Wednesday, September 21, 2011

In Which I Won

So, I'm super excited that I won one of the auction items in the Read for Relief Auction.

I spent waaay more money on my bid than I wanted to, but I justified it like this:

  1. I got paid on Friday, so I wasn't quite as broke as I had been
  2. I actually get paid 3 times this month, which means I have a whole extra paycheck that doesn't have to go to the mortgage or monthly bills
  3. It was for a good cause
  4. I had been outbid on everything else I had bid on
  5. Both Brother and Twin offered to chip in some money if I needed it to win the bid (I didn't. But still, they're pretty awesome)
  6. I both wanted and needed the auction item
Ahh, justification. Is there anything you can't do?

The item was:

The Sisters in Scribe are offering to each critique the first 30 pages of the manuscript of the winning bidder. That’s three thorough crits for one manuscript! Since we all write YA, this prize is for YA and upper MG manuscripts only, in any genre. (Contemporary, sci-fi, paranormal, dystopian, fantasy—you name it!)

Sisters in Scribe is made up of YA writers (and crit partners) Kristi Helvig, Valerie Kemp, and Lacey (L.J.) Boldyrev. They blog about all things writing. Learn more about the Sisters in Scribe on their blog.

So yeah, 3 crits is pretty awesome.

Also, I'm struggling a bit with my opening for Break Free. I think part of the issue is that the opening for Glimpse was pretty much perfect from the very beginning. I just needed some line edits to spruce it up a bit, but that was it. What's in the MS now were the first words I wrote for the MS and I still think they're pretty successful.

It's not that I think the beginning of Break Free is bad. I don't. I think it's just kind of mediocre. And if I'm going to enter the Baker's Dozen Auction (see Monday's post), and I will..., then I'd like an opening that's a bit zazzier than mediocre.

So, I'm really looking forward to the crits I won.

How about you? Written any great openings lately? Have any tried and true tricks you'd like to share?


Anne Gallagher said...

Congratulations, that is so awesome! 3 crits for the price of one.

My openings have gotten better, at least I have the H/H meeting in the first 2 pages now. But I've always liked to begin my stories at the beginning and some publishers want you to jump right in. Oh well.

Ninja Girl said...

Congrats!!! You're right, it was for a good cause, and that's awesome that your family offered to help you win the bid. I hope you get some great critiques (and I love the word "zazzier" :)).
Ninja Girl

Sarah Ahiers (Falen) said...

Ninja - i've heard they give good crits, so i'm pretty excited. And i love the word "zazz" and all its versions

LD Masterson said...

Congratulations on the win. Nothing more helpful than some good crits.

I had good news myself this week. I won (by drawing) a "ride along" with a local Sherrif's Deputy during the Writers' Police Academy. Very exciting.

Shannon said...

Congratulations! Can't wait to hear about the feedback! Hurray! :)

Lola Sharp said...

YAY! Congrats!

That's incredibly sweet of your siblings. I want to squeeze them with hugs. You are truly blessed to have such an awesome, supportive family.


Patti said...

Congratulations - hope you get some great feedback.

Talli Roland said...

Yay, fantastic! Congrats on your winning bid!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Hey that's awesome, Sarah! Three critiques are better than one. Unless they are all different, and then it's just pure madness.

Hannah Kincade said...

Woo-hoo!! Congrats! I don't think I'm horrible at beginnings, but it's hard to master that hooking and introductions and all that jazz in just a few pages.

Though for me as a reader, I look at the first 40 pages. Then I decide if I'll keep reading or not, but I'm one lone reader.

Michael Offutt said...

As long as your happy, it's money well spent. Personally, I wouldn't spend any money on a 30-page critique even if the critique was from Stephen King or J.K. Rowling. That's because I don't worship people. I think my neighbor's opinions on a manuscript are just as valid as Stephen King's. Don't get me wrong...I read their books. But I think that those kind of critiques are so subjective that what they start looking at is adverbs, hooks, paragraphs, subject matter, protagonist, voice...and all that crap that changes from person-to-person. What is good writing to someone is just way to open to opinion for it to be worth any money at all to me.

Hart Johnson said...

Congrats! I think critiques on the opening are GREAT! And I often have to tweak my opening. Sometimes I start too early, sometimes too late, but usually I have stuff I just need to get in there that doesn't actually have to MAKE the book but I need to write it. Works to write it as a beginning and then choose the clues that need to be woven in later and dump the rest.

Matthew MacNish said...

Dude. That's awesome.

Teebore said...

I think you're new opening is much better. But I can see what you mean about wanting it punchier.

Karen Amanda Hooper said...

Congrats on winning! That's an awesome prize. :)

Maria Zannini said...

Congrats, but did you have to put a picture of Charlie Sheen? It really creeped me out.

Catherine Stine said...

Zazzier, can we put that in the dictionary?

vic caswell (aspiring-x) said...

oooh! congrats!
openings are difficult for me. each word ends up being a knife in my eye before i come up with anything i like. blech.

L.J. Boldyrev said...

Thanks again for bidding! You rock!

--Lacey from Sisters in Scribe

Elle Strauss said...

Congrats on winning! I'd love to hear what you think of their critiques once they're done.

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