Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Saluting the Brave

Today I'm saluting all the brave authors who have decided to submit a chapter to the New Voices competition over in Mills&Boonland.
Many of my friends and a clutch of minxes are entering, and I wish them all well, and I'm sure Mills and Boon will find a large amount of talented writers from this competition. I'm exempt due to having sold a full length novel, and will be reading and cheering from the sidelines.
If, like me, you're reading and commenting on everyone's stories, I'd just like to remind everyone how incredibly BRAVE these authors are being. Opening up and displaying your work for criticism is a very frightening thing, and every story is someone's baby. So be honest, but be kind too. Everyone is at a different stage with their writing, and I know how I'd be quaking in my boots if it were me, to be honest.
But they've taken the first step - and publicly too - so for all you New Voices writers - CONGRATULATIONS!  You're displaying courage and determination by entering, and you're a winner in my eyes, no matter how you place!


  1. I have been reading some of the entries, and have been impressed by the standard so far. I think the one thing a lot of people got wrong, has been information overload in chapter 1, but when you only have 1 chapter to impress, it is the temptation.
    I have left, what I hope has been, some positive and negative feedback, and really do hope that the writers take onboard that we want to give them a nudge in the right direction, we're not trying to push them over a cliff!
    The scoring has me a bit perturbed, as some are showing 30-40% approval, but read very well. M&B has said that the editors will make the final call on the last 10, so trying to mark a rival down, won't work.

  2. I agree -the NV Comp is gripping stuff. I've read a lot of the chapters in the various categories and have commented too. I hope my comments have been fair. I've been honest and I would want others to be honest with me when I put *my* story up. Things I've commented on so far are:
    1. Too much back story
    2. A H/h who does not meet at all in the 1st chapter.
    3. A hero who actually uses physical violence on the heroine ( a big NO IMHO anyway!)
    4. A sex scene with the H/h being total stangers and no condoms used. Again safe sex IS an issue these days I feel.

    My comments are meant to be (hopefully)constructive and not nit picking. But others may not agree of course. Caroline x

  3. Hi Sue, I was confused by the scoring too, I don't know how that's working.
    Hi Caroline, I think the too much backstory seems to be a common one, and all your comments seem to be very valid and useful. I think constructive is good, and nit picking isn't bad either, its just the thought of new writers perhaps getting too harsh criticism which made me think of doing the post. I'd hate anyone to give up writing because of one bad comment! But honest is always the best way to go.