The other night I decided to brave putting my three year old and twenty month old to bed together. I figured they'd play, etc. Ten minutes later I heard the three year old crying. I ran in and found him standing by the side of his little brother's crib, crying his little heart out. I scooped him up and asked what was wrong.
Sniffling, voice quavering, he said, "Sean's throwing toys at me."
The poor thing! I pulled him close and gave him lots of kisses, but I couldn't help but giggle too.
Nate could have moved at any time to avoid toy bombs. Instead of taking stock of his situation and making the logical choice to step away from the crib, he stayed and got pelted. Repeatedly.
This reminded me of some contest entries I'm going through for a previous manuscript which was rejected largely for characterization issues.
Before I'd ever subbed the manuscript, I had the judged scores. Little toy missiles aimed my way. As I went through these scoresheets the other day, I felt like slapping myself in the forehead.
Over and over, the judges (of different contests) pointed out flaws in my characterization. Lack of motivation, lack of empathy for the hero, concern over not enough info.
This was something I could have fixed. I should have fixed. If only I'd seen it.
But like Nate, I didn't see the logical course at the time and in the end got konked in the head with a rejection.
I know some of you have entered contests. Some of you have finaled recently (woohoo Eileen and Jody!).
How do you plan on dealing with your comments? Do you have a certain way of figuring out what's sound advice and what's subjective?