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Curious if my story will be disqualified...

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zchgdn View Drop Down
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    Posted: 15 Apr 2019 at 9:23am
Someone brought this up in a critique; that I didn't use the character prompt (a fast food worker) enough and my story might be disqualified. Admittedly, I only used the prompt to establish the character and transition into the setting (essentially a psychiatric hospital receptionist looking down on him because of his uniform).

Just wanted to get someone else's take on this. Is this going to get me disqualified?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote chrissie0707 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Apr 2019 at 9:29am
Use of prompts only counts for something like 15% of your score, if I remember correctly. Plot and character development account for 70%. In the second round last year, I barely mentioned my subject prompt and still moved onto the finals. Don’t worry about it. *gives thumbs up*
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Random Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Apr 2019 at 9:57am
Originally posted by zchgdn zchgdn wrote:

Someone brought this up in a critique; that I didn't use the character prompt (a fast food worker) enough and my story might be disqualified. Admittedly, I only used the prompt to establish the character and transition into the setting (essentially a psychiatric hospital receptionist looking down on him because of his uniform).

Just wanted to get someone else's take on this. Is this going to get me disqualified?


Too late...and too early to worry about it.  The story is done and turned in, so it's too late.  The results aren't back yet, so it's too early. 

It's probably not a big deal; the prompt was called out, it played a part in the story, done.  More important how you developed the character.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Tim G Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Apr 2019 at 10:20am
Nope. Based on my experience, if the uniform has any agency in the plot at all, which it seems it does in generating a sneering response, that's more than enough.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote jennifer.quail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Apr 2019 at 10:22am
I think by "not use" they mean things like your characters passed a McDonald's and saw someone working the drivethrough, or said once "If you don't study you're going to wind up flipping burgers." Obviously stuff where the writer's clearly just shoving in a reference because they have to.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SEHBicycle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Apr 2019 at 2:11pm
I echo what others above have said. As long as the fact that they are a McDonalds worker plays a role in the story, you're probably fine.

I advanced from R1 to R2 last year when my person type (a travel agent) was totally off-screen as a character. The MC harbored anger at her mom, the travel agent, for setting up a camping trip for MC and the grandfather who'd had a stroke and this camping trip was to be a mini-therapy, with the mom arriving the next day after she was done setting up vacations for others. Then the forest fire breaks out, meaning the MC had to figure it ALL out.

Here's to putting your fears to rest. Good luck!



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote justmel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Apr 2019 at 4:23pm
This is from the "2nd round assignments" email:
 
Feel free to interpret your genre, subject, and character assignment in uniquely creative ways...we're looking for interesting and inventive stories. But also know that we won't be able to accept submissions that are completely off the assignments you are given. . . .
 
The assigned subject must be integral to the plot of your story.  If the assigned subject barely makes an appearance and isn't relevant to the story, then it will most likely be disqualified.

The assigned character must be a relevant character in the story, but does not have to be the main character.  If the character is mentioned in passing and/or has no relevance to the story at all, you will run the risk of being disqualified.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote zchgdn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Apr 2019 at 4:48pm
Originally posted by SEHBicycle SEHBicycle wrote:

I echo what others above have said. As long as the fact that they are a McDonalds worker plays a role in the story, you're probably fine.

I guess it's up to the judges. It doesn't really play much of a part, I think. Basically the main character shows up after visiting hours because the hours at his job are bad, but his fast food job isn't entirely a plot point or anything. But going off...

Originally posted by justmel justmel wrote:

The assigned character must be a relevant character in the story, but does not have to be the main character.  If the character is mentioned in passing and/or has no relevance to the story at all, you will run the risk of being disqualified.


It sounds like I might be screwed on this one. ;_;
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bartelbysamsa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Apr 2019 at 6:26pm
Originally posted by zchgdn zchgdn wrote:

Originally posted by SEHBicycle SEHBicycle wrote:

I echo what others above have said. As long as the fact that they are a McDonalds worker plays a role in the story, you're probably fine.


I guess it's up to the judges. It doesn't really play much of a part, I think. Basically the main character shows up after visiting hours because the hours at his job are bad, but his fast food job isn't entirely a plot point or anything. But going off...

Originally posted by justmel justmel wrote:

The assigned character must be a relevant character in the story, but does not have to be the main character.  If the character is mentioned in passing and/or has no relevance to the story at all, you will run the risk of being disqualified.


It sounds like I might be screwed on this one. ;_;


Sounds to me like you're totally fine. As you've said, your main character IS a fast food worker, and his uniform and his hours at his job are referenced and reacted to. The fact that your story isn't set at a fast food restaurant or involve super sizing meals shouldn't matter. Don't sweat it!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jennifer.quail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Apr 2019 at 6:59pm
Having read the story now: if they want to they might ding you for mentioning it without making it integral to the story (I think in your case they'd do that because there's opportunity to make it relevant and you don't) but they can't really disqualify you for not using the character. 
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