On Writing & Publishing by Robin D. Owens

Personal notes on writing techniques, writing a novel, my writing career and threading your way through publishing a book.

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Location: Denver, United States

RITA Award Winning Author -- that's like the Oscar, folks! Futuristic/Fantasy Romance and Fantasy with Romantic Subplots.

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Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Judging Sheet -- Writing Contest

Here's part of an old contest sheet I helped draft. I think it's excellent for taking a look at your manuscript and seeing if you've hit the necessary points needed to impress an editor and hook your reader.

People who enter the RMFW Contest (deadline was June 1) want feedback (for which this sheet is excellent), or 2) to get their work before an editor or agent.


Title_______________________________________________________ Sub-Genre___________________

Scoring: 7= Of Publishable Standard; 6 & 5= Above Average for a Writing Contest;
4 & 3= Average for a Writing Contest; 2 & 1= Needs Significant Work

The criteria below generally apply to current commercial fiction; judges may select those criteria most applicable to the work and assess each entry based on its own merits. Criteria which aren't applicable to the entry won't influence scoring. Judges may add other criteria; criteria selection and scoring are subjective.

Judges, please circle your scores below and indicate the items which influenced your scoring decision using plus (+) or minus (-) signs. PLEASE COMMENT.

Manuscript: Plot & Story Elements 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
Hook/Setup--Interesting line, character, or critical situation that grabs the reader, backstory adequate not excessive.

Setting--Time of day, location, weather, environment/surroundings, research details (if relevant).

Story Question Established--What's at stake? The issue that drives the story.

Manuscript: Story-telling Craft 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
Story Movement--Active vs passive language, pacing.

Viewpoint--Conveys story info consistently, clearly, without jarring reader identification.

Choreography--Physical action enhances credibility. Character control. Do characters vanish?

Transitions--Between viewpoints, paragraphs, scenes.

Sentence and paragraph structure, clarity and variety.

Manuscript: Story-telling Style 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
Imagery--Uses all senses, blends showing with telling. Enhances, doesn't overwhelm story.
Voice--Unique, captivating or compelling voice, turn of phrase.

Manuscript: Character Development
Central Characters--Distinctive, interesting, alive, sympathetic, purposeful. 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

Secondary Characters--Distinctive, interesting, alive, provide relevant functions.

Character Motivation--Believable actions, reactions, conclusions.

Physical Descriptions--Can the characters be visualized?

Psychological Descriptions--Inner and outer conflict/problems, clear character premise.

Dialogue: 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
Relevance--Advances story, reveals character traits. Balanced with narrative.

Realistic--Credible, interesting. Tags essentially invisible.

Character voices distinct, consistent. Use of dialect/idiom doesn't overwhelm.

Originality--Fresh, clever, entertaining.

May you not worry today about any contests!


Blogger CE Murphy said...

I really like that RMFW critique sheet. Of course, part of the reason I like it was seeing Teresa Nielson-Haydon's 5's, 6's and 7's on my entry that won the SF/F section a few years ago. :)


3:20 AM  

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