Out of curiosity the other day, I decided to visit the Writer’s Digest website. I needed a little motivation and direction to jumpstart my writing. I read some articles and the recent writing prompts, but nothing appealed to me. Then I checked the contests section, thinking maybe a deadline would do the trick. The magazine’s annual Short Short Story contest deadline is up at the end of October. Great! I’ll write something. Since I’ve entered the contest before, I had a copy of the book of winning entries for the years I had entered. I went back to look through to see what people had been writing about. I thought about those entries, but decided they were way off topic for me. Added to that, what won a few years ago won’t necessarily be the kind of thing that wins this year – especially since there likely won’t be the same judges. Then I turned to one of the writing books on my bookshelf. This book is actually about novel writing, so I didn’t really find anything useful. It did, however, say that the old “write what you know” adage may not be your best bet. I considered that, but went with the adage anyway. I really don’t have time to do a bunch of research for an entry that can only be 1500 words long! I have something in the works now, but I’m not sure how interested in it I really am. I’ll have to see. Maybe I’ll publish it here if it doesn’t win (that will take a while to find out). I’ve been told by other writers—and those silly writing books—that you have live your characters. You have to be their best friend, know everything about them, be able to predict what they do before they do it, but then also be surprised that the character takes over and suddenly you don’t know what’s going on. So now I’m going to go step in my character’s shoes and see where she takes me.
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