The contest begins! And for me, likely ends soon ;)

As writing related surprises go, I’ve had worse.

Had much better, mind, but had so much worse.

The short prose competition over at Rusty Axe has officially started, and the big surprise is Bad Blood is among the first to be judged this week.

Sadly, the judge (going off the first page only for now, which is more than fair) is not that impressed – the first page has scraped an 11/20, based on the components of plot, creativity, writing, grammar, mechanics, and style. The other piece alongside it scored 13/20, so I’m already languishing behind.

The remaining entrants over the next few weeks will go under a similar process, with the top four from nine going into the next round. You can leave your comments and rating here (they’ve thankfully made it a painless process): – although they won’t contribute towards the piece’s success or failure, so don’t go spamming the site or anything 😉

Reflecting on the judges comments, they’re fine – a couple miss the point of what I was trying to do, but on a whole I think they hit the mark with more than valid criticisms and have given me plenty to go on for a re-write. Most of the issues seem to boil down to a lack of judicious editing, a flaw which I’m painfully aware of. It seems the problems with the analysed page are mainly due to syntax, which is frustrating on my part (at myself) given the judge declares that the page is a “near miss” and just in need of some polishing, as everything else intrigues her. In short, Bad Blood is in need of a tidy-up and reshuffle. Fair enough; I do tend to go on a little…*

All valuable stuff to take away, then. I don’t see the entry going any further in the contest (I doubt the other entrants are going to score less than 11), but I’ve got a good idea of where to take the piece next before I go any further with it, as well as giving me something to be aware of in general with my prose…

*Which is what makes my comic writing so comparatively economical – I have so little space to write flowery prose in comics!

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