I came across a short story contest that I want to enter. I don’t expect to win but I thought that it would be a good way for me to practice writing some fiction.
For some reason I thought it would be easy. I figured that I would have no problem pounding out the 1200-1500 required words. I mean, I can easily write 500, how hard can 2 to 3 times that amount really be?
Well, first of all, let me start by saying that I haven’t written pieces of fiction in over 20 years. I’ve written during that time, but not stories. Not things that have a setting, plot, conflict and character development.
At this point, I have now started and discarded 3 different stories. The first one had too many things going on and I didn’t know how to pare it down to one key theme without all of the other add-ons. The second 2 were more concise in terms of plot and theme but were also more concise in terms of number of words. Each one hit about the 600 word mark when I realized that I did not have enough content to stretch them to 1200 words.
I haven’t completely given up on the third one yet. The issue is that it will need to continue on beyond my initial plan and I’m not really sure what the new plan is. It will require some thought before I tackle it again.
The contest comes with a deadline though, Oct 31st. In theory, I should have enough time to dig deep and try to get it figured out. But I also have a new job that I’m starting tomorrow. That will be a bit of a distraction and could cut into my writing time. I’m hoping I can manage both, it would be pretty cool to get my first actual story onto paper.
I think it would also prove to myself that I can write a story, even if it is just a short one.