grammatical errors

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lukelove
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grammatical errors

Postby lukelove » Sat Jan 02, 2016 11:21 pm

If Dave loves a story but sees some grammatical errors, here and there, will he sharpen up the story before it's passed on to the next stage of judging? Or does that error, somehow missed by repeated edits, like a missing apostrophe, a wrong tense used, or a comma in the wrong spot, carry forever on with the story?

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Martin L. Shoemaker
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Re: grammatical errors

Postby Martin L. Shoemaker » Sat Jan 02, 2016 11:54 pm

lukelove wrote:If Dave loves a story but sees some grammatical errors, here and there, will he sharpen up the story before it's passed on to the next stage of judging? Or does that error, somehow missed by repeated edits, like a missing apostrophe, a wrong tense used, or a comma in the wrong spot, carry forever on with the story?


You'll receive no edits at that point. Sorry. If you win, then Dave will work with you to edit the story.
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lukelove
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Re: grammatical errors

Postby lukelove » Sun Jan 03, 2016 12:13 am

Ok, thank you. So if Dave passes a story on, it only means that it will be judged alongside a whole wack of others he liked, for 1st 2nd and 3rd place for that quarter?

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Re: grammatical errors

Postby george nik. » Sun Jan 03, 2016 3:49 am

lukelove wrote:Ok, thank you. So if Dave passes a story on, it only means that it will be judged alongside a whole wack of others he liked, for 1st 2nd and 3rd place for that quarter?

It will be judged (by several other judges) alongside seven more stories he liked, for the three winning places for the quarter.
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Dustin Adams
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Re: grammatical errors

Postby Dustin Adams » Sun Jan 03, 2016 4:31 am

If you have a typo, and Dave makes it a finalist, that same typo will go to the judges.

I imagine they'd have the same level of forgiveness as Dave. Maybe more because they'd trust that he wouldn't send them something that is way off. Still, you don't know how a particular judge feels about typos. Some people are really put off by them.
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Martin L. Shoemaker
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Re: grammatical errors

Postby Martin L. Shoemaker » Sun Jan 03, 2016 6:55 am

Dustin Adams wrote:If you have a typo, and Dave makes it a finalist, that same typo will go to the judges.

I imagine they'd have the same level of forgiveness as Dave. Maybe more because they'd trust that he wouldn't send them something that is way off.


This.

Dave is reading thousands of stories, looking for reasons to stop reading. His time for forgiveness is limited.

The quarter judges are looking at eight stories that Dave has assured them are quality stories, worth reading to the end. They are specifically evaluating on character, setting, plot, and other factors. (I'm not sure, but I think there's a score sheet.) Unless you happen to hit a judge's particular hot buttons, I think they'll be more forgiving.
Martin L. Shoemaker
F:1V28,1V29
SF:4V28
HM:2/3V28,2/3/4V29,1/2/3V30
3rd:1V31

WRITE! WRITE! WRITE! WRITE! WRITE!
SUBMIT! SUBMIT! SUBMIT! SUBMIT! SUBMIT!
REPEAT! REPEAT! REPEAT! REPEAT! REPEAT!
Patience. Patience. Patience. Patience. Patience.
NNiNN

lukelove
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Re: grammatical errors

Postby lukelove » Sun Jan 03, 2016 8:58 am

I am talking 1 or 2 small typos in an other wise polished 15,000 words. I'm not going to stress about it, I hope. I'm talking, an extra space after an em dash that wasn't supposed to be there and a ; where there probably should have been a comma. If the rest is good enough for approval I hope those things would be overlooked.

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Re: grammatical errors

Postby KD Julicher » Sun Jan 03, 2016 9:13 am

I've had a finalist entry missing a key word in a critical sentence. Dave picked it anyway. Haven't won the contest yet, so can't really speak to the judges' tastes but they're professional writers, they understand that errors happen. A mistake-riddled piece won't make it past Dave though. Two or three errors in 10k words you're probably fine.
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Re: grammatical errors

Postby s_c_baker » Sun Jan 03, 2016 9:29 am

My first place entry had a typo and a half-finished sentence.

Don't sweat the small stuff.
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MattDovey
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Re: grammatical errors

Postby MattDovey » Sun Jan 03, 2016 12:09 pm

I had zero missing words or typos in my winning story!

My error was an extra "you" slipping in, which was so subtle that only Christoph has so far spotted it (it was very near another "you" and so the eye slips over it).

Also: all of the British spelling.
Last edited by MattDovey on Sun Jan 03, 2016 1:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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orbivillein
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Re: grammatical errors

Postby orbivillein » Sun Jan 03, 2016 12:53 pm

Grammar, generally, is a guideline of implicit social principles. We learn and consent, sometimes advise, how we communicate. That is a grammar's function: no more, no less.

Of the half million and more grammar considerations many of us absorb intuitively, many overlap between form and application. Journalism grammar differs from all other composition types; space consciousness is a priority. The contest generally favors journalism's grammar principles that differ from others. Short stories are of the serial publication domain, which is journalism's grammar and style. However, the anthology is a book-type publication and warrants book prose's grammar and style.

This above is customary though discretionary. My read of the anthology reveals about a dozen non-discretionary grammar flukes per volume, about par for the state of publication culture. Half a century ago, six per any given book was usual. Now, discretionary options -- numerous and not subject to criticism -- adjustment consideration maybe.

A few mistakes here and there an editor worth the profession's salt will adjust at will, mostly -- non-discretionary mistakes. Mistakes are natural and inevitable. No one is perfect. Problem is that's not a justification for lazy habit and weak grammar skills. and problem also that many who hold themselves out as editors aren't qualified, Glorified proofreaders, maybe, and not competent at that.

So what's good enough? The best you can do and growth of areas that are problematic. Otherwise, mediocre grammar skills can be adjusted, by writer and editor, if a story's merits justify the efforts. The content and organization craft matter more, not to mention voice and appeal.

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Re: grammatical errors

Postby dbeavers » Mon Jan 04, 2016 7:42 am

Martin L. Shoemaker wrote:
Dustin Adams wrote:If you have a typo, and Dave makes it a finalist, that same typo will go to the judges.

I imagine they'd have the same level of forgiveness as Dave. Maybe more because they'd trust that he wouldn't send them something that is way off.


This.

Dave is reading thousands of stories, looking for reasons to stop reading. His time for forgiveness is limited.

The quarter judges are looking at eight stories that Dave has assured them are quality stories, worth reading to the end. They are specifically evaluating on character, setting, plot, and other factors. (I'm not sure, but I think there's a score sheet.) Unless you happen to hit a judge's particular hot buttons, I think they'll be more forgiving.


This is something that I'm not sure there's than an answer for, but would appreciate anyone's thoughts or experience to help satisfy my curiosity. As I understand it there are 8 finalists, and I think I heard somewhere 8 semi-finalists. Following this progression mathematically, would the breakout of non-R's go something like:

8 - Finalists
8 - Semi-Finalists
16 - Silver HM
32 - HM

Might be an overactive imagination on my part in seeing a trend. This also follows the 64 team US collegiate men's basketball tournament structure. The R's are the teams not invited to the big dance.
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MattDovey
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Re: grammatical errors

Postby MattDovey » Mon Jan 04, 2016 8:10 am

dbeavers wrote:This is something that I'm not sure there's than an answer for, but would appreciate anyone's thoughts or experience to help satisfy my curiosity. As I understand it there are 8 finalists, and I think I heard somewhere 8 semi-finalists. Following this progression mathematically, would the breakout of non-R's go something like:

8 - Finalists
8 - Semi-Finalists
16 - Silver HM
32 - HM

Might be an overactive imagination on my part in seeing a trend. This also follows the 64 team US collegiate men's basketball tournament structure. The R's are the teams not invited to the big dance.


There's always 8 finalists, but semi-finalists is "about 8".

Looking at last quarter (Q3), there were 7 semi-finalists, 29 Silver HMs 29, and 114 regular HMs.

As best I could gather, that represents about the top 10% of entries, although that's someone else's guess I read on their web page so who knows. I believe Dave very deliberately keeps entrant numbers quiet so as not to scare anyone off, "oh I've no chance against all those people" etc.
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Re: grammatical errors

Postby LawrenceVanHoof » Mon Jan 04, 2016 10:06 am

The numbers are approximate, particularly for honorable mentions, since one has to consent to be listed on the blog.
Oops, where did that idea go? I had it a minute ago....

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emilymccosh
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Re: grammatical errors

Postby emilymccosh » Mon Jan 04, 2016 10:34 am

I asked Joni about the percentages. She said not to quote her because her math isn't that great, but HMs are the top 3-5 percent and Silver HMs are the top .3 percent!

If there are about 30 Silvers, and they are the top .3 percent, doesn't that make the entry level about 30,000 that quarter???

(My math is also terrible. Someone tell me if I'm right!)
Contest history: R, R, SHM, R, HM, R, R
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Randy Hulshizer
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Re: grammatical errors

Postby Randy Hulshizer » Mon Jan 04, 2016 10:41 am

emilymccosh wrote:I asked Joni about the percentages. She said not to quote her because her math isn't that great, but HMs are the top 3-5 percent and Silver HMs are the top .3 percent!

If there are about 30 Silvers, and they are the top .3 percent, doesn't that make the entry level about 30,000 that quarter???

(My math is also terrible. Someone tell me if I'm right!)


The 0.3% sounds a bit suspect. She might have meant that the HMs represent the top 5% to 3%, while SHMs represent entries above 3% (not including SF, F, and Winners).

In other words, an HM is within the top 5% and a SHM is within the top 3%.
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orbivillein
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Re: grammatical errors

Postby orbivillein » Mon Jan 04, 2016 10:51 am

Percent is per hundred, like a cent is one-hundredth. If thirty are .3 percent, or 3 per mille, 3‰, that's .003 X, three-thousandths of the total X, or thirty out of ten thousand. Anecdotes about the contest estimate the annual total number of submissions is ten thousand or so, about consistent with popular third tier serial publications across the board.

Another interesting statistic is how many anthology copies are sold. about 50,000, the total die-hard fantastic fiction enthusiast base. Oddly, one submission per five copies sold is also an across-the-board standard model.
Last edited by orbivillein on Tue Jan 05, 2016 6:30 pm, edited 6 times in total.

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Re: grammatical errors

Postby s_c_baker » Mon Jan 04, 2016 10:52 am

Randy's interpretation sounds more reasonable to me. Still a pretty good accomplishment!
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emilymccosh
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Re: grammatical errors

Postby emilymccosh » Mon Jan 04, 2016 12:47 pm

Randy Hulshizer wrote:
emilymccosh wrote:I asked Joni about the percentages. She said not to quote her because her math isn't that great, but HMs are the top 3-5 percent and Silver HMs are the top .3 percent!

If there are about 30 Silvers, and they are the top .3 percent, doesn't that make the entry level about 30,000 that quarter???

(My math is also terrible. Someone tell me if I'm right!)


The 0.3% sounds a bit suspect. She might have meant that the HMs represent the top 5% to 3%, while SHMs represent entries above 3% (not including SF, F, and Winners).

In other words, an HM is within the top 5% and a SHM is within the top 3%.



She said the Silvers are separate from the HMs, but you're right, it does sound a bit over the top. Just thought I'd throw it out there! wotf007
Contest history: R, R, SHM, R, HM, R, R
1 very hopeful: V34 Q2

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Martin L. Shoemaker
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Re: grammatical errors

Postby Martin L. Shoemaker » Mon Jan 04, 2016 5:15 pm

"Never tell me the odds!" -- H. Solo, esq.
Martin L. Shoemaker
F:1V28,1V29
SF:4V28
HM:2/3V28,2/3/4V29,1/2/3V30
3rd:1V31

WRITE! WRITE! WRITE! WRITE! WRITE!
SUBMIT! SUBMIT! SUBMIT! SUBMIT! SUBMIT!
REPEAT! REPEAT! REPEAT! REPEAT! REPEAT!
Patience. Patience. Patience. Patience. Patience.
NNiNN

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s_c_baker
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Re: grammatical errors

Postby s_c_baker » Mon Jan 04, 2016 10:00 pm

Martin L. Shoemaker wrote:"Never tell me the odds!" -- H. Solo, esq.

Sure, but--oh, spoiler.
Stewart C Baker - 1st place, Q2 V32
My contest history: Semi-finalist, R, HM, R, R, HM, HM, R, R, R, R, HM, R, R, R, R, Winner
My published fiction, poetry, &c.


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