1. I have to say, the poll confused me for a second as the options were in reverse order from the printed entries.

  2. The order can be confusing. The poll randomizes the answer so there’s no advantage for being listed first. But then they aren’t in sync with the order you read them. I wish the post could randomize them. 😀


  3. Rachel says:

    I was very confused by Gundersons entry.

  4. Leanna says:

    So more feedback for the finalists. 🙂

    As I said before, I’m a fan of both the premise and the voice. I still don’t understand why she’s fine with being destroyed by the train but the question doesn’t overwhelm my interest in what’s going on. The pacing, the hard sci-fic feel, the ending sentence… it all works for me within this very short piece. My final vote went to you. 🙂

    I think I like the premise but something about your wording choices/sentence structure didn’t capture me (I know that’s dreadfully vague :P). I really really like this part:
    His head turned toward her, a soft but ponderous movement that made her nerves skitter. “So. You want to go to New Mashhad.”
    Bri nodded, straightening to her small height. “I can fool all the watchers.”
    But then I’m stymied by the contrast of young-gingery-agent with skinny-little-girl because neither one sounds like a positive to me. Does she want him to see her as a young gingery agent?
    I think the final paragraph would have sold me except that it didn’t feel like it fit with the general tone/language of what came before.

    Honestly, it was hard to figure out why yours wasn’t an instant win with me. The main character is a dancer! The plot hinges on dancing! And “artess” is a super cool honorific.
    … After mulling it over, I think it might be because there weren’t any word pictures in the excerpt. I know a lot about what is at stake (which is hugely important) but I haven’t “seen” anything. And dance is a visual art. I wanted to be enchanted by language that evoked strong visuals but I wasn’t. So dancing became the stumbling block for me rather than the selling point.
    Generally speaking, more description and less stakes/tension is probably terrible writing advice. But its what this reader needed in this excerpt. 😛

    • Hi, Leanna.

      To answer your question about the contrast, those are the ways Bri thinks he’s likely to see her. She thinks her age will form some part of his judgment, either negative (“little girl”) or neutral (“young agent”). Her bid to be sent to New Mashad ahead of agents more experienced and physically impressive is somewhat audacious; she doesn’t know if he’ll think such audacity makes her naive or gingery (by a fairly obscure Dictionary definition, “sharp and lively”).

      Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts. I appreciate it.

What do you think?