Each year around this time the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest starts up. Submissions include various types of fiction. I entered the contest this year, the last time was back in 2010, and I’m not feeling too confident that I will win. It’s difficult to get very far in this contest, but it’s still fun to see what happens. The last time I didn’t even make it to the second round! This year, I have submitted my current unpublished manuscript, Target: Foxtrot, a sci-fi story that takes place around 2040-ish. I managed to get two drafts finished before the submissions opened up. It could use a few more drafts and I feel the ending might come a bit sooner than desired. But, that’s what happens when you have a deadline.
The last contest I entered was the Writer’s Block International Contest, which I don’t think exists anymore! I think it was operated by a small group of people, but I did get a runner-up position with Fallen Raven. It’s always nice to get some recognition, even if it is small! I always like to enter writing contests even if they cost a little money to enter, but this year money is tight, so the Amazon.com contest will probably be the only one I enter in 2013.
Writing a novel takes a long time and it makes me appreciate short story process. It’s much easier to write a 11k word story and edited it in s reasonable amount of time than writing a traditional novel. I guess that is pretty obvious. If I had all the time in the world, I’d focus more on novels! However, now I have two novels to work with, so I probably won’t start a new novel anytime soon!
Generally, once I finish the second draft of a novel, I send copies to friends and family to read it. Then I put the book away for a while. I like waiting several months before going back to the novel, because I think it gives you a fresh take for the next draft.
But before I decide to work on another novel again, I feel the urge to go back to the short story format. So, I decided to start a new series of shorts, about seven in total that I would self-publish. I’ll be going back to the genre that started it all, medieval fantasy, and plan on doing one a month. It might end up being too much work, so that could change, but it would give me a way to write several books and get them out quickly. I’m going to attempt to create a fantasy world that is somewhat unique to my own imagination. I’ll try not to borrow too much from other well-known fiction, such as Warcraft or Lord of the Rings, though they will be a source of inspiration. I do want my stories to stand apart from anything else or at least be distinguishable!
Anyway, if you are entering the Amazon contest I suggest you do it soon. There is a limit of 10k submissions and you have till January 27th. Good luck!