So who's entering Nathan's first page contest?

Because that novel isn't going to delay itself
wildheart
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Re: So who's entering Nathan's first page contest?

Post by wildheart » June 11th, 2010, 8:43 pm

Margo wrote:
wildheart wrote:I haven't entered and I have a pretty lame excuse considering it was something I thought about. And the short answer is: I'm afraid. What I've got so far is a first draft and I already know it sucks. I don't need the rest of the world saying the same thing as well. I'd rather enter after spending a few months revising to see where I am at, how close I am to being able to query, ect. You guys are a little intimidating you know? I don't feel like I deserve to enter yet.
Fear isn't a lame excuse; it's natural. I wouldn't enter a first draft either, and my first drafts tend to be pretty clean as first drafts go. The contest isn't going anywhere, so there's no problem with taking your time to get it polished. Frankly, I will probably never enter. *knock on simulated wood-like product*

But I would say banish the idea that you don't 'deserve' to enter yet. The whole publication process, filled with rejection, will keep you humble enough without you beating yourself up.

You are right. It's just hard to put those feelings aside. For as long as I can remember writing I always thought I wasn't good enough. I never wanted Nathan or any other agent to see my work unless it was perfect, and because I knew I could never reach that goal I thought for a long time why bother? It took me awhile to realize I have to get over my fears if I want to be published.

And I really am trying to feel like I am deserving. Its just hard sometimes.

Thanks for the nice and much needed advice!
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Re: So who's entering Nathan's first page contest?

Post by wildheart » June 11th, 2010, 8:45 pm

dios4vida wrote:
Margo wrote:
wildheart wrote:I haven't entered and I have a pretty lame excuse considering it was something I thought about. And the short answer is: I'm afraid. What I've got so far is a first draft and I already know it sucks. I don't need the rest of the world saying the same thing as well. I'd rather enter after spending a few months revising to see where I am at, how close I am to being able to query, ect. You guys are a little intimidating you know? I don't feel like I deserve to enter yet.
Fear isn't a lame excuse; it's natural. I wouldn't enter a first draft either, and my first drafts tend to be pretty clean as first drafts go. The contest isn't going anywhere, so there's no problem with taking your time to get it polished. Frankly, I will probably never enter. *knock on simulated wood-like product*

But I would say banish the idea that you don't 'deserve' to enter yet. The whole publication process, filled with rejection, will keep you humble enough without you beating yourself up.
I agree with Margo. I've passed on entering contests like this on more occasions than I can count because my ms wasn't ready. Now that it is, I'm boldly going where no...me...has gone before. And yes, it's terrifying, because if Nathan does happen to pick mine and says that it sucks I really will be crushed. Rejection is my biggest fear in life, which makes me sit back and wonder why the heck I'm pursuing writing in the first place. Oh, that's right. I can't stop. :)


And no one doesn't 'deserve' to enter. We're all here, and most of us are in the same boat - wannabe published authors who write and dream and love the written word. That in and of itself makes us all worthy to enter.

Another great bit of advice. Now I just have to try and follow it.

Maybe after I have revised I'll make myself enter, just to see what happens. I need to toughen my skin sometime.
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Re: So who's entering Nathan's first page contest?

Post by wildheart » June 11th, 2010, 8:55 pm

SM Schmidt wrote:I think the last thing anyone wants on a forum is a clique that intimidates new people from posting or entering contests. I know my post count isn't all that high because frankly I spend more time reading then actually posting. Good advice is best put into practice rather than regurgitated.

Between blogging, twitter, and the manuscript it had better be a strong opinion or helpful tip to be worth taking time away from my writing time to post here. Busy lives don't always allow for as much participation as I wish and I'm sure other people feel the same.

I don't know if you were talking to me, but I am sorry anyway. I wasn't discouraging new people from joining, and I understand that life gets in the way of posting. My comment was directed in a different direction entirely, but I see my execution wasn't the greatest. I was talking about people that only join blogs to enter into contests. But that isn't important.

And you are right. Sometimes it is much better to just listen to the advice given rather than just post to agree and not add something important.
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Re: So who's entering Nathan's first page contest?

Post by charlotte49ers » June 11th, 2010, 9:11 pm

Another great bit of advice. Now I just have to try and follow it.

Maybe after I have revised I'll make myself enter, just to see what happens. I need to toughen my skin sometime.
Ugh, this is so tough to do, I know. :( Luckily, I'm a photographer, so I've gotten used to people to critiquing my work, but BOY was it hard at first. :/

But holy crap, has it helped me. Am I fabulous, no, but you should see where I started. :D

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Re: So who's entering Nathan's first page contest?

Post by Josin » June 11th, 2010, 9:19 pm

I entered first! Too bad that no longer matters :-P

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Re: So who's entering Nathan's first page contest?

Post by charlotte49ers » June 11th, 2010, 9:23 pm

I'll give you a virtual cookie! How's that? It tastes goooood!

You've been on a roll lately. ;-) I entered something different on Sophie's blog this round. *fingers crossed* I figure my odds go up as less people enter. :D

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Re: So who's entering Nathan's first page contest?

Post by Margo » June 11th, 2010, 10:04 pm

Regan Leigh wrote:Bah, I entered because each time I post my stuff or enter a contest, I delude myself into thinking it toughens my skin.
I'm a firm believer in this 'delusion'.
Urban fantasy, epic fantasy, and hot Norse elves. http://margolerwill.blogspot.com/

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Re: So who's entering Nathan's first page contest?

Post by Margo » June 11th, 2010, 10:14 pm

wildheart wrote:Maybe after I have revised I'll make myself enter, just to see what happens. I need to toughen my skin sometime.
You know what you might try (if you don't already)? Short stories. All I've ever wanted to be is a novelist. I have always hated trying to fit my ideas in such a little package. However, I have learned short stories have many uses for novelists (I'm making the wreckless assumption that most of us on the forums are novelists).

First, it's a great exercise in brevity, since it's a far more common problem to overshoot your word count in novel-ing than to come in under.

Second, the length means you can write more of them, investing less time in each. If you spend a month writing a short story and it's rejected, it's very hard. If you spend two years writing a novel that gets rejected...that's crippling. Short stories will help build your rejection tolerance faster and at the best cost-benefit ratio.

Third, it's a great way to get your name out there and build an audience before your first novel comes out.
Urban fantasy, epic fantasy, and hot Norse elves. http://margolerwill.blogspot.com/

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Re: So who's entering Nathan's first page contest?

Post by Claudie » June 12th, 2010, 12:27 am

Margo wrote: First, it's a great exercise in brevity, since it's a far more common problem to overshoot your word count in novel-ing than to come in under.
I've taken to flash fiction. I find a picture or a song that is inspiring, and I try to write a story under 1200 words. It is indeed a great exercise in brevity. It also allows to dabble in other types of story/genres that you're used to, without spending great amounts of time.

The only problem is that now ideas I think of are either fit for 2000 words or less, or for 60,000+. I need to find a middle ground, where I write stories that span 5,000 to 10,000 words!

More on topic, I always figured that I could go back and edit my first page when I find or make time. I do not expect it to be chosen anytime soon, but even should it be, then I would only receive great advice as to what to do next.
"I do not think there is any thrill [...] like that felt by the inventor as he sees some creation of the brain unfolding to success... Such emotions make a man forget food, sleep, friends, love, everything." -- Nikola Tesla

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Re: So who's entering Nathan's first page contest?

Post by February » June 12th, 2010, 1:47 am

Flash fiction sounds like so much fun I am going to have to try that soon...

I just have to clarify that I didn't mean to imply in any way that people who don't feel ready or up to putting their entries up are less than anyone who does- not at all. It is a terrifying thing to do and no one should do it unless they're ready. But they shouldn't feel that they can't yet just because they're not good enough yet- esp. not with the random number generator :D I think I'm more afraid of getting the critique than losing again this time though LOL.

I never tried to enter the first page thing before because i knew I'd never be fast enough to get in first. I did enjoy the results though and I think it's so cool that the contest has been reworked this way.

All things cool- that's this blog!

bru

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Re: So who's entering Nathan's first page contest?

Post by Mira » June 12th, 2010, 4:30 am

I haven't entered yet. I don't feel like I have anything ready. But the lure is strong. :) Just seeing that thread, knowing there's a chance that I could get critiqued by Nathan and the whole blog - what an experience that would be. It's tempting.......I wonder how long I'll hold out before I post something. :)

I'm glad to see new folks and new energy here. I figured Nathan chose to post on the Forums in part to bring new folks here - which is great! I have lots to talk about in writing - and it's good to share support - so the stronger and more active the Forums - cool.

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Re: So who's entering Nathan's first page contest?

Post by Anobile1 » June 12th, 2010, 4:48 am

Me! It brought me here (along with Nathan's awesomeness), and I'm sticking around.
My Blog: http://amorenanobile.blogspot.com/ (Most recent post: Inspiration Patterns and an Old Friend)

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Re: So who's entering Nathan's first page contest?

Post by Erica75 » June 13th, 2010, 12:37 am

I entered because I feel like I'm [this] close to being done with revisions and I've already incorporated the ideas of several members of my awesome critique group. I'm ready for query stage, but it would be great to get some last-minute feedback from an expert. It's hard for me to get into a lot of blog contests because I'm a teacher and when it's time-constricted, I can't just leave my classroom to send an email at a certain time or wait to be the first one to make a comment. Even in the summer, when I'm home, I have 2 kids who somehow think I'm supposed to PUT DOWN THE LAPTOP AND WATCH ME RIGHT NOW, MOM! Or take them places. Or [insert mom-type duty].

On the topic of new posters, this did begin as a blog contest and just linked to the forums this week, so it makes complete sense that some people wouldn't have been registered here previously. Also, I know I read the forum posts for a few weeks to get ideas to finish my first draft and begin editing - and I wasn't registered (or whatever it's called - signed up? logged in?) during that time. Since the contest doesn't require a finished ms to enter, I'm sure others are in that same boat.

And to whoever mentioned that there are a lot of great entries - I didn't even think to go back in and read any of them. It's almost midnight here, but apparently I won't be getting much sleep now...
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Re: So who's entering Nathan's first page contest?

Post by Quill » June 13th, 2010, 1:37 am

Yeah, I've read a lot of them, too, and have enjoyed the browsing.

Wish we had set up our own contest in this thread to guess how many entries there would be.

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Re: So who's entering Nathan's first page contest?

Post by ddelano » June 13th, 2010, 2:44 pm

I wouldn't worry about it. Nathan started the contest for people who follow the blog, not us forumites. I'm more of a reader myself. I come often, but comment rarely. :D

Edit:

I should clarify because it looks like I'm telling you to be inactive. What I meant to say was that you shouldn't feel guilted into participating around the forums. :D[/quote]

Thanks for that - I have Southern roots, so my guilt issues are naturally huge!!

(OK - I can't seem to figure out exactly to post this the way others do with a quote from the post you're replying to. I'll get there eventually)

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