Friday, January 30, 2015

Judged Entries Due Saturday Jan 31st

That's right everybody!

All judged entries are due back to the GEcoordinator@ntrwa.org
Saturday, January 31st

If you need more time, please contact the coordinator.


CONGRATULATIONS
the
Single Title Romance Judges
who have all finished !


Saturday, January 17, 2015

TOPIC: PACING

Is the story well-paced, or does it seem to lose momentum? Does it have you wanting to turn those pages?

"Whether you’re using fast or slow pacing, things must happen. While description makes the story more vivid, it shouldn’t be what’s happening. If you put people on every page and in every paragraph and have them doing something, pacing will unfold naturally. The more things that happen, the faster the story pace."   Maggie Touissant


Maggie's words are great to judge by. Pacing is about something happening in the story . . . fast OR slow.  If you find yourself reading the entry and you've forgotten to judge it . . .  That's a clear indication that the pacing is right on target.

Too Much Back Story * Jarring Sentences * Inconsentent Information
CAN STOP A READER

That when we mark the confusing passages in the manuscript, then zip down to the scoresheet and give the author page numbers to refererence. Let them know why (or which sentence) affected the stopping & starting.

Need some pacing articles? Try the Romance Univerity blog-- http://romanceuniversity.org/
They have lots of tips and may have exactly the verbiage you need to validate your feeling about the entry.

As always, if you have questions relating specifically to an entry, contact GEcoordinator@ntrwa.org.

~Angi

Friday, January 16, 2015

TOPIC: International Writing Differences

Isn't it amazing we can help writers all over the world reach their potential? Unfortunately, our PCs are not always as friendly.

Some of your entries may have international spellings. Please do not count off for this unless the word reappears and is spelled inconsistently.

In addition, international entries may use one quotation mark (standard in the UK) or leave out the period in formal address words such as Mr., Mrs. and Dr. as is used in the U.S.

As always, if you have questions relating specifically to an entry, contact GEcoordinator@ntrwa.org.

~Angi

Thursday, January 15, 2015

TOPIC: WRITING STYLES

Please keep the following in mind:

QUESTION: I’ve judged entries in various contests where an author wrote “said he”, instead of “he said”. At first I would mark them down and explain the correct way. Then I found out in some countries “said he” is the correct way of writing. I still comment that in America it’s written ‘he said’ and editors and agents may see this as inexperience, but I understand other countries don’t write in the same format as we do. I don’t take off for it, and I tell them I’m not taking off for it. Have you come across this and how would you handle it?

RESPONSE: Subjectivity
Bottom line?  Is it a good story and does the style work in that story.

An author's style and voice are their own. But so is each story. The way a character thinks and acts in one book won't necessarily work in another. Same thing goes for readers...what one likes, another says maybe not so much. Basic grammar rules may be broken if they don't jar the reader from the story. They may even be used to tell a specific story in a specific way.

So authors may use different tags to identify different POVs or characters. But it has to work.

If it's a distraction, then it should be counted down, but please leave a comment about the distraction--not just the gramatically inconsistency.

As always, if you have questions relating specifically to an entry, contact GEcoordinator@ntrwa.org.

~Angi
Angi Morgan                   AngiMorgan.com
                WEST TEXAS WATCHMEN
The Sheriff           The Cattleman            The Ranger 

 JAN                              FEB                             MAR

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

TOPIC: POV SHIFTS

QUESTION: Can it be pointed out to the judges that a scene break or blank line or ### is NOT required with each POV shift?
                   
ANSWER: Blank lines are not required with a POV shift.
If they aren't used, we refer to that as a transition.

IF a blank line, * or # is used for the POV shift, there's nothing wrong with this style either.

POV SHIFTS for scoring purposes
If the POV changing (or lack of changing) is distracting you as a reader then there's a problem. Many times as a judge I explain to the contestant that I’m not a POV purist, but “head hopping” is not simple POV shifting. "Head hopping" doesn’t allow the reader time to invest enough emotion with one character before shifting to another POV. It's the author's goal to get me to connect with the storie's characters. If I’m not in the character's POV long enough to connect...then the POV shifting is not working.

IDENTIFIERS that might indicate a POV problem
Point of View that shifts every couple of paragraphs?
There's no rule that says a writer can't do this. (I love to use this tool in a love scene.)
     --BUT, does it jar you from the story?
     --DOES it keep you from investing emotion into the characters?
     --DOES it have you wondering whose POV you're reading?

As always, if you have questions relating specifically to an entry, contact GEcoordinator@ntrwa.org.

~Angi
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Angi Morgan                                    AngiMorgan.com
                   WEST TEXAS WATCHMEN

The Sheriff           The Cattleman            The Ranger  

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

TOPIC: WORD OVERUSE

I LOOKED at him.
She LOOKED great.
He had a nasty LOOK in his eyes.
LOOK, there’s the mailman.
Who LOOKED at me?

QUESTION: Where on the score sheet do we comment on words  or proper names being over-used? 

ANSWER:  Let’s consider these "style" issues (unique voice/strong writing style) ... I wouldn't mark an entry down much for overuse of dialogue tags or proper names, but if it's distracting a slight reduction would certainly be appropriate.  Just note that the duplication of words is distracting. 

Try highlighting the use of mirrored or overused words. The highlight will draw attention to the distraction when the author reviews the manuscript. But as for any deduction, always leave a comment as to why. 

NOTE: Some authors use repetition deliberately -- for emphasis, for comedic effect, etc. So, again, only mark down if the repetition genuinely interferes with your ability to read the story.

As always, if you have questions relating specifically to an entry, contact GEcoordinator@ntrwa.org.

~Angi
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
Angi Morgan                                    AngiMorgan.com
                   WEST TEXAS WATCHMEN
The Sheriff           The Cattleman            The Ranger 
     JAN                            FEB                         MAR

Monday, January 12, 2015

Young Adult

THE SCORE SHEET
~ ALL SPECIFIC SECTIONS

Most of the opinions on judging and interpreting the questions’ intent are my own words. I’ve only been in the business 15 years and have spoken to many authors, gathering information. A lot of the time when a question is asked, I go to authors who publish in that genre for advice. Please use your own expertise and experience, but keep our humble interpretations in mind. Thanks, Angi

~If you have an additional question regarding your specific category, please send it directly to GEcoordinator@ntrwa.org.

~Some of the explanations are the same for general questions which require some expected knowledge of the sub-genre. If you require a more in-depth definition of the genre...please send an email for additional information. Additional resources are being posted this week.

~For your convenience we’ve included a description of each category as described on our FINAL EDITORS page.

The Young Adult category entries were emailed 1-13.

*YOUNG ADULT* 
Novels appropriate for young adult readers. Includes young adult heroes and heroines not exceeding 18 years of age. An example is the 2013 RWA RITA winner: THE FARM by Emily McKay.

Need more about what the trends in YA are? Try Romance University
Or how about Publishers Weekly

SPECIFIC TO THE YOUNG ADULT CATEGORY
Possible 20 point total to award, 5 points per question
        Does the main character face his / her problem in a believable manner?
        Does the author capture the dialogue of a young adult romance?
        Is the main character moving toward discovering who he/she is as a person?
        Are the secondary characters necessary, interesting, and believable?

Breaking Down the Questions
        Does the main character face his / her problem in a believable manner?
Young adult manuscripts encompass a wide range of subjects, tones, and styles. Contemporary to historical paranormal, first person or third person, slow and steady or action-adventure. Anything goes. The goal of any manuscript is to provide an excellent book. Please keep the writing in mind.
        Does the author capture the dialogue of a young adult romance?
Dialogue is an important part of any manuscript. Do teens curse? Yes. Do they use slang? Yes. Do you still want the story to flow? Yes. Finding the perfect balance is difficult. The most important thing about dialogue is to convey information, progress the story, and NOT interrupt the reader. If you’re jarred from the story…you might want to verify why. Is it because you can’t understand? Or was it a good shock? Only you as a reader can decide this answer. I like the Writing YA for Dummies dialogue section: “blurt it out.” As in teens often TALK first and THINK second.
        Is the main character moving toward discovering who he/she is as a person?
 “The elements of storytelling are the same for young adult fiction and adult fiction, but writers of young adult fiction must come at those elements with a wholly different mindset. After all, this category has its own rules, its own quirks, and its own very opinionated audience: teens and tweens.” ~ Writing Young Adult Fiction For Dummies by Deborah Halverson  The main character must overcome their obstacle.
        Are the secondary characters necessary, interesting, and believable?
As with any length and any sub-genre of romance, the secondary characters must have a purpose in the scene. One point to watch out for is if they’re info-dumping. Now, a second character in the room is the perfect way to give the reader information without the POV character just thinking about it. Dialogue is always better (in my humble opinion). A dialogue (or mental note that the secondary character is talking a lot LOL) gives purpose and makes the character necessary.

If you have specific questions regarding this section, please contact GEcoordinator@ntrwa.org.

Additional help tips for this category may be available through the coordinator or on our blog.

Inspiration Romance

THE SCORE SHEET
~ ALL SPECIFIC SECTIONS
2016 --Two questions are currently under review

Most of the opinions on judging and interpreting the questions’ intent are my own words. I’ve only been in the business 15 years and have spoken to many authors, gathering information. A lot of the time when a question is asked, I go to authors who publish in that genre for advice. Please use your own expertise and experience, but keep our humble interpretations in mind. Thanks, Angi

~If you have an additional question regarding your specific category, please send it directly to GEcoordinator@ntrwa.org.

~Some of the explanations are the same for general questions which require some expected knowledge of the sub-genre. If you require a more in-depth definition of the genre...please send an email for additional information. Additional resources are being posted this week.


~For your convenience we’ve included a description of each category as described on our FINAL EDITORS page.

The Inspirational judging panels have been emailed.

*INSPIRATIONAL ROMANCE*
Romantic novels with an inspirational message/theme, including romantic suspense, historical, etc. An example is the 2014 RWA RITA winner: FIVE DAYS IN SKYE by Carla Laureano.

SPECIFIC TO THE INSPIRATIONAL CATEGORY
Possible 20 point total to award, 5 points per question
        Do the inspirational elements reflect not sermonizing and seem a natural aspect of character and plot?      
        If you took the inspirational element out of the story, would the plot still work?    
        Is the protagonist’s faith, belief system or values (or lack of) apparent or foreshadowed?
        Is the tone appropriate for inspirational romance? (language, sexual tension, etc.)

PLEASE remember that “faith” may not necessarily reflect your personal beliefs.

Breaking Down the Questions
        Do the inspirational elements reflect not sermonizing and seem a natural aspect of character and plot?   
Answering this question is a matter of the judge’s opinion. Please refer back to the balance of introspection and dialogue. A balance is needed in any story.
        If you took the inspirational element out of the story, would the plot still work?     
Are the main threads of the story woven together in such a way that the plot would unravel without one of the threads? In other words, if the inspirational element is removed, this story shouldn’t fit another category.
        Is the protagonist’s faith, belief system or values (or lack of) apparent or foreshadowed?
MANY published inspirational romances focus on characters who do not have faith at the beginning of the story; instead, the story is about them developing faith. Our score sheet does not necessarily reflect this reality as well as it should.  So, for our purposes, think of the category-specific question as being about whether there is a foundation for a journey of faith as well as a journey of romance.
        Is the tone appropriate for inspirational romance? (language, sexual tension, etc.)
Tone. If you don’t read several types of inspirational romance, this question may be a mystery to you. Please contact the coordinator for help. But each type and length of a Amish, suspense, category or single title inspirational has its own feel. It’s what a reader would expect when picking up a book not only on a designated/tagged bookshelf, but also by an author.

Sexual tension in inspirational romance is appropriate, just as it’s needed in any romance.
Now … the frame for this will be different because lust doesn’t get mentioned, nor can you have any of the physiological reactions that you would probably show in most other types of romance.  However, these are people falling in love, and as an author, you don’t want that to come across as a brother-sister kind of thing.  In showing attraction or sexual tension in inspirational romance, my approach is similar to what you’d see in solidly family films.

Some of my models for how to do this are the relationships between Jack and Lucy in While You Are Sleeping, Hawkeye and Cora in Last of the Mohicans (1992 version), Danielle and Prince Henry in Ever After,  and Mary and Steve in the Wedding Planner.  In each of these, it’s obvious these people are falling in love, but the tension is as much emotional as it is physical.  And because the focus is on the emotional, you just know the physical will be just fine.
~ inspirational author, Sharon Mignerey

If you have specific questions regarding this section, please contact GEcoordinator@ntrwa.org.
Additional help tips for this category may be available through the coordinator or on our blog.

Mainstream with Romantic Elements

THE SCORE SHEET
~ ALL SPECIFIC SECTIONS

Most of the opinions on judging and interpreting the questions’ intent are my own words. I’ve only been in the business 15 years and have spoken to many authors, gathering information. A lot of the time when a question is asked, I go to authors who publish in that genre for advice. Please use your own expertise and experience, but keep our humble interpretations in mind. Thanks, Angi

~If you have an additional question regarding your specific category, please send it directly to GEcoordinator@ntrwa.org.

~Some of the explanations are the same for general questions which require some expected knowledge of the sub-genre. If you require a more in-depth definition of the genre...please send an email for additional information. Additional resources are being posted this week.

~For your convenience we’ve included a description of each category as described on our FINAL EDITORS page.


The MRE judging panels have been emailed.

*MAINSTREAM WITH ROMANTIC ELEMENTS* 
Novels that include an element of romance but in which traditional romance conventions are not followed and in which there are themes and conflicts beyond romance. Mainly women’s fiction and chick lit. An example is the 2013 RWA RITA winner: THE HAUNTING OF MADDY CLAIRE by Simone St. James.

Please note that the Mainstream with Romantic Elements category only needs to hint at the possibility of romance. Please do not judge the entry based on the romance, MRE normally focuses on one protagonist’s journey.

SPECIFIC TO THE MAINSTREAM w/ROMANTIC ELEMENTS CATEGORY
Possible 20 point total to award, 5 points per question
        Does the story focus on one protagonist and/or their journey?
        Is there an element to the story that takes it beyond a traditional single title romance? 
        Does the author build a sustainable story beyond using the traditional romantic elements? (The story should set the groundwork for a potential romantic relationship but should not be the central focus of the story.)          
        Are the secondary characters necessary, interesting, and believable?

Breaking Down the Questions
        Does the story focus on one protagonist and/or their journey?
Mainstream or women’s fiction. One protagonist on a journey…normally that is not a journey to find love (although that subject isn’t ruled out as long as the main focus is on the one protagonist). Emotional reflection and action that is a journey of self-discovery. Here’s an article by a women’s fiction author on what to expect.
        Is there an element to the story that takes it beyond a traditional single title romance? 
Wow…now that’s a serious question, right? Beyond a traditional single title…reference back to a journey of self-discovery. It may or may not involve a hero (traditional single title romance must have a hero). It is normally a protagonist over thirty. AND the protagonist saves herself through her self-discovery.
        Does the author build a sustainable story beyond using the traditional romantic elements? (The story should set the groundwork for a potential romantic relationship but should not be the central focus of the story.)      
With many MRE entries, one of the two protagonists may not be introduced in the first 5000 words. Each contestant had the opportunity to view the score sheet before entering the contest. Please use your judgment as best as you can.
        Are the secondary characters necessary, interesting, and believable?
As with any length and any sub-genre of romance, the secondary characters must have a purpose in the scene. One point to watch out for is if they’re info-dumping. Now, a second character in the room is the perfect way to give the reader information without the POV character just thinking about it. Dialogue is always better (in my humble opinion). A dialogue (or mental note that the secondary character is talking a lot LOL) gives purpose and makes the character necessary.

If you have specific questions regarding this section, please contact GEcoordinator@ntrwa.org.
Additional help tips for this category may be available through the coordinator or on our blog.

Specialized Romance Category

THE SCORE SHEET
~ ALL SPECIFIC SECTIONS

Most of the opinions on judging and interpreting the questions’ intent are my own words. I’ve only been in the business 15 years and have spoken to many authors, gathering information. A lot of the time when a question is asked, I go to authors who publish in that genre for advice. Please use your own expertise and experience, but keep our humble interpretations in mind. Thanks, Angi

~If you have an additional question regarding your specific category, please send it directly to GEcoordinator@ntrwa.org.

~Some of the explanations are the same for general questions which require some expected knowledge of the sub-genre. If you require a more in-depth definition of the genre...please send an email for additional information. Additional resources are being posted this week.

~For your convenience we’ve included a description of each category as described on our FINAL EDITORS page.

Specialized Romance category entries were emailed 1/14.

*SPECIALIZED ROMANCE*
 Alternate Earth /Dystopian / Futuristic / Fantasy / Time Travel / Paranormal / Urban Fantasy
Romantic novels of any time setting (historical or futuristic) with Alternate Earth Histories, Dystopian, Futuristic, Fantasy, Time Travel, Paranormal or Urban Fantasy. Please keep in mind that the emphasis should be on the romance. An example is the 2014 RWA RITA winner: THE FIREBIRD by Suzanna Kearsley.

ONLY ON THE SPECIALIZED SCORE SHEET
This third setting question is not seen in other categories.
SETTING:  possible 15 points 
        Is the world well defined yet understandable for the reader without being overwhelming?
While all novels feature an element of world-building, in that the author makes the setting ' real' for the reader, novels in the Specialized category expand on this skill and build alternate worlds that become more of a character than merely a setting. The world built should seem plausible and well-defined, without confusing the reader with excessive technical jargon. The setting should accentuate the characters and their actions, not overpower them.

SPECIFIC TO THE SPECIALIZED CATEGORY
Alternate Earth /Dystopian / Futuristic / Fantasy / Time Travel / Paranormal / Urban Fantasy
Possible 15 point total to award, 5 points per question
        Is the protagonist a unique, well-defined, relatable, character who is complex enough to sustain a story of this length?
        Are the protagonists’ actions and motivations believable?  Do they face their problems in a believable manner?
        Are the secondary characters necessary, interesting, and believable?

While stories in this category will require an unworldly atmosphere the reader may or may not be accustomed to, they must also have some ‘specialized’ element as an integral part of the plot. The category is not simply an alternate reality--it is also a ROMANCE. So an element of romance/attraction or the potential of attraction has to be evident in the first pages.

Breaking Down the Questions
        Is the protagonist a unique, well-defined, relatable, character who is complex enough to sustain a story of this length?
As in any sub-genre of writing, a character should have these qualities to sustain a story. Keep in mind this isn’t a point deduction when one of these may not be present. Look at the point definitions and evaluate the character.
        Are the protagonists’ actions and motivations believable?  Do they face their problems in a believable manner?
The protagonists should behave and interact in ways that makes sense for their character traits and work within the parameters and the 'rules' set in their world. As in any good novel, the reader needs to believe that the protagonists' behaviors are consistent with their internal and external driving forces.
        Are the secondary characters necessary, interesting, and believable?
As with any length and any sub-genre of romance, the secondary characters must have a purpose in the scene. One point to watch out for is if they’re info-dumping. Now, a second character in the room is the perfect way to give the reader information without the POV character just thinking about it. Dialogue is always better (in my humble opinion). A dialogue gives purpose and makes the character necessary (or you can make a note that the secondary character is talking a lot).

If you have specific questions regarding this section, please contact GEcoordinator@ntrwa.org.

Additional help tips for this category may be available through the coordinator or on our blog.

New Adult Romance

THE SCORE SHEET
~ ALL SPECIFIC SECTIONS

Most of the opinions on judging and interpreting the questions’ intent are my own words. I’ve only been in the business 15 years and have spoken to many authors, gathering information. A lot of the time when a question is asked, I go to authors who publish in that genre for advice. Please use your own expertise and experience, but keep our humble interpretations in mind. Thanks, Angi

~If you have an additional question regarding your specific category, please send it directly to GEcoordinator@ntrwa.org.

~Some of the explanations are the same for general questions which require some expected knowledge of the sub-genre. If you require a more in-depth definition of the genre...please send an email for additional information. Additional resources are being posted this week.

~For your convenience we’ve included a description of each category as described on our FINAL EDITORS page.

The New Adult category was mailed to judges on 1-12.

*NEW ADULT*
Novels appropriate for new adult readers. Includes heroes and heroines not exceeding 25 years of age. Novels similar to YA that can be published and marketed as adult—a sort of older YA market. New Adult fiction tends to focus on "first" experience issues. Some examples are leaving home, developing sexuality, negotiating education, first job or career choices. An example is SHATTER by Erin McCarthy.

SPECIFIC TO THE NEW ADULT CATEGORY
Possible 20 point total to award, 5 points per question
____  Is the main character dealing with first time adult situations such as, but not limited to: struggling with their first job, first time living away from parents, or first serious relationship?  
____  Is the plot centered around the period in the main character's life when he/she is transitioning from a teen to an emerging adult? (Or adolescence to adulthood)
____  Is the theme or issue easily definable? Examples include but are not limited to: sexuality, alcohol or drug abuse, family issues, innocence loss, fear, race, choices, independence, war...
____  Are the secondary characters necessary, interesting, and believable?

Breaking Down the Questions
____    Is the main character dealing with first time adult situations such as, but not limited to: struggling with their first job, first time living away from parents, or first serious relationship?  
Some examples of what New Adult covers are the same issues as classic films: Dirty Dancing, The Prince and Me, The Devil Wears Prada (movie version not the book). But they can also be angstier, darker and grittier too.
____    Is the plot centered around the period in the main character's life when he/she is transitioning from a teen to an emerging adult? (Or adolescence to adulthood)
This question is meant to reflect first time changes. The age might be college graduate into adulthood (as in The Devil Wears Prada). Here’s an article in USA Today recommended by an editor who purchases New Adult.
____    Is the theme or issue easily definable? Examples include but are not limited to: sexuality, alcohol or drug abuse, family issues, innocence loss, fear, race, choices, independence, war...
Judging this question should be easy. A definable “young” subject should appear in the first 5,000 words. What’s the definition of “young subject”? Well…I think I can tell you it’s not stories about retirement, second loves, older loves, etc. Think back to all those exciting, adventurous moments when all of life was ahead of you. (Okay, there’s still a lot of life ahead of me, too. BUT these are FIRST-TIME experiences.)
____    Are the secondary characters necessary, interesting, and believable?
As with any length and any sub-genre of romance, the secondary characters must have a purpose in the scene. One point to watch out for is if they’re info-dumping. Now, a second character in the room is the perfect way to give the reader information without the POV character just thinking about it. Dialogue is always better (in my humble opinion). A dialogue (or mental note that the secondary character is talking a lot LOL) gives purpose and makes the character necessary.

From editor Elizabeth Potent, our final round judge last year.
“New Adult novels need to be contemporary, set either in or after college, and show characters trying to find themselves. The themes are more mature—college, parties, bad boys, sex, etc.—but the writing still has that youthful edge to it. These books are about people who don’t have it all figured out but are trying. More than that, New Adult is a very commercial category and very e-driven.”

If you have specific questions regarding this section, please contact GEcoordinator@ntrwa.org.

Additional help tips for this category may be available through the coordinator or on our blog.

Contemporary Series Romance

THE SCORE SHEET
~ ALL SPECIFIC SECTIONS

Most of the opinions on judging and interpreting the questions’ intent are my own words. I’ve only been in the business 15 years and have spoken to many authors, gathering information. A lot of the time when a question is asked, I go to authors who publish in that genre for advice. Please use your own expertise and experience, but keep our humble interpretations in mind. Thanks, Angi

~If you have an additional question regarding your specific category, please send it directly to GEcoordinator@ntrwa.org.

~Some of the explanations are the same for general questions which require some expected knowledge of the sub-genre. If you require a more in-depth definition of the genre...please send an email for additional information. Additional resources are being posted this week.


~For your convenience we’ve included a description of each category as described on our FINAL EDITORS page.

*CONTEMPORARY SERIES ROMANCE*
Romantic series novels. If your manuscript is a series romantic suspense, you may enter the Contemporary Series category or the Romantic Suspense category. Please check our score sheets to see which benefits your writing. An example is the 2014 RWA RITA winner: WHY RESIST A REBEL? by Leah Ashton.

SPECIFIC TO THE CONTEMPORARY SERIES CATEGORY
Possible 20 point total to award, 5 points per question
        Are the protagonists’ introductions as individuals and possibly to one another occurring at a pace appropriate to a series romance? (Does not refer to the h/h first meet, but the actual character introductions.)
        Does the author successfully introduce a series type “hook” in a unique or original manner?          
        Does the author capture the tone of a series romance? (Plot concentrates on the main protagonists and isn’t distracted with too many subplots.)
        Does the author capture the pacing of a series romance?

Breaking Down the Questions
        Are the protagonists’ introductions as individuals and possibly to one another occurring at a pace appropriate to a series romance? (Does not refer to the h/h first meet, but the actual character introductions.)            
There is no rule that states the hero and heroine should physically meet in the first chapter. It is commonplace in Series romance that at least both characters are introduced. We’ve based our score sheet as if the reader would be introduced to both the hero and heroine in the first 5000 words. With the somewhat faster pace of the series romance, we would hope that the reader can obtain a sense of the characters and where the story is headed.
        Does the author successfully introduce a series type “hook” in a unique or original manner?         
Hooks or tropes.
        Does the author capture the tone of a series romance? (Plot concentrates on the main protagonists and isn’t distracted with too many subplots.)
Tone. If you don’t read several types of category romances, this question may be a mystery to you. Please contact the coordinator for help. But each type and length of a series romance has its own feel. It’s what a reader would expect when picking up a book not only on a designated/tagged bookshelf, but also by an author.
        Does the author capture the pacing of a series romance?
Series Romance normally has a faster pace than single title since the word count is often much less.  This pacing may not refer to action on the page. It might refer to less time spent addressing an issue. 
 
If you have specific questions regarding this section, please contact GEcoordinator@ntrwa.org.
Additional help tips for this category may be available through the coordinator or on our blog.

QUESTION: Logical Actions?

QUESTION: “I’ve read my entries two or three times and held off evaluating them until the third reading.  I’m having a real problem with one of the submissions.  I think the way the heroine acts is totally out of character from the way I think a contemporary woman would act.  How do I judge that?” ~Kathy

ANSWER: Judging is always going to be based upon the opinion of the reader. Whether it’s a person who has read a manuscript at its beginning stages or the purchaser. If a characters’ actions are not believable or logical to the reader (in this case the GE Judge), please score appropriately. Make certain that you comment to clarify why you can’t suspend your disbelief. Sometimes (for the author) it may be adding a sentence of why the character isn’t following the logical course. Perhaps the character weighs the option and follows an illogical course. But if the train of thought isn’t on the page, the reader doesn’t understand.

WHERE WOULD THIS CONCERN THE SCORE SHEET?
CHARACTERIZATION
 Are the protagonist’s actions and motivations believable? Are the protagonist’s problems faced in a believable manner?

Score the actions appropriately, but leave a comment clarifying why you can’t follow the character’s logic. You may want to refer to actual passages of text in the manuscript. You may want to suggest that the character may chose the illogical course, but the reader needs to follow that train of thought to understand.

As always, if you have questions relating specifically to an entry, contact GEcoordinator@ntrwa.org.

~Angi
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Angi Morgan                                    AngiMorgan.com
                   WEST TEXAS WATCHMEN
The Sheriff           The Cattleman            The Ranger 

     JAN                            FEB                         MAR