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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Benefits of A Contest

I'll try to keep this short. Since I keep breaking Rule 3, I may modify it to "I will try to keep it short." You can tell how passionate I am about a topic by how long I wax on it.

The MLS contest is over for me, but it isn't over. I encourage you to continue participating if you have any interest in speculative Christian fiction. I also don't own any MLP books yet, so if you're still looking for a Christmas present, I'd be good with any of them. Hero, Second Class will be my first official purchase. I want to see what kind of writer is allowed 607 pages on his first book :)
And, I was thinking of Jeff's possible answer to my concerns should he ever read my post. It was obvious.
0 : - )
My answer? : (

I'll get over it.

Anyhoo... I've learned a contest is a little slice of what getting published is like. The submitting, the waiting, the worry, the sleepless nights. I hope entering contests provides a kind of inoculation. I kept thinking of that Northern Exposure episode where pregnant Shelley redecorates their apartment in pink frills, lace and gingham and Holling can't use the bathroom anymore. Joel tells him "no man could move his bowels in here" (pause to laugh a while). Holling says he'll spend time in the bathroom everyday until he gets acclimated (more laughing). Contests are like that.

I learned I am not the only Christian fantasy writer in the world, nor am I the only good Christian fantasy writer in the world. (That was a joke. Sometimes hard to tell with me.) I've added some good writers to "blogs I follow" since the contest started. Susie, you'll like the newest one, "Musings on This, That and The Other." Jennifer Allee wrote Vinnie's Diner in the contest, but she normally writes romances.

I've rewritten my Star of Justice synopsis based on comments about mine in general and others in particular, and it seems to be improved, according to the folks who care enough to comment. Thank you for those comments. Hopefully, this will translate into better first efforts for my other books.

I will write hooks and blurbs earlier in the new book process. A hook can help keep focus on The Main Thing. Being a seat of the pants writer, I don't know if it will help or hurt, but I'll try it and see.

I will aim for 100,000 words on my next few books. Elementals' first draft is 108,000. I actually planned to add a little bit rather than take away but I won't go above 110,000. I may be able to cut.
That was my first "zipper" book (two different perspectives at the same time in different places zipped together as you read) and I personally got lost while writing it, so I have no idea how it will read when I pick it up next year (next year is next month, so don't freak, mom). But, Past Ties... I think I can keep Past Ties at 100,000. I bet I can do it with The First Man, too, and that's the book that starts The Justice Cycle (that's what I'll call the series of books dealing with Ah'rahk).

So, not keeping it short, but stopping now. I'll save the rest for another post.

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