Eighty-three. That’s the number of submissions Viva Scriva received for the free-critique contest. Can you believe it? A few of these are in the comment section of the blog, but many more came through e-mails to individual Scrivas. No wonder it’s taken us this long to decide on the best!
It was a delight to go through all the made-up words—enough for a picture book at least. And it was VERY hard to pick the favorite.
Some of you conjured up animals: Take Carol Woodson’s teradraftyl. Carol reminded us that “tera” means “trillionth,” so I pictured how prehistorically horrible I’d look after my trillionth rewrite of a manuscript. Of the many entries Carol submitted, another animal favorite was gottaplotamus.
Sitting—or the lack thereof—was the subject of two entries. Jane Shapiro offered maxglutes, meaning an enlarged gluteus maximus, a common side effect of prolonged butt-in-chair. Gina Ledoux suggested keesterphrenia, the butt-on-the-move “interruption process of writers as a result of dog barfs within earshot, thumping washing machine, ‘UH-OH, I promised to bake cookies.’ etc.”
Rosanne Parry gave us Garcia Solitude. “This is not a word but a name I use as a placeholder when I have a character that I haven’t given a name to yet,” she said. “It’s a bit of an homage to Gabriel Garcia Marquez and his brilliant 100 Years of Solitude, a book filled with characters having like-sounding names.”
High on the favorite list Bonni Goldberg’s was postscriptosis, meaning the state of mind after writing or completing a writing project. The second meaning to this could be the urge to revise the ending.
I confess that I got the final say on which entry would be the winner. I am in the midst of revising a 60,000-word manuscript based on half a gazillion excellent (and sometimes conflicting) comments from the Scrivas and others. So I have to go with:
Frankenstory: The practice of trying to work into a manuscript every comment made by every critique group member resulting in something where all the seams are showing.
Congratulations, Stephanie Shaw. Step right up and claim your free critique of a picture book manuscript (3,000 words max) or any other manuscript or piece of writing with a limit of 3,000 words.