I’ve been working on a short story for about a month, but I will admit, I’ve mainly just being playing with the idea. I’ve managed to write half of it, but again I’ve mainly been goofing off.
The word limit is only 5K. My first book that is off at my editor is 11oK so I didn’t think 5K would be hard. Since it’s so short I built my outline with word count in mind. My introduction before my inciting incident should only be 500 words.
I started writing and I quickly surpassed 800 words. This is when I realized writing a short story was going to be tougher than I thought. The term I’m sure you’ve heard is writing lean, but doing that is easier said than done.
So I sat down to cut, but after I removed a word I found that I was adding three or four words. So that wasn’t really working.
What I decided to do was just to write the introduction the way that I wanted, and then I would go through and edit. This is the phase that I am still in, but I have found many phrases that could be replaced with a single word.
This is why I believe writing short stories with specific word count limits are good for beginning writers. Aside from cleaning up lofty or ambiguous sentences, which I apparently love, it also helps the writer in the long run in editing costs.
I do believe a few posts ago, I mentioned that I would have saved myself over a thousand dollars if I would have been able to keep my word count closer to 80K. Professional editing is expensive and I’m almost certain that one of the comments I will get from my developmental editor is that I should learn to write lean.
And I think that is the real trick, it’s called writing lean not editing lean. We are always learning. If you want to try this out then write a story in only 5000 words. Let me know if you try this. I’ll look into tricks on this and then revise this post.
Best of luck. Later.