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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Openings Contest #2


April is gone! That means I have to come up with my second "Openings Contest" and soon. My first one turned up a great opening, so I'm hoping this one will too.

This time I'm only stipulating, "Write a damned good start to any novel." Pull me into the story. I don't care if it's a WIP or something you're only thinking about writing someday, sometime, maybe.

The prize is the same: a critique of one opening chapter--any opening chapter, just not War and Peace, okay?

Here's what Mike Boyd, our first winner says:

"I encourage everyone to jump into this. It's free, it's fun, it's fast (a lot quicker than a Best New Novel competition!), and as Samuel Johnson said of an impending execution, 'It focuses the mind wonderfully.'

When a reader picks up your book or manuscript, the first sentence is the most important one in the entire work. It's what motivates her to read the second (which then becomes the most important sentence--but only briefly). What this means is that an Openings contest is one of the most valuable writing exercises you can try. And best of all--you might win!"


So? What are you waiting for? Let's see those entries. The judges are itching to get started.

12 comments:

  1. With a stone-like expression, Alana plowed her Ford Taurus into the menacing angel statue that guarded the abandoned cemetery.

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  2. "Those pretty cocoa-colored eyes are worth roughly half my tuition."

    I did a similar contest on my blog, and I was feeling really sad that I couldn't find another opening-sentence-contest so I could enter. :) Thanks for reading my mind!

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  3. I spent the summer wondering if I was adopted, even though it's obvious I'm not.

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  4. Everyone knows what’s up, because it’s the first day of school and I set the tone.

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  5. The judges are itching to go to work. I've now enticed three eager readers aboard to render decisions. Stay tuned. Results will be in by the end of May.

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  6. She is dead now, yet in the still of the darkness, I know that she is there. My lips barely move as I whisper her name through the white noise of the night, and I feel her...

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  7. To the Judges: These entries are going be very challenging, guys. No ties this time, okay?

    To the Entrants: Be sure to leave me a way to contact you, so I can let you know if you win and how to submit your chapter for a free critique.

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  9. Storms, like sailboats and swimmers, never made it past Garvey Cove.

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  10. Like all my birthday parties, my own funeral is just plain boring.

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  11. "Call me Ishmael," oh wait, taken. "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times." Dang! That one's taken too.

    How about...
    "There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it" or "It was the day my grandmother exploded."

    Great opening lines, but unfortunately I didn't write them. I'm glad you're judging and not me. Thanks for the contest.

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  12. Joyce, you crack me up. How can I reach you if you win? I mean there's a good chance my judges will choose your entry and I don't have a way to award you your prize!!!!

    email me: clee38@gmail.com just in case.

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Please say something to me, anything. Well, not anything, but a kind word will do.