- The Sticky Message – JENNY YOUNG
- The Sparrow – WENDY GREEFF
- Grave Situations – GARY KUYPER
Overall, I felt that the standard of entries was above average. Crime writing is certainly a completely different animal altogether. When writing a crime story, the first thing you need to do is plan our plot and this can be an intricate process. I found that many of the writers put quite a bit of planning and thought into their stories but they struggled to bring it together with a fitting ending. Your character development throughout the story is vital because it will build on your final bombshell.
The writers for this competition were all amazing at developing their lead characters but some, I felt, lacked creating the depth needed for their supporting characters. Some of the best advice I can offer for writers tackling crime stories is, don’t be boring, especially with a short crime story. You need to make sure that you are able to grab your reader by the throat and not let go. You want to make sure that every single word you are writing keeps the reader enthralled, entertained and guessing what’s going to happen next.
I also find that the most interesting crime stories are the ones which build from an idea and hit you right at the end. You need to be sure not to rush your ending, make it worthwhile, and this is where proper planning comes in. I was once given a great piece of advice for writing fictional crime stories: start at the end and work your way to the beginning. Once you have your ending you figure out how your characters got there and eventually, where it all began.
The winners of this month’s competition were exceptional. The stories were well thought out, planned and executed. The characters were developed throughout and endings were that bombshell I was looking for. Congratulations to all the entrants of the competition and a special ‘well done’ to the winners.
Bedfordview and Edenvale News
Joburg East Express
The Sticky Message
Congratulations on being awarded as the winner for March. You have an amazing creative flair and a unique ability to keep your reader entertained throughout. Your writing was detailed yet selective and that made for interesting reading. I did feel that the process of walking Jessica to the cellar could have used a little more detail or was lacking just a little something, but the overall experience you took me through as your reader trumped any fault I could have with the story. I was blown away. Your first place selection is well deserved. Thank you for delivering an incredible story from start to finish.