Sunday, June 12, 2011

Love all year long contest

Writing Contest!

I'm participating in another writing contest for my completed manuscript. I'm super pumped about this contest because it's all about LOVE! Got to love me some LOVE!

I'd appreciate you taking a moment to read over my 750-word love scene and let me know if I can improve my writing, scene, hook, etc. Basically I want to know if you want to read more! Or if there are any glaring mistakes.

The rules: To enter this contest, you should post a love scene from a finished manuscript on your blog this Sunday, June 12th. The excerpt must have a maximum length of 750 words, but it could be less if it ends on a hook (remember, sometimes less really is more). There is no minimum word count. The scene we're looking for can show love in all kinds of ways, in all kinds of genres. The scene should be romantic, but not necessarily a kissing scene. We're looking for any kind of love here. Go here if you want to play!

The fabulous agent, Weronika Janczuk, of Lynn C. Franklin Associates, Ltd. will be judging!

Wish me luck!

Genre: Women's Fiction/Contemporary Romance
Manuscript word count: 90,000

“Reservations for Jack Reid and Ella Dirks,” Jack explains to check in.

The short redhead with the turned-up nose hands him two cards. “Room nineteen-twenty-four, our fabulous royal suite. We’ve been expecting you two.”

My eyes bug out. “Royal suite?”

“There must be some sort of mistake,” Jack interjects. “We should be under two separate reservations.”

“Yes, we’re on Good Morning America tomorrow,” I explain in a panic as I grip the counter.

“Honey, I know who you are,” declares the redhead with a stern tone. “Your wedding is in seven weeks and this is your fiancĂ©.” She points to Jack with an authoritative finger.

I shake my head. “No. No. You have it all wrong. I’m looking for a fiancĂ©. This is just the editor-in-chief of the magazine sponsoring the dream wedding…”

She frowns and lets out a sigh as she taps her acrylics along the keyboard, shaking her head. I admire her careful bob as it manages to stay in perfect form. “Nope. That’s not what we were told. Enjoy your stay.” She slides to her right and waves over the next customer.

I open my mouth.

Jack’s large hand hooks my wrist. “It’ll be fine.” He pushes me along by the small of my back. “There’ll be plenty of room in the suite and we need to go to bed anyway.” He glances at his watch. “We're getting up in less than four hours.”

As we enter the three-bedroom suite, I realize Jack is right. Plenty of room. My eyelids grow heavy with each blink. I walk into my room and plop my suitcase on the large bed, falling back onto it. “I can’t believe I’m going to be on Good Morning America,” I say as my head adheres to the row of luxury pillows. I pump my feet along the mattress and let them slide over the Egyptian cotton sheets.

I roll to my side and glance at the clock. Fear creeps in as each minute ticks by. What questions will they ask about my wedding? Will they bring up how Chance left me? Will I say too much? Will America laugh at me? Will I cry…and on television? I swallow hard. A knock at my door startles me.

Jack walks in with a pillowcase wrapped around his head, blow dryer in hand, standing on his tiptoes. “Hello there Ella Dirks,” he speaks into the blow dryer sweetly. “It’s me Melissa Rycroft from Good Morning America and The Bachelor. I have a couple questions about your search for the perfect groom,” the pitch in his voice raises. He tilts the blow dryer from his mouth to my lips.

I roll over and laugh hysterically in my pillow.

“What? My hair not dark enough?” He showcases his hands over the pillowcase and smoothes the material. “My abs not flat enough like hers?” His mocked dainty voice catches and he coughs.

I continue laughing and he joins in, taking a seat next to me on the bed. I catch my breath and sit up. “Ohh, if you’re Melissa, does that mean you were also on Dancing with the Stars and have to dance for me?” I jump up and race over to the large sixty-inch flatscreen in the other room. I flip through the channels until I find one of the bumping music stations. I turn up the volume. “Okay, Melissa. Let’s dance.”

I begin pumping out the Roger Rabbit. He grins and pushes me aside as he moves his arms like a sprinkler. I grab my abs and let my head fall back in laughter. A slow song comes on and my head snaps forward. We both freeze. I bite my lip and study the freshly vacuumed carpet. Jack spins me around and pulls me in, holding me tightly against him. We sway back and forth and for a moment the world stops. I feel safe as I breathe in his wonderful soap smell and rest my head against his chest, listening to his heart drill against it.

As if something entered his mind, he steps back. “I’m sorry about that.” He clears his throat. “I’m sure you’re going to find a real nice groom, Ella. You’ll do great tomorrow. We should probably go to bed.” His brown eyes soften as he searches mine.

I shift my eyes to the floor, wishing he didn’t pull away, but push the thought from my mind. Would my future groom be watching me tomorrow on television? “Yeah, you’re probably right." We both walk into our rooms and close the doors. I spend the next few hours dreaming of my one-hundred-thousand-dollar wedding and the most perfect groom waiting to find me.

THANK YOU! And good luck to all the participants!!!


OMG I love it! No luck needed, you nailed it! YAY!!!

Thanks Tanya!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You made my day!!!

One of the things I go nuts with in romances is knowing how it's going to end up before it even starts. However, even in this tiny excerpt, I WANT them to get together. *sigh* This is why I don't write romance. I can't WANT it for the characters like this.

I have zero crit.

I love the jovial nature, the platonic with just a touch of tension. Very well done. I'm not a romance reader in general, but I feel for your characters even in this small snippet. Great work.

Hi Christie!
There's some very good writing here. I particularly liked the line: "she taps her acrylics on the keyboard." Great image.
I had a few bumps.
-How is it her eyes are bugging out one second, but she's smiling and leaning the next?
-Saying pillows are like a pile of feathers is like saying a horse is like a horse. Pillows are covered feather-down.
-I didn't quite get a picture of the pillowcase around his head. Was it like a kerchief or hair?
Other than that, splendid!

Excellent tips!!! Thanks will fix those!!! Thanks everyone! Can't wait to check out yours!

Loved how it ended Christie!! Ohhh it's great! I want them to get together, but he wants Ella to find her groom. The only thing I'd change is the dialogue, " I'm in search for my fiance," to, "I'm still looking for a fiance," or something like that. In search for sounded a little awkward. It's great though, especially her nerves about being on TV!

I like the tension in this scene, how you have these two thrown together almost against their will, but they still manage to have chemistry between them.

I'm a little confused about Melissa's sudden surge of energy when moments before her eyes were practically closing with exhaustion. When you're drop-dead tired, you don't usually dance.

Hi Christie, Nice work here! Looking forward to reading everyone's entries!

This is awesome. Well polished and so, so fun! Any time you can get the Roger Rabbit AND the Sprinkler into a scene, it's a winner in my book. ;) Can't wait to read more of this!! :)

Hi Christie- love it! The scene flows well and the tension was just right. Good Luck!

Great scene! There was massive tension throughout--I kept thinking "When will he kiss her already, damn it?!" LOL

The main character is adorable. Her horror at sharing a room with him immediately made me feel for her. He must be really hot!

The only thing that sort of popped me out of the moment were some of the dialogue tags in the early part of the scene--interject, explain, declare. Those words were so formal that it didn't seem to fit the otherwise playful tone of the piece. I feel like "said" may have been enough in those cases. Or perhaps no tag at all, since we could figure out from other clues who was speaking in each case.

Good luck!

All super helpful tidbits!!! Thank you so much everyone! Best of luck to you all as well!!!

I, too, was confused with the pillowcase reference. Was it all the way over his head so that he couldn't see? Or was he wearing it like hair? I liked how you were able to bring in the dancing bit by having the reporter a former participant in Dancing with the Stars! I loved this, "as my head adheres to the row of luxury pillows" but was confused by this, "pump my feet along the mattress and let them slide over the Egyptian cotton sheets". Pump, how? Also, as someone mentioned earlier, when you said searching for her fiance, I thought he had been kidnapped or run off, but you probably set that up earlier in the book. But, in summary, great scene, cute, heart-warming, love the dancing.

Congratulations Christie! This is such a great scene :)

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