Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Contests and Eight Balls

Just found out that _Changing Hearts_ finaled in another contest. This one asked for 15 pages where the hero and heroine meet each other. Ours was more difficult because in the scene we sent in they are actually meeting for the second time only the heroine doesn't know this. The first time she met him -- he was in shifted form. This goes on to Anna Genoese for judging.

Finalists - 2005 SFA-RWA Heart to Heart Contest

* Chasing Moonlight by Karen Harris
* Changing Hearts by Cai Stephan (writing team of Cai Smith and Stephanie Lynch)
* The Moon Demon's Lover by Sheley Wimmer

Contests aren't the be-all/end-all of the writing world by any means. That would be the miraculous thing that happens when the phone rings and you get THE CALL. Of course, after you get THE CALL, then you have to work your bo-bo off so you can get a second call and a third call and so on. I spoke to a multi-published author at the RWA conference in Reno this year. She writes lovely historical romances.

She told me that when she sold her first manuscript that she had nothing else to offer! So when they said they wanted another one, she was behind the eight ball. Told me that in her many years and many books, she has always been in that position with that round pool table item. Warned me not to let myself ever get there.

And it hit home hard. This happened to be an author whose work I love. It never occurred to me to envision her or any other writer as struggling to find a story line. I assumed that the next story was just sitting there waiting to be worked on. Cai and I have blurbs for a full seven series line involving a paranormal detective agency. We have five of an possibly unending shifter series begun with one of those being the one on the contest rounds now. The first book is being reworked. The third book is being written as in the fourth and the fifth. Each is in various stages of completion and will need to be reworked. We tend to write the story and then go back and revamp where we are telling rather than showing. And weave in more dialogue and setting. But as we learned in someone's conference workshop a few years ago... it's important to let ourselves "write crap". We can always fix it later!

And that is what we do... write and fix. Others do it differently. Hope you are creating a great day for yourself!

I will be in Minneapolis in November. Cai's local chapter of RWA, Midwest Fiction Writers, needed one more workshop slot filled so I will be teaching my Tarot for Writers. Looking forward to that!

Stephanie (The Stephan half of Cai Stephan)
"When we do the best that we can, we never know what miracle is wrought in our life, or in the life of another." -Helen Keller

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