Doesn’t it drive you absolutely insane when somebody ruins something for you? Like when you watch a movie and you think it’s awesome—until someone points out that one flaw.
“The music was so annoying!”
“That one line was so cheesy.”
“Elsa hair literally goes through her arm when she brushes it over her shoulder.”
My husband likes to do that to me sometimes: “Have you ever noticed how that chandelier isn’t hanging in the center of the room?” No. No I haven’t. But now I will never un-notice that. Thank you.
Well, when it comes to scoring entries in the Ink & Insights Novel Writing Contest similar things can happen. Some judges notice certain things that other judges may not have noticed. We judges at Ink & Insights try our very best to remain objective, however, our different personalities and life experiences do make it impossible to judge all entries exactly the same.
For example, if someone wrote a novel about chickens—knowing nothing about them—then a judge who also knows nothing about chickens won’t notice the inaccuracy of some things, whereas a judge who’s a chicken expert will. “Dear author, I enjoyed your novel, but chickens don’t fly.”
Of course we as judges try to implement Google as much as possible, but in reality, that’s not always possible. We judges give our time and attention to every entry we are entrusted with, but we’d rather spend more time judging and less time fact-checking.
What I’ve written thus far is only one simple explanation as to how the scores for one entry can vary so widely. Now I would like to tell you how I approach judging each entry I receive.
You should know that I am also a writer. I try to judge every entry as if it were my own. That’s why I like to really interact with the entries. I ask a lot of questions to try and help the author know what’s going through my brain as I read. Judging entries actually helps me improve my own writing as well because then I know what sorts of questions I should pose while I’m proofreading.
When I give a low score in a particular area, I really try to write a clear explanation as to why I did so. And I don’t just give low scores to stories that don’t interest me or whatever. In fact, some of my personal favorites have gotten some of my lowest scores.
In conclusion, I just want to say that entering your novel into Ink & Insights is an excellent decision. It will help you sharpen your writing skills and is a super affordable way to get your writing in front of at least four insightful individuals.
Carrie Fink – Four years as an Ink & Insights judge