Hi there! The weekend was filled with swim meets, fundraisers, writing and family, so I thought I would dig up an archived post to resonate with all the contest talk going on right now!
***It's about that time. For a few GREAT contest opportunities out there...Namely, ACFW's Genesis Contest and the MBT Frasier.
Many of you might be tidying up those babies for contests as you read this. I know I am! And many of you might be reluctantly looking at last year's feedback, planning to tweak your entry based on “some” of that feedback.
Are you just “tweaking”?
|lots of messiness in my house!|
Do you go in with the mindset of taking the grammatical suggestions, the edits here and there...Maybe a misplaced comma or changing a word that's been used in the sentence above? Kinda like dabbing at a baby's food-caked face, but not really scrubbing away the mess?
Are you willing to make that BIG change...possibly rearranging entire scenes, OR, Heaven forbid, DELETING a scene altogether? Getting that big super-duty washcloth and start scrubbing? Maybe, your last feedback is a sign that the scene you love and hoped would attract the judges' favor, is not the scene for that moment in the manuscript...is not what hooks the reader after all.
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Now don't get me wrong, I have certainly had some bogus feedback over the years. Don't go slashing away at your entry according to everything a judge says. You may have scrubbed that baby's face clean, and that scrutinizing mother-in-law type will still criticize (and to be clear, I have two of the best mother-in-laws, so this is pure third-party metaphor ;) ) No need to listen to that type of feedback...unless, of course, it rings true to you (insert cring and gnashing of teeth here).
Do consider BIG changes, and DO brainstorm different starts of your chapter. This last entry I “tweaked” had me delete the first TWO scenes of my manuscript and start with a different character's POV. UGH!!!!! It was hard to do, but deep down, after receiving critiques and contest feedback over the past year, it had to be done. AND, I love it now! And I thought I LOVED it then, but just because it came out that way the first time I wrote it doesn't mean it has to stay that way.
It is art, after all.
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We can start to mold the story and keep it in the perfectly simple shape that our hands first squeezed it into...OR, after smoothing it down, sloughing away the excess, we can create something more... evolve our creation to an even more beautiful work of art.
In other words...
Let's not coddle our baby so much that it never gets the chance to succeed to its fullest potential!
Let that baby GROW!!
Comment below and tell us the latest BIG changes you made to an entry or your manuscript. Have you reaped a contest win by using feedback from a previous year? Please share!
Angie Dicken is a full-time mom and lives in the Midwest with her Texas Aggie sweetheart. An ACFW member since 2010, she has written five Historical Romance novels, has a Historical underway, and is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of The Steve Laube Agency. Angie also spends her time designing one-sheets, selling Jamberry Nail Wraps, and drinking good coffee with great friends. Check out her author page at www.facebook.com/dicken.angie and her personal blog at angiedicken.blogspot.com