I didn’t make the finals in the Genesis contest for unpublished authors of Christian fiction. There. I entered the contest primarily for the feedback and was delighted when I was named a semi-finalist. Amazing how my ambitions suddenly soared after that!
But now the finalists have been named (congratulations!) and I can go back to having reasonable expectations. And I did get six critiques–two rounds’ worth–instead of just three. Bonus!
As I’ve been going through the critiques I’m finding plenty of good advice about increasing conflict, adding sensory descriptions and establishing the timeframe for the story. There’s also a liberal dose of praise in each critique, which makes corrections much easier to take.
But here’s the funny thing. One critiquer will say I need to fix, say, dialogue, while another lauds my mastery of dialogue. One reader says I have a slow start while another was hooked immediately. Hmmm. Could it be that some readers will love my work while others will think it’s dreck? I’m guessing, yes.
My highest score out of 100 was 97. My lowest was 69. Forgive me for loving the lady who only deducted three points just a little bit better. The upshot, though, is that I’m probably not as perfect as Ms. 97 thinks. And I’m probably not quite so challenged as Ms. 69 suspects. The average is 83–and that, I think, ain’t too shabby.
And finally, to the reader who noticed that the Spanish-American war ended before my main character was born, THANK YOU. You put your finger on a major error and gave me a whole new plot twist–actually, two twists. It’s been a fun afternoon painting myself back OUT of that corner.