Maybe you have the day off work today or are celebrating Easter or other festivals with family or friends. With two weeks to go until the deadline of our 10th yearly award on April 24th, take a look over a short story you might enter and try our short writing work-out to tighten up your writing. You have up to the limit of 2200 words to play with.
Use the find and replace function on your word processor to discover ‘weasel’ words. Those ones that sneak in like ‘just’ or ‘now’. Mostly not required.
Look at the beginning and end of your story. Does it actually start the second paragraph down or finish at the paragraph before the current ending?
Does your story suffer from adjective overload? Lose some of them and introduce interesting verbs instead.
Is there any humour at all in your story? Would a little wit enhance the plot and make our readers smile? (Always a good thing).
Is your story fluffy and sentimental? Can you make it a little darker without being melodramatic?
Title.Try changing a short title to a long one or make it one word or use the name of a person or the name of a place. Suggestion, don’t use the following words as titles: Metamorphosis; Dust; The Gift; Flight. (very over used).
Similar to weasel words, do you have favourite actions for your characters? i.e do they sigh or shrug a lot. Please stop them doing this. Or arching an eyebrow
What about sentence rhythm? Do your sentence lengths vary? Click on the link to read this well-known and useful example of variety in sentences
Your short work-out is now finished!
Thank you to all writers who have entered so far. And for those who are reaching last-minute entry status, we hope these perhaps obvious, but often overlooked, tips will help with the final push.
Jude, Monday 10th April, 2023