Friday, January 05, 2007

We're All Winners!! *

Since yesterday was Thursday Thirteen, I delayed in mentioning the Hallmark moment we had in our family on Wednesday.

My six-year-old came into the office while I was writing (with the little one on my lap) and asked if he could play video games. When I told him he could, he gave me a big hug and told me I was the 'Best Mommy in the World'. Almost immediately, the four-year-old says, 'Gimme a break.' Big brother and I sat for two seconds in stunned silence before laughing it up.

On to other news...I got my contest scores back! I visited the post office twice yesterday, just hoping for that big return envelope. The second time was a charm, and with my heart racing, I hurried back the car and ripped open the envelope.

Not too bad. Pretty good actually. My average score was 105/115, so I'm happy with that. A couple of the judges didn't really 'get' the conflict in my story, which I think is a little strange, given the nature of the plot line. I even asked my husband, who has read the first few chapters if he thought it was clear. He assured me that it really should be. I don't know...maybe I need to spell it out better. The difficulty is that then some readers tell me, 'You're dwelling on this too much.' 'You've said it here.'

Somehow, I have got to figure this out...

But I'm relieved and happy with my scores. I got some good, insightful comments too which I will be incorporating. I must say though that the 'contest experience' wouldn't have ended so sweetly if they didn't have a three judge policy. The scores from the first two judges were more than twenty points apart, with one being 85% or more of the 115. So another judge read and scored me, the lowest score was dropped, and thus I got my respectable score. My low-scoring judge wasn't able to get past one part of one scene--it affected her scoring across the board. And so maybe I'll take from that that I need to tighten that scene up, maybe edit some things out...who knows. I'll really have to consider that carefully.

But until then, I'm plugging along...on day three in a row writing! Yay!
Have a great weekend!

* This quote is from Seinfeld and not necessarily something I would say...


Stacy said...

Congrats on the good reviews.

I had a similar problem with my master's thesis (a fiction project). My advisor read it first and asked for several clarifications. I followed his advice, and then one of the other professors on my thesis committee commented that I explained too much. Looking back, I'm wondering if my problem was that, in my goal to dispel confusion, I might have violated the show-don't-tell rule.

Amanda Brice said...

You know, that's the frustrating thing about contests. :( You get one judge who just doesn't "get it," or who doesn't normally read in that genre, or who has an axe to grind and fantastic scores can suddenly plummet.

But 105 out of 115 is still very nice! Go you!

Trish Ryan said...

That review sounds really helpful - especially all broken down by each reviewer and which scores counted, etc. It's such a challenge to find that balance - good luck as you implement the changes you decide on!

And I love your hallmark moment :)

Beck said...

Sometimes, someone who doesn't "get" your writing can actually be sort of helpful. I hope that you're still very pleased with your results!

Swishy said...

Go with your gut ... one person might not get it, but to 10 others it might make perfect sense. Yay on getting them, though, and doing so well!

Sara Hantz said...

WTG on your scores. Contest judges can be right out there sometimes. There are many funny stories out there about judges.

I remember one judge saying to me that I was trying to inject some Britishisms into my writing, but it didn't come off. Hahahahahaha how funny is that as i am British!!

Katkat said...

you are very brave. Just writting on my blog makes me nervous, to write a book is amazing. You rock!

Alyssa Goodnight said...

Thank you guys! You are so sweet!

And Sara, that's hilarious!