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Wet Noodle Posse | Blog

Friday, October 10, 2008

Question and Answer Day!!!

TGIF!!!! It's bright and sunny in my area and my weekend schedule includes my middle daughter's varsity tennis team conference tournament as well as high school homecoming activities. Read: mom and dad covering hair appointment costs, driving nascar-style from tennis to home (quick shower) to beauty salon, then back home to dress/makeup/jewelry/beautify in time for group pictures. It's a whirlwind for the teens and parents. My tip of the day: don't forget to fix my own hair and powder my nose. Inevitably I'm in a picture with one of my girls and after a day of focusing on helping them get ready, I wind up looking everyone of my years. Not the picture I want up on their Facebook page. :-)

But enough of me, let's get down to the good stuff. Golden Heart questions!!

We've had a great week full of tips and GH finaling/winning experiences. I know there's a niggling question you meant to ask, but didn't get around to, or couldn't remember once you sat down to check out the blog and were consumed by the great advice you found.

Guess what, now's the time to let it all out. Pick our brains. If we don't have the answer in the Posse house, we'll saddle up our horses and ride out to find someone who does.

So here's your chance. Do you have a burning question?


At 12:37 PM, Blogger Elyssa Papa said...

Okay, my question is that I've done my entry both in CN and TNR, and both have different, but good hooks.

So basically... what do you sugges to someone who has two good hooks with how to decide with which one she should go with over another?

At 12:59 PM, Blogger Elyssa Papa said...

And it doesn't say anything on the RWA webpage, do you need to include a cover page? In your header, I know you put title and page... but should you also put the category the mss is entered in?

Sorry about the 50 million questions! You would think I never entered before, but I feel like I'm starting over again and have no idea how to get back on the bicycle. *g*

At 1:44 PM, Blogger Karen said...

I'd probably ask someone who hasn't read the work before to take a look and give an opinion. It might help sway you toward your favorite.

As a judge, I really prefer Courier New. I use it when I write and am comfortable with it. I know you get more text in with TNR, but that's a decision the entrant needs to make.

No cover page.

Your entry form will indicate which category your manuscript goes in. It will be sent to a judge who has (probably already)a been selected to judge it.


At 2:21 PM, Blogger Esri Rose said...

What are the hooks? Are they short enough to tell us here?

At 2:25 PM, Blogger Theresa Ragan said...

Hi Elyssa! No cover page needed. And I agree with Esri, show us the last paragraph of both of your hooks and let us vote! We can at least let you know which hook grabs us the most!

At 4:08 PM, Blogger Diane Gaston said...

Another thing, Elyssa. It probably doesn't matter which hook you end on. You will have shown your writing skill no matter where you stop.

Relax. Deep breaths!

At 4:48 PM, Anonymous Jennifer said...

Hi, I'm a lurker, but I love this blog and it is really helping get me fired up for the contest. This is my first time entering and I'm a little confused about how the contest works.

From what I understand, we submit the six copies of the contest entry, plus one copy of the full manuscript. I understand that for the first round, the judges read just the basic entry plus synopsis.

My question is:
What happens during the second round? Do the judges judge the same material, or are they reading the full manuscript? If you make it to the second round, do you then send multiple copies of the manuscript?

I have wondered about this since Kelly's post the other day. Did one judge simply want to read the manuscript and that is why she had the option to submit a revised version?

Sorry for so many questions; I really want to understand!

At 5:46 PM, Blogger Theresa Ragan said...

Jennifer, that sixth copy of your partial goes to an editor for final round judging. Let's say an editor has eight partial manuscripts in the paranormal category. Some people say that the editor reads the entire mss. I don't believe this to be true. But, many of last years finalist had requests for the full manuscript before the RWA conference in San Francisco. As of today, 6 of 10 winning manuscripts have SOLD! That's 60% of the winning manuscripts. That's amazing.

So, I hope I answered your question. YES, the judge/editor reads the same partial that all the other judges read. They only request a revised full if they are VERY interested.

If you make it to the final round you send nothing else unless RWA calls you. I have finaled six times and I have never needed to send anything for the second round. Bummer. :)

At 5:55 PM, Anonymous Jennifer said...

Thank you, Theresa. That is exactly what I wanted to know!

At 7:34 PM, Blogger Jessica said...

My only burning question is; should I enter?
And which manuscript, or all?

At 7:36 PM, Blogger Jessica said...

You've finaled SIX times? That's awesome!
Makes me want to read your stuff

At 8:25 PM, Blogger Louisa Cornell said...

So here you are entering the first 45 to 50 pages of your manuscript. Because of recent experience I am beginning to wonder about the heat in my writing and at what point in the manuscript each level of heat should appear. Does that make ANY sense? (working at Wal-Mart is killing my brain!) As my second novel is historical Gothic Regency romance (say that three times fast) I am beginning to obsess about how to balance the mystery with the romance and come out with a satisfying read for all. In the first 40 to 50 pages my hero and heroine have one very intense scene that ALMOST ends in a kiss but doesn't (he's married to another woman at the beginning of the book.) I am just curious as to whether I should worry that in the first 40 to 50 pages, while there is lots of heat there is no sex! Any opinions?

At 8:54 PM, Blogger Prisakiss said...

Louisa, as far as your concern about no sex in your first 40-50 pages, I'd say, as long as you're not writing for Desire or erotica romance, then you're okay.

There's nothing worse than a sex scene that's forced, or gratuitous (unnecessary/doesn't move the story or romance forward/just there for the hell of it).

I wouldn't worry about not having sex in your opening pages, as long as the heroine and heroine have strong chemistry and it's palpable on the pages.

At 9:00 PM, Blogger Prisakiss said...

I wanted to send a word of thanks to my fellow Noodlers for answering questions today. I posted the opening blog, then left for a tennis tournament with my middle daughter and we just walked in the door.

Elyssa, like Theresa said, you don't need a cover page. As far as TNR or CN and your hooks, I think Karen had a great idea as far as asking someone who hasn't read your manuscript to take a look at it.

We're open to reading your last couple of paragraphs, if you feel comfortable posting them on the blog. But like Diane said, if they're both strong, don't sweat it.

Jennifer, Theresa hit it right on the head. The complete manuscript is only for RWA's verification that the novel is finished, and in the event the final round editor judge requests the entire manuscript. But if that happens, RWA will contact the author and give them an opportunity to send a revised/polished manuscript.

I hope this helped. Please let us know if you have anymore questions.

And remember, the next few Fridays are reserved for Q & A. So if something comes up, or you think of something else later, you'll have time to ask.


At 9:10 PM, Blogger Theresa Ragan said...

Jessica, if you can afford it or save up, enter all your manuscripts! What the heck! It's always the ones that you least suspect that final...

Good luck to all!

At 9:31 PM, Blogger Diane Gaston said...

Jennifer, welcome to the club! The club of Golden Heart enterers.
You might want to go back and read our archives from last year, Oct Nov 2007 We did this same sort of thing and there's lots of good stuff there.

Whether to enter...don't enter if you hope it will teach you how to write better; you won't get any useful feedback. If you feel your work is ready for publication, by all means ENTER and enter as many manuscripts as you can afford.

I won and sold on a manuscript that I entered as a "what the heck" entry. I really thought my other manuscript was the one that would make the finals but that one never even sold!

At 11:36 PM, Blogger Louisa Cornell said...

Thanks, Priss! That's what I needed to hear!

At 3:00 PM, Blogger Elyssa Papa said...

Sorry, I didn't get back sooner... I got held up with real life things. I sent both entries to one of my CPs, who's read it about a million times. It's for the Single Title category. And Diane, I know you're right about the writing mattered but unfortunately for me, judges either seem to LOVE me or HATE me. It's never an all-out love fest for me. LOL.

I've included both options below; I do have a feeling which you might say is a better hook but I'm still curious to see if I'm right.

Hook 1:

The jeep sounded louder, it drove closer. As did the sharp reports of gunshots to the air.

She heard screams and the threat of violence.

Her body shook, and she bit her lip so hard to not make any noise, she tasted blood. And when the jeep stopped, she started to pray.

Hook 2:

“Noah, when we get to the town—”

He cut her off. “Don’t worry. Maxwell and I will call you Jane Spencer.”

She swallowed what she’d been about to say. It was better for him to think that. No need to say thank you or I’m sorry or I want you—not when she continued to lie.

How else would she keep her secret intact?

At 3:16 PM, Blogger Elyssa Papa said...

And Diane, I have two manuscripts I'm entering in the Single Title; one of which I highly doubt will even final. If it does, I'll be shocked.

At 5:09 PM, Blogger Theresa Ragan said...

Elyssa, it's probably hard to make a great choice based on what little we know but I'm voting for HOOK #2. She has a SECRET and she has feelings for Noah but isn't telling him...double wammy for me!

Good job!

At 11:27 AM, Blogger Esri Rose said...

I vote for Hook 2 as well! Ooh!


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