Tag Archives: Opening sentence

250 Word Entry Submitted!

Thanks to everyone who read and commented on my first 250 words. I just submitted, with 15 minutes to spare (my time — I could have taken two more hours with the time-zone thing)

The great thing about these contests is not the prizes, or winning or losing. It’s getting out there and reading other people’s work. It’s seeing what ELSE is in the pipeline.

Also, if you are lucky, you get people to read and critique your work who’ve never seen it before. That’s worth more than any prize they could give me.

A few people said they were confused, and didn’t get the flame reflection. Jenny didn’t even blink, because she’s read my novel like five times now. She just wanted me to expand.

This told me I needed to get a little more into that flame scene, because readers who don’t know what the flame represents need a little more of a push to “get” that there is something supernatural going on here. The trick is, to do that, and still get Magellan out the door within 250 words. In the original draft, I had him actually out the door, down the hall and stepping into the auditorium at 250. Now he is just stepping out the door.

The scene is richer though, and I think I’ve filled in the blanks that I needed to fill in. For me, that was the goal of the contest. It pushed me to really work on that ever so important first page, and I also got some brand new critiques.

I’ve already won.

YA First 250 Words Writing Contest

Here’s a simple YA writing contest for anyone who wants to get their feet wet in the contest world.  If you haven’t done a contest yet, I highly recommend these blog-based contests.  These are easy to join.  The prizes are not huge, but the experience is great.  It gives you a push, and I actually got some good feedback from one recently run on Brenda Drake’s blog a few months ago.  Here are the rules.  (This is on Brenda Drake’s Blog, not mine)

Here’s the link to her site.  Brenda Drake

On September 21st and 22nd post the first 250 words of your young adult or middle grade manuscript on your blog (you may skip this part, if you wish), and then hop around to each others’ blogs and give critiques. By midnight on September 23rd post your entry in the comments of the official contest post, which I will have up on September 21st so you can post anytime from then until midnight on September 23rd. It’s going to be midnight my time (Mountain Standard Time). I’ll have how you should enter your entry on the official post.

I’ll be re-vamping my first 250 words (again) and posting them on September 21st.  Please stop by and give me a critique before I drop it in front of the judges!

Also, if you are entering, please let me know by replying to this post, and I will be sure to look for your entries as well.

Good luck!