Posts Tagged ‘GH’
Now that the 2010 Golden Heart winners have been announced (none of them NARWAns, alas), it’s time to start gearing up for the 2011 competition.
That is exactly what I’m planning to do. My request for judges arrived in my e-mail inbox a few days ago, and I think I’ll do it this year … if I can figure out what category to volunteer to judge.
Since I want to enter in TWO categories myself this year, it makes judging a bit more problematic.
You read that correctly: I want to enter “Blind Date Bride” in single title contemporary and “Beauty and the Ballplayer” in series contemporary.
Am I crazy? Perhaps. But I prefer to think of it as exposing my ambition. If I enter two different MS in two separate categories, I have twice the chance of finaling, right? 😉
Of course, this means poor Bethany and Cody will have to take a back seat — perhaps even before they make it to the doggone island — while I start editing my entries.
I plan to devote the month of September to one of them and October to the other. That gives me plenty of time to prepare both entries before the start of NaNoWriMo on Nov. 1.
Hmm … did I mention my ambitions are showing? Maybe I should go find something to cover myself … 😉
After months of writing like gangbusters and ignoring the healthier lifestyle I’m supposed to be living, I feel the pendulum swinging back in the other direction.
My weight loss blog has been getting all the attention (and is already closing in on 400 hits for the month), but I haven’t been doing a whole lot of writing on my novel.
I need to strike a balance between the two, I know. Of course, if I knew how to do that, I’d both be at my goal weight and have a novel or two actually published. (Hey, a girl can dream, right?)
Today, I tried. I whipped up a healthy lunch, then packed some snacks and headed off to the Barnes & Noble Cafe to write before work.
It worked: I actually wrote more than 600 words today. Add that to the 600+ I wrote on Wednesday and my week’s total is upwards of 1,2oo.
It might not be much, but at least it’s something. Even if they’re not quality words, they’re on the page. I can go back and edit later.
Perhaps the problem is I’ve reached “the sagging middle.” Or maybe it’s because I’ve gone off on a bit of a tangent. Bethany’s mother called after 13 years of silence, and now instead of getting ready for the trip, she and Cody are dealing with her mother issues. That’s not much fun to write.
There will be no more writing tonight. I need to get busy reading our book club’s next book, “A Soft Place to Land.” Since I recommended it and am hosting Wednesday’s meeting, I can’t very well NOT finish the book.
But I know I need to get back into writing/editing mode soon. The Golden Heart contest deadline will be here before I know it — and this year, I want to enter in TWO categories.
I’d better get back to work. 😉
Now that I’ve had time to synthesize my score sheets from the last contest I entered, I’m pleased to say I’m on the right track.
No, I did not final. The max score was a 161; mine was 130-something.
That being said, I wasn’t displeased with the results. That was my gut reaction when I read through the score sheets the first time; it didn’t change when I reread them a couple of days later.
I got at least a 3 (average) in every category. I also got plenty of 4s and even a few 5s.
I think I can safely say I’m on the right track. The judges liked the concept and at least one said they liked my writing style.
Now, all I have to do is revise, using the feedback to make the story even better. (Since it’s going to be a GH entry, I want it to be as perfect as possible … and the comments should help.)
Maybe I ought to take the hard copy of the MS with me on vacation so I can get started …
I recently discovered the blog of Nathan Bransford — Literary Agent. He’s both witty and wise … and rumor has it that he responds almost immediately to queries, whether he wants to see more or not. I’ve yet to test that myself because I haven’t quite perfected my query for “Blind Date Bride” and he doesn’t do category romance.
Anyway, after reading his latest entry, “The Greatest Strength of a Writer: Willpower,” I was inspired.
The last line, in particular, spoke to me:
If writing is always fun, you may be doing it wrong.
So simple, yet so true. For years, I’ve been one of those “I write when the muse inspires me” people. As a result, I haven’t gotten much done. Several partial MSs lurk in my computer files — all about half finished.
Now that I’ve committed to writing more regularly, first preparing my Golden Heart entry, then in the NaNoWrimo and now through our NARWA Word Count Club, I’m accomplishing a lot more.
- I entered a revised version of my very first MS (Operation Snag Mike Brad” in the Golden Heart, didn’t final and just found out my scores were solidly mediocre.
- I wrote about 25K of the 40K I wanted to get done during the NaNo, finishing the complete MS in early December. I’ve done some revisions and just shipped off the first 55 pages to the Orange Rose contest. (Blind Date Bride)
- I finished the first draft of another category-length MS. (Beauty and the Ballplayer)
- I’m almost done revising and expanding the second story in my “Women of Willow’s Grove” series. It was about 10K too short for category romance … now it’s just about right. (It’s tentatively titled “Daring to Love,” but I’m thinking it needs a new title.) Next up: fixing all the head-hopping in the third book in the series, “To Catch a Wife,” and expanding it. (It’s also about 10K too short for category.)
- I’ve started querying on my GH entry (receiving about 5 e-rejections in response to my e-queries). I also just finished a query and synopsis for “Blind Date Bride,” but haven’t started querying yet because I’m not sure it’s ready.
Whew! That’s a lot of work in the last seven or so months. And I owe it all to commitment. Sometimes I even sit down to write when I’d rather be doing something else.
OK, that’s rare. These days, I don’t want to do anything else. Our NARWA guest speaker back in January, Jennifer Ashley, lit a motivational fire under my behind when she said, “Treat writing like your day job and it will become your day job.” (You can read my post-meeting blog post here.)
Tomorrow is a day off from work. I’m planning to get in some more quality writing time … after I sneak in a workout. I’ve been neglecting my health/fitness goals lately and need to get back on track.
That whole “butt in chair” thing works in a healthy lifestyle, too — except it might better be phrased as “feet on pavement” or “butt in gym.” The point is, you have to do it regularly to get good results.