I can't tell you enough how much it has helped me. Just getting my work out has been hard for me, because I usually don't receive any feedback. Both of the judges’ critiques were extremely helpful.
I really appreciate experienced writers who take time to help newer writers learn. The feedback is helpful, and it's nice knowing there are people who want to help you succeed - including all of you at Novel Rocket!*
The comments were spot on. Some were very encouraging. It's given me new motivation to continue on. Thank you, thank you, thank you!*
You can count me as one who was excited about my feedback. :) I use contests as a measuring stick, to make sure I'm improving in my writing. And the feedback I got on this contest confirmed that I've taken care of most of the problems my feedback from ACFW's Genesis contest pointed out, LOL! I've still got a bit of work to do, but I was encouraged that I was actually making progress.*
The comments I received from both judges were incredibly helpful, providing plenty of concrete advice, great insights, and the encouragement so precious to debut novelists.
If a writing competition offers you a critique as part of either the prize or the entry fee, TAKE IT. Research the judges, obviously. Research the site/resource/publication in general. But they’re offering you gold, so TAKE IT.I entered the first chapter and synopsis for two unpublished novels to the Novel Rocket Launch Pad Contest.
I didn’t win, but the critiques I was offered were so insightful that I felt like I had won anyway. They ripped my work apart, those master butchers, and they had clearly been wielding their knives with skill and clear-eyed dispassion for some time. They dissembled my musty old cadaver of a first chapter and showed me how to rebuild it into something that will soon not only stand up but walk.
I’ve been on plenty of online writing forums and I’m sure you have too. They’re great. They’re tough. They’re loving.
But they’re NOTHING like this.
This was my very first taste of high-level feedback from industry insiders, with highlighting of action beats and DNA-level sentence structure and stuff I’ve never before seen covered in forum critiques. I felt like Eustace in Voyage of the Dawn Treader when Aslan strips away his dragon flesh layer by layer, finally returning him to the form of the boy he was meant to be.
Industry-level criticism is objective and it is there to make you improve. If you see an opportunity to get it via a writing competition, you’d be silly not to take it.
When she's not administering the Novel Rocket Contest, Yvonne Anderson writes fiction that takes you out of this world.
Take the next starship through the Gateway to Gannah for some serious sci-fi adventure!