Grow Your Craft by Cutting Lean

I am working on wrapping up a short story for submission to an anthology. Like I have said in previous posts, the hardest part has been staying under the five thousand word limit. After I finished the first draft, I was 552 words over. It took picking at it for three days, but I finally got it trimmed down. Now I’m chilling at about 4,982. That’s sixteen words waiting to happen and you better believe I’m going to use them.

One thing I like about short stories is the amount of time it takes for someone to read it. I can give it to someone and they can usually have it back to me in an hour or less. I say that, but I currently have two people reading it who asked if they could keep it over night.

The response has been good, but I have to keep telling people that I’m not asking them to proof read it; I only need written feedback of what they like, didn’t like, didn’t understand, what wasn’t clear, when they got bored, and anything else that caught their eye. I have gotten some good feedback and, of course, some people can’t help but red pen some of my typos, which I am actually glad to correct.

I’ve enjoyed this process so much that I believe I’m going to try working with beta readers in three chapter chucks on my next novel. Write three chapters which should be about five thousands words, get feedback, make corrections, write three more chapters, and repeat. I’ll pay them with thank you’s in the book, a candy bar, and who knows what else.

Anyway, that is where I am now. Looking forward to the two people returning the story tomorrow, making corrects, and then having two or three more people read over it before I send it off to a line editor. I have a friend who is pro; she’s cutting me a deal.

Go write and woot hop.

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