Monday, November 2, 2009


I'm still debating whether to enter the Golden Heart. A week ago, I was thinking Yes. With both of my latest creations. Today, the answer is no. To either.

I'm running out of time to decide, and definitely running out of time to finish my category romance if I decide yes. So I've really got to choose.

I had both manuscripts in the local RWA chapter contest, and I did not final with either. And now, I just want to know the scores. Because not finalling might mean I was one point away from sitting in front of an editor. Or it could mean I was forty points away. I have no basis to guess. Especially with the category romance. An intra-chapter 1st page contest yielded scores that range from perfect to less than half of hte possible points. So, yeah. I'm just stuck there.

And I've started re-reading and editing Leap, starting at page 1. I have close to 80k words on it already--it is not too far off of a state I could deem "finished" and mail off to RWA. Much closer than the other story, which sits at 50%. The problem isn't lenght or relative completeness. Is Leap a romance? I keep thinking that it straddles the fence with plain ol' sci fi. Sure, there is a romance between the two main characters, and conflict that keeps them apart until the very end. But as I go back and re-read the pages starting at 26 (i.e. one page after my contest entry), I see the story begin to focus on the rest of hte plot. You know, all the stuff that's happening when Dominic & Myrrah aren't pining for one another.

I just don't know. Part of me asks, "what can I lose?" And the other part answers "$50, postage, paper, ink, and many hours of precious time." And I know already that waiting for contest results doesn't exactly make me a happy person. Nor does the not-hearing my name announced.

So, what am I doing now? Preparing for the Golden Heart? Polishing a manuscript and query letter? Nope, I'm surfing the web and wringing my hands.


etchinstone said...

Ah, we seem to be in the same boat. I spend half the week all gung ho about entering and then the other half is tiresome, especially considering the deadline.

Just curious - Have you decided? What are you leaning towards? I'm always up for a good pros/cons list :D


Kristi said...

I'm leaning towards yes on my sci fi and no on my category. It could change tomorrow.

The biggest problem with my category romance is that its not done. And I'm not that gung-ho to pound out the rest of it in 3 weeks.

The biggest problem with my sci fi is that I'm not sure it will be received as a romance. I'm afraid that I will get dinged right and left if I lose the main romance factor. But I was doing some editing last night, and the romance so far is staying front and center (and I'm on about my second layer of varnish on the first 50 chapters...not quite the topcoat yet, but getting there). So maybe I have a chance!

Also, I'm waiting for my scores from a RWA chapter contest. I know I didn't final, but I'd like to know where I stood. It's not a true indicator of where I'd fall in the GH, but its a sample of how the story is received.

etchinstone said...

Well, as others have pointed out on the Ruby Slippered Sisters blog (the 2009 GH finalists/winners; see below), you just need a draft of the wip and 50 very clean first pages. Just make sure you revise, revise, revise in case you find out your ms has been requested. If you feel you can fast draft your way to an ending for your category romance and want to enter it, go for it.

Or, you could just focus on the scifi since you have it done. I have a manuscript I planned to enter, but the romance between the main characters wasn't apparent in the first 50 pages. I decided to go with a different manuscript because I figured, well, GH is a _romance_ writers contest and it'd be more beneficial to go with another wip where the MC met and truly interact besides a "hey."
Since you noted that your scifi has very noticeable romance, I think that definitely works in your favor

Unless there’s been consistent feedback on particular points on your manuscript, I wouldn’t compare contests to each other since there are different variables (due to the judges, the scoring method, etc.) Some people could win GH, but not place in other contests (or vice versa) – how it’s received depends on who is doing the judging. What works for one, may not work for the other.

I’ve no idea if I helped you any. I’m currently in ‘no go’ mode for my own wip after taking a close look at my personal writing goals, costs, and hearing the opinions of others. I do plan to still follow along with GH news as I know others entering and maybe next year I'll enter, but for now, I _think_ I’m sitting this one out (watch, in 10 minutes, I’ll be singing a different tune). :D

Anyway, I just wanted to make sure you were aware of these links, the latter of which I just stumbled upon this morning! There's some info out there and people who are willing to share their thoughts (thank you google is all I have to say:) - a blog maintained by those who won or finaled in GH - another writer wondering if she should enter or not; there’s a lot of good info and different people weighing in for both sides which is great!

Good luck whichever you decide to do!