(This is for the Slice of Life challenge, hosted by Two Writing Teachers. We write on Tuesdays about the small moments in the larger perspective … or is that the larger perspective in the smaller moments? You write, too.)
Back in December, I was struck so hard and so suddenly by an idea for a short story that I remember I literally leaped out of bed, sat down at the keyboard and started writing it for an hour. The narrative just untangled its way out of me. I could see the whole story clearly — the premise, the characters, the flow of it.
It was right around the same time that I saw a notice in our local newspaper that it was relaunching a popular Short Story Contest again after pulling the plug on it a number of years ago. I once got an honorable mention in that short story contest, which gave me about three seconds of fame among my friends in this literary city where I live.
The story that sparked me in December, I decided, is one I will submit to the contest, with the deadline looming in the coming days. Since that initial burst, I have been weaving my way back into the text, making revisions and tightening the story, expanding the characters. I’ve shared multiple drafts in a writing community that I am part of (called Yap.Net, which is a free but closed online space for writers and media makers sharing draft work), and have been helped in many ways by insightful readers in there.
Last night, I left the story for my wife to read. She’s a writer and teacher, too. She was asleep when I got home from band practice last night, but I see some of her notes in purple ink on the print-out of the story, including a helpful insight that I had missed about flowers and seasons and number of petals.
It’s interesting to be close to the end of a story, to know that soon, I need to call this revision cycle quits and be satisfied. To be honest, this revision process on this piece has been longer than I normally would have done for any of my writing, which I so often do in quick bursts. I’m proud of this story, even if it’s not a winner, and thankful for those who have helped make it better in the last few months.
Peace (writing it),