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SLK43 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote SLK43 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Need Advice
    Posted: 14 Sep 2017 at 9:25pm
I've decided I don't enter the competitions to get the judges feedback or the score.  I agree with all previous comments re the contradictory opinions offered by judges.  I enter them because this forum is priceless.  Thank you for making it worthwhile regardless of outcome! Smile
If you'd like, you can read my 1st round story The Honourable Parents R1Gr78
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Lookit There Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Sep 2017 at 9:14pm
If we knew what the judges were looking for, this contest would be a massive tie for 1st Place - 15s all around! That said, you can't write for the judges. I did that last year (political satire) and got a big fat zero. One of the judges' critique made me so furious that during the next round I thought, screw it, and wrote totally for myself. Got a 15! 
WRITE FOR YOURSELF.
You can read Challenge 2 story here:Tocca Ferro
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Suave Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Sep 2017 at 9:01pm
In my reading of others stories, specific to genre, it is plain that the judges do not follow the rules listed for the judging.  I have read stories that really did not qualify as the genre score well, stories that did not have much meat, as far as a story, score well.  I believe that the judges think they are cats.  That said, if they told us how a story scored using the percentages they list in the rules, and included that with our feedback, it would make for a clearer understanding of what we needed to improve, instead of the useless feedback they give us now.


Edited by Suave - 14 Sep 2017 at 9:03pm
Round 1 story G73 horror THE BOOK
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote lisafox10800 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Sep 2017 at 10:36am
Originally posted by nod1v1ng nod1v1ng wrote:

Originally posted by plkphoto plkphoto wrote:

Unfortunately, the only thing I can say about that is "every judge is different" -- I've had judges that have specifically commented on my use of location and object, and others that seem to ignore it. 

I would have to echo this sentiment. Trying to figure out what the judges "want" will make you crazy. 

Case in point. My feedback for my third round FF story last year went a little like this:

Judge 1: Your story was exceptionally successful because of Device A.
Judge 2: The use of Device A was a disservice to your story.

The. Same. Dang. Thing.

Best advice - do you. Write the story you want. That's where your best writing is going to come from anyways.

THIS^^  - always this. I had a very similar experience in the short story comp where I had COMPLETELY contradictory judge feedback. And it's frustrating.

But every judge is human. Every judge is different. And like Forest Gump said, it's like a box of chocolates- you never know what you're going to get.  Write something that YOU feel good about. 

And be happy you got points. You stand a fighting chance to move on.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cheezopath Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Sep 2017 at 10:28am
couple things:
- i have gone through to r3 with a r1 of 4 points before, it's definitely possible.

- beyond the feedback comments it can be helpful to look at the specific marking criteria and ask yourself how you would score yourself on each. When I realised I was making good plots but not putting enough into character development, my success rate went up.

-As long as you tick the boxes of of the prompt, you can forget about it and really work on the marking criteria. A story with really good writing that technically is in genre, has a secondary prompt character and passing reference to the object will do better than an average written story with obsessive adherence to genre, prompt character as the main focus and a deeply integrated object
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote nod1v1ng Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Sep 2017 at 8:22am
Originally posted by plkphoto plkphoto wrote:

Unfortunately, the only thing I can say about that is "every judge is different" -- I've had judges that have specifically commented on my use of location and object, and others that seem to ignore it. 

I would have to echo this sentiment. Trying to figure out what the judges "want" will make you crazy. 

Case in point. My feedback for my third round FF story last year went a little like this:

Judge 1: Your story was exceptionally successful because of Device A.
Judge 2: The use of Device A was a disservice to your story.

The. Same. Dang. Thing.

Best advice - do you. Write the story you want. That's where your best writing is going to come from anyways.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote MegOverman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Sep 2017 at 8:06am
I maybe had to check to see if you were in my group. My use of the location was a little loose this time. Mentioned several times, story moved around, but it was never REALLY at a location that wasn't a mansion...per se.  >.>

I play a pretty constant game of chicken with the judges on the object, but I'm USUALLY safer about the location. Unless I can make it a play on the location (pawn shop = place where chess pieces are carved, etc.), in which case I throw all caution to the wind. 

This is how I IMAGINE it goes: 
If there's no serious tie to any location in the story, and the prompt location is the one mentioned in passing, I imagine it gets a "no points deducted" from most (can never be sure) judges. I'd guess you don't get any extra for plunking it very concretely in the location if the location doesn't hold meaning for the story. But I always TELL MYSELF if the location can play in brilliantly somehow, that's better than a solid yet meaningless connection. 

So like:
No use - negative points
Minor mention, not clearly ignoring - full points
Literal and full use, doesn't super affect the story - full points
Cleverly used so story could only take place at that location - possible bonus
Snarky use - negative, full, or bonus...depending on execution and judges.

Who knows, in the end. 0.0
Have a glass of wine and take it like a writer.

R1 H/F (15)
R2 Suspense (Like Father)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote plkphoto Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Sep 2017 at 5:01am
SSC story lengths are: 1st round = 2500 words; 2nd round = 2000 words; and 3rd round = 1500 words.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MattrickBT Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Sep 2017 at 4:51am
I'm not sure the length of the stories in the SSC (I imagine they're longer), but I imagine they're more lose with Flash Fiction requirements in terms of content due to the story length, whereas with a short story writers have more room to move within stricter confines.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote plkphoto Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Sep 2017 at 4:48am
I should also point out that the rules for SSC, regarding the importance of the character and subject they give, are worded very differently to the way they word the rules for FFC... 

In SSC: "The assigned subject must be integral to the plot of the story. The assigned character must be a relevant character used in the story."

So "integral" and "relevant" rather than "predominant" and "included"... 


Edited by plkphoto - 14 Sep 2017 at 4:49am
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