Another contest, prep for April Camp NaNo, and queries

Mermaid’s Courage is away, and recently Author’s First announced their second Annual Authors First Novel Competition. I had submitted my YA fantasy, The Shadow Conflict, to them, but it didn’t place. I will be submitting Lifeline, my 2013 NaNo project, to it. I think its subject matter is more interesting, and more unique, than your standard fantasy fare. I may end up offering my fantasy on my Scribd page for free reading, but more on that another time. The good thing about Lifeline is that it’s a second draft, so the changes I need to make aren’t that intensive. The only big change is Gabriel’s characterization. Friends who read the first draft were very clear about what they didn’t like. I shared their opinions: no one wants to get invested in a story where the lead character spends most of his time bitching. You want readers to sympathize, not despise.

This decision has also altered my plans for April Camp as well. Originally, I was going to resume work on Mermaid’s Courage in anticipation of the long list announcements in July, but I am shifting gears to Lifeline. I have until September to enter the Author’s First contest, but I think April’s Camp will be a perfect opportunity for me to work on it. Afterward, I will have May and June to finish Mermaid’s Courage. 30 days should be sufficient time to prep the draft and synopsis.

Back in December, I participated in a #PitchMAS event on Twitter. The pitch was for my incomplete 2011 NaNo project, Tainted. When I posted it, I didn’t think much of its chances. It was one of those spontaneous things. So, of course it generated interest from Bree Ogden. I was both excited as hell and terrified because, holy hell, this story was no where NEAR ready. Add that Bree’s page indicated she wasn’t accepting sci fi or fantasy (and there are a LOT of fantasy elements in Tainted), and this was me.

Daisy freak out

After agonizing over these facts for a few days, I finally emailed Bree and told her the truth. I didn’t want to waste her time on a project she might not be interested in, and I couldn’t change the core story just to appease one request. Color me surprised when she responded that she was still interested, and she thanked me for my honesty. I’ve been kind of sitting on my laurels as far as getting anything out to her, which probably won’t reflect well on my part. But after speaking with another writer friend (the same who had great pointers about what genres do well when self-published), I decided I will send it. I have enough for three chapters, and I can use the rest of March to write the query/synopsis. I’m not fooling myself, of course: I feel she’ll still reject it for various reasons, but I’ve got nothing to lose. On with the show!

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