What's in a Name?
Boroughs 2013 Novella Contest
Has the title of a song ever inspired you to write? We’re betting it has…and that you can take that title and make it your own.
We invite you to submit your 25,000-40,000 word, completed novella based on the title of a song – any song – that you adopt as the title of your story to: Submissions@BoroughsPublishingGroup.com no later than May 31st 2013.
Your submission MUST include a two paragraph synopsis of your story. The first round of voting will begin on June 10th 2013 and will be based upon your two paragraph synopsis so make it snap, crackle and pop.
First Round of Voting: By noon, PST, Monday, June 10th 2013 story titles and your synopsis will be posted ANONYMOUSLY on our website. Those that receive the top 25% of the vote in their sub-genre will be selected as SEMI-FINALISTS to go on to the…
Second Round of Voting: By noon PST, Monday, June 24th 2013 the story’s first 300 words (approximately 1 page) will be posted ANONYMOUSLY on our website for votes along with the title and the synopsis. In this phase, our Editors will weigh in and the top three vote-getting stories in each sub-genre will be selected as FINALISTS to go on to the…
Third Round of Voting: By noon PST, Monday, July 8th 2013, votes will be tallied one last time. The first 1,000 words (approximately 3-4 pages) of the story will be posted ANONYMOUSLY for consideration, along with the title and synopsis. The Winner of the WHAT’S IN A NAME contest will be announced at our Open House during the RWA national convention in Atlanta, Georgia (July 17th – 20th 2013) and we will have the results publicized on our website, FB page, Twitter feed and on Pinterest.
Beginning Monday, June 10th 2013, and for each phase of the contest, you and everyone you know should visit www.BoroughsPublishingGroup.com find the link to the WHAT’S IN A NAME contest, then cast your votes for stories that tickle your fancy and make you want more. You may vote for every story you like.
ALL FINALISTS will be offered:
THE FINALIST with the most popular website votes will be offered:
THE WINNER, chosen from our FINALISTS by our editorial staff, will receive:
Sign up for contest results through our newsletter or check back whenever you like for results.
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Sometimes it’s good to be short and sweet. That’s what you get from me this month: a quick reality check for crafters.
So, you’re working on your story. You’re halfway through, and you’re excited at where this project is going. But are you crafting effectively? What exactly are your characters showing you?
You know who they are, of course. You’ve known them since they were born and watched them grow. You see everything they might yet be. But, what have they done? How would other people, not in your head, see them? Our actions define us, so how have you defined them? If we’re not seeing who you want us to see, how can you tweak their interactions to show us their nature as you see it? Being an author isn’t telling people how to think, it’s giving them the information to come to the appropriate conclusions.
Long story short: When revising, don’t treat your characters like a mother would treat their child, treat them like your best friend would treat your ex-convict boyfriend. (Most readers won’t even be that kind.) Sure, he says he loves you, and you say the sex is earth-shaking, but what have we seen? Does he eye other girls when you’re not in the room? If so, we just won’t buy this relationship is going anywhere.
Passion & Production
Real writers—not just hobbyists or those who dabble in word-smithing—write because they must. It isn’t a choice. It is a consuming, driving compulsion involving characters as real as any person on the street and plots that demand to be unraveled and resolved. Writing is a passion, and from this passion come stories as precious to their writers as gold was to Midas.
So, what does a writer do when an editor says, “I really like your story except for this and that. If you’re open to revisions, we might have a deal here.” Even worse, what happens when those revisions turn into a full rewrite? My guess is that writer’s first inclination would be to bristle, pat her story soothingly on the cover and say, “There, there. Don’t worry. I’m not going to let that horrid old editor change one perfect word!”
As Julia Roberts’s Pretty Woman character Vivian Ward says to the uppity Beverly Hills shopkeeper who snubs her potential sale: “Big mistake. Big. Huge.”
Unfortunately, it’s a mistake a lot of writers make.
See, here’s the thing. While writers are driven by their passion, editors and publishers are motivated by market demand and efficaciousness of story delivery. At the end of the day, your precious story has to be something people will be driven to read as much as you were driven to write it. Smart authors recognize this and learn how to merge passion and production. One of their best partners for success is a sharp editor.
I speak from experience. Thanks to the professionalism I developed as a freelance writer and journalist, I was able to put my original manuscript—a Golden Heart finalist, I might add—back into its treasure chest and accept Chris’s challenge to write a different version. Not easy. But our discussions inspired the current incarnation of Trésorier du Coeur and led me to meet Meredith and Anders, the wonderful heroine and hero in WILLING TO LEARN, due out by the end of this month. And now I’ve met Nora and Max, the lead characters in WILLING TO TRUST, the next story in the Trésorier du Coeur series.
So, what’s WILLING TO LEARN about? A young woman who believes the best way to live life is in control of everything - until she’s sent to a tropical paradise designed to introduce her to sensuality for her royal fiancé. Check it out, and if you think the story is a gem, please be sure to let us know.
INTERVIEW: Bennett Saville, star of Gabriel, bares it all!
by Leslie MacIntyre
I’m waiting for my guest for the evening, Bennett Saville, to get ready for his interview. He arrived a few minutes ago and is now busy being fitted for the mike and dusted with the powder that takes the sweaty shine off our faces under the glaring lights. His curly auburn hair is being styled and I see him grimacing as they try to tame it. It’s fairly long, apparently in preparation for his latest appearance as the sexy, cavalier, and slightly sinful professor turned wizard in his TV series Gabriel. He smiles at me as I watch him, appreciating the figure he cuts in his tailored grey suit, looking for the entire world as if he’s just stepped out of a fashion magazine. He certainly wears clothes well, and it—dare I say—looks effortless. I suppose his stylist put it all together. Very, “Darling, what? This old thing?”
God, I envy his tailor at being able to have their hands all over that well-developed and what looks like a pretty muscular body. I chide myself for sounding like some sort of middle-aged groupie, feeling my face flush as he grins at me. He has the greenest eyes I’ve ever seen on a man, like emerald chips—
Leslie MacIntyre, for God’s sake, contain yourself, woman!
That is easier said than done. I’m about to interview an up-and-coming film star, a young man who’s handsome, sexy, rich, successful, has seen his fair share of trouble and trauma, and is engaged to a woman ten years older than he is and seven years older than me. His fiancée, Cassie Wallace, is a beautiful woman. I’ve seen pictures of her on his arm in the tabloid magazines and the glossies, and she looks nowhere near her reputed age; classy, refined, and always has a rather mischievous smile on her face, as if she’s saying, “Ladies, he’s mine. Eat your heart out.”
I want to ask him about his relationship with her, but this man has a definite no-fly policy on discussions about his personal life and his fiancée in particular. I once saw him walk out of an interview when the interviewer wouldn’t stop prying. He’d been extremely polite about it, but his resolve was unwavering.
He’s finally sorted to the satisfaction of Mona, the makeup artist. She grins and gives me the thumbs up. Bennett Saville walks over to the stage, settles himself down very elegantly into the rather uncomfortable tub chair. I notice his plain black socks leading down into a rather recently shined pair of what look like Armani shoes. Nice. The man has big feet, and that sends me wandering along a path I really shouldn’t travel at this precise moment.
He looks at me enquiringly.
“You have a fascination with my socks?” he drawls in amusement, in that voice like melted chocolate. I shiver.
“Better than your underwear,” I say without thinking. Then I blush crimson.
He laughs loudly, his eyes crinkling at the corners as he leans back and settles comfortably into the chair. “Touché. At least I’m wearing some tonight,” he murmurs. When my jaw drops open, he chuckles and then adjusts the mike on his lapel. His eyes gaze at me in challenge, and for the life of me I can think of no smart-mouthed rejoinder.
I see Henry wave at me from behind the camera, and I know we’re ready to rock and roll. The lights in the small studio dim, the chattering ceases and there’s an air of expectancy. I’m ready. The intro music cues to introduce the programme, and a minute later I’m sitting with my notepad on my lap, leaning in to address the camera that’s beaming my face and Bennett’s out into the world beyond. I’m also trying not to think about the man in front of me with no underwear on....