Goodbye to ABNA 2011…

Well… I am officially out of the running for the 2011 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest. While my pitch was successful, my excerpt failed to impress my two Amazon Vine Reviewers… at least enough to move on, anyway. I think I was actually starting to believe that I could make it… but it’s just the mild depression talking right now… 😛

In any case, my reviews weren’t horrible. The first one gave me some helpful feedback, some things to consider when rewriting, before I decide to submit to agents/publishers (which is my next step, I believe – yay, me!). The second review was short and basically just said that my excerpt was “Ok,” but s/he didn’t provide me with any advice on how to make it better – not that s/he had to do so. Also, keep in mind that the excerpt was only the first 3,000 to 5,000 words of the manuscript (the first chapter, in my case), and reviewers were allowed to use 25-250 words to critique the excerpt. They could not read further and had no access to the pitch. So, without further ado, below are my reviews… for your reading pleasure:

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ABNA Expert Reviewer
What is the strongest aspect of this excerpt?

You’ve done a decent job of world building here. There’s a nice attention to physical detail here and description of the whats and hows of everything that’s going on so far.

What aspect needs the most work?

The characters just seem a little flat and shallow to me. I also feel like the tension was rather underwhelming so I would suggest that you try to draw out the tension more.

And something to note: be very VERY careful about things such as the “I’m not attractive but everyone thinks I’m pretty” and “my eyes always shift color” tropes. There lies Mary Sue tendencies. Most people will instantly identify these traits with Mary Sues so it’s usually better to avoid using these in your books.

What is your overall opinion of this excerpt?

The author does an excellent job of worldbuilding and showing us what is supposed to be going on, but unfortunately it comes at the cost of character depth. The tense moments just lose their impact because of this, although I will admit that it wouldn’t take much to fix this. This is a pretty decent fantasy/horror entry that I wouldn’t mind reading a little more of.

ABNA Expert Reviewer
What is the strongest aspect of this excerpt?

It is engaging and sets up the story and the character well.

What aspect needs the most work?

It seemed Ok to me.

What is your overall opinion of this excerpt?

It might make a nice story. I thought the set up for the story was very good.

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2 responses to “Goodbye to ABNA 2011…

  1. Congratulations on making it past the first round! At least you got some useful feedback. Can I read your pitch? I want to know more about your novel.

    • Thank you very much! Sure… actually I have my pitch posted under my “Works” tab at the top of the page. I’m considering posting my excerpt there, as well, but may wait until I’ve done a little editing… after I’ve taken everything the reviewers have said into consideration (well, as much as I can, anyway). Thanks again!

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