I’m working on a contest submission for a short story. I’m a novelist, so short is not something I do well, and this one is short. I mean really short, as in 2,000 words or less. It can take me that many words to just get rolling, so this will be a real challenge to keep within the guidelines, and still keep the essence of what I want to convey.
My story is the favorite of the bedtime stories my grandmother told me when I was growing up. It’s a story of how a Christmas tree with real lit candles got knocked over in the schoolhouse where she was teaching.
I just finished the first draft, and I’m sitting at 2,065 words. Now for most writers, this might not be much of a problem, as their edits involve cutting words out. Unfortunately, when I edit, I tend to sometimes double my word count as I add in details. Emotions, sensory details, what does it feel like, look like, sound like, smell like… So, I guess that means I have my work cut out for me, as this is going to not be one of my “typical edits.”
For now, it’s blizzarding outside, and it’s late. I’m going to pat myself on the back for finishing the story, and go get some sleep with a sense of accomplishment before I tear into the editing. Distance is always good as well.
The contest deadline is in February, so I’ll keep you posted as I pare this story into submission shape.