Welcome to CL's next exciting Short Story Project!
This thread is a follow up to:
- CL Short Story Project 4: Discussion Thread
- The Colorless Short Story Anthology: Vol.3: Download and Feedback Thread
- CL Short Story Project 3: Science Fiction FFA!
- The Colorless Short Story Project 3 Discussion
- The Colorless Short Story Anthology: Vol.2: Download and Feedback Thread
- The Colorless Short Story Anthology: Vol.1: Download and Feedback Thread
- CL Short Story Project 2: Sword & Sorcery Edition and
- CL Short Story Project 1: Horror / Thriller Edition!
For the full project details, please refer to those threads.
Format, Genre & Restrictions
You will be writing an original Crime Fiction story.
This has been suggested by various users and was widely accepted by the others involved in the discussion. You are free to mix in other genres or themes, as long as the story can be recognized as falling into the above.
Crime fiction is the literary genre that fictionalises crimes, their detection, criminals and their motives. It is usually distinguished from mainstream fiction and other genres such as science fiction or historical fiction, but boundaries can be, and indeed are, blurred. It has several sub-genres, including detective fiction (such as the whodunit), legal thriller, courtroom drama and hard-boiled fiction.
More on Wikipedia
The topic may seem intimidating at first, but please think about it for a moment. There are A LOT of different ways to write about crime, whether from a criminal's point of view, that of a detective, policeman, judge, attorney, or even a bystander or witness.
Crime also exists in pretty much every setting; modern society, fantasy worlds, space colonies, they're all going to have to deal with crime eventually. This makes this topic the most flexible yet - you can write realism, fantasy, science fiction, horror, the list goes on.
The scope of your story can vary from investigations to gang wars or organized crime, or even just petty thievery or heists. Mystery is very much appreciated!
Think carefully about your approach this time, and pick an angle you are most comfortable with or interested in!
Test which narrative styles work for you, which point of view you want to take, and consider your characters' moral positioning. You are free to write about the good guys, the bad guys, or the ones operating in the grey area. Moral ambiguity will benefit your stories a lot.
Now that the topic is settled and explained, here are the more specific rules.
You shall plan your story to take up around 2500 to 7500 words.
Crime Fiction benefits greatly from being rich of detail, similar to Science Fiction. However, unlike Sci-Fi, where the detail is usually in the worldbuilding on the grander scope, or the technology, with Crime you want to look at the details of criminal activities, and investigations.
Logic is key to writing detective stories, or presenting legal procedures. Don't be afraid of looking into specific laws or cases that may help you paint a convincing picture!
The following Not Safe for Work Restrictions apply:
There may be no purely sexual scenes in your story. While your story may have sexual aspects, taking it too far will have you disqualified. Tasteless smut will not be tolerated! You can get away with implying a scene like this, if it furthers the plot and does not become excessive. Remember that we have younger users on here!
Regarding Fan- and Tie-in Fiction
Do not write fan or tie-in fiction. Work on your own, original story instead.
Do not restrict yourself to already existing franchises or characters, and best keep in mind that the reader will not have existing knowledge on any one franchise you might try to touch on anyway.
This means no Anime, no Space Marines, no Holmes, no Ice and Fire, no Trolls, and also no CL users.
I know fully well how tempting it may appear to write about your favorite world's greatest detective or inquisitor. However, resist that urge.
The project starts today, May 2nd.
You will have until Monday, the 9th of June to submit your story.
This timeframe is supposed to allow you fully sketch out your story. As stated earlier, Crime Fiction lives on details and logic, and finding suitable approaches for yourselves may be rough initially. I hope that an extended timeframe will help you come to terms with it, without forcing you to rush the execution!
As an added point:
Please submit a short concept / synopsis or general idea by Sunday the 11th of May!
Even if you do not have a great, fully fleshed-out idea yet, please do communicate your ideas anyway. You may either post on this thread, or PM me about it, in case you consider your idea solid enough and do not want to spoil others who will follow the thread.
Please use this opportunity to gather feedback and discuss your concepts! Formulating your ideas and putting them out there does a lot to progress it, so don't be intimidated or insecure about your initial thoughts!
Please be aware that you may hand your submissions in earlier, though, since that'll help me getting things done quicker after the deadline drops. As last time, the stories will be edited into ebook formats, and the more time you give me to get your story finalized for the format, the better.
Also make sure you have enough time to proofread and edit your story!
Submitting Your Story
Do NOT post your full story, or huge chunks of it, on this thread or anywhere else on the forum!
Submissions solely via the forum or PM will NOT be accepted!
Instead, either PM me a properly formatted .rtf (Wordpad) document or similar. Alternatively you may send the document file via Skype (@ DarkChaplain). Copy/Pasted text and external websites are a no-go! Google Docs is fine, as long as I can grab said file from there.
The document itself may not use colored text. Keep it simple, keep it clean. Make sure your formatting makes it easy to read your story.
If you require your story to feature a second font type, which may be used to show machine-speak or other curiosities (which is not uncommon in Science Fiction), please let me know ahead of time.
An additional request: If you use italics, please mark them as you would on the forum by placing two *asterisks* around the word or phrase! This will help me when formatting your stories for the ebooks!
Now, Good Writing!