In the next six months, there are eight competitions that I could submit some part of my novels to.
However, each novel can only be submitted to one place at a time. For someone who only has two finished drafts and two partly-written drafts, that leaves me with four gaps to fill. Luckily, some of those competitions will accept incomplete manuscripts, or only require a snippet. This gives me a chance to use the two trunked manuscripts I hope to one day polish up.
In looking back at these trunked pieces, I was surprised to find new ideas springing forth. I went through the first scene of Resilience; which I pick up around twice a year and tried to get my head around the blockage. The issue is that I don’t know where to start. Setting the scene? Finding the child? Or the inciting incident of the child being taken? Any number of combinations works, and I’ve re-written the beginning around 10 times, all at different points in the story.
But I can’t find one to settle on. As I’m currently looking at polishing the first 3 chapters of the story for a competition, that doesn’t really help matters.
But the other piece; the Seven Sisters story has really drawn me in. I remember what drew me to the topic, and why each main character (it ended up with thousands, hence being set aside) spoke to me. It was the first time I’d managed to get characters to have their own personalities, and that in itself was a massive learning curve.
Now I just need to learn how to bring it all together. Luckily, the first three main characters are really well-developed across the first ten chapters, so the potential for using it is high. As long as I can stop trying to finish the story off and just meet the deadlines I’ve set for myself.
Either way, I’m going to have to pick my competitions carefully. Some people don’t even look at the competitions: every writer is different, but even if I only use them as deadlines to keep me writing, they are useful. Some release the results in September; in time for two other competitions, but then, having said that, only four of the eight accept unfinished pieces, and only one would be able to be used in more than one due to these time constraints.
But if I can polish some of my excerpts, maybe add a few new ideas onto paper and still submit a couple of a pieces, I’ll be calling my summer of submissions a success.