Are you brave? Do you enter contests? I've got one I’d recommend--QueryKombat, an on-line writing contest hosted by bloggers:
SC Writes http://www.scwrite.blogspot.com/
Michael Anthony http://writersoutworld.blogspot.com/, and Michelle Hauck http://michelle4laughs.blogspot.com/,
I’ve been monitoring the blog posts and the twitter feed. It’s been my obsession for the last week or so.
On Thursday, May 22nd at noon an entry window opened and SC, Michael and Michelle accepted 225 entries, plus some free entries from another blog event. From those, they picked 64 entries. Mine included.
In round one, Kombatants’ entries were paired up to square off one on one, head to head, mano-a-mano in 34 blog posts. The coordinators tried to match the entries by genre and target audience. Judges visited each pair, made comments and then picked their favorite and many of the judges and Kombatants posted writing advice on twitter.
Here are thirteen of my favorite writing tips.
- One thing I'm learning from QueryKombat. Think about where your story begins. It can make the difference between a "WOW" & a "meh" opening. ~Amy Trueblood
- Your query should have your character, conflict (what do they want? What stands in their way?) & stakes (what if they fail?)~ Naomi Hughes
- The question isn't if others love or hate your story. The question is, do YOU love your story, and have you told it truthfully? ~Lisa Dunn
- Whatever happens, just keep writing!~ Heather Harris-Brady
- Voice. Voice. Voice. I don't care what you're selling, if your query has voice, I'll read the hell out of it & want more...~ Ami Allen-Vath
- If I don't connect to your CHARACTER, I can't connect to your CONFLICT, rendering your stakes meaningless!~ Lauren Spieller
- All queries need 3 elements, or they cannot succeed. those elements are: conflict, character, and stakes. ~ Lauren Spieller
- Subjectivity plays a huge role in contests (and in publishing in general). Listen carefully to critique, then go with your gut.~ Naomi Hughes
- Another QueryKombat observation: The last line of your query shouldn't be a summary, but a tight line leaving your reader begging for more!~ Amy Trueblood
- I can tell what the book's about, & what will happen if the character fails...but I have no idea who the character really is!~ Lauren Spieller
- This doesn't mean you should write a query that's full of character development but no conflict. It means you need to IMBUE your conflict with CHARACTER. ~Lauren Spieller
- Never give up! ~Ingrid Seymour
- Just remember that not all of the light at the end of your quest belongs to a train, your fate and dreams are there somewhere.~ Ramon Ballard
Good advice. My twitter friends have a lot of wise words to share, but I’m guessing you do, too. Want to share some sage counsel? Or share a contest experience you’ve had? I’d love to hear about it.