Writing with the Stars
My publisher, Kensington, is hosting a contest for aspiring writers called WRITING WITH THE STARS. The newbies have been paired up with existing Brava authors for mentoring through the extended judging process. Today I’d like you to welcome one of the 10 finalists, Dale Edwards. She’s sharing a bit about how this contest has changed the way she thinks about her writing.
Go ahead, Dale. My blog is now yours.
I love writing romantic suspense novels and have recently branched into writing YA books as well. Being a finalist in Brava’s Writing with the Stars contest has been an exciting time and has really opened my eyes to the publishing business. The challenges were just that – challenging. As a writer I tend to look over my work on a more global level and work through plot, characterization, and dialogue issues on a large scale. The challenges forced me to assess the value of each word, each sentence. With the words limited, each one had to be perfect – especially when your work is going to be judged – publicly!
Of course, when you write and revise your work, you think you’ve got the right word down. It’s not until you examine each on a micro level that you realize – there really are better choices to push your writing up another level.
A great lesson to apply to my all my manuscripts.
What about you? How do you revise your manuscripts to take them to the next level?
Excerpt from Tuesday’s Child:
The older officer, his expression encouraging and steadfast, helped calm her nerves. Except her ability to judge people had never been good. Sam hesitated a moment longer before the words blurted out on their own accord. “I need to talk to someone about a murder.”
He raised his eyebrows.
“Two murders.” Even she recognized the apology in her voice.
His eyes widened.
Okay, she sounded like she had one screw loose, but there wasn’t any delicate way to approach this. She dropped her gaze to her tattered sneakers almost hidden beneath her overly long blue jeans.
“What murders, miss?” His voice, so kind and gentle, contrasted with the sharpness of his gaze.
Shifting, she glanced around. She didn’t want to talk about this out in the open. The line of people started several feet behind her, but still… She leaned closer. “Please, I need to speak with someone in private.”
She twisted the ribbing of her forest green sweater around her fingers under the intensity of his gaze. Catching herself, she stilled, as if locked in space and time. Not so her stomach, which roiled in defiance. This had to happen now, or she’d never be able to force herself back again.
When he nodded, she breathed a deep sigh of relief. “Thank you,” she whispered.
“Go take a seat. I’ll contact someone.”
Sam spun away and stumbled into the next person in the line behind her. Flushing with embarrassment, she apologized and retreated to a chair against the far wall. She closed her eyes and rubbed her face, as she tried to calm her breathing. She’d made it this far. The rest…well…she could only hope it would be just as easy.
Thanks for sharing with us, Dale. Good luck in the contest. You can learn more about Dale Mayer at www.dalemayer.com. She can be found on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/dalemayer and you can friend her on Facebook.
Writing for the Stars Finalist – Voting starts October 11th at RT BOOKReviews. In the coming days, I’ll be hosting some of the other finalists as well, so be sure to check back for more aspiring authors and their work.
Providing a published mentor for the finalists is what makes the WRITING WITH THE STARS contest so valuable. Dale’s mentor is Cynthia Eden, author of sexy paranormals and dark romantic suspense. She’s part of THE NAUGHTY LIST anthology which is available now and has a new paranormal called Eternal Flame coming out November 30th! You’ll want to check out www.cynthiaeden.com and while you’re there be sure to take the Creature Feature Quiz to find out what kind of paranormal YOU are. (I’m a shifter, BTW, which makes sense when you consider that I’ve had multiple pen names!)
To get the questions started today, I’d like to ask Dale how long she’s been writing and if she’s entered any other contests besides WRITING WITH THE STARS?