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Thread: ABNA Dilemma

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Gilfindel's Avatar
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    ABNA Dilemma

    So I decided to enter the ABNA (Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award) contest over on Amazon, since, heck, you never know and it costs me all of ten minutes of my time. But now I find myself on the horns of a dilemma.

    Of the two novels I'm considering entering, I consider one of them to be the better story, but the other may actually be the "sexier" of the two. Since the first round of elimination is based on a 300 word pitch (basically the query), I need to punch up my pitches and make a final decision on which way to go by the end of the month.

    I haven't done much with either query since I decided to self-publish so some of you will find these very familiar, but let's start with the basics. If you were judging a writing contest and had to pick one of these two stories to evaluate based on the following pitches, which one would get your vote? Use any criteria that strikes your fancy.

    Novel A

    Are Angels dangerous? Detective Jennia Bennett never imagined that the sophisticated holographic simulations could possibly harm anyone. But now, as she delves deeper into her very first murder investigation, she is very much afraid that the answer to that question may be “Yes.”

    A researcher claimed he found a fundamental flaw in the Angels, one that leads inevitably to madness and chaos. Now the man is dead and his proof is missing. If he was right, millions of citizens who depend on the “sims” to keep the country running smoothly may be at risk. But powerful figures rely on the success of the Angel program to support their own ambitions, and they pressure Jen to close the case quickly.

    Jen enlists the help of Elise, an Angel closer than her own sister, to locate the original Angel, Adam, who may hold the key to understanding the threat posed by the Angels. But Jen soon discovers that both Adam and Elise share a unique bond with the designer of the Angels. Dr. Arno Marchand is fiercely protective of his creations and denies that the Angels are flawed, but Jen senses that the reclusive scientist may not be quite what he appears.

    As the list of suspects grows, Jen must hurry to untangle the threads and uncover the truth about the Angels, before she herself becomes the killer’s next victim.

    Novel B

    Two days ago, Siobhan “Shy” O’Connor was an ordinary sixteen-year-old girl living quietly in Boston. Now she’s three thousand miles away from home, and the mystical Stone of Destiny has proclaimed her to be the new Defender of Ireland. That isn’t nearly as awesome as it sounds, because now Maeve, the Queen of the Sidhe, is trying to kill her.

    In order to keep Shy safe, her father agrees to become the new leader of the Warriors of the White Branch, who have protected Ireland from the Sidhe for countless generations. But Shy makes a foolish mistake and the sword he needs to complete the ancient rite binds itself to her instead. Maeve takes her father prisoner and plans to use him as bait to lure the rest of the White Branch to their deaths. It’s all Shy’s fault, and it’s up to her to make it right.

    Shy must enter the Otherworld, sneak into Maeve’s fortress, free her father and escape, before the traitor within the White Branch opens the gateway between the worlds and lets the Sidhe back into Ireland. Maeve’s exiled son offers to show Shy a secret way in, if she agrees to help him in return. Shy knows she shouldn’t trust him, but she needs all the help she can get. If they’re lucky, they’ll be able to rescue Shy’s father and lock the Sidhe away in the Otherworld for good. If not, Maeve will kill them all … or make them wish she had.
    Last edited by Gilfindel; 02-17-2014 at 08:34 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member John Oberon's Avatar
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    I vote A.

  3. #3
    Administrator Wickett's Avatar
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    Pitch goes to A. Story concept goes to B.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Gilfindel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wickett View Post
    Pitch goes to A. Story concept goes to B.
    See? That's the sort of thing I'm dealing with here. I entered Novel A when I signed up, but you're only allowed to enter one story. If I don't advance in the contest, I'll always wonder if I should have used the other one (at least until the contest reopens next year). They only allow a maximum of 10,000 entries, so if they just pick the winner randomly, I have a 0.01% chance of winning the grand prize (0.04% if I settle for one of the first prizes). Wish me luck...

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    Senior Member John Oberon's Avatar
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    I like the pitch and concept of A better, and I think it has a better chance to win. Good luck.

  6. #6
    Administrator Wickett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gilfindel View Post
    See? That's the sort of thing I'm dealing with here. I entered Novel A when I signed up, but you're only allowed to enter one story. If I don't advance in the contest, I'll always wonder if I should have used the other one (at least until the contest reopens next year). They only allow a maximum of 10,000 entries, so if they just pick the winner randomly, I have a 0.01% chance of winning the grand prize (0.04% if I settle for one of the first prizes). Wish me luck...
    If it's all about the pitch, then they shouldn't look so much at story. Otherwise they aren't judging correctly. Best of luck sir.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Gilfindel's Avatar
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    Well, if you need to crank through 10,000 submissions to find the 250 or so you want to actually read and rank, there aren't that many ways of doing it. It's exactly the same situation as submitting a query to an agent. The trick is to intrigue them enough to look at your excerpt; after that, the quality of your writing will do the rest.

    If I can get past that first set of filters, I'll be content that my work has gotten a fair review whatever the outcome. Unfortunately, I'm not convinced my pitch is as good as my actual novel. Oh well, fingers crossed. We'll know in 3 or 4 weeks whether I'm into the next round.

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