The biggest lesson that I have learned from Authoress's latest contest is this:
That was a big one. I had what I considered a really good scene, but when you submit 250 words, it only shows an itty bitty part of that scene. So what did I do? Try and squeeze as much as I could into 250 words, editing down until I completely messed up the flow of the story. STUPID! Note to self...don't do that again!
Since I have now stopped banging my head on the desk, I will also add that I learned more from the contest, as I usually do. You can really tell the difference between people who crit your work by what they read and/or write.
The comments from those unfamiliar with Historical Romance really made some false assumptions based on a "preconceived notion" that characters and plots were all the same. They aren't...just like with any other genre, they vary according to the writer. I had one comment that stated:
"Why is it that half of the historical fiction out there focuses on a girl behaving unseemly? The men are wealthy, rakish, and handsome and all the girls just dying to kick their knickers off."
Now, while I appreciate the time this writer spent to read and give me feedback, it's hard for me to understand how he/she could make that assumption. If a girl crawling around a garden, at her OWN home, trying to repair damage that she inadvertently caused by a practical joke gone awry, means that she is "dying to kick off her knickers", I missed something. Of course the men are handsome and rakish...it's a romance novel! Wealthy? Not my guy...another wrong assumption. They shouldn't be PERFECT!
I don't want to appear ungrateful, because I love feedback, even when I don't agree with it. It makes me look at the writing to see how that assumption could be made if it's inaccurate. On the same token, I'm not going to sweat it if a few people don't "get it" or flat out don't like the work. ***Not everyone will think I am the creative genius that I claim to be!
So back to revisions again! Another benefit from these contests...MOTIVATION!
***If you didn't receive the email, newspaper clipping, or see the billboard by the highway...SORRY! I will tell you now...I am freaking brilliant! (j/k)