Tag Archives: Givaways

Books Behaving Badly

Remember those days when writing was just about writing for the thrill of it? And you only shared your freshly printed pages with your friends and family members who were blown away by your budding talent . . . or at least surprised by it?

I can hardly recall that time, it was so long ago.

Although my love for writing itself never fades, the pursuit of publication adds challenges which make writing start to feel a lot like work. In fact, these days, if it doesn’t feel like work, I know I’m doing it wrong.

Finding an agent. Getting a book deal. Anticipating editorial notes. Meeting a deadline. Missing a deadline. Is anyone going to buy my book?? What will the reviews say?! What if I never sell another manuscript?!?! This all causes me stress.

So once in a while, I find it healthy to unwind. Write something ridiculous! Free write for the love of wordplay and humor. And what’s better than letting loose and writing for fun? How about writing for fun and PRIZES!?

Anyone out there want to win a free book?

Our theme for today is Books Behaving Badly. We want to hear your best ideas for bad titles, bad pitches, and bad, bad beginnings.

Here are a few examples to get your juvenile juices flowing:

Judge a book by its cover, do you? I came up with a bad title for each of these talented author/illustrators to work with (and check out the awesome covers they created!):

* * *

Lice

Illustrated by Kevan J. Atteberry
http://www.kevanatteberry.com

* * *

Illustrated by Ruth McNally Barshaw
http://www.ruthexpress.com

* * *

Unicorns

Illustrated by Deborah Underwood
http://www.deborahunderwoodbooks.com

* * *

Now, imagine sitting with an editor in a private pitching session. Let’s make her day with a truly horrible, cringe-worthy pitch:

.

coupon clipper
Clairvoyant eleven-year-old, Stella, can see into the future. She uses her skills to predict coupon specials and become an expert clipper, but is ostracized by her friends who just don’t get it.

.

inflammation-broken-foot-leg-cast-2

Brutilda breaks her foot and uses her cast to flirtatiously stomp on the foot of the boy she likes. For reasons unknown, he doesn’t return her affection. Angst and heartache ensue.

.

hippolkaJane Austen (almost) meets Charlotte Bronte . . . an exposé of those ten or so missing years between the Regency and Victorian eras that authors skip over for no apparent reason. (I’m guessing the lost-to-the-ages Hippopotamus Polka was a big thing during this mysterious era. Maybe that’s why nobody writes about it?).

.

Editors often tell writers that they need to grab a reader’s interest in the first few sentences. I’m pretty sure these beginnings would be epic fails:

.

big nose cold
You know that feeling you get when mashed potatoes are stuck up your nose? Yeah, that’s the kind of cold I have.

.

.

.

.

.

goat sticking tongue out, blog

Rollin’ in the hay really can be fun. Billy may be a goat, but our first kiss was still an eight out of ten.

.

.

.

.

.

promMy cousin is looking seriously hot today. I think I’m gonna ask her to Homecoming.

.

.

.

.

.

So let’s hear it: Your worst titles, pitches, and beginnings. Leave them in the comments, along with a category for your entry.

A winning entry in each category will be selected by a prestigious judge—someone who reads good (and bad!) titles, pitches, and beginnings for a living. The winners will then get to choose a book written by any of the EMU’s Debuts members, past or present, as long as it’s at least available for pre-order. Entries are due by midnight Eastern time on Oct 15th, and winners will be announced here on Oct 17th!

You don’t have to be a “writer” to play along! Anyone at all can join in for a chance to win a book! Good luck!

_________________________________

IMG_0723-2Amy Finnegan writes Young Adult novels and is a host at BookshopTalk.com. Her debut novel, NOT IN THE SCRIPT, will be published by Bloomsbury, Fall 2014. You can follow Amy on Twitter @ajfinnegan, and Facebook (Amy Finnegan, Author). She is represented by Erin Murphy.

Advertisements

31 Comments

Filed under Advice - Helpful or Otherwise, Anxiety, Writing