I'll usually go though every entry and bookmark the ones I like most. I must admit, I sometimes revisit those entries months after the contest has ended for inspiration. So if you notice someone checking out your old posts it's probably me. I'm probably still wondering how in the world you managed to come up with something so awesome in the first place.
A few weeks ago I had a major reality check when an agent politely stated that my concept just wasn't unique enough. All things considered, subjectivity, personal taste and so on, my request rate hasn't been so great--less than 10%. In truth, while my writing has improved over the years, my tastes haven't.
If someone where to ask what do I look for in a good book I'd say voice and character. While that's true, if I were to pick a book off my shelves, though it would be brimming with both voice and character, I'd probably be able to point out something about it that made it different from every other book on my shelf.
One of my favorite books Never Let Me Go is a perfect example of this. In retrospect it's a book about a young woman looking back on her childhood years, her friends, and the school she attended which she considered home. But would her story have been just as interesting to me if she were an average human being--if this school had been St. Margaret's Boarding School and not a home for clones, such as Kathy H.
So lately I've been writing down my ideas, whenever I get a new idea I'll type up a few sentences about it in a Word document and move on. It's definitely helped me see that some ideas that seem really awesome at first probably won't be a week or a month later. I do believe that the best ideas are timeless. There are some stories that I'm still itching to write even after many failed attempts.
Those are the money