More feedback and the Valerie Parv Award

My most recent writing feedback came from the Romance Writers of Australia First Kiss contest, where my entry ranked a respectable 11th out of the 52 entries.

I found the three judges’ comments useful, though the marks from one were baffling (gee, I like that word – I’m baffled by most things).

Let me explain why (not why I’m baffled all the time, but why this judge’s marks had me baffled). Her comments were positive. She didn’t criticise my work at all. In fact, she wrote: “What’s there not to like about your story. I was intrigued straight off.”

She loved the setup, the characters, the interaction between the hero and heroine and EVERYTHING ELSE. But her score was the lowest of the three.

I wonder if she’s just a low scorer? Alas, I will never know. 

Of the other two judges, one awarded my entry full marks. I can’t complain about that.

The judge who scored me moderately high provided insightful feedback. She pinpointed the flaws in my story. I already knew they were there but hoped no one would notice.

She even explained why she marked me down. And I totally got it.

Here’s what she wrote: “… you really need to make the heroine likable, and her rejection of [the hero] is just awful and it doesn’t seem as if she’s changed… yet. The rule for the line is, LOVE the hero, ADMIRE and WANT TO BE the heroine. [Your heroine] needs to be more likable, or the editor may not read past the set up.”

I know. I know. I know.

On the upside, here’s her comment on the kiss: “… what a knock-your-socks-off kiss scene. Well done, and I love [the hero] already!” 

That’s nice to know.

The final contest before the RWA conference in August is the Valerie Parv Award. I got my entry in on the deadline day. Bloody typical. I submitted a hastily thrown together synopsis (double bloody typical) and the first 12,500 words of my wip. 

I’m just hoping I don’t get done like a dog’s dinner over this one!  

Photo: The doyenne of Australian romance writers Valerie Parv


2 responses to “More feedback and the Valerie Parv Award

  1. Shayne, sounds like you got some fab feedback on your FK entries. I think anyone who has entered a contest will groan in sympathy at receiving feedback that doesn’t seem to correlate with the score.

    You know what I always say: take what gels and toss the rest .

    Good luck with the VPA!

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