Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Quick question!

If you are writing a short story for a competition that has no minimum word count, would you stress if your story came in at 989 words instead of 1000?

I am really enjoying writing this story, but try as I might I cannot coax it to 1000 words exactly. There is no reason or rule that says it has to be 1000 words, but I feel just wrong not being able to get it on a nice even number. Is this just stupid? Should I keep trying or if I feel the story is perfect at 989 words, should I leave it?

All advice appreciated as I am currently stuck at work using their lovely internet after hours, and won’t go home until I get this story in the bag! So PLEASE help!

EDIT: Am now home. Thank you for the comments! Decided to leave story as is rather than increase words for no reason apart from feeling even rather than odd! As, after all, am often a little odd, come to think of it. *grins*

26 comments:

Pat Tillett said...

I say let it be what it is...
If you like it, then leave it alone.

Kathy said...

I agree with Pat. Since there is no minimum, get it where you like it, and leave it at that, 1000 words or not. Trying to cram eleven more words into perfection might be a mistake!

Happy Frog and I said...

I agree with the above comments, if you are happy with it and it's only a few words shy of 1000 then leave it be!

Talli Roland said...

Leave it. If it is what it is, then you run the risk of making it sound awkward if you try to add words.

Good luck!

Jayne said...

Thank you all so much! I get so stressed about things like that. Phew! Will leave it be. And now I am so outta here.... *runs for tube*

miss ali said...

i'm glad you decided to leave- good choice!! And thank-you so much for stopping by and following my blog! and YES! YOU ARE MY 50TH FOLLOWER! THANK-YOU! :) I'll put a linky back here to thank-you when I blog today :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I'd say that's enough. Don't add fluff just to add words.

Kit Courteney said...

I'm too late for anything informative so I'll just say that I agree with the above.

Am you bonkers, yes?!

(Don't faint, I replied to your email :0o )

Al said...

I'm with the consensus.
If you are happy with it, leave it!

Sandy Shin said...

I'm glad you've decided to leave it, especially if there's no minimum word count. Good luck with the competition!

Old Kitty said...

A story is finished when it's finished!! Forget the word count - so long as you had a ball writing it, so long as you enjoyed creating it - that's all that matters!!!!

GOOD LUCK with the competition!! I have everything crossed for you!

Take care
x

Karen said...

I was going to say no you don't need to stress, but I don't need to now! Good luck with it.

Maryann Miller said...

Glad that you finally left the story as is. I am a firm believer in the idea that a story is finished when it is finished, not according to a word count. Good luck with the contest.

Corra McFeydon said...

I'm glad you decided to leave it at 989.

I used to think all my paragraphs had to be aligned 'just so,' so that none of the last lines spilled over only an inch or so into the line. (Not sure how to explain that, so hopefully it makes sense.) I wanted the page itself to look full and uniform.

Har! I have no idea why that mattered to me, and it's not as if the whole thing would have changed once it was printed in some other format.

I think all we writers have a bit of inexplicable OCD.

(Thank goodness I got over my alignment thing though! It made writing take twice as long!)

:lol:

- Corra

The Victorian Heroine

Corra McFeydon said...

I just reread, and my description makes no sense!

What I mean is that I wanted every final line in a paragraph to extend all the way to the right.

I had no concept of the benefit of white space. To me, having the final lines end at odd places made a page look sloppy.

Well, it was a few years ago. I've since recovered. :-D

Creative Larceny said...

Reminds me of Blaise Pascal's comment (I paraphrase): "I apologize that this letter is so long - I lacked the time to make it short."

I'd rather read something which gets to the point quicker, any day. Obviously "the point" is quite difficult to define...

The Words Crafter said...

Well, my two cents are a bit late, but if you couldn't find anything specific, I agree. Let it stand as is...and good luck!

Aubrie said...

I'm glad you decided to leave it the way it is!

Rose said...

I'd leave it!

Amy said...

I would have said leave it. But then I probably would have tried to make it 1,000 just because I am a bit like that. But, yes, leaving it was the right thing to do.

Amy said...

I would have said leave it. But then I probably would have tried to make it 1,000 just because I am a bit like that. But, yes, leaving it was the right thing to do.

Carol Kilgore said...

I'm glad you didn't pad the story. Stories are as long as they need to be.

Christina Lee said...

Yep I was going to give the same advice!

WritingNut said...

I'm glad you left it! Go with your gut, always!

Rachna Chhabria said...

You are so like me Jayne. I too fret and get anxious if my story has more or less words than the required number.
I feel you should go by your instinct and leave it as it is. Eleven words do not make much of a difference.

Jayne said...

Thank you so much, everyone! So happy I left it as is. A story is done when it's done, after all. :)