In judging the writing entries for Mission 5, I've come to notice a trend becoming increasingly popular.
I'm referring to cameos. I've seen stories with upwards of five, or six cameos.
Normally, this would not be a problem. (It isn't, really! You're free to write however you like. This should be a fun thing for you to do!)
However! None of stories I have judged so far have had their scores increase because of cameos. I've only seen cameos degrade the quality of the work, and therefore, the score the writer receives. If you're just writing for fun and have no interest in the score you receive, then none of the below applies to you!
Cameos are fine if they're done well, but I haven't really seen once done well in this round of judging. (I've yet to actually finish judging, so a story may surprise me!)
So far, cameos have only succeeded in making the story feel rushed, too condensed, and full of unnecessary information. I have no interest in knowing everything about the five or six teams you're choosing to cameo in your writing. I am reading your entry because I want to know how you make your team deal with the tasks and obstacles at hand. If you go off and describe other teams, and what they do / how they react to certain situations... well, that's not really the original purpose of the story, now is it?
I would like to read a story that is devoted to making me feel attached to your characters. I want to see character development, interesting dialogue, *thoughtful* solutions to objectives, and I haven't felt that at all from people who write stories with cameos. So far, every story with cameos has felt that it places too much importance on saying "Hey guys look this team is making an appearance in my story! Isn't that cool!" I'm sure it is cool to you and the teams you cameo, but it's very disappointing to me as an avid reader and writing judge when all you're doing is distracting me from the main storyline for.. no real gain.
Cameos are supposed to be very brief appearances of someone, not a (cumulatively) very large portion of your stories.
Feel free to comment and discuss!