There was an interesting article on Nathan Bransford’s blog today: http://blog.nathanbransford.com/2012/10/empathizing-with-literary-agents.html and it’s inspired me to play agent for a day, plus I have the perfect opportunity, a wet Saturday and Harlequin’s So You Think You Can Write competition – voting now on.
The Harlequin So You Think You Can Write competition has more than 700 entries across all the HQN categories. In the category I entered, Harlequin Superromance, there would be about 50. So this morning and last night I’ve gone through every entry in the Superromance category, to see which ones I like best, and which one, if I was an agent, I’d select.
This is my short list:
Sierrra Sunrise http://www.soyouthinkyoucanwrite.com/manuscripts/sierra-sunrise/ (I like this opening line).
Bow-Tie & The Boys http://www.soyouthinkyoucanwrite.com/manuscripts/bow-tie-and-the-boys/ (This was the first chapter of any entries – superromance or other – that I read to the end)
Everlasting Inklination http://www.soyouthinkyoucanwrite.com/manuscripts/everlasting-inklination/
Stealing Home http://www.soyouthinkyoucanwrite.com/manuscripts/stealing-home/
Bride For The Batchelor http://www.soyouthinkyoucanwrite.com/manuscripts/bride-for-the-bachelor/ (Another one with an opening line I really like). It only has one ‘like’ (it’s got two now) which surprised me because I think this is really good and she’s the first heroine I’ve really cared about. Maybe because my days with a newborn baby are not so long ago that I’ve forgotten what it’s like to walk the halls with a screaming child). It’s by M. J. Esber. I got to the end of this one too. I thought it was excellent.
And I’m not counting my own entry, His Brand Of Beautiful. I’m not the best person to judge it! http://www.soyouthinkyoucanwrite.com/manuscripts/his-brand-of-beautiful/
If I have to pick just one – it would be Bride For The Batchelor. I like it because it lets the story and scene unfold through dialogue and action whereas in almost all these entries there seems a big info dump early on in the story.
It’s an interesting lesson in writing psychology, taking part in this competition. The Twitter chat is huge. As someone who has only just found Facebook, I’m not yet into Twitter and this is the first time I’ve watched a conversation. A whole heap of plugging is a-going on… At the end of the day they’re probably not pumping the right audience because I’d say the people watching that feed are people like me, other writers. We only get one vote to spread a day and I’d say every writer in the competition will be saving her vote madly for her own story… unless they’re saints if course, which I’m not 😉