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Hardest part about finding physical reader for you?

Mad Swede

Maester
The main reason for my posting this question was, recently I entered a short story writing contest where they stated that all themes and genres were open. Long story short, I didn't make it top 10. And I'm not saying this in defense or because I think my submitted work was splendid or anything of the sort, but the feedback I receive from the judges were just, "We don't really understand the piece.". Which was, you know, after paying for the entry fees and everything, was pretty frustrating to say the least. But I understand that its obviously going to be a long road and I'm sure to face a lot of negativity in the future. So thanks, guys, your comments encourage me a lot.

And, I know I'm probably going to have to work and save some money before I could afford one but, how does one go about finding an editor?

Also, with all due respect, saying The Lord of the Rings is romance just because it had one is almost an insult, I think. Lol.
Yes, that sort of response is not terribly helpful. But at least you got a reason, quite often you won't even get that. I think that perhaps you should put that short piece here on the site and ask for some constructive criticism. All I can say is that writing takes practice. Sometimes you get lucky and someone likes it enough to want to publish it.

As for finding an editor, have a read through those threads on the Publishing section of this site. Yes, a good editor costs money, but if you get picked up by a publisher they'll do the paying.

As for the Lord of the Rings not being romance I would, with all due respect, suggest reading up about story structure, story beats and genre conventions. Now that I know a bit more about structure and beats I understand why she made that point.
 
In a way I agree with Mad Swede . Not that LotR is a romance (it's not in my opinion, even though a secondary character has a romance story line). But that genre is flexible and about coloring in the beats. For instance, a buddy-cop movie has exactly the same structure as many (enemy to lovers) romance stories. Start of with 2 people who don't get along. They have ups and downs as they get closer, then they have a big falling out near the end which they resolve and they save the day.

It's a bit like all Marvel movies are super-hero movies. They clearly all belong to that genre. However, they're also using very different story structures. You've got the traditional "hero's journey" movies (think superman, which is not Marvel, I know), but also heist movies, buddy-cop movies, underdog sports story movies and so on. The early ones at least used these very clear structures. They were still all superhero movies though.

As for why the focus is that much on genre. It's to do with marketing. It's very easy to market a clear epic fantasy novel. You "just" need to target fans of Lord of the Rings and Brandon Sanderson. It's a lot harder to target readers of an epic fantasy with romance and horror elements. In the end, all that genre is, is a marketing tool. It's the shelf in the bookstore you put a novel on.
 
The main reason for my posting this question was, recently I entered a short story writing contest where they stated that all themes and genres were open. Long story short, I didn't make it top 10. And I'm not saying this in defense or because I think my submitted work was splendid or anything of the sort, but the feedback I receive from the judges were just, "We don't really understand the piece.". Which was, you know, after paying for the entry fees and everything, was pretty frustrating to say the least. But I understand that its obviously going to be a long road and I'm sure to face a lot of negativity in the future. So thanks, guys, your comments encourage me a lot.
It could just be that they don't read your genre. The problem with a writing contest that broad is that you can easily end up with readers who have no idea about fantasy and just don't get it. Especially in short stories, where you lean more heavily on tropes and ideas common in your genre because you don't have the words to explain everything.

Of course, it could also be that your writing needs work. It's hard to judge without seeing it. The thing to keep in mind is that writing is a skill, which takes time to learn. Just like playing an instrument. When you first sit down behind a piano, you will not sound like a professional pianist. The same goes for writing.
 
As Mad Swede suggests I'm thinking of posting that short story on the Critique Request page. Its about 5500 words, I sincerely hope all those who comment here will take their precious time to read and critique it. Please don't be afraid to be harsh on your feedback. I'm a big boy, I can take it. Heh heh. I need your HONEST opinions, guys.
 
I think I will just stop there. Maybe if the story was posted somewhere, someone could say what the judges left out.
I will post it on critique request. I would mighty appreciate it if you read it. And please be honest about what your thoughts are.
 
It could just be that they don't read your genre. The problem with a writing contest that broad is that you can easily end up with readers who have no idea about fantasy and just don't get it. Especially in short stories, where you lean more heavily on tropes and ideas common in your genre because you don't have the words to explain everything.

Of course, it could also be that your writing needs work. It's hard to judge without seeing it. The thing to keep in mind is that writing is a skill, which takes time to learn. Just like playing an instrument. When you first sit down behind a piano, you will not sound like a professional pianist. The same goes for writing.
Yes, that don't read it at all. I ask one of the judge what her favorite genre/books are and her answers were, 'Historical fiction drama, Jane Austen, John Green.' You know, that type of stuff. And when I ask her if any of them had read fantasy, one said, 'Yes, I've read Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instruments and Harry Potter.' Harry Potter, I respect, but The Mortal Instruments????? Sorry I know we are meant to be respectful to writers and their works here but my stuff are not YA by any means.

Yes, of course my writing needs work. I reckon I might be the youngest here and the most amateur writer on the forum. Sorry if it sounds like I'm whining here. I'm still learning here and will keep on learning.
 
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