Friday, June 09, 2006


I am so FRUSTRATED! I don't even know why I entered a writing contest. I entered a few RWA chapter contests a few years back, and was equally as frustrated then. I was dreading this but hoping for the best. Today I got my scorecards and critiques back, and I'm simply at a loss as to how interpret them.

I had three average scores from unpublished judges and one near-perfect (99/100) score from an award-winning author published in romance and non-romance. What am I to think? Who am I to believe? The judge that said to hurry up and finish and get it out to an agent/editor, the one that said the story was going nowhere, or the one that said there wasn't enough action??????

I am so frustrated I can't even write right now. I know the 'rules' of romance, but this book doesn't follow the rules. And I think that's part of the problem I have with contests. The judges want, and in a way need, you to follow the rules. The book does open when the heroine's life changes, but it doesn't change with guns blazing, it changes in a way that requires some inner reflection and decision making.

I think sometimes judges are category readers and expect things to happen quickly. Sort of a get-in/get-out philosophy. Well that doesn't always work for single-title. It doesn't work for me.

This is going to take some long, hard INNER REFLECTION (imagine that). I'm going to have to figure out whether to make some significant changes to my WIP or leave it as it is.

Darn contests! I should know better.


Lucy said...

I'm sorry you're frustrated but I have to say your post gave me a different perspective on comments I've gotten on my own writing. BUT, my personal opinion on your work is this:

* I think you should keep the work the way you've written it because a) YOU like it; and b) it was the published author is the one who loved it so much. She may have more insight into what would actually sell than an unpublished writer. (Not to discount an unpublished writer by any means...if they have valid comments you agree with, I would consider those comments as well.)


* I think it's true that you should write the story of your heart. If you doubt yourself because of others' comments, you're doing your story a disservice (sp?) and it ultimately quits being YOUR story.

Anyway, those are my two cents worth...from the person who has never entered their work in a contest - ever. LOL

Good luck with whatever you decide. :)

Alyssa Goodnight said...

Thanks for the advice, Lucy. I appreciate your insights.