Scores: Literary Maneuvers March 2019 - Page 3


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Thread: Scores: Literary Maneuvers March 2019

  1. #21
    Luckyscars, I see your point about the impact of explanation on the writer's incentive to make things clear in the writing and that is very valid. One of the problems I have, though, is that when the prompt is not clear to me as being included and guiding the story, but the story is awesome, I don't know how to score it. I try to crawl into the mind of the author, but sometimes - because of the style of writing I do myself - I am just not skilled enough to figure it out. How about just saying in advance that you, the author, did incorporate the prompt, just so judges know they may have to dig a little deeper. I don't know. I guess I would like to hear from others too on this. Thanks, Luckyscars.
    When the night has come
    And the land is dark
    And the moon is the only light we'll see
    No, I won't be afraid, no I won't be afraid
    Just as long as you stand by me.


  2. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by SueC View Post
    Luckyscars, I see your point about the impact of explanation on the writer's incentive to make things clear in the writing and that is very valid. One of the problems I have, though, is that when the prompt is not clear to me as being included and guiding the story, but the story is awesome, I don't know how to score it. I try to crawl into the mind of the author, but sometimes - because of the style of writing I do myself - I am just not skilled enough to figure it out. How about just saying in advance that you, the author, did incorporate the prompt, just so judges know they may have to dig a little deeper. I don't know. I guess I would like to hear from others too on this. Thanks, Luckyscars.
    I think I agree with what bd said, it's up to the individual judge. So if you don't get the link to the prompt then mark it down. That way it's up to the writer to include more clues if they are worried it might not be clear. By the way, I don't think you are lacking skill at all; I couldn't see the link either.

    I can imagine that including a description before the piece could get a bit out of control and take away from the story.

    Also, I said before, the title of the piece does give an opportunity to show the link if it is not clear in the story itself, ie 'unwanted cells', 'my prison inside' or similar for Lucky's story (a bit rubbish but you get my drift!).

    Arachne

  3. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by bdcharles View Post
    For me, all this is very much down to the discretion of the judges. If the judges see the link, and the prompt, and they like what they see, high score. If they don't, or if they're unconvinced by it, low score. It's a fine balance between generating good writing and being too prescriptive. Also it's always worth looking to see who's judging so you have a chance to write to their style, if you've a mind to.
    I totality agree with this perspective--- the prompt should have some connection to the story but that connection can be obscure. The only time I can see points taken off is when the prompt is done as a add on --like my story was- It didn't connect to the story even in an obscure way but it was a blatant piece of poison fruit


    warmest
    bob
    Nature weeps, the devil sings
    at mans greed and pride
    and what it brings

    Just lots of useless
    little things

  4. #24
    BTW luckyscars approach to the prompt was very innovative-- If I was judging I would have added points for how how he used the prompt. It was highly effective.....
    Nature weeps, the devil sings
    at mans greed and pride
    and what it brings

    Just lots of useless
    little things

  5. #25
    Congratulations to the winners and a great job to all involved! As always, a much-deserved round of applause for the judgdes and to bdcharles for hosting the event. I sincerely apologize for the tomato thrown during the abridged preamble; the spirit of things and all. Until the next LM!

  6. #26
    Mentor Megan Pearson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by luckyscars View Post
    For me, the problem with this is it reduces the incentive for the writer to make the link between the prompt and the story clear within the actual narrative. Worse, it could add an element of essay-writing to scoring - suddenly it doesn't matter how good the story is so long as long as the writer can articulately (or not) explain the link and those that are less good at self-analysis of their work would be at a disadvantage. Not to mention, obviously, that in commercial writing we almost never get to preface our stories to explain what we mean.,,

    It's a tough one. I like my work to be understood (doesn't everybody?) and it's obviously disheartening to be told by some my interpretation does not address the prompt and to lose score as a result but...that's life. As I said, if I write something and half the target audience (or in this case at least 1/3 of the judging panel) doesn't think my work adequately linked to the prompt it does not matter if I disagree. I have to own the fact that in terms of clarity of message my work was not as good as it could have been. You can't take the kudos without taking the could-have-done-betters. For what it's worth I had fun!
    I'm with Luckscars on this. A writerly preamble about what one was thinking is tempting, but totally unnecessary. A work of fiction should stand on its own. If your reader doesn't connect with what you've written, then either it was poorly written or that reader isn't your intended audience.

    As I'm relatively new, I have no basis from which to determine what the judging audience might prefer & what they might not. I also don't have the time to spend reading up on individual judging preferences. While it is disheartening to find that one's submission hasn't resonated well, I do appreciate the perspective it adds. Besides, who's to say that someone's writing just won't surprise a judge?

    About tying the prompt in with the story, when I tried judging last month I really enjoyed seeing how many different turns and takes on the prompt we could come up with. Because of this, I'm all for an indirect link. While I don't think the prompt should have to be stated outright, I do agree with Arachne that the title provides a great place to further frame the piece to the LM challenge without having to go to great lengths to justify why the link to the prompt is not tight in the story.

    By the way, I thought your linking the LM to cancer was genius. Good job.
    "A ship in the harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for."
    ~ John A. Shedd


  7. #27
    I always look at the LM as if I am submitting a story to a magazine, or anthology with a theme. I make sure there is some linkage to the prompt, but it might be quite vague. As a judge, if the link between the story and the prompt isn't immediately obvious I'll go back and look for it. I know I've taken points off a score for not having any relationship to the prompt, but that has only happened once, or twice.

    Once or twice I've had scores for my stories docked because the judge didn't 'get' the link, but I figure that's on me as a writer.
    “Fools” said I, “You do not know
    Silence like a cancer grows
    Hear my words that I might teach you
    Take my arms that I might reach you”
    But my words like silent raindrops fell
    And echoed in the wells of silence : Simon & Garfunkel


    Those who enjoy stirring the chamber-pot should be required to lick the spoon.

    Our job as writers is to make readers dream, to infiltrate their minds with our words and create a new reality; a reality not theirs, and not ours, but a new, unique combination of both.

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  8. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Terry D View Post
    ... but I figure that's on me as a writer.

    *agrees*
    *loooooosely uses term.self*
    *practices*
    *embraces personal challenge*
    *not competition*


  9. #29
    Mentor Megan Pearson's Avatar
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    Hey, an idea. What if we identified the genre of the piece and include it with the word count? Ex.: (640 words, Horror)

    Maybe that would help orient the reader before reading, perhaps making it easier for the reader to connect with the story? It might make the prompt more evident, even when not directly stated. I know there've been a few stories I've read previously here that I had to read again, simply for the reason I misjudged from the opening sentence what the piece would be about.

    Besides, we generally expect to know the genre of a piece before reading anyway. Why should the competition be different?
    "A ship in the harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for."
    ~ John A. Shedd


  10. #30
    Megan, I like that idea a lot. The creativity is really exploding here and it would also be helpful for the judges, too. While there may sometimes be difficulty in identifying a genre, something along those lines would be very helpful. Good job you!
    When the night has come
    And the land is dark
    And the moon is the only light we'll see
    No, I won't be afraid, no I won't be afraid
    Just as long as you stand by me.


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