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Glen Cook
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Absence and Writing

So, I've been gone a week or two, mostly because of a really hectic week that never seemed to end. Nothing bad, just extraordinarily busy.


Though on that note, I did enter a few writing contests. Mostly "unofficial" stuff, like groups of a couple hundred people. Most of the time there was a panel of judges, sometimes there was just a few. A lot of different genre's -- and I wrote a new story for each one, of course.

I don't like to say I "won" at writing or anything, because writing is extremely subjective -- most of us as reviewers know that through and through. One book might appeal to us, but that book won't appeal to someone else, and vice versa. But I suppose I took "first place" in the contests I did enter. Right now, I'm 9 or 10 out of a grand total for the past year.

Personally, not that I think the judges have bad taste or anything, but I found SO many flaws in the things I wrote. Cliche moments that I fell into, a lot of excess writing that could've been condensed or cut out entirely. There's a lot you can only really learn after finishing something, through trial and error, or just plain saying "I need to stop editing this and looking for mistakes -- let me just see what other people think."

---- And there was some AMAZING work that got submitted. I mean, absolutely phenomenal work -- an entire class better than some of the self-published stuff I've read recently.

There were SO many exceptional writers that I saw. In particular, there was this person, Carrie ( just using her first name, for obvious reasons ), who is just ... beyond amazing. I would have gladly bought her books in a store, if that one entry of hers was the same quality as everything she did. She designed and drew her own covers that looked like they had come out of one of the Big 5 Publishers ( ...is that term still accurate? I don't know anymore. ) Her stories were engaging, well paced, and didn't have obscene amounts of purple prose that was rampant in some of those contests.

Yeah, it was a real eye opener. Learned a looot of things I had never even thought of. Makes me wonder if I should go to writing conventions or something.


Also: editing.

Doing a thirty page short story and editing it is pretty simple. Editing a four hundred page contest entry is a whole new monster of sleepless nights. Even for just contest entries, I was not about to let something go unedited, even if I had to do it myself. Which, in hindsight, it's always better to have a fresh pair of eyes take a look at things, 'cuz a writer seems to miss their own errors sometimes. Their mind kind of inserts what SHOULD be, rather than what is. I know I'm guilty of it. x_x

But, just a general update on writing and how things were the last week or two. Hope everyone had an amazing July. ^.^

PS: One of the entries I did had a deluxe feature of robots, androids, and cyborgs. Yes, all three. And yes, all three are different ( at least, as far as I'm concerned.)