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Some Judges... (Flash)

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=31731
Printed Date: 31 Oct 2020 at 2:47pm
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Topic: Some Judges... (Flash)
Posted By: SFC
Subject: Some Judges... (Flash)
Date Posted: 25 Jan 2020 at 9:36pm
I've never ranted on here before so I AM SO SORRY. But I just got my Final Round Flash Fiction feedback (while trying to finalize my R1 Short Story Confused so distracting) and I just... some judges, man.

Quickly: my story had a non-gendered protagonist. Something that one of the judges acknowledged right out (I'm posting their whole comment since they very respectively made the whole thing gender-neutral): 

"I appreciated that the flying thread appears throughout the narrator's entire life. They're always trying to feel closer to their unseen father, and that "closer" always looks like trying to get into the clouds in some way. This feels like a very natural part of the tale. I appreciate the intentional use of the gender-neutral "they." " (thanks, 17**)

BUT THEN HERE COMES BIG OL' 18** (are we allowed to use their actual judge #'s here? Sorry, I'm such a rookie) saying, in the NEEDS WORK SECTION:

 "give us a clue if the protagonist is a male or female."

I mean. Yikes. That's all I can say. Did someone accidentally let their politically incorrect grandma behind the keyboard again?

I wasn't trying to do anything special by making my protag gender neutral. They just kind of wrote themselves that way. I didn't expect praise - just not, ya know, actual... whatever that ^ is, lol 

Hopefully you all got more useful criticism Dead




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Replies:
Posted By: OnyxLily
Date Posted: 25 Jan 2020 at 9:40pm
Oh dear. Yeah there are always some judges who don’t get it. Make sure you take the opportunity to fill in the feedback thingy. 

That judge sounds slightly better than the copy-and-paste debacle and the log-line obsessed judge. Just. 

I appreciate you including a non-binary character and respecting their pronouns!


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Posted By: taaaylor
Date Posted: 25 Jan 2020 at 9:46pm
You can definitely use their numbers. And I'm right there with you with my last-minute SSC work being derailed by the feedback. ;)

I am genuinely amazed at how unhelpful the judging was. That's a pretty egregious example, tbh. Can't blame you for being a bit annoyed with that.

For me, I just felt like they didn't even peg what my genre was correctly. I got critique that read it like a standard fantasy rather than more of a magical realist approach, so they were looking for cause/effect that just wasn't there. Didn't like the unifying concept of the whole piece. Called my main character "evil" for being an analogy of a kid born with a fatal illness.

I'm right there with you as ranting goes. :/ Feels wildly unfair and painful to read feedback that sort of implies they missed the whole damn point.


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FF C2: https://bit.ly/3j03Jdu" rel="nofollow - New Light - 15 pts

FF C3: https://bit.ly/2TgR1N8" rel="nofollow - The Prison of Paradise


Posted By: ruagray
Date Posted: 25 Jan 2020 at 9:52pm
I had a judge in the Micro contest that said the same thing. They wanted me to have the MC called by their name early to establish what their gender was.

1)The name wouldn't tell you the character's gender and 
2)If the character's gender was relevant in any way to the story then I would have included it.

Some judges give feedback that says more about their ability to read things thoughtfully than about your writing. It is what it is. 


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FFC#2 - https://tinyurl.com/y3ddgfso" rel="nofollow - Into the Wind 13pts (thriller)



Posted By: LyndaD
Date Posted: 25 Jan 2020 at 10:46pm
I had a judge in the micro contest that criticized my dialogue. The characters were poor and uneducated, and spoke in short sentences using simple vocabulary. They told me, "People don't talk like that."Unhappy

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Posted By: northernwriter
Date Posted: 25 Jan 2020 at 11:25pm
My main character joked with his wife about forgetting his anniversary. One judge said the story would have been better if my MC didn't have memory problems. THE JUDGE TOOK IT LITERALLY THAT HE WAS HAVING MEMORY PROBLEMS. 




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Posted By: Suave
Date Posted: 25 Jan 2020 at 11:46pm

Some judges seem unable to take a story for what it is.  Then they want to rewrite it and consider that feedback.


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Posted By: Charlie272
Date Posted: 25 Jan 2020 at 11:51pm
Originally posted by SFC SFC wrote:

I've never ranted on here before so I AM SO SORRY. But I just got my Final Round Flash Fiction feedback (while trying to finalize my R1 Short Story Confused so distracting) and I just... some judges, man.

Quickly: my story had a non-gendered protagonist. Something that one of the judges acknowledged right out (I'm posting their whole comment since they very respectively made the whole thing gender-neutral): 

"I appreciated that the flying thread appears throughout the narrator's entire life. They're always trying to feel closer to their unseen father, and that "closer" always looks like trying to get into the clouds in some way. This feels like a very natural part of the tale. I appreciate the intentional use of the gender-neutral "they." " (thanks, 17**)

BUT THEN HERE COMES BIG OL' 18** (are we allowed to use their actual judge #'s here? Sorry, I'm such a rookie) saying, in the NEEDS WORK SECTION:

 "give us a clue if the protagonist is a male or female."

I mean. Yikes. That's all I can say. Did someone accidentally let their politically incorrect grandma behind the keyboard again?

I wasn't trying to do anything special by making my protag gender neutral. They just kind of wrote themselves that way. I didn't expect praise - just not, ya know, actual... whatever that ^ is, lol 

Hopefully you all got more useful criticism Dead



In both the first and second challenges of Flash, I had different judges want to know what female characters were wearing.
NOT JOKING.


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Posted By: taaaylor
Date Posted: 26 Jan 2020 at 1:31am
Originally posted by northernwriter northernwriter wrote:

My main character joked with his wife about forgetting his anniversary. One judge said the story would have been better if my MC didn't have memory problems. THE JUDGE TOOK IT LITERALLY THAT HE WAS HAVING MEMORY PROBLEMS. 

In the flash fic final round?? (I know you were in that and the screenplay contest too.) God, that's infuriating. I kind of feel like these judges wanted me to SCREAM my message across to them at some points.

Sorry the curse of the skim-reader hit you too :/


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FF C2: https://bit.ly/3j03Jdu" rel="nofollow - New Light - 15 pts

FF C3: https://bit.ly/2TgR1N8" rel="nofollow - The Prison of Paradise


Posted By: DocI
Date Posted: 26 Jan 2020 at 1:38am
Originally posted by Charlie272 Charlie272 wrote:

In both the first and second challenges of Flash, I had different judges want to know what female characters were wearing.
NOT JOKING.

I wonder if either of them were the same judge as I had in the first round of micro. They couldn't empathize with the deceased wife in my story because I didn't describe what she looked like (not that I described the husband or their son either...).


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Posted By: Twerteen
Date Posted: 26 Jan 2020 at 5:29am
In micro I had a judge rewrite my protagonist as male, and then in the feedback suggested I should write out more clearly whether or not my two underage characters “just kiss, or had sex?”

My story was about a teenage girls first love...with another girl. Everyone who read it knew they were both girls, except that judge. Also, I wrote it in such a way that the reader could fill in what was comfortable and appropriate for them, as I don’t write kiddie porn.

I mean...eww. 


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Posted By: Debby1979
Date Posted: 26 Jan 2020 at 6:36am
Someone once told me (Re: critique, feedback or notes): "when someone points out something that doesn't work in your piece, they are almost always right. But when they give you suggestions of how to fix it, they are almost always wrong." 
I keep that in the back of my head when I read my feedback. I check what issues they point out, and whether there are similarities from one judge to the other (if more than one gives the same remark, I know it's truly an issue, and not a subjective opinion). 
Don't take the feedback you get too personal. Stick with your story, but take note of what you could improve to get the message across better. 


Posted By: nickofnight
Date Posted: 26 Jan 2020 at 9:10am
Originally posted by Debby1979 Debby1979 wrote:

Someone once told me (Re: critique, feedback or notes): "when someone points out something that doesn't work in your piece, they are almost always right. But when they give you suggestions of how to fix it, they are almost always wrong." 

 
It's a Gaiman quote, I believe! 

The judges here definitely value specificity. "They" is naturally ambiguous if it's not clarified, and even when gender isn't relevant it can sometimes feel like you're withholding information. Whether we like it or not, knowing what gender (or not) a character is "tells" us a lot about them through our assumptions.  Not knowing creates a distance.  It's up to the judge how they feel about it, not how we want them  to feel about it.   But that judge (op's) is out of line to assume between male/female.  

Sorry to everyone that had a judge skim and miss the point (been there) - it is the kind of thing that makes you wonder what you're paying for and come away a little bitter about it. But imo these are the (unfortunate) exceptions to the rule - a bad apple of a judge. 



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https://forums.nycmidnight.com/ch3-gp7-bursting-point-thriller_topic36548.html" rel="nofollow - CH3 - Bursting Point


Posted By: ruagray
Date Posted: 26 Jan 2020 at 12:59pm
While the Gaiman quote is pretty good, I think I prefer the saying:

"If one person gives you a note, it's a personal preference. If five people give you a note, it's a problem."

That's one thing I notice when I feel like I get some bad judging. Their feedback is almost never in line with any of the other feedback.


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FFC#3 - https://tinyurl.com/y69a9aza" rel="nofollow - Rise the Midnight Girl (horror)
FFC#2 - https://tinyurl.com/y3ddgfso" rel="nofollow - Into the Wind 13pts (thriller)



Posted By: taaaylor
Date Posted: 26 Jan 2020 at 1:18pm
Originally posted by nickofnight nickofnight wrote:

Originally posted by Debby1979 Debby1979 wrote:

Someone once told me (Re: critique, feedback or notes): "when someone points out something that doesn't work in your piece, they are almost always right. But when they give you suggestions of how to fix it, they are almost always wrong." 

 
It's a Gaiman quote, I believe! 

The judges here definitely value specificity. "They" is naturally ambiguous if it's not clarified, and even when gender isn't relevant it can sometimes feel like you're withholding information. Whether we like it or not, knowing what gender (or not) a character is "tells" us a lot about them through our assumptions.  Not knowing creates a distance.  It's up to the judge how they feel about it, not how we want them  to feel about it.   But that judge (op's) is out of line to assume between male/female.  

Sorry to everyone that had a judge skim and miss the point (been there) - it is the kind of thing that makes you wonder what you're paying for and come away a little bitter about it. But imo these are the (unfortunate) exceptions to the rule - a bad apple of a judge. 


To your last paragraph: The entire group of flash fic judges was a rotten bunch then. I've genuinely never encountered such a group of bad readers. I feel like they only wanted obvious stories that fit familiar easy genres.

I don't know. I'm usually in that camp, Nick. And every other round I've been in, I would have fully agreed. But this cut deeply. And I KNOW my story is better than my feedback reflects. :/ And receiving feedback that so clearly indicates they didn't actually grasp the emotional crux of my plot or the whole concept of the world building unless I scream it at them is really heartbreaking. Unfair. Based on their bad reading, not my writing.

I don't know. But I do know this kind of thing shouldn't be happening in the final round of all places.

ETA: I do agree with your first point, though


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FF C2: https://bit.ly/3j03Jdu" rel="nofollow - New Light - 15 pts

FF C3: https://bit.ly/2TgR1N8" rel="nofollow - The Prison of Paradise


Posted By: wbarr
Date Posted: 26 Jan 2020 at 1:55pm
It's hard to find someone who can give you the feedback you need in a way that you can hear it. And then it's irritating when someone offers a personal preference in the guise of constructive criticism. And then it's infuriating when someone has read in a lazy, uncharitable way and is talking right past your story and right past you.

FWIW, this is my third year doing this contest. Here's how I approached years 1 and 2 when it came to criticism.

YEAR 1: I participated moderately in the forums. The judges were okay, and a lot of the forum participants were ... nice, encouraging, well-intentioned, and pleasant, but also not helpful in the sense of showing me something I couldn't see myself. However, there were two people who responded to my stories in ways that did helped me understand how the story affected someone like my "ideal reader." That alone was worth the price of admission.

YEAR 2: I did not participate in the forums at all. What a missed opportunity for me. My story didn't survive the first heat, and I had gotten very little out of the experience. The judges were nice. They did identify things that the story lacked, and I could agree with their suggestions. Meanwhile, here on the forums, nobody in my heat posted stories either, and I think we all missed out because of it.

So here I am at YEAR 3: I plan to participate actively. I am sure I'll receive some feedback that fails to connect with the kind of writing I want to produce and the ideal reader I imagine. But if even one or two people can help me see my story more clearly than I could, it will be worth the effort of participation. And I'll try to leave the most helpful responses I can when I read other participants' stories, hoping to make good connections.

As for the judges, well, it's a lottery. Sorry you got a dud, the kind that talks right past you. The forums are a good place to work out your frustration.

(Sorry for the long response here. It's all part of my YEAR 3 goal of being active rather than passive.)


Posted By: ophelialit74
Date Posted: 26 Jan 2020 at 2:14pm
I empathize with those of you receiving feedback from judges who just don't get your stories....like almost comically don't get it. For the last round of Micro, the narrator of my story kills someone and literally says, "I can't say why I did it except for the fevered pleasure it gave me." One of the judges gave this helpful feedback, "Why did she kill the man? Was he mean to her in some way?" Dude. Unhappy


Posted By: RebaSky
Date Posted: 26 Jan 2020 at 5:12pm
Is it definitely the same judge? New this year, not sure how the judging really works....


Posted By: Debby1979
Date Posted: 26 Jan 2020 at 6:00pm
There are A LOT of judges (you can find them on the home page of the challenge), and each heat gets three. I guess they read the works of several heats, but no heat will have exactly the same combo of judges - if that makes sense.  


Posted By: ursanz
Date Posted: 26 Jan 2020 at 8:13pm
I'm on page 14 of Agatha Christie's "The Mysterious Affair at Styles" and I believe the MC  has just been gendered for the first time, when introduced as Mr Hastings.

I reread the whole opening,  looking at what assumptions I was making,  compared with what the reader of the time would make.

Fascinating comparison.


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2020
100 R1 G75 https://bit.ly/2WsmwWE" rel="nofollow - Love Blooms

2019
MF R1 G3 http://bit.ly/2KQfPHH" rel="nofollow - Who’s the Angel Now? #9


Posted By: ursanz
Date Posted: 26 Jan 2020 at 8:16pm
Originally posted by SFC SFC wrote:


 "give us a clue if the protagonist is a male or female."


See Agatha Christie comment above :)


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2020
100 R1 G75 https://bit.ly/2WsmwWE" rel="nofollow - Love Blooms

2019
MF R1 G3 http://bit.ly/2KQfPHH" rel="nofollow - Who’s the Angel Now? #9


Posted By: BaliFan
Date Posted: 26 Jan 2020 at 10:47pm
Judges can be all over the map. I've had worse experiences in Flash than here, so far, including a judge who said that a female character operating in a group of guys (genre - romantic comedy) should have had a fling with one of the guys before the romantic lead showed up - because right, a woman in a group of men ALWAYS has a fling with one of them. Then there was the judge who thought they knew more about Japan than I do - and I live in Japan. And the judges who don't seem to have read your story at all....

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From the Office of Chaos


Posted By: SFC
Date Posted: 27 Jan 2020 at 1:30pm
Originally posted by ruagray ruagray wrote:

I had a judge in the Micro contest that said the same thing. They wanted me to have the MC called by their name early to establish what their gender was.

1)The name wouldn't tell you the character's gender and 
2)If the character's gender was relevant in any way to the story then I would have included it.

Some judges give feedback that says more about their ability to read things thoughtfully than about your writing. It is what it is. 

To your two points: EXACTLY. 

I mean, having the gender be non-relevant can be just as much of a story-telling technique as anything else. To think otherwise just reveals the old-fashioned/narrow-minded view of the judge.

Especially in micro, where I think it would be required of a judge to read things very thoughtfully?  

(edited for typo)


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Posted By: SFC
Date Posted: 27 Jan 2020 at 1:36pm
Originally posted by northernwriter northernwriter wrote:

My main character joked with his wife about forgetting his anniversary. One judge said the story would have been better if my MC didn't have memory problems. THE JUDGE TOOK IT LITERALLY THAT HE WAS HAVING MEMORY PROBLEMS. 



I'M SORRY this is so not funny but I'm laughing because it's just so unbelievable. I know we make our own choices to be a part of this and receive this judging but... since we're paying, a little bit of quality control would be nice, is all I'm sayin'.



Originally posted by Charlie272 Charlie272 wrote:


In both the first and second challenges of Flash, I had different judges want to know what female characters were wearing.
NOT JOKING.


omg no... that is like, beyond explanation? I don't think I have EVER described what a character is wearing in Flash, unless it's something relevant like... a hazmat suit or something lol 


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FFC- https://forums.nycmidnight.com/ch3-g19-lavender-fields_topic30618.html" rel="nofollow - Lavender Fields


Posted By: SFC
Date Posted: 27 Jan 2020 at 2:00pm
Originally posted by nickofnight nickofnight wrote:

Originally posted by Debby1979 Debby1979 wrote:

Someone once told me (Re: critique, feedback or notes): "when someone points out something that doesn't work in your piece, they are almost always right. But when they give you suggestions of how to fix it, they are almost always wrong." 

 
It's a Gaiman quote, I believe! 

The judges here definitely value specificity. "They" is naturally ambiguous if it's not clarified, and even when gender isn't relevant it can sometimes feel like you're withholding information. Whether we like it or not, knowing what gender (or not) a character is "tells" us a lot about them through our assumptions.  Not knowing creates a distance.  It's up to the judge how they feel about it, not how we want them  to feel about it.   But that judge (op's) is out of line to assume between male/female.  

Sorry to everyone that had a judge skim and miss the point (been there) - it is the kind of thing that makes you wonder what you're paying for and come away a little bitter about it. But imo these are the (unfortunate) exceptions to the rule - a bad apple of a judge. 


Yeah... I definitely understand the idea that some people prefer to be able to picture a character fully in their minds to be able to relate to the character or understand their story better... but, especially in Flash, I just think that a potent story can be told without having to give away too much information. 

It just stinks when you think you've lost points because someone has a hard time connecting to a character that hasn't been gendered for possibly those reasons - that they think gender "tells" us a lot about them. I'm of the mindset that it really doesn't. (And the one judge I also quoted seemed to have no problem with it? Which just makes it confusing) I mean - they can rip the story to shreds if they want to! I drink constructive criticism up like fine wine. But when the complaint revolves around something that is considerably negligible to the whole plot... I don't know.

Originally posted by ruagray ruagray wrote:

While the Gaiman quote is pretty good, I think I prefer the saying:

"If one person gives you a note, it's a personal preference. If five people give you a note, it's a problem."

That's one thing I notice when I feel like I get some bad judging. Their feedback is almost never in line with any of the other feedback.

Yes, yes, and YES. If even one or two more of the judges had said something, I would consider that I hadn't written the character correctly, but just one of five having a problem? I think it's only right that we question some judges abilities and give proper feedback. 


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FFC- https://forums.nycmidnight.com/ch3-g19-lavender-fields_topic30618.html" rel="nofollow - Lavender Fields


Posted By: SFC
Date Posted: 27 Jan 2020 at 2:03pm
Originally posted by ophelialit74 ophelialit74 wrote:

I empathize with those of you receiving feedback from judges who just don't get your stories....like almost comically don't get it. For the last round of Micro, the narrator of my story kills someone and literally says, "I can't say why I did it except for the fevered pleasure it gave me." One of the judges gave this helpful feedback, "Why did she kill the man? Was he mean to her in some way?" Dude. Unhappy

omg WHY??? I'm sorry, it's not actually funny, but like you said - comical. What can you do but shake your head Pinch (and feedback, of course!)


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FFC- https://forums.nycmidnight.com/ch3-g19-lavender-fields_topic30618.html" rel="nofollow - Lavender Fields


Posted By: justmel
Date Posted: 28 Jan 2020 at 12:47am
Originally posted by Debby1979 Debby1979 wrote:

Someone once told me (Re: critique, feedback or notes): "when someone points out something that doesn't work in your piece, they are almost always right. But when they give you suggestions of how to fix it, they are almost always wrong."  
 
I'm pretty sure that's Holly Lisle.  But maybe she was quoting Gaiman. (?)
 
I got my feedback last night and am equally frustrated.  I know I shouldn't complain, since I did come in second, but for crying out loud, my MC's name is not Lucy.  


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https://forums.nycmidnight.com/topic36604_post386527.html#386527" rel="nofollow - R2Grp9 A Matter of Time


Posted By: sidle_by
Date Posted: 28 Jan 2020 at 6:43pm
I once had a judge comment that the piece didn't make sense to them until they realised it was about two people playing a table top game.

It was, in fact, not about that. There was no indication it was about that. None of the beta readers thought it was about that. Honestly, still not even sure how the judge game to that conclusion, but maaaan i would love have been a fly on the wall for that one


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Posted By: Chelle Moriarty
Date Posted: 28 Jan 2020 at 7:15pm
... Totally looking forward to my feedback now.

I'm glad a read through this thread. I'm usually pretty good at taking constructive crit but if someone misses a big, obvious point in my work I tend to get a bit twitchy. If I got critism like that from a judge without being prepared for the possibility of it, I'm not sure how I'd feel.

Thanks!


Posted By: taaaylor
Date Posted: 28 Jan 2020 at 8:39pm
Originally posted by Chelle Moriarty Chelle Moriarty wrote:

... Totally looking forward to my feedback now.

I'm glad a read through this thread. I'm usually pretty good at taking constructive crit but if someone misses a big, obvious point in my work I tend to get a bit twitchy. If I got critism like that from a judge without being prepared for the possibility of it, I'm not sure how I'd feel.

Thanks!

I will say it's rare. This is the second time in 13 rounds that I've done that I genuinely went to "what the hell" at my feedback. For me, the only stung so badly that it was in the most important round of all lmao.

But take heart! They're truly not all bad, even if the worst is appalling.


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FF C3: https://bit.ly/2TgR1N8" rel="nofollow - The Prison of Paradise


Posted By: BaliFan
Date Posted: 28 Jan 2020 at 8:44pm
I've gone "what the hell" at my feedback a bunch of times - have gotten a lot of nitpicks on punctuation, also criticism on my LOG LINE. But I think the best/worst was when a judge got offended by one premise of my story, which had to be set in a gunshop (which had kind of offended me to start with, TBH). It was crime caper - and after it all went down, one character opened a restaurant in part of the gunshop. "I find it personally offensive to pair a restaurant with a gunshop." Ummmm....


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From the Office of Chaos


Posted By: Chelle Moriarty
Date Posted: 28 Jan 2020 at 11:00pm
Originally posted by BaliFan BaliFan wrote:

"I find it personally offensive to pair a restaurant with a gunshop." Ummmm....


That's some quote... I'd keep that and throw it into a story if at all possible. That's the kind of random that could stop a conversation out of context.




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100WordRound1: https://forums.nycmidnight.com/r1-g17-driving-for-dimplesromcom_topic33647.html" rel="nofollow - Driving for Dimples (RomCom/Bother)


Posted By: BaliFan
Date Posted: 28 Jan 2020 at 11:06pm
Since I eventually ended up missing going on to the second stage last year by ONE POINT, I really wasn't happy with my score on that story. It definitely wasn't my best, but that was a bit much and I felt it really cost me.

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From the Office of Chaos


Posted By: ruagray
Date Posted: 29 Jan 2020 at 1:37am
Depending on the types of stories you write, I'd say it's pretty common. I'd venture to say 1 in 5 if you write normal stories and upward to 1 in 3 if you write stories that have a figurative or metaphorical layer to them.

I try to give them the benefit of the doubt and assume that they are overworked, but I'm assuming that they get paid to judge for this contest...so to me it's just laziness to read something and automatically assume there is something wrong with the writing rather than reading it again.

If they actually read the story multiple times and still came up with that feedback, well, I'm going to stop talking now.

Luckily, I have had at least one judge that was really on the ball and giving great feedback each time. So while you might get your contest scoring tanked by a bad judge, you should still get at least a bit of valid feedback to walk away with.


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FFC#2 - https://tinyurl.com/y3ddgfso" rel="nofollow - Into the Wind 13pts (thriller)



Posted By: BaliFan
Date Posted: 29 Jan 2020 at 3:00am
I agree and have often gotten some very decent feedback. But I felt strongly that the judge's personal feelings in that case affected their judgement, and I could really have used an extra point, as it turned out. But I've also had some very strange feedback that did make me wonder if they'd actually read it at all...


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From the Office of Chaos


Posted By: KatinkaQueenie
Date Posted: 29 Jan 2020 at 9:22am
I had a judge once who told me that my flash fiction intro was so interesting as they weren’t familiar with the history of dog shows.... I made it up right..... I’m writing fiction right?
There’s usually some useful feedback and then sometimes some of it is actually funny.


Posted By: Suave
Date Posted: 29 Jan 2020 at 11:02am
I had a judge that decided to tell me that he hated everything there was about my story, I mean this guy just went to town.  Then he did it to two others and I think they canned him because he wasn't around anymore.

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Posted By: MuffinMom
Date Posted: 30 Jan 2020 at 5:17pm
I've had two stories where a judge said that something was too unrealistic. In both cases, they were things that had happened in real life. 

To give one example, I had a comedy in flash fiction, and I wrote about a bad yellow lab (not too original, I know, but it's what I know). IRL, I've had the lawn mower guy tell me many times that I don't need to be worried about leaving my dog in the yard when he comes. This has been a big deal because I kept telling the guy that I need a heads up as to when he's going to be there so I can get my dog out of the yard. In the past, when people show up and my labrador is out there, hilarity ensues. And not in a good way. He is a very exuberant helper and has grabbed tools from workers and run around the yard with them, he's jumped on them, and he's just in general been a huge PIA. But every time, the yard guy says not to worry about it - he's experienced with dogs. So I wrote a comedy about a naughty dog that gets in the yard guy's way, and the judge's comment was "I found it incredibly odd that Robert took the "lawn guys" advice regarding leaving the dog outside. I can't imagine any person would follow this advice and I can't imagine any lawn workers to suggest such an idea."

This same judge also said about my main character eating a burrito in front of the TV and having the dog snatch it: "Isn't it strange for someone to STAND in front of the TV and eat a burrito?" Umm, no, the reason I wrote it is because it's something I do all the time.

I could have accepted if a judge felt like this story was too cliche because it was too much like Marley and Me, but I just had to laugh that the judge marked me down for things being too unrealistic when they had actually happened in real life!




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https://forums.nycmidnight.com/topic36707_post387781.html#387781" rel="nofollow - Short Screenplay 1: The Wurlitzer


Posted By: northernwriter
Date Posted: 30 Jan 2020 at 5:50pm
Originally posted by MuffinMom MuffinMom wrote:

I've had two stories where a judge said that something was too unrealistic. In both cases, they were things that had happened in real life. 

To give one example, I had a comedy in flash fiction, and I wrote about a bad yellow lab (not too original, I know, but it's what I know). IRL, I've had the lawn mower guy tell me many times that I don't need to be worried about leaving my dog in the yard when he comes. This has been a big deal because I kept telling the guy that I need a heads up as to when he's going to be there so I can get my dog out of the yard. In the past, when people show up and my labrador is out there, hilarity ensues. And not in a good way. He is a very exuberant helper and has grabbed tools from workers and run around the yard with them, he's jumped on them, and he's just in general been a huge PIA. But every time, the yard guy says not to worry about it - he's experienced with dogs. So I wrote a comedy about a naughty dog that gets in the yard guy's way, and the judge's comment was "I found it incredibly odd that Robert took the "lawn guys" advice regarding leaving the dog outside. I can't imagine any person would follow this advice and I can't imagine any lawn workers to suggest such an idea."

This same judge also said about my main character eating a burrito in front of the TV and having the dog snatch it: "Isn't it strange for someone to STAND in front of the TV and eat a burrito?" Umm, no, the reason I wrote it is because it's something I do all the time.

I could have accepted if a judge felt like this story was too cliche because it was too much like Marley and Me, but I just had to laugh that the judge marked me down for things being too unrealistic when they had actually happened in real life!



I was just WAITING for someone to say that my first round short screenplay was unrealistic. I got crime caper and I wrote about a mom who steals the crown from a baby at a 4th of July baby contest. This happened to my daughter! LOL! Nobody called me out on it though. Of course, there's a longer backstory and the screenplay is much exaggerated. 


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Screenplay R1 https://tinyurl.com/ycefehh7" rel="nofollow - Autocorrect
Flash Fiction R1 https://tinyurl.com/y65ks8tg" rel="nofollow - The Grim Truth



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