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Some Judges... (Flash)

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ursanz View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ursanz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post 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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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BaliFan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post 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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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SFC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post 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)


Edited by SFC - 27 Jan 2020 at 1:37pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SFC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post 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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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SFC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post 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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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SFC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post 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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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote justmel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post 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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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote sidle_by Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post 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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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Chelle Moriarty Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post 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!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote taaaylor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post 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.


Edited by taaaylor - 28 Jan 2020 at 8:40pm
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