Contests–It’s all relative . . .
. . . or do I mean subjective?
I got scores back from RWA last week. (That’s Romance Writers of America.) I entered The Sound of Rain in the “Romance with Religious or Spiritual Elements” category.
Spoiler alert–my story didn’t win.
I tend to brace myself when I get scores. Having not even made the finals, I knew they weren’t going to give me the big head. There were five scores. (Which impresses me–that’s a lot of judges to wrangle and ensures a fairer contest.) The first four were downright respectable averaging out to 8.1 out of 10–not too shabby.
Then there was score #5. A big ole 3.7. Ouch. The reader indicated that she felt my book didn’t fit the category. Hmmmm. Too many religious elements? Or too few?
And that right there is the summary of this crazy, roller coaster ride of putting stories out for the world to read. There will usually be someone who ADORES what you write. And then there will be someone who can’t believe you had the audacity to put those words in print.
I’ve had reviewers upset because they didn’t realize I was writing a religious story. And others upset because they thought this was supposed to be Christian fiction.
One of my favorite reviews said that the writing was really good, but the story was terrible. She DID say I was a good writer . . . But my stories will never make everyone happy.
And that’s okay. It reminds me of those old commercials that said things like, “Four out of five dentists who chew gum recommend . . .” There was always that fifth dentist who probably preferred Black Jack chewing gum (licorice!) or who maybe didn’t chew gum at all.
So what’s my takeaway after receiving my scores? Hey, 80% of the readers enjoyed my story. I’d say that’s not too shabby. And reader #5? Well, I guess she’s not my target audience.