Right. So. Having set myself a challenge (What? You've forgotten it already? Refresh your memory here), I did what any modern, media-savvy writing type would do - I put all my creative efforts into "branding" it. So from now on, my goal of submitting ten stories to different competitions and paying markets in the four(ish) months that remain of 2011 will be referred to as The Ten-Four Challenge. Or I might street it up a bit and go for simply Ten4. Or maybe not - that looks a bit too close to Tena; I'm not entirely sure I want to link my writing too closely with incontinence products just yet.
But, of course, it would be foolish to assume that I'd done nothing except come up with a snappy handle for my self-imposed exercise. I mean, I'm sure it's technically possible for a writer to procrastinate by embracing meaningless but oh-so-slightly writing-related tasks, but that's got to be a pretty rare occurrence, right?
Anyway, I'm happy to report that I have launched myself out of the metaphorical starting blocks, by sending off an entry to Flash500. So, one down, nine to go.
For the Flash500 competition, I have taken something I wrote for a contest earlier in the year and re-jigged it a bit. As those of you gifted with Sherlock Holmes-esque deductive skills will have guessed, Flash500 is a competition for flash fiction with an upper word count limit of 500. The original version of my entry was for a competition with an even smaller word count, so I took advantage of the extra space by developing the central concept a little and fleshing out the central character. I'm always wary of making stories longer; it's all too easy to let the prose get a little sloppy or for the plot to wander off on tangents when you have extra words to play with, but I think in this case it was justified. The new version of the story feels less sparse, and it's hopefully easier to understand what's going on. We shall see.