Alice’s Restaurant

June 24, 2007

Notes From The Island

Filed under: FanLit — aliceaudrey @ 8:36 am

Here’s a little something to get the FanLitters in the Ben and Tara mood.  I call the guy Ben and the gal Tara.

 Ben and Tara


June 16, 2007

Workshops on FanLit Forever

Filed under: FanLit, writing, Writing Craft, Writing Life, Writing Technique — aliceaudrey @ 11:24 am

A while back I asked if anyone would be interested in having me run a workshop in The Workshop board on FanLit Forever.  The response was a resounding “Yeah, sure.”

Despite the fact I am a rank amateur who has never run a workshop in her life, I’ve decided to go for it.  Maybe, with luck, we can talk a published author into coming in and doing it right.

Actually, I’m going to run two at the same time.  I’m calling one “Details” and will focus on wording.  Not grammar or spelling!  We will have to get Pollyanna to run that workshop.  By wording I mean things as far flung as where to put a chapter break, how to handle dialogue tags, showing vs telling etc.

The other I’m calling “Story” and will focus on plotting, characterization, etc.

Hopefully we’ll all get something out of this.  And if not, I’ll chalk it up to a learning experience.

Both workshops will begin this Monday.


June 2, 2007

Challenge 4 on FanLit Forever

Filed under: FanLit — aliceaudrey @ 10:48 pm

Have any of you read the submissions for this round on FanLit Forever?  Oh my!  *fanning self and blushing*  It seems working from a photo this round was highly inspirational.  I can’t wait to do it again.  Actually, I didn’t.  I’ve already started on my Round 2 Challenge 4 entry even though it isn’t due for a couple of months.  It was just too fun to resist.


May 8, 2007

Challenge 3 Round 4 Winner

Filed under: FanLit — aliceaudrey @ 10:24 pm

Is Captive Nightmare.  If your story was in the top 5, please come and claim your entry.


May 5, 2007

FanLit Forever Challenge 4

Filed under: FanLit — aliceaudrey @ 9:43 am

Round Four of Challenge 3 closes today.  The ranking votes are nearly in.  The winner will be chosen in the next three days.  And we are all getting heartily sick of Ben and Tara.  It’s like David Damien and Patience all over again!

Unlike Avon, we have some latitude, and we are taking advantage of it.  We are going to take a break from Challenge 3 to do a quick, one-chapter round.  Challenge 4.  And it is a blast!

We have decided to base the chapter on a photograph.  Some of the suggestions have been, shall we say, a bit risque.  All right, these guys are hot!  Since Mr. Al has not been making a strong showing I suppose it’s to be expected that all the suggestions are male.

This is one round I can’t wait to write!


April 19, 2007

Avon FanLit Question for TessaD

Filed under: FanLit — aliceaudrey @ 2:14 pm

We interrupt this previously scheduled vacation discussion yet again for something more interesting.  Avon FanLit.

It’s Tessa’s fault.  She set me off with a question on her blog.  Not that anyone would be surprised.  I have lots and lots of strong opinions about the way Avon FanLit was run.

First, the question of where they should advertise – they should put a large ad in Romance Writer’s Review at least a month in advance.  I know, easier said than done, but they would bring out a lot of dedicated writers who are eager for community by doing it.  I would certainly recommend another article in Wall Street Journal as I too found out about it that way.  From the question I asked on the boards over at Avon it’s clear that writer’s blogs brought in the largest slice.  They could probably put notices in women’s magazines fairly readily.  Maybe they could get something on the news wires.  From there you’re talking big bucks for TV ads and such.

The absolute most important thing they could do to build a spirit of community on the site is to become far more proactive about cheaters.  The zero bombers and .5 bandits devastated us.  We had no way of knowing who we could or could not trust.  I do NOT think they should put meters on everyone so you can see what kind of voters they are, as the sock puppet accounts keep the bandits from paying for their bad behavior and meters would encourage lying out of kindness, which is a disservice to those taking the scores seriously.

I think the best way to give the participants a strong connection to the authors would be to set up a workshop forum on the same level as the introductions, chapter discussions, etc. and have the authors offer their responses to participant’s how-to questions.  If at all possible, it would be fantastic of the editors would drop an occasional comment into the forums as well. 

The blog was a good idea, but I hardly ever went there because it never looked like anything new or fresh was going on there.  Then I would hear back later that something was on the blog that I’d never heard about.  It makes me wonder if the blog link I was looking at was the right link.

Ok, you’ve got me going again.  This is already getting out of hand, and likely to get worse, so I’ll call it good here.  Thanks for putting up with me, Tessa.


March 17, 2007

Submissions for Round Three Due Monday Morning

Filed under: FanLit — aliceaudrey @ 4:11 pm

Can you tell what I’m doing?


March 7, 2007

And the Winner Is…

Filed under: FanLit — aliceaudrey @ 11:48 pm


Not only did Cindy take first place in the second round of FanLit Forever’s Challenge Three, she also placed both of her other two entries in the top five.

Take a bow Cindy.  A most impressive accomplishement


March 4, 2007

FanLit Forever Voting Closes Today

Filed under: FanLit — aliceaudrey @ 10:51 am

Challenge 3 Round 2 ranking polls close today at noon.  It is still possible to make comments after the polls close, but you must ge your votes in now.

Mama Alice.

March 1, 2007

Why Is “Because I Like It” a Valid Point in Judging Fiction?

Filed under: FanLit, Writing Life — aliceaudrey @ 8:30 am

Per usual I am busy judging for an RWA contest and voting in FanLit Forever at the same time.  In Challenge 2 it was the Golden Heart.  This round it’s The Lauries hosted by From The Heart Romance Writers.   It really brings to mind some basic differences.

For one thing, the RWA contest try to counteract personal biases.  You are supposed to score based on the quality of the writing rather than whether or not you personally like it.

Tastes are so varied and unreliable.  It makes sense that some would say they have no place in judging the worthiness of a piece of fiction.  If we all rate fiction based on nothing more than how much we like it – or at least how compelled we are to read it – then some excellent writing will not receive the recognition it deserves.  To be fair, we must set aside our personal likes and dislikes.  True?

I don’t think so.

It’s hard to argue that some excellent writing will indeed suffer at the hands of judges if those judges can’t get beyond their prejudices.  But consider the purpose of fiction.

Fiction exists to engage our attention.  We aren’t talking quantum mechanics here, or even an Idiot’s Guide To whatever.  We are talking about something that SHOULD be designed to take us out of our everyday life and transport us through words to an experience we could not achieve in any other way.

Readers who don’t like what they are reading aren’t likely to read very far.  If they don’t read the whole book, why would the want to buy another by the same author?  Isn’t that what character and plot, and voice is all about?  There’s no point in focusing on any aspect of a book if it isn’t done with an eye to making the book as readable as possible.

Should how much a judge likes a story be the sol criteria for judging? No.  But it should probably be the biggest one.  And I notice that more and more contest are including “Would you recommend this book to a friend”,  “Would you like to read more of this book”, or “Is the book compelling” in their list of attributes to be scored.  I know it’s the first thing I look at when my contest results come in.


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