Monday, April 28, 2014

Drop the Needle: ANGER

So here's a specific Drop the Needle for you!

(For the uninitiated:  The term "drop the needle" hearkens from the days of LPs, when college music professors would drop the needle anywhere in the middle of a recording of music and expect the students to know the piece and the composer.  Hence, "dropping the needle" in a novel means starting somewhere in the middle.)

Let's take a look at scenes that contain ANGER.  Specifically:
  • The excerpt should contain dialogue.  It does not have to be mainly dialogue, like when we do the Talking Heads rounds.  But it's challenging to write angry dialogue that doesn't sound dorky or melodramatic, so it'll be a good idea to take a look at that.
  • The excerpt should contain internal dialogue.  Again, not a whole lot--because too much internal dialogue is a pace-killer.  And angry scenes should have a quicker pace, yes?  But angry head-thoughts are an important expression of character anger, so we need some.
A note:  I know anger sometimes involves expletives.  As always, I will asterisk out anything stronger than a hell or a damn. If you'd like to be kind and do it for me, all the better. Just keep the first letter of the word and make the rest of the letters asterisks.

Here are the submission guidelines:
  • Submit up to 400 words from your completed manuscript or carefully proofread WIP.  The focus of the scene is ANGER.
  • Please include a 1- to 2-sentence lead-in to give us a sense of scene and setting. PLEASE DON'T SKIP THIS PART.  There is an extra 50-word allowance for the lead-in. (But please be as brief as possible.)
  • The submission window will be open TOMORROW (Tuesday), from noon to five EDT.
  • Submit your entry HERE.
  • This will be a lottery.  The bot will pick 15 entries and 1 alternate.
  • Winning entries will post on the blog for public critique.
Looking forward to reading your angry scenes!  Please post questions below.


  1. Dear Authoress - are we supposed to include a scene set-up? If so, is there an allowance for this in the word count?

  2. I'm so glad you mentioned it! Yes, you will need a lead-in. I will add this info to the blog post.

    Thank you!