Saturday, April 5, 2014

Ana is excited!

Ana just learned that she is a finalist in the Utah RWA Great Beginnings contest's historical category.

The first five pages are judged on Hook and Storyline. Lowest score is tossed out, which means if one judge hates your genre, s/he can't trash your chances. 

For the contest, Hook was defined as: "Is the conflict is described in a compelling way? Does the narrative inspire the reader to want to read more?" 

Storyline was scored on: "Is the plotting clear and understandable? How are the characters developed? Does the story engage the reader?" 

The judges, described as avid readers as well as published and unpublished authors, are asked to score and encouraged to comment.

I entered this contest to test my opening pages. I reasoned that if I placed, there was hope for this story and me. After all, if an agent, editor, or reader isn't hooked in the first few pages, they won't want to read more. Or offer representation or a contract.

I still need to finish rewriting the story, incorporating everything I've studied since I wrote the first draft in 2006. I sent it out back then and was royally, but correctly, thumped, and I've been terrified ever since.

I'm not thinking about possibility of winning. I am excited to have something that "shows" I have improved as a writer.


  1. Many congrats, Ana . Which story is it?

    BTW I had to change your title and first sentence, because when the link was sent to Facebook, various people started to congratulate me! I've now reposted the link on FB with the new title, so as not to confuse all my contacts on there!

  2. I agree that it's a great first chapter, Ana. It sets up the scene brilliantly.

  3. I've tweaked it even more since your last read of it. It's really, really tight now. Not a wasted word plus deeper POV set up.

  4. With more than a little help from my friends.

  5. Congratulations, Ana! That's wonderful! Very happy for you.

  6. Thank you, jen. This helps me feel like I've passed a "test" and can push forward toward publication with justified confidence.

  7. Congratulations Ana! Good luck!!! A contest final is always exciting.

    1. Thanks, Debra. Tis is my first good showing, and it is definitely exciting.