Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Contest Critique Rant

I was going to talk about Stealing Joe Flanigan's Underwear tonight, but I've decided to change topics. I will get back to SJFU tomorrow.

I received contest scores for the second book I am subbing (not my baby, no way) -- Guillermo's List (GL). Guillermo's List is the story of two sisters who must deal with the aftermath of a medical error. The first chapter takes place in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and a bereavement room.

Let me preface this by saying I am extremely critical of my writing and I listen to and try to take criticism effectively. But, when the critique tries to tell me something that I experienced and put into words couldn't happen or questions the feasibility of it happening, then I get a little upset.

I've been in a bereavement room. I know how many people are there to talk to the family. I know under what situations medical errors can occur. I know how people react. And, if a person reacts contrary to how you think someone should react, why is that a problem? Each situation is different for each person. We have to take that into effect when we judge entries.

The good news is people seem to like my writing. I just seemed to get marked down for things that have nothing to do with my writing. How can you write about what you know when no one believes it can happen?

I just might post my first chap tomorrow. Or, we can talk about SJFU. Any votes?

Putting up my happy picture.

Abbi :-)


  1. Abbi, I had a similiar thing happen with a recent contest entry. Firstly the judge thought the wrong person was the heroine simply because I had another woman's name in the first sentence (it was all totally in the heroine's POV), and who also thought the chapter was written by two different people. Presumably because I had the heroine's POV and then halfway through, switched to the hero's who - naturally enough - would sound different. Another judge (pubbed author) who read the same thing gave me full marks. So go figure.
    I reckon when you're just starting out writing, contests can be a good way to get feeback. But only up to a point. I think you've passed that point personally! Your chapter rocked I thought!
    So does Karl Urban. :-)

  2. Thanks, Jackie. I entered this chapter a long time ago and just now figured out how to get my results.

    I agree, I'm probably beyond contests, I was just thinking about entering the Golden Heart this year.

    Thanks for the positive input!

  3. Abbi, I know that you will know exactly what you were talking about and someone else's inexperience/ignorance - judge or not - should not influence how they score. To put it in perspective whilst I have a wealth of medical knowledge if I was judging a historical entry I would have neither the expert knowledge or experience to comment on those aspects of the story, what I could comment on was the writing, tone and POV. So take heart, and I love your picture of Dr McCoy although I have to say in that movie I definitely hankered after Jim Kirk! So post your chapter and get feedback from people who do like your writing!

  4. Thanks, Susan! Good to see you here.

    You're right.

    And I prefer Chris Pine, too. But, I thought I'd post something different. :-)