RLGL Wrapping Up: Round 7 Results COMPLETE, Final Round Deadline for Existing Entries ONLY April 23 11:59PM CST

Dear Tiquees:

Thank you for your monumental patience while Kissy deals with a whole host of tasks related to bacon consumption, chew-toy destruction, and every pooch’s favorite time of the year: Spring Break! We are back and it’s time to start closing down RLGL in preparation for summer. This means there will be no new entries for RLGL. Round 8 results will only include the entries that had been received up to this point (about 7AM CST, Apr 22), and entries from existing works that are still hanging in.

If you sent in your entry and followed the rules before April 8, 11:59 PM CST, your results should appear in this round. If they do not, contact Cynthea at her email address, not the sub address.

Also, if you are considering a paid critique, the sooner you notify us, the better. Sign up for the list and email Cynthea if you hope to get a May slot.


Format Back Next Round 7 Notes
0 MG
1 MG X Kissy faded  on this one. He’ was going to give it one more page, but then felt the writing needed to be pushed a bit further. It’s feeling a bit too forced, but overall, it definitely use a bit stronger voice to make it feel more distinctive. This piece isn’t standing out like it should.
9 MG X The pooch thinks the topic is great but the writing needs to come up a bit in the story’s execution. it’s just not singing like it should and some more careful  characterization and development of the narrative will really take something that has potential and shine it up into a gem. This needs to shine! We want it to shine. But at the moment, the pooch just has to give it the paw.
28 PB
38 YA X* Be careful of making this book sound one-dimensional, like a stereotpyical 80’s problem novel. Those days have come and gone. So we need to make sure that there is more to this than the problem itself.
40 YA
45 MG X* A little hard to understand how to visualize this. And see previous comments about fleshing out the setup better in these opening pages. We’ll give it one more page to see if anything more comes to light. We hope so. The pooch is hanging by a very thin strand of bacon on this one.
50 PB
63 YA
65 MG X
66 MG
77 MG
85 MG
92 YA
93 YA
96 YA
97 MG
107 MG
109 PB
125 YA X* The scene change is a bit abrupt with the new character intro – smooth this out a bit. Where were this person the whole time? Confusing.
129 YA X Ultimately what killed this for Kissy is that the MC is allowing someone else to do what the MC would really be doing herself too. This didn’t seem likeable. If she really loves the family member, that would be her first priority, not minding other people’s stuff. Easy to fix though.  Also see previous comment, her mind keeps digressing to things she wouldn’t be thinking about when she’s just lost the family member. Really get into your character’s head. Imagine what you would think if your family member just ran off.
134 MG X* This page lacked anything truly memorable. The writing here has gotten a bit flat and also the voice seems to falter a little (sounding more adult-ish, than child-like). This page doesn’t feel like it’s earning it’s place. Consider heavy revision.
147 YA
150 MG
151 MG
154 MG
172 PB
183 MG X* What this needs is a clearer setup. This is reading a bit cartoony – which is totally fine -but needs to be consistent throughout, from the very beginning. For a larger than life story – make it clearer from the get-go that it is – look at other MG books that stretch reality in this way. There are also plenty of TV references to examine as well.
187 MG
190 PB
191 YA
205 MG
207 MG X* Still don’t have a strong sense of the “so-what” of all of this. After this many pages, it should be much clearer. What is the bigger picture? The writing is good, but the interest is fading very quickly for this pooch.
208 PB X There’s a plot in here that could work, but the execution lacks emotion. Kissy really wanted to be one with this main character but just found himself reading a plot rundown. Consider 1) really shortening the text and sticking with your MC as much as possible, eliminating things that seemed distracting. 2) work on getting more deeply into your MC’s head and showing us his plight, versus sending him through the motions of the plot.
209 MG X watch for a little stuffing of detail at a moment where it doesn’t fit. Considered what just happened and where the MC’s mind would be. Jamming in details that feel out of place, given the context, can really pull a reader out of a story fast.  Easy fix though.
210 PB
211 ER
212 PB
214 MG
219 YA
221 PB X The humor is great, the idea is in the right direction but what’s not super clear is what this story is about by story’s end. While Kissy has a feeling the theme is friendship – this could come through much more clearly – and what exactly is the takeaway about friendship through this plotting? Answer that and make sure that is coming through more clearly. In the end, the pooch wondered if the younger audience was going to be able to relate to the MC and his counterparts predicament. Very important to build upon this. That connection and relatability between story and intended audience.
234 MG X* Consider writing this in past tense. There’s some awkwardness with the tense. Watch for breaking when there’s no need. Study how to transition in time without a break. Also the transition feels like someone just changed the channel. Smooth this out.
235 CB X Let’s see what’s on the next page. But this one is hanging by  thread here if it doesn’t pan out.
238 PB
245 MG X
255 PB
265 YA
267 PB
271 MG X* This helps, but the writing here was a little stiff compared to what came before it. But Kissy is always a sucker for a good pooch story so we’ll keep going.
275 PB
276 PB
277 YA
282 PB
283 YA X* This feels more like MG versus YA at the moment. Be careful of the MC’s voice, almost coming off as too self-important. So scale back a little on that. Let’s see where this goes. Right now not super clear what this will be about.
284 MG X Unfortunately, the pacing really stalled on this one because so much attention was paid to minor movements. The page is filled with them to the point you lose track of what’s importat. Please visit the Revision 911 article and watch the dependency on dependent clauses as well. These are simple fixes to make and will improve the clarity and pace of your writing dramatically.
289 YA X* Add a little more depth to the telling. Still a bit hard to picture.
295 YA X* The writing feels very distant, making it difficult to feel involved with the story. The pooch will give it another page, but work on  drawing out more depth to the characterization.  Right now the MC feels dramatic and a bit empty. There’s not much to go on through the end of page 3. This next page needs more teeth to pull this one out.
296 MG X* Hopefully what’s going on will be outlined in the next page, otherwise, Kissy will be just plain confused. Clue him in a little on the premise of your book.
297 MG
305 PB X* Same comment as before.  The pooch really dug this one. Has potential but do add more depth.
306 PB X At this point, Kissy was not drawn in enough to keep going. The writing started to feel a bit flat and repetitive. And there wasn’t much here to draw out the emotions of either character that this involves. While again, the premise is intriguing, more needs to be done here (in terms of style, emotional development, theme ) to make this one demand more attention.
309 PB X* This seems a bit long overall, and we are a bit fearful this is more of a punchline than a full-on story with heart. Hmmm…
310 PB
311 MG
316 PB X* This one has taken an interesting turn. And the pooch wonders if the story should have started out a bit differently. It’s a great concept, but we also need to be concerned with Gender roles, etc. Let’s see where this goees…But definitely work to make this shorter.
317 PB X This character has promise but the storyline doesn’t have enough meat to it to make it feel promising.  Put on the marketing hat and give this either 1) More social value 2) more emotional value or 3) more evaluation value. Or all of the above. 🙂
318 PB X Ultimately, this was a good example of poetry but this, overall lacked pizzazz when it comes to really rallying your target audience (the pre-schooler/kindergartner) with the educational bend that this has in the picture book format. How do you make this read a bit more accessible to the target audience? A bit more fun to read aloud? A bit more engaging in terms of storyline? A bit more surprising and unexpected?
321 PB X Ultimately, this telling feels a bit stream of consciousness – like. Not sure where it is going, and the pooch wasn’t reeled in. Consider narrative more closely – examine story arc.
322 PB
324 PB Attachment submitted.
327 PB X Ultimately, this one felt a bit long and the pooch still wondered what this was about. By this many words in, the story should feel like it has more weight / importance? It’s reading very much like a short story for a niche market, which isn’t bad per se. but not quite what Kissy is looking for.
328 PB X This story has potential but it’s lacking in story arc/emotional arc. See if you can go a bit deeper and really bring out a theme (a so-what?) for this story. Right now it is coming off as cute, but its lacking weight – concerend this will be viewed as slight in the marketplace, as is. So really go further with the overall idea
329 PB X* We wanna see what happens. Boy do we hope this ends super cleverly.
330 PB X This has potential but the way this turned out didn’t seem like the best direction exactly. It makes it sound as though in order to gain friends, one must conform versus embrace uniqueness/differences. The pooch doesn’t think this was the author’s intentinn but that was what the takeaway seemed to be by story’s end. Reconsider how this story resolves.
331 PB X Concept is good but execution feels a bit too commoplace/true to everyday life which makes for an ordinary versus extraordinary beginning. Try to reimagine this concept with larger than life fiction than demands attention in the PB format
332 PB X See 331.
333 PB X This concept felt a bit too off the beaten path. Very loose with such random elements put together. Try a different premise for this pooch. He just couldn’t connect.
334 YA X Be careful of harsher language in opening lines, if you plan for this book to also be shared in schools, etc. It may not be a consideration for you, but we always tell writers this if they want their books to appear in school libraries, Scholastic, etc.
335 MG X* This opening is a bit hard to understand from the first line. Also feels like the MC has a chip on shoulder / temper the voice. We want to care / empathize with the MC but so much snarkiness/negativity gives the pooch some pause (paws).
336 MG X* A bit hard to understand. Switch in topic is jarring.
337 CB X
338 PB X This seems like it has a good theme, but the execution is a bit everydayish / too true to life which makes the manuscript itself seem too commonplace, not unique.
339 YA X
340 PB X* This is an interesting idea, however, have to be careful. This sounds as though it’s  a situation that makes someone feel sorry for the main character, which could be viewed as offensive. Tread carefully and focus on the true meaning of this story. What is the theme? What is the hope for this story?  We have some ideas but as the author, get the story’s theme to come through a bit more clearly.
341 YA X* Yikes, this is a mature and somewhat nasty opening. Ha. No doubt, going this route could  turn off some people just by sheer grossness and appropriateness of content. But let’s see what’s on the next page.
342 PB X This is sounding like something meant for an older audience or a different format than PB. The style feels more short story-ish and the content feels like early middle grade at the minimum. Check out the PB section at your book store and look for  stories with similar subject matter – published in recent years.


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