Tuesday, May 7, 2013
Writing Reality: No Matter How High You Climb, Someone Will Always Not Like It
Earlier this year, I entered a writing contest. The manuscript that I entered semi-finaled in the same contest last year. A year later I had an agent and (I thought) an even better manuscript.
Contests and I have a bit of a love/hate relationship. Mainly in that I seem to be one of those people who land judges who either love or hate my work. I've had results where there was more than 60 points between the highest and lowest scores. If you're looking for an ego boost, a writing contest is not the way to get one!
Between the contest closing and the first stage results coming out I've had some encouraging feedback from publishers on my manuscript. So I have to admit that I was beginning to feel like surely I had a pretty good chance of semi-finaling again!
Results came out today and, you guessed it, I didn't make the cut. However, I was in great company. Many talented writers that I know were on the list, but an equal number were not. Friends who also semi-finaled last year, who have finaled or won other contests, didn't make the cut either.
It was a great reality check. No matter how far you are along, no matter what success (or otherwise) you have had with publishers, agents or contests, there will always be people who don't like your writing. It's life!
In order to cheer myself up, I went and read some not-so-great reviews of books that I've recently read that I loved and couldn't believe anyone wouldn't. These are some excerpts:
Got kind of boring and decided I had had enough about half way through
I couldn't even read a quarter of this book. It was extremely boring. The story was lackluster and unappealing. It was hard to stick with.
This was simply a horrible book.
From the number of positive reviews this book has, I was fully expecting to enjoy it. And, it wasn't too bad for the first chapter. Unfortunately, it went downhill from there.
Ouch! At least my judges comments don't get made public, unlike they will be if I'm ever a published author :)
So let's chat. What books have you recently read that you loved but other people have slated in reviews? Or what is a book that seems to be universally accepted as "great" that just wasn't for you?
Kara Isaac lives in New Zealand where, when she's not chasing a toddler, she writes contemporary romance. She has recently survived the torture of having a professional take her photo as apparently her previous trick of cropping out other peoples' heads isn't ideal.
She is a contributing reviewer to Novel Crossing and can be found on Facebook and Twitter.
Posted by Kara Isaac