Challenges Behind and Ahead

This week has been challenging, in a good way, but it’s also worn me out a little. I’ll gladly ease off today’s writing schedule.

I was writing a new short story for the Bouchercon 2021 anthology and running out of time. Writing to a theme isn’t easy. My characters weren’t helping. They kept pushing me in a direction that didn’t fit. The word count crept up. I wouldn’t make the deadline with a worthy story.

Thursday morning, I realized I had a completed, unpublished story that perfectly matched the theme. What a blessing in disguise.

One problem: It was about 950 words longer than the anthology will accept. I worked at it all day and into the evening, interrupted only by a course (I ate lunch during it) and a webinar (I ate dinner with that).

By 7:30 Friday morning, I had slashed every unnecessary word, combined sentences, and rewritten portions. Hurrah! It’s less than 4,000 words. Hard work. However, the story is much better and that’s what counts.

Tomorrow begins NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) in which we’re challenged to write 5,000 words in 30 days. Along with dozens of other writing colleagues, I’m up for the challenge! See you in a week.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering. That other short story fits a different theme and will see light of day. I just have to see where my characters are taking me. I have a pretty good idea, and I’m excited by it. Stay tuned.

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