Gone and done it

Well, I just sent off my second Harlequin Presents Instant Seduction contest entry. I'm debating whether I'll send a third. I've had great luck with multiple entries in the past, often finaling and having the second entry a place or two out of the finals. The first one I sent was from a completed manuscript. This one was simply an idea that hit me in the middle of my work day. I quick spun a 1000 word scene and when that fateful question came up, save yes or no, guess what, I selected no. Ask me how awful that was. But the story was still there, so I started again from a different POV and got back into the flow. I don't think what replaced those lost words was quite as good, but it turned out pretty well.

This year I'm cutting back on the number of contests I enter. I spent a lot of money last year and learned a great deal about how my writing comes across. As the Mastercard commercials go: priceless. But I only have 1 book that I can shop around to contests. I'm not going to throw in first chapters that have no book behind them this year. That leaves me with too much pressure. However, I realize I need that adrenaline rush of polishing a story for a deadline and the challenge of pitting myself against all the other great writers out there. And since my enneagram personality is a three, an achiever, I have to admit I love seeing my name in print. It gives me a silly rush and keeps me smiling for days.

Earlier in the week I discovered that on eharlequin there are these writer challenges. They offer contests (best secret, best conflict, etc.) of a couple thousand words in length. The current one is an endings contest. They give you a vaguely descripted scene and you have up to 3000 words to write the ending. Of course, I don't need the distraction of developing yet another story when I've got books to finish and edit, but I love to meet new characters and figure out their story. So, during my downtime (driving, exercising at lunch, etc.) I came up with the ending for the story. It's good enough that if the story doesn't win (if it does, Harlequin gets the copyrights), it will make a heck of a great book. So, I win either way.