I always plan on entering short story competitions. You know, the ones with a theme that you are meant to write to? The ones that close in a few months.
It’s true that I usually start a story on the theme, but that’s about as far as it gets.
Short stories aren’t my natural environment, though I manage them better these days, and I quite like writing to a deadline, so I’ve always expected it to fire me up… it rarely does.
There’s something about the idea not being entirely mine. Something in the fact that I have to labour harder to find characters, situations and plot that conform to an externally imposed concept.
As I stare down the barrels of another comp deadline, with half a story and no motivation to finish, I wonder if I shouldn’t just ignore comp’s!