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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Random Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Apr 2019 at 9:02am
Originally posted by nod1v1ng nod1v1ng wrote:

Originally posted by Random Random wrote:


... last thing most of these people need in their heads mid-contest is doubt.  Worrying about onesies and twosies is a distraction many of the people here don't need. 

Fair. When I started the thread I just needed a bit of whine to go with my cheese and a little distraction since I wasn't in a place I could really start writing. Didn't realize everyone was going to play along. ShockedBut it was interesting to see how the stats shake out... highly variable from group to group!


Totally with you.  It looks on the surface to be somewhat *cough* random, but I also noticed in my heat, at least, nobody had the same genre in the first round.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote justmel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Apr 2019 at 9:03am
Originally posted by Random Random wrote:

Originally posted by nod1v1ng nod1v1ng wrote:

Originally posted by Random Random wrote:

Come on, guys.  Those numbers are fun, but they mean precisely nothing.  The contest started over Thursday at midnight.

Performing well in one round has no bearing on the next; prompts, judges, it's all new.  Don't start gauging your odds based on the statistical insignificance in this thread.

Yes and no. It's absolutely true that there are tons of variables that this doesn't take into account, and as you say everything is new in the next round. And of course, I am intimately aware that you can make a data set say whatever you want with the right narrative. LOL

However, if look you at trends, many of the folks who take the 1 & 2 spots historically do well. Truth is, a good writer is a good writer, no matter what prompts you throw at them.

All of which is true, but the last thing most of these people need in their heads mid-contest is doubt.  Worrying about onesies and twosies is a distraction many of the people here don't need.  You would not be so easily perturbed, but you're one of the aforementioned varsity.
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I've finished in the top five in R1 in four of the five years I've been doing the Short Story comp, including two firsts and a second, but I've never yet made it into R3.  Just saying.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Lisa_Who Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Apr 2019 at 9:05am
You all finally made me curious enough to put in the 5 mins required to assess this...so, my group is majority 2s and 3s. :) I fit right in!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote td333777 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Apr 2019 at 9:36am
For the last three years, I've done this exact exercise, mostly as a way of trying to apply math/statistics to something that is inherently difficult to quantify.  Also, as a supreme distraction.  In the end, these minor differences in rank (1st, 3rd, 5th, 2nd...) just don't mean anything.  Sure, if given the choice, I'd rather be in a group of 24 other "5" scores, as opposed to a murderer's row of 24 1st placers, but since your score in one round of random people bears very little relevance to your score in a different round of random people, it just shouldn't worry anyone.  Particularly when you consider the big genre shifts.

Think about it: a very accomplished, skillful writer of thrillers gets stuck with political satire.  Tears his/her hair out, comes up with something reasonably entertaining, takes 5th place and squeaks into round two.  But in round two, if this writer gets ANY of the genres that resemble thriller (suspense, action-adventure, drama) he/she is a TOTALLY different animal than the writer who got 5th in political satire.  Likewise with an experienced comedic writer--they destroy round one in their romcom heat and then get horror.

True story--back in 2017 I won the flash fiction competition.  When I entered the next contest, 2018's short story competition, I felt pretty good about my first round chances.  Then I sorted out the names in my first round heat to see who I was up against. The 2017 short story champion was in the same heat--what are the odds that two overall winners would be paired together so early?  What do you think the other 29 people in the heat would have thought had they noticed our names as well? 

Neither of us won the heat.  I took second, she took fourth.

Yes, good writers do well in competitions.  But the difference between 1st and 5th is less meaningful than you'd think.

Trey

PS I still look the numbers up, though. ;p


Edited by td333777 - 09 Apr 2019 at 4:07pm
FFC 2019 - Ch 2, Gr 94 Lucky
Micro 2019 - Vulnerable
SSC 2018 - 2nd place
FFC 2017 - 1st place
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tricksie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Apr 2019 at 9:49am
I think it's kind of an "any given Friday" thing, you know? 

Everyone who placed in the top 5 is going to be a good writer. Judging writing has a huge subjective element, so the difference between 1 and 5 could literally be one judge's personal feeling about some small thing. Comfort with the genre is also going to make a difference. Someone could have a head cold and a fuzzy brain and write worse one weekend than another. 

So...the numbers are interesting and all, but I don't think they are predictive. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MsVickie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Apr 2019 at 9:56am
Originally posted by Coups Coups wrote:

Just looked at group 3:
9 Firsts
3 Seconds
5 Thirds
4 Fourths
4 Fifths
 
I'm not liking my chances this round... It's going to be a very tough heat! Confused

Hey fellow heat member! If it makes you feel better, I got #1 in my heat for the first round but it was for a genre I'm very comfortable with (historical fiction). This fairy tale stuff though, I had no idea what I was doing and I'm feeling a significant amount of doubt I'll make it past round two. My husband read it and told me it was "okay" so now I'm getting a divorce. Hahahah. But he's right. It's not nearly as strong as my first entry. I think all of us are good writers and no matter where we placed last time, a new prompt/genre really shakes things up.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MsVickie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Apr 2019 at 9:58am
Originally posted by MsVickie MsVickie wrote:

Originally posted by Coups Coups wrote:

Just looked at group 3:
9 Firsts
3 Seconds
5 Thirds
4 Fourths
4 Fifths
 
I'm not liking my chances this round... It's going to be a very tough heat! Confused

Hey fellow heat member! If it makes you feel better, I got #1 in my heat for the first round but it was for a genre I'm very comfortable with (historical fiction). This fairy tale stuff though, I had no idea what I was doing and I'm feeling a significant amount of doubt I'll make it past round two. My husband read it and told me it was "okay" so now I'm getting a divorce. Hahahah. But he's right. It's not nearly as strong as my first entry. I think all of us are good writers and no matter where we placed last time, a new prompt/genre really shakes things up.

Oh actually, I'm in heat 2, not heat 3. Sorry! Clearly I'm having trouble reading this morning. But I mean what I said about the prompts/genres shaking things up. I think we all have a good chance.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote td333777 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Apr 2019 at 10:12am
Oh, and one thing I forgot to mention in my previous post, but further lends credence to the idea that 1st/5th isn't truly meaningful when the prompts and the heats are drastically different between rounds--

The rounds themselves are vastly different.  Eight days vs. three vs. one.  I know a LOT of writers who, if you give them more than a week to research, workshop, and edit a story, will produce brilliance in almost any genre.  But some of them, if only given a weekend, or 16 waking hours, will produce absolute dreck.  The time crunch is a MASSIVE equalizer in these contests.

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FFC 2019 - Ch 2, Gr 94 Lucky
Micro 2019 - Vulnerable
SSC 2018 - 2nd place
FFC 2017 - 1st place
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote northernwriter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Apr 2019 at 10:46am
I don’t know how I will do, but I did the same thing and looked at numbers and noticed that several people in my heat (25, action adventure) had action adventure in round 1 also. I wrote a first draft that I hated - it was fine on a technical level but really had no heart. I knew that since there were several people who had mastered action adventure, i couldn’t compete with them on a technical level for this genre anyway (meaning hitting all the elements of the genre.) So with the encouragement of some amazing beta readers, I scrapped the first draft and wrote the story I wanted to write instead. I don’t necessarily expect to proceed with it, but I had a lot of fun writing “Miss Zelda’s ballet school for bitches and badasses.” 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote patsy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Apr 2019 at 10:54am
Originally posted by Coups Coups wrote:

Just looked at group 3:
9 Firsts
3 Seconds
5 Thirds
4 Fourths
4 Fifths
 
I'm not liking my chances this round... It's going to be a very tough heat! Confused

I'm in there with you, but it's a whole new ballgame with different genres and time circumstance!  
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