Thursday, January 18, 2007

Want To Get Your Hook Flogged?

Over at Flogging the Quill, author and professional editor Ray Rhamey is gearing up for a hook contest. Here's the deal:

...a critique of the FIRST 200 words of your novel. That's the equivalent of the 15 double-spaced lines that appear on a manuscript's first page when the chapter starts about 1/3 of the way down (as it should), with 1-inch margins.

Your writerly objective: to create an opening page that compels me to want more. This should make you really concentrate on making every word count, and make sure you raise at least one story question in those first few paragraphs.

The Flogometer is NOT YET OPEN for submissions. I figured you might want to take a little time to really focus on those first 15 lines and do a little editing and polishing. They had better gleam like the steel hooks they should be. It wouldn't hurt to browse through the FtQ writing category for coaching that may help.


You can access the writing category of his posts HERE.

In that section, one of the entries says all the following should be present on the first pages FIRST PAGE:

Tension
Story Questions
Voice
Clarity
Scene setting
Characterization


Keep in mind that you need to be willing to be publicly flogged by Ray and commenters.

And what's in it for the winner, you ask? Let's go back to Ray:

There's a prize, too -- a mostly free edit of someone's first 3 chapters.

I'm working out just how to structure this, and will lay it all out in a coming post, but I'm thinking that I can offer a "prize" to the most compelling novel opening: an edit of the first three chapters if I have permission to post excerpts from the edits on FtQ.



So, for all of you who were brave (or nuts) enough to submit query hooks to Miss Snark, here's a chance to get some helpful feedback from the Quill-Flogger.

8 comments:

Matt Mikalatos said...

What the heck is a "mostly free" edit?

Anonymous said...

I'm still waiting for the crap-o-meter thing. She seems interesting. Be fun getting spanked by her.

But a critique of 200 words, or a few chapters. I'd pay not to have this done.

And if these guys are so skilled and discerning and all, why don't they write their own novels? And why is there so much crap published?

snark

Josh said...

I too must ask what they mean by a "mostly free" edit. Either something is free, or it isn't. It can have a cheap fee attached, but that isn't free. That's like calling someone mostly virgin.

Not that I don't appreciate their effort to arrange something like this and give people feedback, but those little details need some 'splainin'.

www.jrvogt.com

Mirtika said...

Y'all didn't read it. It's "mostly free" cause the "price" is to let him publish parts of the critique on his site.

Mir

Mirtika said...

Snarky, babe, not all who can analyze write. But in Ray's case, he is published. Or so says Miss Snark.

Mir

Josh said...

Ah. I see now. Well, kudos to him for being willing to invest the time, sweat, tears, and counseling sessions.

Katie Hart said...

:( I kept this post new in my bloglines account - only to click through today and find out the submission time has passed.

Mirtika said...

Oh. Bummer. Sorry, Katie.

Keep an eye out. He probably will do this again. :)

Mir