If judging books was a completely objective process, you could probably get computers to do it.
If a novel’s quality was objective, we’d have a definitive ‘best book ever’ that would be mandatory reading for everyone. Subjectivity is what makes this contest so valuable. Why? Because agents are subjective, publishing houses are subjective. Twelve different publishers turned down Harry Potter. Judging a book is tough to get right all the time.
We know it’s frustrating to have differing scores, or judges contradicting each other, but that’s what happens in the real world. We work a lot on standardizing our scoring but at the end of the day, you can’t measure your connection with a story. And that’s what a lot of the scoring boils down to.
Character strength, emotional depth, engaging style… these are all things that score better when we like and empathize with the main character or the…
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