So. Basically, it's a term from my days as a music major. "Drop the needle" refers to a professor's literally dropping the needle of a record player anywhere on the album, so that it would start playing in the middle of piece. The goal, of course, is for the student to recognize the piece (and only mean professors actually did this; decent ones started the pieces at the beginning of a movement).
Our version of Drop the Needle is to share an excerpt from the middle of your novel. It's hard to drop folks into a story without any idea of what's going on, though, so an important part of this is to include a sentence or two that lets us know where we are and who your characters are.
Casey and Benevolence have just escaped from a refrigerated boxcar and are lying on the top of a moving train. If they don't find some way to get off before the train arrives at its destination, they will be in big trouble.
And after your delightful lead-in, you'll share 250 words for public critique.
This week's Drop the Needle round will focus on SEXUAL TENSION.
Now -- LISTEN VERY CAREFULLY, PLEASE! Sexual tension DOES NOT EQUAL "sex scene". It doesn't even necessarily involve kissing or anything overtly romantic. The best sort of sexual tension is that which makes our readers long for these two characters to get together. And a long, slow burn will keep our readers engaged until it finally happens.
Fingers accidentally brushing.
A glance held a second too long.
A heartbeat that hitches when someone enters the room.
You get the idea.
So send me a scene in which you're trying to build sexual tension between characters who are destined to be together.
- Submissions will open TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 14 (tomorrow) at NOON EST, and will end at 8:00 PM EST.
- THIS WILL BE A LOTTERY. The bot will randomly choose 10 entries after submissions have closed. These 10 entries will post to the blog on THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 16 for public critique.
- Your entry must include a brief lead-in and your 250-word excerpt (total max word count 310).
- Submit your entry HERE.
- All genres except erotica and erotic romance will be accepted.
Post your questions below!