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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Judges' Comments on a Genesis Final

So I'm still reeling here from the news almost a week ago that I finalled in the Genesis competition, but I wanted to share what the judges comments had been for my initial submission in the hopes that others could glean something for your novels.

By far, my lowest scores came in the setting and sensory data departments. The judge who scored me lower gave me a 1 in setting and a 3 in sensory detail.

Specifically, the score sheet says:

Does sensory detail (sight, sound, touch, smell, and taste) enhance each scene?
Does the setting support the story? Is the story well-grounded in the setting?

I had some sensory detail, like shoes crunching on gravel, a bell pealing against glass as someone entered a door, but I had no smell, no touch, and no taste...and I even had my characters things that absolutely succulent-smelling! Yikes! So I went back and added in sensory data to really draw the reader into the scene more.

As for my setting, lower-scoring-judge indicated that I needed more descriptions to help ground the reader. After looking at the entry, I realized I had precious little descriptions. My hero's apartment had a chair and kitchen counter. My heroine's had a scene at a desk. Who knows what the heck that looks like or where it's situated or anything.

So I added this all in and reread it. 10x better. Another little clue I picked up that enabled me to take my barely-15-almost-16 pages entry and add even more to it and still keep it within the 15-page guidelines was to do the 25 lines per page thing. It gave me at least another page's worth to add, which was nice when judges were telling me I needed more descriptions.

So there you go. My comments from the judges were extremely helpful. I hope everyone finds something they can improve when you get your scores back....and be nice and let everyone else know and benefit, too!

Wordle: signature


Wendy Paine Miller said...

So glad you found some helpful tips, Jeannie. I'm still trying to sift through some of the conflicting things, but I was able to make some changes. One judge mentioned making the age of a character more clear. I worked that in. It was a great point.
~ Wendy

Heather Sunseri said...

That's great, Jeannie. I'm glad you were able to take some wonderful positive comments and better your manuscript!

Lynnette Labelle said...

Congrats! Sorry I missed the big announcement.

Lynnette Labelle

Karen Lange said...

Congratulations! What wonderful info to help you move forward. I'm excited for you:)

Jessica Nelson said...

Very cool, thanks for sharing! And congrats. :-)

Gossip Cowgirl said...

I haven't had a chance to go back through and really process my comments. But this reminds me that I need to do that. And I probably should blog about it, as well. :-) It's good for me to remember what I worked on.

I just had such a short turn-around to get the ms done... my computer fried and I actually had to use one of the manuscripts they sent me back to start making changes. It was a freaky moment. But now that the whirlwind is over, I do need to take the judges' comments into consideration on my larger manuscript.

And hopefully recover all my data. :-)

Great post!

Jamie D. said...

Congratulations, and thanks for sharing! :-)

What fabulous feedback to get...and when I read it, I was nodding my head, because I just got very similar feedback from a professional crit myself. So you're not the only one who's light on those two things.

Best of luck going forward!

Susanne Dietze said...

Congratulations! I am glad you found your judges' comments helpful. I, did, too...lots of food for thought. Contest judges have a tough job and it's a blessing to receive constructive, thoughful feedback.

Anonymous said...

Its always good to receive feedback. Ihad a lady contact me recently because she didn't like I left the protagonist stranded at the end of the story. She even posted this in her review on Amazon.

So I sent her the first few chapters of the next book so she would know the good guy would be okay.

Stephen Tremp

Steena Holmes said...

First off - Congrat's! WOW!

Those little things - they skip by us quite easily.

Linda Glaz said...

Their comments definitely help.

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