I completed a short story for submission to an anthology today. When I completed the first draft I realized that I had gone over the maximum word count per the guidelines. I’m not sure why, but I convinced myself that it was 5000 words when it was actually 4000. I cut roughly 700 words from the story and thought, with this limited word count, the story will surely suffer from the loss! When I reread it, however, it was a much cleaner, crisper, better organized piece. It’s funny how well you can identify and erase your “fluff” when you have to! It was definitely an eye opening exercise for me, anyway.