I Didn’t Make The Cut

I’m bummed. This week 50 writers saw their manuscripts advance to the Semi-Final stage of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award – YA category. My humble offering – Wycaan Master – was not one of them. It reached the Quarter-Final, ahead of a few thousand others, but…

In an odd sense of timing, I will finish reading the 95,000 word epic fantasy story to my writer’s group. They stuck with me over the past 18 months though none (until the last couple of months) read or are interested in fantasy. Thank you – Berkeley Writers Group.

Either you think epic fantasy is alive and thriving (Tolkien, Terry Brooks, R.A. Salvatore etc.,) or you think the only fantasy that sells is high concept – Harry Potter, The Hunger Games…

It is hard writing in two genres – social justice-themed novels reflect my lifestyle and values. Young-adult fantasy was inspired by a writing project with my preteen son and has been a lot of fun. But they serve two separate target audiences and I maintain a separate blog and twitter account.

I have to admit, I’ve arrived at a junction. I have not only sweated over a first YA fantasy manuscript, but completed a second, and am 30,000 words into a third. It is  a series and I must admit: I’m kind of hooked on it.

I want to see how my young heroes (and villains – who I am also quite attached to) grow. Will the races of Odessiya unite? What is the Emperor’s secret power that enables him to keep winning? Will shy Seanchai and his guide, Ilana, ever hook up?

As a reader becomes hooked on a series and feels compelled to read through to the end, I have discovered that so can an author become ensnared. It might well be an issue of not writing an outline and having faith in the story evolving, but I need to discover what happens in the world I’ve created.

Even if I didn’t make the cut.

——————————————————————————————————

Alon Shalev is the author of The Accidental Activist and A Gardener’s Tale. He has written two fantasy novels and the first reached the Quarter Finals of  the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award as of March 2012. More on Alon Shalev at http://www.alonshalev.com/and on Twitter (@elfwriter).

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12 comments on “I Didn’t Make The Cut

  1. I submitted a novel to an agent two days before I saw the listing for the Amazon event. I was kicking myself for not catching it sooner so I have been living vicariously through your updates, brother!

    I am sorry for your loss. Quarter finals ain’t bad, but you can’t help but want the whole kaboodle!

    • elveswriter says:

      Thanks, Michael. Good luck with the agent.

    • Sreemanturi says:

      I submitted a novel to an agent two days berofe I saw the listing for the Amazon event. I was kicking myself for not catching it sooner so I have been living vicariously through your updates, brother!I am sorry for your loss. Quarter finals ain’t bad, but you can’t help but want the whole kaboodle!

  2. Nicole L. Bates says:

    Sorry to hear your news, but it’s impressive how far your submission made it. I agree, as the author of an (unpublished) trilogy, you tend to get pretty hooked on your story, and you want to find out exactly how it all ends just as if you were reading it for the first time. I for one think epic fantasy is alive and thriving. I wish you the best of luck and I look forward to reading aout Seanchai and Ilana.

  3. sabrina says:

    Hey maybe next Year…I just uploaded my children’s book on Amazon…haven’t sold one yet! A writer’s life is tough enough so don’t be too tough on yourself. We have to be strong through the forest.

  4. J. L. Mbewe says:

    Well, reaching the quarters final sounds like your work has some potential. With this day and age, we never know how our journey to publication will look like until we are standing on the other end and looking back. Keep on keeping on!

  5. susanscottsa says:

    hey Alon – sorry man … it is a bummer. I guess its part of the process or something .. but you never know .. another agent may pick it up? Good luck anyway …

  6. I think the fact you believe in what you write and that you want to see it through to the end is the main thing. I’m so into what I write that I almost feel I need to finish the series just for me. The fact that anyone else might also be into it is both a bonus and also astounding to me! And new time….you will make the cut 🙂

  7. Ryan says:

    Sorry to hear your news, but it’s impressive how far your susbismion made it. I agree, as the author of an (unpublished) trilogy, you tend to get pretty hooked on your story, and you want to find out exactly how it all ends just as if you were reading it for the first time. I for one think epic fantasy is alive and thriving. I wish you the best of luck and I look forward to reading aout Seanchai and Ilana.

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