Friday, May 22, 2009

Constructive Criticism?

I was reading a blog on Constructive Criticism a few minutes ago. So okay, so maybe now I should confess how badly my novel did in the ABNA contest. After all, I was way over the moon when it made the quarter-finals, and couldn't wait to tell everyone.

All we quarter-finalists got "Publishers Weekly" reviews, but those of us who failed to make the next cut received them in private. Which is probably just as well. My one begins:

"The writer of this novel simply hasn’t learned how to tell a story," then goes downhill. But at least they called me a "writer," says she, clutching at straws.

"...after the 20th character, the reader begins to lose track..." probably means I shouldn't have had so many people in the story, or else I should've made it clearer who was who. (The review lists the same character as being at least two different people later, so perhaps the latter). "...no motive ever discovered" might mean I didn't make the ending obvious enough. "...no one seems to miss her..." so I should have spent longer here. And "full of clich├ęs and euphemisms..." Ouch!

So, back to the drawing board I guess, but it was fun to compete. Maybe I'll try again next year.

2 comments:

Mairead said...

Hi Sheila, first - thanks for commenting on my blog.

I just wanted to stop by and offer some support re: your review. Having received some harsh comments on my first entry in a writing contest - I know how it stings.

Good luck with the re-writes and remember - it was just one review.

David Molloy said...

Sheila - Just stopped by to thank you for your very nice review of my ABNA excerpt 60 WARREN.

In the end, however, PW advised me to take up farming.

Well, not really. In fact they were pretty generous - so I suspect the manuscript came pretty close. A little tweaking, and who knows.

My compliments on your blog, and your kindness.

Till next year... DM