Wednesday, March 21, 2012

ABNA Results: Not This Time

The results are out for the Quarter Finalists in the ABNA and my name is not on the list. Sure I am a little bummed. Wouldn't be normal if I wasn't but on the whole I feel ok. In fact I feel pretty good considering. I know BLEEKER AVENUE wasn't ready (especially the first few chapters). I had only finished the book two weeks before the deadline for the competition. There had been no extensive editing done. This was pointed out in the Vine Reviews.

Every contestant who made it through the first cut got two reviews of their 5,000 word excerpt. These reviews were a little hard to swallow. It is difficult to read criticisms of your work. Any writer will back me up on that. The reviews I got were harsh but I can't fault them. My reviewers took the time to really look at what I had written and didn't completely slate me. Although, one of them did think this particular excerpt was intended for Woman's Weekly! I need to do a lot of revision.

It may seem odd but rejection spurs me on. My novel has only been rejected twice (both of those times were competitions) but I'm sure once I start shopping agents and publishers I'll be getting a lot more. My mantra is "What doesn't kill my writing can only make it stronger." BLEEKER AVENUE took a beating but it will come back stronger thanks to my reviewers.

My favourite part of the reviews:

What is the strongest aspect of this excerpt?

The pitch for this story promises an interesting time-travel story; that's a common theme but there seem to be new aspects that will provide freshness and novelty.

The excerpt itself contains a most interesting lead character, and the first-person narration is a good choice on the part of the author, making the story more immediate and building our interest in the protagonist. I also liked the general pacing.



Good luck to everyone who made it through to the Quarter Finals.

5 comments:

  1. Sorry about not passing! That review definitely sounds, though, like you have something to work with. My drafts that are finally about ready for prime time have numbers on them in the teens, which may sound discouraging, but it isn't--work keeps improving if you keep working at it. Find a few people to exchange with--their feedback helps, but so does reading other people's early drafts--it teaches you to spot what works and doesn't in your own stuff. Good luck carrying on!

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    1. Thanks Hart. I'm lucky as I have someone to bounce my MS and ideas off. I'd be lost without her and as a writer herself I'm even learning while editing her MS :)

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  2. Sorry that you didn't make it any further! But it's still a great feat to have made it past the 4,000 pitches that got cut! And I'm glad that you can take something out of the reviews to improve. That really shows your willingness to not give up. When I got through last year, my reviews were very harsh and it upset me, though after a very thorough edit I think I've fixed everything that was wrong with it. Keep on writing! :)

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    1. Thanks Krista :) Love the Sunshine Award!

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  3. And by the way, I have an award for you over at my blog! :)

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