On finishing a short story…

Keyboard (closeup), red key with heart
Keyboard image by be2blog_es on Flickr.com

26 hours…?

Well, somewhere there.

It’s roughly the amount of time I took to submit my story to the Commonwealth Short Story competition this year. Last year it took me about 2 weeks from start to finish. I am not confident of winning, but this time it’s not about the prize.

It’s simply about the inspiration.

I actually had another story that I wanted to write and submit, but I kept hitting walls with that story. The concept, I think was great, but the fleshing out bits.. not so much. 300 words in, aka after the initial burst, it’s dead. I will probably revisit in the future, but for now, it stays where it is.

This new story though, I’m sort of satisfied with it. It’s a neat little package, and apparently I manage to scare a few people with it. That’s an achievement I didn’t expect.

It wasn’t easy though. Because in this story I confronted ghosts. Things in the past that I’d never had the courage to admit I questioned. Denying a piece of myself, if you will.

It’s strangely heady, this process I went through. Bitter. Raw. And not unlike drinking. I had to take breaks during the actual writing process because my heart was beating too fast.

Thankfully, I didn’t end with a hangover. Though I do wonder if I made the right choice to submit that story. It might have done better in a Malaysian context, but oh well. What’s done is done.

It’d be great to win this, but we shall see.