Nathan Bransford’s first paragraph contest

Wow.  I mean, wow.  1,515 entries.  My sympathies to agents that see this daily in their inboxes.

I don’t really know what possessed me to enter the first paragraph competition since I’m not even sure that’s where I’m going to start anymore but luckily, with the odds above, I’m not too worried about getting picked.

Speaking of Nathan Bransford, have you all sent in your first 250 for page critique friday?

I sent mine when he moved it to the forums and I have to say, I’ve edited several times.  I’m afflicted by that terrible disease – you know, the one that makes you tweak what you write a gazillion times?  Yeah, that one.  I’ve tweaked and tweaked until I had a page I felt was pretty darned good and tweaked and tweaked my way right out of that good page.  I haven’t edited it since then and every friday I pray that my first page is not picked because I’ve made it my mission to not tweak anymore until I’ve finished my WIP.  (I’ll admit that I probably should at least tweak the first 250 until I’m happy again since there’s always a chance it’ll be picked and I don’t want to be humiliated by something I’m not happy with – I’d rather be picked apart by something I actually think is good.)

I sent it to The Knight Agency’s First Impressions draw, too, wherein I’m also hoping not to get picked, especially since I can’t even edit that one.  WTF was I thinking?  I sent in crap and I know it.  I think, at the time, I was riding on that high of, “I think I’ve got it now!”  Given a day or two, I realized the bitter truth.  At this point, I’m just praying that my critical eye on my own writing is just severe lack of confidence and that it’s better than I think it is – but I really do laugh out loud at that thought.

I know that everyone has their doubts on how well they can pull off writing.  I wonder, though, how bad is it for everyone else?  I always expect to hear how much I suck – even if it’s in the nicest words possible.  Is it as bad for you as it is for me?

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Cheryl Murphy is Asian with brown hair in a single braid and a smirk.

ACES: the society for editing


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