Well, I just finished my first Internet writing contest.
It was called pitch slam and it took place over Twitter and Facebook.
The first thing we reviewed were our pitches which had to be 35 words, no more. That was tough. It was really hard to try to explain the novel that you’ve put 82,000 words into in a 35 words little pitch.
Then you had to go on and submit the first 250 words of your novel and they, the judges, were going to determine whether not you made it into the next round based off of those 250 words. They only choose 100 out of 337.
Some of the participants got there 250 words reviewed by the judges and had the sent back with corrections and suggestions on them.
Those of us who were not selected sent our 250s back-and-forth between other contestants. Now this actually worked out pretty well. I think I swapped mine with at least five different people from I don’t know where, other places in our country, Canada, Australia, I don’t know where. They were all provided some great suggestions back and even a couple of hilarious responses. One lady couldn’t stand that used the word moist as the second word in my manuscript.
I will say that the mildly frustrating thing is that I read so many books out there that take time to build in the characters AND in our house we have a rule that you must read 100 pages into a book before you can quit on it. I’d say mine is builds a little bit faster than that but it still takes time to let the reader learn about the main character, develop some affection for him, hopefully, and then let the story progress from there. We really didn’t get a chance to do that in the first 250 words.
i know the judges have lives and that reading and editing 337 250s and 35 word pitches would’ve taken much longer and they volunteered for it.
It was still a fun contest and I look forward to spending more of these in the future but I really did enjoy getting a chance to meet some of the other participants even though it was over Twitter and swapping comments back-and-forth hopefully we can continue to use one another for improving our own works.