Thursday, March 1, 2012

ABNA new novel competition - making the first cut

A book I wrote over ten years ago just made the first cut in Amazon/CreateSpace's new novel competition (done with Penguin and Publishers Weekly). I did a quick revision on the book before entering but wish I'd had more time to do a longer one. As someone said on one of the many related Amazon discussion boards...editing is harder than writing because the editing is never done. I second guess, wonder, wish I'd changed certain things... Especially one phrase which honestly goes beyond cliche to stupid. Oh well.

Nervous? Of course. But I'm also resigned. I did the best I could in the time I have given that completing Captive's sequel is more important than an old draft, even though the latter is probably closer to being a finished book. The new one is better (in my opinion).

On March 20 I'll find out if I make the next cut from 1,000 to 250 and will keep readers of this blog posted, win or lose. In the first round only a 300 word pitch was judged; now 5,000 words will be read and reviewed.

Competitions are gruelling for me but reading the above mentioned discussion boards they are for many others as well. Fiction has a subjective quality to it; the great writers who everyone loves are few and far in between. For example, I hate J. Steinbeck's books.

In a competition only one book wins. Doubtless it will be a very good read but reasonable people will always disagree over whether it was the "best" entry or not. And then there is the genre question...past winners have been more in the literary fiction genre and my entry isn't.

The best way to handle the related nerves, doubts and worries? Get back to work and write; which at least creates something. Whether it's a work of value is, again, subjective.


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