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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Oct 2017 at 10:21pm
That was a nice response you got!! It sort of makes sense. I don't think I'd want to know the exact score breakdown. If, say, they award 15% of your score for... I don't know... plot, then I'd be worrying while writing my story that it isn't plotty enough. Or whatever. It would become more of a checking-the-boxes experience, rather than a creative one. 

Oh! I have the perfect analogy for this: figure skating. It used to be so beautiful, with the different spins and the different spirals they'd do. Now, they all do the same moves, because the revamped point system gives more points to a particular spin. They're all doing that spin!! The artistry is gone. It's sad, and in my opinion, it's destroyed the sport. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Suave Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Oct 2017 at 10:31pm
Originally posted by Zelda Zelda wrote:

That was a nice response you got!! It sort of makes sense. I don't think I'd want to know the exact score breakdown. If, say, they award 15% of your score for... I don't know... plot, then I'd be worrying while writing my story that it isn't plotty enough. Or whatever. It would become more of a checking-the-boxes experience, rather than a creative one. 

Oh! I have the perfect analogy for this: figure skating. It used to be so beautiful, with the different spins and the different spirals they'd do. Now, they all do the same moves, because the revamped point system gives more points to a particular spin. They're all doing that spin!! The artistry is gone. It's sad, and in my opinion, it's destroyed the sport. 


I don't know, the scoring is supposed to be on these percentages, and I have never heard the judges tell someone that they screwed up on say, format - and that could really be informative for the next story or comp.  I think it would be good to know where they thought I slipped other than their feedback

15% Format (Adherence to paragraph #14, but not including Length)
15% Spelling and Grammar
70% Story (Writing, Originality, Character Development, and Plot Development)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote tcFlash Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Oct 2017 at 10:45pm
Well, this is interesting feedback from the competition's director. "The competition is meant to be an inspiring experience, and we don't want participants getting too caught up in the overall score (i.e. getting discouraged with low scores)."  Like it or not Mr. Director, the scoring is a big deal out here because we want to keep writing in this competition for as long as possible. Rather than minimizing the scoring, it would lead to less discouragement if it was more codified and less subjective.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote sootfoot5 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Oct 2017 at 10:56pm
I think the problem is the way they do the scoring.  It is more like they put them in order, the story they like best first till they get to score zero and then nothing else matters.  

First, it sure matters to the people who get a zero. They'd like to know if they weren't "knocked up" because of formatting/spelling/grammar or only story.  

Second, we all know, or those of us who've been around a while know, what really counts is the story.  Did you notice that following the prompts isn't even listed? I know of someone who followed her genre assignment but was a newbie and totally forgot she had two other prompts.  She scored an 8.  Yes, it is true.  

Third, back to my first concept, to do this properly and according to the rules, you'd have to suppose everyone had a score of fifteen and then start knocking off points.  They aren't going to do that -- too much work.  Would require too many judges than they want to pay for. 

And while I do appreciate Zelda's statement because I understand how the change of judging changed figure skating, I felt halfway through the response from Mr. Weisman (no disrespect sir, okay, maybe a little) that I was hearing any adult speak in a Charlie Brown cartoon.  Just saying.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote nixie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Oct 2017 at 12:37am
Originally posted by Suave Suave wrote:



I decided to ask someone at NYC why they don't include how the story scored, this is what i got back.

Hi Timothy,
I'm sorry again for taking so long to respond!  Including the scores is something we have considered in the past, but the main reason we have not done so yet is because we don't want to place too much of an emphasis on the overall score.  While we are a competition and want everyone participating on a level playing field, the score is solely meant to help us determine winners based on the rules and alotted percentages.  The competition is meant to be an inspiring experience, and we don't want participants getting too caught up in the overall score (i.e. getting discouraged with low scores).  

We do hope the feedback from the judges provides insight into why the story may or may not have scored well, but we realize this isn't always the case with some judges and are always looking to improve our feedback methods and judging roster.  Please let us know if you have any other questions or thoughts on the competition, both positive or negative.  Sorry again for taking so long to respond and thank you for your feedback and participation!


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Charlie Weisman
Competition Director
NYC Midnight, LLC

and we somehow believe that 'knowing absolutely nothing' will make people *not 'get too caught up' in zeros?  lolsigh
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lisafox10800 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Oct 2017 at 9:40am
The problem is, I think every judge approaches things differently. I'm sure there's a checklist and a ratings scale that they start with, but it's impossible to quantify subjectivity - whether someone actually "likes" your story or not. 

So imagine a bunch of Yes/No questions ("wast the object incorporated?" "is the story 1,000 words or less"), 10-point Likert scales on metrics such as "how creatively did the writer incorporate the object?" / "how well aligned was the story to the genre" etc. and a final "how much did you like this story?". That's probably the algorithm. And I'm not sure that they go back and re-rank preferences after they've read everything. So there also can be a sense of order bias. If a judge read your story after a few that were sub-par, you may have a better shot than if you're being read in the thick of several masterpieces.

As to the use of the object and setting, again I think every judge is different. But what I've learned from my own scores, having done this a few times now, is this:

  • When I "throw away" the object, simply mention it to check a box, I don't do as well as when I actually incorporate the object into the story. This next round will be a huge test of that hypothesis for me. (Think about school. If you do the bare minimum, complete your homework, maybe you get a B. But if you do something special, different, beyond just checking a box, you'll probably get an A. I've never been a "check the box" type of person, so why should I be here?
  • Sometimes stories that take a different approach than others score more points simply because the judge is tired of reading the 25th dystopian SciFi story based on the prompts offered. (In screenplay, one judge commented on a first-place finisher's story 'THANK YOU for not writing dystopian fiction, like everyone else). But as much as different is good, you need to stay in the genre. Stray too far and different won't help you. It will only hurt. 
  • Again, while genre bending is great, you need to stay in the genre. The judges won't always tell you when you've gone too far. But they will tell you when you DO stay in the genre and perhaps others have not.
The reality is, we're never going to be given numerical scores. There's too much potential for contention and it would be a massive headache for the contest administrators with the sheer number of contestants they now have. (Imagine the same email 500 times  - why did he get 87 points and I get 86 - he made it and I didn't!). 

What we can do, though, is try to learn from each challenge - in addition to "what worked" for people, the little nits that perhaps stood out or rubbed someone the wrong way. When we do have the ability to read other stories and see how they did relative to ours, really think about what they did that we didn't do. 

Anyway, just my two cents.




Edited by lisafox10800 - 05 Oct 2017 at 4:58pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (4) Thanks(4)   Quote Splinker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Oct 2017 at 9:46am
I come for the scoring.
But I stay for the depression!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lisafox10800 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Oct 2017 at 9:59am
Originally posted by Splinker Splinker wrote:

I come for the scoring.
But I stay for the depression!

Haha, well the depression is inevitable for all but one person.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (3) Thanks(3)   Quote Splinker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Oct 2017 at 10:13am
I'm warning you now, I'm bringing my "A Game" to the short screenplay contest.  I purchased it on Ebay and it should be here in plenty of time.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Oct 2017 at 11:58am
Originally posted by Splinker Splinker wrote:

I'm warning you now, I'm bringing my "A Game" to the short screenplay contest.  I purchased it on Ebay and it should be here in plenty of time.

Didn't someone once try to sell their immortal soul on eBay? 
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