Jun 3, 2014

How do you separate your like and potential?

by Terri Wagner

This is a questioning post. I am a judge in several contest entries. Thank goodness I am not the only one. But I give each story a try. Trouble is sometimes the story seems well done, has a significant plot, and meets the criteria for a short story. However, I don't like it. It's not my cup of tea...would never read it in a million years. Can't stand the topic, blah blah blah.

I look at the other judges' comments AFTER I have read the story myself. I am always astonished to find that for the most part, I don't agree with the other judges. Most of the time I rate the story on how well it's done, whether it seems to match short story material. But I find a lot of other people just didn't like it, thought it was boring, blah blah blah (kudos to whoever made up that line, it's a great one).

So question: How do you judge a story? Your own or someone else's? Do you take into consideration what it is...series, stand alone, genre...or do you just think nope not interesting????


  1. Good questions, Terri. Like you, I try to look at the technical points...and how the voice fits the topic, etc. If I really don't care for the topic, I will opt out of judging so that I can be more fair to the writer.

  2. I'm with you Kari, I tried to beta read for a friend and I just couldn't get into the story. I realized, it wasn't necessarily the story that was the problem but more likely my lack of interest in the topic. I was honest with the writer and there were no hard feelings. She passed to another reader. I don't think it is fair to criticize a story just because it may be boring to me.


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