Monday, June 1, 2009

Short, Fast, Horrific Stories

Last time I wrote a short story was year six at school, which was cough-mumble-choke years ago. Then I read on an author blog that writing short stories is a great way to hone skills, and also gives the chance to enter one of the many competitions about the place. So, on Saturday night I was watching TV, and I got hit by a bolt of inspiration. I grabbed the new lap top and before I went to bed I'd managed to bang out something resembling a 1000 word story, set in a lift and called ... (drumroll) ... The Lift. It's horror (the genre, not the quality - though that's probably up for debate), which is a big leap from my normal comfortable stomping ground of YA fantasy.

Having scratched out the first draft, I put it on OWW before I went to bed. I mainly wanted to know if the ending was obvious, and the good thing about being in a different timezone to most of the OWW contributors is I can go to bed and wake up with crits in the in-tray. Sure enough, there were two, and they were both helpful and encouraging. One of them mentioned something called "Flash", and from the context it sounded like a competition. On further investigation I discovered the Australian Horror Writers Association and their annual short story competition. Closing date for submissions - midnight last night.

So, last night was feverish editing and rewriting, resulting in an 11.30 pm submission. I don't have any hopes at all - I know I was submitting a half-cocked entry, but the only thing I had to lose was the admission fee, the princely sum of $5. What I gain is experience, which, in this whole writing business, is the name of the game.

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