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How are topic assignments generated?

Printed From: NYC Midnight : Creative Writing & Screenwriting
Category: GENERAL DISCUSSION
Forum Name: Questions & Answers
Forum Description: Ask any questions you have regarding NYC Midnight competitions here. We will answer as quickly as possible.
URL: https://forums.nycmidnight.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=19995
Printed Date: 23 Apr 2019 at 6:02pm
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Topic: How are topic assignments generated?
Posted By: mimzee
Subject: How are topic assignments generated?
Date Posted: 24 Jan 2019 at 2:51pm
I poked around a bit and don't see an answer (maybe by design, as this is not supposed to be known?) but i am curious how the genre/setting/character prompts are generated. I assume there's a master database, but who decides which words are used for possible settings, characters, etc? Are the resulting prompts then reviewed by humans and is there ever a case where the combination makes so little sense it's discarded, or is anything the computer spits out fair game as a prompt for writers? if this is all discussed somewhere, i'd love a link. Not like I need to know, but I like to know how everything works, it's my curse.



Replies:
Posted By: mimzee
Date Posted: 26 Jan 2019 at 1:11pm
Hmm... i was sure one of the old-timers or someone from NYCMidnight would answer. Is this like a trade secret that must not be discussed?


Posted By: steph9289
Date Posted: 26 Jan 2019 at 1:23pm
Originally posted by mimzee mimzee wrote:

Hmm... i was sure one of the old-timers or someone from NYCMidnight would answer. Is this like a trade secret that must not be discussed?

I don't think anyone knows!! Haha! Sometimes it seems totally random and the prompts don't make any sense together. Other times, the connection is SO obvious that everyone in the group gets the same idea! Haha. You just never know what's going to happen!


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Screenwriting 2019 R1 G22 ~ Mars-Z-Um (Horror) - coming soon!


Posted By: mimzee
Date Posted: 26 Jan 2019 at 1:37pm
thanks (and PS just read Pox Party and loved it -- great rendition of the Mommy Wars!)


Posted By: NYC Midnight
Date Posted: 28 Jan 2019 at 3:06pm
We randomly generate the genres for each group number, but then staff manually places additional elements (subject, location, character, object, etc.) in each group.  We have a master list of elements that have been used, so we do our best to avoid any similar elements used in recent years and avoid any combinations that may jump out as too difficult or too obvious, though we realize this can be subjective.  Registered writers are assigned to their group assignments randomly as well.

We hope this helps answer your question, but please let us know if you have any other questions or need anything else.  Good luck!


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Next up is the https://bit.ly/1e5WM2k" rel="nofollow - Screenwriting Challenge 2019 kicking off April 12th.


Posted By: OnyxLily
Date Posted: 28 Jan 2019 at 5:13pm
Originally posted by NYC Midnight NYC Midnight wrote:

We randomly generate the genres for each group number, but then staff manually places additional elements (subject, location, character, object, etc.) in each group.  We have a master list of elements that have been used, so we do our best to avoid any similar elements used in recent years and avoid any combinations that may jump out as too difficult or too obvious, though we realize this can be subjective.  Registered writers are assigned to their group assignments randomly as well.

We hope this helps answer your question, but please let us know if you have any other questions or need anything else.  Good luck!

Thanks, that’s really interesting!


Posted By: RoryShores
Date Posted: 28 Jan 2019 at 8:01pm
4 monkeys. 1 bottle of tequila. 50 darts. A wall with 100 post-it notes with genres and themes (yellow). The darts have character scratched onto them. If a monkey passes out, iy is dragged off and replaced with a fresh monkey and another bottle. That last part is the most important.

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Rory


Posted By: Sephira
Date Posted: 29 Jan 2019 at 1:55pm
I think I was much happier when I was under the assumption that it was all randomly generated. The fact that actual humans thought Sci-Fi/Summer School/Forklift Operator was a great idea makes me a little sad. XD


Posted By: Merrill
Date Posted: 29 Jan 2019 at 2:51pm
And I thought mine was difficult enough - wow!

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MIRI


Posted By: stephenmatlock
Date Posted: 29 Jan 2019 at 4:49pm
Originally posted by RoryShores RoryShores wrote:

4 monkeys. 1 bottle of tequila. 50 darts. A wall with 100 post-it notes with genres and themes (yellow). The darts have character scratched onto them. If a monkey passes out, iy is dragged off and replaced with a fresh monkey and another bottle. That last part is the most important.


This seems much more plausible.

Although there is also an algorithm that says "If writer X has complained about Genre Y that they've received recently, assign Genre Y to that writer."

How else do you explain an unbroken series of Ghost Stories for me?


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2019 SWCR1 NO SPARROW FALLS UNSEEN 4/20/19
2019 SSCR2 http://bit.ly/2D7PwsS" rel="nofollow - ICE CAPADES


Posted By: JJ_84
Date Posted: 30 Jan 2019 at 4:06am
I can't answer your question but one year I got ghost story, breast milk & tundra. Ermm

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Round 1 https://bit.ly/2BiE8JE" rel="nofollow - Home Sweet Home





Posted By: Suave
Date Posted: 30 Jan 2019 at 4:26am
I have it on good authority that they go to crack houses and pay the inhabitants to do this.  They seem pretty good at it, eh?


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Posted By: Jhill
Date Posted: 03 Feb 2019 at 1:44pm
Originally posted by JJ_84 JJ_84 wrote:

I can't answer your question but one year I got ghost story, breast milk & tundra. Ermm

That is still the all-time worst prompt ever, imo. The notion that an actual NYCM human thought that was a good idea is horrifying! LOL


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https://forums.nycmidnight.com/r2-gr21-disinhibited-a-a_topic20817.html" rel="nofollow - R2 GR 21 Disinhibited (A/A)
R1 The Luckiest Night (Romance)


Posted By: JJ_84
Date Posted: 04 Feb 2019 at 2:38am
Or had a good sense of humour!! Embarrassed

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Round 1 https://bit.ly/2BiE8JE" rel="nofollow - Home Sweet Home





Posted By: AineKnees
Date Posted: 10 Feb 2019 at 3:27pm
Originally posted by Sephira Sephira wrote:

The fact that actual humans thought Sci-Fi/Summer School/Forklift Operator was a great idea makes me a little sad. XD

Oh wow! Difficult one alright!Shocked


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Posted By: AineKnees
Date Posted: 10 Feb 2019 at 3:28pm
Originally posted by JJ_84 JJ_84 wrote:

I can't answer your question but one year I got ghost story, breast milk & tundra. Ermm

OH MY GOODNESS!! LOL


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