No Competition? Synopses Not So Bad?

Was rather interested (evident from an earlier post), in entering the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award competition, when I discovered this: those hailing from Barbados are ineligible to enter. In fact, the Caribbean on a whole isn’t given a look in at all. It would be just too easy to rant about this and, considering that we’re not the only countries in the world excluded, I will simply let it pass.

For a moment I considered falling back on my British heritage, but as I’m not actually living there, thought about all the things I’d have to put into place in the event of going forward in the competition. My decision is leaning towards moving on and isn’t a lesson in laziness, as of course it’s doable, (“Hey cousin ‘whoever’ how about hooking me up with your address?”) but realistically, I can’t see it making heaps of sense. However, will mull over it some more to be certain.

I don’t know if it’s because it’s after 2 am or what, but  disappointment hasn’t hit me. Not sure if I will be deeply disappointed and honestly think as opposed to the time of morning, it’s really the fact that I know the other things I’m already trying to do, in order to reach my goals. So, while if I really don’t enter the competition there will be the feeling/question of ‘wonder what could have happened’, it is kind of like a drop in the ocean of all the other options out there. Those of you who can enter though, I still completely endorse it. I’ve said this before and I will again; what have you to lose? All the best with your entry if you decide to move forward.

Now to backtrack; options you say? I’m well aware that someone like me who wants to go the traditional publishing route has limits regarding the things I can do to get my work out,  but so what? There are things to do out there, some I’m already trying and others I probably haven’t even discovered yet. Either way, I’m not going to fold up the chair and give up.

As a teen when I knew nothing about the publishing world and tried to ‘pitch’ my first finished novel, the two rejection emails I received made me turn away and not try again until late last year. Almost a decade later. What helped me get past this rejection problem quite a bit, was being in a rock band on an island where at the time the people were mainly interested in genres like calypso, dancehall and soca. Talk about rejection! I’ve done the tears and the “WHYYYYYYYYYS???????” and all that other not-very-inspirational stuff and yet we kept on pushing, until finally, we amassed a decent following and got gigs without having to play for air, i.e — nothing.

Please don’t misunderstand me, I’m not saying that with writing I’m setting myself up for tons of rejection, (who wants that?) rather, that despite the odds I believe that hard work and dedication pays off. I’ve been saying that from the inception of this blog and I guess it’s become a kind of mantra for my life.

As for the competition? Well, now I’m near the end of my post and have been thinking about it (yes, multi-tasking is a gift), I’m leaning towards my initial – leave it out. Any changes, of course this blog will be first to know.

Bonus info: It’s so funny, my first post was a literal death threat to synopses everywhere. I’m happy for all writers who’ve found their ‘tried and true’ methods for a great synopsis…I still haven’t. Though it’s getting easier, I can’t wait until the day when I’m like “Synopsis? Psh, gimme five minutes.” Okay, totally exaggerating…kind of. So, this new version of my synopsis for ‘peddle baby’, was supposed to fit into the competition’s allotted 300 word limit. Note, the shortest synopsis I’d done for this work before was just shy of 485 words. This time I managed 250 words! So, while I initially wondered “but how?” with a scrunched up face while reading success stories for super short synopses, it really is quite possible to condense your (in my case  93k words) novel into an itty-bitty little thing, without leaving out relevant information.