Saturday, September 25, 2010

Notes From Underground

Well, now I’ve gone and done it, I entered a contest—which goes directly against what I’ve learned about my non-competitive temperament—and have been selected for the Notes From Underground anthology over at The Literary Lab. That actually happened last week, but I held off posting this in case there was some sort of a mix-up—if there was, I haven’t been notified, so I suppose it’s safe to go ahead.* Mostly, I’m posting this because I didn’t want them to think I’m not immensely grateful, so I thought it proper protocol to publicly say, Thanks Lit Lab! And congratulations to the other 25 brave writers.

Most of you who stop in here know about the anthology—that a shot at being picked required an anonymous submission of 5 pages of literally anything creative explaining why they should give me 10 whole pages in Notes From Underground, writing anything I want! Yes, it’s experimental and feels very risky. Perhaps they’re as nervous as me…

So, I’ve been messing around with some scenes from one of my earlier, unpublished novels, Portrait of a Protégé. Somehow, the familiarity of a beloved piece makes it feel less daunting. Besides, I love editing and the challenge of taking a scene and making it a stand-alone short story. Maybe, if I don’t go overboard with words, I’ll have enough room for some black and white artwork…anyway, I have until December 15th to put it all together.  

*I don't mean to imply any sort of incompetence on the part of The Lit Lab, but I'm just so accustomed to rejection these days that I had a hard time believing it wasn't some sort of mistake...

22 comments:

  1. Congrats! Summertime business kept me from preparing a submission. Scott, Michelle, and Domey (Davin) are great moderators and have a keen eye for quality writing.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks, Rick! I do know they have an eye for quality writing, but I’m having to resist the insecure voice in my head that says ‘They could tell it was your submission and just felt sorry for you.’ Logic says ‘Why the heck would they something that stupid?’

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks Natascha! It seems you also have some things going on--all the best to you, too...

    ReplyDelete
  4. Congratulations, Bridget! That is exciting. You deserve it. I can't wait to read what you submit.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks Susan! Thank goodness I have till December before anyone has to read it!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'm interested in your technique for turning a chapter into a story. I've tried to squeeze a few short stories out of my novels for my anthology too. Generally, I prefer novels, but I've read shorts based on/or actually from novels, and it does often work to tickle my curiosity about the larger work.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hey, Tara—I’m glad you stopped by. I’ve really been enjoying your blog!

    As for my technique for converting a scene into a short—well, to be honest, I’ve been winging it.

    Analyzing it now, I suppose I first chose a scene that I felt was particularly dramatic—one that moved my readers. For the piece I’m working on, I eliminated several non-integral characters, then seeded in some of the backstory—just a word or phrase here and there. Since my reader has no relationship built up with the main character, I tried to quickly establish sympathy by revealing her mindset. Hopefully, those bits of information will grab the reader and make them want to put it all together.

    My objective with developing the original scene was to answer a whole lot more questions as they pertained to the entire novel. But with the short, I picked one objective, met that, and left just enough to the readers imagination. The trick is making it as emotionally compelling as it came across in the larger work—that remains to be seen. If I can accomplish that, hopefully, my reader will be interested in the bigger context.

    So, I guess I do have a technique of sorts…

    ReplyDelete
  8. Yup, I was thrilled when I saw your name. Good for you! I stepped back, put my hands up, turned around, tripped, then trotted the other way when I saw the requirements, I have the utmost respect for those who had the nerve to enter, and of course for those who won. Congratulations Bridget!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Yeah,Liza,when I first saw the requirements I did pretty much the same thing. In the end, I entered as a show of support for all they do over at the Lab—I didn’t actually imagine that I’d have to follow through! But it’s a wonderful opportunity and I’m going to do my best not to embarrass myself or the Literary Lab...

    ReplyDelete
  10. If you don't win, I'm going to have a serious issue with Lit Lab. I may just send Tommy Chamberlain over there to deal with them ;)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Actually, Scott, I'm already 'in', now it's just a matter of not embarrassing myself!

    ReplyDelete
  12. You could never do that. Stop it...

    ReplyDelete
  13. I'm really happy you're in the anthology, Bridget! And I'll be getting to your email soon. :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. Gutsy. Something about deadlines and word counts and someone actually judging your writing product is a little scary. One the other side though, I suspect this may be right up your alley.

    ReplyDelete
  15. A little scary? It's terrifying and something I have learned not to do--though I guess I didn't learn it very well in this instance. I'm just going to give it my best shot...besides, I've got till December, and I have it pretty much done. Now for the endless revisions...

    ReplyDelete
  16. Congratulations, that's terrific! You need those acceptances to counter the rejections, now and then. :)

    Thanks for stopping by my blog.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Thanks for stopping by mine, Alison! You've actually got me thinking seriously about the whole NaNoWriMo thing...yikes!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Congratulations, Bridget! You're a wonderful writer, and I'm not at all surprised that others have recognized it, too. Acceptance by one's peers definitely outweighs rejection by misguided agents.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Thanks so much Laura--your kind words really do warm me...:)(happy emoticons just for you) :)

    ReplyDelete