I sent a selection of stories that I've written to two of my friends for their opinion. They are both keen readers and they have each been a source of advice and inspiration in their own way over the years. I trust them and value their honesty. Even so, it was a bit of a 'gulp - here goes' moment when I posted the envelopes.
Well, the results are in and I know what I have to do to improve what I've written. What I found interesting was that while Reader 1 gave me some honest feedback on the actual writing from a technical perspective, Reader 2 had a much more emotional response. As a result, while there was a clear favourite with both of them (the same story), the ones they didn't like so much were different. On these grounds it gives me comfort that the reason I have varied success in competitions is not always because what I'd submitted wasn't any good: it could just be that it wasn't to the judge's taste.
This week's task is to rework as necessary. I was going to publish on Kindle again. However, I had an email from Amazon this afternoon informing me that the email address linked to my account has been changed. Not by me it hasn't! Amazon has frozen my account while this is investigated, which is reassuring, but not a little annoying. I just hope the rogue who has invaded hasn't ordered anything embarrassing in my name.
Having judged a few competitions, I absolutely agree that once you've eliminated stories with wooden characters, sloppy writing and no story arc, the final choices from a short list are subjective. In a recent competition, I gave the final three to my family to read (I'd already chosen the winner) and all came up with different choices!ReplyDelete
I've been a judge, too, and you're right: whatever you pick someone will say to chose the wrong one.Delete