Monday, January 7, 2008
AND WE'RE OFF
Today, I’m going to write about The Golden Heart because I got my GH entries to judge.
Actually I got them before Christmas, but I haven’t looked at them since until yesterday. When they showed up at first I thought, well, why’d they dump these on me at the holidays? But I have this vision of some poor contest coordinator with entries stacked on her dining room table…which she has available because she never uses that table except at holidays, who needed that stack to go away NOW. So, okay, I understand.
So last night I opened them up and just started reading the first one and you know what? I’m hooked.
It was really good.
Not, ‘wow she used five senses’ ‘wow, showing not telling’ not anything I can exactly put my finger on…all I know is, something interrupted my reading flow…..I think she left the word ‘a’ out of a sentence and I felt the need to make a note of it and I realized I hadn’t been judging. I looked at the page number and found out I was on page twelve.
It’s so cool to get your hands on a book that just grabs you. Again, I’m not even sure why, nice high stakes action scene but still, those can be done well or poorly as we all know.
It got my juices flowing to judge the whole packet (well, actually Ruthy yelling at me to stop procrastinating got my juices flowing, which is why I picked the first one up--but after that....after the email yelling faded from my ears--or brain or wherever--it was all ME!)
This entry reminded me of that, oh, not sure what to call it really, that X Factor in a book. That readability factor.
I’m a big believer that what it really is, is all the pieces fitting together. Everything you’ve learned getting put right there on the page for all to see.
I think storytelling is kind of a gift you’re born with. But writing is a skill.
To be a writer, you’ve got to have the story dying to be told and the inborn character flaw of being able to sit still for long periods. A strange combination of mental hyperactivity in a sendentary body--which describes me perfectly.
But I think if you don’t have that you probably have no desire to write books anyway. But everything else--the SKILL of writing--can be learned.
So did anyone here enter the Golden Heart?
Anyone else judging?
It’s too late if you didn’t do it.
It’s the granddaddy of them all…and we’re off.