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Migilla View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Migilla Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Oct 2015 at 6:51pm
Originally posted by sootfoot5 sootfoot5 wrote:

I know  that we're graded on the curve, so to speak, but I don't understand how my first round story which was full of flaws could get an 11 and my second round story which was damn good could get a 3.  

I just don't get it.  

The judging is in need of a serious revamp by the NYCM staff. 
Link to my round 1 Heat 24 Screenplay.
https://goo.gl/GPtgXx
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BabyBirch Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Oct 2015 at 10:33pm
I don't think the points allocation is dictated by a formula, but after digging around in some older threads here I found some useful advice that really helped my second story.  

Jenspenden and a few others made some suggestions, like keeping the action limited to a single scene or making sure there are only two or three characters. I followed their advice as best I could and scored much higher in the second round.

Have no idea to what extent it helped, but I felt my story was more focused, cleaner and Flash appropriate than my previous entry.

Anyway...can recommend looking over older threads. Lots of great tips in there.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Maximum Dynamite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Oct 2015 at 12:00am
I tied for 1st in my heat. That's pretty dope. I am ashamed at how little I was able to participate in the reviewing this round...that is usually my favorite part after the writing itself. I hope to do a better job with that after the 3rd challenge.

Congrats to everyone advancing or not for rising to the occasion.
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Flash 2015 - Group 11
Ch1-DAO'S OPPONENT (horror)
Ch2-DECIDING FACTORS (romance)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (3) Thanks(3)   Quote Archon1995 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Oct 2015 at 2:01am
Scoring datapoints:
  • In three groups you needed at least 15 points to advance, and in three others you needed 16.
  • In two groups you needed 22, in six you needed 21, and in eight you needed 20.
  • All other groups needed 17-19 points to advance.
  • Six people advanced with a score of 3 on one of their challenges, one with a 2, three with a one, and two people advanced with a zero for one of the challenges!
  • Five people advanced with neither score higher than 9 (one person had two 8s).
  • Three people had combined scores of 20 but failed to advance (their groups all needed 21+ for that).
So, 1-in-20 of those advancing had scores of 3 or less in a challenge; and a third of the groups needed at least 20 points to advance. My takeaway: Don't give up with a low or zero score, and don't assume you've got a lock on advancing.  Wink
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R1 H44 The Pursuit of Ecstasy
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote Eggcorn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Oct 2015 at 9:27am
Originally posted by Migilla Migilla wrote:

Originally posted by sootfoot5 sootfoot5 wrote:

I know  that we're graded on the curve, so to speak, but I don't understand how my first round story which was full of flaws could get an 11 and my second round story which was damn good could get a 3.  

I just don't get it.  

The judging is in need of a serious revamp by the NYCM staff. 


Unfortunantly, in this comp, you can't judge your writing on what you did previously. That isn't how it works. They aren't necessarily saying the second story is better because it got more points.

What that actually means is that more people in your group had trouble with that prompt and challenge, and of the group, yours was better than the other stories in that challenge. Your whole group could  have done worse on story 2. They still have to rank you.

Scoring has nothing to do with the merit of the story itself or whether or not it would be published in the real world -- it has everything to do with if it is slightly better or worse than someone else in your group.

An entire group could turn in crap stories -- stories no publisher would even think about publishing -- and the judges still have to rank them best to worst, at least for the first 15.

Another thing to consider is, despite the encouragement here to not drop out, a significant chunk of writers still drops out in round 2, every single year.

So in round 1 you may have been up against 30 people and in round 2, you may have been writing against only 20 or 25.

Since we can never read all the entries for the group and some of it is subjective, you'll never know. Maybe you got 4th instead of 3rd because the stories were equally good and they were forced to narrow it down to grammar errors or synopsis. Maybe you did better in round 2 because a better writer dropped out or did worse in round two because someone in your group got a genre that they LOVE and write for a living. Maybe someone didn't try as hard because they hated the prompt or tried harder than the first time because they were motivated by a low score. That someone may or may not have been you.

The point is-- anyone one who looks at their story one and tries to figure out how story two did in relation to it in view of the judges, is completely missing how this thing is judged.

I've gotten zero points and I've gotten middle of the road points, I've gotten high points, and I've made it to the round by the skin of my teeth. And missed it by just as much. It depends on the prompts, how I did that weekend, AND who else is in my group and all those factors for them.

All you can do is write the best story you can with what you have, use all your resources, and hope for the best.


Edited by Eggcorn - 23 Oct 2015 at 9:42am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote Eggcorn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Oct 2015 at 9:38am
This also means that a 15 point story in one group could be crap compared to a 3 point story in a completely different group.
This is another complaint I hear often.

But that's the competition. Part of it is luck of the draw (who is in your group and what prompt you end up with and how that prompt effects everyone in your group.)

When I do poorly, I just tell myself that a famous, published author entered the contest under a pseudonym and didn't post their work to the forum Wink hehe.

If the judges put us all in one group, less people would be able to participate and the contest would probably take at least a year.

Luck of the draw is what we signed up for when we entered this thing.

It's part of the fun. It forces you to focus on you. At least for me it does.

It also looks for consistently good writing across genres, which is hard for a lot of people to pull off. Having done this competition for several years (5 or 6? omg) I've learned where my strengths and weaknesses lie in genre.

Romance for instance. They never like my romances. This is the first year that instead of getting hung up on the telltale signs of romance, I just wrote about two characters falling in love and tried to make the story good just for the characters' sake.

This is the first year EVER that I scored anything significant with a romance. And I am still shocked. I'm still not convinced I wasn't just in a group of people who all struggle with romance like me (though I liked the stories I read from my group! : ) None of them were hard core traditional romances either).

I love the challenge and that it gives me an excuse to focus 2 weekends (at least) exclusively on writing. Some of my best stories have come from this competition, regardless or whether or not the stories placed or moved me on.

Pass or fail, I'm back every single year for that very reason -- and the forums. I love you guys. Heart



Edited by Eggcorn - 23 Oct 2015 at 9:40am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote etragedy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Oct 2015 at 11:07am
Yay, zero...
Again.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote TiggersGirl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Oct 2015 at 12:10pm
A big factor is who you are up against when the judges assign points. For instance, I scored a 12 my first round and a 15 the second round. Since I feel I write better scifi than romcom, I was stunned to see that 15. I think it depends a lot on who submitted and what they submitted. It wasn't just the quality of what I submitted, but the quality of my fellow team members submissions.
 


Edited by TiggersGirl - 23 Oct 2015 at 12:11pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sootfoot5 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Oct 2015 at 2:14pm
@Eggcorn - I think you misunderstood me.  I wrote a not crappy but not good story in the first round - before people had dropped out - and did fairly well.  In the second round I wrote a pretty darn good story and it was WTF?  

But I think my situation, this time anyway, is a bit unique, at least regarding why my first round story did well.  The judges said they loved my title which, admittedly, was a good one.  And even if you didn't have the extra push to think "Firefly", it wasn't hard to come to that conclusion, so if the judges were Firefly fans they probably marked it up because of that.  But honestly, I think a lot of people in my group did better in the first challenge than I did, yet I got more points.  

Otherwise, I can't say a lot because several of the high scorers in my group didn't post.  I know that it is a ranking system, and I certainly don't begrudge those who are going forward in my group.  I just think it is weird - my first story was full of flaws - WAY too many scenes and characters, and the robbery was just glossed over - while the second story while not perfect, was really pretty good, but it scores low.  But we have to remember too that judging is subjective.  Just because I think the first story was flawed and the second story was good doesn't mean someone else saw it that way.  I at least got points both times, so it could have been a lot worse!

And I have two more stories to play with after I let them perk a while.  Very cool!  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mwit08 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Oct 2015 at 4:54pm
More than half the fun of doing this revolves around the forums and the great feedback from everyone. However, at the end of the day, it's still a contest and still something that we're all trying to win.

THAT SAID...

It does make me wonder about the experience of the judges and validity of their critiques, when the "official" feedback clearly indicates a complete misreading/misunderstanding of the story. I get that there are over 1,000 stories to read, so they can't exactly give every one hours of analyzing and dissecting. But when you're "judged" based on the quality and elements of a story, and they read it completely incorrectly, it's hard not to wonder whether or not it was a contributing factor in your score. Just look at some of the past forum posts where it was made abundantly clear that the judges didn't have the first clue what was going on in the narrative or just cut and pasted from other critiques.

I've never gone into any of these contests expecting to win. Like I said, it's about the challenge and the fun. However, somewhere in the very back recesses of my mind, there's always that smidgen of hope that "I might have a chance..." But when it's made abundantly clear that there's little rhyme, reason, or consistency in what to expect from the judges, it's very easy for that for that smidgen to get snuffed.
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