Monday, August 9, 2010

This, That and The Other

Okay... remember I told you I entered a short story contest and placed in the top 100 out of 300 submissions? I didn't win. After reading the winners, I understand why. And since I've never been a short story writer (a successful one, anyway) I'm really wondering how I made the top 100. Here's the site if you want to check out the winners. And if you'd like to crit my one page short story and compare to the winners, just let me know. I'll send it to you. You'll probably wonder how I made the top 100 too. No self-deprecation here. I just don't think my story is really a short story. I'm sure you'll agree it's a little slice of life without a beginning, middle and end.

On another note: Hanging out on Chuck Sambuchino's blog has lots of advantages. I learn a lot, and last week had the opportunity to leave a comment and be tossed in the hat for a chance to win the 2011 Guide to Literary Agents! Yep... congratulations to ME.

By the way, I am writing, and I'm thrilled with my rewrites on my novel. I love, love, love the prologue and yeah, I know prologues are a no-no, but I'm not listening. Creating a prologue helped me move right into my first chapter in a new and more exciting way--with more action. That prologue is like hanging my theme on the end of my nose and keeping it there so I'll remember it. Click on agent Scott Eagan to learn what I'm talking about.

Can't remember if I mentioned that I took an online course from Lois Winston, an author and a literary agent with the Ashley Grayson Literary Agency. Lois has a super course called The Submission Process. I learned so much, stuff I'm actually able to apply to my writing. I highly recommend this course--and no lurking allowed. If you don't participate, you really don't learn. That comes from Queen of the Lurkers, the voice of experience. Lois does not allow lurkers. :)

And speaking of the Ashley Grayson Lit Agency. Check out this interesting interview I came across. Love it! When asked what writers should never do when they query her, Ashley Grayson's answer is priceless.

She said: Number one no-no: describing their book in terms of two movies or TV shows; or describing their book in terms of two books that have no relationship to each other: "in the tradition of Twilight and Rich-Dad, Poor Dad."

These kind of novel descriptions leave me blank, and feeling like a dummy. Example: Roy Rogers meets Pretty Woman (well, actually that sounds pretty good, doesn't it?) or Three Days of the Condor meets Strictly Confidential. What does that mean? What kind of books would they be? I can't describe my novel this way, and I can't figure out my writer friends who do.

Comments? Hey, I love 'em. Don't pop in and be silent. Say something!


Carole said...

You know I always love to say something. I am so glad you are writing. Your post sounds like you are very excited about the process again. Very cool.

I kind of got knocked off my writing horse but I need to get back on.

Jan Rider Newman said...

I'm so glad you're working on your novel again. That's great. Even better that you're loving it.

Angie Kay Dilmore said...

I think it's cool that you won the Literary Guide. I was hoping for that myself!

Charles Gramlich said...

I love prologues myself. That so and so meets so and so never makes much sense to me either. Half the time I haven't seen the movies anyway.

MOLLYE said...

Hi Jess, Thanks so much for visiting Jake's Story and for your comments. I will follow your bloggy and be back soon to read, read and read. Now where in our state are you located? I'm in Shreveport. Come visit my blog also. Peace, Mollye

Jess said...

Thanks Gang!

Hey Mollye, I'm in Lake Charles, but I was born and raised in Longview, just a few miles from you. :)