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The Dirty Secret About Challenge 2

Printed From: NYC Midnight : Creative Writing & Screenwriting
Category: GENERAL DISCUSSION
Forum Name: Creative Writing Corner
Forum Description: Discuss NYC Midnight Creative Writing Competitions or Creative Writing in general.
URL: https://forums.nycmidnight.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=23065
Printed Date: 19 Sep 2019 at 10:42am
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Topic: The Dirty Secret About Challenge 2
Posted By: td333777
Subject: The Dirty Secret About Challenge 2
Date Posted: 11 Sep 2019 at 2:02am
Something to keep in mind when the scores are posted for Challenge 1 tonight...

The first challenge's heats were divided up into nice, neat groups of 30-31 writers.  Of those writers, roughly half the heat (15 people) will score points.  If you score (in your mind) low--from zero to five points, for example--the usual response is "well, I'm screwed...not gonna make it to the next round, why bother writing a second story?"  My first response is the boring, customary spiel--you paid your money, why not maximize the contest's value?  Write a second story, and even if it doesn't score highly, you've got a finished story in your grubby little hands--one that you can be proud of, show to your family and friends, or maybe even submit to one of hundreds of fiction markets around the world.  Plus you get pro feedback, the zeitgeist of the forums, blahblahblahstuffyou'veheardadozentimesbefore.  But here's what you might not have heard, especially if you're new to NYCM contests:

There is a MASSIVE drop-off of contestants between Challenge 1 and Challenge 2. 

Not that there are any published figures to quantify that statement, mind you.  NYCM doesn't reveal percentages of non-submittals, or give any official statement about participation levels by round, but if you dig a little into the data they release at the end of each round, hints abound.

Last year's results for Challenge 2, for instance, revealed that three heats had point totals that didn't make sense, at least initially.  In two of the three heats, scores were given out for the top 14 finishers, but no one received the 15th place score (1 point).  In the third heat, no one received either a 1-point score OR a two-point score.  Common sense dictates the reason: only 14 people participated in the first two heats mentioned, and only 13 people participated in the third.  That's a drop-off of MORE THAN HALF.

Granted, that was only three heats out of 100, but that three percent is pretty telling.  If you assume those three heats were the top end of a bell curve, all the heats we CAN'T analyze probably followed a similar, although less intense pattern.  That would mean on average, 7-10 people PER HEAT didn't participate in Challenge 2.  In other words, up to a THIRD of your competition....simply won't show up.

What does that mean?  Simple--you have less competition for the Challenge 2 points.  WRITE YOUR STORY.  SUBMIT.  Every year a zero-point total from Challenge 1 kills it in Challenge 2 and makes it to the next round.  BE THAT WRITER.

I look forward to reading what you come up with!

Trey

PS Unless you're in my heat, in which case, give up, you have no hope. ;)


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https://bit.ly/2lTyVDj" rel="nofollow - FFC 2019 - Ch 2, Gr 94 Lucky
SSC 2018 - 2nd place
FFC 2017 - 1st place



Replies:
Posted By: gij316
Date Posted: 11 Sep 2019 at 7:36am
Thank you. I've often been a no-show on round-2. Hopefully, that won't happen this time, but this weekend is going to be crazy busy. Stern Smile

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GIJ316


Posted By: Charlie72
Date Posted: 11 Sep 2019 at 8:00am
Originally posted by td333777 td333777 wrote:

Unless you're in my heat, in which case, give up, you have no hope. ;)

And the sooner they realize it, the better!  Smile


Posted By: Zelda
Date Posted: 11 Sep 2019 at 8:21am
Wow, that's brillz! Thank you! So you're saying that whoever sticks with it into this weekend is likely to get a higher mark than they'll get tonight, just due to the dropout rate? 

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https://forums.nycmidnight.com/topic23338_post296109.html#296109 <--- CH2 flash link


Posted By: EricM
Date Posted: 11 Sep 2019 at 9:24am
I appreciate the analysis from a vet!

And yeah it makes sense too, from what I understand of the contest. I think I figured out that like 70% of my Round 1 Group did not participate last year (of course, they could have participated in prior years, who knows?)

But assuming most of those 70% are true newbies, it makes sense that those who score low in Round 1 might lose enthusiasm and fall victim to self doubt. 

Obviously, we don't WANT that to happen, but I would understand it happening nonetheless.


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CH1 GP113 The World's Most Dangerous Fly (Comedy)(6 points)
https://forums.nycmidnight.com/ch-2-group-113-a-scoop-of-reality-drama_topic23286.html" rel="nofollow - CH2 GP113 A Scoop of Reality (Drama)


Posted By: amrvitale
Date Posted: 11 Sep 2019 at 10:50am
Dang. Didn't realize that half of a heat in round 1 would essentially score a 0...now I'm nervously watching my email. Hehe, thanks for the tip. I'm going to take my (probable) 0 score and just keep going in the challenge. I like having feedback, even if it's "you're not cut out for this" haha. Thanks again and good luck to everyone.

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https://forums.nycmidnight.com/topic22758_post286180.html#286180" rel="nofollow - FFCh1Gr59 Panic Button
https://forums.nycmidnight.com/topic23258_post295798.html#295798" rel="nofollow - FFCh2Gr59 Quiet Village


Posted By: northernwriter
Date Posted: 11 Sep 2019 at 11:01am
Originally posted by amrvitale amrvitale wrote:

Dang. Didn't realize that half of a heat in round 1 would essentially score a 0...now I'm nervously watching my email. Hehe, thanks for the tip. I'm going to take my (probable) 0 score and just keep going in the challenge. I like having feedback, even if it's "you're not cut out for this" haha. Thanks again and good luck to everyone.

Last year I fully expected that type of feedback for my first story ever. (I don’t mean for NYCM but ever as an adult and not a school assignment.) The feedback was very gracious and balanced even though I got 0 points. I tried again for round 2 and got 15 points! So please keep at it!! 

-Alex


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FF R2 https://tinyurl.com/y3lnlxej" rel="nofollow - Mike Hawk-Roach vs The Ex-Terminator

FF R1 https://tinyurl.com/yxpvupes" rel="nofollow - Last But Not Leashed


Posted By: Tim G
Date Posted: 11 Sep 2019 at 11:36am
I remember you discovering this in real time last year. It was awesome. Thanks for the reminder!

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Flash Round 2: https://bit.ly/2kEyrAR" rel="nofollow - Last Stop (Horror)


Posted By: jennifer.quail
Date Posted: 11 Sep 2019 at 11:42am
I'm just hoping I can GET e-mail, remember what time it is if I'm in Eastern or Atlantic, and I've got the other thing done that's due the 15th already. 

Vacations: they're for relaxing! (At least the satellite's working right now. It's rather gray and rainy out here in the St Lawrence.)


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FFC R1 GR40: Iconoclast
https://forums.nycmidnight.com/topic23455_post296776.html#296776" rel="nofollow - FFC R2 G40: Void Deck


Posted By: sootfoot5
Date Posted: 11 Sep 2019 at 1:26pm
You are correct, of course, that many people do drop out after seeing their first challenge scores.  

However, what you don't seem to have considered is that most heats didn't have the correct number of participants to begin with.  In other words, some people didn't even write for challenge one!  Perhaps they forgot it was that weekend, maybe some important life event came up -- heck, maybe they saw the prompt and thought, "I'm not writing historical fiction! No way!"  For whatever the reason, it has happened that up to five people didn't write in the first round.

They used to do the score sheet differently.  Many remember the old score sheet, and the first couple of years of Flash they would put a dash instead of a zero for no shows.  This was LONG ago, like 2010, but I don't imagine people, and their reasons for not participating, have changed all that much.  The only thing that has changed is that NYCM doesn't acknowledge the fact on the scores sheet.  

In some groups everyone participated.  In some only one would drop out, and in others as many as five.  If was the luck of the roll, so to speak.  Someone else who is an Old, Old Timer might remember it differently, but come on, don't you think some people, despite paying for this comp, already haven't shown up?  

Absolutely write in the next round.  And may the odds be ever in your favor.  


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https://forums.nycmidnight.com/rd1-gp54-the-amenable-librarian_topic22441.html" rel="nofollow - The Amenable Librarian


Posted By: Zelda
Date Posted: 11 Sep 2019 at 2:13pm
Originally posted by sootfoot5 sootfoot5 wrote:

 Perhaps they forgot it was that weekend, maybe some important life event came up -- heck, maybe they saw the prompt and thought, "I'm not writing historical fiction! No way!"  

Huh. I wouldn't fear a competitor who blew off a tough genre. 

Meg, don't post this. You'll jinx yourself and get political satire this weekend. Don't post it, Meg, don't post it.

I'm experiencing some inner conflict. Ermm




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https://forums.nycmidnight.com/topic23338_post296109.html#296109 <--- CH2 flash link


Posted By: TammyB
Date Posted: 11 Sep 2019 at 4:59pm
Originally posted by amrvitale amrvitale wrote:

Dang. Didn't realize that half of a heat in round 1 would essentially score a 0...now I'm nervously watching my email. Hehe, thanks for the tip. I'm going to take my (probable) 0 score and just keep going in the challenge. I like having feedback, even if it's "you're not cut out for this" haha. Thanks again and good luck to everyone.
Don’t worry! I did it the first time last year. I got 3 whole points in the first try. Which was my goal. I just wanted 1 lousy point!
In the 2nd story, I got 10 points! Granted my genre might have been easier, but you never know. You may get your wheelhouse in the 2nd story!
Just do it!


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FF19CH1 https://forums.nycmidnight.com/r1-gr69-suspense-a-collectors-obsession_topic21545.html" rel="nofollow - A Collector’s Obsession
FF18CH1 BURIED IN LOVE
FF18CH2 DOG-GONE MICROCHIP
WRITE ON!


Posted By: Suave
Date Posted: 12 Sep 2019 at 12:03am
Last years Short Screenplay was even worse.  I think there were 10 genre where all the points were not given out.  Of those some were only 15 through 4.  I made a post about it at the time, there were many high scores that did not compete in the second round, or were disqualified, A couple of 15, and 14's and many with less scores.  I have never heard of anyone being disqualified before in any of the contests here.  I can understand not writing if you got something like SPY.



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https://bit.ly/2m1BzH0" rel="nofollow - FFC R2 HAUNTED
https://tiny.cc/0h7m5y" rel="nofollow - Sp R1 Of Flowers, Trees, and Fish


Posted By: BarbaraFL
Date Posted: 12 Sep 2019 at 12:11am
Not sure I'm going to bother.

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FF2019 C1 G124 - https://bit.ly/2LZCiUf" rel="nofollow - United We Stand for the Motorcade
FF2019 C2 G124 - https://tinyurl.com/y3wq8rra" rel="nofollow - Help Happy Mei


Posted By: northernwriter
Date Posted: 12 Sep 2019 at 12:24am
Originally posted by BarbaraFL BarbaraFL wrote:

Not sure I'm going to bother.

You have to! Your political satire was SO good!!!


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FF R2 https://tinyurl.com/y3lnlxej" rel="nofollow - Mike Hawk-Roach vs The Ex-Terminator

FF R1 https://tinyurl.com/yxpvupes" rel="nofollow - Last But Not Leashed


Posted By: BarbaraFL
Date Posted: 12 Sep 2019 at 12:26am
Originally posted by northernwriter northernwriter wrote:

Originally posted by BarbaraFL BarbaraFL wrote:

Not sure I'm going to bother.

You have to! Your political satire was SO good!!!

Apparently not! Zero pointer.

I'm literally questioning whether or not I can do this, so eh


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FF2019 C1 G124 - https://bit.ly/2LZCiUf" rel="nofollow - United We Stand for the Motorcade
FF2019 C2 G124 - https://tinyurl.com/y3wq8rra" rel="nofollow - Help Happy Mei


Posted By: Hatter
Date Posted: 12 Sep 2019 at 12:36am
I realize there’s no definitive answer, but what is a typical combined score to advance?

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C1/G37
The Equinox Pattern
C2/G37
https://forums.nycmidnight.com/c2-g37-bisbee-abstract_topic23333.html" rel="nofollow - Bisbee Abstract


Posted By: td333777
Date Posted: 12 Sep 2019 at 12:50am
Originally posted by Hatter Hatter wrote:

I realize there’s no definitive answer, but what is a typical combined score to advance?

It's a huge range, all the way from 15 points at the low end (usually one or two people advance with that low) and 30 at the top (a handful get the max, usually less than 10).  It's rare, I think, to score 20 and not advance, although that happens every year in at least a few groups.  Bottom line, you score 21-22, and you're a safe bet to move on.


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https://bit.ly/2lTyVDj" rel="nofollow - FFC 2019 - Ch 2, Gr 94 Lucky
SSC 2018 - 2nd place
FFC 2017 - 1st place


Posted By: justmel
Date Posted: 12 Sep 2019 at 5:48am
Originally posted by sootfoot5 sootfoot5 wrote:

...some people didn't even write for challenge one!  Perhaps they forgot it was that weekend, maybe some important life event came up -- heck, maybe they saw the prompt and thought, "I'm not writing historical fiction! No way!"   
 
This was me last year, but it wasn't for lack of trying.  I drew Hist fic in Ch1 and Spy in Ch 2 (shoutout to Group 6).  In Ch1, I was paralyzed with anxiety (omgomgomg how can I do histfic in 48 hours this is impossible), but I managed to force out three pages before I bailed on the story a few hours before the deadline ("I HATE THIS, HALF OF IT IS FACTUALLY INACCURATE, IT HAS NO PLOT, AND THE DEADLINE IS 4 ½ HOURS OFF— I’M BOWING OUT, ADMITTING DEFEAT, BUH BYE").  In Ch2, I was less than a full page into it when I gave up ("THIS IS STUPID, ALL DIALOGUE, AND DUE IN TWO HOURS.  STOP FOOLING YOURSELF"). Anyone who winds up not submitting, for whatever reason, has my sympathy.  It happens.
 


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https://forums.nycmidnight.com/topic23305_post295939.html#295939" rel="nofollow - FF-R1C2-Heat103, The Pirates of Penance


Posted By: vkmartin
Date Posted: 12 Sep 2019 at 7:39am
I've not submitted twice, though both were in the screenwriting competitions. Both times, I just had no idea with the prompt and had already scored 0 in the first round. But I'm going to try and avoid that in the upcoming Short Screenplay competition, which I've decided to enter again.

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https://forums.nycmidnight.com/r1-gr119-anonymous-thriller_topic22497.html" rel="nofollow - R1 - "Anonymous" (Thriller) (13 points)


Posted By: Suave
Date Posted: 12 Sep 2019 at 8:24am
Originally posted by justmel justmel wrote:

Originally posted by sootfoot5 sootfoot5 wrote:

...some people didn't even write for challenge one!  Perhaps they forgot it was that weekend, maybe some important life event came up -- heck, maybe they saw the prompt and thought, "I'm not writing historical fiction! No way!"   
 
This was me last year, but it wasn't for lack of trying.  I drew Hist fic in Ch1 and Spy in Ch 2 (shoutout to Group 6).  In Ch1, I was paralyzed with anxiety (omgomgomg how can I do histfic in 48 hours this is impossible), but I managed to force out three pages before I bailed on the story a few hours before the deadline ("I HATE THIS, HALF OF IT IS FACTUALLY INACCURATE, IT HAS NO PLOT, AND THE DEADLINE IS 4 ½ HOURS OFF— I’M BOWING OUT, ADMITTING DEFEAT, BUH BYE").  In Ch2, I was less than a full page into it when I gave up ("THIS IS STUPID, ALL DIALOGUE, AND DUE IN TWO HOURS.  STOP FOOLING YOURSELF"). Anyone who winds up not submitting, for whatever reason, has my sympathy.  It happens.
 


I have not submitted once - SPY!  But, also, I was in the middle of a trip, my excuse.  I hate SPY.



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https://bit.ly/2m1BzH0" rel="nofollow - FFC R2 HAUNTED
https://tiny.cc/0h7m5y" rel="nofollow - Sp R1 Of Flowers, Trees, and Fish


Posted By: SnasonJoe
Date Posted: 12 Sep 2019 at 8:34am
No. To be clear he's saying that IF PEOPLE IN YOUR GROUP DROP OUT then it gives you a better chance of scoring.

Ex: 30 writers in a group. The 15 who didn't get scores decide not to write. That leaves only 15 in the group. The math means you're guaranteed at least 1 pt. If 20 drop out that guarantees a low score of 5. Etc.


Posted By: jargyle
Date Posted: 12 Sep 2019 at 8:48am
 All true, but the remaining challengers will be fierce. As it should be..


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"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler.” Al E


Posted By: Tam H
Date Posted: 12 Sep 2019 at 9:02am
As a newbie, I'm glad I read this post!

Also, as a newbie, I'm glad I read your round one!
Thanks for the inspo!



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