Congratulations to our Gather members whose comments on each of the 5 finalists were selected by the Gather editorial team as the most constructive and insightful!Â Each winner will receive a $100 Borders Gift Card.Â Here are snippets of the winning comments:
Ann B. commented on Stephen Prosapio's Dream War:
The extended information about dreams, using the historical and mystical context to entice us into the science, was important.Â Perhaps a bit smoother transition would have helped because I was waiting to hear how Lopez "felt" about what he was learning.
What keeps me interested in this novel is that you have a complicated plot.Â I sense the movement as you are beginning to weave the threads inward, which is something I think you are doing very well.Â You have a truly confident ability with plotting and pacing.
Kirsten E. commented on Geeta Menon's Speechless:
The first three chapters, while incredible, are floating around in a bit of stasis and the only suspense stems from the fact that we do not know what happens to them in the future.
Speechless is a smart, sharp and fascinating look at the lives of three women whom I find I want to understand more fully.Â The little details that some may consider extraneous simply serve to allow the reader a chance to capture their characters.Â Ms. Menon's ability with characters is her strength, and it is a formidable one.
Mike C. commented on Scott Middlemist's Name Drop Zone:
This takes on the shape of a fantasy but there are roots in the post-Vietnam world that leaven the fantasy and create, for me, some distractions in the dream passages.Â I kept looking for metaphor rather than madness-unless you intend the madness to be metaphor-and I haven't found it yet.
Not being a fan of fantasy, I can congratulate you on solid work.Â
Pat S. commented on Geoffrey Edwards' Fire Bell in the Night:
Fire Bell places its mystery in the pre-civil war deep south, in a bubbling cauldron of prejudice against those who are "different", possible political corruption, martial law, potentially unlawful searches, and suspicion of "outsiders".Â It could easily be a commentary on today's political landscape, and our reaction to terrorism.Â
Your descriptions of not only sight and sound, but the aroma of the city, ground it in reality, and place the reader fully in the story.
Sherri M. commented on Terry Shaw'sThe Way Life Should Be:
Max may indeed be a good man, but nothing in his behavior at the funeral home and nothing in the description of his past actions would suggest anything but that he is a thoroughly self-centered man. It might be better to leave any claim of his goodness to a later chapter.
The dialogue is generally quick and serves to set up the various relationships quite well. The conversation between Quinn and his little boy is the truest; children of that age do have exactly such fears and voice them much that way.
All in all, Chapter Three works well, containing characters and dialogue in the tradition of good mysteries and crime thrillers.
Please make sure to check back on Thursday, May 31, when we will be announcing the Grand Prize Winner of the First Chapters Writing Competition!
You canÂ learn more about the First Chapters Writing Competition here.