Jun 1, 2010

Contest Alert!

And not the kind of no-prize experiments I put on here at the Slushpile.  Agent extraordinaire Nathan Bransford is hosting a contest with very cool prizes.  If you can write the most compelling chase and/or action and/or suspense sequence (in 500 words or less), you can win! 

Check out this post for details...

Query Me This...Discussion Thread

Thanks to everyone who submitted a query and sample pages for our QUERY ME THIS experiment.  Some comments are starting to come through, I hope they keep coming during the week.  I'm going to hold off on posting new queries until Saturday, June 5 (feel free to submit them, though).

Remember, all queries and sample pages were requested to follow this prompt:

Our protagonist has found evidence that the government is being lured into war.  If the country engages in the conflict abroad, its military will not be able to deal with an imminent invasion by a rival nation.  The problem is that the source of the information is a double-agent, and our protagonist is being set up to cause the war he/she is trying to prevent.

Many thanks to the writers who so quickly put together entries.  There are several that would make very interesting books, hopefully you will continue with the stories.

Here are quick links to the 10 entries.  Each entry post has been updated with a link back to this discussion thread.  Please provide specific feedback for an entry on its post, and use the comments on this post for a general discussion on the experiment as a whole:

- Age of Steel and Stone
- Blood Lines
- In Darker Times
- Lions and Tigers and Bears
- On Her Majesty's Special Service
- Star of Aurora
- The Incantata
- The Next Attack
- The Spy I Loved
- Third Daughter

Here are my main questions regarding the experiment.  Please ask your own in the comments, and let's get the discussion rolling:

- Some entries followed the prompt more closely than others, but even given the common plot elements, all entries are unique.  Each writer's voice and imagination brings life to the story.  Are you afraid of other people stealing your ideas, or does this help demonstrate that it's all about the execution?

- There are a few comments along the lines of "If I were an agent, I would request this..."  What does it say about writing queries vs. novels when some people can craft a great query without a novel to back it up?

- As a follow-up to the previous question, even though several entries showed a promising opening, what are the chances the writer can screw it all up in the next 59,000 words?  There's a long way to go for any of these stories to be publishable, however promising they may seem...