April 19th, 2012

hat, tophat, Evan, 2019

Of Headaches and Book Critiques

On a day of heavy rain and a throbbing headache, I received my judge's assessment of my book "Ask Dr. Eldritch Volume #1 Are Aliens Eating My Crackers?" (a critique provided to those who enter the Writer's Digest Self-Published Book Awards).  Ratings were given on these four things (from 1 - Poor, to 5 - Excellent):
Plot:  2  
Grammar: 4
Character Development: 2
Production Quality and Cover Design: 4

The Judge's biggest complaint was that it wasn't a story.  To which I would say, "Well... yeah."  There wasn't a category for "Collections of Humorous/Satirical Advice Column Letters," so rather than go with the misleading "Nonfiction" category, I submitted under "Genre Fiction."  The Judge suggested that he would have liked it better if there was an overarching story line, which I did kind of think was an interesting idea, but I do read that as "We were expecting everybody to submit novels for this category, and you did something different."  He also didn't address what issues dropped my Grammar and my Production Quality to only 4's, which I would have liked to know more about.  So I can't say I felt I got a lot of useful feedback.

I was amused by the thought that even without plot and character development, I still got '2's for those categories.  Makes me wonder if any books get a '1', and what those are like.

On the plus side, the Judge did say, "each letter was original and very humorous," and "the talent shown in the prose confirms that the author is a good writer."  Which, honestly, is all I really want to hear.  

And now I'll go lie down in hopes of making the throbbing headache go away.
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