I’ve been thinking about writing a lot lately. Not actually writing mind you, just thinking about it. After many years of blogging, and short stories I’ve been on a bit of a break. OK, it’s been a long break, like over five years. Sure, I’ve filled the void with other creative endeavors, mainly painting little things and learning to produce Twitch streams. But my first love is writing. And I’ve missed it.
So when, a few weeks ago, I saw a post from Hugh Howey about judge/reviewer applications for the Self Published Science Fiction Contest (SPSFC) I did that thing I tend to do.
“This looks fun Dwight. Let’s apply. All they can do is tell you no.”
I filled out the application, with all the details of my tiny online presence and fully expected to not hear back. Except I did. And I got in. And this thing is even better than I imagined.
I’m already working with a team of reviewer/judges and getting ready for some amazing work over the next year. I get to work with a team to review dozens of books, write reviews, and help determine the winner(s) of this amazing new contest. Yeah, I get to read. A lot. And write. A LOT.
So, here we are. About to dive into a new journey. I hope you’ll come along and read what I have to say. I’m also planning to livestream a good chunk of my reviews on Twitch too. Stay tuned for more on that.
If you’re interested, here’s the criteria I’ve set up for my reviews. All categories will be ranked 0-10 with a final score converted to a 1-5 Beards final score(yes I have a spreadsheet):
The Hook: Did the story grab me early on? Or did I have to slog through the opening?
Plot: Does it make sense? Does it keep me going?
Characters: Do i identify with them? Care about them? Feel anything?
Pacing: How do scenes/chapters fit together. Too fast? Too slow? All over the place?
World Building: Are you showing me or telling me about your world? I don’t want to be hit over the head with exposition. Give me hints and let me fill in the rest.
Resolution: How did you wrap up your story? Am I satisfied with the the ending? Or did you let me down with a half baked conclusion?
Structure: Prose, perspective. How well written was the book?
Enjoyment: Warts and all, how much did I enjoy it? A poorly written book can still be a blast to read. And a masterfully constructed tome full of eloquent prose can still be a slog
Whos Baby is This: If this book’s parents were works of fiction, who would they be? Just to give you a quick idea for the feel of this book
I’m excited to get started. Books should start going out to judge teams in July, and the contest runs through June of next year. In the meantime, keep an eye on this space for some test reviews over the next couple of weeks.
‘Till next time y’all!