I'm judging a contest. So far I've completed two out of five entries. But I am in a quandary. This contest has a score sheet and I put the numbers down as I felt after reading the work. Unfortunately upon adding things up- the better writer got the lower score. This baffles me and worries me and makes me wonder if I should revisit my scoring...did I subconsciously score the better writer harder? The first entry-with the higher score- is written pretty average for a beginning novelist. The story idea works, but the characters are still sketchy and the writing needs some work. The other one had characters who are unheroic and to stupid to live, dialogue is stilted, and there are huge plot holes but the actual writing is better- more junior level then sophomore. hmmm
I guess I will leave it for now-read the last three entries and then see how my scoring stacks up. I am usually a middle of the road kind of judge- not too hard and at the same time I don't give out perfects unless its earned. But I do worry when I lean toward the hard side. Someone paid good money to learn something about their work-not to be ripped apart. So my hope is to always help them learn. Wish me luck.