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nod1v1ng View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote nod1v1ng Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Apr 2021 at 10:16am
Originally posted by Draiglas Draiglas wrote:

I think they tend to give a lot of leeway for genre - my understanding is hardly anyone gets DQ'ed etc for it.

This is actually changing. I know a number of people who were DQ'ed this round for genre. Actually, I'm seeing an upswing in DQ's across the board - not making the character integral enough, etc. They are starting to be a little more stringent on prompt adherence. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dark&StormyNight Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Apr 2021 at 1:06pm
Originally posted by nod1v1ng nod1v1ng wrote:

Originally posted by Draiglas Draiglas wrote:

I think they tend to give a lot of leeway for genre - my understanding is hardly anyone gets DQ'ed etc for it.

This is actually changing. I know a number of people who were DQ'ed this round for genre. Actually, I'm seeing an upswing in DQ's across the board - not making the character integral enough, etc. They are starting to be a little more stringent on prompt adherence. 

Do you think this will carry over to Flash Fiction?  The previous rules about the Object is just that it must appear in the story.  Sometimes it becomes integral to the plot, sometimes not, but that didn’t matter as far as I know.  Wonder if they’ll ever change the rules.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote nod1v1ng Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Apr 2021 at 2:01pm
Originally posted by Dark&StormyNight Dark&StormyNight wrote:

Originally posted by nod1v1ng nod1v1ng wrote:

Originally posted by Draiglas Draiglas wrote:

I think they tend to give a lot of leeway for genre - my understanding is hardly anyone gets DQ'ed etc for it.

This is actually changing. I know a number of people who were DQ'ed this round for genre. Actually, I'm seeing an upswing in DQ's across the board - not making the character integral enough, etc. They are starting to be a little more stringent on prompt adherence. 

Do you think this will carry over to Flash Fiction?  The previous rules about the Object is just that it must appear in the story.  Sometimes it becomes integral to the plot, sometimes not, but that didn’t matter as far as I know.  Wonder if they’ll ever change the rules.

They changed the prompt requirements for the object in Flash not that long ago to clarify that it physically had to appear in the story. It used to be that you could just have your character think of it, or if your object was a pickle your could name your dog Pickle and get away with it. The object has never had to be integral to the plot and I'd be surprised if they changed that. Back in the day, some (ahem) old timers used to make a game of it to see who pass off their object in the most throwaway manner possible.

However, to actually answer your question - yes adherence to the prompts has already carried over to Flash. I know people in the last session who got DQs for genre, for not using the object correctly, and for not making their setting the predominant location. And that final thing is a big change - in earlier years I'd seen tons of stories that barely took place for a hot second in the assigned location without getting DQ'd.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote enterjango Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Apr 2021 at 2:20pm
Horror v Ghost story
R1 The Eyes of Others (Sci-Fi)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote devontae Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Apr 2021 at 6:58pm
Wow, this has been quite a response. Thank you guys for the feedback. 
I do agree that Ghost Stories can be a coat of many colors. They do not all have to be scary. 
My issue was how the contest rules/guidelines were written vs how the judges applied those rules and scored the group. 
If you read the Ghost Story definition as they wrote it, the overriding impression one can take away is one of something darker.  Even the media they reference is darker: Stephen King, The Shining and Sixth Sense. They did not mention Ghost Dad or Casper the Friendly Ghost.  Here:

A frightening story premised on the possibility of ghosts, which may appear by their own volition or through summoning by magic. Ghost stories are usually scary, leveraging suspense, a sense of the uncanny, and supernatural occurrences to elicit feelings of fear and foreboding. Ghosts appear in literature as early as Homer’s Odyssey, which chronicles the hero encountering spirits of the dead during a journey to the underworld. Common elements: hauntings, supernatural intervention, chilling and suspenseful atmospheres. Ghost story books include Alvin Schwartz’s Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark and Stephen King’s Doctor Sleep. Ghost story films include The Shining (1980) and The Sixth Sense (1999).

I see some of the arguments for judges favoring boundary pushing or cross genre stories. I don't understand the logic behind this. If you're going to host a contest and put people in separate groups with specific categories divided up, why on earth would you then favor those who perform as little work as possible in the specific task they were assigned? 
I disagree with the notion that a superior story is one which melds several genres into one big mashup. Sometimes a story can lose definition if too many elements are presented. As a reader, I don't want everything I read to be about everything. If I'm in the mood for a murder mystery, I dont want a book full of family drama or romance.  Nor does everything have to follow a strict code of rules either. But if you're going to put folks into categories to begin with, then winning cross genre stories should be the exception, not the rule. Or, put guidelines in the rules that the judges have a preference for cross genre pieces so we know. 
Here is one last item of discussion to add to my argument that the judges in my group didnt properly apply the rules. There is a question on the FAQ which adds more information about genre and how to apply it:
How closely do we have to follow the assigned genre? Can I mix genres?
Closely.  Your story should not be confused with another genre. For example, if the assigned genre is drama, a story that reads as an outright comedy will most likely be disqualified.  You may add in elements from other genres, but make sure the predominant elements of your story are without a doubt from your assigned genre.  To view a list of genre definitions we've put together, click here.  Please keep in mind these are just suggested guidelines and are not explicit instructions on how to write your story or what elements to include.
I mean,... come on now.  There's nothing else I can take from this. I did what I was told. Others didn't.  They won.   Time to move on right?  Not sure I'll waste $50 on this again. Not enough clarity on how rules are applied and judging performed.  I'll call sour grapes on myself this time
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jennifer.quail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Apr 2021 at 8:36pm
No, it sounds like you wrote a horror story, emphasized that aspect, and others went with 'ghost story', emphasis on ghost. The predominant element in a ghost story is a ghost. If it's a monster, a spirit that isn't an actual ghost, doesn't address the living versus dead question, focuses on grossout aspects or purely on generating fear and not on the concept of a ghost, it may not qualify as much as a ghost story as one that's a romance, funny, or about hunting for a ghost (or of course an argument can be made the scariest things about ghosts would be if they don't exist at all, though existentialism is a hard sell.) 

And you had judges who prioritized "ghost" over "scary." Which again is entirely fair for that genre. If you do this contest you accept you may get romance and a judge who is hardcore for the HAE rule (which to be fair some romance publishers do want). You may get a horror judge who very strictly wants it to be in the splatterpunk or horror movie monster vein and doesn't do psychological. They my ONLY want romcom that follows the Hallmark formula. Or you can get stuck with a vague genre like thriller or suspense, where what keeps one from being the other is really unclear.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Suave Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Apr 2021 at 8:38pm
Originally posted by devontae devontae wrote:

I mean,... come on now.  There's nothing else I can take from this. I did what I was told. Others didn't.  They won.   Time to move on right?  Not sure I'll waste $50 on this again. Not enough clarity on how rules are applied and judging performed.  I'll call sour grapes on myself this time

You are right, I have seen some pretty strange out comes. 
I think you should try emailing the powers to be and expressing
your thoughts to them - it would be interesting to see what they 
reply now that the rules seem to have been changing. You do have 
a valid point, and if you paid your money you deserve to know why
directly from the horses mouth.
feedback@nycmidnight.com
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (4) Thanks(4)   Quote NERdling Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Apr 2021 at 7:58am
I would just like to add that "terrifying" is open to interpretation, which is likely why they chose that phrase as opposed to "horrifying" or "frightening." I find the idea of losing people I love terrifying. That terror is mixed in with sadness, love, happiness, etc, which is where the crossing of genres can come in to play. 

I understand OP's frustration, and I think a lot of people who have done this contest before have absolutely had moments of "sour grapes" and I see called for more visibility into judging pretty frequently, which I agree with. I verbatim said I had sour grapes after R1 of MF 250 and was quite annoyed with some of the feedback I got because I felt like it was the best thing I had written within one of these contests. 

That being said, I think it's absolutely unfair to say your heatmates didn't follow the rules or the genre and that the judges were unfair in the application of what the genre meant. The majority of people who have responded to this thread interpreted or understood this genre differently than needing to be a scary story. Your interpretation was what it was and I know you feel like you could have had a lot more freedom had you felt less restricted, but your interpretation being narrower does not automatically smack of bad judging. Also, it may not be intentional, but some of your responses here and on a different thread are moving beyond sour grapes and actively come across as disparaging to other writers.

I think saying people should stick 100% to the genre they've been assigned is 1) not possible, and 2) would make for terribly boring stories.  Yes, genre plays heavily into the contest, but there are 100s of subsets across genres - Bourne Identity is used as an example of Spy, but some might think it falls better into Action/Adventure. Brokeback Mountain is listed as an example of Romance - does it not have all the tenets of a drama as well? Frankenstein is an example under Horror, but in it is also considered the novel to start to shape the modern form of Sci-Fi. There is a whole subset of YA fiction that is Dystopian Sci-Fi/Romance.

I hope after some distance, some of the feedback is useful. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote devontae Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Apr 2021 at 10:54am
I wholeheartedly disagree with you, but thanks anyway for the response. 
They didn't use the word terrifying, they in fact used frightening. 
The other's interpretation is the same as my own personal interpretation, that a Ghost Story needn't be exclusively scary. I can think of numerous applications for the ghost concept in a wide range of settings. 
Again, that's not the basis of my argument. My argument is with how the rules and FAQ are written and how they "implied" that I was supposed to write the story according to THEIR interpretation of this genre. Not my interpretation. My interpretation is the same as most of the responders to this posting as you mentioned. I felt annoyed because I was slanted away from my interpretation based on the verbiage in the contest rules/FAQ. Period. 
I haven't disparaged anyone. I purposefully omitted any specific names and story titles, including my own. My profile name on here has no association with my real name as well. I even went so far as to say that both of the afore mentioned stories were well written. In fact, I liked both of them. My issue here is solely with NYCM. 



Edited by devontae - 09 Apr 2021 at 10:54am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NERdling Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Apr 2021 at 11:24am
Originally posted by devontae devontae wrote:

I wholeheartedly disagree with you, but thanks anyway for the response. 
They didn't use the word terrifying, they in fact used frightening. 
The other's interpretation is the same as my own personal interpretation, that a Ghost Story needn't be exclusively scary. I can think of numerous applications for the ghost concept in a wide range of settings. 
Again, that's not the basis of my argument. My argument is with how the rules and FAQ are written and how they "implied" that I was supposed to write the story according to THEIR interpretation of this genre. Not my interpretation. My interpretation is the same as most of the responders to this posting as you mentioned. I felt annoyed because I was slanted away from my interpretation based on the verbiage in the contest rules/FAQ. Period. 
I haven't disparaged anyone. I purposefully omitted any specific names and story titles, including my own. My profile name on here has no association with my real name as well. I even went so far as to say that both of the afore mentioned stories were well written. In fact, I liked both of them. My issue here is solely with NYCM. 


My apologies, it does say frightening. I would read back over the responses, though. The majority of people are gently pointing out other wording in the genre description that show it's not required to be scary. They are also agreeing there needs to be more clarity on judging, which, as I said, I agree with. Just in this case, it's off base. 

The bordering on disparaging is in response on another thread where you mention this and talk about one of the stories in your group. And the reason I said it may not be intentional (because I don't think it is), is the posts are coming across not just critical to NYCM but as if you are criticizing the other contestants for not following the rules as well as you do and getting unfairly rewarded for it. 

I've DMed you something else in regards to identifying the stories so you can edit your original post if you want to remove it.  
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