Thursday, July 21, 2011

Summer Shoot Out

I got my feedback for the first round of the shoot out. The shoot out I am refering to is the PHP summer shoot out. It is a writing competition where all the participants anonymously rate other stories and give helpful comments. The goal is to be the one with the highest score, but no one really cares too much about who wins. All the winner gets is bragging rights. It is more about getting a few good stories to publish than anything else.
I did okay. On a scale of 1 to 10 my scores ranged between a 3 and a 9 with an average of 7. It’s not really a competition but that puts me right in the middle of the pack.

I wrote a fantasy story set in a land I have mulling over for my next fantasy novel. I thought the story needed a few hundred words cut from the beginning but I ran out of time. I don’t know what possessed me to write a 5,000 word fantasy story in a week.

The feedback was a little mixed but everyone who commented on it enjoyed the setting. This shoot out is a little different than some of the other ones. As we rate each other stories we are suppose to write comments about the beginning, the end, and the overall story. Then we are suppose to write one thing the author did well and then one thing they didn’t do well.

Any way here are some of the needs improvement comments from three different reviewers: The story takes a while to get going… revise the beginning of the story to be more succinct..too long an introduction where nothing really happens, a lot of titles for people and things that could have been toned down.

I knew the intro was a little long so this was no surprise and I was a little worried that so many unfamiliar terms might throw a reader off. My excuse for both of these is that this is the first short story I have written in almost a year and I was use to the pacing of a novel. It has nothing to do with the fact that I am wordy with a tendency to ramble.

I really didn’t expect the other half of the reviewers comments on what needed improved: I would actually like it if there was a bit more to this piece, more about the world or maybe even just more in depth about the past Order of Protectors…no suggestions needed…little jumped out in this story that could be changed to make it better.

So there were two people who said that there was nothing that needed changed and one that said that they wanted to read more. I think pleasing half of a group of random writers is pretty good. The one that said that he/she wanted more to this piece also said they would like to read more about his world.

So what I am taking away from round one is two things, first: I should revise the intro of my story to make it shorter without changing too much of the story, and second: the world I created for my novel is a good one.

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