The deadline was January 10, but I went ahead and sent my submission to the Writer’s Digest writing prompt. The one for February 2009 where you have 750 words to write about something terrible happening to three youths in a local swimming hole.
Did I make revisions? Did President Bush attend Yale University? I must’ve reworked this story at least 20 times, tweaking here and there, rewriting a character, trimming words. Overall, I thought my effort was pretty good and made for a pretty good piece of suspense, but there’s only so much you can say in 750 words.
Once the deadline is passed, I will publish exerpts of what I wrote. Do I expect to win? I don’t know.
Interestingly, while writing for this Writer’s Digest contest, I came across a great nugget of advice from an archived article in The Writer magazine. Two things: first, don’t fall so much in love with your writing that you ignore good, constructive criticism. Second, don’t be so blind towards criticism that you take to heart advice that turns out to be useless.
As far as useful advice, someone asked me if it was indeed possible for a panicked teenager to hold their breath underwater for two minutes. After some thought, I changed it to one. Useless advice: someone told me the idea of tree kids in a swimming hole and being joined by an older man who uses the small pond as a makeshift bathtub had sexual overtones. To me, that was reading way too far into the story and makes me wonder if the person has some odd fixation.
From here, I move on to other writing projects.