Writing competition

 

Do you compete in writing competitions? There are so many out there for writers. They can vary from genre, age group to paid or free. You can find them from organizations like the ones I am part of such as the SCWBI and NCWN and also in magazines such as Writer’s Digest.

It is a great way to showcase your skill to the judges. There are usually thousands of people who compete and whether you win or not it’s a good way to get you to write. I have done quite a few competitions, still looking for my first placing, and each time I am hopeful that this is the time that I will win. There are times the winners are published for all to read and I am blown away and understand why this writer won.

But before you say, “Wait just a minute Sharon. I can’t afford the entry fee” I am of the frugal sort. I will do the competitions that are free which are out there you just have to look. It could be as simple as a competition from the local paper, one that your Art Council promotes or even as easy as writing a jingle for a product off the radio. There is no harm in starting small. Bottom line it is getting you to think and getting words down.

A few of my competition pieces have been extended into fuller stories to which gets a life of its own which has been a plus.

I will keep trying who knows maybe one day I can post here that I won.

As a writer what books are on your shelves?: The emotions felt

As a writer what books would I find in your home? Do you read the books that are in your genre, do you do a multiple of authors, select few or barely read? For me you will see a multiple of genres and authors. Though my favorites are Stephen King of which I am his number one fan, Agatha Christie, Bentley Little which was a recommendation by Stephen King and well-earned and James Patterson are the big wigs on my shelves. These I read for pure enjoyment. I do have books that are on writing for being a writer is an ongoing process of learning to improve one’s craft. When I head into a bookstore I don’t always head toward the big name authors. And if I find myself in a used bookstore the sky is the limits on the different people I will bring home

We can learn from books in so many ways. One is pure enjoyment as we let the words take us away from our present lives and takes us on adventures. Another is educational whether that be a non fiction, learning about history, or learning about writing. Others can be helpful to us with the endless amount of self-help books that line shelves of stores.

The great thing about a book is how you feel when you are done. You should feel something different or just feel period. When I don’t feel anything positive or negative it’s a let down for my expectations of books are high and as an avid reader I want something out of it. That is probably why I spend, like authors out there, endless hours trying to get it just right. We want our readers to feel and to not to get to the last page and feel meh.

Are you a panser or a plotter?

 

According to Goggle: Panser: This  is someone who writes the story as it unfolds before them, with no real plan or direction Plotter: This is  someone  who is very organized and plans out every step of the book they was to write from being to end.

At a conference a few years ago this was a question from the key-note speaker. It was a term I had never heard before. A writer friend behind me said later when she first heard him say that she thought of me, I was sitting near her, and said panser as far as I was concern. At a conference this year the keynote speaker, the same man, said even if you do a little bit of planning that you were a plotter.

I know that I don’t plan every step of my book out. I have a general idea in my head but as far as writing it down that isn’t my style. I know how I want to do it but I let the characters run a muck so to speak and help me with the direction of the story line.

I only bother to work on an outline when I get stuck or I need to do a character bio that will help me with my story line. I tell people I can’t be bothered to write down an outline when all I want to do is write. But I need to remember that it is okay to plot if it helps advanced the story in the end.

But until then, I will be a panser to my heart content until the need to plot arrives.