It’s official! I survived my FIRST ACFW Genesis contest!
It was very exciting, nerve-wracking, and rewarding. A HUGE thanks to every single judge for your time, effort, and care while handling everyone’s entries. I, for one, could tell it was a labor of love and appreciate all of you more than you’ll ever know!
I promised to share my results in an effort to help us learn from each other. I’m going to break this up into three different posts. Today, I’ll discuss the actual “scoring”, Thursday the “wins” and Friday the “room for improvements.”
Scores are subjective, obviously. One person might love our entry, one might have to splash water on their face to stay awake while reading it. One might give you a 5 for great dialogue, and another might love your dialogue so grant you a…4. One might give you a 3 because you need to work on POV, and another for the same fault might award you a *gulp* one.
We all see, to some extent, this interesting side affect of human nature in our results.
For example, on my first entry, I received two scores of 92 and 93 respectively, which thrilled me to no end! I am still bouncing off the walls about that. But my third score was a 66. The walls were spared my weight when I saw that one. How could two people really like my book and one think it’s mediocre and in need of what would amount to, given comments, massive revision?
It’s the same reason that you see books on Amazon that have 50 reviews with 5 stars and 3 reviews with 3 stars. Everyone has different tastes and opinions.
Do I wish my third judge would have been like-minded with the first two? You betcha! But God isn’t dumb. He knew who was going to judge my manuscript and I’m content with that (well, in all honesty, I’m working on being content with that! I’m getting there though.) It just wasn’t meant to be.
My other two entries had all what I would call average scores in the 60’s and 70’s, with one 58. Some of those, two in particular, were riddles with extremes, 5’s and 1’s. Do I really have a great story worthy of a 5 but awful characterization worthy of a mere 1?
In truth, I didn’t worry too much about the scores for my second two books. These are both unfinished and true works in progress's. I DID polish up the manuscripts as much as I could, thus resulting in great scores in grammar and the like, but I write as I go. The plots still need a few more layers and I was fully aware of that. My reason for entering these were not really in the hope win (although that would have been nice too!) but to glean comments to see if I was headed down the right path, and how far off I was. And in that, the genesis really helped!
Discussion: PLEASE NOTE! My intent for this post is not to demean anyone or be critical of judges, and I’d appreciate if we followed suit in the comments as well. But, feel free to share with us your thoughts on scoring. If you entered and received your scores, share your scores only if you want, but furthermore were there irregularities that confused you? How have you worked to take your scores and make them meaningful? If you didn't win and just want to commiserate with me, feel free to comment as well!