Our latest project is the #200Words project. The goal is to tell a story and hook the reader in ONE page. Roughly 200 Words. Join us for the #200Words Challenge and add to the collection and be entered to Win Cash Prizes.
No cash payout per story. Promotional only. Writer’s Name, website information small blurb promoted with each story.
Cash prizes paid to top three stories.
Some of the things you will learn are things like the editorial dance, how to submit stories to publishers, and receive an individualized evaluation of your story.
What is the #200Words Project?
To escape the rain outside, a young girl casually strolls amongst the shelves and shelves of glorious stories. Marvel sparkled in her eyes, giddy at the sight before her. Books, hundreds of books, but she may choose only one.Her hope, to savor this moment, caressing each and peering at their covers, assessing what they may contain, until at last one stands out—shimmering in an ocean of words. The glistening spine beckoning, calling out to be caressed and opened.The tension rises, those first few letters grip her, and she begins to read. The exhilaration pulses through her finger tracing the line on the page, her eyes behold a wondrous tale of circumstance.One clear choice, her heart leaps never taking her eyes off the book. Clerk paid, she scurried out the door.Panic edges into her mind, the story calls out to be read, it must be read. “Stop now… Here, under this tree. Stop and read me, begin the journey you long to take. Do not linger, lest the adventure be lost. Hurry, please hurry and read me now!”She succumbs, and nestled beneath the rustling branches, the light breeze turns the pages like magic.—Chapter One
What triggers a reader to choose only one? That single book that captures their interest and grips their psyche? The answer is; what the writer offers them in the first few paragraphs. Beckoning them, telling them they NEED this book. As a publisher, we read stories every day. We only ask for the first ten pages of any manuscript, and within these few words we should know a few key things. What genre, who the character is, where they are. We should see the character’s flaws or virtues and the problem they seek to solve. All of this within ten pages.
You… Have 200 words.
How can you do this in merely 200 words? The passage above is 200 words exactly. We know it is a young girl, she is in a bookstore, the choices are agonizing but there is magic in one book. This book is a fantasy story, the girl is young and about to begin a journey. The hook, she can’t wait and sits beneath a tree to begin an adventure. This small bit is not entirely unscripted but modified from a well-known tale. The Neverending Story, by Michael Ende, where a young boy to get out of the rain goes into a bookstore and finds a book irresistible.
Three tips to help you do this in 200 words.
1. Offer the genre: Consider the very first line in Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen. “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.” It takes a mere twenty-three words to tell us the summation of this book. This, my friends, is a romance. There will be weddings.
2. Give them the scene: Stephen King, in his book Needful Things offers a flavor of the scene. In those first few words he sets the scene of a small town, a character that tells us something is off. The way they see tourists in the town is telling. But more than that we as readers feel the angst by the third paragraph, “Hot damn! Just look at his thing, will you? DICE AND THE DEVIL printed right on top.” At this point we just know this book will be good.
3. Finally, the hook: As writers we have probably ONE page to snag that reader, so we best make it good. J.K. Rowling does this with a simple chapter title. The first four words grab the reader and refuses to let them go. “The Boy Who Lived.” It does not get much more visceral than this, we learn in the first paragraph that this boy is special in an ordinary family. Understanding how important these first few paragraphs are to the novel is one of the greatest ways you can ensure it is read.
You must do this in only #200Words — Use them wisely.
More from Angry Eagle…
Anthologies: You may submit more than one story per anthology, however, publication of all are not guaranteed. We are open to publishing a poem, a flash fiction piece and a longer story by the one author in each collection if the pieces merit it. Reprints not accepted. Royalties will be paid at 80% of net, quarterly, and split among the authors based on word counts unless otherwise posted.
Flash Fiction: You may submit more than one story per publication, however, publication of all are not guaranteed. We are open to publishing a poem or a flash fiction piece fitting the word count guidelines. Contributor copies only. Unless otherwise posted.
Fan Fiction: You may submit more than one story per publication, however, publication of all are not guaranteed. Reprints not accepted. Original author retains rights for original story. Original author authorizes Angry Eagle Publishing to publish stories as fan fiction. Original story author receives 10% of all net royalties without contribution. Fan submissions receive 70% of net, quarterly, and split among the authors based on word counts. *Original authors who contribute will receive royalties negotiated before contributor net calculations. Unless otherwise posted.