Diplomatic Criticism of a Bad Entry
 Apr 5, 2016

Ever wanted to let lose (excuse me, loose) on a bad entry, but didn't want to hurt anybody's feelings (much less get yourself banned)?

Well now's your chance!

Be creative, and original, and you should disguise your criticism as advice, or backhanded compliments. Remember the key here is "Diplomatic."

Example (bad):
Your spelling is terrible and your grasp of grammar is non-existent.

Example (good):
Your creativity at putting together unusual collections of alphabetic characters is only exceeded by your unique structuring of sentences.

NOTE: While this is a writing contest, you are not limited to writing a critique about a text entry. A critique of any deck's entry is acceptable. It might help voters rate your entry to state which type of entry you are critiquing, but it is not a requirement.

Please limit your critique to 250 words or fewer.

Contest Rules
* Entry Fee: Free
* Prize: Trophy
* Level: Beginner
* Word Limit: <250
* Submit period: 5 days
* Voting period: 2 days
* All regular Writing Deck Rules apply.
* Multiple entries are allowed in this contest.

Thanks to OttoVonChriek for the idea, and
Thanks to Dio for the themepost.

Good luck! (or would that be, Bad Luck?)

1st place

I am sure you have a winner here. Your shot is spectacular. The sliver of focus on the subject surrounded by acres of beautiful bokeh is breathtaking. Add in the wonderful underexposure and it is a visual cacophony of jpeg artifacts. Dare I suggest a hint of HDR toning to assure the total obfuscation of the subject. I looked for what seemed like hours trying identify the glowing red abstraction peeking through the smoke and mirrors, is it a rose or perhaps a tree frog? In the end, it was the awkwardly placed tiny Christmas tree lights that pushed this creation to the top for me.
2nd place

Wow! Congratulations on another win. Excellent work! Only you can demonstrate the creative genius it takes to eloquently blend two pictures, downloaded from googled wallpaper sites, together so seamlessly. This one is like "Where's Waldo?" as I try to locate your contribution. You have done such an incredible job that I cannot spot any original work at all!
3rd place

I so look forward to these text contests. I suffer from insomnia and when I start reading these, I fall into a deep peaceful coma that lasts all night. Your story about grandma’s chili pepper biscuits was especially effective. You should bottle it.
4th place

Your story presents an interesting concept and could potentially become a great work, if only you'd make a small adjustment or two.

The beginning needs a good hook. So instead of just boring exposition, set it up with some action. That's always good. Also, try to make all your events more believable, and not so 'out there'. The middle section would be improved with better characterization. This will make the heroes more alive and not so flat. Perhaps adding a few new characters to replace the ones you have would be even better. The ending would benefit greatly and have more impact if you brought all the threads together into a satisfactory conclusion, rather than just leaving them dangling. Most people don't care for open-ended conflicts which don't resolve.

So as I said earlier you have an interesting concept. It just needs a little more work on the development and a better presentation. But other than that it was good.
5th place

I see you have taken home the gold yet again. Congratulations to you on that. It's all very pretty and warm and fuzzy in a Hallmark moment sort of way, all rather intellectually undemanding. It sure isn’t edgy at all and I doubt you spent more than an hour pasting together all the clipart and cutesy wallpaper.

Worth1000 made its name and struck its claim with edgy photo-real images that begat urban legends and internet memes, but for the last 5 years the winners have been this June Cleaver pablum. It is more a popularity contest, think "likes" on Facebook. No artist stands out, just same old same old stuff with a different so called creative's name at the top. Good for you for fitting the mold.

So thanks to you and the voters for killing Worth1000 and making sure that no one except like minded sheep will come to Dagger Bay. Do me a favor and enter this cookie cutter "art" at Design Crowd. Both of the voters there will love it.
6th place

How thoughtful of you to share your tired, old vintage Worth 1000 image with us again. Even though this contest did not specify "shoebox" images, you graced us with yet another one anyway, as you do for every contest you enter here. Kudos for thinking out of the shoe box. Who has the time to create new images anyway? I must also compliment you on thinking of lazy creative ways to get ahead at Dagger Bay, like entering this image in a beginners contest that won a gold trophy in an advanced contest at Worth. It must make you feel good that you don't have to re-earn your way here. It's refreshing you buck the system and ignore the rules of resubmisson. Anyway, congratulations on graduating from the beginners deck with your previously used advanced images. I bet you take candy from kids Easter egg baskets, too. I want to be like you. Being an adult and playing fair is so overrated. After all, it's not how you play the game that matters; it's that your trophy mantle fills quickly. I hope you always remain sophomoric young at heart. Thanks for the inspiration. Here's your merit badge. Put it with your chocolate eggs.
7th place

I have to say, I found your story extremely exhilarating. If doctors are correct that stimulating the brain helps ease aging, then this tale was certainly the fountain of youth.

Speaking of doctors, I was a bit perplexed about how a character seemed to die by drowning, while the story takes place in a desert. Of course that was one of the things that my mind figured out when I started detecting. After a little capitalization, punctuation and word spacing, drowens was resurrected as Doctor Owens.

This might be a good time for me to mention that character development can help move a story along. It can come in real handy once characters start talking to each other.

The prose was actually enlightening; once I downloaded your work into Word, was able to separate paragraphs, then sentences, and incorporate punctuation.

Lastly, I see in your author’s comments, that you wrote this while taking a breather from your law studies at Yale. So it might just be that you intentionally wrote this way, in preparation for handling fine print in contracts. If that is the case, please disregard my comments. Good luck with your studies.
8th place

I am in awe of how you can use the highest level of technology that your $10,000 camera can afford to make your HDR photos look so low tech, like the very first Hanna-Barbera cel. Your image looks exactly like a colored pencil cartoon drawing of the real thing. Indeed, money well spent! It only surpasses your skill of jacking the color saturation level so high to make even the most subdued, faded rust look like it's bleeding burnt tangerine crush and monkey blood iodine. You have awakened and inspired the kindergarten finger painter inside of me. I cannot wait to see your collection of sepia enhanced photos.

I applaud you ability to emulate Poe's tone, pacing, and sentence structure. It's almost word for word exactly as the great author would have put it. You made a bold choice in choosing to use the same characters and locations and sentences and title.
10th place

Dear John
I felt compelled to write to let you know how disheartened I was to see that your entry did not get the score it deserved. Knowing that your photographic talent allows you to produce such work in half the time and with half the effort of others I can only imagine that jealousy among the professionals has affected the scoring.

It’s my opinion that this image and your images in general set a new standard in photography. Your compositions defy definition, your use of color is mind blowing and the subject matter itself is unimaginable to the rest of us. No doubt many would like to know exactly how you achieved your post processing skills as well. In fact you give new meaning to the words like contrast and saturation. Your levels adjustments are literally off the chart.

Certainly none of my work will ever look like yours. It’s the reason I enjoy competing with you so much.

11th place

In the instructions for every contest, the part that says, "We will remove poor quality entries", has always made me fearful that one of my entries would be disqualified. This entry of yours has dispelled and removed all those frightful concerns forever and also made me realize, it's impossible to have an entry bad enough to be removed, no matter how much they hate you. For that, I thank you with all my heart!
12th place

Your illustration immediately turns one's thoughts to the rules of art and the importance of a good grasp of the basics.

It's been said that 1000 monkeys at 1000 typewriters could produce a work of Shakespeare. Thanks to your efforts we can now envision the corresponding result if said 'monkey' were to sit at a computer with a graphics program.

Thank you for your comment. After spending days sweating every pixel, I appreciate you coming in here and s***ing on my work. Just what do you mean by, “My eye doesn’t know where to look?” Are you brain damaged? Was your mother on drugs while she was carrying you? If you are going to leave critique, at least make it helpful.
For instance, on your last place entry, the rocks next to your waterfall were dry as a bone, there were no reflections in the water and you over saturated and over sharpened the entire thing. I would have mentioned these things but I took pity on you thinking you might be a noob.
14th place

Despite a near overdose of my psych meds, you have managed to become your own cliché and bore me to death all at once. You’ll get gold for sure.
15th place

Congrats on your masterful accostation of my visual cortex. After seeing versions of this, ad nauseam, replete with countless renditions of that inbred amphibian, I have come to the conclusion that slimy skin and cold blood excite your nether regions. That the voters have piled upon the praise and enshrine your work with their adoration speaks volumes or perhaps they have become dodo brained after falling into a hypno trance induced by the ever present red skies. Either way, you are assured the gold.
16th place

After seeing your piece I now have a better understanding of why this category is called “effects.” Because it sure had an effect on me! It moved me to my innermost parts and gave rise to feelings which strained to spew out. As my eyes were transfixed by the image, I was rocked by wave after wave of the most visceral reactions. I believe you may have made a permanent change within me and I'll never be the same again.
17th place

I never understood the B&W concept. Didn't Paul Simon say it all with, "Everything looks worse in black and white"? I continue to see fine photographers such as you take beautiful photos like this and desaturate them for no reason other than the "artistic" ambiance that it supposedly imparts. I understand if the situation has a multitude of shadows and highlights to emphasize, or, if it is just a gray day. I give you a score of 8 for this very good photo and a minus 4 for ruining it.
18th place

Your photo was the most singular entry in the contest. It stood apart from the others.

It was interesting how you blurred the focus to give it a bokeh effect, and how you applied this to the entire image.

Your post-processing techniques are also novel. Your hue and saturation adjustments create a unique feel, almost cartoonish.

Presumably your intent is to convey happiness, because your work certainly makes everyone smile.