Thursday, March 24

Try and try again...

This week I entered Brenda Drake's "Show me the voice" contest in which you posted the first 250 words of your manuscript onto your blog/home page. Then anyone/everyone who was participating had the opportunity to stop by, take a look, and offer up crits, comments, or whatever.

What I learned from this experience:

A) Either readers get Bix or they don't.

B) That my new opening isn't quite ready for submission. It starts in too vague of place without really setting up what's going on. Unfortunately, all my critmates have read Bix from the beginning, so the new beginning for them wasn't that confusing. But for someone reading it for the first time, they were left wondering why I was writing about terrorists and why was the main character having lunch with him?

C) Do not start with a blog entry (thanks to my bff, Jove Belle). It's akin to starting out with a dream sequence--you jolt the reader from one thing to another too quickly. I knew this about dreams (thanks to Nathan Bransford) but hadn't realized that the blog entry essentially did the same thing.

And D) Keep revising until I get it right. I know I have to start the scene with the Feds showing up, I just have to get the sequence, voice, and tone down. I have faith, that the beginning will come--probably while I'm in the shower or driving--and it will all work out. Advise to self, don't rush it.

Would I do it again? In a heartbeat. Putting your work out for comments and crits is the only way to make it better. Try and try again.


  1. You have such a great attitude, Margie!!! I agree, it's a lot of try, try, try again... Bix'll get there.

  2. Margie, Bix is a fabulous story. the begining will come.

  3. In my 3rd book, I started every chapter with an excerpt from a newspaper column. I think I got more reader mail--all positive--on that one part of the book than anything else. You just don't know what's going to grab either an editor or a reader. Anyone who thinks she does know is fooling herself (or his).

  4. I agree with Kristi, Shawn and Liz. Too tired tonight for an original thoughts.

  5. Anything where you get comments is incredibly worthwhile. Try, try again - you'll find a starting point! (I liked the original 1st chapter, if that matters at all)