Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Finished Something

Granted, it's only a first draft of a very short story (about 1200 words), and it's not even science fiction or fantasy. But it's something. And I wrote it in just one day.

The impetus is a fiction contest for an upcoming writing conference. I took another class, "Introduction to Mystery Writing", with Leslie Adkins, on Saturday and she mentioned the conference and the fact that it's a small enough conference that the number of entries into the contest that goes with it is even smaller than usual, increasing the chances of winning. To top it off, she sounded pretty disappointed in the quality of entries in some recent contests. With my usual attitude of "I can probably do better than that", I figured it was worth seeing what I can come up with.

I pulled out an old story idea and went to town, getting the first few paragraphs down in the morning and then stewing about it off and on during the work day. By the time evening rolled around, I had some good ideas and spent a couple of hours finishing it off. I thought for sure I had written more than the 1500 words called for. But when I ran it through word count, it looks like the story has a little room to grow, if it needs to.

The next step is to write an alternate story, completely different. Then come back and do a second draft of this one, followed by a second draft of the second one. I have about a month to select one, finish it off and send it in. If I do it, it will be the first story I've submitted for more than casual reading since my really bad fourth-dimension story I did for a class in high school.

In any event, it feels good to actually finish something, no matter how small.

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