Sunday, November 06, 2005

Still not king yet, part III

Well, the list of winners is up. I'm runner-up. Does this mean they don't do podium places? I'm not second or third, I'm just a runner-up. I'm being picky here. Runner-up sounds like also-ran. Didn't final in the Unsinkable category either, only got one perfect score, not two. Oh yeah, my scoresheets came through. 93 & 95 for the first round, 98 & 86 for the second. That's out of 100. Still amazes me how one judge can give it an almost perfect score (people use condoms every day and they're only like 97% effective. 98% looks pretty good to me) and one can find stuff to pick at.

Although I have to say the judges here were sensible. I got the same entry back from one contest (and I actually can't remember which one) and the judge had said things like, "I found it hard to know which of the guys she was going to end up with. Is Luke a good or a bad guy? You should make this clearer." Perhaps she'd missed the definition of 'mystery'. Also she told me there were too many secondary characters (thus leading to her confusion over which of the men Sophie barely knew in the first thirty pages was going to be the love of her life by the end of three hundred pages) and I should take them all out. I shouldn't mention Sophie's colleagues, her friends, the passengers at the airport, or her family.

(One day I'll write the book she wants, and it will go like this: Sophie sees a man with shifty looking eyes and a beard, holding a gun. "Oh no," she cries, "that's Shifty McMurder! He's going to kill us all! I must call Luke, my burly protector, and he will save the day because he's a Good Guy!" Sophie screams, Luke bursts in with an even bigger gun, snarls something like, "I'm taking out the trash," and shoots Shifty while Sophie stands by thinking pitying thoughts about the blackness of Shifty's heart. Then she and Luke make out, and probably get married or something. Have a few kids. And a dog. If you ever see this book on a shelf, burn it. And kill me. No, kill the contest judge.)

Oh, and while we're on the subject of the airport, I finally had a judge who thought it was a great setting and was interested in the details of Sophie's job. Finally! I was actually told explicitly by one person that the airport wasn't a good setting, as people think of them as transitory places and don't really like them. Well, no, they don't (flight delays will do that to a person), but there are plenty of books set in France, and everyone hates the French. Possibly I'm horribly wrong in thinking that a person who sees the ins and outs of a London airport might be an interesting character, and that the many and varied people, as passengers and professionals, criminals and law-enforcers, might be further interesting characters.

But since no one reads books about such things, then they must be unpopular (no one reads them because no one publishes them, and no one publishes them because 'no one reads them'). It's like the one about why romance heroes aren't allowed to be rock stars or actors. People don't want to read about them. Which explains why MTV is the most unwatched channel across the globe.

In case you can't tell, I'm being sarcastic. I'm done now. I don't actually care about it any more. Either I can believe people who tell me my book is rubbish, and stop trying to get it published, in which case it will never see the light of day. Or I can ignore them and try anyway, and then it might get published. And might is better than not, right?

I'm going to go and eat some crisps.


  1. It will be published! Think positively. This is the exact reason I don't do contests. It's so subjective and there's always somebody that just doesn't get it! *sheesh*

    New concept, make the herione end up with the villian! WOOT!

  2. That's coming in book eight >:)

  3. K8, now you see why I'm entering a contest that doesn't provide feedback, just numbers (the Golden Heart). I'm of the opinion that some contest judges have an ax to grind and also are severly-myopic.

  4. Angie the Hippo10:52 pm

    Hi! I love mysteries where you don't know who the heroine will end up with, because you don't know if he really is a good guy! That's just part of the fun reading a novel like that, trying to figure out the characters.

  5. Oh yeah, I'd totally read your Shifty McMurderer book, K8! (Only to thorougly trounce and mock it on my own blog, naturally.) My favorite contest comments came from a judge who underlined certain passages all over the place and didn't write ONE comment to say WHY she underlined them--good? bad? I had no way of knowing. And I got a medium-ish score so that didn't tip me off either. Alas, no more contests for me. I'm too busy being published.

    Booyah! Take THAT, you bitchy judge!

  6. Oh, and I'm not doing the Golden Heart again this year--it broke my heart last year. I missed finaling by, are you ready for this? One one-hundredth of a point! Yeah, you can't make crap like that up.

    Oh well. About the time I was going to get depressed during the GH awards in Reno, K8 was snarking the presenters hard and when I turned to listen better, we konked our heads together and it made a sound like two coconuts bonking. Totally frickin' hilarious. HA!!!

  7. Coconuts bonk? Well, I suppose baby coconuts have to come from somewhere...