Nathan Bransford, Author


Friday, October 26, 2007

The Finalists Are... (announced in the form of a Bachelor rose ceremony)

UPDATE: VOTING IS CLOSED!


Ladies... gentlemen... Chris Harrison...

This has been an incredible journey. I can honestly say this has been the hardest decision of my life, and it just kills me to have to decide who gets to stay... and who has to go home. I really hate to say goodbye to these amazing paragraphs, but I had to look inside my heart and find the first paragraphs I really connected with on an emotional level. Thank you to all of you for being here tonight.

(deep breath)

I only have 7 roses to give out tonight.

But first, let me discuss with the camera in a pained voice some of the things that helped me make my decision.

While I met over 600 beautiful women er, paragraphs in the course of this journey, some of them just weren't in it for the right reasons. Here are some of the things I was looking for, and a few of the reasons some of the paragraphs did not receive a rose this evening (besides the fact that some of the paragraphs had shotgun-wielding fathers).

I crave originality. When establishing a world in a first paragraph, it is so so so important to avoid cliches and sentence crutches. One easy way of telling if you're using one of these is to run a "find" in the comments section for key phrases in your paragraph. For instance, Chris, I hate to single these lovely paragraphs out but the phrase "the last thing X expected" was used five times.

Also, trust is just so important in a relationship, and I really had a lot of respect for the first paragraphs who trusted me as a reader. Some of the paragraphs who will not receive roses tonight had too many redundant words of emphasis. When they said something unexpected, they followed up with superfluous emphasis, as in "No, really." or "Literally." or "Seriously." or "I'm not talking about this, I'm talking about THIS" You have to trust the reader to recognize when something is surprising, and if you do have to qualify it, it means you probably could have written it better the first time.

Lastly, I found myself attracted to first paragraphs who didn't try too hard -- they didn't try too hard to be literary, and they weren't too chatty. A healthy middle ground is simply amazing.

(another dramatic pause -- have I mentioned the candles??)

The first rose.... goes to MAY VANDERBILT.

Let me tell you -- it took hours and hours to go through the entrants to pick finalists, and I seriously cannot thank May enough for her help. For the love of all things Bachelor, please subscribe to Good Girl Lit, buy THE BOOK OF JANE, and express your appreciation to May -- this was a tremendous task, and the mere thought of trying to choose finalists without May gives me hives. Not that I get hives. Moving on.

Now for the finalists in the Largely Indispensible First Paragraph Challenge...

IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER...

The second rose.... goes to Sophie W.:

Oh no, it's some kind of infestation, Rosemary thought, prodding the ground with her boot. Next to the barn were several fist-sized holes, just big enough for rats, or worse, imps. She hated imps. They were always getting into the larder and causing a fuss.

The third rose.... goes to eric:

There’s this girl I’ve never met that I know everything in the world about. Well, most everything. Not the big stuff, I guess. Like what she prayed about when she would cry at her bedside or whether she really believed those prayers might get answered. And I never knew all of the reasons for the crazy shit she did, but hey, who really does? I did know other stuff though. The real freaky-deaky shit. Like how she would crack open her father’s disposable razors with a pair of pliers she kept stashed behind her dresser and how she’d slice herself up. Sometimes I think she left her window blinds open that way just so somebody, anybody, me--a guy she never met--would know. Not that she was some kind of attention whore. Just about everybody is some kind of attention whore. Not Scissors, though. And I could testify in court to that, since, I’m like, some kind of authority on the girl.

The fourth rose.... goes to CC:

Brooklyn didn't know very much about me. Actually, the girl knew surprisingly little, which was exactly what I needed in a friend. She didn't ask intrusive questions and I didn't have to lie or have my heart pound while I searched for acceptable answers. She wasn't into meaningful conversation and heartfelt talks. She was light, snappy, and never depressed. And most importantly, she wasn't my responsibility.

The fifth rose.... goes to Emily Ryan-Davis:

Life inside a piano isn’t all knitting cobweb sweaters and napping. It’s dangerous. Every time a clumsy student flings himself at the bench and bangs on the ivories, just to see his fingers walk across the black and whites, I face death. The action’s unpredictable. If I’m in the wrong place at the wrong time, I could lose my head.

The sixth rose.... goes to Aden:

He was short and skinny, shorter than the others, and never wore a shirt when he ran. His thin arms flailed as he kept ahead of us and we all wondered how. He was so fast. But mostly we watched the bouncing scars on his back and thought about how he got them. We called him the Wizard. It was because of his hair, wild black mass with a white shock hanging in the front. That’s how I thought of him. The Wizard. I wish I knew what names they had given him but I never asked. Between us, there was an unspoken rule: everything would remain unspoken.

Chris Harrison: "Paragraphs, Bachelor... this is the final rose this evening."

The last and final rose.... goes to Regan:

The great flaw in the system was that some of the Children remembered what it felt like when they were taken. It was impossible to tell who would remember--temperament, age, gender, none of them seemed to matter. The flaw persisted despite all of the technicians' attempts to eradicate it. In rare cases a Child, newly imprinted, would awaken at odd hours of the night, crying for reasons she couldn't explain or shaking with a nameless dread and a desperate feeling that something wasn't right.

Chris Harrison: "Paragraphs, Bachelor.... If you did not receive a rose this evening, please take a moment.. and say your goodbyes."

IF YOU RECEIVED A ROSE TONIGHT: please e-mail me at nb@cbltd.com -- you are entitled to a query critique. I know some of you don't need a query critique because you're all agented and everything, but we'll figure something to properly reward your awesomeness so e-mail me anyway.

Now is the time for voting. Here are the procedures:

In the comments section of THIS POST, please vote for your favorite paragraph. Anonymous votes will not be counted, so please either sign in to Blogger or use your real name. Please do not openly campaign for yourself or others on the Internet or via e-mail (this is a meritocracy), and irregular voting activity will be monitored and mercilessly punished.

Thank you so much to everyone who entered -- I really appreciate that everyone put themselves out there by entering, the response was seriously overwhelming. And trust me, it was ridiculously difficult to pick finalists -- there were many close calls and tough decisions.

What an amazing journey.






184 comments:

Welshcake said...

I vote for Regan and the imprinted Children. Chilling.

Gracie Chase said...

I vote for Aden and his story about Wizard.

Roxan said...

Regan-It was the one that made me want to read on. To know what happens next.

Lauren Fobbs said...

I vote for Regan. And I want to read that book.

Luc2 said...

Congrats to all finalists.

Ha, I love the rose ceremony. I don't know the Hills, but we even had the Bachelor in the Netherlands.

Tough call, but I vote for:
Emily Davis-Ryan

Nathan, can we explain why we voted the way we did or is that considered campaigning openly for others? Personally, I'm curious to know what made people vote for a certain paragraph.

Bernita said...

Aden and the Wizard.

L.A. Mitchell said...

I vote for Aden.

Thanks for the opportunity, Nathan

mary said...

I was torn between two finalists.

But my vote goes to CC; at the end that paragraph, I really wanted to read on

Colorado Writer said...

CC

cyn said...

thank you may and nathan for doing this!! great choices, as my brain could not cope with reading all the entries. there just aren't enough little grey cells in there. so i can only imagine how difficult your task was.

i choose sophie w's opening.

REASON : i prefer reading in the third person pov. it is a short and simple entry and manages to stir intrigue with merely a few sentences. i wanted to know more about the imps! in hindsight of choosing, it is similar to my own para submitted. short and from third pov.

Sarah Hina said...

I vote for Aden. Love those "bouncing scars."

Congrats to all the finalists, though. They were all superb.

Terry-O said...

Regan

Linda said...

Thanks Nathan and May - what fun this was (and still is).

My vote goes to Eric, just love his words and the images evoked. I really want to know why the narrator is 'some kind of authority on this girl.' Why indeed... Peace, Linda

LindaBudz said...

[Sigh.] I thought he would like me. I thought for sure we'd connect. Maybe my voice was just a little too sassy for his taste. I guess it wasn't meant to be. [Stares teary-eyed off to the right of the camera.)

Oh, and I vote for CC.

Eric said...

Emily's Life inside a piano.

Lisa E. Balvanz said...

My vote goes to eric. I really like the voice of the narrator.

Topher1961 said...

Emily Davis-Ryan

But, what about my second one? I mentioned bourbon. Cornucopia. Plethora. Did May even notice?

Jeanne said...

I vote for Aden.

Tabby said...

Found it hard to decide between Eric and Regan.
For style I'd choose Eric.
For wanting to read more I'd choose Regan.

So close call but I'll choose Regan. (I think)

Well done you rose winners.

lainey bancroft said...

Lovely presentation ceremony!

My vote goes to Regan.

WendyNYC said...

I like Eric's.

Josephine Damian said...

Josephine votes for ERIC.

He's the only one from Nathan's list that's on my list (see my blog for my own favorites).

Conduit still rocks!

*shake my booty*

Aden? I just didn't understand this paragraph at all. Can scars bounce? I get what Aden was trying to convey, but still thought the image was off. Is this a kid? Implied by some of the description, but black hair with a white streak? Was this a dog, but then I remembered the "arms." Nice emotional feel to this paragraph, but I was still confused.

brian_ohio said...

eric

Alison Coffey said...

Voting for Emily Davis-Ryan!

Annie Bailey said...

My vote goes to CC's paragraph. It really made me want to read more.

Diane G. said...

Regan.

Interesting that four out of six finalists were in first person. I definitely prefer third person.

mkcbunny said...

This was really difficult. Three of my short-listers wound up in the finals.

My vote goes to Emily Davis-Ryan

Congratulations finalists, and thanks Nathan and May!

Precie said...

Not ready to vote yet.

I just wanted to thank you, Nathan and May, again for your tremendous efforts!

Kim Stagliano said...

Congrats Rose holders!! I'd like to vote for Aden and his Wizard kid. It was a tough call though. I'm dying to know what lives in the piano!

What fun!

And Nathan's comments on what grabbed him were helpful. Seriously helpful. Really. Yes indeedy do. ;)

Katherine said...

CC!

Casey said...

My vote goes to Regan. I really want to read that story.

Nathan Bransford said...

diane g-

May and I definitely were cognizant about choosing more 1st person than 3rd, and we really don't have a preference between the two, but if you look at the entries there seemed to be more 1st person paragraphs, which I think is ultimately reflected in the split between 1st/3rd among the finalists.

Heidi the Hick said...

Sophie W, Emily Davis-Ryan, and Aden all gave awesome paragraphs, and I hope to read those books some day, but since I can only choose one, I have to pick Regan. Right away, first time I read it, I wanted to know what it was all about.

Thank you so much, Nathan and May, for taking the incredible amount of time needed to do this!

Now please go have a nap.

cyn said...

the comments are interesting. i also failed to mention ...

REASON : i took into consideration the *type* of story i like to read when i chose. isn't that natural?

K.C. Shaw said...

I vote for the one abut the imps. I'd like to read the rest of that one.

V L Smith said...

Emily Davis-Ryan gets my vote. She gives an inventive perspective.

MK said...

I vote for Emily Davis-Ryan.

Natalie said...

They were all good, but CC gets my vote!

Tammie said...

I vote for eric.

Love the voice and I want to know why he knows everything about this girl and I want to know what happens or happened to the girl.

Congrats to all the rose holders!

cheryl said...

Aden.

Eric was a close second for me, though.

Mary said...

Voting for Regan. It most intrigued me and made me want to know more.

Abi said...

Great contest. Congrats to the finalists!

I vote for Emily Davis-Ryan.

I have to know who/what lives in that piano???

Dave F. said...

My vote for Aden - and things that remain unspoken.

Robin said...

Thanks for all the hard work, Nathan and May. You even took the time to make the presentation of the results entertaining. You rock!

I liked all the finalists, but my vote goes to Sophie W.

Merry Jelinek said...

A big thank you to Nathan and May, who must have had a very long night.

My vote goes to Sophie.

Congratulations to all the finalists - well done.

Amanda said...

OMG they are all so good its hard to pick just one!! Its like a box of chocolates you just want to have 'em all LOL

But I will have to go with....Emily Davis-Ryan!! (Yay Emily!)

The little spider living inside the piano knitting sweaters out of cobwebs was just TOO cute!

^_^

Timber Beast said...

eric's

I liked the Holden Caulfield voice.

Sam Hranac said...

Great choices! Congrats to all. And such a handsome presenter! I get all Dumbledore just looking at him.

Sam Hranac said...

OH! As for a vote. It was close, but I give the nod to CC. So many made me want to read on, her this one was special.

Lauri said...

Emily Davis-Ryan.

Laura said...

Congratulations to all. Great choices, it was tough choosing just one. My vote goes to Emily Davis-Ryan.

jessie said...

I vote for Regan. They are all pretty fantastic, though. It was difficult to choose.

Melanie Avila said...

Wow, what a tough decision! My two favorites are Emily and Regan. I'd keep reading both, and while Regan's seems more like my type of book, I'm voting for Emily. Very well written and I want to know about that spider.

Nathan and May, kudos for all your hard work and I love the presentation this morning.

stakingmyclaim said...

CC!
Congrats to all finalists.

TiffinaC said...

Pick One? No, seriously? I cannot decided between CC and Aden... they are both wonderful openings.

The Wizard is gonna have to take this one.


Sorry CC, but I loved it all the same.

Julie K. Rose said...

Very creative, all of them, but I like Regan's the best.

amanda h said...

I vote for Sophie W. and the imps.

Karen Duvall said...

I vote for Eric. Can I just say "fabulous!"?

Maria said...

Hi, there...

I have no idea what this was or what in the heck people are voting for. But it sounds fun, and I'm hoping there will be another "bachelor-writing-rose-voting-thingy" that I can particpate in next time. I'll keep my eye out!

Maria
www.jubileeonearth.com

WandererInGray said...

Congrats everyone!

My votes for Sophie W - I want to know about the imps. :D

K

Angela said...

It was a tough choice between Regan and CC. CC's was the best well-written but Regan's premise intrigued me just a lil bit more, ...so,I vote Regan!

Mrs. Revis said...

eric. It was beautifully written.

Marlene Dotterer said...

I have a tie! What do I do?

Emily...Regan...Emily...Regan...

Both of them make want to continue reading. So if either of these becomes actual books, will someone let me know?

Okay. I'm closing my eyes and pointing:

Regan! (I'm partial to SF and it sounds like SF)

eric said...

Emily Davis-Ryan

What a wonderful opening.

R.C. said...

I vote for Aden.

Nathan, you say that the entrants are "all agented and everything." Isn't this like a married women going on the bachelor? Just saying.

Thanks for the great fun, and congrats to all the nominees!

R.C.

otherkatie said...

I vote for Emily Davis-Ryan.

Jen said...

Nathan,

You made me believe you cared!! *sniffle* I just...I just don't understand what I did wrong!!

But I'll be fine. I refuse to cry over this.

*lip quivers*

It's your loss!

*Turns away from camera, shoulders shaking as I try to hold back my tears*

It wasn't supposed to be like this!

Okay, seriously, I vote for Emily. (g)

SaraMerrick said...

Emily Davis-Ryan.
Nathan, your blog is always entertaining, fun and full of helpful information. Thank you for making me LOL day after day.

Robert said...

I have to vote for Regan. The opening was decent and it makes me want to see what happens next.

Josephine Damian said...

There were many well written pargraphs that I passed over because the plot was too similar to a book I'd seen before.

Regan's reminded me of "Never Let Me Go" by Kazuo Ishiguro, JMO.

But congrats to all the rose holders!

stephanie f said...

tough call...

...but i'm going to go with eric's paragraph.

Tom Judah said...

Once again, many thanks to Nathan and May!

I gotta go with Aden and the Wizard.

Tom

Lauren said...

I'm going with CC. Though I have to say that all of them make me want to keep reading.

sylvia said...

I did like these -- all excellent. The one I want to keep reading right now is Eric's stalker.

Danita Cahill said...

My vote goes to Sophie W. and her imps fussing up the larder. I mean, what are imps? For that matter, I'm not even sure I know what a larder is, but both sound intriguing. Ha!

brynn chapman said...

for emily davis ryan...for being more literary than I could ever hope to be....signed forever genre lol.

Margaret said...

Congrats to the finalists. Enjoy your roses :).

I vote for Emily Davis-Ryan's paragraphs because it had the feeling of The Borrowers.

Shauna Roberts said...

Sophie W. and her imps

Maya Reynolds said...

All of the paragraphs were great.

I was the most torn between Sophie and Emily.

I vote for Emily as the one that made me the most interested in reading further.

Precie said...

I feel the same was as josephine about Regan's paragraph. I find it compelling and well-written, but I feel as if I've read it before.

bria said...

I'm going with Emily

cc said...

I vote for Aden.

Because boom! You're right there in the story, even though you aren't quite sure where you are yet. Loved it.

Conduit said...

Eric's was my favourite first last time around, and it's also my favourite opening paragraph.

liquidambar said...

My rose goes to Emily Davis-Ryan.

The only thing that gives me pause is whether there's enough action inside a piano to sustain an entire story. However, the tone of this paragraph is just so wonderful--funny, quirky, full of danger and the unexpected--that I trust the writer to deliver.

In the Great Voice category, I would like to mention Eric too. Regan seems to have the most promising plot, but the voice didn't grab me quite as much as Emily's or Eric's.

Megan said...

I vote for CC.

Other Lisa said...

Emily Davis-Ryan, and I don't think I could even tell you why, I just like it. Nice, compact writing and a weird premise!

Onovello said...

Emily Davis-Ryan.

Scott from Oregon said...

Where is May Vanderbilt's entry?

Is she a ghost writer?

How can I vote for one in seven, when I see only six?

Heather M. said...

I vote for Aden.

Nathan Bransford said...

scott-

Deep breaths. May just helped judge the contest.

DeadlyAccurate said...

I vote for Emily Davis-Ryan's, though I really liked all of them.

Kimber An said...

Aden. I want to know how the Wizard got those scars too.
:o)
Congratulations to all Finalists!!!

LD said...

I vote for Emily Davis-Ryan.

Marina said...

For me it was between CC and Eric.

Okay, I vote for Eric. I love his natural voice.

Thanks for all your hard work, Nate and May.

Josephine Damian said...

But Precie, who you gonna vote for?

Nathan, maybe you could edit the post to differentiate between May getting a much deserved rose, and the entries getting their roses?

After May's mention, you might wanna add space, a border, a header, some graphic element (like a picture of a bottle of Captain Morgan)? Just a suggestion....

A Paperback Writer said...

Well, I'm rather surprised. Most of these didn't do a whole lot for me. I would've put all but two of them back on the shelf.
I'll vote for Emily. That one's my favorite. (But Regan, if you read this, I liked yours, too.)

Nathan Bransford said...

Why do people gotta snipe at the finalists? If you liked others that didn't make the list, just cite them, no need to be dismissive or critical of the people who made the list -- let's keep things positive.

Precie said...

Aw, josephine, you had to go and put me on the spot. Ack, the pressure.

After much careful deliberation, I'm voting for Aden (the Wizard boy paragraph).

I get a subtle "A Prayer for Owen Meany" vibe from it. It's evocative and vivid. The voice sounds authentic. And it raises all sorts of questions I want answers to.

Chumplet said...

I like Sophie's.

Is it my imagination or were most of them in first person?

Thanks, Nathan.

Kate said...

Here's one more vote for Emily's piano-dweller...

Scott from Oregon said...

Oh... THAT MAY...

OK.

I vote for the Wizard...

Sharon said...

I vote for Sophie W and those pesky imps.

Sophie W. said...

Oh my God, Nathan. This made my day. Homecoming game was cancelled, the girl's game was cancelled, Homecoming might be delayed and I have two tests on Monday (after Homecoming!?), so basically life sucks for me right now...

And then I saw this blog post and my life is no longer beating me over the head. I will triumph over Homecoming Blues and destroy those tests! I CAN DO ANYTHING!

Neptoon said...

Aloha Nathan and May,

Mahalo for the funfest. Insanity can be good!

Vote: Emily Davis-Ryan

She made me want to see the next paragraph.

Hey...speaking of insanity...how bout a contest for the second paragraph?

Michael said...

I vote for Sophie W. and her imps. I sympathize with the imps in the larder problem.

The Anti-Wife said...

Aden

Makes me want to know more

Stacey said...

Aden - great imagery!

Deborah K. White said...

I really liked Sophie W., Emily Davis-Ryan, and Regan's first paragraphs, but I guess I'll vote for..um...

I vote for Regan. Tell me when the story/book comes out, 'cause I'm buying it.

Lill said...

Sophie ....

If the finalists were books in a bookstore, Sophie's is the one I 'd take to the cashier.

Marva said...

Emily Davis-Ryan because I like fantasy and her idea just sounds so darned original. Just what lives in the piano? I'm dying to find out.

I'd give 2nd to Sophie's imp infestation. Again, I like fantasy.

Danette Haworth said...

Regan!

Sue Eves said...

Her paragraph won my heart in the long list -

I vote for Emily Davis-Ryan.

Thanks Nathan

cynjay said...

Emily Davis-Ryan.

Southern Writer said...

Thank you two for all your hard work. I don't know what you were thinking when you didn't choose mine, but I forgive you.

All the winners are great, but my vote goes to Eric. That opening line still grabs me.

Morgan St. John said...

Emily Ryan-Davis. Love that bit.

AmyB said...

I vote for Eric.

Monica said...

Emily Davis-Ryan.


Loved it.

Morgan St. John said...

SERIOUSLY, her name is Emily Ryan-Davis... :D [i double checked about 10 times... so I wouldn't look like an idiot!]

I'm cheering CC on as well even if I did like Emily's better. WHOOT!

BookEnds, LLC said...

I have to vote. Eric. When all is said and done his is the one that I can't forget.

Nathan Bransford said...

Morgan St. John-

Thank you so much for pointing out that it's Emily RYAN-DAVIS. Ack!! I have no idea how that happened -- I thought I copied straight from the comments. My apologies to Emily.

Kristina S. said...

I relaly like Adens! That one has my vote!!!

Sirena said...

Congratulations to all who received a rose, they were well deserved. I only found this blog when I heard about the contest but I thought I would add my voice to the masses and vote.

I picked Regan's paragraph. It was haunting and made me want to read more.

Now do I get a second and third vote?

jadedmetaphor said...

I'll vote for Regan, but they were all intriguing.

Thanks for hosting this, Nathan.

Church Lady said...

CC--I liked the first line in the last contest as well.

Congrats to everyone!

Sally Kalkofen said...

I vote for Emily Ryan-Davis!

Go, Emily!! :)

cate said...

Emily Ryan-Davis

Teresa said...

Of the choices, Regan gets my vote. Congrats to everyone who got a rose and thanks to Nathan for the opportunity to enter.

Karen McQuestion said...

I vote for Regan!

Other Lisa said...

Oh, man...that photo of the Bachelor guy cracks me up...was he really sooo cheesy and plastic as he appears?

Kit Wylde said...

As I am a friend of one, I cannot vote (a bit biased LOL), but I enjoyed all of them. :)

Kit

danceluvr said...

I really like Sophie W's first paragraph. Short, simple language that intrigued me. Imps; how fun!

My second choice would be Emily Ryan-Davis' life inside a piano. I just have to know what is it? A mouse? Or maybe a cockroach?

julief said...

I don't know how i'm supposed to vote when there all such stellar paragraphs. Seriously. I've been thinking about it all day.

Ultimately, I've decided to vote for Regan (which I think I read before, possibly on SYW on AW?). But even now I feel a tug to several of the others.

Congrats to the finalist! And thanks for taking on the tremendous task of judging, Nathan and May.

dramabird said...

First ... my vote goes to Emily, because I immediately recognized the paragraph from the 600+ that I'd read through. I'd love to know ... *is* it a spider living in that piano? Or perhaps an imp? ;)

Second ... my sincere thanks to both Josephine Damian and "lisa" for their kind remarks on my "redheaded or stupid" paragraph. That truly made my day, roseless though it was. :)

Jordan said...

I vote for Sophie. You are a beast and you KNOW IT.

McKoala said...

Tough call, but... Regan

Aden said...

Ach, the turbulence! Nathan, you almost killed me--amped up on Coke and ice cream, now this. And to be in such humbling company... I'm really honored.

My vote goes to Sophie, and her beautifully rendered stiff-upper-lip paragraph about the imps.

Good luck to the finalists and thanks, Nathan, for running the competition.

Derek said...

My vote goes to Sophie W and the Imps. I loved its offhand simplicity.

Dead Man Walking said...

@Not even close. Aden.

Jenyfer Matthews said...

CC

SzélsőFa said...

Regan.
Thank you for the opportunity for taking part.

sex scenes at starbucks said...

Regan

Lisa said...

Regan. It's the only one where I feel like reading the book. If you ever take her on as a client and get her published let me know where I can buy it.

Kylie said...

I vote for Regan and the Children. That really makes me want to find out what's going on.

Anonymous said...

I vote for Sophie W's paragraph.

Great first sentence too! Good luck.

Kimberly Lynn

emilyofnewmoon said...

I vote for... Sophie! And thanks again for the contest.

Laurel Amberdine said...

Wow, this is hard! Juding all the entries must've been overwhelming.

I don't know about everyone else, but when I tried reading through the original entries, I seemed to like nearly everything I read, or dislike everything... depending on my mood more than the paragraphs themselves. Weird.

The finalists are all great! But if I have to pick just one... I vote for Emily Ryan-Davis.

Congrats, guys!

Linnea said...

I made my choice by imagining myself in a bookstore opening books at random and reading the first paragraph. Which one would be the most difficult to put down? Regan's. I vote for Regan.

andracill said...

CC :)

Rising said...

Sophie.
Simple and intriguing.

Emily Ryan-Davis said...

I'd take Sophie W's book home with me. Such a casual, off-hand treatment of an unusual situation - catches my attention immediately.

It took me 'til this morning to get past the excitement of seeing my own paragraph to focus long enough to read the other finalists. :) Congratulations and good luck to everybody!

Am I allowed to give an e-mail address? Some voters mentioned they'd like to say why they voted, and I'm curious! If I'm not allowed, I'll take my flogging like a big girl. If I am allowed, my e-mail address is emily.ryandavis @ gmail.com

sunjunkie said...

Congrats to all the finalists! Tough choosing, but I have to go with

Aden's paragraph.

I kept wondering, "Where ya goin' with this?" Compelling.

Thanks, Nathan and May!

hannah said...

I vote for Sophie!

graywolf said...

Aden
Can't wait to read the rest.

diana said...

Great choices,but i'm going for Eric: is it creepy thrillery or teen angst gone kooky? inquiring mind that should be working wants to know.

Sue Eves said...

And thanks May!

Spartezda said...

I vote for Sophie. The imps always win.

MBS said...

Sophie W. for me. I want to read more.

Jennifer L. Griffith said...

My vote is for

CC

Congratulations to all of the finalist. And thanks to Nathan and May. Time and love are the two most valuable commodities around.

Dr. Dume said...

I vote for Sophie W.

What can I say? I have a soft spot for imps. Although it wasn't soft until they started chewing it in the night.

MelodyO said...

My vote goes to Sophie W. I read hundreds of entries, and that was the only one that stuck with me. ::looks under the couch for imps::

Thanks as always, Nathan. Your contests are great learning experiences.

Ozal said...

My vote to Regan.

But they are all excellent! I'd happily keep reading others, and a bunch that didn't make the short-list as well.

Thanks for the contest, Nathan!

PS re Josephine on Aden's wizard... I know someone with a white streak in their dark hair. She's had it all her life, which is how long I've known her. So while fiction might need to be more believable than reality, a streak in a kid's hair is not unrealistic. Just in case Aden was getting worried!

Sophie W. said...

"I'd take Sophie W's book home with me. Such a casual, off-hand treatment of an unusual situation - catches my attention immediately."

That's so funny! I was just saying how much I loved your paragraph.

So, yeah. I vote for Emily.

Maripat said...

Yikes. They're all great openings...but I'm voting for Regan. I really wanted to read more.

Charlotte said...

I vote for Emily and the piano. I was intrigued.

Stephen Parrish said...

Regan.

Sam said...

Amazing quality of writing in the finalists! Bravo!
I want to know more about Sophie's imp infestation, lol, so I vote for Sophie.

InkChant said...

Congrats to all. My vote it for Eric.

writtenwyrdd said...

Eric's paragraph is totally gripping. I normally wouldn't read a book like this, but it sounds too compelling not to continue.

JaxPop said...

My vote would be for Regan
Thanks Nathan & May - great contest. The rose thing.... people really watch that crap?

Christopher M. Park said...

Very good entries! My vote is for Regan.

Vi said...

Eric!

Loved his voice. Very real and immediately sympathetic.

Fiona said...

Thank you for your post on the Novel Racers

I've told my fellow racers of my faux pas and we'd like to copy your idea...if that's okay with you?

Really enjoyed reading the entries - best wishes

Joann Haberer said...

I vote for CC.
I never say "no" to a good first person narrative with a little mystery thrown in.

Elena said...

I vote for Regan. And again, thank you so much for a great contest, Mr. Bransford.

superwench said...

Eric!

Stephanie Zvan said...

The pickings were never this good on The Bachelor. They're all damn fine paragraphs. So were many of the others--so many I couldn't list them all before the voting deadline, so I'll have to love them privately.

My vote goes to CC. There's an emotional sophistication in this paragraph that I love to find in a YA.

dmp said...

Really torn between Regan and CC. Regan's is more intriguing, but CC's has a light, lilting quality that kind of makes you want to hum along.

In a humming mood, I guess, so CC by a nose.

The others are very respectable as well. Congratulations to all the finalists, and a commendation to Mr. Bransford for taking the time to do this.

Sasha said...

I vote for Sophie. The Imps have take the cake!

chirky said...

Regan. But intrigued also by spider and imp and razor, oh my.

Kim Lionetti said...

Wow. Do you have superpowers? I'm in awe of how quickly you were able to get this thing done!

I like Emily's.

Jennifer said...

I vote for Sophie's paragraph.

B.E. Sanderson said...

I choose Sophie W.

~Nancy said...

Wow, it was between Sophie and her imps (sounds like fun!) and Regan's Children (creepy). But they were all good, so it was hard to narrow down to those two.

But...I pick Sophie.

Nathan Bransford said...

VOTING IS CLOSED! THANKS, EVERYBODY!

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