Nathan Bransford, Author


Monday, January 28, 2008

SEFPC Update #1 and Comment Thread







120 comments:

stiflersmom said...

Maker's Mark. Maker's Mark. Maker's Mark.

r.c. said...

Impressive graphics! 8-9 hours in and you have 150 entries. 48 hours to go - wow, that meter is going to dive.

Laurel Amberdine said...

So...

What do we win when you surrender? :)

I haven't promoted this contest any yet. I just can't bring myself to do it. You poor thing!

Chumplet said...

You should have it going upwards and then burst at the top when you reach emergency room status.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Chro said...

Let's see, 164 comments, 500 words each... hey, it's only 82,000 words! Just think of it as reading a book... that keeps restarting.

CarBeyond said...

Whoa! Looks like you're even getting first pages here too! (Yikes!!)

I have to say, I read so many that looked promising, intriguing, well written.

I also wonder how you stay fresh, entry after entry?

(Suggesting Orange Juice with that bourbon :-D !)

Chuck Dickens said...

IT WAS the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way- in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.

There were a king with a large jaw and a queen with a plain face, on the throne of England; there were a king with a large jaw and a queen with a fair face, on the throne of France. In both countries it was clearer than crystal to the lords of the State preserves of loaves and fishes, that things in general were settled for ever.

Ernest Lee Luning said...

My question is very personal, how do you do it? How do you, how do you keep upbeat and so wonderful?

Liz said...

I have to say, I'm quite shocked at how many use profanity in the first page.

Keep up that morale Nathan! Just under 48 hours to go!

burgy61 said...

And you thought you knew what you were getting into,HA. I guess I better get mine in before you up the deadline.

sex scenes at starbucks said...

Not quite to second thought, yet, eh? I really think we should send him some bourbon. Who's with me??

Cam said...

Humbly... I admire all of you: Writers, for composing some moving, descriptive and in some cases poignant literature; readers, for... well... reading it all; Nathan, for being so completely insane. Still haven't decided if I'm brave enough to throw myself in front of the train. In the meantime, I'm enjoying all of your work (except for the fact that it's been pulling me away from my REAL work too often today!).
Cam

Cam said...

"ssas" -- I'm only 40 minutes away from S.F. I'll pick up the burboun, dress in cognito and drop it at his office signed from both of us on Wednesday morning.

Nathan Bransford said...

Please remember to enter in the contest thread!

And sorry Chuck Dickens, not commercial enough.

Thanks to everyone for the well wishes! Wednesday night... well, I guess I wasn't planning on going out anyway.

mardott said...

You do know you're crazy? It's probably harmless.

But you are crazy.

Good luck!

Adaora A. said...

Nice.

Look at you using a grid very impressive (for a fellow who says he isn't very good at anything math related).

Is Wednesday the day to go ut in SF? Hmmm. Wednesday is my only day off in the week between work and school to sleep and or get my hair done!

Sleep well Nathan!

Miss Sharp said...

How strict are you on that 500-word limit? Just curious. It seems there were some mighty looong first pages!

Emily said...

Poor, poor Nathan. You are a serious masochist. And all of us adore you for it.

But I have an idea to help ease the pain. I call it the Blogging Agent's Drinking Game. While you're reading the entries, you take a shot of bourbon every time you see the word "the." :D

Julie Weathers said...

Well, I have posted, but it did leave me with more than a twinge of guilt.

I'm convinced it is very hard to write a compelling first page without action. It will be interesting to see how this goes.

JW

J.K. Mahal said...

Wow. I'm almost sorry I added to your miseries by posting my first page. Almost.

You're a brave soul, Mr. Bransford, for taking all of us on.

Thank you

Diana said...

I've now posted to one of your contests for the very first time. I hope your brain can still process text in the English language by the time you get to it.

On the plus side, you pointed me toward the Nothing But Bonfires blog, which is fantastic. I sent a bunch of people the link with a note that said, "Read the January 25 cat story. NOW."

Allen B. Ogey said...

Tragedy in the City
by A.B.O.

It was a dark and stormy night. Suddenly, a shot rang out! The blogging literary agent had killed himself. And no one knew who won the contest.

The End




(As long as I credit Snoopy for the first two lines its not plagiarism, right?)

~grace~ said...

you can disregard my entry if it would make your life any bit easier. seriously, I don't mind.

leesmiley said...

Don't worry, Nathan. When you finally succumb to the horror of what you have unleashed and kill yourself, we'll gladly put all the entries you didn't get to on disk and place it in the casket with you so you have something to read in the afterlife. I just hope my entry is not the one that sends you over the edge.

jjdebenedictis said...

Bourbon is golden
Nathan is blue
Those hundred billion entries
Mean we love you

But writers are legion
And a mite dangerous
Your brain could explode
Before you satisfy us

So take it in small steps
(And take small sips too)
With Holly to help out
You'll somehow make it through

And remember your mantra
As your brain turns to mush:
"There might be a great book
buried in all this slush!"

Jennifer Hendren said...

Aww, you poor dude. Keep smiling and make sure your glass is full. (g) You can do it.

Anonymous said...

It's getting tough to post over there, the thread is so big. I was unable to get the comments window to come up using IE. I went to Firefox and then, was able to post.

Maybe you should start a new thread for each day, just to keep the size down a bit.

Just trying to be helpful....

Luc2 said...

LOL, the morale meter is funny.

Good luck, Nathan, Holly and all contestants.

Polenth said...

Do the tears start at 'Remorse. Lots of Remorse'?

JKB said...

LOL. I'm sending you weizen beer from Germany, you poor thing.

What *have* you gotten yourself into??

Josephine Damian said...

Anon: 11:08

I was hoping for a new thread every 100 entries, but would settle for a new one for each day. The re-fresh time is mind-numbing, and when I do it at the same time someone is posting (which is basically every time) I get glitches and the last 20-30 entries don't show.

Amy said...

From a different perspective (I'm not entering, as I'm only in the plotting stages), this contest really helps communicate why it is so important to catch an agent's attention in the first sentence. I read the entries yesterday when there were only thirty or so, and was surprised by how quickly I gave up on those that didn't have a good hook, because I knew I had so many more to read. The ones with good hooks got more attention, but still, if they lost my interest at all I skipped to the next entry. Those that I couldn't stop reading will be useful to analyze, to find out what about them kept my interest.

So Nathan, thank you for creating this contest- you're providing a great learning experience for all of us. Really. Hopefully that will help keep morale at least above "Mainlining bourbon".

Josephine Damian said...

JJ: Good one!

"Times are bad. Children no longer obey their parents, and everyone is writing a book." Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BC)

And, I must add, everyone is posting their first page here in Nathan's contest!

Funny (or not) how thousands of years later, things haven't changed a bit.

Aimless Writer said...

I think you're in the running with Jessica Faust for sainthood.
Glad you're having fun! lol

Josh said...

Getting close to 250

Mark Terry said...

Yeah, well, I did wonder if you had:

1. Lost your mind
2. Been taking waaayyy too much cough syrup
3. Chomping on psychedelic mushrooms
4. Huffing Redi-Whip cans
5. Knocking back shots of JD whenever George Bush did something stupid
6. Lost your mind

Mark Terry said...

Jeez, Chuck!

Make up your mind. Is it the best of times? Or is it the worst of times? You can't have it both ways.

Adaora A. said...

Josephine I've got to add that quote to my blog.

sex scenes at starbucks said...

How about if you take a drink every time you see past progressive usage?

Taylor said...

I decided to be nice and only include 349 words instead of the maximum 500. Hopefully you can spend that time you would have been reading those 151 words convincing yourself that maybe you don't need that last shot of bourbon.

Ello said...

I could have entered, but I refrained solely for the sake of Nathan's mental and emotional health. AND I voted for the elevator pitch because I thought a first page critique was suicidal. Do I get a prize for being so considerate?

ilyakogan said...

Nathan knows what he is doing.

Miss Snark's blog didn't explode in popularity till her first Crapometer contest.

It's a marketing strategy whether his conscious about it or not. :)

benwah said...

I'll echo Amy's comment: after sifting through maybe 30 entries, my eyes glazed over. (I also had the unresistable urge to pick up a red pen.) No wonder it's so hard to climb out of the slush pile.

Good luck, Nathan. Remember to throw the occasional cube into the Maker's Mark to stay hydrated.

Josephine Damian said...

Adaora A.: I have an entire blog dedicated to quotes about writers and the writing life.

http://quoteitwrite.blogspot.com

Colorado Writer said...

250 entries is nothing. !

Merry Monteleone said...

That thread hurts my eyes... and you have a day left for entries...

Somebody bring him a case of scotch.. and really, you should call in sick in Thursday, because Wednesday's gonna be a loooong night.

I think I'll wait until he posts the finalists to even comment on any of them, the ones I read were really good, it's just I went blind trying to read them...

Scott said...

This contest helps me understand the agent life a little better, I think.

I quickly found myself reading only the first sentence or two, and if those didn't grab me, I skipped to the next entry. Thing is, the ones that didn't grab me, it's not because they were bad. They just weren't my thing. Maybe it was voice, or genre, or present tense (which can be effective, but I don't particularly care for it).

So, I understand. When going through the slush pile, agents have to make quick decisions, and any number of things can make them reach for the rejection slip pile, even if the piece is well written.

Chro said...

I'm going to follow Josephine Damian's lead and read through every entry. However, I'm also going to comment on every single one and post my one-paragraph opinion on my blog. So for those of you who don't make the cut, I'll at least give you a layman's opinion of your opening.

My blog is at http://scribejourney.blogspot.com/ for those interested.

And yes, I hate myself for being just as masochistic as Nathan is.

Erik said...

That is one long thread. I pasted my small effort up early this morning (always sleep before last edit!) and about 20 have been put up in the last few hours. Wow.

I'm going to have to go through and take back everything bad I said about Nathan. This is Herculean.

Anonymous said...

Nathan!

We love you - for doing this kind of stuff, for taking up Miss Snark's slack (no degradation to The Snarky One intended), and for being so damn *funny*!!

You make my day. :)

Good luck!
J.F.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, Nathan. Someone spilled the beans on AW. More first pages coming your way, I'm sure

Heidi the Hick said...

I agree with Scott- I found myself sort of skipping through a lot of the entries. Felt kind of bad about it, but really it's about personal preference. This exercise, as well as the previous contests, really gives the rest of us an idea of what an agent's job must be like.

I feel kind of bad that I entered though. I feel like I added to the demise of Nathan's stability. Sorry!!!!

While I'm at it, another commenter mentioned the use of profanity in the first page. I did that. I would like to apologize now for the cussing. Please understand that I had to do it. It's not me- it's the characters. I wouldn't start a conversation with you by swearing my face off, but these kids have something to prove. I almost didn't post it because of the language but it's part of the story.

Oh geez here I am, making more word pollution. I'm done now.

Anonymous said...

I think you must be mildly insane to have initiated this contest... :-)

Liz said...

Heidi,

I thought your cussing was fine, I was just surprised at the overall amount of first pages that had profanity.

Kami said...

Is it official? Can we start posting entries on a different blog entry? I've been trying all morning and I haven't been able to get the page to load completely, which means I haven't been able to post a comment. I'll keep trying, but I hope there will be a new spot to post soon.

Anonymous said...

Not just profanity, but one of them that I saw (I can't get the thread to load anymore either) had an *extremely* graphic sex scene! I find myself wondering if you have young readers.

Anyway, good luck and remember, man does not live by bourbon alone. You need, like, chocolate or something to go with it!

Loretta

Nathan Bransford said...

Sorry if people are having trouble making their entries. I'm just a little hesitant to start a new thread because 1) judging from the way the entries are piling up in the original thread, it doesn't seem like many people are having a problem and 2) there are already enough people entering in random posts on the blog that I'm concerned about further confusing matters.

If you're unable to post your entry after several tries, go ahead and e-mail it to me at nb@cbltd.com and I'll post it in the official thread.

Nathan Bransford said...

Also, one thing that might help is that rather than clicking on the comments link, click on the blog title, which will load all the comments on one page without people's avatars, which makes it load much faster.

Luc2 said...

I agree with Scott and Heidi as well. This contest does give an idea of how hard going through the slush pile is. And I'm not saying that the entries are bad (I'm quite impressed and depressed, in fact).

And yes, personal preference plays a huge part in deciding what I keep reading until the end, or where I give up after two paragraphs.

I guess that's why they say to keep querying. Even after 50 rejections, you need just one agent who likes your style/voice/premise etc.

jjdebenedictis said...

Chro said:
I'm ... going to comment on every single one and post my one-paragraph opinion on my blog.

Great idea, Chro! Thanks for being willing to match Nathan and Holly's generosity of spirit.

You've inspired me. I shall also attempt to critique every entry on my blog, but I'm going to stick to only one or two sentences of opinion per entry.

Anyone interested in my comments is free to pop by (and argue; I mean, hey--it's only my opinion) at:
http://jjdebenedictis.blogspot.com

Roxan said...

I'm trying to train myself into being able to look at other genres without a sudden nauseated feeling. No skimming, but my eyes are still rolling.

Diana said...

Holy crap. Just for fun, I hit "print preview" to see how long the other blog was - and it came to 488 pages.

This has been an interesting experience, even if our blog host doesn't live to tell the tale.

I don't know how agents do it. I would spend a lot of time with my eyes rolled into the back of my head if I had to read all of these submissions.

Melanie Avila said...

Nathan, I just wanted to join the chorus of laughing, er, sighing, at your insanity. I still can't decide if I'll add my page - I hate to add to your misery!

Ryan Field said...

I liked "Cinnamon Gum Christmas" so much I read it several times.

beth said...

...over 300 and counting...

Ello said...

Nathan,

I am stressed for you dude! Shorten the deadline before all of this kills you! Seriously! I read about 30 and I got a raging headache and had to stop. We want you around, not institutionalized shouting "Pitches! Rhetorical Questions! Slush!" randomly at the other inmates. Or if you are too noble to shorten it much earlier, at least change the deadline to 5pm Eastern.

I'm worried...

Nathan Bransford said...

ello-

Thanks! Wednesday night (and, um, Thursday morning) are going to be crazy, but I'm used to making snap decisions on excerpts. But I sure hope people are reading Holly's blog and clicking on her ads and sending her well-wishes! It's going to be quite a task to co-judge this one.

Cynthia Bronco said...

I hope it's obvious that mine is not literary fiction... or is it? It's fun to see what everyone has been working on! Good luck Nathan!

Anonymous said...

Nathan,
Thanks so much for doing this. I have a question about genre. Is it okay to enter something that you don't rep (i.e. a younger MG)? If I were fortunate enough to win out of all of these hundreds of entries, I'd love your feedback about a query or to get a partial critique. But if the idea of the contest is to keep it to adult/YA, then I don't want to waste even more of your time.
Thanks!

Nathan Bransford said...

anon-

Any genre is fine!

SherylAdairVv said...

Three Brothers in Yellowwood Forest
Young Adult-Fantasy 53,027 so far
Allrick Vilness is one of three brothers in a family of eight children. The brothers are the three oldest but they are not the three most loved. Not only aren’t they loved; their parents don’t even seem to like them all that well.

On this bitter February day they worked sixteen hours on the farm their step-father managed, before going inside for a dinner of crusts of bread swimming in lukewarm watery soup. The brothers were cleaning up the kitchen when their stepfather came stomping in.

He grabbed Allrick by his left ear and drug him over to the cellar door. Allrick clutched the railing as his step-father pushed him onto the top stair.

“Follow him.” Their step-father growled at his brothers. “I will deal with all of you in the morning.” The cellar door shut with a slam. The iron bolt grated inside its barrel as he locked the brothers in.

They were locked in for the night but their footsteps were light traveling down the wooden stairs. They were actually glad to be sleeping in the cellar. Sleeping in the cellar was an easy punishment in the Vilness household.

The brothers were often confined in the cellar. It was usually because they were judged guilty of being foolish. The judgment of being foolish could be imposed for nearly any reason; for laughing while they played a board game or even for leaving a sock on the floor. There were far worse punishments.

Tonight, the brothers had not been declared foolish. Tonight they were guilty of seeing something they weren’t supposed to see. Tonight they were being locked in the cellar for a dreadfully dangerous reason. This night held the promise of a morning of much worse punishment; but for now, as the Wyoming wind seeped through the concrete block walls and dust swirled around the brothers, they felt safe.

Allrick was the youngest of the three. His mop of ultra curly auburn hair was matted with dirt as he sat on the concrete pad. He unlaced his too small shoes with icy fingers and plotted his next attempt to escape.

His mother had already tracked him down twice. The last time, she told him that his step-father would ‘hunt him down and shoot him like a dog’ if he should ever run away again.

Allrick lay down and planned how he could hide in the next truck that left the farm, as he drifted off to sleep. He smiled at the smell of clean, pure, fresh air that signals that time between asleep and awake and he dreamed of the stars he would sleep under when he was free. In his sleep he tugged the edge of his brother’s blue jean quilt under his chin.

Liam was three years older than Allrick. He snuck the blue jean quilt down to the cellar several days ago. He was tired of being cold at night.

Even in the winter, he was deeply tanned from loading bales of hay all day.

Kami said...

I think that clicking on the entry and posting that way worked. I'm not sure. I couldn't find my entry but that doesn't surprise me. There are a lot.

Sam Hranac said...

You have so completely stepped in it this time, Mr. Bransford. Tons of reading, and tons of interesting beginnings.

Erik said...

I have to say that I'm very suprised that no one has gone with the minimalist option, ala "My mother is a fish."

If I did feel like writing what I did, I would have gone with it. No reason you have to fill out the 500 word max - or more than 1% of it, anyways.

dawtheminstrel said...

Reading through the entries was mind-numbing. Not that they were bad. A lot of them were quite good. It's just that the sheer onslaught of them was overwhelming. How do agents do this week after week?

Michelle Pendergrass said...

I was having trouble commenting, so I decided to get out of FireFox and turn on IE.

For whatever strange reason, that worked and I was able to put my story in the comments of the original thread and also comment here.

Anonymous said...

I just want to say that it is demoralizing to hear that a few (self-appointed) critics are tying their own hopes at blog-fame on to this wonderful contest. I understand they are dissing this and applauding this and that and I do not see their credentials or their permission.
Wow, Nathan doesn't allow that on this site. It's hurtful and not helpful.
Some of these writing entries are by high school kids or new writers.
Some writers are pretty courageous to put their writing out at all.
I think they deserve a lot for daring to be visible.
Please don't beat them up.
And how do you know that beyond what may be an awkward beginning, is not a gifted work?
Even Nathan doesn't critique in public without demanding courtesy and permission.
Get your own blog-readers.
Stop it!

Jennifer L. Griffith said...

Oh, my. No wonder you're starting to have second thoughts. YIKES, over 350 and counting!!!!

Nathan Bransford said...

While I don't necessarily agree with all of anonymous' points (I don't think the responders are just going for extra readers), I agree that it's unfair to criticize people's work without their permission. People didn't submit their work knowing they would be publicly critiqued and it was never my intent to do any critiques. While I think everyone appreciates praise, if you're going to be critiquing someone's work, in my opinion it would be best to seek their permission first.

Anonymous said...

Um...I entered Nathan's contest, not Chro's, not Josephine's, not any one else's. The mirror blogs are interesting. Y'all said kind things about my work, but really, that's not what I was after, here.

Adaora A. said...

Good luck Nathan, I hope you have that bourbon on hand. Isn't this like reading a full manuscript or are you and your esteemed co-host splitting it down the middle (which is still a full book but smaller)?

Anonymous said...

Thank you Anon 2:37, Nathan and Anon 2:49. Both Chro and jj critiqued my work - they both didn't like it.

I know my genre isn’t for everybody, which is fine, but I thought this was just a contest for Nathan.

hannah said...

Wow...I think all the blog critiques are REALLY helpful. Obviously Nathan doesn't have time to comment on every entry, but...I put my page out here because I want to see if its the best I can make it. And no WAY am I going to refuse free advice on how I can help it get there.

(And, by the way, I'm one of those "high school kids.")

Nathan Bransford said...

I really don't want this to turn into a flame war and otherwise detract from the contest, so here's what I'm going to do. I'm going to contact the people who have been doing critiques, and ask them to refrain from doing critiques of people who did not sign up for that. At the same time, I know that there are people who WOULD like critiques and it's a noble undertaking for them to offer the opportunity for feedback, so in tonight's update I'm going to ask people to please visit their sites and/or contact them if they would like their page critiqued.

Hopefully this will resolve this, and we can continue to enjoy the contest. Sound good?

hannah said...

Sounds good to me. Sorry to inflame. :)

Nathan Bransford said...

hannah-

No no, I don't think you flamed, I appreciate your feedback. I just saw some smoke looming on the horizon. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Nathan, you are a leader and a gentleman.
Your decision protects the innocent participants who only signed up for this contest
and let's the others have at each other in a separate time and space.
Couldn't be fairer.

hannah said...

well then, uh...sorry for being an ineffective air purifier?

;)

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, I don't have time to go around to each individual blog giving permission to critique my first page submission. So I'll just state it here, and what happens, happens.

I hereby give permission for anyone who so desires to post critiques/opinions/impressions/assessments of my entry, THE MESSAGE POPULATION, on their respective blogs. However, it was Nathan's contest that I chose to enter, and this permission should in no way be taken as a professional submission for consideration on any blog other than Nathan's.
Thank you.

Michele Lee said...

>>Just think of it as reading a book... that keeps restarting.


LMAO So good I needed to hear it again!

Julie Weathers said...

I have no problem with people critiquing my page, because, frankly, I could use some fresh eyes.

I know the story is solid, but the first line, paragraph, page and chapter are eating my lunch. I know people don't want to wait until later to figure out if it's worth reading.

Yes, I will be going to those blogs and contacting them.

BarbaraKE said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
KevinS said...

All the entries are great! Keep'em coming.
And sorry Nathan about the thread problems today. I was beginning to feel like I was back in junior high when the shop teacher ridiculed the boys who couldn't quite handle the lathe (but we aced English!).
So, Nathan. When's the next contest?

Anonymous said...

Posting anonymously so as not to feel like quite so much of a suckup... :)

Nathan, is there anything we can do to thank you for this contest? I'm assuming you do NOT want bourbon delivered to your office... is there anything you would like? Or something non-material a grateful writer could do?

It's just such an undertaking, and you're so positive about it, and I know I can't be the only one who really wants to thank you.

So, thank you, and if there is something, please let us know!

Sapphire (not really... she's my cat :)

Sophie W. said...

I don't care who critiques my work so long as they don't insist that their word is the Last and Final Word on All Literature Ever Written. As an author, I expect to get reviews, and not all of them are going to be positive. Everyone is going to have opinions. I'm mature enough to handle them.

Even as a high school kid.

Allen B. Ogey said...

Anyone can review/criticize my entry - I'd like as much feedback as I can get.

DeadlyAccurate said...

If I post something publicly, I'm perfectly willing to hear critiques of my work. If I didn't want opinions, I wouldn't put it out there. Have at it, folks.

Sage said...

I'm open to crits on mine too. :)

Adaora A. said...

Wow my loves read the contest rules, post in the original thread!

Aww Hannah don't feel sad, it's just a preventative measure. Some people feel threatened and unwilling to (as I like to say), let it all hang out. Some people are nervous about public forum critiquing and that is all it is really. In a perfect world it would be great to let it happen as it happens but you've got to cover all sides these days, sensitive skin and all that!

Polenth said...

Erik: I too looked for the "I am a fish" entry, but it was nowhere. I almost feel bad for letting the wordiness monster get to me now.

Random Folk: Yay for looming smoke! I don't mind people critiquing me. I tend to assume people will if I put something up publicly.

I'm hoping people won't get gnarly about unsolicited praise, because it'd be nice to link to a few of the ones I like best without getting hassled.

Anonymous said...

Hey, when I said "high school" I meant it respectively and symbolically too.
Sometimes -but not always- "school" is an incubator.
Some "students" don't need it. Some "out of schoolers" still need it.
I just meant, for whoever it may apply to, that many writers are sensitives.
In my own local writers' group, the most sensitive voices are often the most talented and original. Often,they have been writing for years in private because being visible is such a big step. And for many of them, they STILL have to improve in areas and sensitive treatment helps them clear up their problem areas.
One of the things I like so much about professional agents is they aren't out to slam a potential writer in the making. They don't need to belong to the smug club. The good ones genuinely LIKE writing and writers.
I have also met writers who come from poor cultures who have great stories in them, and benefit from a hand.
Oh,if only everyone out of the box could be a master. But it's all that tripping over one's own feet and stretching that comes before the ballerina is a ballerina.
Anyway, this blog is sensitive and not harsh and there are many here amongst us who grow in that.
Peace.

Josephine Damian said...

All reviews and criticisms are opinion, and then there's this little thing called freedom of speech.

Once something - anything - is posted to the world wide web it becomes public, not private, and therefore subject to scutnity and a potential subject of commentary.

Nathan has the right to control the content of his own blog - but no one - least of all someone cowering behind a cloak of anonymity - has the right to censor opinion posted on someone's else's blog. For the record, I support what JJ and Chro are doing on their own blogs and hope they continue to do so.

Nathan Bransford said...

Guys, don't make close comments. If anyone is concerned about this issue, please e-mail me. Otherwise, this back and forth has really gone far enough. I came up with what I think is a very fair compromise -- people who want to be critiqued can be critiqued, people who don't want to be critiqued don't have to be critiqued.

Please -- let's all have fun with this.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Elyssa Papa said...

Hey Nathan, I'm not trying to blow smoke up your a$$ but I'm a pretty new commentor on the blog (although I've lurked for a past couple of months, so I guess I'm new in that sense, too). But I've been not having a good couple of days and when I come here, it always manages to make me smile and/or learn something. I don't know of too many agents who are willing to do these contests and treat us aspiring writers a chance to hear any feedback, especially from an agent.

So, drink away... god, I'd send you a bottle of bourbon (sp.) to your agency but I wouldn't want to get you into trouble! Perhaps a DVD of The Bachelor TV series would be better???

Erik said...

I don't know 'bout the rest of you, but I haven't had this much fun in ... since winter set in, I guess.

This is a hoot! Please, everyone, let's keep in mind but for one obviously derranged, er, generous person none of this would have happened. Think of it as the spontaneous generation of a strange kind of poetry slam, really a novel slam.

It's new! It's different! It's wacked-out fun! No one knows who or what will survive!

I'm making a point of enjoying it. Stay loose and you can, too!

Thanks.

A Paperback Writer said...

Nathan, Nathan, Nathan, didn't you learn from your last contest?
Somewhere, Miss Snark is laughing.....
And to all these people complaing about others' comments: uh, this is a public blog, and posting work here is inviting others to read and comment.
Personally, if anyone would like to comment on my entry, I'd invite you to follow the link over to my blog and post your comments there so that I don't miss them in the mass of comments here on Nathan's blog. I think this is a great chance to get some feedback on a piece I know it's perfect but which I think has some promise.

Miss Sharp said...

Nathan, just think of all the good karma you've generated with this wonderful contest. Now you can go out and be as naughty as you please and it will all balance out!

:D

Chro said...

I will no longer be posting random critiques, as requested. See the most recent post on my blog if you still wish to receive a critique (public or private). I apologize for the controversy.

jjdebenedictis said...

I'm also now only doing critiques if the writer tells me (via blog comment) that they would like me to. My apologies to those who did not welcome my intrusion in the contest and also to anyone whose feelings I injured.

Cynthia Bronco said...

I'd love a critique. The Death Chickens would like it too.

Lyz said...

Critique away. "The Lost Girls". If you want me to read the crit, which would be helpful, contact me on my blog.

Thanks.

Cher Gorman said...
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Jude Mason said...
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Nathan Bransford said...

Please enter in the right place!!

Jude Mason said...

Grrr! I'm really sorry. I've fixed it and will go to my corner. Thanks so much.

Ryoc Srin said...
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Ryoc Srin said...
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jjdebenedictis said...

If you want me to read the crit, which would be helpful, contact me on my blog.

If you want a crit, you'll have to come to my blog and join the queue. I'm doing over a hundred of these things, so I'm not willing to chase people around the internet in order to do them a favour. Sorry for the inconvenience! :-)

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