‘Killing Time’ has been submitted and came to 4,999 words.

Writing progress as of 26th January 2019.

Ouch. Just as I got towards the end of my short story (now called ‘Killing Time’ for reasons that will become obvious when I release it) I got a very nasty winter cold. It wasn’t quite the flu but it knocked me down for the better part of a week, so I had to put the writing on the back-burner while I got better.

Once I was able to concentrate and stay awake for long enough, I completed the story hitting a total of 7,993 words. Not too long, but since it was a first draft I knew there’d be some tweaks and changes needed. In particular I’m noticing that I tend to over-write quite a lot, spelling out things that are best left for the reader to spot for themselves - so quite a lot of that can be deleted.

In this case, I had a specific target to hit. Purely coincidentally the story I’d been writing was about a time-travelling criminal and as I was recovering from my cold I spotted an open call for submissions to ‘The London Reader’ on that very topic. So I decided to prune the story back to its bones, sort it out as best I could and see if it would be accepted. They had a requirement that it should be fewer than 5,000 words, which meant a reduction of almost 40% from where my lazy first draft had ended up. It turned out that this was a very useful exercise as I had to do more with less, and it forced me to decide what words were actually important to telling the story, and where I could let the reader fill in the gaps. I am very happy with what I’ve come up with, but we shall have to wait and see whether the editors at the London Reader agree!

If you’re interested in submitting something of your own, the call is open until 31st January - details are here.

I intend to wait until I know whether or not it’s been accepted before I post it online - but keep an eye on this blog and I will be sure to let you know when it’s available.

So today I submitted my very first written work to a publisher.

‘Killing Time’ has been submitted and came to 4,999 words.

Word Count