Thursday, December 11, 2008

Day 37: Archival Events and First Paragraph Contests

Despite all my good intentions to the contrary, I'm frantically running around trying to get my writing done on time. The urgency right now is to write the last 6 pages of this Saturday's paper, and to finish getting ready for this public event on Saturday, in which my archival theory and practice class will present our work for the semester then give public workshops, including an archival road show (like Antiques Road Show, but with historical value). You are of course all invited.

Anyway, before I go do all that (plus work 10 hours between today and tomorrow and attend my last 3-hour grad class for the semester tonight), I wanted to send you on your way with a really cool contest agent Nathan Bransford is putting on over at his blog. Even if you don't enter yourself you can learn from the entries that are up there.

What he did was to tell people on Monday that they could post the first paragraph of their novels-in-progress in the comments on his blog. The deadline is the end of the day today, and at last check he had 1127 comments on that post. Anyway, even if you don't submit, go over there and check them out. There's nothing like looking over hundreds of first paragraphs of people's works-in-progress to make you: 1.) feel sorry for agents; 2.) Learn a little something about what makes a good (or bad) first paragraph of a novel; and 3.) realize just how much YA fantasy stuff is being written in people's home offices just now (attempting to ride the tails of Harry Potter and Twilight, of course).

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