What to do if the deadline looms and you haven’t finished your writing… (This could apply to contest entries of any kind, submission deadlines, query letters for conference critiques, etc.)
- If you’ve already started, but the piece isn’t ready to submit (to Writers’ Mill, or to any other contest):
- Turn short into long: Pick your favorite scene. Expand on it. Polish it. Make sure it has a beginning, middle and end (as all scenes should) and then submit it.
- Turn long into short:
- Pick a suitable chapter break and submit a single chapter. Leave your readers begging for more, or
- Cut, cut, cut, until your start and your finish, both beautifully polished, matched up in the middle perfectly.
- Edit the life into it: Take your perfect beginning – perhaps it’s the only bit you’ve written – and expand on it, edit it, polish it, until it’s so perfect everyone will demand to know what happens next.
- If you haven’t started yet but had an idea:
- Write the beginning and submit that
- Write the synopsis and submit that
- Just get one scene written – anything’s better than nothing.
- If you haven’t started yet and didn’t have an idea: Let’s assume you have a prompt, say, a message in a bottle…
- Find a bottle lying around your abode
- Think of a message you’d like to receive
- Write short – a poem, a one-line zinger, a two-paragraph essay, whatever….
Just write, and enjoy!