Taking on 2013 and hoping to revitalize my life

Posts tagged ‘Contest’

Short Story SUCCESS!

successAfter 3 failed attempts at 3 different stories I have succeeded in writing my short story.

What happened was I asked myself to try to dream about an ending for one of the stories that I had already started. My dreams had other ideas though and I woke up with a brand new idea. I really don’t know where it came from but the whole story was pretty much laid out for me in my dream. When I went to write it down over 1300 words spurted out of my brain and onto paper, the perfect amount for the short story contest!

Now I don’t know if it’s any good, but I like it. I’ve shown it to a few people and they all gushed. But I wouldn’t call any of them critics either. They are more like my support system so they’d say it was good even if it wasn’t, lol. The prize is $6000 and I would fall over from shock if I won. I’d even fall over from shock if I won one of the 4 runner-up prizes. But I feel like I have won a prize already. I am super proud of myself for writing a story!!!

It gives me real confidence that I could write a book. I’m not saying it wouldn’t be a lot of work. It would be a tonne of work. But I could and can do it.

I’m not going to share the short story here yet but I will include an excerpt from 1 of the unfinished 3 for your perusal. Just be warned, there is no ending, it is just a fragment. Maybe I’ll finish writing it later but I doubt it will hit the word limit I was looking for so maybe I won’t. I’d love your feedback. Even if you tell me it sucks.

The beginning of the end had already started. She had a way of seeing where a relationship was going and this one was already displaying the tell-tale signs of imminent disintegration.

Things had started out so promising with Greg. He was different from the rest of the men she had dated. He was a true gentleman, he asked permission to kiss her, and he took things slow and steady as if they had all of the time in the world. He was slightly shy and a little awkward around her. In fact, there were times when he had a hard time maintaining eye contact. At first she had found his cautious manner endearing. But before long it just became frustrating.

She needed someone who challenged her. Someone who pushed her out of her comfort zone. She didn’t want another man who needed to be led around on a leash. Who couldn’t make a plan or take action. She needed someone with backbone.  But she also didn’t want someone domineering and possessive. She wanted a partner. A partner in love, adventure and lust.

A partner was so difficult to find. Many of the men she had dated described themselves as easy-going. Well, there’s easy-going and there’s lazy. Many of them don’t seem to know the difference. Easy-going can be a positive trait but it can also be a negative when you wrap it up in a lack of ambition and an excuse to do nothing.

Greg had seemed like a breath of fresh air after the putrid stench of her previous lovers. She had no luck with men, or maybe she had poor decision making skills when it came to men. She always chose the outgoing, charming ones. The ones with little to no substance but lots of charisma and sex appeal.

At first glance, Greg had the potential to be something more than a few months of great sex and exasperating conversations. His air of naivety around women took away all sense of pretence. He wasn’t pretending to be something that he wasn’t. His sole goal was not just to get into any and all women’s pants.

She let herself day-dream of a future with him. Of long strolls together and conspiratorial chats over a few drinks. Of vacations to warm, sultry lands and passionate love-making. Of growing old together and still holding hands like giddy schoolchildren.

But they had been together two months now. Two months of flirting and fun and anticipation. Two months of chatting and getting to know one another. Two months culminating in a sweaty, sexy, no-holds barred copulation and now what? Now he’s pulling back. He’s recoiling from her, retreating.

She’s not sure what happened but the feeling is unmistakeable. Like a ball of yarn unravelling at an accelerating pace as it makes its downhill descent.

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I Thought Writing a Short Story Would be Easy

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.

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