Exploring the future through the present. One day at a time.
|I received two items in my mail today:
You'd think I'd be celebrating, but I'm not. I'm grateful, don't get me wrong, but I honestly thought my story was better than Silver. I deserved a Gold, dang it (read with slight tone of sarcasm).
I took a few chances with this story such as not keeping a single point of view. And since the word count was constrained, I went "minimalist" in that - for instance - I didn't describe the characters such as hair color, eye color, etc. I figured I would let the reader decide what the characters looked like. And because there was so much action, a lot of description had to be slashed.
Based on the contest judge's review, I went too minimalist. For the most part, I can't argue with the review. There were one or two things I didn't agree with, but that goes with the territory when receiving (and giving) reviews. It's so darned subjective. What one person hates, another will love. And what one person sees in a story, another one may miss -- including the writer. I can't tell you how many reviews I've received where the reviewer saw something in my story I never saw, let alone intended.
That said, the judges scored based on factors such as characterization, setting, and dialogue, to name a few. I scored the lowest on description (5/10), but the highest on dialogue (9/10). Those two scores show where my strengths and weaknesses are, which come as no surprise to me. Dialogue has always been my strength, and description my biggest weakness. I scored overall 52/70, and based on the thoroughness of the judge's review, I couldn't help but think I didn't even deserve that.
This contest will open again next month with new prompts, and I intend on entering again. Next time, I plan to write a better story that's more in line with what the judges are looking for.
What bothers me most is this is the same story I submitted to Writer's Digest Annual Competition. Based on one person's review, I'm now thinking I wasted $25 and will have nothing to brag about come October, dang it.
Oh well, That's life. Win some, lose some. As long as I don't give up, this one loss doesn't matter -- except as a means of learning something so I can and will write better.