21 October 2006

failing target practice

i've been wracking my brain, because i wanted to submit one of my short stories to a contest and it's not working. there is a deadline fast approaching and i'm struggling to come up with an entry.

it's not a matter of not having stories to submit. there are a couple i would consider entering, because i think that they're indicative of my better work. the problem is that i can't find anything that fits within the specified guidelines for length.

normally, there is (for obvious reasons) an upper limit set on word count- in my experience, about 5000 words, although there is some variance. a few have lower limits as well, but i've never seen anything quite like this one. the story has to be between 2000 and 2500 words. you have a wiggle room roughly equivalent to a typed, single-spaced page, or else your submission is disqualified.

it's hard enough coming up with writing that is worthwhile, that communicates what i want it to, that has good characters and atmosphere and flows naturally, without having to worry about hitting this ridiculously narrow target. the fact is that i have nothing that fits within the limit and i don't feel like trimming 400 words out of a story i'm happy with just to make it fit into this mold.

i can start from scratch, but if i'm always cognizant of the fact that i'm running out of letters with every pronoun i type, i have the feeling that the result is not necessarily going to be what i want it to be. and if i don't like it, i don't very well see how anyone else is going to.

my project for this weekend is to figure a way out of this conundrum. apparently, not only my body, but also my writing, needs to drop some extra weight.

2 comments:

Maximum Overlord said...

I've been having writer's block as well, so bad I cant even make myself write in my blog...

flora_mundi said...

so i noticed... however if you happen to have an old story that is between 200 and 2500 words lying around, i can recommend a contest where you could submit it...

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