Sunday, April 15, 2007

Publication Quest

The update on the current publication quest continues shortly. But first a bonus bulletin on contests. :)

Earlier this year, I entered my second contest. For a modest sum, this contest offered the unpublished writer four critiques on the first thirty pages of the manuscript.

As with last year's contest, the score were divergent. Three out of the four judges liked the story and offered small suggestions for improvement. One judge really didn't like anything. The most critical of the four judges gave me a total score that was less than half of the average from the others. Again, as happened the previous year the lowest scoring judge had the most to say. From her comments I sensed that she sincerely wanted to help me.

But here's the problem with accepting her guidance - the other three judges didn't share her concerns. I have the sense that if I were to act upon her suggestions, then I'd be ruining a story most readers would enjoy.

This is not to imply that the story could not be improved. It could and will be. Where two or more of the judges mention the same issue, I'm going to listen carefully and try to improve that area.

Of course, it would be even nicer to have input from the lovely editor. . .

Current year's goals

1) Study characterization to add depth to the story's cast

2) Three submissions

3) In roads in the TBR shelves

Progress report:

Done reading the stack of books related to characterization - Creating Unforgettable Characters deserves a second read, still not reading it though. Now I'm indulging in the TBR pile, precariously clinging to the reading plan.

Three submissions sent!

Status: still waiting to hear from the publishers


Number One: four months estimated response time from publisher 3 months)
Number Two: four weeks estimated response time from publisher 1 month)
Number three: one week estimated response time from publisher none

Number three did acknowledge the submission, but included a warning not to contact them about this submission. :(


Blogger Lori Borrill said...

Only listen to a judges comments if you agree with what they've said. You should read it and in your gut think, "Yeah, that's a good point I hadn't considered."

Any other reaction means the advice needs to be ignored, no matter how many times that stupid little comment echoes in your thoughts.

I swear, editors everywhere state that contests and crit groups can be more damaging than good, often sucking the life out of a perfectly good manuscript. That doesn't mean the "hated it" judge has nothing wise to say, but I really think you need to trust your own instincts, believe wholeheartedly that this judge is not the expert, and accept the advice that "feels right" to you while dismissing the rest.

Does that make sense?

6:13 AM  
Blogger Evanne said...


You always make excellent sense!

I'm not as instinctive a writer. There's a great deal of pondering and probably unhealthy brooding going on in my head. LOL

Thanks for stopping.

9:04 AM  

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