Many authors have several works in progress at once, and often a few finished stories filed away. I’m certainly no exception. About two weeks ago, I entered a contest. Quite a few authors enter contests. I have toyed with the idea but never took the leap.
The contest came across my inbox as they do. I knew it was legit, and reading through, I realized the story was already written. The prompt was, “Tell a story in which the main character asks a question at the end.” Swan Song was gathering digital dust, so I brushed it off and tweaked it here and there. Then through the magic of having a partner, who in a previous business life, who has been a copy editor for a small newspaper in Maryland, had it polished and sent in plenty of time.
The cool part was receiving an email today announcing there was a new comment on the story. I am going to share it with you.
“Whoah, great story! There is so much richness in your writing, that the 3000 word limit really didn’t do you justice.
First of all, I loved the way you did dialogue. I could clearly hear the words Zeke spoke in my mind and was able to fabricate a fitting image of him from that. The dialogue sounded authentic, like that’s how the characters would actually talk if they were real persons.
Secondly, the relationship between Zeke and Maude was so sweet! IT really felt like they were long friends, and it showed (at least to me) that Zeke was probably a bit lonely, traveling and prospecting, so he conversed with his mule as if it were a human. Very very well done!
And thirdly, the story within the story. I don’t know if this is a true legend, or if you constructed it yourself, but it sounds like a true folk tale to me! I loved how you described it, and how it all turned out, the people being turned into swans. Brilliant!
The only thing that felt a little rushed or ended too soon was the ending itself. I liked it, but I think it would be even better with a paragraph or two more. Now, in all fairness, I think your whole story deserves to be expanded into a novella, perhaps a full-length novel even. It’s just so rich and vivid and the feel is authentic! Loved it! Hope to read more of your work! Keep writing 🙂 – H.V.”
When I read it, I wanted to jump up and do a fist pump. Not only is if very complimentary BUT SOMEONE UNDERSTOOD. This was almost as big a rush having a new book come out. Links have been placed in the document should wish to read the story.
Thank you for reading and sharing this small moment,