I am not a Genesis Semi-finalist and that’s okay.
Different judges view your work differently.
Why, of course, they do. (Duh! Slapping myself upside the head.) They’re people like anyone else.
That reminds me of an idea I had a few years ago. I had one of the characters in the book write my query letter. It went something like this:
I told Miss Sheila I would write this here query letter for her. Shucks, agents are just people—they put their britches on one leg at a time, less’n they’re one-legged.
Sure hope you ain’t one of them one-legged agents. Iffen you are, seeing as you’re one-legged, I reckon I can outrun you.
Some people just don’t have a sense of humor. Or perhaps my sense of humor is warped. Anyway, it didn’t garner me an agent. Not one with one or two legs. Perhaps I offended everyone. Perhaps I’m offending people now.
The thing is, you can’t please everyone. As Christians who write, our aim should be to please God. He gives the increase if we do his will.
I joined my first online critique group over fifteen years ago and guess what book was being critiqued? Thundersnow. I received conflicting advice right from the start.
One critique I remember said: “The mother is too mean.”
Guess what? I toned her down. Almost to the point that I lost my story.
Something I find difficult to understand—why do people think it’s unbelievable for mothers to humiliate and abuse their children? I see in the news a story about a mother withholding medication from her child. Unbelievable? Yet it happens.
A later critiquer told me, “Make Momma meaner. Up the ante.” While Momma is abusive, I’ve seen worse. This story is about Sarah Jane surviving that difficult situation.
Giving Momma back her meanness helped me regain my original story.
The thing is, as I’ve said, you can’t please everyone. Write your story the way you think is right.
And then worry about getting the right agent—be he one- or two-legged.
Just make sure he has a sense of humor.