While I have gripes about some aspects of my creative writing class (mainly directed at the professor), one thing I really enjoyed was bringing 500 word workshop writing pieces. Even though the feedback was coming from other inexperienced students and then a single ‘experienced’ teacher, the idea was fantastic. Think about it, if you had to show only 500 words of your story, what 500 words would you show?
As soon as I had that word limit, I found myself fussing over the 500 words. It was 500 words that was somehow meant to intrigue, inform, and ‘show off’ what writing ability I had. I wanted feedback but I wanted to give my best. After all, this was the first time I was showing a group of people like this my work. I edited those 500 words many times. I felt like the 500 words I ended with was better than the 500 words I had SIMPLY because I was fussing over it.
That’s the editing fever that every author needs. If we treated each 500 words of our story as a segment, would our stories become stronger over all? I think so. When you’re writing novels especially, you can get lazy at moments or slide in lazy transitions. I also liked how the 500 words made me question each scene I had. If I wasn’t proud to read it out loud, should it be included? Continue reading