Thursday, September 12, 2013

Short Story Progress

First of all:  I wrote 4k words today!  I think that's pretty cool, considering I'm composing a first draft (as opposed to revising).  My general goal for composition writing is 2k words/day, so doubling that feels pretty good.

This story's process has been interesting.  It's a short story that I'm planning on submitting to the Writer's of the Future contest for Q4, and my original word count goal for the story was 10k.  Well, I hit that today, but I'm still only about 2/3 done with the story; I think it'll be closer to 15k when all is said and done.  That's kinda pushing it for this contest.  Technically they accept stories up to 17k words in length; I don't think I'll go beyond that, but the longer a story is, the higher expectations are for that story.  There is more room to develop characters, expound settings, and complicate plot.  That's not to say that a novelette-length piece will inevitably trump a short story, but I do think expectations play a role, there.  So the more I write, the more I need to be absolutely sure that what I'm writing is top-notch stuff.

I'm not sure I've hit that point with this story yet.  I mean, I rarely feel like I have top-notch stuff in a first draft, but often I'll get a writerly gut feeling that what I'm writing has the potential for that kind of thing.  So, while there are some good ideas bouncing around in this particular story, I haven't fallen in love, yet.  Sometimes that happens in the beginning of the first draft for me, sometimes it happens when I'm reworking the ending on the third revision.  And, sure, sometimes it doesn't happen at all.  Either way, I'm definitely hoping I can get to that point with this story; I'm not sure I'll have a winning piece without that feeling.

I've also been outlining this story, which is different than what I've normally done, especially for short stories.  I'll have to tell you more about that process in a later post.  But, for now, I'm happy with what I've done today.

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