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Some Judges... (Flash)

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    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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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote OnyxLily Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post 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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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote taaaylor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post 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.


Edited by taaaylor - 25 Jan 2020 at 9:55pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ruagray Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post 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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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote LyndaD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post 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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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote northernwriter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post 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. 




Edited by northernwriter - 25 Jan 2020 at 11:26pm
Short Screenplay R1 Little Miss 4th of July
Short Story R1 The Anti-Wedding Planner
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote Suave Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post 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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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Charlie272 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post 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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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote taaaylor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post 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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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DocI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post 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...).
SSC1 G131: Smoke and Mirrors
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