My January 28, 2015 blog announced that I had entered the first 20 pages of my unpublished historical novel manuscript, The Spanish Coin, in the Top of the Mountain Fiction Contest. The contest was sponsored by Northern Colorada Writers.
This week I eagerly awaited news of how my writing fared in the contest. Word came today that my entry was not one of the four finalists. That was disappointing, but the critique I received from one of the three judges was well worth the $25 contest entry fee.
My work was graded on a 10-point scale on each of the following 10 categories: synopsis, beginning hook, plot, originality & voice, characterization, pacing, dialog, setting/description/narrative, mechanics, and appeal to intended audience.
I am pleased that my lowest score was 8 and I received two 10s. My total score was 88 out of a possible 100.
The judge’s comments give me some specific weaknesses and areas I need to work on. I look forward to doing that in the coming months as I work toward my ultimate goal of getting the novel published.