I just finished slogging through the synopsis and first ten pages of a couple dozen YA book manuscripts, and I am here to say that plot is overrated.
As the (anonymous) judge for this manuscript competition, I was left with a big pile of "Feh" a medium pile of "Not Entirely Terrible" and nothing at all in my pile of "Wow!" And this overwhelming underwhelmingness has paralyzed me before.
Because the characters were a snore.
Many of them had the survival of the world, (the sector, the village, the family, the tribe, the universe) in their hands. Many had unique powers which they reluctantly came to accept, but NO ONE was anyone in particular.
I'm not one of those readers who needs to like or be able to recognize herself in the characters, but I do need them to be more than just bland victims of fate.
Clearly, many of these writers worked very hard and put lots of time into these stories. But does effort count?
Perhaps I should quit the judgment biz and leave it to those who take delight in intricate plots with predictable outcomes, and generic characters, but even if I decline the next request, what do I do about this one?
It is a conundrum for a curmudgeon.
Meanwhile, here is a picture of my dogs, who never disappoint.