Two blogs you should visit today, because they're running cool contests:
One blog you should bookmark and check every day for the next week, since she's running a block/blog party and giving away umpteen books EVERY DAY:
And one blog you should visit whenever you can, because she's just so freakin' funny:
Rebecca James (check out her blog post on the evils of drinking when your children are sick...)
And on another subject entirely, here's a little dilemma I'm facing:
This weekend, at my local RWA chapter meeting, we're doing a training/discussion on contest judging, since we have a contest coming up. We want to make sure everyone's close to the same page with using the score sheet, understanding where certain elements should fall, etc. So we're all supposed to bring the first 3 pages of something we've written. We'll read aloud and then discuss how we would score it on the contest sheet.
Umm...OK, but who is going to honestly tell a fellow member "Well, I'd give it about a 2/5." Or, "That hero isn't likable at all," especially after half of the group has probably heard the story before and perhaps even helped critique it? Do you think people will be that honest?
I've decided I'm going to write a really, really bad 3 pages (you know, full of cliches and steroetypes and poor sentence structure and stilted dialogue...maybe even a flashback or two), because I think we should have a "poor" entry to look at and discuss. It will also be interesting to see what people say about it. Will they be kind? Or honest?
And in the interest of research, what sorts of things do you think I should put into this masterpiece? What turns you off from reading a story right from the start? What drives you batty? What do new authors do that needs to be "unlearned"? What comments have you gotten back from judges in the "Needs Improvement" category?