Writing Wrongs

October 12, 2006

So. Letís hear it for automatic discrepancy judging. Because, truly, Iíd be nowhere today without it. Certainly not a Golden Pen finalist. The Golden Pen sends back the electronic entry so you can read the judgesí comments and revise (if youíre so inclined) before sending in the final copy for editor judging.

So, my scores were, of 99 total points: 95.5, 92, and 67.

Nice. I have a knack for opening the low scoring entry first, too. The first thing I saw was that big 67 and I wondered how the heck I made the finals.

I also received the matrix for the category I judged. One of the entries I scored very high wouldnít have made it without the lowest score being dropped.

Letís hear it for automatic discrepancy judging.

All three judges helped crystallize some things for me. When I entered both the Golden Pen and the Golden Rose, what I really wanted to know was what people were seeing and what they werenít in the story. I have some nifty ideas for revisions, an extra emotional layer for the entire story.

And Iím in a good spot for that, since Iím starting the fifth edit. I donít always take suggestions verbatim. Some people get upset with this; some donít. In fact, I get nervous when I toss something out there for someone to consider and they do use it verbatim. I think as readers, we can pick up on the symptoms of a problem, but end up suggesting an incorrect diagnosis.

I gave some serious thought to what the 67 judge had to say. I came to the conclusion that it was a matter story structure, since she gave me an example of how it could be structured.

Itís a very popular construct. But honestly? Each time I pick up a book and read the back copy, if it resembles that construct, back on the shelf it goes.

So, 67 judge gave me a 4 of 10 on my story synopsis. On the flipside, the high-scoring judge gave me a 10 and raved about it. But I still pondered for a long, long time, since I didnít want to totally miss the storytelling boat. It came down to if I donít want to read it, I certainly donít want to write it.

And thatís where Iím at. Iíll probably be a bit scarce online since we have football (in possible snow!) and puppy visits to make. Plus a revised partial I need to get into mail by Monday.

But Iím excited, which is a good place to be when youíre starting a fifth revision.

Charity Tahmaseb wrote at 1:00 p.m.