Paragraphical Insanity

15 Oct

In case you haven’t heard, Nathan Bransford, literary-agent-slash-blogger-extraordinaire, is holding a contest.  The poor (crazy?) man has volunteered his free time to read the 2300 entries (and counting) people have posted.  The contest: “The 3rd Sort-of-Annual Stupendously Ultimate First Paragraph Challenge.”

You have until later today to enter your tweaked-to-tears first paragraph, one shot to impress.  When I say “one shot,” what I really mean is “don’t do what I did and submit two different entries, then read the rules that say you can only enter once.”  I think I’ve been forgiven, since he deleted my first entry at my request.  But still.  Awesome first impression, right?  Riiight.

Okay, and here’s a pretty funny coincidence that has to do with Nathan’s contest – did you guys read my post the other day, the one called Lava?  I wrote a little bit about how it’s possible to infuse drama into anything, but ultimately, some things just don’t compel people to care.  I whipped up a stupid little example about a woman who has based her entire life collecting pristine rows of embroidery thread, then freaks out when one of the ends are frayed.  

Well, last night, after I entered, my husband and I read through lots of the entries people had submitted.  In a freak coincidence, we ran across an entry about someone who collects embroidery thread and has them all lined up in rows.  Weird¹!  I’m a little worried the author might see this blog and take offense, but in all seriousness, I stand by my point.  You are going to need to do a whole lot to make something compelling out of an embroidery thread collection.

Whatever Nathan’s motives for taking on such an insane project this week, he’s gained another faithful blog-follower in me.  Head on over and check it out, even if you don’t plan to enter.  Any writer could learn a great deal just by scoping out lots and lots of entries.  Personally, it was eye-opening to see so many people trying to stand out, to see what worked and what got lost in the sea of words/ideas.

Alright!  Best of luck to you guys, should you choose to enter.  Let’s all thank Linda Cassidy Lewis for her post on this, because without her, I’d never have known it was happening.  

¹If you feel like seeing the embroidery-thread entry for yourself, check out the comment made on Nathan’s post, which was submitted in the comments at 4:04pm, the 14th of October.  If you feel like seeing mine, it’s at 6:31pm of the same day.  Warning, you’ll have to sift through pages of stuff to get there – it would be best to start toward the end of the comments.  I don’t want to reprint the paragraph itself, lest I be accused of taking what’s not mine without permission.

3 Responses to “Paragraphical Insanity”

  1. Linda Thursday / 15 October 09 at 1:17 pm #

    I read your entry and think you have a good chance of winning. Good luck.

    • owlandsparrow Thursday / 15 October 09 at 2:31 pm #

      Linda! Thank you for taking the time to read my entry, and for your kind words! That is so sweet. We’ll see…I worked hard on it, for sure, but I feel like I may be somewhere in the middle (pretty confident I’m not the worst, though, haha). Is there a way I can find yours?

  2. Laura Best Friday / 16 October 09 at 8:49 pm #

    Good luck! When I get time over the weekend I’ll be able to check this out.(Did I say when I get time? sheesh!) I’m keeping my fingers crossed for you.

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