Tag Archives: writing contest

Brenda Drake Contest Entry: Can we guess your character’s age?

Brenda Drake’s blog is hosting a contest on your manuscript’s first 250 words.  The contest is open to all genres.  All you need to do is post your first 250 words on your Blog on December 8th so everyone can read and comment.  You cannot tell the title or genre.  Your work needs to stand on its own.

After you get feedback from your followers and other contestants, make any changes you think are necessary, and when you are ready, email your final entry to Brenda by midnight December 10th.

Finalists will be chosen by Brenda and her gang of word lovers, and the three winners will be chosen by Gabriela Lessa, a professional editor and literary agent assistant

The winners get free editing.  Not too shabby.

Without further ado… here’s the beginning of my novel.

Can you guess my characters age?  If you already know how old he is, does it sound right?

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“I’m not gonna sit here locked in a closet all day.” Magellan pulled away from his mother, leaving his whimpering brothers and sisters clinging to her skirts.

“Magellan, come back here.”

“No. I wanna hear Dad’s speech.” He pressed his cheek against a large crack in the door and closed one eye.  Sconces lit the long stone hallway that lead to the auditorium. “I wish I could see something.”

“Get back mine scum!” A guard threw something against the door, slamming the wood against his face.

“Ouch,” Magellan rubbed his cheek. “Jerk.”

Footsteps clomped away, and his mother exhaled. “Magellan, your father said…”

“I know what he said.” Magellan furled his eyebrows.  “Right before they locked us in here.”  He flicked a bug from the damp stone wall beside him. “I’m not a baby anymore. I want to help.”

He ran his fingers across the locking plate, and jumped as flames flashed across the metal, spinning and swirling around it.  What was that?  Nothing in the room could have made that reflection.  He wrinkled his nose and reached for the lock again, but it fell right into his hand before he could even touch it.

“What the…” The door swung open by itself.  Magellan gasped.  “What’s going on?”

He leaned out, and carefully considered the three guards arguing at the far end of the hallway.

The Goddess must be with me today! he thought.

He placed his hand on the doorframe, and his mother stood.  “Magellan Talbot, don’t you dare!”

Blog Contest: Just how good is your character’s voice?

Yay!  Another blog contest!

I haven’t done one of these in a while, and for the first time, I will not have to scramble to get my entry done.  (Especially since my Frozen Computer is working FINE)

This is a really great contest for everyone, because there are NO GENRES.  Yay!  And all you need is a first 250 pages.  Now, I think most of you have at least 250 pages written, so I firmly expect you all to jump all over this contest and give it a try.

Not that I want more competition, but these contests are GREAT.  It is a wonderful experience… not to mention you get to see what else is out there, and sometimes you get some feedback from new people, which I totally love.

So all of you be good little boys and girls and hop on over to http://brenleedrake.blogspot.com/  I see you guys bopping around here all the time, I’d love to read parts of your manuscripts.

Submit!!!! What do you have to lose????

Revision time! (Using losing a contest to your advantage)

I mentioned last week that one of the judges in a writing contest I entered liked my pitch, but I didn’t make the finals because my first page was not “exciting enough”.  As any good writer would do, I used this as a learning experience, and I tossed my first page and started over.  Now, I didn’t really CHANGE anything per se.  I just started with a blank page, and re-wrote EXACTLY THE SAME SCENE keeping in mind the comment that the first one didn’t seem exciting.

I resisted the temptation of looking back at my original while I was writing, by doing this at a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT computer, and I’m glad I did.  Several times I stopped, and wished I could look back at my original manuscript. If I did, I probably would have ended up with something very similar to the first opening.

What’s odd, is this is really the same thing.  It’s a fight being witnessed by a child, but  the tone is extremely different.  When I look at my original now, my brain says, “what was I thinking?”

I passed this by my writer’s group this weekend, and they seemed to like it.

I think I love it.  Hopefully, I am finally where I need to be!

Here’s my revision.  Hopefully, it makes you bite your nails a little, and draws you in without getting you lost in the commotion of the argument.

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A piece of spoiled fruit flew across the room and hit his father square across the jaw.  Magellan watched him wipe it away indifferently as the tall man started shouting at his father again.  The room erupted in shouts and jeers.

These people are insane, Magellan thought.

“Execute him, My Lord!” someone in the assembly yelled.

Execute him? Now I know they’re nuts.

His mother cringed, and held tightly to his crying siblings as they cowered around her.   The crowd screamed louder, nearly drowning out the roar of the rain on the huge windows surrounding the room.  She reached for him, and Magellan stepped back.  He had no desire to hide in her skirts.

He grasped onto a small black rock in his pocket, ready to throw it if he needed to as the people in the crowd took to their feet.   All Father did was say the moon orbiting planet Roria should be free.  Freedom is a good thing, isn’t it?What’s wrong with these people?

The tall man took a step toward his father, and leaned menacingly close to his face.  “Give me an example of one person on that moon that has asked for freedom.”

His father dropped his eyes.

“What are you doing, Father?” Magellan whispered to himself.  “Answer him.”  You’ve always taught us about how important freedom is.  Here’s your chance to speak your mind.  We’re at court.  Tell them.  Make them believe.  Explain to them that the High King is a tyrant!