So I was on my way home from Iraq and I figured I’d go ahead and throw the manuscript into a contest. I mean, the book had gotten me an agent and it was in waaay worse shape then than it is now. What the hell, it couldn’t hurt, right?


Well, I just got those contest entries back today and, well, I got hammered. Badly. Like beaten soundly around the head neck and shoulders with a blunt object beaten. Which, of course, has me wondering what the hell is going on.

So, between the contest comments and the agent comments, I’ve got a problem, right?

You betcha.

Now what?

Well, I could sit in a corner and lick my wounds, whining about how everyone is being mean to me and it’s really a gem if only the right person would pick it up but I won’t. I’m also not inclined to dig into this manuscript right now, either. But I’m going to. I’m letting all these comments swirl around my brain and fester. I’ve got ideas of things I can change. Plot points, characters.

Basically, I’ve got my work cut out for me if I ever want to see this book in print.

I’ll be honest. I’m tired of the damn thing. I’ve been working on it for two years and I can’t tell you how many times I rewrote the thing in Iraq. So, the fatigue is an issue for me. I’m letting it sit for a while so that when I do finally dig back into it, I’ll be able to do so with a fresh perspective.

How do you take comments from contests? Do you send in to contests at all? Why or why not?