Sunday, 31 October 2010
You be the judge: my intense experience of judging a writing competition
I thought, 'This can't be too hard' but I was wrong. What an intense experience. I did an initial read of the three entries allocated to me, jotting down comments along the way.
Of course, being a vainglorious would-be 'author', I initially compared the entries to my latest WIP and wondered why my work wasn't screaming up the bestseller list (maybe I need to finish a book first). The entries didn't come close to matching the literary genius of my brilliant work in progress!
But hang on! The memories of the negative feedback I'd recieved from comps entered over the past five years flooded back. I hesitantly opened my competitions folder and leafed through the judges comments on my MS, now in the drawer never to be opened.
Here's what one judge wrote: "The story has potential and it began well. I didn't care for the deck-hand bit (that kind of misunderstanding has been done to death). The hero came across as uncouth with his comment about the boat and totally unkind comment about her financial status. The whole scene between hero and heroine seemed contrived to generate a motiveless (to me) conflict."
Ouch. I can't tell you how much I loved my opening scene on the yacht until this judge slammed it onto the pavement and ground it to a pulp with the heel of her boot.
IN THE DRAWER CRUMMY SCENE! I HAVE NO TALENT! I'M A LOSER!
That judge gave me 37 out of a possible 63.
However, the two other judges awarded me 56 and 52, with the 56 judge commenting: "Setting, heroine setup is good, GMC is very solid for heroine."
OUT OF THE DRAWER AWARD-WINNING SCENE! MY MS IS BRILLIANT! I'M A STAR!