NYC Round 2 Feedback

For those who haven’t been following, NYC Midnight is a New York based writing comp, in which writers from all over the world compete to receive the highest scores for their stories through numerous knock-out rounds. For those left standing, there is a final round, after which a winner is crowned. (There are prizes too, but it’s all about the glory.)

For Round 2, my group was randomly assigned the following genre, location, and object:

Spy – First-Class Cabin – Guitar Case

Spy fiction is not my usual genre. Feeling slightly alarmed by the genre (and recognising the importance of getting it right), I immediately googled to see what was expected of me.

Google (and the NYC genre definitions) told me that spy fiction involves espionage (duh), secret agents, or secret service organisations. Themes often include organised crime, sabotage, and terrorism. The Bourne Identity was cited as an example. The set-up of the story is very important, and there are often twists and exciting action scenes.

I dismissed a lot of ideas as too hard to fit within the required 1000 word limit. The setting of a first-class cabin meant that I had a locked room scenario and, if my characters were on a train, that lent itself to a natural time-crunch or deadline for my characters.

The synopsis for my story, Good Monkey, follows:

An NSA agent is tipped off that an employee at Pine Gap, Australia’s largest secure facility, is on board the Ghan luxury train to Darwin, with a laptop containing highly sensitive information that they intend to release. Can the agent identify which passenger is the breach, before it’s too late?

I’m happy to report that my story came 3rd in my group, scoring thirteen of a possible fifteen points!

When these points are added to those from Round 1, it means that I am tied in 2nd place over-all for my group (total score 25 of a possible 30 points), and will be advancing to Round 3, the penultimate round!

Wish me luck!

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