This is a complete experiment, but I’ve always wanted to try this as a contest. I’ve done this writing exercise on my own before and it’s really amazing where it can take you. Unexpected places, if you are game, to be sure.
Because of all the Platform-Building Campaign events, and in anticipation of the release of my middle grade fantasy The Ruins of Noe, I think it’s a great time for a combination extended writing exercise and contest. You can participate in any part of the exercise and you can WIN something even if you don’t finish. How often does that happen in life?
This exercise/contest stems from one of my favourite experiments called 50 First Lines. There are 3 stages to this experiment. In the first stage you sit down and write, you guessed it, 50 first lines.
Don’t think about them too much. Don’t spend too much time on them. Less than an hour. Just write them as fast as they come. Don’t judge them as you write. With 50 first lines you can throw out 90% of them and still have lines to work with later.
After you have written your 50 first lines, pick your TOP FIVE and post them here in the comment section no later than midnight Monday, Feb 26. Feel free to link to your blog if you decide to post the rest of them. Otherwise, we’ll just trust that you did 50 of them.
NEXT WEDNESDAY 2/29, my secret clan of guest judges and I will pick the TOP FIVE first lines (any first lines, so more than one of yours could be picked) and I will give you your next instructions. FEEL FREE to sway judges opinions by commenting on the lines that YOU find amusing/interesting/surprising/etc. We will take your comments into consideration.
Okay, this sounds like fun, you say.
But what can I win, and How do I win?
Your name goes into a drawing for EACH stage of the exercise you complete. So, if you play each week, you’ll have 3 entries.
Your name goes into a drawing if you are a finalist in the 1st or 2nd stages. (And if 2 of your entries are picked one week, you get your name in twice.)
If you are the final finalist (i.e. the winner after the last stage), you get a prize. That prize is totally separate from the drawing.
PRIZES will be a signed copy of Book One or Book Two from my Faerie Tales from the White Forest series AND the grand prize winner (i.e. the final finalist) will get a bonus surprise prize. I won’t say what that is until the end, but you will like it, I promise.
So, you could win from the drawing, or by winning the 3rd round.
Here are a few sample start lines from the last time I did this exercise:
It was the colour of vomit… probably because it was vomit.
The clown nose was the last straw.
The idea was half-baked – – but then again, she liked things a little raw.
The horse was her neighbour’s and they were both studs.
Green, blue, red . . . what mattered the colour of his blood when his heart was a broken hinge?
It was a perfect morning for picking mushrooms.
I was taking a short cut through the cemetery when I spotted it. Him. It.
If he had told her about his origami-folding autistic idiot-savant brother in the first place, they wouldn’t be in this jam.
“I think it can be reattached,” he said.
It wasn’t the first time she had been arrested for bar-fighting, and the other time wasn’t her fault either.
From the surface of the moonblue water, a tail emerged like a telescope.
Her credit card was maxed and her bank account was dry, but by God she was going to have a good time at the space station.
Mumphy paced back and forth in front of the delivery room and wondered if it were too late to tell Chelle he no longer wanted to be a part of the experiment.
Have a great time!