Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Canada Writes Update

I've finished and submitted my Canada Writes contest entry. My short story is just a couple words short of the maximum length, down from an original count of 2,000. Editing is important!

I surprised myself by ultimately using none of my original ideas, outlined here. In the end I didn't think I could do any of them justice this time around; they need more time and care than I allowed myself.

I'm not terribly pleased with the story I did manage to finish. Oh, it has a beginning, middle and end, and there are a couple of nice sentences, but I'm not happy with the climax, or the characterization, or the dialogue. I'm pleased that I did manage to accidentally weave in a theme.

Writing short stories is a discipline like any other, and the truth is I simply haven't written enough stories to be good at it yet. But I'm exceedingly grateful to Neil Mackie for challenging me to do this. I'll never be a fiction writer unless I work for it, and Neil has forced me to complete a story. At 42, I think this'll be the sixth of seventh I've managed to complete. I'm not going to win the contest, but thanks to Neil I feel like I've accomplished something more important: I've paid a small fraction of my dues.

I can't post the story here without disqualifying myself, but I'll do so once the contest is over. Unless, of course, I win, in which case I'd need to ask CBC for permission to do so. I'm not counting on it. 


"X, Y, And Jwff" said...

You can privately e-mail the story to your friends without violating the terms of the contest, as long as we do not publish it. I am burning to read the thing.

Raymond Chandler didn't set down word one until he was 45.

Arguably, he is one of the greatest if not the best of American authors. Ignore the part where he descends into alcoholism, tries to commit suicide, and dies from a protracted illness. It's the living that's important, the writing, and sharing the stories. Unless you're content to be the 6,999,990,000 people we never hear about (according to your theory from a couple of days ago - now that was a heavy thinker of a post!).

"X, Y, And Jwff" (a) said...

I can't believe I just misspelled my own name.

Totty said...

You're on pace with George R. R. Martin at least.

Earl J. Woods said...

I wasn't going to share the story until the contest ends, but since I have a handful of requests now I'll send it to those who are interested. Just send me an email (or post here, I guess) and please promise not to post the story anywhere so that I don't get disqualified. Also, don't expect much - I'm still very new to this kind of writing.