Monday, April 6, 2009

Down in the Dumps

It was first draft drivel. I should have known better. But I did it anyway.

I went to a workshop over the weekend in Houma, Louisiana. Overall, I had a good time. Really didn't do much but sit back and listen to other writers talk about the business. But it was more entertaining than watching gulf or ladies basketball.

Now, you're asking why I'm down in the dumps, right?

The organizers of the workshop asked for the first page of a WIP. I've just started one and it's really in the "just write until you get the feel for the story" stage. I should have known better than to hand over that page. I was setting myself up for a reality slap. And I got it.

Molly Bolden (co-owner of Bent Pages book store), Cherry Adair (author), and Betsy Mitchell (editor-in-chief of Del Rey: Science Fiction/Fantasy) were the panel. Tina Callais read the entries, so no one knew whose were whose, thank God. As she went along she noticed time was running out so she decided to just read one or two paragraph from the pages at the end. Yes, mine was at the end. Would they have liked it better if they'd heard the whole page? Doubt it.

The point, boys and girls, is this. Don't, DON'T let anyone have a WIP page. It's not representative of your finished work.

Another thing that bothers me. Not all the entries were read because they ran out of time. Those whose work didn't get read had to have been disappointed. Maybe next time put enough time aside to get to them all. I won't enter again unless I have a decent page to offer. But if I do, I'd feel a bit disenchanted if it went unread. Even if it left me Down in the Dumps.

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