Skip to main content

You Never Fail Until You Stop Trying



Back in December, I learned about an unpublished novel contest that assessed the following criteria: characterization, setting, plot, dialogue, voice and writing skill.  In addition to all this, the MS would receive feedback from the judges. Not a bad deal, right?

 Although my draft was far from complete, I decided to enter it anyway, reasoning that the critique would identify areas of weakness in my writing.  Well, needless to say, I finally heard back last week.  The first forty pages of my draft were returned with the following letter attached:

  The judges had mixed reactions to this particular manuscript, with some feeling it was well-    paced and another saying there was not enough plot movement! One questioned whether the dialogue fit the time/ year/culture, while others felt it did. They all agreed on liking the expository details and descriptions, but  wondered where the story was going.  Consider beginning with a scene that hooks the reader with  compelling action and a clear sense of what the protagonist wants.  

It was difficult, but I tried to look at the bright side.  The judges didn't criticize my characters or my writing, and the overall feedback was very constructive.  Since the dialogue had previously been brought to my attention and I'd already corrected the problems, I overlooked that area of the comments and took the rest to heart.Once my third draft is completed (four more chapters to go), I will then make the recommended  changes during the editing phase.

I realize it was a gutsy move to submit an incomplete MS, but in this case it worked out for the best.  I now know where to focus my attention. Yet, despite all the positives that came from my decision, I still have a hard time keeping insecurities at bay. Some small part of me questions whether I'm good enough.
 Intellectually, I know this kind of thinking is counterproductive, but shaking off negativity is easier said than done.

Not to worry, I'm not going to throw in the towel.  That would be crazy after  four long years of toiling over my book. I'll finish the game. After all, you only fail with you stop trying,  I just think it would  be easier to move forward if I didn't have to deal with these moments of insecurity.  Do any of you ever feel this way?  If so, how do you shake it?   Until next time, happy writing.


Popular posts from this blog

Opinions Pleaaaaaase!!!!!

Hello All,

I recently began a new WIP.  Although I'm happy with my outline, I've struggled with the beginning. This said, I wrote two opening paragraphs. Both lead to the same place, but they take a very different paths to get there. I just can't decide which one I like better.  If you have a minute or two, I'd  appreciate it if you'd give your opinion. Which paragraph would keep you reading?  Also, please be mindful that these are very raw first drafts.  I'd be happy to return the favor anytime.  Thanks in advance for your help.

Opening #1A cold chill broke across my arms when he entered the room. It happened every time I saw him. By now you'd think I'd be used to him Yet, here I sat, dreading his very presence. You see, to everyone else he was a man of flesh and blood. A man who devoted his life to treating the sick.  To me, he was Doom—bringing false hope to the incurable—deliverer of tragedy, ready to do his worst.  My dad and I had been confronted…

Feeling Vulnerable

It's time for another installment of the ISWG, hosted byAlex J. Cavanaugh. To learn more about this wonderful group, click on the preceding link.


I've posted my novel PAWN OF THE GODS on Kindle Scout, a publishing program ran by Amazon. It allows unpublished authors to post their work for thirty days. During that time, readers log on, read the excerpt (or not) and if they like what they see, they nominate the author for publication. At the end of the campaign, the nominations are tallied and the board votes on which books to publish. 

PAWN OF THE GODS has been up for a little over a week.  It was on the Hot and Trending list for nineteen hours, and more than one thousand seven-hundred visitors have viewed my excerpt.  All good stuff right? If that's true, why the hell am I so insecure? I suppose it's because I'm putting myself out there. It's tough to do, especially with such stiff competition. 

This said, if any of you are interested, I posted my link below.  If …

Andrea Franco-Cook's New Release PAWN OF THE GODS

Hello all,
I just wanted to announce the launch of my debut novel PAWN OF THE GODS. It's published for free on Amazon Kindle until May 22.  After that, it will go on sale for $3.99. PAWN OF THE GODS




Book Summary
According to Mayan prophecy the gods of the underworld will declare war on man. Their undoing however, lies hidden deep in the Yucatan in 1572, when a winged entrusted a celestial weapon to a Spanish Conquistador for safe keeping.
Five hundred years later, the winged god reveals himself to Soledad Mendoza, detailing how she is tied to the conquistador, and the impending war. But the young English professor is unsure of herself. Out of shape and a lonely widow at thirty, her predilection for scotch makes her more suited to join a twelve-step program, than become a hero.
Unfortunately, Soledad is forced into action when she learns her family friend, Senator Earl Edmondson has ties to the conquistador and the weapon, ties that could either harm or help her.
A pawn caught in a dan…