March is a great month for basketball lovers, since the wonderful tournament to decide the NCAA basketball title gets underway. My Arizona team still can make the Big Dance (as it's also called, along with March Madness) if it wins tonight against Colorado. Go Cats!
Anyhow, the writing site Authonomy has long been a useful one for me, since I get some great feedback on my books. I've made many hundreds of corrections to my books using such feedback. This month, though, the site became even funner when one poster decided to put on a March Madness tournament for books. I entered both of my books in the 64-book field, and I'm thrilled that both made it to the second round. Each round is single elimination, so your nerves are jangling while you wait for judges to post their results. There were many great books entered, so the matches were thrilling to watch. Here is the link to the thread (see what you all are missing by not being on Authonomy?): http://www.authonomy.com/forums/threads/94088/march-madness/
Here are the postings of the judges for my two matches:
GAME # 18
Blue Diamonds - Antonio Marlowe
The Shard - Ted Cross
Here's how it went down:
Two wild novels appear!
Blue Diamonds uses Awesome Dialogue, it's super effective! The Shard is paralyzed!
The Shard is paralyzed, it can't move!
Blue Diamonds uses Motorbikes and romance! It's super effective.
The Shard uses ornate and skillful writing style, it's super effective!
Blue Diamonds uses ease and enjoyment of reading, it heals 5 points!
The Shard uses depth of plot! It deals some damage.
Blue Diamonds uses relatable characters! It deals some damage.
The Shard uses interesting use of magic, It's super effective! Blue Diamonds is confused!
In it's confusion, Blue Diamonds hit itself!
The Shard uses intrigue and mulit-plot lines! It's super effective!
Blue Diamonds fainted, The Shard wins!
Ha, I apologise for the pokemon visualisation, I thought they were both brilliant and almost too close to call. Both obviously had a lot of effort put into them, both prime examples of their genres and I didn't find a typo in each (as far through as I read). It eventually came down to a gut instinct and I just preferred the depth and scale of 'The Shard', it felt like a novel I could really sink my teeth into. But 'Blue Diamonds' was intriguing and It was definitely an easier and more lightly enjoyable read.
And the second match:
[TIG] The Immortality Game - Ted Cross -versus- [OTB] The One True Bank - Dadoo
Referee- McRae by Nature (Carrie L McRae)
Both books open with mysterious undertones, an unfamiliar and futuristic world, and the delightful taste of conspiracy. However, from the start, they prove to drastically differ. While TIG eased us into the world, introducing unfamiliar things one at a time with such clarity that I almost instantly knew what was going on, OTB seemed to throw things at me one after another without giving me a chance to fully understand or appreciate what they are. That, ultimately, was OTB’s downfall.
The character development and approach became another defining difference. OTB introduces four different character’s points of view before the third chapter, and I had a hard time separating them out from one another. TIG only introduced two, and within the very first paragraph of each POV, I got a clear understanding of what sort of character Zoya and Marcus were. They both remained consistently defined throughout the first two chapters.
Plotwise, both are brilliant, unique and complicated, but again TIG’s execution was much cleaner and easier to comprehend. In the end, this was almost an unfair pairing. OTB was a very well crafted novel, but TIG outshined it.
My overall thought after finishing chapter two of both manuscripts: Robert, you are a very strong writer, but there were just too many characters for me to keep track of, and too much going on all at once. Ted, your book grabbed me by the horns and took me anywhere it decided to go. I’ll be picking it shortly.
Winner: The Immortality Game by Ted Cross