This year I entered the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award competition and unlike past years I made it into the second round. It was in that round that I fell to the wayside.
I imagine that all the contestants that were eliminated in the second round received two critiques. One was favorable and pointed out the good and bad in my writing. That was great. Useful criticism is a staple in writing. The other couldn’t make it past the scene where the protagonist becomes infected with The Pelican Flu.
Now I’ve done a copy and paste of what was said, and nothing was changed. I hope you enjoy.
ABNA Expert Reviewer
What is the strongest aspect of this excerpt?
This excerpt was all about disgusting bodily fluids, vomit, sickness and misery. I think it will stick in my mind for hours after I finish this excerpt. The visual imigages were awful and nauseating. I don’t think I will ever forget it although I’d like to.
What aspect needs the most work?
I would like to see some part of this book not want to make me vomit. I wish the author could write about something else than bodily excretions, sickness and disease. Yes, I know it’s about him being a ghost but there is no way I would want to continue reading after such gross images.
What is your overall opinion of this excerpt?
sickening. Simply sickening. That is not to say that the author is not a good writer. Indeed, he managed to capture the essence of disgustingness. For that I must credit him. But I don’t know who would want to read this book and willingly put themselves in a world full of vomit.
So the truth is out. I can write and I can do it well. I’ve given out more copies of Memoirs of the Walking Dead than I could keep up with and more than a dozen people, that I know of, are unable to make it past the initial infection or the sickness that follows. Without giving anything away I wanted to do a unique infection scene, inspired by The 40 Year Old Virgin, and a sickness scene unlike anything anyone has ever read or witnessed on a screen. It appears I have succeeded and I take no small amount of pride in that. In fact, I take a lot of pride in that fact. If you want to learn more you should really pick up a copy and find out. It’s guaranteed to make you squirm.
Edit: I forgot to point out that the “expert reviewer” also believed the story was about a ghost when in fact the title is Memoirs of the Walking Dead: A story from the zombie’s point of view. Obviously he or she wasn’t a zombie/horror/comedy fan.