Monday, 16 July 2012

Entering a Crime Fiction Novel Competition

About a month and a half ago, I came across a fabulous competition that was being run by 'Stylist Magazine'. It was a 'crime fiction' competition for aspiring crime writers- the prize being a published novel with Faber and Faber. Everyone who knows me, knows I want to write a crime fiction novel. That was one of my main selling points at the Miss.Universe GB interview round in May. People always assume I would want to pen chick lit. No thanks, gory terror is my thing. It makes for an interesting conversation !

Since the discovery and motivation from the competition, I worked hard every day until the deadline of 12th July to accomplish my perfect entry. The entry included the first 6000 words of my original novel, a character biography and the plot outline. I got my friend Niv to proofread it and I'm glad I did. Reading the same piece of material again and again, I became immune to the most basic of mistakes. Piecing it all together and printing it off was an interesting process. Not having a printer at home meant I had to make a trip to the library. After printing off 40 pages that came without the page numbers I had made a point to enter at the bottom, I had to handwrite them in. I know I sound like a cheapskate but there was no way in hell I was going to pay another £3 again. Everything felt hectic and suddenly I felt as if I wasn't ready to send it off- But how many more times could I read through it again?

All I can say is that I put my all into it. I didn't just see a writing competition and decide to enter it for the sake of it. There are so many writing competitions out there that I could enter left, right and centre. It felt as if this competition in particular was tailor made for me, as I was hoping to start a novel career in this genre. I love the raw feel of each crime writer I have read, with most of their characters being passionate in regards to the plot. I also love that there is more scope to incorporate the freedom of your own unusual doings, without the negative judgement of your intended audience. In fact, I believe that being able to relate to the protagonists in crime novels is easier than you're average romance novel.

I know there will be a lot of other potential crime writers who had taken to this opportunity like I have. Being acknowledged will be a massive deal if it happens. If not then i'm going to press on and send my manuscript to literary agents. Most successful authors worked incredibly hard and still got rejected for years before having their big break. By no means, am I going to stop. I want to follow in the footsteps of my favourite authors Lisa Scottoline, Allison Brennan and James Patterson.

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