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Novel J. I. Hall, Jr., and Writing Skills

Posted by Pete | Posted in News | Posted on 21-07-2017

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 From Pete Hester’s Facebook page, July 21, 2017:

I submitted my novel, “Judge Iverson Hall, Jr.” to the Marilyn Brown Unpublished Novel Competition back in 2012 hoping to win the 1000.00 first prize….I did not….but they did forward me the conclusions of Judge Number 2, the one who evaluated my novel. The judges were from Utah Valley University, Orem, Utah. My judge first said on my evaluation rubric that I needed improvement in the beginning of the story, writing style, language, sentence structure but I graded better on plot, originality, conclusion and character development and then concluded by saying, “The best endings in novels are created with the protagonist overcomes the obstacles in the way to reaching his goal through his own person growth, strength and insight. We see J. I. acquire the skills he needs to triumph as he matures…..The flavor of western frontier life is richly described in this novel and the conversation is believable……J. I. Hall, Jr., has all the elements for a classic western adventure…… With attention to point of view, showing not telling, and creating a clean manuscript, the author will have a strong story.” ..In 1998 when I had my by-pass surgery, and hearing stories at that time that a by-pass surgery should be good for five years or better, I had the feeling that I better get with life and do those things that I always wanted to do but had not, i.e., painting and writing……I started painting and then writing while recovering shortly after the surgery……

So, in my first attempt to win at writing, I did not get a glowing recommendation on my writing skills, but I thank the Lord for giving me the opportunity to try. And reading J. I. Hall, Jr.,  compared to my first attempt at writing is a very noticeable improvement. It sounds like I am bragging on myself in this posting, however, that is not the intent…The intent is to thank a loving God for giving us a chance to do those things that we want to do…..Maybe I am not “good”,  but thank you Lord for allowing me to get to this point….Do you have something you need to get started on? There is only one way to get there…..first you got to “start”……

Comments (1)

Congratulations! You did well for a beginning writer. It appears that your judge graded you down on the mechanics of writing: grammar, style, language, and sentence structure. Mechanics are the hardest to master in any discipline. How can one develop style in the first few pieces written? Originality simply comes from honesty, and it develops from honesty. It seems that your learned well from your many writers’ workshops in how to develop a plot, a conclusion, and a character. It is not bragging. I think you have done well just in receiving such an evaluation from an established writer and educator in writing. Giving this evaluation of the evaluator of your writing reminds me of the many evaluations of speeches that I have given in Toastmasters. Evaluating speeches is much the same as evaluating writing. Only the mechanics differ, which is the hardest to master.

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