I've been entering a few writing competitions this year as another avenue of hoping to get that all important break. No luck so far - close but no cigar as they say.
I recently heard about the Baileys First Chapter competition and was really unsure as to whether I would enter this one. Taking someone else's start and building on that was quite different to anything I'd done. The other thing was the closing date.
By the time I saw this, actually on Twitter (a good source for discovery, I've found), it was only a couple of days until closing. Whilst the competition was only to write 800 to 1000 words, it wasn't a case of not being able to get it done. It was more a case of 'Eek! Where can I go with this?'. I ummed and aahed and almost didn't enter but in the end, sat down in the afternoon and got an entry done. It's gone in. I'm not sure that it's any good but either way, it was a good exercise, both on doing something a bit out of my comfort zone, and also on short deadlines.
Next on my list to enter is this one. Bit of a longer deadline on this one and as I've already had several attempts at Mills and Boon, this is another chance for some practice, if nothing else. I'm just trying to decide as to whether to use an existing idea from a couple that I've noted down, or think of something entirely new. I think I'll probably have a proper look at the ideas I have and see what I think - if I'm not totally in love with them, then it's probably best to start afresh.
Meanwhile, the agent hunt still goes on...