Friday, December 3, 2010

Who Can Resist My Hook?

In October, I entered the ACFWOhio Chapter’s Hook Me Contest. I turned in a back cover blurb along with the first 1000 words to see if I would “hook” the judges into wanting to read my novel.

I finally got the results back, along with some great feedback. No, I didn’t win, but that’s okay. I still did really well. My main reason for entering was that I needed some feedback on my first 1000 words as I’d been receiving conflicting opinions.

I belong to two critique groups which are wonderful and I absolutely respect the opinions of these fellow writers—however, in certain cases they tend to disagree a lot. And the first few pages of my first chapter was one of them. Some people like it just the way it is and believe it accomplishes introducing the characters in a good way before the horrible tragedy at the end of the chapter. Others think that the first few pages are not interesting enough to garner the reader’s attention and keep them engaged to get to the second part of the chapter.

So, for awhile I’ve been debating on who was right and what I needed to do about it (if anything). After receiving the feedback from the judges and then brainstorming with my wonderful hubby, I’m excited to say that I think I’ve finally figured out which path I’m going to try. Which one do you ask?

Well, I’m going to make some changes, but I’m not exactly giving up the first few pages. A little relocation, deletion of a character, and shortening the length of the opening scene will help to introduce the important characters in the “normal” life before I throw that life out of whack.

Too bad I’m up to my head in moving stuff or I’d go rewrite it now! I’m hoping that after we’re packed up and on vacation, I’ll have plenty of time to edit the rest of my novel and go over it a couple more times.

My goal is to be completely done by February. I’m going to try my hand at the Amazon Breakout Novel Award again (despite the disaster that occurred the first time), and then enter the ACFW Genesis contest in March. FEEDBACK! After that, then I hope to start querying it. We shall see!


  1. You are motivating me to enter more contests.

    Thanks for all your tweetin' love!
    ~ Wendy

  2. I hope you kick some contest butt Ralene!

  3. I meant to enter the Ohio contest and simply forgot. How funny. It's nice to get feedback that you agree with and are clear on what needs to be done.

  4. Please do not give up. One author told me in order to be a sucess, you must work hard for what you want. Be Blessed...Annie Dennis Eskridge, author of Sin Abides.

  5. Wendy-We can be each other's accountability partners! Did you enter a contest yet? Are you done yet? Are you done yet? :P

    Thanks, Katie!

    Heather-Yes it is good to get clear feedback. I'm def on board with the suggestions.

    Annie-Oh, I have no intentions of giving up! God gave me this gift and I intend to use it--I'm not afraid of hard work. :)

  6. Win or not - sounds like the whole writing process was an adventure, and that you learned what you needed to know: which direction to take. That's how the writing process works. You start in one direction and, next thing you know, you're heading in quite another!

  7. Awesome!

    I get contradicting feedback, too. So I use my instinct and pick and choose what feedback is right for my work.

  8. SO proud of you girlie!!!!:)))) Big things ahead for 2011!! Take by force!


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