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pdevlin View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pdevlin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Apr 2019 at 11:58am
It didn't make it to the second round list and I can't find anywhere else where points are mentioned so I'm not sure where it fell in line with the rest of the stories in that group.  
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pdevlin View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pdevlin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Apr 2019 at 12:00pm
It's hard to learn from this when the comments are so contradictory. 
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Suave View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Suave Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Apr 2019 at 8:43pm
Originally posted by pdevlin pdevlin wrote:

It's hard to learn from this when the comments are so contradictory. 


They don't give points in this one, you either move on or don't.
Sad thing you did learn is that the judges all have their own opinion,
and it is not always given because they are knowledgeable on the subject.
I think some just got up on the wrong side of the beds in the morning.  That
said, the feedback they gave for these stories this time was way way better
than I have ever seen from this contest before(not for your story, but in general).  I think if you try reading between
the lines you may get more from this feedback.  Try seeing the view of each
of those judges when thinking of your story and try and imagine where the
hell they get off, lol - well you know what I mean - sometimes the judge that
gave you the bad review, or directly opposite of the others, was only being
honest from his/her view point, so it is something to think about.  On the other hand
it may have been totally off point and like I said they had a bad day and took it out
on everyone around them.


Edited by Suave - 24 Apr 2019 at 12:52am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mumser Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Apr 2019 at 10:06pm
Hi Suave, sorry I didn't see this thread earlier - here is my feedback. I gave NYCM an evaluation of each judge, as I always do. I thought 1901 gave the most helpful comments, and 1883 put a lot of effort in but I felt he/she tried to rewrite my story, which to me misses the mark (although I think I'm guilty of this sometimes too in my reviews).  

'The Peace Pageant'' by Laila Miller -   WHAT THE JUDGES LIKED ABOUT YOUR STORY - 

{1651}  I enjoyed the historical setting in which you've placed us and the universality of the story helps us empathize. Jimmy feels like a well-drawn character.  

{1883}  * Loved the relationship between Mrs. Webb and Jimmy...nicely articulated

* Clive was a complex character; dig a little bit deeper on him; help the reader to "see" him more; how does he walk, how does he look? Describe the contrast between him in his civvies and in dress uniform. Is he dirty? Unkempt? Explain that J arrives early, so there is enough time for Clive to have gotten home and changed into uniform and spiffed up...or write the scene of Clive rejecting the money on a bad day (the day before the pageant)?

* The ending is so heartwarming...but I don't know that J needs to see a gray-haired stranger in the door...I think just "Best thing to do when you felt a bit scared..." and repeating this from the early parts of the story--we know exactly who he is thinking of...and he IS feeling scared now. Those words are a comfort. She's still with him. Lovely.  

{1901}  The dialogue was well done, the characters had a distinctive way in which they spoke. The character of Jimmy was a good antithesis to Mrs. Webb. Where Mrs. Webb represented hopelessness and cynicism, Jimmy represented hope - that there can be peace if we band together.

It was cool to see that Clive wasn't who we thought he was.  

WHAT THE JUDGES FEEL NEEDS WORK - 

{1651}  I'm a bit confused at the ending. What does the grey-haired stranger at the end signify? Why would Jimmy, now older, be afraid of the stranger?  

{1883}  * SYNOPSIS - A bit confusing: The war is over, but Mrs. Webb says "no Peace Pageant will ever stop war."

The sentence about Jimmy is rather vague.

FYI: 85% of the synopses in this competition are not strong...it's an art unto itself. 

* Is it possible for a one-armed man to play the harmonica?

* Consider how better to connect Jimmy's racing after Mrs. Webb to memories of his Gran. Might these be (italicized) internal thoughts? Just an idea. OR: tighten the link EX: Just like sweet gran, she's wandering around again, lost and forgetful. - This is an opportunity also to illustrate how he felt about his gran...and how that links him to Mrs. Webb

* If he's not thinking about how his gran looked, the reader doesn't need that sentence...

* Why is the constable seeing Jimmy a problem?

Consider "What if the Constable catches him and ______?"

* Horse-drawn

* Are ALL returned after the war: Vendors? Horse-drawn cabs? Veterans? Or just the vets?

* Consider that sleeve might be pinned up (as is customary)

* Did Jimmy see the man not playing (and sad?), to make this comment about "happier when he plays."

Share what J has seen in the past to illustrate this change in his demeanor...perhaps?

* "It's so there's no more war." - ? Is this what these pageants were for? I thought it would be to celebrate the end of the war and the start of peaceful times.

* It seems a bit implausible that Jimmy wouldn't know she knits...and that he'd get a bonnet sample and spend money on yarn...

* Consider "Now, where'd I put my knitting needles?" (Jimmy wouldn't be able to answer "Where are they?"

* It would take a LONG time to knit 100 bonnets...consider giving an accurate sense of how much time has passed...

* The reader wants Jimmy to explain his feelings, even if he can't tell Clive...consider sharing what this is about...

* "The band, the children, the horses: war, and peace, and war again, just like Mrs. Webb said." - But this is a celebration of the end of the war...is there another one in sight? This moment is not about thinking on the next war, I don't think.

* "...bashing the children in his way." - Is this picture what the reader should be seeing?

* What if Jimmy told her he DID see Harold, and how fine he looked in his uniform--just to make her feel better...he seems a sensitive boy up to this point

* Consider: "He didn't reach her in time." 0r "He didn't protect her." Rather than "he hadn't helped her."

* Nice ending--sweet.  

{1901}  Jimmy kept referring to the Constable throughout the story, but he never seemed like that big of an obstacle. He should play a larger role in the story, and perhaps there are a few times where he tries to put a stop to The Peace Pageant.

FF2019-R1 Writing on Tenement Halls
SSC2019-R2 The Wrath of Vulcan
SSC2019-R1 The Peace Pageant

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mumser Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Apr 2019 at 10:09pm
Originally posted by pdevlin pdevlin wrote:

It's hard to learn from this when the comments are so contradictory. 
I agree, Penny. These are frustrating comments. It is not possible, I don't think, for the judges to objectively review a story. Their personal opinion always comes into it and this is very clear in the comments you received. One thing you can be sure of is that one judge's personal opinion is that they really, really liked your story!
FF2019-R1 Writing on Tenement Halls
SSC2019-R2 The Wrath of Vulcan
SSC2019-R1 The Peace Pageant

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