I’m submitting a story to a site that does not want the whole story, that just want a five hundred word sample from the story. At first, this sounded like simplicity itself. I can write five hundred words in twenty minutes. Boom, done.
But then I really began to think about the implications. They needed to be the best five hundred words I could possibly write. in a very small amount of space, I need to sell the entire ten thousand story.
I began to review the entire the entire story based on those first five hundred words. I realized that I needed to tighten the plot and shift the focus. I re-worked the idea for everything to make sure that the sample I was sending would immediately grab the reader.
And that’s how it always should be. If the beginning of your story doesn’t grab the reader immediately, then the rest of the story is irrelevant. You can’t expect anyone to wade through a boring or uninspired beginning in the hopes that stuff will get more exciting.
And it only took a submission process to help me relearn extreme basics.