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Jtowery View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jtowery Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Sep 2018 at 4:28pm
My feedback:

WHAT THE JUDGES LIKED ABOUT YOUR STORY - {1892} This story was quirky, flowed nicely, and was all-around smartly written. The details and pieces of the plot came together excellently without feeling forced or too unrealistic. There were some fantastic lines. "Lauren had made soufflés that outweighed this purse pooch — using Limburger cheese that smelled better" was one of my favorites, as it tied in with the theme of the story. The ending was both optimistic and clever, too. {1816} Fun culinary tale without the usual gourmet food - but dog food, and unique blend with Lauren having also done cooking for healing. We feel for her that she is in this situation but must need this job. What a funny line about making souffles larger than the dog, and the quote from her father. Hilarious about the dog having dentures and perfect ending - glad it all worked out. A light, comic culinary tale with a pet twist! {1632} A dogfood test kitchen was an interesting and out-of-the-box concept... or should I say, "out-of-the-can"?And... Doggie dentures was a truly unique twist! Great job! WHAT THE JUDGES FEEL NEEDS WORK - {1892} I don't quite understand the crowd's strong reaction to Duchess having dentures. I would have liked a bit more background on Lauren and Greg's relationship. Are they good friends? More than that? A little more clarity there would have made me understand their dynamic more fully. {1816} Why does Lauren shout that the woman's dog needs a doctor with having gas? It seems a bit extreme. I'm not sure how Duchess is a fraud, merely because she has dentures. Be clear on why this makes her a fraud - against regulations with the kennel show, etc.   {1632} Just my take on it, but I would suggest ending with "And pandemonium erupted." Leave 'em laughin'!

I only quibble with the part about cutting off the ending as it exists, not because it's so great, but because one of the distinctions of comedy is an upbeat, cheerful ending. Another judge would have dinged me for not having that! Great constructive feedback beyond that.
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TheDustyZebra View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TheDustyZebra Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Sep 2018 at 4:43pm
Originally posted by Hollyvict Hollyvict wrote:

  {1611}  I really don't know how to critique this. What I will say is, "'He’s not the sort of person I pictured you with,' Esteban said, glumly." was the only line that felt like it wasn't over-written enough:)  



What... what does that even mean? Confused
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hollyvict Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Sep 2018 at 5:01pm
Originally posted by TheDustyZebra TheDustyZebra wrote:

Originally posted by Hollyvict Hollyvict wrote:

  {1611}  I really don't know how to critique this. What I will say is, "'He’s not the sort of person I pictured you with,' Esteban said, glumly." was the only line that felt like it wasn't over-written enough:)  



What... what does that even mean? Confused

LOL!  

Ah, I think the judge is joking. The other dialogue is written in a kind of deliberately expository way, and that's one of maybe two lines that wasn't.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TammyB Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Sep 2018 at 7:36pm
Originally posted by Lord Xoon Lord Xoon wrote:

Overall it's fine. I usually get a few nuggets to take out of each one.

My one complaint is that usually in the "Things that need work" I always get "You could have spent more time fleshing out ______ issue".

Well, I would have if I had another 500 words to play with. Lol.

I agree with that. I had the same issue when I read mine. But I think it will help me this round. Write big and edit!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote spicklerbalt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Sep 2018 at 9:38pm
I agreed with the judges’ suggestion about including more conversations. I would’ve loved to, but that probably would have taken up 100 more words or more.

“Big Tom’s Big Night”
WHAT THE JUDGES LIKED ABOUT YOUR STORY - {1878}  The graveyard staging for this story is hilarious and detailed, with great comedic moments and references to ‘normal’ convention activities. The visual of representatives navigating gravestones lends itself to political criticism, driving home the author’s opinion of such activities.  {1611}  This was an engaging story with wonderful attention to language. Fantastic description to help ground readers in the narrative.   {1742}  I loved the amount of detail here! There was some great, perfect, song choices while the language felt very real and it all led to an intense moment that I was buzzing to read! You held my attention! Nice work!

WHAT THE JUDGES FEEL NEEDS WORK - {1878}  While I believe that the graveyard setting is engaging and well-crafted for this story, I believe more action and in-scene dialogue may be needed to move the plot along. I understand the journalistic voice of this story demands some distance, but more emotional engagement may be needed. Could we see more of Tom or other characters? Are there any interesting, drunken conversations going on?  {1611}  The story ended abruptly and felt unfinished to me. It didn't need much more, but a beat or two could help tie things up.   {1742}  You were very spot on in your satire with no stones unturned. Now, the ending is great but it's also so abrupt. And you run the risk of alienating your reader because they're spent time with you and want either a feeling or a conclusion in the end. I think you got out a bit too early. Go a bit further and show us what Big Tom sees or tap into his emotions a bit further! We just need that extra oomf to get this story into memorable spellbinding shape. well done!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote barnabypage Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Sep 2018 at 9:48pm
Originally posted by Lord Xoon Lord Xoon wrote:

You definitely have to have a sense of how much story to bite off with these ff contests.

However, I would argue that you can ALWAYS make a 1000-word story better with a few more hundred words. In other words, there is no perfect 1000-word story. It's just not enough to develop everything that needs developing even in the most minimalist of concepts.

I largely agree - but of course, the other side of that coin is that everybody writes to the thousand (and is therefore frustrated by not being allowed the 1200).

As I recall, there's nothing in the rules that says you can't enter a 500-word story (which means you can aim for 500 and then have the luxury of running up to 800!).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote barnabypage Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Sep 2018 at 9:50pm
Originally posted by Hollyvict Hollyvict wrote:

Originally posted by TheDustyZebra TheDustyZebra wrote:



WHAT THE JUDGES FEEL NEEDS WORK - 


{1610}  ~ You don't need to announce your synopsis or logline per se; as long as it is on the cover page and beneath the title it will be clear what it is.


I just read the exact comment about loglines in someone else's feedback. I think it was "Sir Simon." Though the judge went into greater detail here.

The loglines are the strangest thing about NYCM. I think it started out as a screenwriting competition, and I assume they're a hangover from that.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Suave Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Sep 2018 at 9:52pm
Originally posted by barnabypage barnabypage wrote:

Originally posted by Lord Xoon Lord Xoon wrote:

You definitely have to have a sense of how much story to bite off with these ff contests.

However, I would argue that you can ALWAYS make a 1000-word story better with a few more hundred words. In other words, there is no perfect 1000-word story. It's just not enough to develop everything that needs developing even in the most minimalist of concepts.

I largely agree - but of course, the other side of that coin is that everybody writes to the thousand (and is therefore frustrated by not being allowed the 1200).

As I recall, there's nothing in the rules that says you can't enter a 500-word story (which means you can aim for 500 and then have the luxury of running up to 800!).


You have hit my method on the nose!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote WyrdSyster Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Sep 2018 at 12:19am
WHAT THE JUDGES LIKED ABOUT YOUR STORY -
{1777} The hardships of war some through clearly with the observations of the main character. I like how you showed us the difficulties of life - the food was rationed, trees disappeared, there were no pets - rather than just saying life was hard. The tulip bulbs were a surprise. I didn't know they were edible. And the onion addition sparks the taste buds, even though she didn't have one. Trudging with her bicycle underlines the tedium of her search and I liked the memory of her father that surfaced when she lost her bike. The end is charming, with the unexpected gift from the soldier, and realistic when it's all about the food and survival.
{1816} Great first line that draws us in with the promise of a tale of sacrifice. The brief sentences are full of tension and then evokes horror as we understand the pets are missing people people are starving. Written in the first person, we are deep inside the character feeling her pain and conflict and suffering. It's intriguing to wonder what is inside the bike pump that her father gave her. I like how the soldier took pity on her and gave her food.
{1739} The surprise of the less evil Nazi was a nice touch.

WHAT THE JUDGES FEEL NEEDS WORK -
{1777} Isn't she at that age where she'll attract attention from men? Was it dangerous for her to be out on her own? I wanted a little more description of where they lie. Is there snow? Ice? How has the infiltration of Germans changed it? How could she afford to venture 5 hours away? There and back would take the whole day. Or didn't that matter? Did she know what was in the bicycle pump? Was she worried what the soldier might find? How does she know German? Does she speak it fluently?
{1816} Why does the narrator swap the wedding ring for tulip bulbs? Does she plan to plan them and sell them - if so, that will take awhile. Then I see she plans to make food with it. Wouldn't she trade for something worthy right now that is a better, sustainable food? Also, it seems important that her father put something she could use in her pump but this plot point is never resolved. Let us know and tie it to the story.
{1739} The personal story of the bike pump doesn't quite fit into the narrative of the mission for food. If it was just a pump from dad, that would be enough, but there seems to be a mystery in what dad says; a mystery that is never paid off. Why did dad put the bike pump on the bike if there wasn't something she could use in this situation? Why tell us about it?


I'm honestly feeling a bit deflated about the critiques. Some of it, okay, good points and I'll take them with me in my writing. But seriously, do I have to answer all the questions? Give you all a history lesson about The Netherlands during WWII, where after 4 years of occupation people might actually speak the language of the intruders? Where yes indeed, they ate tulip bulbs because they were starving and yes indeed, they went out on trips to gather food and venturing out for 5 hours to get somewhere was normal, and yes, she was at an age that she would attract unwanted attention but what do you do when you starve, AND ALL THIS IN 1,000 WORDS?????
How about Googling and doing some research if your interest is sparked in what is mentioned in the story? Do I have to spell everything out, again, under 1,000 words?
*sigh*
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BenFJackson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Sep 2018 at 7:04am
I have to tell you, the ridiculously poor quality of the feedback I received makes it really hard to be motivated to continue in this contest.

Not the scoring, that’s not what I’m getting at.  But clearly from non-writers. For example:

1742}  I.... Uh.... huh...! Well... that might be one of the most creative pieces of writing I've ever come across! Seriously, I was hooked from page one! You have a brilliant talent for writing description, tapping into modern political culture, and creating worlds I have never dreamed possible! Cudos to you!”

Cudos?  Now this was on a middle-of-the-road story AT BEST.  I wrote it over an hour or two at my daughter’s hospital bedside.  
And most of the feedback I received on an 8-point story was like this.  It’s useless, and makes it seem like my story wasn’t even read.
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