The timing of yesterday’s events is somewhat ironic, I think. ACFW Genesis contest results were announced around noon, and for the first time in four years, I’m not a finalist. It’s the first year I haven’t entered in the speculative fiction category, which admittedly has fewer entries. Another difference is that very few Christian spec fic writers have been able to snag an agent, but many of the contestants in the other categories are agented. Some have manuscripts already sitting on editors’ desks awaiting decisions. The only criteria for entry to the contest is that the writer still be uncontracted.
Please don’t get me wrong. This is SO NOT a sour grapes post, merely an acknowledgment that there are extremely talented writers competing in the Genesis. Although I see many names I know on this list of winners, I am also aware of many names that aren’t on it. Names of others who’ve finaled in the past, perhaps even won their categories in previous years. The field of competitors is strong.
But what is the second thing that happened? I finished my edit round of Domino’s Game, book one in a projected four-book series. This story’s first 15 pages had been entered in the Genesis, and as of right now, I have no idea how well it did, other than that it wasn’t in the top five contemporary romances. It might have come in number six–or forty-six. I’ll have some clues when the judges’ scores come back in a few weeks.
There isn’t even the slightest temptation to ditch this novel and feel my time for the past seven months has been wasted. I believe in this story and in the concept as a whole. I have just as much drive (perhaps more, lol) to polish it up and get it ready for submission as I had before.
While the opening pages endured numerous crits before submitting to the contest, the full manuscript flew out of my email today for its first over-all critique. I value my crit partner’s eyes in seeking out weaknesses in the plot and voice so that I can hone it into a stronger story.
And now I can shift gears and work on another novel in the meanwhile. Clear my desk, clear my brain. Good times.