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Writer's Lounge Need advice? Want to give advice? Come on in and share ideas with your fellow writers. Just remember, all fics go in the main forum.

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  #1    
Old November 19th, 2013, 04:54 PM
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Okay, this is going to be honest, blunt, and possibly harsh. I don't mean to hurt feelings, but if this offends you in any way, please know that it is not my intent.

Right now, FF&W is in a slump. Activity is low, and no new members are showing up. People aren't reading other people's work (myself included), and people aren't really contributing to topics. In other words, the section is terribly slacking as far as activity goes. I have some ideas, but none of them are going to work without your cooperation. Together, I think we can lift FF&W out of this hole and bring it back to its former glory.

Here, I have some ideas that I want to hear your opinion on:
  • Writing competitions
  • A possible rule change to the month old rule for reviving threads to 2 months in the main section? (possibly no limit?)
  • Story of the week (sticking a random story/poetry thread for a week)
  • Review challenges (not entirely sure how to go about this one)
  • More thread prefixes ([Poetry], [Other Fanfic], [Other Original])

I would really like to hear your opinions on these and hear what other ideas you have for the section. However, that is a secondary goal. The main goal, is solving the problems that keep us from attracting new people.

There is one real problem that I'm having right now. No one is interacting with each other. People are posting and going without discussing with each other. I don't even know if you guys read other posts. Of course, I'm talking about the Writers' Lounge. Every post in there is just you guys stating your opinion. That's it, no interaction whatsoever. Even when your views on the same subject conflict, you guys aren't debating. I'm having to go around and whip discussions up manually and it isn't enough. Please, don't be afraid to question people on subjects that you might not agree on (just don't insult each other). If you're wondering why I'm pushing this so hard, here's why:

When people discuss ideas with each other, they learn, grow, and really start interacting with everyone else. When people interact with each other, people become friends. When people become friends, a sense of community starts to form. When a sense of community starts to form, that's when this section is really going to start taking off. Do you know why? Friends read friends' stuff. Well, at least they're more inclined to.

Guess what starts happening when people read more? More reviews happen. When I was searching for a forum a few months ago, I was judging whether or not to join by the activity in their writing section. Let me tell you, if I didn't already have an account here, I would have never come back. the point I'm trying to make is that if we keep with the same trends that we've been keeping, several potential writers will move on towards a more popular writing forum. And that's definitely not good.

All this starts with simply interacting with each other. Sometimes it's like we live in our own world and just expect people to come and read our works simply because we want them. No one is entitled to reviews, you have to go out and earn them. Trust me, the best way to advertise your story is to get up, and review other people's work. We're all here to get better, why not work together?

I realize a lot of you don't have the time. I'm in that same boat, right now I'm finishing up my first quarter and registering for new classes for college. All I'm asking is that you read through one or two stories a week. It may not seem like much, but if we all pitch in, it will make a huge difference. People will see our active section and come join. I look over at the new people's introduction threads and it seems like over half of them come for ROM Hacking. It's no coincidence that we have a very active ROM Hacking section. If we want new people to come, then we have to work at it.

Anyway, there's my big speech about boosting activity. I really can't do it without you guys. I know we have the community here, we just need to come out of our shells and interact with one another.

A few people have asked me why I have certain rules against generic comments. Well, there's quite a few reasons, but I'll try to be brief. The first main reason is that these generic comments really don't help the writer at all. My rule of thumb is that if the comment can be copy and pasted into just about any story and make just as much sense, it's too generic. Anybody can barge into a thread and say, "Great work, keep it up!" without actually reading the story. If you haven't, read my announcement about this as I go into (what I think) a lot more detail.

The second main reason is that I really don't want this section to turn into Fanfiction.net. When I first visited there, I was honestly appalled. Never before had I seen so many unintelligent people trying to sound superior by putting down the writer. It was full of personal advertisements, outright flames, and just generally bad comments. It was chaotic, VERY intimidating, and very harsh against new writers. Some people thrive in that kind of environment, and good for them. However, it's not a type of community I want here, so that's why I have the rules against general comments. To keep all comments constructive, and somewhat informative.

If you have any questions, ideas, and/or opinions, please voice them. I appreciate all feedback.
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  #2    
Old November 19th, 2013, 08:13 PM
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I'm surprised you didn't make this thread earlier, to be honest. Anyway, here's what I think:

Writing competitions

These would undoubtedly be very popular. They could also serve to help people improve their writing by including different set themes, or styles per competition. To increase your comfort zone, you must first leave it.

A possible rule change to the month old rule for reviving threads to 2 months in the main section? (possibly no limit?)

Something I thought about a while ago. I think two months should be fine, though. Any longer and the writer can bump the thread, if they're still actively working on it.

Story of the week (sticking a random story/poetry thread for a week)

Have it be by vote, only include short stories, lyrics, or poetry, and possibly create seperate ones for each, and I think it would go over well. It would also help anyone who ends up with a Writing of the Week have more exposure.
It wouldn't go very well for longer stories, or ones that are seperated by chapter, though. It's likely that there would be people who hadn't read any of the prior material.

Review challenges (not entirely sure how to go about this one)

Wouldn't work. There's not enough reviews or reviewers around right now. Not to mention how skewed the rules and voting process would be, amoung other things.
It might could be done somewhere down the road, but for now I'd avoid it.

More thread prefixes ([Poetry], [Other Fanfic], [Other Original])

I've long thought that there should be more prefixes for this section. Ones like [Lyrics], [Original], and [Short Story] could be added on top of the ones you've mentioned. Since FF&W has developed a side unrelated to Fan Fictions.


Since we're on the subject, I've had a few ideas in mind for FF&W, lately. Namely, A Fledgling Writers Club, and A Plot and Idea Trade/Swap/Share Thread, if you're interested.





{Never and Forever}

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  #3    
Old November 19th, 2013, 08:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rococo View Post
I'm surprised you didn't make this thread earlier, to be honest. Anyway, here's what I think:
I'm currently discussing this with other staff members, but I thought I would post a similar thread here too, so I can get more opinions.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rococo
Writing competitions

These would undoubtedly be very popular. They could also serve to help people improve their writing by including different set themes, or styles per competition. To increase your comfort zone, you must first leave it.
I have a few of these in planning, so these are definitely going to happen.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rococo
A possible rule change to the month old rule for reviving threads to 2 months in the main section? (possibly no limit?)

Something I thought about a while ago. I think two months should be fine, though. Any longer and the writer can bump the thread, if they're still actively working on it.
This was my reasoning behind this. Some people brought up having no limit, and I've started to warm up to that idea as well. I just recently came across the idea of having the two month revival rule apply to the main section and them have no limit for the fanfiction archive. Which, should probably be renamed to "Completed Fics" or something because I don't think it should be limited to fanfics.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rococo
Story of the week (sticking a random story/poetry thread for a week)

Have it be by vote, only include short stories, lyrics, or poetry, and possibly create seperate ones for each, and I think it would go over well. It would also help anyone who ends up with a Writing of the Week have more exposure.
It wouldn't go very well for longer stories, or ones that are seperated by chapter, though. It's likely that there would be people who hadn't read any of the prior material.
Separate categories isn't a bad idea. Maybe one chaptered story and one, well... not chaptered one. I don't think I'll do it by vote because then it might turn into a popularity contest, so only the popular writers would get showcased. Which, popular writers often don't need the extra boost in views.

The way I was thinking on going about it is have people VM/PM me which story they want to be featured. At the end of the week, I'll enter all the stories in a drawing and randomly select a story. That story will be featured for that week. I'm also considering rules such as writers that had a story featured for a week may not enter any story in for the next week, and writers may not submit the same story again for another four weeks after said story has been featured. Something like that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rococo
Review challenges (not entirely sure how to go about this one)

Wouldn't work. There's not enough reviews or reviewers around right now. Not to mention how skewed the rules and voting process would be, amoung other things.
It might could be done somewhere down the road, but for now I'd avoid it.
These have worked in the past. Just a simple "you have x days to make y reviews, link to your reviews in this thread, if you manage it you are awesome/may get an emblem".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rococo
More thread prefixes ([Poetry], [Other Fanfic], [Other Original])

I've long thought that there should be more prefixes for this section. Ones like [Lyrics], [Original], and [Short Story] could be added on top of the ones you've mentioned. Since FF&W has developed a side unrelated to Fan Fictions.
I like the [Lyrics] prefix since song lyrics are now starting to pop up. However, I don't want too many, plus writers can only choose one prefix, so I don't want to create a bunch of different versions for the same thing (such as [Pokemon Chaptered Fic] [Other Fanfic Chaptered Fic] [Original Chaptered Fic] [Pokemon Non-Chpatered Fic] etc...)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Rococo
Since we're on the subject, I've had a few ideas in mind for FF&W, lately. Namely, A Fledgling Writers Club, and A Plot and Idea Trade/Swap/Share Thread, if you're interested.
Please, go on...

In other words, I'm very interested, but I'll need a little more information to officially make an opinion.
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  #4    
Old November 19th, 2013, 09:23 PM
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The Fledgling Writer's Thread:
In essence, it would serve to help out those who are new to writing and would want or need help or advice. Fledglings to the writing world could write and post a small piece of writing to the thread, and get assured feedback on it. The thread itself would be a fair amount of work for the person or persons running it, but it would also pay off for both the fledglings, and runners, I think.

As for the Plot and Idea Trade/Swap/Share Thread. . .
Anyone, whether a writer or not, could post ideas or plots for stories, lyrics, what have you. Writers could then, if they found one they liked, use any of the ideas for stories, lyrics, what have you.
All ideas would be compiled in the OP, as well as anyone who had used any of them. Links to their work could be provided, and in the thread in question there would be credit to whoever thought up the concept.
Still only a rough idea, but I could smooth it out if we went through with it.





{Never and Forever}

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  #5    
Old November 19th, 2013, 10:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rococo View Post
The Fledgling Writer's Thread:
In essence, it would serve to help out those who are new to writing and would want or need help or advice. Fledglings to the writing world could write and post a small piece of writing to the thread, and get assured feedback on it. The thread itself would be a fair amount of work for the person or persons running it, but it would also pay off for both the fledglings, and runners, I think.
I think we have this pretty much covered already with the "Share Your Writing" thread. It lets people post passages and then get feedback on it. As far as resources go, we have the "Writing Resources" thread, which gives links to helpful websites and articles we found. I think that pretty much covers what you're saying here, unless I'm missing something.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rococo
As for the Plot and Idea Trade/Swap/Share Thread. . .
Anyone, whether a writer or not, could post ideas or plots for stories, lyrics, what have you. Writers could then, if they found one they liked, use any of the ideas for stories, lyrics, what have you.
All ideas would be compiled in the OP, as well as anyone who had used any of them. Links to their work could be provided, and in the thread in question there would be credit to whoever thought up the concept.
Still only a rough idea, but I could smooth it out if we went through with it.
Isn't this similar to the plot bunny thread? Well, I guess not because in this thread we're actually swapping ideas. The thing is, I think that there is going to be a major shortage of ideas. People will pretty much snatch ideas up the second that they are posted. I don't know if it's true for other writers, but when I come up with an idea, I want to be the one to write a story about it. Of course, there are the non-writers that want to see a story about a certain topic. I guess I can see both sides of the argument. If you want to create a thread like this, go ahead. I was just voicing my concerns, but it doesn't hurt to try.

I'm sorry, it might seem like I'm just shooting down your ideas, but I'm just brainstorming and expressing my concerns. The feedback is truly appreciated.
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  #6    
Old November 19th, 2013, 10:57 PM
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I was actually thinking that it would be more geared towards new writers, but I can see how it would be redundant to have mutiple threads in the same vein. My apologies, a faux pas, on my part.




Yeah, I did mention that it was only a rough idea. I'll do some more thinking on it tomorrow, after I've had some sleep.

Without properly thinking these things through we'll never make any progress. You shooting them down merely shows where the weaknesses are, and thus, where to strengthen the ideas. It's more of a favor then an injury, don't apologize.

As I said above, I'll return to this once I've had some sleep.





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  #7    
Old November 20th, 2013, 12:50 AM
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If it makes you feel any better (though it probably won't), maintaining activity in writing communities is tough. I'm of the firm belief that every writer is at least somewhat self-centered about writing. We all want our stories to be read, otherwise we wouldn't be posting them. We find validation in feedback, and it can become not a little bit addicting. The result is a bunch of people posting their beloved stories in the hope that someone else will swoop in, read what they've read, and stroke their ego, even just a tiny bit. I've been that person, and I probably still am to some degree.

The problem here is, of course, that people don't take the time to be the ego stroker instead of the strokee. Let's face it: critiquing is sort of a pain. Providing useful feedback takes work. It also involves getting raged at much more often than it should. Getting people to review means asking them to do something that may not actually be very fun, which is what most people come to forums seeking.

There's no exact science for getting people to review, which is a theme I've come across multiple times since starting to write fic in '07. You can incentivise, threaten, or coerce all you want, but unless that person sees the value in reviewing and feels up to it at that time, you can only do so much.

I think a good way to get people to review is to help them see how valuable it is to others. I remember one of my first reviews was from Astinus and it pretty much made my day. If you can somehow kindle that recognition of "hey, I love it when people do this for me, so why don't I do it for someone else?" then it will create a sense of self-motivation, which is a stronger driving force than any shiny badge or competition. Which isn't to say those are bad things, at all, and they can be a means to that end besides. However, I'm trying to tackle this from an unconventional direction.

Some suggestions:
  • A "Review of the Week/Month" competition, with prizes. Something like a shiny pokémon is a nice reward, but you might even go so far as to actually mail them something inexpensive but cool. You could alternatively sticky one of their fics for the following month. THAT would be some motivation.
  • Going off of the Story for a Week idea, perhaps a "Featured Writer" system. You would feature a writer for some period of time, and have incentives for reviewing their work. That could help expose some less-noticed people to more attention.
  • A "Favorite Moments" thread, in which people talk about their favorite moment from another writer's story. Working out spoilers would be interesting, but it could be a good form of advertisement.
  • A "Reviewer's Day" or something along those lines where the point is to celebrate reviewing and how important it is. This is a bit cheesy but might as well toss it out there.

You'll note that all of these are designed to get writers out of their own work and into that of other writers. If you can associate reviewing with a positive feeling and a sense of camaraderie it will hopefully help spark people to want to do it on their own. Also, encourage people to thank their reviewers profusely. I will be the first to admit that I often take reviews for granted, or acknowledge them with a simple "okay, I'll make those changes, thanks." When someone takes the time out of their day to help you, you need to really show that you appreciate it. Maybe mention something like that in the rules as a strong recommendation. Better yet, sticky it or put it in the section description. Just a thought.


Last edited by txteclipse; November 20th, 2013 at 01:01 AM.
  #8    
Old November 20th, 2013, 04:32 AM
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Popping in quickly from one of my holiday trips to say that stuff like this:
Quote:
Have it be by vote, only include short stories, lyrics, or poetry, and possibly create separate ones for each, and I think it would go over well. It would also help anyone who ends up with a Writing of the Week have more exposure.
and this:
Quote:
A "Review of the Week/Month" competition, with prizes. Something like a shiny pokémon is a nice reward, but you might even go so far as to actually mail them something inexpensive but cool. You could alternatively sticky one of their fics for the following month. THAT would be some motivation.
Have some issues, IMO.

In part, because we tried fic of the month for a while, but there was continued disinterest (as in, a utter lack of people nominating and voting for fics for multiple months). As for offering prizes - I am kinda against that. Would we expect slayr or someone else to continually contribute someone 'worthwhile' to enter then? What if a prize isn't available for a week then, does it mean it's just not as important? And mailing real-life things seems like a whole lot of bother for a weekly event, especially when people live on the other side of the world to each other (and hence not inexpensive. I sent someone a small present this year, and the post office fee for it was a few times greater than the actual cost of the present. =/ Even for a once off it kinda sucks for one's wallet, especially when one is a student).

At best, emblems, thread stickying (and note, the incentive of putting fics in a thread sticky that won the previous fic of the month comps didn't seem to work either! So even this didn't appear to work, at least not with this general level of interest) or if people have the time and willingness, a review. (Which is kinda of a reward already by judges in the small writing comps in the yearly get togethers for instance). But no to real-world presents. Maybe something to look into when there is just more people first, but I don't think this way is the way to go in bring activity up, because Astinus and I tried this over the course of months.


Other ideas are interesting and it's good to see feedback /ideas offered, just being a negative nancy on those ideas because, well, previous results speak loudly. =(

I think a featured, random fic of the week is a good idea (and I mean random - not good or popular ones should also go up. Try and promoter reviewing of the chosen story - that way everyone has an equal chance to benefit, and we're not just 'helping' one set of people. Maybe a combination of that with the featured writer idea txt had.


  #9    
Old November 20th, 2013, 09:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txteclipse
The problem here is, of course, that people don't take the time to be the ego stroker instead of the strokee. Let's face it: critiquing is sort of a pain. Providing useful feedback takes work. It also involves getting raged at much more often than it should. Getting people to review means asking them to do something that may not actually be very fun, which is what most people come to forums seeking.
I find that reviewing can often be fun. Plus, you can learn a lot about writing by taking the time to explain various aspects to other writers. It's a great way to advertise your work. All in all, it's a very worthwhile activity. I've made a lot of friends by reviewing their work. I just don't know how to motivate other people. I don't want to force it, because then I just suck all the fun out of it, but I also want to boost activity, so right now I'm just asking nicely.

Quote:
Originally Posted by txteclipse
I think a good way to get people to review is to help them see how valuable it is to others. I remember one of my first reviews was from Astinus and it pretty much made my day. If you can somehow kindle that recognition of "hey, I love it when people do this for me, so why don't I do it for someone else?" then it will create a sense of self-motivation, which is a stronger driving force than any shiny badge or competition. Which isn't to say those are bad things, at all, and they can be a means to that end besides. However, I'm trying to tackle this from an unconventional direction.
When I did a lot of reviews over the summer, I was never bashed and I was often thanked profusely. I guess the experience isn't the same for everyone, but I would imagine writers would be able to take that feeling that they get when someone reviews their work and guess that it applies to everyone. I just like helping people, so that's why I review.

Quote:
Originally Posted by txteclipse
A "Review of the Week/Month" competition, with prizes. Something like a shiny pokémon is a nice reward, but you might even go so far as to actually mail them something inexpensive but cool. You could alternatively sticky one of their fics for the following month. THAT would be some motivation.
I don't get wifi at my house, so I can't trade with people. Plus, I don't have very many shiny pokemon in the first place and I definitely want to keep my shiny Lugia. As Bobandbill said, mail can get quite expensive, so I don't think that's an option either. I think the only prizes I can give out is making their story stickied (which doesn't mean more views), or emblems.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I can't force people. They have to meet me half way and do some work. I can't do it all by myself and I'm not going to spend hours of my time making prizes to reward people for what they should be doing in a writing community anyway. I don't mean to sound harsh, but it's going to take some effort from all of us. Reviewing is something we all should do. It shouldn't be left to a couple people like it is now. Just one or two stories a week, that's all I ask.

Quote:
Originally Posted by txteclipse
Going off of the Story for a Week idea, perhaps a "Featured Writer" system. You would feature a writer for some period of time, and have incentives for reviewing their work. That could help expose some less-noticed people to more attention.
This is interesting. I'm not sure how I would go about it, but I think this could work with more planning. Could go hand in hand with the story of the week.

Quote:
Originally Posted by txteclipse
A "Favorite Moments" thread, in which people talk about their favorite moment from another writer's story. Working out spoilers would be interesting, but it could be a good form of advertisement.
I'm not too sure about this one. Most of the time, a "good" moment requires a lot of time to build up. In other words, it can't stand on its own. I remember when I was viewing another forum's writing awards, they had a category for funniest moment. I read through the passage, but found it quite lackluster. I'm guessing the story had lead into it a little better because I could see it being funny, but it just wasn't there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by txteclipse
A "Reviewer's Day" or something along those lines where the point is to celebrate reviewing and how important it is. This is a bit cheesy but might as well toss it out there.
This should be every day. :V

I think that reviewing competitions would basically cover this idea, but spread it out over a couple weeks or so.

Thank you for your feedback. It's greatly appreciated. I'll have to think about the featured writer some more. It's an interesting idea, but I need a little time to think it out.
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  #10    
Old November 20th, 2013, 10:05 AM
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I was once, in the heady days of slightly more youthful youth, a moderator on another site, faced with a activity problem that too hinged on a lack of contributions to an art section. The problem has to be tackled economically. A simple axiom to hinge a policy on is "people respond to incentives." If you reward people for activity, they will be more active. The only problem is what you can reward them with that is meaningful. It's something of a silly suggestion (I'm sure that you, as experienced governors, will be able to conjure a fair greater system than this), but how about rewarding the person with the most reviews in a week with a temporary sticky of one of their pieces of fiction? It could only be as long as a week, even.
  #11    
Old November 20th, 2013, 03:07 PM
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My biggest problem as the former fanfic mod on Pokebeach was that there were too many people posting crappy (absurdly short and badly written) fanfics that nobody wanted to read. As a result, nobody wanted to post in the fanfic forum. To fix that, I straightened out the rules, set reasonable quality standards for people to follow, and closed down any fanfics that didn't meet the bare minimum of those guidelines. It may sound like I was acting like a tyrant, but it drastically improved the quality of stories and people started reading fics again. Unlike Pokebeach, fanfic quality isn't as big of an issue here, imo.

As far as activity and involvement go, writing competitions would be insanely effective at drawing people into the forum just to see what they're all about. However, the problem is making them easy enough for most people to enter, but challenging enough so that people actually try to put forth their best work. My haiku contest was explosive the first day or two I posted it, but interest quickly died off until I bumped it several days ago. Unlike my competition, a full blown writing contest could draw in a better crowd since it would actually encourage people to write something of good quality just to compete with everyone. Alas, it has to be planned/timed correctly so that people have time to write, but it doesn't so long that people forget that they entered it.
  #12    
Old November 20th, 2013, 07:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Rrit Vasha View Post
I was once, in the heady days of slightly more youthful youth, a moderator on another site, faced with a activity problem that too hinged on a lack of contributions to an art section. The problem has to be tackled economically. A simple axiom to hinge a policy on is "people respond to incentives." If you reward people for activity, they will be more active. The only problem is what you can reward them with that is meaningful. It's something of a silly suggestion (I'm sure that you, as experienced governors, will be able to conjure a fair greater system than this), but how about rewarding the person with the most reviews in a week with a temporary sticky of one of their pieces of fiction? It could only be as long as a week, even.
The sticking threads will be done by the story of the week, so I don't know about that, but I will try to think of something. I just don't want to spend hours making prizes when reviewing is pretty rewarding itself. Yes, it takes time, but you learn a lot about writing that way and you almost always make new friends with the story owner. I'll continue thinking of something.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skunter
My biggest problem as the former fanfic mod on Pokebeach was that there were too many people posting crappy (absurdly short and badly written) fanfics that nobody wanted to read. As a result, nobody wanted to post in the fanfic forum. To fix that, I straightened out the rules, set reasonable quality standards for people to follow, and closed down any fanfics that didn't meet the bare minimum of those guidelines. It may sound like I was acting like a tyrant, but it drastically improved the quality of stories and people started reading fics again. Unlike Pokebeach, fanfic quality isn't as big of an issue here, imo.
Yeah, I'm not worried about the quality. It's a rare occurrence when a thread gets closed down.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skunter
As far as activity and involvement go, writing competitions would be insanely effective at drawing people into the forum just to see what they're all about. However, the problem is making them easy enough for most people to enter, but challenging enough so that people actually try to put forth their best work. My haiku contest was explosive the first day or two I posted it, but interest quickly died off until I bumped it several days ago. Unlike my competition, a full blown writing contest could draw in a better crowd since it would actually encourage people to write something of good quality just to compete with everyone. Alas, it has to be planned/timed correctly so that people have time to write, but it doesn't so long that people forget that they entered it.
I do think that writing competitions will draw the most crowds. I was surprised by the amount of people that signed up for your haiku contest. Even people that I've never seen here before signed up, which is amazing. You can be sure writing competitions are soon to come.
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  #13    
Old November 21st, 2013, 07:52 AM
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Yeah, I'm not worried about the quality. It's a rare occurrence when a thread gets closed down.
Personally, I would like to see at least some type of benchmark, like having people write the equivalent of a page on MS Word before calling a post a story. I'm not saying they have to turn stuff into full blown novels, but I'd think people could manage more than two or three super-short paragraphs. But, like I said, those fics aren't really that common here (not like the crap I've seen polluting other forums and fansites). In fact, I'm feeling a little pressured to up the quality of my stories to try and outshine people a little.

The contest idea, though, should be giving priority. I only wanted to start my Haiku Contest here because I was personally bored and wanted to get something going here if it helped boost activity in any way. An actual story contest needs to be handled more dilligently. From my own experience, I know that a lot of people have a tendency enter them and never submit anything at all, even when they're given a lot of time to write (I know that's mostly due to them being busy, but it gets really annoying when you end up with nothing by the end of the contest's run).
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Old November 21st, 2013, 09:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skunter
The contest idea, though, should be giving priority. I only wanted to start my Haiku Contest here because I was personally bored and wanted to get something going here if it helped boost activity in any way. An actual story contest needs to be handled more dilligently. From my own experience, I know that a lot of people have a tendency enter them and never submit anything at all, even when they're given a lot of time to write (I know that's mostly due to them being busy, but it gets really annoying when you end up with nothing by the end of the contest's run).
You might want to check again at the beginning of December.
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Old November 21st, 2013, 04:00 PM
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With all due respect, the mere assertion of the efficacy of taking the review to review will not make people do it. You are making the assumption that everyone is logical and/or has some time on their hands, the reality is that neither are likely to be the case. A good idea would perhaps be a minimum number of words per chapter? I have seen such a system work on other forums.
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Old November 21st, 2013, 06:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Rrit Vasha View Post
With all due respect, the mere assertion of the efficacy of taking the review to review will not make people do it. You are making the assumption that everyone is logical and/or has some time on their hands, the reality is that neither are likely to be the case. A good idea would perhaps be a minimum number of words per chapter? I have seen such a system work on other forums.
I've seen a minimum number of words work as well. I've been thinking about it and I'm leaning towards 1,000 words. Although I'm also thinking about just bumping it up to 2,000.

Would people be interested in emblems? We don't have a point system here like in other forums, so emblems are pretty much there as a replacement. I could look and see if there's an old reviewing emblem, or if there isn't, then I could make one easily enough. I just don't know if people would be interested or not. Thoughts?
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  #17    
Old November 22nd, 2013, 09:06 AM
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Writing competitions / Story of the week

More than likely this certainly will work as it has worked in the past. I agree with the prior statement that this should be limited to short stories, poems, etc. while the "of the Month's" can still be categorized with short stories, poems, and what have you, in addition to the traditionally chapter-based stories. I would really like to see this implemented again, but it's going to take the community to get back to how we were years ago. I have faith that we can make it work though!

A possible rule change to the month old rule for reviving threads to 2 months in the main section? (possibly no limit?)

I think one month is good enough. If an author hasn't updated the community as to what's going on in a month, then the thread can be deemed inactive and shouldn't be bumped by anyone else other than a moderator or the author.

Review challenges (not entirely sure how to go about this one)

Why don't we, as a community, randomly select one fic to review for a week? Not saying that we would have to read through the entire story, per se, but we could at least focus on one story and sort of provide a workshop for the author. So, for example, one week we pick a random Adventure fic and we review the most recent chapter (or if someone is feeling brave enough to review the entire fic) and then we post our comments on it throughout the week.

More thread prefixes ([Poetry], [Other Fanfic], [Other Original])

This would be helpful.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Slayr231 View Post
Would people be interested in emblems? We don't have a point system here like in other forums, so emblems are pretty much there as a replacement. I could look and see if there's an old reviewing emblem, or if there isn't, then I could make one easily enough. I just don't know if people would be interested or not. Thoughts?
I think emblems is another cool thing, but it could be problematic. Would the point system be based on the quality of the review? That could lead to hard feelings from authors who may not like the reviewer's review. It's kind of like how we had the five-star system for stories and stories would get one stars from certain people who didn't like the author.

In news in reference to my reviewing... I am almost done with this semester of class and I am one edit of a chapter away from being done with the first volume of my fic. I look forward to taking a break from writing and reading some stories here on PC. So be on the lookout!

Elite Academy - A Pokemon Academy fan-fiction by TurtleKing
Volume One | Volume Two

Last edited by TurtleKing; November 22nd, 2013 at 09:13 AM.
  #18    
Old November 22nd, 2013, 09:21 AM
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I've seen a minimum number of words work as well. I've been thinking about it and I'm leaning towards 1,000 words.
I think that's a reasonable enough benchmark. It's basically the equivalent of a short essay for high school or college, and it's not an overzealous requirement either.
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Old November 22nd, 2013, 02:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TurtleKing
Why don't we, as a community, randomly select one fic to review for a week? Not saying that we would have to read through the entire story, per se, but we could at least focus on one story and sort of provide a workshop for the author. So, for example, one week we pick a random Adventure fic and we review the most recent chapter (or if someone is feeling brave enough to review the entire fic) and then we post our comments on it throughout the week.
This is what I was hoping to achieve by the "Story of the week" thing. I'm not sure about reviewing long stories because it does take a long time and you often can't just review the last chapter because you need the background information the beginning chapters provide.

How would you guys feel about two "stories of the week"? One would be a short story/poetry thread while the other one would be a chaptered fic. This way, all stories get some amount of love and attention.

How about nominations for the reviewing emblem? If the author really likes a review, they send me a PM/VM and I can keep tallies and then when someone receives a certain amount of votes, they get the emblem. Possibly include a "Review Hall of Fame" where reviewers that have racked up even more points get their name in the first post or something. I'm just throwing out ideas here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skunter
I think that's a reasonable enough benchmark. It's basically the equivalent of a short essay for high school or college, and it's not an overzealous requirement either.
Alright, I think I'll include the 1,000 word benchmark in the rules.

What about poetry? Since poems don't often go over 1,000 words, how about you have to include at least four poems in the first post?

I'm just making sure I don't make any rash decisions that you guys don't like. Thanks so much for providing feedback. It means a lot, it really does.
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  #20    
Old November 22nd, 2013, 05:06 PM
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Since poems don't often go over 1,000 words, how about you have to include at least four poems in the first post?
Well, it is already a rule that you can only have one thread for poetry, correct? So I don't think there needs to be a requirement for how many poems people need in the first post. But then, I'm not much of a poet, so I can't give a serious opinion.
  #21    
Old November 22nd, 2013, 05:46 PM
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To help decide on a benchmark for minimum amount of words per chapter, I have my OpenOffice set-up at Verdana font at size 9.6 (which is the exact size of the font used on the forums). 1000 words is a page-and-a-half, and 2000 words is three pages. That should be a decent-sized chapter and easily do-able.

When I created the quality rule, I debated about including a minimum word count per chapter. The reason why I didn't add any minimum word count was because I didn't want that to be the only qualifier. So long as the story was readable, it could be short as it needed to be. If/when you add a minimum word count to the rules, just clarify that stories shorter than that are allowed as long as they're of readable quality. That would also count towards poetry, in case someone only has one poem that they want to share at a time (and none of them are epics).
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Old November 22nd, 2013, 06:13 PM
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Perhaps it could be added as a suggestion? Chapter length doesn't account for chapter quality, but chapters less than a few pages on a word processing program tend to be underwritten or just flat-out bad, from my experience.
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Old November 22nd, 2013, 06:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skunter View Post
Perhaps it could be added as a suggestion? Chapter length doesn't account for chapter quality, but chapters less than a few pages on a word processing program tend to be underwritten or just flat-out bad, from my experience.
This was my reasoning behind it. I mean, I won't go checking every chapter and copy and pasting it into word, but if it's too short it'll be pretty obvious. Although I do think I'll leave the rule alone for chapters that have good quality. I'll post it as a strong suggestion in the rules section.
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  #24    
Old November 23rd, 2013, 12:43 PM
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What about adding separate/new section for other fanfics? Sadly, I've gotten bored of Pokémon fanfiction because there is just such a lack of diversity among the fandom now; and it's rare that I ever see one that interests me. And I tire of scrolling through all the pokéfics to find one that's not Pokémon.

It would definitely interest me.

As for reviewing, I would love a 'quality check' so to speak. Maybe mod approval before posting or something. I just tire of telling people the same things over and over and often not seeing a response, getting a snappy response back, or not being listened to.
  #25    
Old November 23rd, 2013, 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by PhantomX0990 View Post
What about adding separate/new section for other fanfics? Sadly, I've gotten bored of Pokémon fanfiction because there is just such a lack of diversity among the fandom now; and it's rare that I ever see one that interests me. And I tire of scrolling through all the pokéfics to find one that's not Pokémon.

It would definitely interest me.

As for reviewing, I would love a 'quality check' so to speak. Maybe mod approval before posting or something. I just tire of telling people the same things over and over and often not seeing a response, getting a snappy response back, or not being listened to.
As of right now, I don't think there's enough activity to make a separate section. I've seen it work successfully on other forums, so I know what you're talking about, but I don't think there's enough non-pokemon stories to qualify for another section. If we're only getting a couple updates on a busy day when all the stories are grouped together, I don't think a separate section would do all that good. Maybe when the section gets more popular.

The quality of fics here is pretty good when compared to other forums. It's pretty rare when a fic gets closed down and it's going to have to be a pretty bad fic in order to get closed. I'd rather work with the writer to improve the quality rather than close the story and ignore the problem. If bad fics and not relevant threads become a big problem, then I'll go as far as moderator approval, but for now I don't think it's that big of a problem.

Telling people the same thing over and over again is part of reviewing. That's why it's better in my opinion to do a couple reviews a week rather than as many as possible. Just to keep your patience up and that reviews don't get snappy. If you feel disrespected because of a response to anything in this section, please contact me. I'll be happy to sort it out.
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