Ouch!

So I got scores back for another contest last night (one which will remain nameless), and I have to say that if I’d this was the first contest I’d ever entered I’d be pretty devastated right about now. Out of a total of 40 points, I got a 25, a 24.5 and a *15*!

Clearly this was a contest where the judges just didn’t get it. And by get, I mean  – sure, they thought the writing was fine, but the five to ten pages they got (which isn’t even an entire chapter, might I add) didn’t answer all their questions. Which kinda skeeves me – I mean, taking off points because I don’t show both characters’ full GMC in the first five pages seems a bit ridiculous to me.

But sweet Jesus, some of the comments:

1) “She swears too much.”  (You know, I’ll concede on this one…I’ve been debating going back through and removing some of that…)

2) “Is the narrator a man or a woman?”  Um – I dunno. It’s in first PoV – eventually you’ll figure it out.

3) “You shouldn’t refer to her using an iPod.  It will date the story severely.”  *shrugs*  Maybe.  But it’s a magic iPod, which we find out 3 pages later. Maybe it will change shape to keep up with the times.

4) “I don’t get the bacon thing. Is she vegetarian? If so, then it might make sense, but if she’s a carnivore, than I don’t understand?”   She likes bacon. A lot. I was trying to be funny == epic fail?

5) “What’s a TouchStone? What are the CrossRoads? You mention them but then don’t tell me anything about them.”  Nope. I don’t.  Not in the first 5 pages.  The rest of the chapter *does* get into it a bit, but otherwise you learn about them as you go.

Admittedly, this contest saw a slightly earlier draft of the book than what I have now. Not sure if that would have made much of a difference, but it’s entirely possible. And I’m not bitter about it…more amused. It just goes to show you how subjective these contests really are. I mean, I just won two of the things last week, so it *must* speak to some people. It could also be that my opening requires a bit more to go on than the first 5 pages, and that’s okay.  I’m certainly not planning on changing anything at the moment. That’s what got me into trouble in the first place – changing that first chapter over and over, trying to make it “fit” everyone’s concept of what a first chapter should be.

And I’m done with that.  (Especially given that what I ended up with looked an *awful* lot like what I tried to start out with.  Maybe my instincts were better than I thought.)

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