New Entrants and those of you who have received Round 6 Results, you may submit for Round 7 until Wednesday 09/05/12 at 11:59pm CST. Have no idea how to play? Read the rules here and come back.
UPDATE: We are still $150 short for tonight’s goal. Kissy’s shaking in his boots over here. We won’t be able to save more homeless dogs and cats unless people put their donations in now … Don’t depend on anyone else to contribute for you if you’re still holding back. We had a shortage last time. This time, there will be no extensions, even if we’re $5 short. Kissy and I are thinking going from door-to-door might be a quicker way to help our furry pals if all of our writer friends are all tapped out.
So … let’s bring it home, and help an animal find a home.
Remember: There is a special prize tied to this goal for all Round 7 entrants so keep reading. We think this is worth at least two cups of coffee at Starbucks. Quit the caffeine and put your money here.
Who’s terrible at writing query letters? You? You? You?!
Well, let Kissy put a paw on your query letter and see what happens (see this link for tips on writing query letters for novels and picture books on WFCAT.com). If our next fundraising goal is met, anyone who has entered Round 7 will receive a Quick-Crit of of a query letter. Your query letter should be no longer than 250 words. This quick-crit will include comments that will help you work your query-letter into submission shape! We’ll even rewrite some lines if something is easily fixable. Trust me, you won’t want to miss out. Instructions for how to submit your query letter will be given AFTER Goal 6 is met. Do not send us query letters now.
Don’t have a work to submit for Round 7?!
No problem. You’re a writer, right? You’ve got plenty of time to whip out 125 words for a new idea and enter that before the Round 7 deadline. You never know! You might have the start of a new great work by the end of RLGL!
ROUND 6 RESULTS ARE COMPLETE! If you do not see an X in the proper column, it is likely you …
1) titled your emailed incorrectly (e.g. missing page number, did not include the assigned # after page 1).
2) sent it to the wrong email address.
3) sent your submission after the Round 6 deadline.
Pardon the pooch but please make sure you help us read and record your submission correctly. Because of the high volume, we can no longer spend the time to find emails, look up numbers, or try to figure out which page you are on. If you made one of these errors, no worries. Correct the mistake and it will be considered in the next round.
Never want to miss another free-tique game again? Please make sure you are signed up for the free-tique email list for future games like RLGL!
Want to personally fund Kissy’s kibble? Consider having a paid critique instead
|#||Type||Send in next 250 words||Back to Start||Notes|
|4||MG||X*||I think the issue is you might have a scene that feels very true to life, but this as a first scene doesn’t quite give me a broader sense of the overall story. A bit more foreshadowing in your opener (aside from your intro paragraph which still didn’t seem big enough) will help this one a lot. I keep going because the writing is promising, but is this opening scene directed enough?|
|6||MG||X*||This is taking a while to get to this point, so get on with it!|
|26||CB||X*||Still feel like I did last page. There’s a lot of introspection happening but not a lot of actual things happening. I don’t need car accidents and stuff like that, but I need some better sense that things are moving forward in time and that things actually happen in the book. Kissy’s paw is twitching.|
|38||MG||X*||Okay, this is a bit bizarre and I’m really not sure I totally get how this is an actual competition when this is what a contestant does but … One more page….|
|40||MG||X*||This feels like it’s a bit slow as an opener (not much context either) but I’ll see where this goes|
|44||YA||X*||A bit confused about why they’re not in hiding. Clarify in p2.|
|48||MG||X||This is so bizarre but I have to keep going to see what happens …|
|54||YA||X||Unfortunately, by this many pages, I wasn’t as pulled in as I would have liked. I just couldn’t get on the same page as your MC. I wanted to root for her, but there wasn’t much to root for. She felt a bit hollow / empty in the end, without a real desire to hang my hat on.|
|57||CB||X||I enjoyed the characters and there’s a lot of promise to the writing. Story-wise, the search for random objects seems rather arbitrary. I’d think about starting this a little differently with a little more backstory so that these kiddos would be convinced that there really is a mystery to uncover with super good reasons why.|
|61||YA||X*||This feels a shade young for YA, in terms of voice and behavior, but I’ll go with it. Fill in some visual detail thouhg as you write. Having a hard time picturing the people.|
|62||MG||X*||See my note about present story. Hope this is coming.|
|64||YA||X*||I’m on the fence. The MC still feels hollow and I want to get a better feel for her, and her view of the world as the story plays out.|
|67||MG||X*||Still not really sure what the current forward story will be about for the main character. One of the issues is the place where you started was not the moment that was different for the MC. It was an everyday thing for her… Your starting point is somewhere else in the story. and I’m concerned I might not get to it.|
|216||PB||X*||This actually reads more like a young chapter book than a PB. I like the character’s very kiddie-like perspective and I wonder how this would work as a chapter book… I’ll read the next page and see where this goes|
|220||MG||X||Ultimately, I wasn’t as drawn in the with the plotting or the main character as I would have liked. There are great elements here but I’d love to see either a more distinctive personality from the MC or more engaging plotting in the opening pages. This was just a bit too slow for me.|
|222||MG||X*||By this many pages though I should have a clearer understanding of what this book will be about.|
|225||MG||X||Okay, still fun and imaginative. I’d take out the pop star reference and make something up so it doesn’t get dated too fast.|
|226||MG||X*||Be careful of making her seem too cry-babyish.|
|232||PB||X||I think what this needs is to be a bit more character-driven for a tall tale. Your kiddo character should probably have some fear/issue that has lead to the dilemma, one that then gets out of hand, but then the fear is ultimately conquered through the kiddo’s attempt to fix the situation. As it stands, this just reads like a premise that isn’t strong enough without a bigger so what.|
|243||MG||X||Ultimately, the plotting didn’t feel well-rounded enough in the opening pages. Hint at other subplots in your opening pages so the book feels like it has more depth than a typical playground scene that has been played out before. What makes your book really unique? The voice is great, I worry the setup in the opening pages just doesn’t do enough to stand out.|
|311||MG||X||This feels a bit bogged down with backstory and is written in a way that feels quite passive. Consider beginning your book with a live scene and as you establish the current story, fill in the blanks with your backstory.|
|313||YA||X*||This still reads very middle grade. Be careful of pitching this as a YA.|
|503||PB||X||There’s charm but I still can’t find the so-what that will really give this some marketing power.|
|504||PB||X||Ultimately I couldn’t readily identify what was the marketing value, the kid connection, or even the theme, of this particular premise. I was also a bit concerned it took much too long to get to the actual problem for a PB.|
|505||MG||X||Now I get what’s going on but I’m not sure I personally connect with the premise. It felt a bit cartoony for me? Other people may differ. I thought the writing on p.2 was pretty strong though. We hope to see a different work from you.|
|506||PB||X*||Like the animal nature idea but wonder if the execution is going to stand out enough. Reads a bit too prose-ish in style.|
|507||YA||X*||Needed to know why the female character must help. What’s at stake?|
|509||YA||X||Character feels a bit young, but too soon to tell…I’ll keep reading|
|510||MG||X||You might want to explain what the other kids do when the MC does her thing in this page.|
|511||PB||X*||Hope there’s a good so-what to this premise.|
|512||PB||X||I just couldn’t find the so-what? It seemed to go on and on but I needed a better sense of the direction.|
|513||PB||X||Some elements of this are promising but overall this felt too loose. Like not what most people think of when it comes to this topic. Go for the obvious … Make this feel tighter in concept|
|517||MG||X||Okay, but doesn’t he look his age, even though he may be tall? Explain that one a little …|
|518||CB||X||Ultimately, the main character felt a bit too adultish even though the premise has fantasy elements that often appear in children’s stories. Something aboutt this felt like it was written in a way that was a bit too mature as a chapter book. I would simplify the text somewhat and give your MC a more child-like POV.|
|519||PB||X||The elements here feel a bit loose, and while the premise is a good one, the execution feels a bit commonplace. Also work on picture book style versus regular prose. See Revision 9-1-1 for PBs on wfcat.com|
|521||MG||X*||Not sure the MC would be worried about food at a time like this, but .. I’ll keep reading and see if this stands out enough as an opener.|
|524||PB||X||I’ts not clear to me how this story will connect with a lot of readers at the get-go. It feels very anecdotal versus universal? Like a short story told in rhyme but not necessarily a picture book. Also the plotting feels a bit random too. Not sure where this is really headed|
|525||YA||X*||It’s unclear why the story has to start here. Feels like this is just the same old same old for your MC. The opening feels a bit …”let me show you what’s wrong with this character and what her background is…” versus .. Let me know show you what’ wrong and her backgruond and why THIS day is important to start the story. Why it matters to the MC …|
|527||PB||X||The subject matter is common in PB manuscript submissions. Got to find a more unique, pizzazzier and sparklier way to get at the subject so it stands out among your competition. Also note that your PB text is mostly dialogue. Try to find more balance between dialogue and narrative text. See WFCAT.com Revision 911 for PBs.|
|532||YA||X*||This voice feels a bit young and the parents a bit comical. The content as well also seems more MG. Regardless, I’ll read on for another page. Be careful of opening books with this kind of setup. Super common way for manuscript submissions to open. And this opening didn’t feel particularly unique.|
|536||PB||X*||I’m gonna read another page and see if something sparks for me to make this stand out more. Right now, I feel like it has potential but what’s the magic ingredient that’s going to make this standout over the other references I just provided in my last note?|
|538||MG||X*||The dialogue feels a bit loaded with background info. Be careful of making it sounds forced.|
|600||PB||X*||I’ll see where this goes, but I’m a bit concerned the premise may be too narrow? Let’s see what happens…|
|601||PB||X*||A nice little premise here but it seems to repeat the same point over and over again, versus moves the story forward and upward in intensity.|
|603||PB||X*||This has classic feel to the storytelling and a good sense of humor, but I wonder if this will feel kid-friendly enough? I’ll read on…|
|604||MG||X*||Unusual style for MG which I find interesting. But I’d like to see some greater sign of potential conflict or the MC’s problem in P1. Pull me in.|
|605||YA||X*||There’s a lot to keep track of in 125 words. A bit disorienting. Slow down a bit.|
|606||PB||X||You’ve got several concepts mixed into one story and I worried the premise is a bit complex and loose. Consider simplifying to the more unique idea in this concept versus mixing up the two.|
|610||PB||X||I hope some of the elements here aren’t too loose. I’ll keep reading …|
|611||PB||X*||A bit slow and detaily for a PB, but maybe this is a folklore-ish kind of tale. I’ll read on and see where this goes|
|612||PB||X||Like the premise, but this is written like a young chapter book or MG novel to me. See wfcat.com for Revision 911 articles for picture books. A bit wordy and detaily and I wondered if this story would run long as a picture book.|
|613||PB||X*||The premise seems somewhat doable and this has a kiddie sensibility to it, I’m curious to see where the next page goes, but I’m also concerned that the execution doesn’t stand out enough. Right now, the writing of this PB text feels quite everydayish. I need sparkle, pizzazz. Great humor also works.|
|614||PB||X||The everydayish setting and the writing style didn’t stand out enough to make your premise really shine. Take the same concept and make this story feel “bigger,” larger than life. See the Revision 911 PB article on wfcat.com for other ways to improve on its prospects as a picture book.|
|615||CB||X*||This opening is a bit too cloaked, confusing. But we are fond of this kind of animal so we’ll see where this goes. Slow down a bit and don’t leave your reader behind.|
|616||PB||X||Unfortunately, this reads much older than a PB text because of the writing style and content. The style is more short-story than PB, see Revision 911 for PB article on www.wfcat.com|
|617||CB||X*||This feels slightly older to me than a chapter book, based upon the MC’s voice|
|619||ER||X*||This is not reading like an ER to me. I’d simplify the sentence structure and also try to inject more humor to the piece. Right now, this feels a bit too everydayish to stand out. I’ll see where this goes though because I do like the premise for an ER…|
|620||PB||X||I think telling this from the child’s POV for a PB will serve your story better, versus the parent, as a picture book. I’m not sure the rhyme is serving the story either… it doesn’t scan as well as it could and I could see this idea working just as well without the rhyme. But mainly it’s the adult POV that’s bothering me.|
|621||PB||X||The concept is interesting but the execution feels much too loose. See Revision 911 article for PB on wfcat.com. I’d like this to feel much tighter as an opening page.|
|622||PB||X*||I’ll see where this goes, but I worry about the wordiness of the text and I wonder if this feels like the problem is a bit too old (non relatable) for your target audience.|
|623||BB||X*||Great idea. I’d consider putting more of a story arc to this (in it’s simplest form.) Simplify some of the wording. Give this one a teeny twist at the end, and make it slightly less repetitive. Got that?|
|624||PB||X*||Concerned about wordiness for a PB text, but an interesting concept, I’ll see where this goes.|
|625||PB||X||The concept is interesting, but the execution is a bit too far off the mark. The rhyme needs to come in a lot stronger, and I also worried that this was feeling a bit too everydayish for a PB. If this was told in a sparklier, snappier fashion, we might have been more into this.|
|626||MG||X*||This opening felt like a BIG bait and switch. In other words, the expectations were set high, then nothing was delivered. I’d be careful of this. I like the historical aspect to this, so I’ll read another page but I’d rework your opening.|
|627||PB||X||This has a lot of universal appeal (what kid has not been there?), but the writing style and the execution lacks the energy and unique sparkle I would expect from a PB. I’d analyze the FUNNEST picture books you’ve ever seen featuring everyday life and see where your text is lacking.|