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Quality of Feedback - how do you feel?

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obicraig View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote obicraig Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Jun 2019 at 5:15pm
I'm not quite sure what to make of mine. I felt like they didn't read it with any attention. I say that because the judges advice contradict each other and they asked questions that are easily answered by reading it. 
For example, one judge said the ending was unsatisfying. Fair enough, we have individual tastes and maybe it wasn't, except for the fact they gave the reason as the main character doesn't have any new friends at the end. Yet that is the exact end! The final scene is my two characters walking away, deciding to become friends. 
Another judge said that one of the characters hasn't given enough "information". Are they asking for exposition? Shouldn't I be avoiding that?

Can anyone answer me this, can the judges respond to feedback? I have asked one a question because they gave some advice I'd like clarification on. I'm new to the game and didn't quite get what they meant by 'transitions between settings could use more explanation.'


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote stephenmatlock Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jun 2019 at 1:25am
I'm satisfied with the judges, and I would like to see the comments (and scripts) of the five that won in my group.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote stephenmatlock Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jun 2019 at 1:31am
Originally posted by obicraig obicraig wrote:

I'm not quite sure what to make of mine. I felt like they didn't read it with any attention. I say that because the judges advice contradict each other and they asked questions that are easily answered by reading it.

For example, one judge said the ending was unsatisfying. Fair enough, we have individual tastes and maybe it wasn't, except for the fact they gave the reason as the main character doesn't have any new friends at the end. Yet that is the exact end! The final scene is my two characters walking away, deciding to become friends. 

Another judge said that one of the characters hasn't given enough "information". Are they asking for exposition? Shouldn't I be avoiding that?

Can anyone answer me this, can the judges respond to feedback? I have asked one a question because they gave some advice I'd like clarification on. I'm new to the game and didn't quite get what they meant by 'transitions between settings could use more explanation.'


Judges are people with human peculiarities and tastes. They don't produce consistent results, but the hope is, I think, that with three or four judges a consensus is reached.

If a judge misses a point that would take someone with time and commitment to see, then that judge, IMO, is not doing their job. It might seem like a lot of work to judge 40 scripts, but that is what they signed up to do and are paid for. You can give feedback on the judges, and I'd include that. You paid the same amount of money to join (more or less) as everyone else, and you should get the same level of attention as everyone else.

As far as info, be careful into over-reading into it. The judge might be saying "fit more information into this script by cutting other things," but the real statement might be "this story is too big for 12 pages, and you had cut things out for space that are necessary for story development." That kills me almost every time. A 12 page script has to be small enough to fit 12 pages.

I'd guess the same thing for the transitions. Maybe the scene jumps don't feel connected--which can happen in the early stages of a script, but should feel connected by the end, because you make them fit together logically. Or maybe the day/time jumps feel jarring, or the even the location switches (Int/Ext, for example).

This is a craft and an art, and it just takes time, IMO, to get all the pieces to work together.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NilesPerry Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jun 2019 at 2:25am
No complaints here. Even my negative feedback was good. Probably in the Top 3 of best feedback ever for me.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote northernwriter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jun 2019 at 2:50am
Feedback was great. The positives were VERY positive and the critiques were fair and actually matched several things reviewers pointed out. I felt like there were very specific things I could work on, as pointed out by reviewers and judges alike.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote JeffreyHowe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jun 2019 at 10:35am
To paraphrase stephenmatlock:
this story is too big
is almost always behind any feedback that isn't self-evident. The combination of limited pages and limited time makes it almost inevitable, especially for the 5-page iterations.

I usually do a re-write of what I submit to see what the "natural" length of the story as I conceived it really is--this time around it ended up close to 16 pages--so about 25% compressed. That's higher than I like it to be, and I feel fortunate to have advanced.

I've had rounds with decent feedback and rounds with...well, you know. When the judges reiterate the good and bad points people make here, as they did this time, I generally have no complaints. 


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Suave Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jun 2019 at 10:43am
The feedback is way better than I have seen in years past.  But there is always one judge that wants to change the story to what they would like to see.  This was a 12 page drama that said exactly what i wanted it to say.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lisafox10800 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jun 2019 at 10:57am
I'm good with my feedback. I knew where my script's holes were and folks here, in particular, gave me some great suggestions on how to fill them. I felt that the judges were fair and balanced. And detailed. Nothing worse than a one-liner.

My worst judge experience, ever, was in my first Screenplay comp a few years ago. The theme was Road Rage, and one judge questioned why my MC didn't just get a dashcam? (Because doesn't everyone have one?) 

Um. Yeah. 

That was probably the worst I've ever received. For the most part, across the NYCMs I've done, I've always been able to find something useful in a judge's comments. Even if I didn't want to accept it at the time - time and distance sometimes give you that aha of "oh, that's what they meant."  And agree 100% with Jeffrey Howe, the vast majority of time in a comp like this you'll get feedback on what to do or change if you expand the piece since, let's face it, most stories don't necessarily fit neatly in the word/page counts we're given.

Oh, and never try to match your feedback with your placement. You'll drive yourself mad. Some of my most scathing feedback has been on my best-scoring work, and some of my most glowing when I didn't make next round. Feedback does not equal placement.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote manifestlynot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jun 2019 at 1:18pm
Originally posted by lisafox10800 lisafox10800 wrote:

Oh, and never try to match your feedback with your placement. You'll drive yourself mad. Some of my most scathing feedback has been on my best-scoring work, and some of my most glowing when I didn't make next round. Feedback does not equal placement.

Agree. The most critical feedback I ever got was when I scored 4th in last year’s Screenplay finals, and my most glowing feedback has been for HMs.

Honestly, as long as my grammar, story structure, and format is solid, I don’t care what they say about my story. Stories come and go; I don’t get attached. Format is what I focus on (which is probably why I prefer the screenplay contests to prose!) and if it’s recognized in the feedback, I’m happy.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sgspeed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jun 2019 at 3:03pm
My feedback was varied and some helpful, some confusing, some contradictory.  Pretty much what I've learned to receive.  My only gripe was that the biggest chunk of it would be really, really helpful if I was writing a longer script. Sometime I feel like they forget the format when they suggest detailed story development that exceeds what can be crammed in to the page length.  HOWEVER, that may just be my own inexperience and maybe I need to learn to put more in less, so I take it all in.

What I wish for is more Forum feedback on my script.  I was not able to read much of anything, so I did not get much at all. I have to say, I also feel like I'm not a big enough player in the forum to warrant as much attention, but imagonna try and change that!  

I also never seem to get it together enough to take advantage of beta readers.  This time I literally finish the script sitting on the sidelines of my daughter's soccer game, had my husband proof it at the Sedona Starbucks for the wifi (the Vortex must have worked as I am moving on) and submitted it as they were closing the store. For this round I will be on a Arizona to Michigan coast to coast red eye Sat. night.  I love living on the edge I guess. 


Edited by sgspeed - 13 Jun 2019 at 3:03pm
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