If you haven't noticed, BookEnds Literary Agency is having a contest (open until tomorrow morning). This rules are simple: 100 words (or less depending on where your sentence ends) from a mystery book. Please note how simple these guidelines are.
100 words. My entry ended up being 99 (per MS Word - not including title). I'm lucky my first paragraph fit the 100 word requirement. If you look at the entries though, it seems like a few people decided to fudge. (Nerd and snot that I am, I checked the word counts by coping them and then pasting them into Word. And don't worry if you're a contestant - they're all deleted now.) Really folks, don't you think BookEnds is doing the same thing to see who's following the rules? It's not rocket science for christsakes.
Mystery. I'll say it slow for you in case you have trouble with big words. MYS-TER-Y. You know where something bad happens and someone has to figure out who did it. Not romance. Not thriller. Not paranormal. Mystery. It says right on the blog what they're looking for. Follow the rules. Again, not brain surgery. Simple stuff.
So, why is it so hard for people to follow simple rules? Are they really that thick? Or is it simply that they don't feel the rules apply to them? Maybe they're so awesome, they think they'll be able to skate by.
I've read about this kind of slippage on different agent sites when it comes to queries. Now while it may be true not every rule is set in stone. Some agents even say they'll let a few things slip if the writing is good enough, but when the guidelines are fairly simple, it would behoove the writer to follow them. At least I would think so, but then again, I'm pretty big on following the rules - especially when my career is depending on it.
Tell me, what do you think BookEnds should do the rule fudgers? Be kind, or be strict? Personally, I think they should be booted and if they screw up again, they can't submit to the rest of these new contests with BookEnds. But that's me. After all, I'm female and I was born in the year of the dog. ;o)
BTW, my entry is for the first in my JA Mystery series - Cut and Dried. Hop on over and, while rooting for me is probably considered rude, think happy thoughts for me to win.
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