by Lillian Csernica on August 25, 2013
I had a wonderful thing happen today. In less than an hour, I wrote a complete short story. I knew it couldn’t be more than a thousand words long, so that gave me a target. As for research, I spent about fifteen minutes talking to my husband, who has a lot more personal experience with the subject under discussion than I ever will. I jotted down three brief notes, just a few key words, then I sat down at my keyboard and started to write.
I knew where I wanted to go with the story. I knew what the key element had to be. I wanted it to be funny, and it had to be fast, because I had only those four pages.
Now a complete manuscript sits beside me. I’ve already taken the red pen in hand and scribbled a few new ideas on the first page. I’m letting the story cool until tomorrow, when I’ll have enough distance to go in and do the tinkering I need to tighten up the plot and flesh out the characters.
By the way, all this happened because I was trawling through my market information, looking for somewhere to send a story whose rejection slip turned up in this morning’s email.
Did I mention the submission deadline for this new story I just wrote is August 31, just six days from now?
The great chemist Louis Pasteur said, “Fortune favors the prepared mind.” I read a lot. I write not-as-much-as-I-ought-to-but-still-more-or-less-daily. I keep up with market information for the genres in which I write. Today, thanks to my preparation and that all important factor, dumb luck, the Idea Factory inside my head clanked into motion and out rolled a story.
Yes, there are the bad days when we stare at the blank page until drops of blood form on our foreheads. Then there are the other days, days like this, when all the blood, sweat, and tears are processed through creative alchemy into pure writing. If I can do it, you can do it. We all can do it.
So get out there and DO IT!