Why the Novel Matters Contest:
We’re excited to announce a new contest for readers and writers alike. Here is the skinny:
Why the Novel Matters Essay Contest.
What you do: Write an essay on the topic Why the Novel Matters. Send it to us by the closing date of midnight, March 2, 2012.
Three winners will be chosen.
Third place wins a copy of Sally Stuart’s 2012 Christian Market Guide.
Second place wins a copy of Sally Stuart’s 2012 Christian Market Guide and a copy of Novel Matters Tips on Rice Cookbook.
First place wins: A NEW KINDLE TOUCH!
Plus, the winning essay will appear on the Novel Matters blog.
Winners will be announced April 2, 2012.
Here are the specifics about the essay:
· Maximum 750 words
· Header: Name top left; page # top right
· 1” margins, double-spaced, 12 pt. font
· submitted as a Word doc attachment
· You can write about a specific novel, or about novels in general.
· Need good supporting evidence
· Good conclusion
· Will be critiqued for punctuation, spelling, grammar etc.
Type in the subject line of your email: Why the Novel Matters Essay.
Send your entry to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Remember to “like” Novel Matters on Facebook. It’s not a requirement of the contest, but when you connect on Facebook, you have access to lots of immediate conversations and ideas from the Novel Matters community. It’s like family that you don’t have to clean your house for!
Your Writing Personality Quiz
On Friday, Sharon posted a wonderful article that helped us draw parallels between our personalities and our writing style. It got me thinking that, as a former program developer, I should create a highly scientific, accurate, and iron clad test writers can take to discover their true writing style. Below is that test. Guaranteed to be as accurate as any Cosmo magazine quiz you’ve ever taken, this test will reveal for all eternity your exact writing style. Get a pencil and get ready to uncover the truth about your writing to the power of three. Discover the truth about how you plan, write, and edit! It’s totally
fakeneat-o and keen!
What were your results?? Do share! And after, we can braid each other's hair.
1) When I get an idea for a novel, I:
a) Jot down the basic idea and go for a long walk.
b) Grab a pen and paper and write until I go blind.
2) When it comes to describing my characters:
c) The more the reader knows the better: Eye color, favorite movies, moles, birth weight.
d) It’s more important to know how my characters think and feel.
3) I know if a scene I wrote doesn’t belong in the book because:
e) Easy. I don’t write stuff that doesn’t belong in my books.
f) Six trusted friends and my Mom told me so.
4) To me novel structure is:
a) A complex web.
b) A fun puzzle.
5) I know I’m on a writing roll when:
c) I write 25,000 words in one marathon writing day (or is it night?)
d) I write 2,500 words in one week.
6) When I edit a chapter of my work, I always ask myself:
e) Is the opening sentence strong?
f) How does this chapter effect the rest of the novel?
7) When I start planning a new novel, I buy:
a) The entire left half of Office Depot.
b) A notebook and some pencils.
8) If I were to describe my writing in one word it would be:
c) One word? Are you kidding me? I’m a writer! I have LOTS of words that describe my writing.
9) When I can’t make a section of my novel work, I:
e) Look for weak verbs, flabby nouns, and overused words that are dragging the writing down.
f) Read further down, looking to see if there is a better place to start the scene.
10) When I’m writing, my work space looks like:
a) The War Room.
b) The battlefield.
11) When I finish writing an important, emotionally charged scene, I:
c) Ride the momentum straight into the next scene.
12) When I get critique feedback from others about my work, I:
e) Freak out, get upset, calm down, and start making the needed changes.
f) Freak out, get upset, calm down, and go for a long walk.
13) I get my best character descriptions from:
a) Pouring over magazines and celebrity web sites until I find the right face.
b) Waiting until my characters visit me in a dream.
14) When I print out the first draft of my novel:
c) I remind myself to lift with my knees. Or invite a friend over to help me lift it onto the table.
d) Lay it out on my living room floor, so I can see my whole story all at once.
15) When my editor tells me to cut 10,000 words, I:
e) Light candles, dress in black, and weep with each press of the delete button.
f) Chop out that scene I was on the fence about anyway.
How to find out your score:
There are three parts to this quiz. Planning, writing, and editing. You will discover a score for all three areas! After you add up your scores, there are definitions for each type below.
Look at questions 1, 4, 7, 10, and 13. These are questions related to planning a novel, or fixing to get ready. Add up how many A’s you scored, and how many B’s.
If you scored more A’s you are a: PLANNER.
If you scored more B’s you are a: PANTSER (one who writes by the seat of the pants).
Next, look at questions 2, 5, 8, 11 and 14. These are questions about writing a novel. Add up how many C’s and D’s you scored.
If you scored more C’s then you are a: Proser.
If you scored more D’s then you are a: Poet.
Lastly, look at questions 3, 6, 9, 12 and 15. These are questions about editing your work. Add up how many E’s and F’s you scored.
If you scored more E’s, you are a: Picker.
If you scored more F’s, you are a Plopper.
Now you know if you are a Planner/Poet/Picker, or perhaps a Pantser/Proser/Plopper.
So what does that mean?
Here are the definitions!
Starting a novel.
PLANNER. You love structure and find inspiration in thinking things through. You take time to plan each move before you write the novel. You start writing at the beginning of the story and write in order to the end. Your novels are complex, brimming with metaphor and reflection.
PANTSER. You love to write by the seat of your pants. It’s an adventure! You are inspired by rich characters who act unpredictably. You jump in and write what’s in your heart, often writing scenes out of order so you don’t miss a single moment of sudden inspiration. Your novels are full of the unexpected, overflowing with larger than life characters.
Writing a novel.
PROSER: You have an exceptional vocabulary and love for rich descriptions of people, places, and situations. You aren’t afraid to fully explore an idea and you ensure the reader is never unclear about what is happening in the story. You think in pictures, often playing a scene out in your mind like a movie. Danger for Prosers: Sometimes forget to give the story white spaces where the reader can rest.
POET: You have an exceptional vocabulary and weigh out each word you choose to ensure every verb and noun is infused with purpose. Brevity is golden, and you leave plenty of white space in your stories where readers can ponder what they’ve just read. You manage to say a great deal in only a few words. Danger for Poets: Too brief and readers can miss your meaning, or over look important events.
Editing your novel.
PICKER: For you, editing is word weeding work. You love hunting down adverbs and killing them off. You beef up your work with strong verbs and meaningful nouns. You are always on the lookout for overused words and phrases that drag the writing down. You especially enjoy digging into dialogue, polishing until you make the banter sparkle. When you are finished editing, the whole thing gleams so bright you gotta wear shades. Danger for Pickers: Excessive editing might mean there are larger issues. Take a step back and look at the larger picture.
PLOPPERS. You can pick up scenes and even whole chapters and plop them here or there, moving them around to create a strong story arc. You can know when to keep a scene and when to cut it out. Even characters can be cut or created to better serve the overall story. You’ve been known to re-write entire sections of your novels. When you are done editing the story snaps with energy, pacing, and can’t-put-it-down excitement. Danger for Ploppers: Zoom in close every so often to ensure a close up shine on that lovely shape.