So, among finishing my revision and grading 60 5-page papers on terrorism, and oh, yeah, raising three kids (sorry, baby, now I get why you've been doing all the shopping/cooking/cleaning/laundry), I was recently a critiquer for a literary contest. I can't say which one, or where, or anything, but I can pass on what I learned from reading the first couple dozen pages of a mound of literary fiction entries.
Most of them were purpose-centered around the MC's journey of self-discovery.
Themes were mostly relationships or historical or spiritual.
Internal and external conflicts were tough to balance and maintain.
Often, secondary characters could've used much more rounding out.
Somehow, I could hear the masculine voice of the writer. These premises were either a war or a quest, and were action-packed. But they often lacked reaction and emotion.
Also, as the reader, I found myself looking for dialogue -- really craving it.
And setting was everything: I wanted to know the place and time exactly.
There. Reading all this other work really made me evaluate my own. It was insightful. If I can use it to make my work stronger, that's good. And if I helped other writers strengthen their work, even better!
FALL 2015 TOUR
1 year ago