Wednesday, 10 October 2007

Whoosh - there goes a deadline

"I love deadlines.
I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by."

-Douglas Adams

Damn it I missed the deadline for the Fish Criminally Short Short Histories Comp. I'd written and carefully edited two pieces, both under 250 words, that I was really chuffed with - then forgot to submit them! I need a better system (current system being a piece of paper on the wall with lists of comps - but I can't rememebr if I tick them off when I've written them or when I've submitted them.)

So now I'm on the look out for a comp requiring a crime story less than 300 words - any suggestions anyone?

Its Thursday tomorrow which is WEA Creative Writing class day. I really look forward to it every week. We have a truly inspirational tutor who is full if excellent ideas and tips and the class is so varied in terms of age, background and motivations for writing that it's a short story/ radio play/ sitcom in itself (though I might have to leave town if I ever got round to writing it.) Ooops that reminds me I haven't done this week's assignment yet - a restaurant review that avoids cliche and adjectives and uses strong verbs and nouns instead. I'll make notes while watching my tape of Monday's Nigella later (mad as mad but I love her food)

Went to a short story comp prize-giving thing last week. My story wasn't placed but my friend Ann came third so I went along to cheer her on and also to listen to the judge Martin Bedford talking about short story writing and what he looks for when judging competitions. In the break when he came over for a chat I did something a bit rash (blame it on the pear cider I drank before I got there): I asked him for some feedback on my story . Fortunately he remembered it and said it nearly made his shortlist; he loved the dialogue (hurrah! - the whole thing is basically a dialogue between two women) and the situation BUT he felt it was a longer piece that had been squashed down. I was so pleased! Obviously he wasn't going to stand there and say it was complete rubbish and watch me crumple, but the reason he gave made a lot of sense as the night before the submission deadline my story was 5,300 words long and by four o'clock the next afternoon it was the requisite 3,000. I have since restored it to its 5,000 word glory and submitted it elsewhere.

OK Wea assignment time and after that a bit more of my children's story for the Times comp - its going well but I have two concurrent ideas and I'm finding it hard to keep focussed on the main one - I certainly don't have time to write two children's books by mid-November, so one of them will have to wait

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