Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Cramping my Style

With 3 hours left to go in the prelim voting for Avon FanLit round 2, I doubt that I'll make it to the finals. I seem to be getting average ratings around the 2-3 range, which is pretty good. (And many thanks to those who have gone and voted for me!) But there are several entries out there getting 3's and 4's and they deserve it. So I'm already setting my sights on round 3 (of 6).

I know what my problem is. It's not my writing, per se. I read a lot of Regencies, and even if I'm working on a Scottish historical at the moment (or not working on - this week has been crazy), I didn't find it hard to slip back into the Regency style. This comment left on my entry pretty much sums it up:

Your Regency voice is excellent, and your dialogue charming -- but this didn't move the plot forward a great deal. It feels like you were just hitting your stride and needed more space.

It goes to prove what I already know about myself: I'm a novel writer. Sticking to the novella word limits is really cramping my style. Even DH told me that my entry read more like a scene from a novel than a chapter from a novella. Which I kind of knew as I submitted it. And it does advance the plot, if you look closely. It indicates their interest in each other and willingness to move forward in the relationship, but it doesn't have the trite "Oh, wow, I'm suddenly in love with you despite our history" moment that some (too many, and it annoys me) romance novels have. And it opens the way for a fast-paced chapter to follow in dealing with the woman in the foyer, etc. But yeah - it really belongs in a novel, not a novella.

So, lesson learned: for this contest, I need to pare down my scenes and include a lot more plot progression. Most of the entries that I've seen that look like they could be finalists have plots I can work with. I'll wait for the next chapter prompt on Friday and make a point of including more in my next entry. And if this entry even makes it into the Top 25, I'll be more than pleased.

My guess for Round 2 winner: The Contrary Countess.

Stay tuned...

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