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100 Word story feedback - Judge 1987

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ChristiLB View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ChristiLB Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: 100 Word story feedback - Judge 1987
    Posted: 25 Jun 2020 at 4:53pm
Did anyone else get feedback from judge 1987? My genre was historical fiction and I set my story around Anne Frank. Here is the feedback I received from judge 1987 in the "needs work" category:

{1987}  This is a competent telling of a pivotal moment in the life of Anne Frank, but frankly (no pun intended), everything under the sun that can be written about Anne Frank has been written, published, rewritten, discussed, and written about. World War 2 and the Holocaust produced a seemingly endless supply of stories- why tell this one yet again?

My first thought with this was, why are they critiquing my subject choice as opposed to my actual writing? We can write about anything under the sun, or so I thought. Why no critique of actual writing elements? My second thought was, "WOW, how incredibly insensitive to dismiss this story, and moment in history!"

I was pretty floored by this comment and just figured I'd share and see what others think, and if others received any similar comments from judge 1987...?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote chartreusy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Jun 2020 at 4:57pm
No, but that's a pretty off-putting remark. Disrespectful, I'd say. I wasn't a fan of my feedback, either. I don't know what's up with the judges.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Reasonably_Crazy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Jun 2020 at 4:59pm
Uuuuugggggggh that is... the opposite of helpful feedback.

I swear judges get hung up on the wildest things. My friend's story was about Rasputin and captures the moment he was shot (according to legend he was poisoned, shot, and drowned) and TWO judges mentioned in their "needs work" that actually, it was probably the DROWNING that actually killed him, and like... okay? This takes place BEFORE that, though...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote manifestlynot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Jun 2020 at 5:39pm
That's a ridiculous comment. Your story wasn't only about Anne Frank - it was about the loss of time and opportunity to savor joy before it's too late. I'd report it as unhelpful comment, because how on earth does that help you improve?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Reasonably_Crazy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Jun 2020 at 5:50pm
I'm back because I'm still mad on your behalf. 

A "COMPETENT" telling? That's, like, the most neutral commentary one can give. It's not a criticism, but it's not really a compliment, either...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Paul Bee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Jun 2020 at 6:19pm
yea thats brutal
Everybody is different
Some of us are plot driven
Some just love clean, fluid writing
Regardless, that is total BS feedback

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote jennifer.quail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Jun 2020 at 8:19pm
Well...honestly, every time I open a Historical Fiction and discover it's ANOTHER Holocaust story, I do kind of roll my eyes and think "You're going to have to do something REALLY REALLY original for this to work." There are some subjects ("innocent Holocaust victim suffers because the Nazis were bad, okay, like really bad", Titanic, the JFK assassination, etc) that have been done so many times in so many media it's really, really hard to genuinely say anything new. 

Plus using SUCH a famous individual..honestly it can seem like a shortcut. Pretty much everyone knows a LOT about Anne Frank. You automatically get context and background and exactly who she is without needing to put it in the story, and the reader's kind of preprogrammed with how they should feel. Yes, if you picked something not already done a hundred times (a child in the Rape of Nanking, a prisoner on the Bataan Death March, someone surviving the Siege of Leningrad, a Soviet POW being sent back the the USSR) you'd probably get the contrary feedback demanding you spoon-feed them the 98% of WWII history that wasn't covered by the Diary of Anne Frank, Schindler's List, and Saving Private Ryan. And do it in 100 words!  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Bridget Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Jun 2020 at 8:21pm
I feel like the feedback on my story was more about the moral value of the story's elements rather than the writing itself... So sort of similar to you I guess, their role should be to judge or advise on the writing not the subject you chose or what their personal thoughts on the subject are. It's like saying don't write a story on a parent/child relationship (say), it's been done to death. Writing with a fresh take on a known story/subject is a skill.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote poe-etic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Jun 2020 at 9:34pm
I can name five stories off the top of my head that made it through that were based on well-documented historical moments. I agree, that was an uncalled for and petty review. I 100% expected to see your name on that list and I'm sorry to hear that it wasn't. I appreciate your work. <3

Edited by poe-etic - 25 Jun 2020 at 9:39pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote sgspeed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Jun 2020 at 1:21am
Make sure you submit the judge feedback survey you are sent. That's not feedback. 


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