The entry day has dawned for the Amazon/CreateSpace contest, which opens this evening at 11:01 pm CST. Let’s begin with the blurb announcing the contest:
The Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest is right around the corner. You won't want to miss this incredible opportunity to win a publishing contract with Amazon Publishing. The Grand Prize winner will receive a $50,000 advance, and four First Prize winners will each receive a $15,000 advance. Now in its sixth year, this international contest promises to be the best yet.
If you’ve had time to read my recent postings, you already know that this contest requires each entrant to paste in or upload a 300-word Pitch, a 5,000-word Manuscript Excerpt, and the Complete Manuscript of up to 150,000 words.
With the help of two friends—see my posting this past Wednesday on my other blog—I prepared eight contest pitches, some of which gave away more plot details than others. One of those two friends suggested that for inspiration I read the inside dust jacket flaps of novels I’d enjoyed. I did so and came up with eight approaches that might be intriguing enough to keep me from being eliminated in the first round.
Yesterday, Saturday January 12, the second friend and I narrowed the eight down to two. She selected the paragraphs from each that most captured her attention. I then wove these together to come up with a final pitch.
Over the holidays, that same friend read the 130,979-word manuscript and made suggestions as to what might be cut, what tightened, and what expanded. So in the past two weeks, I’ve deleted 8, 904 words even while expanding two scenes to make them more plausible. The manuscript now stands at 122,074 words. That’s good—more in line with what publishers are looking for in length.
Instead of 494 manuscript pages, I now have 470, which would translate into a book of about 325 pages.
The excerpt must be between 3,000 and 5,000 words. The important thing is to end the excerpt with a cliffhanger that will whet the judge’s appetite and entice her or him into reading the entire manuscript. So I’m entering 4,848 words that end with a word that hints at the main character’s secret life.
Tomorrow, guests are coming to visit for a few days with the cats and me. I'm really looking forward to their stay. After they leave, I’ll get back to my regular postings, to my reading of all your blogs, and to my leaving comments to let you know just how much I enjoy your sharing.
You’ll be hearing from me soon!
Photograph from freedigitalphotos.net by anankkml.