Today I got my scoresheets from the last contest I entered with UCOD and FP. Now UCOD has won or finaled in 4 contests, so I know it's pretty good. I thought I was going to final again in this one, but I didn't. That was good because it keeps me humble and reminds me just how subjective this business is.
The good news was that FP isn't as bad as I thought it was. It actually did better point-wise than UCOD! The judges were very kind in their comments and suggestions. I wasn't sure all my ideas worked because I'm still always starting a story in a suspense frame of mind, but the judges assured me I can write contemporary!
This was just what I needed because I'm still struggling with FP as a whole novel (even though the first, second and third drafts have been done!). I desperately want this book to play out on paper as it does in my head, and now I think I'll have the courage to make it happen.
So to all of you out there who judge contests and give constructive criticism and encouraging words, thank you. You (along with my awesome CP) have helped me realize that I'm able to write in 2 genres and with persistence my contemporaries will be as awesome as my suspenses!