The Counting Trap

I’ve fallen into a trap. Probably the first of many in my writing career.

In this case, I have no one to blame but myself. I let myself get confused by the limits. First 250, First 5 Pages, First 10 Pages, First Chapter… on and on until I thought the limits were what was important. I wanted to get a particularly clever phrase, or idea or relationship within the count to show how awesome my story is and what a particularly amazing writer I am.

My first breakthrough: That is totally wrong. Completely. Learn from me. Never do that.

My story is not the words I know or the count or how impressive I can be in a short amount of time.

NECESSITY shines in the characters and their relationships. My skill is in putting the mythological within the context of the mundane.

But my current draft doesn’t do that. My current draft tries to be clever and interesting and poetic, but ends up being vague, strange, and confusing.

So I’m going back to the revision, I’m throwing away any interest in what the agents will get in their requested pages or what I think I need to do to be competitive. I’m going to worry instead on whether or not I can communicate my story and incorporate all the elements I want in a way that transports the reader.

So, no more contests for me, no more counting, just my stories.

Let’s see how it goes.