The end is in sight for the current short story (which does have a title now, and no, it's not what I previously posted). I think I'll definitely be able to get the first draft done by the end of the weekend. Then comes proofing/editing, and I'll see which of my friends I can sweet talk into looking it over for me. I have plenty of wiggle room with the deadline, but I like to get things in early.
What I don't have as much wiggle room with is the word count. The "preferred" word count is 3K - 6K words, but according to the guidelines, 2K - 7K is acceptable, if necessary. I can read between the lines and know that the story has a better chance of being accepted if I keep it under 6K, which I don't think I'll have a problem doing. I'm quickly approaching that limit, though, and it's affecting certain choices I need to make.
I know I really should turn off the word count display, write the damn story, and then edit it down later. But at the same time, it's making me focus on what's important. This is erotic romance, after all, so as my friends and I like to joke, there's the climax and the "climax". The plot stuff is done, I'm just giving my characters their well-deserved happy ever after. (And yes, the submission guidelines state that a scene like that has to be in there.)
As always, there's no good answer. I'm sure I can put together something submission-worthy and get it to the right size. I just need to whine about it here a little. ;)
(Anecdote time! Years ago, a friend in my informal writing group told us he'd submitted a short story for a magazine, I think it was. He got a rejection letter, and we all commiserated. But then it came out that the submission guidelines asked for stories with a word count around 1K - 3K...and he sent them a 7K-word story. The ship had sailed at that point, but privately, some of us were all NOOOOOOOO!
So yeah, don't do that.)