This contest is for writers who are looking for a "real to life" editing experience with their manuscript. Keep in mind, this isn't a warm fuzzy contest (it is called Teeth and Bones, after all!). Entering means you're ready to have your work bit into, maybe even ripped into - with the goal of making the manuscript the best it can be. Sound like something you are up for? Here's how it will work:
How to enter: Comment on the Novel Matters blog anytime between Monday, September 6th, and Friday September 17th. At the bottom of your comment type TABEC (short for Teeth and Bones Editing Contest). Only comments with these letters at the bottom will be eligible to win (we understand that not all our readers are interested in this level of editing, but would still want to be free to comment and discuss editing - that's the reason we require interested people to please use the TABEC letters at the bottom of their comments)
You many enter as many times as you like over the two weeks. Each comment counts as an entry (but don't forget to type TABEC at the bottom of each comment).
Winner: One winner will be announced on Friday, September 17th at 5:00 PM pacific time.
The prize: A teeth and bones edit of your first chapter and synopsis by Bonnie Grove. The edit will be on the substantive level (the overall concepts, characters, and themes, etc. of the novel). It will be Bonnie's teeth on the bones of your manuscript.
The winner will work one on one with Bonnie Grove via e-mail. The winner will consent to having the first paragraph of the work posted on Novel Matters in a before and after comparison. This means the winner will agree to have the first paragraph of your WIP appear on the blog, first as it was originally written, then in its edited form.
I know this announcement will generate plenty of excitement and thought for one day, but you are going to have to comment in order to win, so lets cook up a discussion.
I'm thinking of a woodworker friend of mine, a member of an artists' co-op that my husband joined some months ago. John's contribution to the gallery is tables, lap desks, even cutting boards - that sort of thing. Simple, elegant lines. Locally grown hardwood. But not the sort of thing you normally associate with an artist's gallery.
The thing that gives his tables and lap desks a place among the paintings and sculptures is the finish he gives to his work. People can't help touching it, because it feels like silk. And the fragrance - the whole gallery smells of oils that lend the wood its rich, almost jewel-like glow.
I don't know, but I imagine the finish process gives John real pleasure.
Just as editing ought to give a writer pleasure. It's the final reward for all that went before, the moment when your work goes from something good - a story - to something that glows, something silky smooth to the touch. Something we can call art.
I say editing ought to give pleasure, and for me, it often does, but not always. The smoothing process calls for hard decisions: wonderful passages I must cut away. Whole chapters, even characters sometimes, that must be sacrificed for the greater good of the whole. Not quite children on the altar, but yes, it can feel that way.
How does it feel to you? Tell us. We love to read what you have to say.