Community

The PokéCommunity

We are still working on a better slogan!

Visit Index



Advertise here

Go Back   The PokéCommunity Forums > Creative Discussions > Fan Fiction and Writing > Writer's Lounge
Notices

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.

Post Reply
Click here to go to the first staff post in this thread.  
Thread Tools
  #1    
Old November 26th, 2013, 09:29 AM
Nolafus's Avatar
Nolafus
Aspiring Writer, or something...
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Lost in thought... again
Age: 19
Gender: Male
Nature: Calm

Advertise here
Okay, very recently I added a new rule called the 1,000 word rule. It has been a little controversial and a few people have contacted me about it, so I thought I would make this thread to discuss this new rule. I would like you guys to read through my reasoning behind this rule and post your feedback. Hopefully we can reach a happy median.

The reasoning behind this rule was to boost fic quality. This past week, six threads were closed/deleted due to either no writing at all, or lack of quality. That's more threads closed in a week then the average in a month. So, I made this a rule to boost the quality and promote the writers to try to improve more. Writing is supposed to be a challenge, it's not something that you just decide to do on a whim. I thought that this would mean people would put more effort in their fics and it would improve overall quality.

However, people have come up to me expressing their dislike for this new rule. I feel like the section has hit a bit of a rough patch. A lot of things are changing around here and not all of these changes are going to be fun and easy. Please leave your thoughts on this new rule where we can hopefully come to a happy median where everyone is happy.
Proud Moderator of Fan Fiction and Writing
PC SisterPair
Previously, Slayr231

Last edited by Nolafus; November 26th, 2013 at 10:55 AM.
  #2    
Old November 26th, 2013, 04:14 PM
Incinermyn's Avatar
Incinermyn
I ain't no Robin Hood, boys! :P
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Wisconsin, USA
Age: 28
Gender: Male
Nature: Timid
I personally am in favor of the rule because I take the extra time out to write relatively decent quality fanfics. These aren't exactly fanfics I have a lot of time to write up either. It can take me a few weeks to write a full chapter, not counting the few days extra I spend revising it. While I understand that a lot of people don't have the spare time to write up high-end fanfics, I think it's a little unfair that they should post badly written fanfics when there are others like me take a little more time to write something out. From my experience, fanfics under 1,000 words tend to be very badly written and it's not unreasonable to ask people to write about a full page or two before calling something a fanfic/chapter. In most classes in school or college, that's actually a requirement and not a strenuous one at that.
  #3    
Old November 26th, 2013, 04:20 PM
Sam89
always right except when wrong
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Gender: Male
It's not reasonable. If I had to take out detail because of it. So you want my writing to be worse right? How generous of you. (That was sarcasm).
  #4    
Old November 26th, 2013, 04:32 PM
Incinermyn's Avatar
Incinermyn
I ain't no Robin Hood, boys! :P
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Wisconsin, USA
Age: 28
Gender: Male
Nature: Timid
To be honest, there are a lot of fanfics less than one-thousand words that don't have any content at all. By content, I mean the things that actually make up a story: character descriptions, plot details, etc. The bulk of ones that I've seen lately are almost completely dialogue. Dialogue's barely anything compared to what general stories should consist of. The very least that can be asked of people is to describe what characters/settings look like, aside from adding information about what's going on in their stories (in the form of narration). My stories are generally thick with that stuff, and even my shortest ones are at least 1,000 words (or more) long.

Last edited by Incinermyn; November 26th, 2013 at 04:39 PM.
  #5    
Old November 26th, 2013, 06:11 PM
Vociferocity's Avatar
Vociferocity
[ bad girls do it well ]
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Australia
Age: 22
Gender: Female
Nature: Impish
Send a message via Skype™ to Vociferocity
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam89 View Post
It's not reasonable. If I had to take out detail because of it. So you want my writing to be worse right? How generous of you. (That was sarcasm).
wait, why would you have to remove detail? that's going to leave you with less words in your chapter, which is pretty much the opposite of what slayr is pushing for. if anything, you should be adding more detail to reach 1000 words (if you aren't at 1000 words already)


general comment: apart from my prologue (~800) words, all my chapters are over 1k...except for one chapter, which is like, twenty words or something. but it's a joke chapter, and the others are all long....is that fine? I know it's not following the letter of the law, but that's no big, right?

overall, this rule is totally one I'm ok with. I get that you want this forum to be quality, slayr, and asking for longer chapters is only going to help that. experienced writers aren't going to have that hard a time finding extra content for chapters (except for special cases which are totally okay, right :D?), and it's going to spur beginner writers into having to put more effort in which...obviously is going to help them become better writers, and write more quality fics.

that said, I don't know how comfortable I am with threads being closed because the fic isn't quality. if someone is giving it their best shot, the best way to encourage them is to...you know, actually encourage them? closing their fic thread because it isn't a high enough standard is just...I don't know, it had a bit of an elitist vibe to it, which I don't love. closing a thread because people aren't following rules (like 1k chapters) is one thing, but closing because you don't think they're good enough is just gross, imo.

Last edited by Vociferocity; November 27th, 2013 at 04:07 PM.
  #6    
Old November 26th, 2013, 08:41 PM
Astinus's Avatar
Astinus
Remember NovEnder
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Connecticut, USA
Age: 27
Gender: Male
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vociferocity View Post
that said, I don't know how comfortable I am with threads being closed because the fic isn't quality. if someone is giving it their best shot, the best way to encourage them is to...you know, actually encourage them? closing their fic thread because it isn't a high enough standard is just...I don't know, it had a bit of an elitist vibe to it, which I don't love. closing a thread because people aren't following rules (like 1k chapters) is one thing, but closing because you don't think they're good enough is just gross, imo.
It's been like that for a few years here, actually. FF&W has had a rule against low-quality stories since 2008, but it was never a matter of word quality. In fact, until recently, there weren't a lot of stories closed because of that rule, but I was very lax in enforcing that rule. As long as there was at least some effort put into the story (and it wasn't riddled with typos or easily looked like it was written in five minutes with the writer's eyes closed), then the story remained open.

The thing is with this rule is that it's very...unwelcoming to new writers. The ones who know what they're doing when it comes to writing won't have a problem with this rule, but the section shouldn't only cater towards them. It should also be more welcoming for brand-new writers to post their stories to the section and get some advice. Being told that their story isn't good enough because it's not 1000 words or more and that they need to describe more will only lead to frustration and confusion. They don't really get why their story, that most likely they did their best on, wasn't "good enough" for PC.

I understand wanting a higher quality of fics around the forums to read. That way, any thread that gets clicked on will be worth everyone's while to read and enjoy. But this is the Pokemon fandom. It's going to be full of young writers, and the ones who are old enough to be completely amazing are rare. For a lot of these writers, this is their first foray into writing any sort of story, and they don't know the proper way to describe characters or how to transition scenes or anything like that. They just want to write some crazy adventure that's running through their heads. And that story will be flawed in a few ways. But hopefully someone will come along and say "Hey, you have the makings of a great story here. Here are a few things you can improve on though." That's how it was when I first started actively reviewing fanfiction, and that's how it was when I became a moderator.

Things can change, and I understand that. The people who do know what they're doing and can share advice have been doing this so long that they've seen every problem in fic-writing, have told writers how to change things, and yet the problems keep happening from different writers.

What can be done to change this? I honestly don't know. If anyone has the answer to this question, I'd like to hear it because it's something that my friends and I have wondered for years. Maybe just a little understanding that this is the Pokemon fandom, targeted towards young people and young people make mistakes that we've already made and learned from. So the quality of fics here might not be the greatest because that's just how it goes.

But, honestly, I don't think saying "this fic isn't 1000 words, describe more, thread closed" is completely helpful. Sam89 is probably confused and is definitely hurt by having his threads closed or chapters deleted. (And we've lost other new members too from this.) I think, if you want to raise the quality of fics, you can't just close threads. Make some pointers, show some examples, and leave the thread open. Because the member's aren't going to take any sort of advice if the first thing that they see is their thread is closed. That's what will stick in their mind (the "mean moderator") and not the person who actually read their fic and took the time to review. Even though they might react badly to the review or ignore it all together, but hey. Can't win them all.
  #7    
Old November 26th, 2013, 10:47 PM
Nolafus's Avatar
Nolafus
Aspiring Writer, or something...
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Lost in thought... again
Age: 19
Gender: Male
Nature: Calm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam89 View Post
It's not reasonable. If I had to take out detail because of it. So you want my writing to be worse right? How generous of you. (That was sarcasm).
I'm not exactly sure what you mean by this. I know you're upset because I deleted your chapter, and (are you ready for this?) I'm sorry.

I had a really stressful week this last week with 200+ pages of reading a night, 2 essays due, a band concert, and a final project to start working towards. I was running on way too little sleep and I was really grumpy. I took it out on you guys and all I can really say is that I'm sorry. I'm taking a little break (just like 2 days or something) to clear my head and just relax. I couldn't help myself and decided to check in on these responses and reply to them. I think my first apology should go to Sam89 because Astinus was completely right. I should have worked with you rather than just delete your thread and tell you to add more without giving you any critique to go off of.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skunter
I personally am in favor of the rule because I take the extra time out to write relatively decent quality fanfics. These aren't exactly fanfics I have a lot of time to write up either. It can take me a few weeks to write a full chapter, not counting the few days extra I spend revising it. While I understand that a lot of people don't have the spare time to write up high-end fanfics, I think it's a little unfair that they should post badly written fanfics when there are others like me take a little more time to write something out. From my experience, fanfics under 1,000 words tend to be very badly written and it's not unreasonable to ask people to write about a full page or two before calling something a fanfic/chapter. In most classes in school or college, that's actually a requirement and not a strenuous one at that.
This was my original reasoning. Although, after a much needed nap, I'm starting to reconsider enforcing this rule so harshly. It's not really fair to new writers who are just getting into this. I think there needs to be an alternative.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vociferocity
general comment: apart from my prologue (~800) words, all my chapters are over 1k...except for one chapter, which is like, twenty words or something. but it's a joke chapter, and the others are all long....is that fine? I know it's following the letter of the law, but that's no big, right?
Actually, your twenty word chapter is what prompted me to put this thread up. Along with some other reasons, but your chapter was the final push to go seeking for other reasons. I found it humorous to have that short of a chapter. I was going to delete it because it didn't meet the requirements, but then I realized that you posted a full chapter after that and that the short chapter really added to the humor value of the story. This is what made me reconsider.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vociferocity
overall, this rule is totally one I'm ok with. I get that you want this forum to be quality, slayr, and asking for longer chapters is only going to help that. experienced writers aren't going to have that hard a time finding extra content for chapters (except for special cases which are totally okay, right :D?), and it's going to spur beginner writers into having to put more effort in which...obviously is going to help them become better writers, and write more quality fics.

that said, I don't know how comfortable I am with threads being closed because the fic isn't quality. if someone is giving it their best shot, the best way to encourage them is to...you know, actually encourage them? closing their fic thread because it isn't a high enough standard is just...I don't know, it had a bit of an elitist vibe to it, which I don't love. closing a thread because people aren't following rules (like 1k chapters) is one thing, but closing because you don't think they're good enough is just gross, imo.
The first part was my reasoning. I really wanted to push new writers to really try and reach for their potential. I thought that by requiring more, people would be more inclined to try new things in order to get that word count up.

I now know that I was enforcing that way too hard. I think I'm going to start to be way more lenient and instead of closing down threads and deleting chapters, I'm going to help them more. It's not helping anybody if I just delete their work and tell them it's not good enough. You're right in the fact that I was creating an elitist vibe. It wasn't intentional, but it was happening. And that's something I really want to try to avoid.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Astinus
The thing is with this rule is that it's very...unwelcoming to new writers. The ones who know what they're doing when it comes to writing won't have a problem with this rule, but the section shouldn't only cater towards them. It should also be more welcoming for brand-new writers to post their stories to the section and get some advice. Being told that their story isn't good enough because it's not 1000 words or more and that they need to describe more will only lead to frustration and confusion. They don't really get why their story, that most likely they did their best on, wasn't "good enough" for PC.

I understand wanting a higher quality of fics around the forums to read. That way, any thread that gets clicked on will be worth everyone's while to read and enjoy. But this is the Pokemon fandom. It's going to be full of young writers, and the ones who are old enough to be completely amazing are rare. For a lot of these writers, this is their first foray into writing any sort of story, and they don't know the proper way to describe characters or how to transition scenes or anything like that. They just want to write some crazy adventure that's running through their heads. And that story will be flawed in a few ways. But hopefully someone will come along and say "Hey, you have the makings of a great story here. Here are a few things you can improve on though." That's how it was when I first started actively reviewing fanfiction, and that's how it was when I became a moderator.
This did cross my mind when I was closing down the threads, but I just didn't care. It killed me on the inside to close down the threads and delete the chapters (oh how it killed me), but I was just way too grumpy to worry about that. I need to start enforcing this rule in another way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Astinus
Things can change, and I understand that. The people who do know what they're doing and can share advice have been doing this so long that they've seen every problem in fic-writing, have told writers how to change things, and yet the problems keep happening from different writers.

What can be done to change this? I honestly don't know. If anyone has the answer to this question, I'd like to hear it because it's something that my friends and I have wondered for years. Maybe just a little understanding that this is the Pokemon fandom, targeted towards young people and young people make mistakes that we've already made and learned from. So the quality of fics here might not be the greatest because that's just how it goes.
I think this was my problem. I was expecting way too much from new writers. I was expecting them to pick up description in merely seconds and apply them perfectly in their next chapter. Don't worry, I realize this now and I'm going to stop being so strict with the 1,000 word rule.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Astinus
But, honestly, I don't think saying "this fic isn't 1000 words, describe more, thread closed" is completely helpful. Sam89 is probably confused and is definitely hurt by having his threads closed or chapters deleted. (And we've lost other new members too from this.) I think, if you want to raise the quality of fics, you can't just close threads. Make some pointers, show some examples, and leave the thread open. Because the member's aren't going to take any sort of advice if the first thing that they see is their thread is closed. That's what will stick in their mind (the "mean moderator") and not the person who actually read their fic and took the time to review. Even though they might react badly to the review or ignore it all together, but hey. Can't win them all.
I do feel bad about closing all those threads. I was acting like a tyrant and by losing the new writers, I paid a hefty price.

Although, I think my biggest disappointment was the fact that no one came up to me to tell me that I might be going overboard with this. It wasn't until I posted this thread that it became obvious that people were thinking I was being too harsh. I'm not blaming you guys for this. I mean, I would be scared to approach someone who was running their writing section like that. I just want you guys to know that if you ever feel like I did something wrong, please approach me about it. I promise I won't get mad about it. In fact, I love it when people disagree with me because then it's an opportunity to come up with new ideas to improve the section.

Anyway, I'm going to take that small break and come back in a couple days refreshed and in a better mood (hopefully). I apologize again for my grumpiness this past week and I'll definitely be working with new writers, not against them, to improve their writing. Thanks for all your feedback, it's greatly appreciated.
Proud Moderator of Fan Fiction and Writing
PC SisterPair
Previously, Slayr231
  #8    
Old November 27th, 2013, 03:30 AM
TurtleKing's Avatar
TurtleKing
Turtles > You
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Gender:
As I said before Slayr, you're doing a great job. I understand it is difficult to moderate the FF&W thread , greatly. As far as the 1000+ word rule for chaptered fics, I have ro agree with its inclusion in addition to the quality rule. Generally, we all can tell when a story isn't good; but that just comes from the community helping out each other to get better. Iron sharpens iron. It's not entirely Slayr fault for these fics that pop up. Lack of reviews are there as well to help the authors understand how to get better.

Question, whatever happened to the beta section where new or struggling authors could post their fics and once they reached a certain level of quality, they would be moved to the main forum?

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

Last edited by TurtleKing; November 27th, 2013 at 05:33 AM.
  #9    
Old November 27th, 2013, 04:23 AM
Incinermyn's Avatar
Incinermyn
I ain't no Robin Hood, boys! :P
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Wisconsin, USA
Age: 28
Gender: Male
Nature: Timid
Quote:
Originally Posted by TurtleKing View Post
Question, whatever happened to the beta section where new or struggling authors could post their fics and once they reached a certain level of quality, they would be moved to the main forum?
I actually remember that there was a beta mentoring thing here a long time ago, but (up until a few months ago) I've been gone for several years, so I personally thought that it got disbanded due to inactivity or something.
  #10    
Old November 27th, 2013, 11:58 AM
Astinus's Avatar
Astinus
Remember NovEnder
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Connecticut, USA
Age: 27
Gender: Male
Quote:
Originally Posted by TurtleKing View Post
Question, whatever happened to the beta section where new or struggling authors could post their fics and once they reached a certain level of quality, they would be moved to the main forum?
The beta section, which was known as the Revision Bin, was removed because it was really elitist. It marked the "bad" writers out much clearer from the rest of the section, and I felt it better to remove the section so no one felt uncomfortable posting.

The beta threads were removed because way too many people were signing up in need of a beta, but no one was volunteering to be a beta. It was a supply/demand thing.
  #11    
Old November 27th, 2013, 02:21 PM
Incinermyn's Avatar
Incinermyn
I ain't no Robin Hood, boys! :P
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Wisconsin, USA
Age: 28
Gender: Male
Nature: Timid
Quote:
Originally Posted by Astinus View Post
The beta section, which was known as the Revision Bin, was removed because it was really elitist. It marked the "bad" writers out much clearer from the rest of the section, and I felt it better to remove the section so no one felt uncomfortable posting.

The beta threads were removed because way too many people were signing up in need of a beta, but no one was volunteering to be a beta. It was a supply/demand thing.
That makes sense. I used to mod on another forum's fanfic section and I tried starting a similar proofreading program, but it ended with an opposite result. People were volunteering to proofread, but nobody was asking for their help. Coincidentally, the few people who asked me if I'd proofread for them ultimately never posted their fics.
  #12    
Old November 29th, 2013, 07:32 PM
Phantom's Avatar
Phantom
Uh, I didn't do it
Community Supporter
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Minnesota
Age: 23
Gender: Female
Nature: Brave
Quote:
Originally Posted by Astinus View Post
The beta section, which was known as the Revision Bin, was removed because it was really elitist. It marked the "bad" writers out much clearer from the rest of the section, and I felt it better to remove the section so no one felt uncomfortable posting.

The beta threads were removed because way too many people were signing up in need of a beta, but no one was volunteering to be a beta. It was a supply/demand thing.
To be more specific it was that there were a dozen requests and more coming and only TWO people offering to be betas.

I support this rule though.
  #13    
Old November 29th, 2013, 08:06 PM
Nolafus's Avatar
Nolafus
Aspiring Writer, or something...
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Lost in thought... again
Age: 19
Gender: Male
Nature: Calm
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhantomX0990 View Post
To be more specific it was that there were a dozen requests and more coming and only TWO people offering to be betas.

I support this rule though.
It's more or less back to the quality rule where if it looks like you spent five minutes writing out your story, then it's going to be closed.

I think this rule was nice in theory, but not so much in practice. To a lot of new writers, 1,000 words is a lot and rather than just scare them away, I want to encourage them to post so that we can help them improve. Besides, not everyone reads everything before posting, so when I added it to the section rules, it hardly changed a thing. The only difference was I was going around locking and deleting threads and chapters specifically. People got mad and went away, so that's why I decided to get rid of it. We're all here to learn after all.
Proud Moderator of Fan Fiction and Writing
PC SisterPair
Previously, Slayr231
  #14    
Old November 29th, 2013, 08:19 PM
solovino's Avatar
solovino
RAWR~❤
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: behind that truck
Gender: Male
Nature: Timid
My whatever many pesos two cents currently are... can be resumed through this comment by Astinus:

Quote:
The thing is with this rule is that it's very...unwelcoming to new writers. The ones who know what they're doing when it comes to writing won't have a problem with this rule, but the section shouldn't only cater towards them.
I am well aware that this might be an unpopular opinion but in between the activity and all, perhaps the section for people who routinely write high-quality fic and are expected to do so shouldn't be the same for starting or aspiring writers who are still in that phase of learning where they still probably lack the jargon to describe the problems they are facing, for example.

The needs are different, the measures are different, and the intended audience is probably different. This is not about fostering either elitism or commonality. One can store pebbles with diamonds, certainly, but one wouldn't process pebbles together with diamonds. Attempting to do so, implement some sort of average, ends up damaging for both the pebbles and the diamonds.

When providing help to aspiring writers, the focus and the rules/guidelines are most likely going to be different. Distinct vectors of improvement are targeted at different levels (unfolding an outline and spelling v/s foreshadowing and plot modelling, for example), by different reviewers, at different paces, etc. All that makes enforcing a same rule for all inherently unfair.

While I personally don't think the rule is unwelcoming (I wouldn't feel unwelcoming if I wanted to try driving a car and I was sent off to first learn how to shift the drive, or to get a license or at least a sanctioned driver to guide me), I'd note that such rules, based off of measures that are concrete yet don't have a significant meaning (really, how does "1000 and not 999" relate to quality?") tend to be perceived as unwelcome because they promote the image of clique-ism and circlejerking. Perhaps care should be taken to decide what or who is the fanfic zone aiming to, before stonewalling ourselves on our way to help people with rules that then are used to set up a precedent of "more like guidelines".

Quote:
The first part was my reasoning. I really wanted to push new writers to really try and reach for their potential. I thought that by requiring more, people would be more inclined to try new things in order to get that word count up.
Carrot and stick, I'd have to say. Or just rational benefits and externalities. If you want to offer a punishment for doing something wrong, you need to counter it with a prize for something right, otherwise the whole outside perception of the place is (rationally) skewed towards dealing with the wrong.
Solovino / Venia Silente's Activity
Works
Fics
Elusive Goals | Sixth | Playfield
RP
Silent @ We Are All Pokémon Trainers
Articles
Nidoran Line, Lileep Line, Latii and others @ Project PEFE
My Claims
All pending revision

OTHER STUFF
Banner: “Playfield” by Hydro_King@Serebii.
Pokéteca Librarian — Researcher for The Pokédex Extended Fanon Edition
  #15    
Old November 29th, 2013, 09:01 PM
Nolafus's Avatar
Nolafus
Aspiring Writer, or something...
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Lost in thought... again
Age: 19
Gender: Male
Nature: Calm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Solovino
I am well aware that this might be an unpopular opinion but in between the activity and all, perhaps the section for people who routinely write high-quality fic and are expected to do so shouldn't be the same for starting or aspiring writers who are still in that phase of learning where they still probably lack the jargon to describe the problems they are facing, for example.
That's an interesting idea you bring up. However, I'm afraid that it would promote that feel of elitism with writers that are affected by the higher set of rules vs the writers that are just beginning. Elitism is a feel that I really don't want running rampant because it causes a rift between the veterans and the newbies where there shouldn't be. It's the job of the better writers, in my opinion, to help the people that are just starting out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Solovino
The needs are different, the measures are different, and the intended audience is probably different. This is not about fostering either elitism or commonality. One can store pebbles with diamonds, certainly, but one wouldn't process pebbles together with diamonds. Attempting to do so, implement some sort of average, ends up damaging for both the pebbles and the diamonds.

When providing help to aspiring writers, the focus and the rules/guidelines are most likely going to be different. Distinct vectors of improvement are targeted at different levels (unfolding an outline and spelling v/s foreshadowing and plot modelling, for example), by different reviewers, at different paces, etc. All that makes enforcing a same rule for all inherently unfair.
The thing about writing is that there's so many different ways to do it, it's hard to direct a set rule towards it. There was a member who posted a twenty word chapter. It ended up adding a lot to the comical value and one could easily make a case for why it should stay. I'm not really understanding what you're saying here. In the top paragraph, you sound like you want people to be treated differently, but in the bottom paragraph, you sound like everyone already gets treated differently.

I guess the reason I'm against two different sets of rules is because how does one define when a writer switched over to the new set? You could argue that it's the responsibility of the mod to decide, but I'm sure there are writing styles that are very polished, that I would consider sloppy and noobish, and vice versa. It would just add a whole new level of complexity to a set of rules that's already hard to define.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Solovino
While I personally don't think the rule is unwelcoming (I wouldn't feel unwelcoming if I wanted to try driving a car and I was sent off to first learn how to shift the drive, or to get a license or at least a sanctioned driver to guide me), I'd note that such rules, based off of measures that are concrete yet don't have a significant meaning (really, how does "1000 and not 999" relate to quality?") tend to be perceived as unwelcome because they promote the image of clique-ism and circlejerking. Perhaps care should be taken to decide what or who is the fanfic zone aiming to, before stonewalling ourselves on our way to help people with rules that then are used to set up a precedent of "more like guidelines".
I see where you're coming from and I originally saw no problem with this rule whatsoever. However, after putting this rule into practice, it's clear that it is unwelcoming. New writers get scared that the big, bad moderator enforced a rule and never come back.

Regarding who this section is for, that's an excellent question. After some thought, I think I want this section to be for everybody, but specializing in new writers. I want this to be a place where anybody can come and post work without fear of getting swamped with a bunch of insults. I don't know how the rest of you feel, but I think that these new writers need the most help, and that if we give them that help, then they can become valuable community leaders.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Solovino
Carrot and stick, I'd have to say. Or just rational benefits and externalities. If you want to offer a punishment for doing something wrong, you need to counter it with a prize for something right, otherwise the whole outside perception of the place is (rationally) skewed towards dealing with the wrong.
Considering my psychology class was covering something very similar to this recently, I feel kind of dumb for not thinking of this. However, rewards are a tricky business. How exactly am I going to reward different members? I could stick their work or post it on the front page, but then that would take away from the meaning of the "story of the week". I could give out emblems, but those are pretty common, so I don't know how many people would be interested in that. Rewards has been a topic of much thought for me recently, and I don't really know how to go about it.
Proud Moderator of Fan Fiction and Writing
PC SisterPair
Previously, Slayr231
  #16    
Old November 30th, 2013, 03:23 PM
Phantom's Avatar
Phantom
Uh, I didn't do it
Community Supporter
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Minnesota
Age: 23
Gender: Female
Nature: Brave
I like the idea of an area specified for new writers.
  #17    
Old November 30th, 2013, 09:38 PM
Astinus's Avatar
Astinus
Remember NovEnder
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Connecticut, USA
Age: 27
Gender: Male
The problem with a separate area is just what exactly would make a member qualify as a "new" writer? Would they need to be a fresh face in the section? Or would it be that their writing has to fall under a set quality? What would be the specification for when the member can "graduate" to the normal section?

That was the problem with the Revision Bin. The moderator was the one who chose which member's story gets sent to the "low quality" section away from the rest of the section. It's unfair to the moderator to put in that extra work. On the other hand, it's a little bit easier to keep everyone in one section and just review anyone whose story happens to catch your interest. (Or if someone looks like they need extra help if you have a little bit of free time.)

Which makes me ask: Even if we have a section for new writers, would they get the advice that they need? I don't know if having a separate section will change an attitude that's unfortunately been around for several years now.
  #18    
Old December 2nd, 2013, 09:07 PM
solovino's Avatar
solovino
RAWR~❤
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: behind that truck
Gender: Male
Nature: Timid
To be fair, and as Slayr says, yes, a separate area for new writers would trigger some feelings about this section as a whole that we most likely don't want (and not limited to elitism either, but also probably about management or being too "by the book" on things). I proposed the idea purely from a functional ("how do we do things") perspective of the writers section.

I like this:
Quote:
Regarding who this section is for, that's an excellent question. After some thought, I think I want this section to be for everybody, but specializing in new writers. I want this to be a place where anybody can come and post work without fear of getting swamped with a bunch of insults.
It allows for everyone to be public and participant, but it also has a defined intended audience. There is such a thing as intended and peripheral audiences, and I think if this feeling about the section is shared by enough members of the community we should then start taking steps towards making new writers primary audience. Right now, I don't see anything in the section specially geared or inviting towards new writers - it's, for the most part, "writing and discussion about writing" without any extra qualification.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Slayr231
I'm not really understanding what you're saying here. In the top paragraph, you sound like you want people to be treated differently, but in the bottom paragraph, you sound like everyone already gets treated differently.
Sorry, I tend to digress like that. I was intending to mean less "everyone is / should be treated differently" and more "treating everyone exactly the same is intrinsically unfair / disadvantageous". That's also why I made the point that we would, hopefully, not set rules than then we have to explicitly work our way around ("less like rules, more like guidelines").

Now, I don't really have the familiarity with this section so as to suggest useful things, but I've seen some particular implementations of writer lounges and I think there are traits and features that we should examine. I'm not passing judgment on whether any of these are any good, but I think any of them are inherently better than a 1000 words rule in that they don't rely on rules that are concrete but meaningless:
  • Dunno if this has ever been talked about but allowing indeterminate necroing time for posting comments / reviews on a fic should be allowed. It recovers an avenue of approach to existing works that really has no reason for it being closed, and if accompanied by other management measures it loses us nothing.
  • Related to the above, separating the fic itself from the comments / reviews, for example having a thread for the work and a thread for comments, perhaps in a separate "Comments and Reviews" subsection.
    Makes indexing and management easier for the authors (which in turns makes reading easier for audiences), and removes most of the incentive for thread bumping abuses.
  • Finding people who have experience with reviewing, betaing or consulting on fanfics and, ideally, the time to pass those skills and abilities down. The universe of reviewers is very small compared to that of writers, let alone of readers, but I feel part of that is a matter of perception from potential reviewers.
    We want people to come here without fear, then accounting for carrot-and-stick that means we should design for the people who second-guess themselves on their comments because they think they're going to get banned or punished for "trivial" or "non-constructive" reviews, whatever the meaning of those words in quotes are perceived to be.

Regarding rewards, yes, they are a complicated subject. For the time being I'm going to leave a thought on the matter, that sometimes the reward lies in the activity itself, be it the function or the form. We could give dedicated writers "less like rewards, more like bonuses", things like expanded formatting options, assistance/priority in joint work with members of other subforums (for example for commisioning a cover for your fanfic), etc.
Solovino / Venia Silente's Activity
Works
Fics
Elusive Goals | Sixth | Playfield
RP
Silent @ We Are All Pokémon Trainers
Articles
Nidoran Line, Lileep Line, Latii and others @ Project PEFE
My Claims
All pending revision

OTHER STUFF
Banner: “Playfield” by Hydro_King@Serebii.
Pokéteca Librarian — Researcher for The Pokédex Extended Fanon Edition
  #19    
Old December 2nd, 2013, 10:24 PM
Nolafus's Avatar
Nolafus
Aspiring Writer, or something...
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Lost in thought... again
Age: 19
Gender: Male
Nature: Calm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Solovino
It allows for everyone to be public and participant, but it also has a defined intended audience. There is such a thing as intended and peripheral audiences, and I think if this feeling about the section is shared by enough members of the community we should then start taking steps towards making new writers primary audience. Right now, I don't see anything in the section specially geared or inviting towards new writers - it's, for the most part, "writing and discussion about writing" without any extra qualification.
I'm not sure how we can gear towards new writers. The only thing I can think of right now is making some threads that ask new writer-friendly questions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Solovino
Sorry, I tend to digress like that. I was intending to mean less "everyone is / should be treated differently" and more "treating everyone exactly the same is intrinsically unfair / disadvantageous". That's also why I made the point that we would, hopefully, not set rules than then we have to explicitly work our way around ("less like rules, more like guidelines").
I did get rid of the 1,000 word rule, and the rest of the rules are just basic ones. So, I think we're good here. I'm not sure how the current rules are hindering different writers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Solovino
Dunno if this has ever been talked about but allowing indeterminate necroing time for posting comments / reviews on a fic should be allowed. It recovers an avenue of approach to existing works that really has no reason for it being closed, and if accompanied by other management measures it loses us nothing.
Slow down, it's been way too long of a day for me to be reading those big words. Although, from context clues, I'm guessing that you're talking about having an unlimited time for bumping old threads. This has been discussed before. In fact, the previous discussion is what prompted me to bump up the month bumping rule to two months in the main section, but it's still one month for the writer's lounge. This is to prevent somebody to spend a lot of their time on an abandoned story. The month bumping rule is a forum-wide rule, so there's not much I can do there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Solovino
Related to the above, separating the fic itself from the comments / reviews, for example having a thread for the work and a thread for comments, perhaps in a separate "Comments and Reviews" subsection.
Makes indexing and management easier for the authors (which in turns makes reading easier for audiences), and removes most of the incentive for thread bumping abuses.
It's just simpler, for now, to post comments in the same thread. I know what you're saying, but we just don't have that here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Solovino
Finding people who have experience with reviewing, betaing or consulting on fanfics and, ideally, the time to pass those skills and abilities down. The universe of reviewers is very small compared to that of writers, let alone of readers, but I feel part of that is a matter of perception from potential reviewers.
We want people to come here without fear, then accounting for carrot-and-stick that means we should design for the people who second-guess themselves on their comments because they think they're going to get banned or punished for "trivial" or "non-constructive" reviews, whatever the meaning of those words in quotes are perceived to be.
As far as extensive reviews go, that's why I stickied my reviewing guide. It was meant to prompt people to give reviewing a go. Nobody posts comments because they're afraid that their comment is going to get deleted. It's a stigma that's been around forever, but I only have one rule when it comes to comments. If I can copy and paste it into any story and it still makes sense, it gets deleted. If there's something that ties the comment down to the story, it stays.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Solovino
Regarding rewards, yes, they are a complicated subject. For the time being I'm going to leave a thought on the matter, that sometimes the reward lies in the activity itself, be it the function or the form. We could give dedicated writers "less like rewards, more like bonuses", things like expanded formatting options, assistance/priority in joint work with members of other subforums (for example for commisioning a cover for your fanfic), etc.
I was arguing that reviewing is a rewarding thing all throughout this thread, but people seemed pretty adamant that they wanted a better reward. I haven't thought of one past a basic emblem. We don't do a lot of group projects around here, which is a bit of a shame. I don't have the time right now to organize those, but it's definitely an idea for the future.
Proud Moderator of Fan Fiction and Writing
PC SisterPair
Previously, Slayr231
Post Reply
Quick Reply

Sponsored Links


Advertise here
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Minimum Characters Per Post: 25



All times are UTC -8. The time now is 05:59 AM.

About Us
© 2002 - 2014 The PokéCommunity™, pokecommunity.com. Pokémon characters and images belong to The Pokémon Company International and Nintendo. This website is in no way affiliated with or endorsed by Nintendo, Creatures, GAMEFREAK, The Pokémon Company or The Pokémon Company International. We just love Pokémon.

Copyright
All forum styles, their images (unless noted otherwise) and site designs are © 2002 - 2014 The PokéCommunity / PokéCommunity.com. PokéCommunity™ is a trademark of The PokéCommunity. All rights reserved. Sponsor advertisements do not imply our endorsement of that product or service. User generated content remains the property of its creator. Header artwork by Jordanice of deviantART.

Social Media
If you would like to stay up-to-date with us on the go, when we're down, or other such things, follow us on social media sites--most notibly Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus--by clicking on the links provided.

Design presented by Peitharchia. Special thanks to Hiroshi Sotomura and Ausaudriel.