Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Writer's Digest Feedback for Into the Deep


Sadly, Into the Deep did not win any awards in the Writer's Digest Self-Published Book Awards, however it did receive some wonderful feedback from the Judges. I wanted to take a minute to share this with all of my readers, and to remind everyone that there are some wonderful self-published books out there. My budget for Into the Deep was practically nonexistent. I didn't have extensive developmental editing, I had beta readers, I didn't have thousands of dollars to spend on cover art or formatting, I had zero dollars (with the exception of paying my editor). I did have great friends and an amazing editor, Victoria Shockley. That "outstanding" score in grammar is all her. And, even though I'm not going home with a prize I still feel very honored and validated in my craft to have received the feedback I did from the professionals at Writer's Digest.

[Note: If you have not read Into the Deep yet the commentary below does contain spoilers]

Books are evaluated on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 meaning “needs improvement” and 5 meaning “outstanding”. This scale is strictly to provide a point of reference, it is not a cumulative score and does not reflect ranking.


Structure and Organization: 5

Grammar: 5

Production Quality and Cover Design: 4

Plot (if applicable): 5

Character Development (if applicable): 5


Judges Commentary*:

I really enjoyed your story.  I got so caught up in it that I didn't notice any mistakes in grammar.  You did a great job of characterization and through Ivy's ability to read thoughts, I think your reader will analyze, then try to understand the types of teenagers and the problems that you describe.  The fact of putting a time limit on the bomb helped increase the tension as the deadline grew near.  Your subplots of the various parents' problems impacting the teens' personalities added a deeper dimension to the story.   I liked Ivy's perceptions of so many of the characters changing when she learned more about their lives and by the end her three shallow friends being redeemed by clearing the crowd from the bombsite.   I didn't realize until the end that this was the first book of the series.  In retrospect, that made your climax even more interesting.  The reader expected Ivy to lose her psychic ability when hitting her head for the second time.  A surprise ending is always good.  I think I remember your foreshadowing Eric being picked on in the beginning of the story, but I couldn't find it again to make sure.  Great if you were able to slip that it so inconspicuously.  Your voice sounded perfect for your target reader and your minimalist sex scenes were great.  I'm glad you had a lot of dialogue to make up for the necessary blocks of text where Ivy was alone with her own thoughts.  The text never felt heavy.  Great subplot conflict with Ivy and Tiana's jealousies.  A good read, well thought out and written for your target reader.  You are a very talented writer, good enough for the major publishers with sales/marketing staff to support your efforts.   It's a tough business; don't give up.  Good luck.

Read more about Into the Deep on Amazon 

Read more about  Into the Deep on Goodreads