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G1nsbergB3ats View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote G1nsbergB3ats Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Apr 2019 at 9:27am
Originally posted by Suave Suave wrote:

  {1610}  ~ Your logline gives away too much information by apparently stating a miserable outcome, when its purpose is to be enticing and open-ended enough to leave your audience eager to learn more.

Guidance:

~ The most effective Loglines contain these three elements:

your Protagonist(s),

their Goal, and

an Impediment to that Goal.

~ Typos and grammatical errors are elements under consideration in judging your entry, and having them occur on the title page or @ the very beginning of your plot raises a red flag of warning to any reader. So it's especially important to polish these pages to-the-max because they supply first impressions, for good or ill.

Your very opening line has problems:

"The ship rocks, a hollow ringing reverberates through the structure of the ship, as a group everyone flinchs, looking warely to the ceiling."

For starters, writing "the ship" twice is lazy writing when you could easily have edited the second out and said, " a hollow ringing reverberates through its structure" instead. I suggest you read your story aloud as this may help you catch such elements and improve them.

Then, the phrase about "a group" is loose because we don't know what it's comprised of and so can't picture it: crew, passengers, male, female, young, old, what race(s), what?

And finally, you misspelled both "flinched" and "warily."

~ I strongly recommend that you announce the craft as a spaceship immediately, not merely a ship, because most readers will assume the latter to be a watercraft.

~ The word "Underworld" is an Archetypal designation, so I suggest you capitalize it.

~ The same with "Show Time": CAP It, otherwise it reads like Ulysses is asking to have them show and synchronize their watches or some such.

~ The two statements by Bart and Detler following Ulysses' orienting speech read like non sequiturs. Plus you don't explain why most people feel the need to look away when Bart smiles.

1610 gave me the exact same negative feedback... for a synopsis (or "logline" as they say) that I literally wrote in the last five minutes before submitting b/c I was up against the clock. Do they really take a logline so seriously? I though this was a short story comp, not a synopsis comp, so I spent 99.99% of my time working on the STORY. It's not the worst feedback ever, I appreciate it, but I wish I knew the synopsis would matter more before I just threw it together and sent it in that case... Here's mine:

~ Your logline gives away too much, and miserable, information when its purpose is to be enticing and open-ended enough to leave your audience eager to learn more.

Guidance:

~ The most effective Loglines contain these three elements:

your Protagonist(s),

their Goal, and

an Impediment to that Goal.

~ Certain words should be Capitalized, some because they are Archetypal, others because they are significant to the genre and/or to your particular story. Here is an edit of your Logline in that regard:

"A young Princess is betrayed by King and Kingdom as her closest friends are slaughtered in the Kingdom's greatest Event."

2019 SSC R1 H62 The Culling

2019 SSC R2 H7
The Bite of Familiarity
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote nod1v1ng Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Apr 2019 at 9:34am
I posted this on the story, but for Suave... LOL

''Between Heartbeats'' 
WHAT THE JUDGES LIKED ABOUT YOUR STORY - 

{1912}  The suspense escalates from the very beginning, as Alice struggles to figure out what is going on. The descriptions are vivid, as is the urgency of the situation. The flashbacks add a layer of intrigue to the plot.  

{1797}  This story was very well written. It flowed along smoothly without hiccups, which is essential in a Thriller. (This made me feel relieved, as there were a few folks that expressed concern that this wasn't a "thriller" particularly since I wrote a more literary style, as opposed to the snappy narrative you often see in the genre.) I felt suspense early on, and all the memories flooding back to Alice as she struggled intensified my emotional reactions to the story. You did a lot of good character building and you made a statement about a real problem in society. Great job!  

{1772}  The story successfully creates a good deal of suspense and anxiety in the reader, as Alice makes sense of her past and present situation. The twist is surprising, but earned through the clues that are filtered throughout.  

WHAT THE JUDGES FEEL NEEDS WORK - 

{1912}  Though I enjoyed the mystery behind the setting, I feel the scenes with the corridor and endless doors are a bit repetitive. (This was intentional, as an added layer to the "trapped" prompt. But I should have known better. Subtle & subtext rarely fares well around here.) I wonder if there could be more variety each time Alice returns to the corridor, as the repetition doesn't reveal much about her situation or contribute to the plot. It would also be great to show more backstory on Damon, to help the reader better understand why Alice was fleeing in the first place. (I dunno, her bruises and split lip aren't enough of a reason?)

{1797}  There isn't much to work on here except the beginning of the story. In the beginning, we start out with Alice just running along a random corridor, and it was mildly confusing at first because I felt like I got plopped down into the middle of a story. (Again, the confusion is intentional, in an attempt for the reader's confusion to mimic Alice's. Also, dumping a reader right into the action is a classic thriller trope, particularly for shorts. <shrug>) Maybe if the story begins when Alice first finds herself in the tunnel, the reader would understand that Alice doesn't know where she is either. Or maybe Alice could say or think something that could guide us to the conclusion that she was lost.  (I thought the second sentence implied that she didn't know how she had gotten there, but perhaps I'll revisit it.)

{1772}  The story has a resolution, but not much of one for Alice. She is the protagonist and her action/decisions are what propel the narrative forward. When she passes away, it seems like she does so not from choice, but almost mistakenly (by going into the "light"). This seems an inevitable fate for her, but there is still a chance to revisit that scene and bring some more closure for her or to complete a character arc. This could come about by exploring why it is important for her to revisit this moment and see her fate. Does this provide a moment of closure or acceptance? Or does she have one last chance to affect the world before she is gone? 

I'm ok with the suggestions from the first two judges on what needs improvement. Perhaps a little subjective, but not a big deal. 1772 however, clearly did not understand the point to the story & the more I think about it, the more it bothers me. There is no aha! moment for Alice. No closure, no sense of resolution. That's the frigging point. Her "arc" is truncated by her partner's violence. Welcome to the world of domestic abuse. Acceptance my a$$...


Edited by nod1v1ng - 04 Apr 2019 at 9:49am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bartelbysamsa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Apr 2019 at 9:41am
Originally posted by northernwriter northernwriter wrote:

I also really liked our judges for group 29. I posted my FB with my story. I even sent one judge FB on the FB, because I’ve had this judge a few times and their comments have been both positive and helpful. I enjoyed your story and hope to see you in future competitions!


Ah, thank you! I was so happy to see that yours made it through. A truly wonderful story!

You shall indeed see me in future competitions. Currently gearing up for the Screenwriting challenge, and looking forward to Flash again.

Best of luck this weekend! Excited to read what you come up with.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cassalass Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Apr 2019 at 9:48am
  • I thought the judges were were pretty easy on me as I have spent enough time looking at this story to rip it to shreds for a'll the problems I've found in it. A tougher judge would hit on them like a city bus. It feels like I got lucky and got nice judges but I'll take any luck I can get.

  • "The Rat Merchant''  WHAT THE JUDGES LIKED ABOUT YOUR STORY - {1906}  I thought that the world created in the story was very compelling. There are a lot of excellent details that draw the reader in that feel very authentic to the time period.  {1918}  The image of the rats fleeing the smoke was disturbing and really conveyed the roughness of life at sea.  {1846}  This is a great story that warrants praise. The descriptions are excellent, setting scenes and carrying out action so clearly and beautifully; for example, how Vinn “deposited smoking handfuls of coconut fibers on plates laid periodically from stern to aft and clambered topside.” Similarly, you’ve created many wonderful metaphors such as how Captain Berwick “emerged from his cabin like a bleak horizon on a gale wind” and how “Mr. Hurd hauled Mr. Cobb like a hissing bushel of wheat below deck.” The dialogue is fantastic, revealing time, place, and character while helping to push the plot forward. Great inclusion of memory; for example, the skull famine—Vinn’s “Memories of hunting rats in the barren rice fields of his childhood home and of pale white bones peeking through the unburied, paper-thin flesh of entire villages on the road to Surat” is gorgeously rendered and gives Vinn a backstory. The plot points are compelling and interesting, and there’s a couple layers of conflict happening in this story that keep it suspenseful and entertaining. I loved the ending, and the title, too.  WHAT THE JUDGES FEEL NEEDS WORK - {1906}  I would have liked to have seen a bit more character development, especially with regards to Vanay/Vinn. There is so much going on in the story, and we see him act without really being given access to his interior life, or knowing what his motivations are.  {1918}  I wanted more descriptions of the sea. The saltiness of the air, the stench of fish, the laughter of seagulls, etc.  {1846}  In terms of revision, I think this story is already great and doesn’t need any major changes; however, there are some places where there’s room for a little expansion, now that you can word outside a word limit. For example, I found myself curious about examples of what exotics they carried on the ship. Porcelain is mentioned later in the story and that detail is great. I also found myself curious to know more about what the living quarters looked like, and the Captain. What does a ship from the East Indian Trading Co. look like? Or you could choose to describe a little bit more about Vanay’s India, in the same way you described his memory with his brother, which is so beautifully done.

R1,H55,Historical Fiction The Rat Merchant
R2,H11,RomanceOn Your Left
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Jhill Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Apr 2019 at 9:54am
Originally posted by G1nsbergB3ats G1nsbergB3ats wrote:

Originally posted by Suave Suave wrote:

  {1610}  ~ Your logline gives away too much information by apparently stating a miserable outcome, when its purpose is to be enticing and open-ended enough to leave your audience eager to learn more.

Guidance:

~ The most effective Loglines contain these three elements:

your Protagonist(s),

their Goal, and

an Impediment to that Goal.

~ Typos and grammatical errors are elements under consideration in judging your entry, and having them occur on the title page or @ the very beginning of your plot raises a red flag of warning to any reader. So it's especially important to polish these pages to-the-max because they supply first impressions, for good or ill.

Your very opening line has problems:

"The ship rocks, a hollow ringing reverberates through the structure of the ship, as a group everyone flinchs, looking warely to the ceiling."

For starters, writing "the ship" twice is lazy writing when you could easily have edited the second out and said, " a hollow ringing reverberates through its structure" instead. I suggest you read your story aloud as this may help you catch such elements and improve them.

Then, the phrase about "a group" is loose because we don't know what it's comprised of and so can't picture it: crew, passengers, male, female, young, old, what race(s), what?

And finally, you misspelled both "flinched" and "warily."

~ I strongly recommend that you announce the craft as a spaceship immediately, not merely a ship, because most readers will assume the latter to be a watercraft.

~ The word "Underworld" is an Archetypal designation, so I suggest you capitalize it.

~ The same with "Show Time": CAP It, otherwise it reads like Ulysses is asking to have them show and synchronize their watches or some such.

~ The two statements by Bart and Detler following Ulysses' orienting speech read like non sequiturs. Plus you don't explain why most people feel the need to look away when Bart smiles.

1610 gave me the exact same negative feedback... for a synopsis (or "logline" as they say) that I literally wrote in the last five minutes before submitting b/c I was up against the clock. Do they really take a logline so seriously? I though this was a short story comp, not a synopsis comp, so I spent 99.99% of my time working on the STORY. It's not the worst feedback ever, I appreciate it, but I wish I knew the synopsis would matter more before I just threw it together and sent it in that case... Here's mine:

~ Your logline gives away too much, and miserable, information when its purpose is to be enticing and open-ended enough to leave your audience eager to learn more.

Guidance:

~ The most effective Loglines contain these three elements:

your Protagonist(s),

their Goal, and

an Impediment to that Goal.

~ Certain words should be Capitalized, some because they are Archetypal, others because they are significant to the genre and/or to your particular story. Here is an edit of your Logline in that regard:

"A young Princess is betrayed by King and Kingdom as her closest friends are slaughtered in the Kingdom's greatest Event."


I got the same thing from 1610. I think we need to report this in our judge feedback, because the stories aren't supposed to be judged on the synopsis (and it is a synopsis, right? not a logline? since we're in the SSC rather than screenplay? someone please correct me if I'm wrong about that word usage). Also, I strongly disagree that we're supposed to capitalize random words, regardless of whether they're "archetypal" or not. I think this is bad advice, at the very least.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote patsy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Apr 2019 at 10:49am
I think mine did not read so carefully as they got facts mixed up that I felt were quite clear. 1794 thought Prudence was a Princess, and at no time and in no way did I insinuate that she was.  The facts that her father was an inventor and she worked for the Queen were clearly stated more than once!  1828 just wanted me to write a book. Tongue  

Dear Patsy Pratt-Herzog,

The feedback from the judges on your 1st Round submission from the Short Story Challenge 2019 is below.  We hope you find the feedback helpful and you enjoyed the challenge!

 

''The Case of the Mislaid Plans'' by Patsy Pratt-Herzog -   


WHAT THE JUDGES LIKED ABOUT YOUR STORY - 


{1601}  A great steampunk story that uses all of the elements of the genre well and still uses the mandatory story elements to create a good spy story. The description, dialog and plot are all on point. This story is well written and well put together. 


 {1794}  I thought the pacing of this piece was great. I liked how you set up several suspects with motives and even tried to remove people from the suspects line-up, only to have them reappear at the end. 


 {1828}  I absolutely love Prudence's "weapons"; fabulous! This is a great way to foreshadow trouble. What is a "Tessen"?

Her Father's design sounds fascinating but only one paragraph is devoted to a description of it; tell us more.

The big reveal: The truth serum ferrets out the criminal! It's enjoyable hearing Albert be honest with her about loving her mother; so sweet. It's hysterical to hear Geoffrey quoting verse to Harriett due to the truth serum, followed by Henry's honest assertion that he doesn't love Prudence. Deadly! Well-done!  


WHAT THE JUDGES FEEL NEEDS WORK - 


{1601}  Don't have a lot of suggestions for revision, maybe look at a couple of ways to cut a few words here and there to tighten up the story a little. 


{1794}  I was a bit confused by the final line. I was under the impression that Prudence was the "princess" to the Queen, which is why the engagement party was for her. I think clarifying those relationships will help your story.  What?!  Someone wasn't paying attention!  In no way was she portrayed as a princess!!


{1828}  What is a Mech-Serve butler? Tell us more. And how could Harriett have programmed him to steal the plans? I'll give you this one, but not enough words to explain every little detail!

I am not scoring down on spelling; however, the synopsis contains inconsistent pronouns. When writing "her father" it's unclear if it's Prudence's father of the special investigator's father. (I'm so sorry but after reading the story it's now clear that Prudence and the Special Investigator are one and the same. This just isn't clear early on.) Um . . .  it was clear to everyone else who read it!! 

The plans are described as top-secret which begs the question: Why were the plans not in a safe?  I never really said where they were, but I'll give you that one.  

The reference to the Crimean War feels out of place. Why the Russians? Why not?  It puts a frame of reference on the time the story was written, and gives a reason for the theft.  Um . . . Historical Fiction!

Your story is very well-written and earned a top score. Thank you.



Edited by patsy - 25 Apr 2019 at 10:05am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dwayz64 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Apr 2019 at 11:42am
Here's mine. Overall more positive than I thought it would be after not advancing. 

''Killing Cookie Abiloni & Other Associated Transgressions'' 


WHAT THE JUDGES LIKED ABOUT YOUR STORY - {1899}  Good opening lines filled with tension and consequences. good descriptions of Cookie and Lou that give us a good feel for their personalities. Good voice in the story.  Story kept me reading. Interesting ending.  {437}  I like the way you divide the scenes with the witty scene headings. I like the black humor mixed in with the drama. I like the timeliness (Trump, climate change, etc.) I like how Belle and Wayne bond over their murderous tendencies. Overall, I think the story is quite intelligent.  {1845}  I absolutely loved the beginning of your story. The premise is unique and exciting. You got me so interested in finding out how things between these two lovers were going to end up, as it's a story that I had never experienced before. You have a very creative mind. Great job with all of that!  


WHAT THE JUDGES FEEL NEEDS WORK - {1899}  This sentence sounds awkward with the blood stream part - suggest rewording: The energy percolated in their blood stream, mixing with the alcohol. Suggest deleting this part too - we get it: and the alleviating commenced. Suggest rewording this: but his nerves were snapping all his synapses with little jolts of electricity. TO but his nerves were snapping like little jolts of electricity.

FYI - word missing here: ho was either named Cookie or had offered Belle -- Okay, I misread it - had to read a few times to figure it out -- add the word "who" before "had offered" to fix it and it will make sense.

I don't think you need On the Target's Trail section - it's really short and doesn't tell us anything we already don't assume. Suggest moving revelations to when they are in bed earlier - it feels like we are jumping back and forth in time.  {437}  The murders don’t seem to have a lot of high stakes - we don’t see Wayne or Belle face obstacles or danger to their mission, or even much doubt/guilt. (We also don’t actually see the murders, which feels a bit unsatisfying.) I might also suggest ending the story on Wayne/Belle instead of Leonard, as he’s quite a minor character overall.  {1845}  Unfortunately, I got so excited about Wayne and Bella, that I found myself disappointed when it came to reading about the other characters throughout the rest of the story. While this would probably work beautifully in a longer novel, it felt like a bit too much information and not enough suspense for a short story. I would have actually been way more interested to just simply read about Wayne and Bella's night together for the duration of the short story - while of course bringing in some dramatic moments from the other people's backstories. That said, you are onto something really interesting here!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote GallifreyGirl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Apr 2019 at 12:13pm
Originally posted by G1nsbergB3ats G1nsbergB3ats wrote:

Originally posted by Suave Suave wrote:

  {1610}  ~ Your logline gives away too much information by apparently stating a miserable outcome, when its purpose is to be enticing and open-ended enough to leave your audience eager to learn more.

Guidance:

~ The most effective Loglines contain these three elements:

your Protagonist(s),

their Goal, and

an Impediment to that Goal.

~ Typos and grammatical errors are elements under consideration in judging your entry, and having them occur on the title page or @ the very beginning of your plot raises a red flag of warning to any reader. So it's especially important to polish these pages to-the-max because they supply first impressions, for good or ill.

Your very opening line has problems:

"The ship rocks, a hollow ringing reverberates through the structure of the ship, as a group everyone flinchs, looking warely to the ceiling."

For starters, writing "the ship" twice is lazy writing when you could easily have edited the second out and said, " a hollow ringing reverberates through its structure" instead. I suggest you read your story aloud as this may help you catch such elements and improve them.

Then, the phrase about "a group" is loose because we don't know what it's comprised of and so can't picture it: crew, passengers, male, female, young, old, what race(s), what?

And finally, you misspelled both "flinched" and "warily."

~ I strongly recommend that you announce the craft as a spaceship immediately, not merely a ship, because most readers will assume the latter to be a watercraft.

~ The word "Underworld" is an Archetypal designation, so I suggest you capitalize it.

~ The same with "Show Time": CAP It, otherwise it reads like Ulysses is asking to have them show and synchronize their watches or some such.

~ The two statements by Bart and Detler following Ulysses' orienting speech read like non sequiturs. Plus you don't explain why most people feel the need to look away when Bart smiles.

1610 gave me the exact same negative feedback... for a synopsis (or "logline" as they say) that I literally wrote in the last five minutes before submitting b/c I was up against the clock. Do they really take a logline so seriously? I though this was a short story comp, not a synopsis comp, so I spent 99.99% of my time working on the STORY. It's not the worst feedback ever, I appreciate it, but I wish I knew the synopsis would matter more before I just threw it together and sent it in that case... Here's mine:

~ Your logline gives away too much, and miserable, information when its purpose is to be enticing and open-ended enough to leave your audience eager to learn more.

Guidance:

~ The most effective Loglines contain these three elements:

your Protagonist(s),

their Goal, and

an Impediment to that Goal.

~ Certain words should be Capitalized, some because they are Archetypal, others because they are significant to the genre and/or to your particular story. Here is an edit of your Logline in that regard:

"A young Princess is betrayed by King and Kingdom as her closest friends are slaughtered in the Kingdom's greatest Event."


As a copy editor, I have to say that this is a bunch of horsesh*t re: capitalization. I dunno wtf "Archetypal" has to do with whether or not a noun is proper. I'm bristling with rage over here and it isn't even my feedback.

I feel like copy editing this judge's feedback and feeding it back to them. Grrr arrgh I am so sorry, you guys. Unsavory.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Lisa_Who Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Apr 2019 at 12:19pm
Seriously.  I flatly refuse to capitalize like that.  In the immortal words of Vonda McIntyre (RIP):

Rampant Capitals, 
or, 
The Nouns of Doom

Be careful about capitalizing words in order to indicate their importance. Several problems attend rampant capitalization.

First, extraneous capitalization tries and fails to conceal a lack of intensity, style, substance, or all those qualities, in your prose.

Second, if you capitalize Many of the Nouns in your Sentences, your Prose your Wish a Story in German to write will read. (In German you capitalize all the nouns.)(And the verbs come last, but that’s a different Pitfall.)

Third, when you sell your novel, the cover blurb will contain every single word you’ve capitalized. Here is a possible result:

On the Plains of Mystery, Prince Greeb of the Empire of Thorns rides his WindHorse, Fred, to challenge the TrollBugs to a FireDuel!

You get my drift. It looks dumb. Don’t set yourself up for it.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote manifestlynot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Apr 2019 at 12:21pm
Originally posted by GallifreyGirl GallifreyGirl wrote:


As a copy editor, I have to say that this is a bunch of horsesh*t re: capitalization. I dunno wtf "Archetypal" has to do with whether or not a noun is proper. I'm bristling with rage over here and it isn't even my feedback.

I feel like copy editing this judge's feedback and feeding it back to them. Grrr arrgh I am so sorry, you guys. Unsavory.

Same!! I'm a copywriter/editor too. My main fight every day is the Oxford comma (ride or die) so this kind of thing is annoying. Hopefully everyone who received it understands that it is incorrect and that they should not capitalize random words in a sentence to make them seem important (please please).
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