Listening to the Critical Side of the Brain

I started this year off with a good run at my goal of 12,000 words a month, plus submissions to publishing markets. At this point, I have one story completed at 7,500 words. That story has been submitted to an anthology along with two other stories (one to a different publication).

The story is a Lou’s Bar and Grill story. I have been reading Weird Wild West and needed to write a Lou’s story. Putting Lou in the Weird West fit like a hand in a glove. But the story wasn’t all smooth sailing, and that was my fault.

I started out listening to my creative side and just letting the story tell itself. I wrote into low light (which I have found I like). I knew how the story was going to work out but not the details.I had almost 6,000 words in two days. The story looked done until I made my editing pass. At that point, I realized my mistake. When nearing the 6,000 word mark, I started listening to my critical side. I knew  the story had to end at 6,000 words. That’s the definition of a short story that I have seen in several places. But as I approached it, I started cutting things out mentally. I skipped scenes and told what had happened in them in the next one.

There was only one solution: add the scenes and go over the word limit. I decided to look around first. Listed on the Submission Grinder, I found markets that allowed for more than 6,000 words in a short story. I sat down and let the story unwind itself. At 7,500 words, it was done.


About frankluke

Professionally: pastor, programmer, writer. Personally: husband, father.
This entry was posted in Behind the Story, Fiction, Writing and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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