A few weeks ago I wrote about the dreaded critique letters I received from the PNWA’s literary contest. Just like last year, I begrudgingly opened the fat envelope after holding on to them for awhile. This time they were typed and much easier to read. I did a quick scan first: what were my scores? 88 & 87 out of 100. This part made me sad. I can be a perfectionist where it counts, and anything below a 95 just doesn’t cut it.
Next came scanning the individual scores. You know: Synopsis, Plot, Viewpoint, Characterization, Pacing, Dialogue, Setting/Description/Narrative, etc. They were mostly pretty high (a lot of 9 ’s, a smattering of 10’s) with Mechanics coming in as my lowest score. Then I looked at the comments for each section. I won’t go into details but their advice was encouraging, informative, and at times funny because it wasn’t applicable.
All of you out there who haven’t submitted your work because you are afraid of the results, this is a shout out to you. It’s totally worth it. I’m so glad I did it. Yes, I would have preferred that the piece I submitted was better written, that the judges were a better match for my piece, that I got a better score. Hey, let’s face it, I would prefer to be a finalist. But I’ll take what I can get. This was after all a rough-draft submission. I haven’t even finished editing this book yet. After digesting everything, I’m pretty proud of the score. I mean, it can only get better, right?
As a side note, I couldn’t do this writing thing with out the help of my favorite authors, my friends and my family. Thank you everyone!