WRITING CONTEST DISCUSSION THREAD version 2

Discussion in 'Archive: SF&F: Books and Comics' started by FatBurt, Jun 9, 2006.

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  1. JediNemesis Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2003
    star 4
    I like the idea of having teaser paragraphs for people to mull over while the actual writing/judging gets done.

    It certainly might help the thread stay up if people are saying "I like A, and I think the inclusion of X theme is a dead giveaway that Y wrote it". Trying to guess who wrote which teaser might also get us more interested in one another's work.

    As a sort of speculative addition to that, would it be possible to email the story package to all the entrants as well as the judges? IMO, it'd be great if we had a chance to read all the entries and discuss them in more depth than the judges can give in their 'short paragraph'. Again it'd also help keep the thread alive :)
  2. NYCitygurl NSWFF Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2002
    star 9
    I asked for a link to this thread to be put in the Mod Squad update going up tomorrow to see if we can get more activity.

    I don't think it's a good idea to allow anyone but the judges to see the stories. Any discussion in the thread might influence them. After the entries are judged then they can be made avalible to all with the author's permission (which needs to be given or denied when they send in the entry).

    Judges should also probably be given a set amount of time (two weeks would probably be good) that can just be extended if they're overwhlemed with stories. Or, if there are enough judges, they don't all have to judge each one.
  3. the_wandering_shadow Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 16, 2005
    star 3
    July first. Woo hoo!

    (I have no idea why I wrote 'first' instead of just 'one'... or even better '1'... :p )
  4. sidious618 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 20, 2003
    star 6
    I have a short story thst I'm not doing anytihng with so I may send in that one. This sounds like fun.
  5. Knight_Dilettante Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 24, 2002
    star 4
    Sounds like a well thought out plan. Though the idea of having to come up with a teaser as well rather terrifies me at the moment...

    I kind of think that the judges should get some sort of sliding scale timewise especially if there are a ton of entrants. Or else, not all judges have to read all entries. Otherwise it might be a big chore to be a judge. It's not just reading. It's reading and thinking and evaluating and critiquing and writing up reasoning. I'd expect that to take a good fraction of the time it takes to write a story in the first place. And they have to do all of the stories not just one.

    KD
  6. FatBurt Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 21, 2003
    star 5
    Judging time is ultimately dependant on the amount of entries and the amount of judges. I think a week per 3 entries is sufficient as a guide line but when I contact the judges and give them the entries I will give them the deadline for their summations.



    Yes the teaser part does have the potential to make it interesting doesn't it.
  7. NYCitygurl NSWFF Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2002
    star 9
    You have to start the story after the time period that is set begins (I believe we're thinking July 1). No previously written pieces are allowed.

    In additon to the mod squad update, I asked the fanfic mods to put an announcement and a link in their update, so hopefully between the two we can get more people interested.
  8. sidious618 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 20, 2003
    star 6

    You have to start the story after the time period that is set begins (I believe we're thinking July 1). No previously written pieces are allowed.


    Well, that's stupid.
  9. NYCitygurl NSWFF Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2002
    star 9
    Sorry, that's the rule. The idea is that everyone gets a month and no more. Besides, the story has to follow the prompt, and any stories written before the prompt is given might not work with it.
  10. ophelia Cards Against Humanity Host. Ex-Mod

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Jun 25, 2002
    star 6
    I'd try it with the right prompt. Any chance users could suggest/vote on which prompts to use? We've done a lot of writing contests in fanfic where the authors came up with the story parameters, and they seemed to work better than challenges/contests where there was a single prompt devised by one person.

    Oh--and judges may need more than one week. I liked the idea of tying the judging time to the number and length of the stories. 8,000 words is about 25 pages in Word, and 2,000 would be around 7. If you get much more than 5 or 6 stories, the judging is going to get brutal, especially if the stories run toward the high end of the wordcount.

    Judges have to read much more closely than someone just skimming for entertainment, and they need to score the stories and do their writeup too. This is very similar to what I do as a reviewer at the archive, and my personal, totally-subjective estimate is that a sane person with a job and not much of a social life can do a serious critical reading, plus writeup, of about 5,000 words a night--that's around 15-16 pages. To be honest, if I were taking the job (not that I intend to), I'd feel more comfortable taking on 3,000 words (10 pages) a night. That may seem low, but if you're really reading these things you don't just scan them once. I'd say that ideally, each story ought to have three readings--a quick one for deep structure, a slower one for characterization, pacing, etc., and then a nit-picky one for writing mechanics (preferably gone over in hard copy with a pen).

    If each judge had to go over 3,000 words a night, you'd need authors to send you a rough wordcount of their stories in the header (the profic world does it--we can too) and then you'd add up the number of words to be read and divide by 3,000. The number you had left would be how many nights judges could be expected to complete their work in.

    Some people work faster than others, and some stories require more labor than others, so YMMV. I'm just saying that if you want the judges to take their jobs seriously, give them the time to do it right.
  11. FatBurt Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 21, 2003
    star 5
    I agree with your judging points there timewise, which is why there will be no judging deadline until I know how many entries and average number of word count.


    Because this is all for fun though I'm not wanting the judges to feel like it's a chore. Yes we need judges but I'd rather they read them for enjoyment and built up their marks from what they read rather than sit down with a red pen and critique it like a teacher.




    The prompt will be decided by me though. I'm going to go with multiple requirements in the prompt but you'll get to discover what they are when the contest is posted as I can't give any clues out until then.
  12. Sanctimoniously Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 28, 2005
    star 5
    Maybe we could stick the contest threads. That would help publicity.
  13. FatBurt Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 21, 2003
    star 5
    Stickies are generally ignored in the main.



    If a thread is going to have life then it will stay towards the top of the page.



    The hope is that some of the more optional aspects of the contest will help keep interest going.
  14. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2003
    star 8
    So today is the day, then, right?
  15. FatBurt Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 21, 2003
    star 5
    NYCgurl asked me to delay it a week due to some obscure American holiday.


    I'll be posting it next Saturday.
  16. Sanctimoniously Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 28, 2005
    star 5
  17. the_wandering_shadow Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 16, 2005
    star 3
    Should be almost time, right? :D
  18. FatBurt Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 21, 2003
    star 5
    patience is a virtue.





    I'm making the final prompt decisions now
  19. NYCitygurl NSWFF Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2002
    star 9
    That holiday (two of them, actually) being US independence day and Canada Day.

    As soon as you put it up, I'll PM JadeSolo in fanfic and whoever is doing the next mod squad update to add it in.
  20. Jairen Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 1, 2000
    star 4
    I just wanted to say that, personally, I think the new style prompt is far too specific. I'm going to give it a try this time, I think, but it's forcing a very specific type of response, so much so that you've had to actually put up a defining style post explaining what you're expecting from the prompt. Whilst this makes the judging simpler, I do think it is very restrictive from a creative point of view.
  21. FatBurt Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 21, 2003
    star 5
    While I see where you're coming from, my idea this time round was to see how creative people can be with a specific requirement.



    The story is still your own.

    The disaster is a disaster of your choosing,

    Which character has luck and which doesn't is your choice,

    Which character has a good life and which doesn't is your choice,

    Whether one helps out the other is also your choice.




    I can see how you may find it restrictive but many author write in this style as well and it's also often self imposed.


    Just imagine that I've given you your plan and you now have to flesh it out.
  22. Jairen Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 1, 2000
    star 4
    No worries matey, I'm definitely giving this one a go.
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