Short Dilemma

100 Days of Writing – Day 8


Short story update*: it’s coming along. Not coming along well or coming along nicely, thanks very much.  Just ‘coming along’.

In my excitement, I’d forgotten just how difficult short stories are to write.  Especially ones for competitions run by extremely erudite and selective publishing houses. Also, I made the cataclysmic mistake of downloading and reading last year’s winning entry. Holy Jesus Christ On A Bike. It’s so LITERARY and HIGHBROW. By contrast, as is evident by the previous sentence but one, I am not.

It doesn’t concern me that I’m no Hilary Mantel (look at my face, am I bovvered?).  Writers come in all shapes and sizes and I wear my general cross-genre fiction badge with pride.  I just wonder if I might be out of my depth entering this particular competition.  Is it a waste of time to even try to get the attention of judges with such stratospheric expectations when my experience and ability in this field are, well, field-height?

I can’t help but think I should still do it.  If only to get more practice.  So what if mine looks like The Very Hungry Caterpillar compared to all the other Fingersmiths and Wolf Halls?  The Very Hungry Caterpillar is a tremendous story with pace, a protagonist that evokes empathy, a believable plot and a beautiful ending.

Crap. My story’s nowhere near as good as The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

*In the highly likely event that you don’t know what Short Story I’m on about, click here.



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