I think an interesting issue that hasn't been addressed was bought up in the thread, judges are judging the entries as if they were finished and polished products; which they're not, not to knock anyone but at best these entires are first submissions that will be revised, cleaned up, issues addressed and the like; and I feel that judges aren't viewing the entires like that. Instead we see judges expecting adventures, with a very limited word count; to be submitted ready to publish; this is the impression I am getting at least.
Yes, Ryan's comments are very curt. Let me tell you something: it's extremely common for an editor, of any sort, to give quick, curt comments. That's because A) time is precious, and any editor has tons of comments to give, and B) a professional editor is generally addressing his comments to professional writers, who can be expected to understand the substance of the comments without needing much in the way of softening or a detailed explanation of precisely why the editor thinks the way he does.
Expect that this round isn't about being an editor, it's about being Brand Manager. I would expect a bit more than curt explanation free comments from Brand. No one expects him to soften his comments; just to actually comment rather than simply say no and be done with it. The judging isn't an editing process it's about judging an entry; and that needs a bit of explanation.
I share your annoyance with clear, simple misunderstandings evident in some of Ryan's responses, particularly over on the Dollmaker entry.
I'm afraid that those weren't clear and simple misunderstandings, one mistake I could understand; but totally botching the entry up shows that there was little to no effort put into the comments. I would expected him to have at least checked his reply before sending it.
But I honestly prefer Ryan "dialing in" his criticism, than keeping it to himself, because a professional's "dialed in" criticism is plenty valuable, and often very difficult to get. Ryan's criticism doesn't hold to the high, exhaustive standard the other judges provide - fine. But we've got the other judges for that.
Except that people are lazy, they would rather read the shortest comments and vote based on that. You're missing the point of our issue with the dialed in comments, they're not valuable or helpful; simply because someone is professional doesn't mean that it gives them leeway to provide blunt, unhelpful critique. Saying that because other judges shore up the weakness of his judgement isn't something I would see as a bonus either.
In conclusion, the judges' comments are here to be agreed or taken issue with, and that's fine. And I think there's even place to individually criticize a particular judge's behavior. That place is not here, in the middle of a particular entry, in the middle of a voting round. Please, rebut individual claims as individual claims, and take the wider criticism to personal emails or to the general discussion forum.
I couldn't disagree more, the very place to bring up issue with the problems and behavior is in the entry it pertains to and while it is still relative.
I thought it was a really good entry, very creepy and having a male halfling in a dress would prove a very comedic moment when the rest of the party walks in.
I got through the character but something lept up at me when I read this post by Ryan Dancey.
Ryan Dancey wrote:
You picked a human showing some positive emotions. I don't think this image maps to your villain.
I don't understand the villain so I don't see how it adds value to my IP. He sees his kid killed (apparently doesn't do anything about it) and so he inflicts this same trauma on others (taking away their loved ones).
He has ANOTHER DAUGHTER? And she's voluntarily helping him kidnap people for undefined "doll play"? She's the creepy villain here, not him. He's just a psycho who had his world shattered but she's a willing accomplice to kidnapping, slavery and probably murder.
Just wondering, did you read the description.....at all?
Artus Nemati wrote:
He hides the pain of his loss by constantly wearing an arrogant sneer on his face.
Forty years ago, a helpless Varstrius watched as his drunken stepfather strangled his beloved LITTLE SISTER Sulliana to death.
If you couldn't gather that much from the text it makes me wonder if you're actually reading the entries.
Wow! I usually kind of skim the judges' comments with a few exceptions but after going back and reading your commentary, it really looks like you're phoning it in.
If this is the attention given to each entry its a good thing its up to the voters now.
+1 from me
I couldn't agree more, I have no problem with a judge being critical and strict about what they're expecting but I also expect them to be consistent about it. Instead I'm seeing a lot of swingy scoring and blunt comments that come across like this was just phoned in.
It was my understanding that Brand Management was meant to be a neutral aspect and look at the entry in terms of the brand, not if the entry followed the brief to the letter, and if the entry was had enough "It's a trap factor." (Which I must add I don't believe all villains have to have)