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Status Update-Confidant with the direction I’m heading. Besides, it is beautiful weather here. Sun is shining and the normal spring wind is missing.

 

Yesterday, I finally received my feedback from the Pikes Peak Contest. It came in my email. My breath caught in my throat when I realized what it was and I stared at it for a few minutes before opening it. Last November, when I submitted my manuscript, I had just finished it. It hadn’t had time to percolate or time for revisions because I had to focus on my synopsis. And although I had thought about my synopsis for several weeks before, I still couldn’t figure out how to write it. It was my first synopsis and I could only use 1250 words to express my 78,000 word novel. I hated it, in fact if you remember I blogged about it being a sucknopsis and months later, my feelings haven’t changed. So there I was staring at that email and knowing that my sucknopsis still sucked and my grammar wasn’t the best it could be, but the real question for me was, what did they think of my story and my characters.

I took a couple of calming yoga breaths and opened the first attachment. I was pleasantly surprised, I scored a 91 out of 105. (Five points are for the judge to award if they feel it is an outstanding entry.) Yeah for me. The comments were helpful. The judged like both my protagonist and antagonist, but felt that I could flesh out more feelings from my protag, something that one of my beta readers said too. His comment on the last page of my first chapter was “Great action, I couldn’t stop reading.” I did an air fist pump and squealed with delight. One of my goals was to keep the reader interested in turning the page. So I checked that off my list.

Excited and on a happy high, I went on to the next review and on that one I received a 91, but with no comments. I scored lower on the synopsis like the last one, but the judge didn’t write anything. However, I was ecstatic that they both were in agreement. Although, I do wish that s/he had given one or two sentences about what they liked or didn’t.

Still happy, I opened the third document and glanced at my score….62. Er, say what? Thankfully, this judge provided feedback. It must have been an editor because I was hit hard on my grammatical errors and on places where the judge felt that my sentences were confusing. I read through the comments and I have to say that with the non-grammatical ones, I could see where s/he were coming from. In fact, last night I went through and corrected the ones that I hadn’t already fixed. However, when I read the comments about overall content, I was a little disappointed. S/he said that they didn’t feel my concept was “fresh enough to stand out.” And that “it reads too much like every other story of this genre I pick up.”  So, it reiterated something that I already knew, that this story isn’t going to be for everyone and that’s okay with me. People are different in a variety of ways. I’m not a fan of cozy mysteries and I feel that they all sound alike, with nothing fresh in them either and if I had to judge one, it would have to be something completely outside of the knitting, cooking, gardening and scrapbooking area. So I get it.

Even with the mixed feedback, I would enter another contest and probably will in the future. I think that it is invaluable and worth the money. What do you think?