Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Another wonderful Tuesday! (And this one is particularly wonderful)

Hello, blog-world! I have two very good pieces of news today. :)

1. I GOT INTO EMERSON. AAHHH! I'M GOING TO COLLEGE. (Assuming I get the financial aid I need and whatnot.) I'm so excited! For those of you who don't know, Emerson has an excellent writing program. And it's right in Boston, so I'd still be close to home. So psyched! :)

2. I MADE THE QUARTERFINALS OF ABNA. So, I got two reviews on my excerpt of Edge. I'm pretty happy with them.

The first reviewer said the strongest aspect of the excerpt is the voice. "The writing sounded like an 18 year old was talking rather than an adult trying to be hip or a forced teenage voice." HA! How funny is that? ;) And he/she concluded by saying, "The author has a clear vision of what he sees and how his characters feel, and expresses it concisely and fully. I loved it, and will be looking forward to it’s release." Well, despite the typo and the fact that my reviewer thinks I'm a man, that's pretty good stuff! (Actually, I'm happy that he/she thinks I'm a man since my protagonist is male. Guess I make a convincing boy!)

The second reviewer was not quite so positive ... He/she said the strongest aspect is that the plot is "interesting" and it has a good hook, etc. However, he/she said it was "frustrating to read. Maxwell (the main character) is an idiot. ... But he IS amusing in his stupidity." I guess that could be taken as harsh ... but I'm not all that offended. I actually agree, kind of. Max does start off as rather stupid ... but (I hope) he develops more, later on in the story. ;) And even if he is idiotic, he is endearingly so! I still love him. :) Anyway, this reviewer ended by saying it was better than 80% of the excerpts he/she had read, and that it was "pretty good". *Shrugs* So it's not a glowing review, but it's not scathing either and I'm thankful for that.

What both reviewers seemed to agree upon was that Max accepts his situation too easily. He just wakes up with no memory, has a voice in his head telling him what to do, and he's like "This is weird, but … OKAY!" And yeah, I think they're right. The pacing is a bit rushed. So, I should work on that. :P

I guess the lesson to be learned here is, you need to give your characters strong and realistic emotional reactions in order to hook the reader. Part of what draws the reader in isn't just a good plot (although that's also pretty essential), but also a character that is real and relatable.

So, this means I'm going to get a Publishers Weekly review. HOLY TALKING MUSHROOMS. I'm terrified. Well, I'll be sure to update on that once I get it. (Which will be on April 26th. *already biting nails*) And soon my excerpt of Edge will go live on Amazon (so it will be available as a free download for Kindle! Woot woot!). I'll post a link as soon as it goes up! :)

Also, I recently did an interview about Walking Shadow with Ana Mardoll––a vine reviewer from ABNA. Check it out here!


  1. Oh wow! Congratulations and best of luck for the coming rounds I'm sure you'll do great!

  2. Congrats Brigid! You make this seem easy with it being your second PW review. Even though I know it's a lot harder than it looks. But congrats! It's much deserved!!

  3. Thank you, Ellen! Haha ... I wish it were easy! I did spend a lot of time editing before the contest; I wish I'd had even more time! I'm also quite lucky. Some other writers' reviews for the contest were so scathing and hurtful, they literally made my jaw drop. I'm glad I got reviewers who seemed nice/helpful for the most part. :)

  4. That was an interesting review, and I enjoyed it.

    That being said, going by the excerpts you've posted, I'd say you're writing style is a tad too teenage-ish. Don't get me wrong, I've enjoyed the excerpts as well, but the writing is slightly clumsy.

    Anyway, good luck with ABNA!

  5. Yeah for your Brigid! :D I told you you would do well. As if you needed us to tell you! tehe. I liked the interview, loved hearing about Walking Shadow! Good luck in the coming rounds!

  6. @Hamza - Well, what do you expect? I am a teenager, after all. :P I'm aware that I'm not the world's most amazing writer. I'm young and I have a lot of room to improve. That's why I enter contests such as ABNA––to get feedback. Anyway, thank you!

    @Ally and Krista - Thank you! :)

  7. Hello again! :)

    Congrates! I was actualy wondering what the levels were for the contest . . . like, what exactly does 'quarterfinals' mean?

  8. Hi Alex!

    Thanks! Oh, the quarterfinals is the top 250 (out of about 5000) per category. There are two categories, General Fiction and Young Adult Fiction.

  9. What is the next 'top' thing you need to make? Finals? *is trying to figure out how many people Brigid need to beat*

    Oh, I was reading back on your 'beginings' post and I have a question about the white-room begining: Is it okay if, say, the room has people in it already and the walls are nondescript (like, industrial) and with writing on them? And the MC has not lost their memory either. I'm trying to avoid spoilers . . . Hmm. Let me know if you need more info to answer my question! :D

  10. Semifinals, which is the top 50. So that would mean I'd have to beat out 200 more people. Haha. :D

    Sounds fine to me! Although it's hard to judge since I haven't read it. But, like I said, there are exceptions to the rule. I started Edge with a white-room beginning, but it was rather essential to the plot. But I think it's original enough if there's writing on the walls and other people, etc. Sounds really cool!

  11. Also, Congratulations.

    I stumbled on this blog while cruising through fellow bloggers, which led me to download your ABNA book. I'm about to post a review on my blog, then on your book at Amazon. Hope there is more to come.

  12. @Alex - Thank you and you're welcome :D

    @Cold In Seattle - Thank you so much for reading/reviewing it! :)


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