Writing Wrongs

February 04, 2005

I’ve been reading Golden Heart entries, but Andrew recommends The Wide Window for a book where “you get lost in the pages.” Apparently, he was so lost, he didn’t hear the end of book club time announced yesterday. And when he hits a word he doesn’t know? “Lemony Snicket just types in the meaning.”

In fact, he’s so close to the end of book three in the series that I’m going to hit the bookstore and pick up number four as a surprise for him today. Kyra’s been on a Pooh Bear kick, so something along those lines might find its way into my basket as well.

A bookstore is a very dangerous thing.

I did actually finish Lost in a Good Book. Okay, you don’t read a Thursday Next book for plot or character arc. You read for the fun and the extraordinary world building. I love the world building in these books so much that I could, quite literally, follow Thursday around on her adventures without there being any semblance of plot. I will say that there are some references readers just won’t get if they haven’t read The Eyre Affair, the first in the series.

Anyway, this leads into, sort of, my evaluation of Golden Heart entries. I love judging the Golden Heart because all I have to do is assign a number. I hate judging the Golden Heart because all I’m allowed to do is assign a number.

One of the most difficult types of entries to judge is one that is technically quite good, but the story just sort of lies there on the page. When this happens, I have to ponder a long, long time. Is it a “me” thing? I know if I went into a bookstore right now, I could find a tremendous number of stories that simply lie there on the page. But someone thought enough of them that they were published.

So what do I know? And one woman’s “lying there on the page” is another’s “chockfull of emotion thrill ride.” I’d hate to be that one judge, who by giving a slightly lower score, knocks an otherwise deserving manuscript from the finals. I’d hate to be that one judge who discourages the writer from trying.

Just because I can’t get lost in the pages doesn’t mean someone else can’t.

Charity Tahmaseb wrote at 12:50 p.m.

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