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Caitlin Lydon, LISP 4th Quarter 2020 Official Selection, Short Story

LISP 4th Quarter 2020 Official Selection, Short Story, 'Excess Baggage' by Caitlin Lydon

- When did you start writing? How often do you write?

I’ve always written in dribs and drabs but never thought about sharing anything (or even telling anyone I was writing) until I joined some creative writing groups a few years ago - that was the big change for me. I do try and write every day, but there are lots of days where all I do is stare at an empty page until I go mad. I’ve decided that still counts!

- How does it feel to have your work recognised?

It feels great! It does feel sometimes like I’m writing into a void so it’s really, really nice to have the work be recognised. At the very least, knowing people other than myself like what I’ve written is a big relief!

- What's the best thing and the hardest thing about writing a short story?

I think the hardest thing is trying to keep the story contained and focused –I hate trying to figure out what to cut and what to keep. But that’s also kind of the best thing about a short story too, you can focus on one idea or situation and really explore it, and then you’re done! I’m writing a longer piece at the moment and I wish I had a word count to reel me in.

- Can you please give us a few tips about writing a short story? This might not work for everyone, but I find it best to just scribble down a draft without too much planning, try and get the whole idea of the thing on the page, then leave it, then come back to it with edits and changes and all the rest. I know I sometimes use planning as an excuse not to just do the writing, so even if the first draft is absolutely shocking, it’s better to have something down on the page to work with.

- What's the best thing and the hardest thing about writing competitions? I think the best thing about writing competitions is that it forces you into a deadline, maybe a word count too – both things I do not enjoy, but often need. The worst is waiting to find out if you’ve made the list, which can take forever (and feel like longer).

-Lastly, do you recommend the writers to give it a go on LISP? Yes, definitely!



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