Monday, March 17, 2014

First Lines, First Words, Pitch Contests

I've been having some luck with first line, pitch and first words contests.

I recently made the TOP TEN out of 100 in the Adventures in YA Pitch and First Line Contest with my early middle grade manuscript.

So, I'm entering another contest with a different middle grade manuscript and I wanted you to know what an awesome opportunity these contests provide.

But first click below, by March 18th, to enter your contemporary middle grade manuscript

                                                    CLICK Here to find out the details

Each contest varies in its rules and process, so be sure to read all the rules carefully.

Some contests have multiple rounds where you can revise based on feedback.

The best reasons to enter--FEEDBACK.

I've got to hurry and make my submission. You should too.

As always feel free to comment.

Monday, March 3, 2014

How Do You Choose Your Favorites?

I'm talking about lines from your WIP (work in progress), or finished/published manuscript.

When editor, Joan Alley of Prism Book Group asked for a selection of favorite lines from my new release, Destined for Deception, co-written with Sandra Tilley, I had a dilemma. I love most of the lines, okay, several make me cringe, but I know that’s my uber-revisionist wanting to attack those lines one more time. 

But my favorite lines are the ones that have special meaning because of the little stories experienced during the creation of those lines. The "ah ah moment" when you find the perfect combination of words. Or the clever rhetorical device. Or the lines that only have humor after a glass of wine, late at night. ;)

So here I'll share a few of my favorite lines and their little story. 
All from Destined for Deception. Available on Amazon here or at Prism Book Group Here

Destin's East Pass Bridge

1. “The winking waters of the Gulf of Mexico taunted her from the far side of Destin’s East Pass Bridge. A thousand yards to open water and wind-in-her-hair speed. Exactly what she craved after a long week of head hunting.”
This one makes me smile. :) Can’t you just imagine a fearless Amazonian woman with her spear standing in the bow of her boat speeding across the water searching for her next victim. Okay, maybe that’s only me. LOL
But the career we chose for our heroine Bree was an inspiration from Sandra and her daughter’s successful career in executive job placement.
2. “A rush of hypothermic air blasted him as he opened the door. He didn’t hesitate but strode past the Edward Little prints, down the hall to Bree’s office, and stopped at her open door. A long, soft sigh interrupted keyboard tapping.
He snaked his hand around the doorway and waved the bouquet like a flag of surrender. ‘It’s not a warrant. I thought these might be better. Truce?’”
This line is an ode to the old joke, Florida is the coldest state...
in the summer...indoors. 
And these lines include a shout out to Sandra’s longtime friend Peggy Little and her very accomplished photographer son, Edward. 

                             photo courtesy of Edward Little

3. “She ground her back teeth, ignored everything Drew had told her, and launched her attack. “How could you involve me? And the firm? Why? For what? This boat? I put up with a lot from you over the years, but this goes way beyond sleeping with clients. Fraud? Using our business to do it? And my name on one of those accounts? And on a BP claim I know nothing about? What were you thinking?”
Justin sipped his tea, checked his watch, and then glanced over her shoulder toward the parking lot.
Every cell in her body pulsed. Every breath fueled her anger. Every ounce of energy focused on Justin’s lying face.”
I love the anaphora used in the last line. But the fact that Justin bought a boat with fraudulent BP claims has a hints at truths of real events and then there’s that Florida joke showing Justin must not be a true Floridian because...A true Floridian does NOT own a boat. They make friends with someone who already owns one. That way you don't have to deal with any of the headaches. 

4. “Using his best concerned-citizen voice, Drew said, “I believe this is important city business. Misappropriation of hundreds of thousands of dollars should be important.” He paused to let the dollar amount sink into the audience. “After my extensive investigation, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the people of Destin—and you specifically, Ms. Lerner—have been duped.”  
This line also whispers of real events in Destin after the BP oil spill which fueled our imagination and our plot. Plus I love how the line plays into the title. 

Feel free to share some of your own favorite lines or just comment