On Story Submission

At 11:25 a.m. Eastern Standard Time, the short story left the nest.

It had grown this morning to 2,296 words.

Okay, okay, enough of this faux-baby announcement stuff.

I rewrote some of the story on the train this morning.

Several new paragraphs were added in the middle. A one-sentence paragraph was expanded into something more substantial.

The ending was significantly reworked. I wasn’t unhappy with the final sentence, but it was limp. I tried to build something better leading to that sentence, and found that what I put before it worked better as the story’s final thought than the final sentence did. So that sentence is gone.

The story was written approximately 60% longhand. To make sure the rest of the story had the same deliberate feel I get from longhand writing, I read it aloud as I typed, to slow down the words and to match the cadences.

The final step was to settle on a title.

The contest had a hard limit of 2,500 words. I cut it closer than I wanted to, and I also cut the deadline closer than I wanted.

I feel good about this story. It’s not perfect — what is? — but it feels substantial.

It’s done and it’s gone and I feel good.

Now, onto NaNo. I’ve got lost ground from this story to make up.

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