Saturday, April 14, 2012

Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest


I participated in the above mentioned contest.  I got to the second round, which means they liked my pitch (it was good) but didn't like my first chapter.  Here are my two reviewers' comments.  They are hilarious.  I agree with the first person's view of my sentence length.  I think I was trying to do a Cormac McCarthy/William Faulkner thing that didn't work.

What is the strongest aspect of this excerpt?

The theme is very interesting, along with a real flavor for this southern town. The reader gets a real feeling for Virginia and the baking festival that she proposes.

What aspect needs the most work?

There are some issues with language usage. Some of the sentences are very long and would benefit by being shorter. There is not much here that needs more work.

What is your overall opinion of this excerpt?

I thoroughly enjoyed this excerpt and it held my interest throughout. I wanted to know what happens next and how the festival progresses. It is a well-written piece.

ABNA Expert Reviewer

What is the strongest aspect of this excerpt?

This reads to me like a pretty good representation of life in small town America, albeit more like small town America in the middle of the 20th Century than small town America at the turn of the 21st.

What aspect needs the most work?

Suggest the author consider creating and adding some uniquely quirky characters and unexpected situations early on. The excerpt offered here makes me think of what Mayberry might have been like if it was populated mostly by sweet old Aunt Bees and missing its Andys and Opies and Barneys and Gomers, Goobers and Floyd the barber.

What is your overall opinion of this excerpt?

I had a hard time staying awake. But, then again, I was born and raised in small town America, never felt at home there, hightailed it to the big city as soon as I was able and never looked back. So I'm about as far as you can get from a target audience for this book.

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