Just in the last two weeks, I’ve received good news on the writing front. Perseverance, rewriting, workshops and critique groups make a major difference in any writer’s output. The time it takes to “tweak” and polish pays off in big ways.
In the SLO NIghtWriters Short Story Contest, two of my under-500-word stories attained finalist status: Figment, a sci-fi story that explores the limits of reality (which also won first place two years ago in a literary journal contest), and Ab Initio, a strange, dark story that had its origins in a writing workshop and underwent only a few tweaks and a tense change in the polishing process.
I was also notified that my mystery story, Beef Killington, written for the San Joaquin Valley Sisters in Crime Contest (2009 theme was Death Dines Out, with the only caveat that the story had to take place in or near the valley) garnered third place, as well as Best Use of Setting. I consciously set out to make the setting a character of the story, and I guess I accomplished that task! Lots of research combined with imagination, since I’ve only been to the valley once – last year, to receive a first place award. All I saw was the restaurant and a lot of flat land as we drove in.
So, now I have four more winning certificates for my wall of success. My advice to you? Persevere. Rewrite. Attend workshops and conferences. Join a good critique group. That’s what pays off in the writing world.No comments