So… is anyone else getting paranoid about their ratings on the New Voices website?

Actually it’s not so much the fact that my entry is rapidly dropping down the popularity scale that’s bugging me, it’s the fact that people are obviously rating it badly for it to be dropping and yet they are not leaving comments!!!
I understand that not everyone will like my writing – such is life – but it would be nice to have some insight into why!?
I guess the solution would be to stop checking the site every five minutes, but hey… with my obsessive compulsive nature, that’s unlikely to happen šŸ™‚

The use of the "Ordinary World" in category romance

Since the RWA Oz conf, I’ve been thinking on the stages of the Hero’s Journey, which Deb Dixon spoke about during her Friday workshop. She discussed Joseph Campbell’s famous Hero’s Journey, which has 12 different stages the protagonist/s must take during the course of a novel.

The first stage is the ”ORDINARY WORLD.” In this stage, the writer is supposed to show a glimpse of the world where the h/H starts the story. It’s supposed to give context for the story, establish a mundane/ordinary life, which can then be compared and contrasted to the new world (which begins in the “CALL TO ADVENTURE” section. The idea is to establish this ordinary world as quickly as possible, but apparently you can take as long as you want – lol! I think the taking as long as you want bit really only applies to Single Title.
But this got me thinking about the many category books I read and how more often than not there is NO or only a tinsy glimpse of the h/H’s ORDINARY WORLD.
In my New Voices entry, ONE ROGUE, ONE DAMSEL, I’ve completely missed out the heroine’s ordinary world. The first sentence of the story launches her straight out of her comfort zone but the reader doesn’t actually know then what her comfort zone (ORDINARY WORLD) is.
In the other wip, the first chap starts in the heroine’s ORDINARY WORLD (a mundane place she’s come back to after bad experiences overseas).
Both these stories are category novels aimed at Harlequin Mills & Boon, so what I’m interested in is how you see the ORDINARY WORLD applying in short category novels.
Do you think setting up an ORDINARY WORLD only to wretch the hero or heroine straight out of it is necessary or do you think slightly different rules apply in category?!
Have I made any sense at all!?
If you know anything about Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey, I’d love your thoughts on how it fits category romance!!
On another issue all together, how fun is the New Voices contest? I’m surprised that they’ve only got 250-ish entries at the moment. I thought there’d be a lot more but am wondering if some people will upload at the very last minute so they don’t have to subject themselves to public comment? Will be interesting to see how the contest pans out. There’s plenty of really fabulous entries up there so far but I’m never one to second guess what an editor likes, so I reckon, it’s anyone’s game!!!

Check out my GROOVY badge!

I’m like a teenage girl with a new iPod cover (do they even make them? LOL). I’ve got a NEW BADGE! See on the left hand side of my blog for my New Voices Entrant badge – better still, if you click on it, it’ll take you straight to my entry.

Have you entered?
Do you want one too?
Then head on over to Lacey Devlin’s blog where you can pick one up for free – she’s made them out of the goodness of her heart cos she is so damn cool! Thanks Lacey! You rock!
Promise I’ll be back in the next few days with some craft posts. I have a few things I’ve been mulling over since the RWA Oz conf and I’d like to get your thoughts too!
Until then….


That’s me! I’m hooked on reading entries on the Mills & Boon New Voices contest website.

Hubby is snoring beside me, I have a headache cos I’m so tired and a massive few days ahead of me, but can I stop? Nope.
I’ll just read one more entry and then I’ll go to bed….
Promise šŸ™‚
PS. I entered! Was gonna leave it longer but in the end, I just wanted it out there. Good luck to everyone else who’s entering!