60,000 words

Quote: Almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts. – Anne Lamott

I wanted to say thank you to everyone who has been sharing with me this past week about their own college experiences.  I feel so much better!  I’m not alone at all, and you’re right – the straight path is seldom the most interesting.

My big news is…I made my April 30th deadline!  I have a rough draft of my novel!  Whoo Hoo.  I started working on it June 26th. 

Don’t get me wrong, I’m aware the ending is rushed.  Really rushed.  And I made something happen so that two characters don’t like each other and I don’t know how to resolve that.  And does the military guy use a mess kit or does he have something more….military-ish while they are camping?  It’s also been suggested as too fortuitous that Rachel meets Scott right before she’s kicked out of the hospital, but my sister won’t read her sample and either agree or disagree.  I get all that, but I FINISHED MY ROUGH DRAFT.

I’ve taken a break from it for this week while Evelyn takes her steroids.  On Monday I plan to start the second draft.  Just the idea makes me want to procrastinate.  Instead, I’m going to stay motivated by submitting to two contests.

Chuck Sambuchino’s website “Guide to Literary Agents” is hosting the (free) Dear Lucky Agent contest.  Here’s the description.  Submit the first 150-200 words of your unpublished, book-length work of upmarket fiction, the title, and a logline (one-sentence description of the work).  Upmarket is defined by the contest judge as character-driven with a strong social or emotional message. 

 Then, the Maryland Writers’ Association is hosting a contest based on the first 7,000 words of a completed novel.  So, first I edit the beginning 200 words, then I move up to 7K and by then I should have enough momentum to finish.  June 1st will be my 2nddraft deadline.       

Here’s the logline.

                After a global catastrophe, single-mom Rachel Dunow must leave the homestead and transverse a confusing and sometimes violent world to find help and healing for her ten-year-old son’s rapidly spreading cancer.
What do you think?  Thumbs up or thumbs down?  Too vague?  Too specific?  One sentence limit — should I just add a bunch of semi-colons and squeeze in as much as possible?

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