Anyone who knows me knows I never shut up. My mind minions race at relativistic speeds with every Doppler shifted thought demanding to be shared. My imagination rebels at small worlds and simple story arcs. My compulsion is to be a long-form storyteller. So imagine my apprehension when I needed to write a short story of only 30 pages.
I mind mapped and outlined the story. The outline was 2,000 words. The story had to be no more than about 7,000 words. I knew that by the time I wrote the story following the outline, it would be well over 30 pages. Thus began the cutting and simplifying. Characters, locations, events, and verbiage had to go. However, even as I cut, new ideas materialized. For example, an unplanned ghost popped up, which led to more cutting to make room for it to fit.
I persevered. The story came out as 30 pages. I am pleased with the story. More importantly, I had fun writing the story, even if I occasionally whined, “Why does writing have to be so hard?” In fact, I had so much fun, I feel the urge to write more short stories.
I will see how successful the story is as a sample of my writing for a workshop application. After that, I plan to submit the story to various publications so I can collect rejection slips. For now, though, I need to return to my big project. That story still has a long way to go because it is a long-form story.