Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Got My ACFW Genesis Contest Scoresheets!

While I intend to send thank yous (like last year) to my judges, I did want to send a big bloggy thanks to the three who did the crits/judging on ARCHANGEL ARMS in the SF catgory. Your remarks matter to me.

Let me say that I was nervous about entering this baby. These 25 pages were put together the week or so before I submitted the entry. Yes, last minute. Yes, rushed. Yes, I didn't have time to get much critical feedback. And thank you to the lovely gals who did give me some feedback! Muah. And to Josh who saw the first four pages of the utterly rough-rough draft.

For a rush job, first draft, it did really well. My scores were in a close range: 90, 93, 95.

Like last year. I didn't have wide deviations in scores in 2006, either. I seem to put my judges in a similar groove. Heh.

The woes: Too much backstory in the opening, they say. They're RIGHT. Too many digressions. They're right.

On the plus side, I got kudos for my voice and style. (And, rightly so, I think. I do have a good voice and non-cliche style. Heh, she says, immodestly.)

Some direct remarks:

You have a beautiful beautiful beautiful voice, and I LOVE your descriptions. This judge liked one scene so much, he asked his wife in to read it, too. Aw, me likey that. Thanks, Mr. Judge. You made me glow.

Another judge wrote, "LOTS of masterful writing" and thought the initial conflict was also "masterful." This judge found the next scene less intense and a bit confusing. Things to work on, yes.

The third wrote that there was some roughness in the beginning (can't deny it), but said: "once you get going, it is nearly flawless." She noted my strengths as "Story, characterization, conflict, dialogue, descriptions" and my weaknesses as that crammed opening. (Drat that!)

So, I need to make the opening less dense, smoother, more reader-friendly. Doable!

As it is, I've very cheered by the response. All the negatives are fixable, and all had highly complimentary and encouraging things to say about voice, style, description, conflict, and characterization. That tells me that the core elements are strong, and that, for a rushed entry, I didn't give birth to an incomprehensible mutant. And all these comments are helpful in the extreme because these are from people who don't know me and can only judge THE WRITING.

My great thanks and hugs to the judges. Feedback rules!

I hope everyone who entered and didn't final is appreciating the feedback, too. I loved the help I got last year, and I love the insights from this year. Just proves again that this is a terrific contest for getting important critical remarks from objective eyes, eyes of folks who love fiction. (And Jesus!)

Can't wait to see which of my online pals win in their respective categories. So many to root for!



Rebecca said...

I'm SO glad you got such great feedback! I'm also glad your judges didn't judge you *through* your writing, but I guess in your case, that wouldn't be so bad. ;-)

chrisd said...

Congratulations-can't wait to hear the report from Alice/Lily...

Selena said...

Congrats, Mir! That's great news.

Gina Holmes said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gina Holmes said...

Mir, You're a wonderful writer. I felt the same thing from the feedback sheets. I got so much out of them. Great, great insights. I just wish I could make the changes NOW before they're sent to the final judges. But, I would highly recommend the contest to writers at all levels. Thanks for your congrats, Mir. It made my day.

Mirtika said...

Chris, yeah, what's up with Alice?


Valerie Comer said...

Like you, I found the comments extremely helpful. And I wouldn't mind another crack at my pages even so. However...it is not meant to be. More eyes are looking at my pages as we speak. I'm nervous!

Shannon said...

Mir, that's great! I think our SFF judges were all "spot on" this year. I'm very happy with the feedback on both pieces ... perplexed that I finaled and you didn't ... but okay, I can be happy about this. ;-) ;-) ;-)

Shannon said...

okay, I should have said, MOSTLY spot on ... sorry, Rebecca. *blushing furiously*