Thursday, July 31, 2014

Have you entered a first chapter writing contest lately?

Greetings fellow writers.  Contests, whether for published or unpublished authors, are a great way to get your writing in the front of an editor or agent.  To stay on top of the current publisher needs, it's smart to at least take a serious look at a score sheet.  Here is an example for contemporary romance, and judges score these categories from 1 to 10:

PRESENTATION: The entry is presented professionally, using 1” margins, double-spacing, and plain font. Grammar, spelling, and punctuation are correct.
Comments:

Score: ________

OPENING HOOK: The story opens with a hook that grabs your attention and pulls you in. The beginning tension and/or conflict is clear or hinted at.
Comments:

Score: ________

CHARACTERS: The protagonist(s) is/are likeable or at least intriguing. Their emotions and actions/reactions are realistically motivated. Characterization is shown well through actions, dialogue, mannerisms, etc. Dialogue sounds realistic and natural.
Comments:

Score: ________

WRITING STYLE: The writing is tight with no unnecessary verbiage or extraneous information. There is a good balance of narrative and dialogue. Background information is used to move the story forward either through characterization or plot. Point of view is clear and there is no head-hopping. The writing ‘shows’ more than it ‘tells’. Multiple senses are incorporated throughout the story—taste, smell, touch, sight, and sound. The story is well-paced.
Comments:

Score: ________

ROMANCE: If the hero and heroine have met within the submitted pages, the tension or chemistry between them could lead to a believable romance. If the hero and heroine have not yet met, there is still a hint of a romance in the future.
Comments:

Score: ________

CONTEMPORARY-
Contemporary romance novels is a wide range of settings and novels, but should be free of paranormal elements. The author brings you into the setting of the here and now. You find yourself rooted in the here and now without nostalgia. The author use the setting and traits of modern life pull you into the story. The voice is contemporary. You feel you are in the town or family. They use modern technology like Facebook or apps on the tablets.
Comments:

Score: ________

GENERAL IMPRESSION: The story entices you to keep reading.
Comments:


Score: ________

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