For the last 12 weeks I’ve been participating in the Speculative Fiction Forum’s Summer Marathon over at AQC, it ran from early June to late August. The rules: post your work, no first drafts allowed. Critique one or two other peoples work. Post on Monday. Critiques start on Tuesday through Saturday. If your chapter got more yes votes than no votes you could post your next chapter the following week. If you received more no votes than yes votes, go back, fix things, and repost your chapter.
I think there was only one marathoner who was able to post 12 chapters. I may invite her to be a guest on my blog, but I digress.
I was able to post five chapters. To be fair I did sit out two weeks (not consecutive) to work on my chapters due to the no votes and I wanted to get a yes vote. I at least got a pass after I had to do reworks.
It was great to have peers evaluate my work. They found many things that needed work. (Obviously, with only five chapters in the marathon!)
The last week of the Marathon ended Saturday. Now it is over.
I’ll miss having critiques on my chapter each week.
I’ll miss reading and critiquing the other stories. There are several I really enjoyed. (I’ll have to contact those authors and volunteer to be a beta reader for them!)
I’ll miss posting a chapter.
I’ll miss all the banter about things in the forum.
What I am taking away is a huge reality check. I entered the marathon thinking my work was stellar and ready for publication. Alas, that was not to be the case.
I received several good comments on the book. The story is sound. I learned as a writer, I have a lot of work to do. That is a hard pill to swallow. Yet, if I am to be successful, I must continue. The book will not be published if I give up.
I am guest blogging this week on Moonshade’s blog. I’ll edit this and put the link up when she posts, because I give some advice on this point in that blog post.
Suffice it to say story first. There will always be set backs in life. It is how we deal with those setbacks that will determine if we succeed and achieve our goals or if we throw in the towel and quit.
I learned a lot on how to be a better critique in the marathon. I learned that writing is tough. I knew it was, but I learned I’m not as good as I thought I was. That can change, with a lot of work. I want to see my work published, I’ll have to take what I learned and apply it. I may not be ready to query an agent yet, my work isn’t ready, yet. But it will be…