Trim and trim and trimming the fat

Wow! Who would have thought entering a Short Story Contest would be so grueling!

This has been a tough go for sure. I have somehow managed to wrench myself away from the MIGHTY Manuscript in favour of a 2,500 word story. Problem is I’m still 2,000 words over.

Any writer who has willingly signed up for a Short story contest will attest that abruptly re-jigging your brain to allow for a shorter tighter narrative is not an easy feat. To go from Chapter upon chapter to a small pile of pages takes effort.

And effort I have given.

It has definitely been challenging yet surprisingly rewarding. After years of plugging away at the same narrative, the same voice I have grown so accustomed to, the familiar character friends, I’ve gone and invented a whole new world.

New characters tossed into the fray of adventure has truly awakened in me a side of the writing experience I haven’t seriously tackled since my high school newspaper.

For one thing, I have become OBSESSED with Word Count. Watching the numbers incrementally diminish is like staring at an hour glass as each kernel of sand drops second after second. I may go and slash a large paragraph and only end up shaving off perhaps 100 words. Ugh! It’s maddening!

But it is also a serious lesson in discipline for the aspiring novelist. Trimming the Fat is the key to everything.

I have been amazed how draft after draft changes. What may start as a crucial scene can become a mere word or two or even be chopped altogether. It can really shock you as a writer when inspiration diverts from thought to scene to episode, taking on a life of its own. It really is something to see the evolution unfold.

And so I continue to plug away as the deadline nears. I have Hope, sincere, not High, that my work may, at least, be seen by someone else’s eyes. At best, I would fulfill an unimaginable Dream in becoming the choice one selected. Only time will tell.

Stay tuned…

peekiequeen c. Thursday, February 13, 2014

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