Thursday, May 20, 2010
The Toronto Gold contest has a great reputation for feedback and requested fulls from the judging editors so I decided to prepare an entry for that. And that's when I was reminded once again of one of the problems with entering contests. They ask for a certain amount of pages and of course, my book doesn't have a good hook at that point, or even within a pg or so. They do require a synopsis, which is judged and worth 15 points but it's included in the page count. So, how do I split the 30 pgs? Really short synopsis and get the great hook into the entry? Which happens on pg 28 by the way. Go back and cut unnecessary stuff? Tighten? The problem with this is that I write fairly tightly as is and usually could afford to add emotion and a little setting. Yikes! If I cut, I fear the entry will be even more sparse. Sigh. Dilemma.
One of my chapter mates just posted to our yahoo loop that the Lonestar Writing Contest has an early bird fee of only $20 and has the same editor at the Toronto. And NO SYNOPSIS! But wait, they only want 25 pgs. I'd still have to rework my pgs to get that good hook in there. So, I start going through the pages and realize that for every adverb I eliminate, I need to add three times as many words to add emotion. Frustrating.
So, I turn my interest to the rejected Presents Contest entry that they liked but had problems with. The Fours Seasons Contest extended their deadline to June 1st and a Desire Editor, my target series, is the judge. They're asking for a one page unjudged synopsis. Which I have. Yeah! And 25 pg entry. Hmm, my hook is on pg 20. I do have to change a few things about the hero based on the Presents feedback which will mean a few more additions about his motivation but it won't add many pgs. Should I send 20 pgs? Or rework.
See, I'm back to the reason I end up not entering contests. I start reworking the story to fit the contest and not to serve the story as a whole.
What to do?