Mine is bigger...

For confidential exchange of story critiques
Brydar
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Mine is bigger...

Postby Brydar » Fri Jan 23, 2015 7:40 pm

Curious about how folks critique works, does the size play a part in your critique of a story / novel? If a story does not capture your attention on the first page are you done with it? I have a friend who if he picks up a book at the book store and there is no action in the first chapter he does not buy it. I have another friend who when she picks up a book if there is not enough detail regarding sights, sounds, smells, taste, etc.. she cannot place herself in the story and will not buy it. How much detail is too much detail? How many novels of close to the limit of 17,000 words (60 or so pages) have actually won and been published in this contest? Do the judges sometimes dismiss a story based on the size of a novel, if there is not enough or if the story is too long? Personally if you write a book that is 1,000 pages and it is within my favored genre, has adequate action, enticing details, unexpected plot twists, etc... I will read and reread it. Comments...
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Hyperion
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Location: Seoul, South Korea

Re: Mine is bigger...

Postby Hyperion » Thu Feb 05, 2015 10:19 pm

That's what he said?

wotf002 Sorry I couldn't help myself.

Ok so you're asking a lot of questions here. I personally strive to finish the critique even if the story isn't working for me. But I suppose everyone is different. I do try to put myself in an steel-hearted editor's shoes and try to determine where I might reject a story. I think it's important for an author to know where a story isn't working for the reader. If several readers point to a section that isn't working then there's something to it.

I think it's been fairly rare that a story close to 17,000 words actually wins, though I'm sure it's possible. The thing is, it's an economy of words vs. story. Thus, a shorter story with the same impact will always beat out the longer one. If your story can be cut back, do it as much as you can. it will become stronger.

For the purpose of the contest, I try to keep mine under 10,000 words (which is still large) - though I'd like to be under 8,000 if I can. Remember that a judge or an editor has to read hundreds of stories in a short time. Reading something that's really long, he or she is going to be looking for reasons to dismiss it. Of course, this is always true, but I think it's more true with longer pieces. So if you're going to make it long, all of it better be damn good. Dave has mentioned that flash fiction also struggles a bit because it usually fails to be competitive with mid length short stories. It's hard to develop a setting, conflict, and characters as well as a story that's 4 or 5 thousand words long.
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Brydar
Posts: 173
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Location: Georgia

Re: Mine is bigger...

Postby Brydar » Fri Feb 06, 2015 3:07 am

Hyperion wrote:I think it's been fairly rare that a story close to 17,000 words actually wins, though I'm sure it's possible. The thing is, it's an economy of words vs. story. Thus, a shorter story with the same impact will always beat out the longer one. If your story can be cut back, do it as much as you can. it will become stronger.


You were most helpful with your reply, thank you, I am seeking out many people on here with the experience of prior entries. I also purchased the wotf V30 so that I might peruse its pages and get an idea of what judges might be looking for. Again -- thank you.
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Not long ago scientists postulated that our entire universe was quite possibly a hologram. I KNEW it; we ARE in the Matrix!


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