I just received an e-mail from the good folks from the 3 Day Novel Contest and it's sad news for our friend, Mr. Beynon. Although Patriot was a great effort and a very good story, it didn't catch the eye of the judges.
Last year, when The Platinum Ticket failed to be short listed I was admittedly crestfallen. I was very pleased with The Platinum Ticket and could not believe that it had been overlooked. I went through a lot of negative self-talk (as the therapists like to call it) and questioned whether it was just a big waste of time and effort. I thought I couldn't write - that nobody would ever be interested in what I had to say. I was a useless hack. I was frustrated and angry and foul.
Today? Well, I'm disappointed. I had hoped that Patriot would resonate with the judges at least enough to earn a spot on the short list but I have come to realize that you can't second guess these things. Everything hinges on the first reading. If the initial judge likes what you've done, your effort will graduate to another reader, but if you happen to write sci-fi and the initial reader likes- let's say- mysteries and can't stand sci-fi - well, your fate is sealed. This year my main character was a deposed Paraguayan dictator who had ordered the deaths of 62,000 people. If you can't see past that and get in touch with his warm and cuddly side, then you're unlikely to see Patriot for the feel good story it is...
What's next? Easy - now that the judging is done, Patriot can easily be fleshed out to novel length. I also intend to finish fleshing out The Platinum Ticket in the next little while and with the meticulous pick through of Loremaster, there will be three novels looking for a home in 2008 - I just hope Canada Post doesn't plan to hike their postage rates.