Reflecting on the last couple of days, the phrase “First in, first out” came to mind. No, it’s not the motto of the Marines–which I thought when it first popped into my head. In fact, it’s not the motto of ANY armed forces unit. The closest I could find was the U.S. Army’s Pathfinders’ motto: “First in, last out,” which by the changing of that one word, gives the phrase a much different flavor. I didn’t even know there was something called a “pathfinder”–with the exception of a big SUV sort of vehicle. Not only do these Pathfinders have a motto, they have a logo, too:
It’s quite a nice logo that made me think of Mercury/Hermes, the Roman/Greek god who moved pretty quickly from place to place. The torch must be to “light the way.”
On Saturday morning, I could see a (metaphorical) path right in front of me. Looking at it, I could clearly discern the way: it was illuminated with thoughts of great success and future benefit.
So far as I could tell, I managed to be the very first contest entrant of everyone on the planet who might have wanted to throw a hat into the ring. With all my entry material at the ready, I kept refreshing the screen in the minutes leading up to the noon entry time. At 11:56, the submission page went “live.” I cut and paste with mental focus and digital dexterity; it happened so fast that after I hit “submit,” I wondered whether I should have reviewed the entry more carefully.
Starting on Saturday evening, the editors began going through their piles. In 140 characters or less, they tweeted out assessments.
For all three, I was the first to be reviewed. I think this was a good thing becasue I stood on my own merits and not in comparison to any other entrant. I would be regarded independent of and to the exclusion of all the others.
Here is the feedback:
From Editor #1: Q1 Upmarket.Query s/b big pic. Want to get invested with MCs b4 action, but comfy voice has me wanting to find out more. LIKE.
From Editor #2: Q1/A/Upmarket. Query is mired in logistics abt jobs, secondary characters, names. Aha–roadtrip! Great. Stakes??? (2/2) Pages lack voice. If we’re alternating POVs, I need super close 3rd or 1st. Needs more personality. PASS.
From Editor #3: Q1: A/Upmkt Like alt MCs & friendship. Title implies romance. Q gives away end. Missing hook & confl. Opening pgs need hook. NO
You don’t really need to know much more than “like,” “pass,” and “no” all mean the same thing: NO.
And that’s all right. I’m glad for two things:
- I tried and got some valuable feedback from those four tweets; and
- I came in first (with respect to entry order) and didn’t have to wait until next Saturday to learn “like,” “pass,” and “no.
This week I’m editing: not with a professional editor who “picked” me from the 100 writers who asked for help but alone with my own inner critic who really needs to be tougher on me.