Author: Rhiannon Paille
Judge Number: 51
Entry Category: Middle-Grade/Young Adult books
Books are evaluated on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 meaning “needs improvement” and 5 meaning “outstanding”. This scale is strictly to provide a point of reference, it is not a cumulative score and does not reflect ranking.
Structure and Organization: 5
Production Quality and Cover Design: 4
Plot (if applicable): 4
Character Development (if applicable): 4
Very nice cover design! However, I’m not sure all of the inside photos match the cover’s quality — I think it may have been better if they had all been in the same style, instead of some PhotoShopped and some drawn, some cartoonish, etc.– but they do provide a nice visual as we go through the story.
I really appreciated the guides at the front–and the voice you injected into it.
I have two suggestions for tightening the narration in future publications. Because, while this kind of story lends itself to be lengthier and has longer paragraphs for world-building, etc., you could still do a fair amount of tightening to make it even better.
First, do a search for all your adverbs — an easy way to get many of them is by searching “-ly” — and omitting as many of them as you can (which is probably most of them). The second would be to do a search for all your passive verbs — particularly, IS/ARE/WAS/WERE/FELT/REALIZED/LOOKED/ SEEMED — and replace those with active verbs. You’d be surprised how many words you can trim when you do that, which makes the book sleeker and helps with pacing. And, when you swap out passive verbs for active ones, you can even trim a lot of adjectives because a good, active verb, will do the work of both of those things PLUS the work of adverbs! There were a few grammatical/formatting hiccups, but nothing major.
All in all, this is a well-written piece. I agree with your blurb on the cover and always admire someone who can weave in so many details about unique worlds she creates without the prose feeling narration-heavy. Nice job!
Did they just agree with Evie from Bookish Evie who said I’m the J.R.R. Tolkien of the Young Adult Generation? *reads it again* Holy crap they agreed that I’m the J.R.R. Tolkien of Young Adult. HOLY CRAP.
And the score, 21 out of a potential 25 points!? WOW.
I’m pretty much floored, never mind the little things I’ve been working on in my later books already that they mentioned, or the artwork that’s been redone (SURRENDER was re-released October 1st with brand new artwork to match the rest of the interior art) but J.R.R. FREAKING TOLKIEN!
I don’t care if I didn’t win this contest, this commentary right here? This makes me a winner.
And I’m so glad I entered! If you’re looking for a contest that will treat you right, this one is definitely it!