Okay, so now it’s official. I’m a contest winner. W-I-N-N-E-R! Not only that, but I’ve also placed second and third in several other writing contests. I think that confirms that I actually do know how to write. Maybe not on the same level as Stephen King or Linda Howard, but be patient, compared to them, I’m still in my infancy. They’ve each written a gazillion words, while I’m still shy of the million word barrier that I hear will magically transform my writing to the next level.
But I digress. As I was saying, I am now an award-winning author. Even so, I continue to enter contests because I know a good deal when I see one. I pay a small fee and I get a critique on my work. Problem is, I take every critique to heart…
My hero needs to appear sooner? Great. Let me rewrite the first fifty pages so that he and the heroine can get prone by chapter three. You say my hero doesn’t seem very likeable? Fine, I’ll give him a side gig where he visits cancer patients in the local hospice. What’s that, my heroine is too soft and sweet? Okay, let me give her an edge. What, she doesn’t seem to be as concerned about her kidnapped fiance as she should be? Okay, I’ll have her drown in a puddle of tears while she’s cursing the local police for not doing enough to find her man. Oh, you don’t believe her family could really be that crazy? FYI, mine is, but nevermind, I’ll tone down the antics so that you can relate. What’s that you say? Now they’re boring and I should cut them out of the story entirely? Aarrggghhh! Maybe I should just toss out the entire book and start over!
As much as I’ve enjoyed rewriting and revising until I can no longer feed myself because my fingers are permanently cramped into keyboard position, I have finally realized that I can’t please everybody. Not everyone gets it. But enough do that I can now get back to writing something new.