ranting about THAT again? the "get a life" edition.

Forget envy. For the week ahead, the featured sin will be wroth, which is a wonderful word. Wrath is pretty, wroth is just elegant and a good old word, too. Love the writhing factor.

From Merriam-Webster
Etymology: Middle English, from Old English wrāth; akin to Old High German reid twisted, Old English wrīthan to writhe
Date: before 12th century: intensely angry : highly incensed : wrathful

WROTH entry number one:

Do you know what I bloody HATE? Writing contests, as in contests for writers. I already mentioned the fact that I entered the Suzannah (opened to pubs!) and got rotten scores, including 45 out of 115. That means that the judge gave me many, many, many ones. She only gave me two fives and both of those were for having a neat manuscript. The rest? Mostly ones (on a scale of 1-5) with a few 2s.

Low scores don't set off the wrath. Yo, I think no one gave me over 78 for either of the two manuscripts I entered--no, I really don't know what I was thinking, either--and the remarks were mostly useless to me (some good catches, of course).

But excuse me? WTF is the point of that all bottom scores, all the time scoring? What's with laying into a fellow writer like that? Unless I'd written something that was so rotten she couldn't understand the action, something that had been run through babelfish twice, why give that sort of score? And I got the impression from her comments that if she could, she would have given me zeroes.

And also. It's time to face the truth about how much I hate most competition. Living in a house of boys/men, it's a given that competition can, and will, take place. Who can eat fastest. Who can belch loudest. But that's a kind of creative contest. This was a dreary attempt to try for something. Was it to get in front of the judges? Huh, I doubt it. I can write letters on my own.

Why did I enter? I can no longer recall. I guess I missed the days when I could shovel manuscripts into contests. I guess** I forgot about how just before it sold, Somebody Wonderful got the lowest score in an entire contest. I mean the lowest score in every category--historical, contemporary, etc. Let me just repeat myself redundantly: It. Got. The. Lowest. Score in the Entire. Goddamn. Contest. That judge, also published, said things like the setting was horribly unromantic.

I got these scores back a few weeks ago, and thought, okay, I can read that one set of scores without going ballistic.

Nope, can't.

I think maybe it's the money that creates much of my wrothy-rantish response--the "you can't write your way out of a damp paperbag," doesn't set me off--at least not for long. It can't, after all this time in the world of putting my stuff out there. I'd keel over or quit by now.

BUT, yo, I paid for that?

Also, hey, since I'm on a wrothful fit, what is with me still giving a damn about this contest--or rather, giving a damn about it again? First time I looked at it, my friend had just died which meant I had some perspective about what's important in the world. Now I'm still in mourning, but can overreact to stupid stuff. Back to business as usual.

Seriously. I'm putting energy into ranting about this when I could be wailing and moaning about real rejections? Or maybe using the great entries at Bams to make my next author persona? Or maybe finishing the book that got a 45?


To sum up.

At the moment, I'm judging the RITAs and the GH and soon I will be judging/coordinating something or another in our fundraising local contest, but I swear, this is it.

I'm over you, contests.

I'm through foisting my random opinions on other people. And forget any more random opinions by people who aren't in a position to buy my manuscript and/or know less about writing a good story than I do. Yes, it's true: I know about writing! I know how to write stories!

Don't make me pay to have you tell me otherwise. (errm, you get the point of that sentence right? Or should I run it through the translator again?) You have to be a reviewer or buy my book if you want to give me that amount of crap. Or whoops--forgot! Editors, agents and crit partners I trust may also lay on the hypercritical shit. Seriously, with a list like that who needs to depend upon the cruelty of strangers?

Next up...sometime today I think, the bio.

I better write something else for this blog. This entry is repetitive and dull and could use some major polishing [2 out of 5 overall--because I never, ever give ones.] but, by god, I'm not going to bother, so I want to send it down the page ASAP. Just had to get it out of my system.

** yo, judges scoring this entry. The repetition of a phrase at the start of two consecutive sentences can be intentional. It's even a rhetorical tool for argument. anaphora?


  1. Anonymous1:09 PM

    OK - two can play at this game.
    I paid RT for a review and got a freaking ONE.
    The reviewer didn't get the first person POV. She couldn't understand why she couldn't get the hero's POV too.
    Hello? Maybe it was give the first grader a chance to review week at RT.
    I was quite wroth, believe me. This business is hard enough as it is.
    That said, nothing better than tearing a bad book (or movie or movie star's drunken antics) apart.


  2. Love the footnote!

    OK, I love the rant too, but the foot note sent me over the edge from just grinning quietly in my seat to full on laughter.

    (My mother had an Ancient Greek professor who was discussing some Medieval monk's edit on an ancient text. This monk had deleted all consecutive repetitions as transcription errors. Which made the professor say, "No one would ever, ever, EVER, repeat himself for emphasis. Never, never, never." Became something of a catch phrase in the house growing up.)

  3. I love your rants Kate.

  4. Yup, that footnote rocks. Must look up 'anaphora' -- that's a new one on me.

    Know what caught my eye this morning? From The Idiot's Guide to Getting Girls, chapter three:

    "The first impression that you make on a woman is very important because it will be the lasting im-pression of what she assesses about you."

    Huh? And I love that "im-pression" made it past the galley.

    But this tweaked me:

    "Now that you have dressed the part, it is time to approach a woman in which you are interested."

    In which? Like she's, what, a car? Did "in whom" sound too hoity-toity to the author or her editors? Jeez.

  5. Anonymous11:57 AM

    Horrible editing.
    How about - "...approach the woman who interests you."

    Sam - being nit-picky today

  6. Hmm. I've been told my settings are unromantic, too. (A convenience store, a shabby basement apartment, a highway rest stop, a small town bank.) Perhaps our problem is that we're writing stories about close-to-life characters for judges who read and write only Harlequin Presents?

    Not that there's anything wrong with Harl Presents. But the settings do tend to be bigger than life. Along with the characters. (The Greek Tycoon's Virgin Mistress, set on a yacht in the Aegean...know what I mean?)

    Anyway. No more contests for me, either.


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