So, I finished my contest entry. I wrote the entire thing in three different shifts yesterday, and the first draft came out to 5,037 words. That’s so many words. (If you’re lost, check out yesterday’s post about Upcoming Writing Contests.)
I felt incredibly energized working on this project. I couldn’t get the words out fast enough. And it gave me pause. On a good day working on my fantasy project, I can crank out between 1,500 and 2,000 words, and sometimes even that is a struggle. But with this one, the words were simply bursting to get out. So, what’s the difference?
Two things come to mind. The first is the complexity of the story. Obviously, my novel has a more complicated plotline, more characters to juggle, and more things to keep track of. Certain things need to happen at certain times. The extra considerations mean the words I put down need to be just what the overarching story needs for that chapter.
The second thing is, I think, more interesting, and maybe more pertinent. The simple length of the story. A novel is long. It’s a marathon. My current draft is just over 89,000 words, and I don’t know how many more lie between here and the end. I expected it to be a drawn-out project, so a modicum of daily progress is acceptable. But this submission was limited to 6,000 words. A sprint. That’s a much easier goal to hit, and the rapidly approaching finale drove me to push through and get the project done. It was exciting, and thrilling to be able to complete something like this in just a day.
Of course, it isn’t exactly complete. Over the next day or two I’ll do some edits, but all in all, I like the way the story turned out. I’m proud of it. I just hope the judges like it too.