Open Thread: ABNA Submissions

For those of you submitting a manuscript for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award, be aware that you can start the submission process on the 23rd of this month. Information here.

Will you be submitting this year?

For myself, I'm not. I love ABNA, but I'd rather participate as a judge (assuming I'm asked again) where I think I do more good. I also very much doubt that I'd win with the novel I have right now, not because it's not The Best Novel Ever Written, but more because I've noticed that the ABNA contest dynamics seem to favor "real world fiction" or whatever the kids call it these days -- basically fiction that isn't set in a fictional representation of 1400s Italy with black people and fairies and princes-transmogrified-into-beasts.

And, for that matter, I'm on record as saying that I'd rather self-publish than take a shiny Big House Contract, and I still feel that way for me personally. We'll see if I feel any different next year -- I hope not, but you never know.



chris the cynic said...

I've noticed that the ABNA contest dynamics seem to favor "real world fiction" or whatever the kids call it these days -- basically fiction that isn't set in a fictional representation of 1400s Italy with black people and fairies and princes-transmogrified-into-beasts.

So you mean that the idea I had Tuesday about a sprawling epic set around 1200 BC, telling the story of the Bronze Age Collapse that destroyed nearly every civilization in existence at that time (and severely damaged that few that did survive), called The Mermaid Wars wouldn't go over well?

It's probably for the best, I couldn't write it by February 5th even if it would be favored.

Anyway, Tuesday it suddenly hit me, all we have are a few cryptic references to the Sea Peoples, no one really knows where they came from, clearly it was a massive mermaid invasion.

Ana Mardoll said...

This makes sense, but how did the Merpeople fight on land? Do they have transmogrifying abilities?

Mime_Paradox said...

Ooh, I know! They arrived on land, died from a fatal inability to breathe, and then their rotting corpses brought pestilence upon the land.

chris the cynic said...

I haven't quite figured that part out yet, but I have a feeling that the reason that the merpeople don't rule the world now is that the last act of the doomed civilizations was to work together, probably by means of some sort of hastily thrown together team/fellowship/thing, would be to somehow drive the merpeople back into the sea, and if there is, say, a network of magical thingys that allow the merpeople to take on humanish form and in so doing wage war on land, destroying that network might be a decent way to do it.

It probably wouldn't contain the conversion:

"But there are thousands of them now."

"Yes but the system is only triple redundant so all we need to do is take out four of them in critical areas and the entire system will collapse."

Because that sounds too modern.

Gelliebean said...

Something I've been mulling over for the last couple of weeks is a new take on the story of Rapunzel. (Keeping in mind that I haven't yet seen Tangled and I'm not sure when or if I will...) But she always struck me as the textbook example of passive damsel-in-distress. Her parents swap her off to the witch, the witch locks her in a tower to sit and grow her hair out, the prince has to trick her to even meet her, and then when she gets thrown out of the tower, she sets up house in the desert and waits for him to find her again.

I want to write something that addresses why the witch is interested in taking on the responsibility of raising someone else's baby in the first place and what benefit she's hoping to get out of it, and why Rapunzel has to be kept in a tower with no exit. I really want to give Rapunzel agency and make her something more than a MacGuffin.... So whatever reason the witch wants her for, it won't be as an energy booster/magic token/trap bait/etc. It'll be something Rapunzel can do, rather than something she is.

I don't know if I'd be interested in publishing through a major house... honestly, at this point, I'd be thrilled just to get something written at all. Writing used to be a huge part of me, and the panic/apathy/brick wall I've been hitting over the last couple of years at the thought of putting pencil to paper makes me feel like part of my soul has been amputated. :-/ If I can make myself push through that, I'll be happy even if the story is awful.

chris the cynic said...

You probably want to steer clear of Tangled until you're done. It's not exactly what you describe, indeed it differs in at least one very important way, but it is close enough for contamination.

Ana Mardoll said...

Gelliebean, I would totes read that story. I'm a sucker for fairy tale rewrites.

True fact, I just wrote "farty tale". I love Firefox's spell check.

Open Thread Update! Ana went to her scoliosis doctor today and got new x-rays. Regrettably there is nothing newly wrong with Ana's spine, and I say "regrettably" because the daily pain levels have been slowly but steadily rising and I was sort of hoping there'd be a new development to blame it on besides the pre-existing pseudo-arthrosis, but no. Ah well, probably for the best. The doctor has given Ana new medication, and the first pill knocked her out cold for 2 straight hours within 20 minutes of taking it. This is not good, and will hopefully NOT be the case going forward, otherwise it will not work out. Fortunately, this week's Twilight post was already written yesterday, so me being drowsy right now is no more than a minor annoyance.

On the plus side, in my drugged state that I'm in right now, my Virtual Villagers game now seems engrossing and challenging in a way that it usually isn't. OMG THE VILLAGER WITH THE RED DRESS IS SICK. WHAT WILL I DO??

Dash1 said...

Um "Invasion of the Really Pissed-Off Nereids"?

Makabit said...

Anyone here watching "The Misfits"? I'm finding it interesting, very fun, but a bit tense about some of the gender/sexuality issues around Alisha. This seems like the crowd to discuss them with.

chris the cynic said...

Oh my god, yes. It's right around the date of the Trojan War so Thetis, pissed off about the death of her son, rallied all of her siblings on a campaign to kill all the land dwellers. It's not about conquest, it's about rampant destruction as a coping mechanism.

"You'll pay for the death of Achilles!"
"I'm from Egypt, I don't even know this Achilles person."

Gelliebean said...

Ana - I'm so sorry to hear about that. I know what it's like to wish for a diagnosis, of any kind, just so you can start getting things treated..... :-( You have my heartfelt wishes for feeling better soon.

Ana Mardoll said...

Thank you, Gellie. :) I never know how much to blab about it on the blog because on the one hand I don't want to host ANA'S WHINY WHINE TIME blog because bleh, but on the other hand if Husband ever has to log on and post "there will be no Twilight today because Ana is in a Tramadol-induced coma" then I don't want it to be TOO much of a shock to everyone.

Fluffy_goddess said...

This being totally in keeping with the gods' average emotional maturity and response to trauma, YES!

Also, it means the mermaids can be allied with river spirits, so every natural water-source on land becomes a deadly battlefield. Total infiltration of the land, without even trying.

Ana Mardoll said...

Thank you, Chris. :) And I can't wait to read these posts -- I've always heard about Deus Ex being so deep and now I don't have to miss out on account of my crap aiming skills. :D

(Now I just need a Silent Hill decon to follow and I'll be cool and alternative!)

chris the cynic said...

Well at the rate I'm going it'll be eight more posts before finish training, then I get to the intro, which is exposition that's somewhat hindered by it's need to be "Of course you know Bob," (involving a character actually named Bob) and withhold spoilery information from the observer even though the characters should probably be sharing it, and be those two completely opposite things at the same time.

So the intro has you going, "Why would he say that? There's no reason for him to say that," and, "Why doesn't he just say X? He ought to say X? There's no reason for him to not be saying X right now." I think it can be worked with, but it's being written from a position of narrative warping pressure.

I guess what I'm saying is that I have no idea when I'll get to the deep parts. As I said, I thought I'd get through training in one post, I'm now four posts in and only through a third of it.

Asha said...

Open thread, so a bit of a random question?

Contemplating purchasing a Kindle Fire or an iPod touch. Roughly the same price, the goal being to consume media as well as listen to music, and could care less about cameras. Portability is a plus, but I want to be able to see things, too. Biggest issue is durability and how well the hardware works. Anyone tech savvy enough to say anything about it?

Ana Mardoll said...

I used the Kindle Fire and wasn't super thrilled with it; the iPod touch I've had no experience with.

The Kindle Fire seemed to lack strong organizational methods, which is a killer when you have as many books as I do...

Asha said...

Thank you, Ana.

I've considered a Nook tablet, but the extra cost bugs me, as well as most reviews saying that the software isn't on par with the Kindle Fire, but frequently citing the hardware as better. The iPod touch sounds better supported and with a wealth of apps, but it's just about too small for me to use it. *shrugs* I've just about sold myself on the Fire, but I always people for their opinions... and I know no one in real life who owns one or has experience with e-readers.

Again, thank you for your time. ^_^

Ana Mardoll said...

Hey, no problem! I will say that one great thing about the Fire is that they really (apparently) don't give people crap if they want to return them within the time limit. (I think it's 60 days? Better check.) My friend returned hers and they were prompt with the refund, I think.

BaseDeltaZero said...

(Which they stole from Atlantis when it sank. Or maybe not. Probably better if they came up with it on their own.)

Obviously, Atlantis was their civilization. That detail just got... left out... in translation.

Though I should say that the original idea was to have everything as close to historical as possible with the one glaring exception being the mermaid armies. And I was just picturing them having the ability to breath in and out of water and having the ability to switch from having a tail to having legs. I have not figured out how they would be driven back into the sea in that setting.

If total annihilation isn't required... maybe they just lost. A victorious war can still be devastating, after all. Or as someone suggested earlier, it being someone's revenge plot... maybe it was eventually resolved via truce? Or heck, by good old 'killing the final boss'?

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