Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Everyone's Writing A Book

Everyone, it seems, is writing a book.

And I mean everyone.

The guy the next cubicle over is writing a book, something or other about a distant relative’s experiences in the Civil War. I’m writing two books, well, three at the moment. And over at Nathan Bransford’s blog, we’ve just seen the results of his annual first paragraph contest, which saw nothing short of 1,500 entries this year.

Needless to say I’m not one of those who won or even earned honorable mention in the contest, else I’d be bragging that up. But I am here to say I am learning a lot.

And I finally got noticed in one of his contests, by fellow contestant and entrant Deniselle, who fingered my introduction to the Hermit of Iapetus as one of her favorites, thusly:
Mister Fweem - this begins with Amundsen and how the narrator feels he lied about something. It might feel random, but I loved it. It says a lot about the character and the way he relates to the world.
Random. That’s what I go for a lot in my stories. So that makes me feel pretty good.

But still: Everyone out there is writing a book, bamboozling the public for a measly buck, as Thor said in Johnny Hart’s BC. But like Thor, I took Peter’s advice (Why don’t you write one yourself) and am enjoying it all.

But still: Everyone out there is writing a book. And I’m not so sure that having a bang-o first paragraph is the definitive clincher in getting noticed by an agent. But I have learned this: Maybe Nathan Bransford isn’t the agent for me – or at least his blog followers aren’t generally my kind of people – because I’m not writing in the style or genre they like. There are enough published mediocrities out there to make me think I can get published as well. Just finding the right book/agent fit will be the clincher.

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