A writer has to be aware of the picture his/her words convey. I learned that the hard way. The contest I finaled in with my paranormal, I came close to finaling in with my historical. All because I used child, young women, girl to depict the same person, thus confusing the judges as to the character's age. And all because I didn't want to use repetitive words! I guess sometimes repetition is needed if it tells the story correctly.
Onward and upward. Now I'm worried though because I've sent the first three chapters of Gambling to Cindy Hwang of Berkeley and I'm afraid that spot might stop her from reading more even though the judges both said "Piques my interest, great description, good dialogue, well done, near perfect." Those are some complements that will go on my writing poster!
It would have been cool to double final, but reading the comments and knowing why I didn't will help me. As always, I find my forays into contests a learning experience. And if you aren't always learning, you must be dead!