I’ve done it! I just submitted my entry to the Dark Crystal Author Quest contest!
The submission itself took a bit longer than I expected. I had to give them biographies for all the characters I used, as well as answer a couple of questions (like explaining what the Dark Crystal means to me). But it was all worth it because I am now finished!
Officially, I ended up writing five drafts, although that count isn’t completely accurate; draft one in particular was at least two or three different drafts. The final story came in at 7,503 words, just hitting the minimum word count for the contest. I’ve spent the last few days polishing everything as best as I can. I re-watched scenes from the Dark Crystal to make sure I got the Skeksis’s dialogue right (and even there I managed to learn something new about the movie). Once the dialogue was completed, I made sure that all of the descriptions of both setting and character actions were fixed up. And finally, I read everything over a couple of times to make sure the piece was both to length and flowed nicely while reading. I’ll admit, I did panic a little bit when draft 4 came in at 7,359 words. But I fixed it and everything works.
I want to extend a big thank you to everyone who helped me out, whether by simply reading it over or by giving me feedback. I couldn’t have done this without you guys! 🙂