1. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    2014 Writing Workshop

    Discussion in 'Announcements' started by Wreybies, Dec 31, 2013.

    In the few months since I returned as a mod, I have been admittedly lax in regards to the posting policies of the Writing Workshop. This is not from lassitude, but from a combination of three factors.
    • New material entering the Workshop had slowed to a near dead stop. Given that the Workshop is the very core of the forum, this needed remedy.
    • There was a situation with aggressive behavior throughout the forum that has now been, more or less, addressed with the creation of the Debate Room. I felt that allowing material to enter the Workshop with greater ease might redirect members back to the forum's Venue and away from threads turned into traffic accidents.
    • There's only so much a fellah' can do. Stuff that has to be done manually is never going to be 100%. Minstrel and I have paying jobs, spouses, pets, lives, etc.
    With the new year the Mod Team will be having some new additions come aboard that have been in the works for a while now. This will allow greater flexibility for all the mods, greater coverage for the forum, and an easier and more consistent application of the forum rules.


    As regards the Workshop, what you may not have seen enforced overmuch, and what will now return to full vigor, is as follows:
    • Other than the initial two critiques one must make prior to the posting of one's first thread in the Workshop, every subsequent posting of new material also requires 2 critiques. The deal has ever and always been a 2 for 1 minimum. Please don't confuse this with posting a revised version of an item within an existing thread. That's not new material for accounting purposes, and does not require 2 new critiques.
    • Now that I've mentioned it, if you post a revised version of something already in the Workshop, post it within the SAME THREAD as the prior. DO NOT start a new thread. Doing so causes confusion over what is and what is not to be critiqued.
    • If you're the OP, try and refrain from chit-chat posts not related to the actual critique in your own thread because many people overlook threads with many posts when they search for one to critique, under the impression that there can't be much more to say with all those posts. Don't rob yourself of valuable insight, take your conversation to PM or up into the other parts of the forum.
    • As always, refrain from taking the conversation to a critic to critic level. This breeds debate, which many members will avoid for not wanting to get embroiled, and also causes the same aforementioned profusion of posts that make new critics look elsewhere, doubly robbing the OP of valuable consideration for their piece.
    Please know that none of this is meant in the spirit of remonstration but is instead meant to keep the great rhythm and flow that the Workshop has reestablished. I'm seeing great critique happen and great conversation at deeper levels of the writing than the forum ever had in the past when critiques didn't often go deeper than a SPaG check. What I see now speaks to me of a bright and vibrant community of aspiring writers. I'm in love with it! I want to keep the momentum going for a greater, bigger, better 2014! :)

    Wrey
     
  2. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Just wondering if the number of critiques one gives is cumulative or do the two need to be two new critiques after each workshop submission?

    And where can we see our 'critiques given' count if anywhere?
     
  3. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Cumulative. If you give 10 good critiques in a row, you can post 5 new pieces in a row, far as I'm concerned. Sometimes people get into a mood where they're just in the zone to give critique. That is something that should be fostered and appreciated. I don't want to stymie anyone's momentum after the first 2, thinking the rest somehow don't count. ;)

    Unfortunately, there is nowhere that the critiques themselves are catalogued. We have to go through all your posts manually, hence my mention that there's only so much a fellah' can do. :)
     
  4. Thomas Kitchen
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    Thomas Kitchen Proofreader in the Making Contributor

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    Thanks for letting us all know. I look forward to seeing some fresh stuff to review in the new year. :)
     
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  5. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    So do I! :D
     
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  6. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Yes, checking critiques for constructiveness has always been labor intensive, and when the search tools of vBulletin became unreliable, checking older critiques became next to impossible. Hopefully with the new forum software, it is again practical. Naturally, if you post "This is great! Let's see more of it." responses, you can expect to find yourself under closer scrutiny. Likewise if you indulge in chit-chat or debate in the critique threads.

    So it's to your benefit to stay on topic with well-thought critiques. The mods have a pretty good notion of who is putting in a good effort and who is trying to slide by with just enough to post their writing.

    Besides, if you use the Workshop as it is intended, the writing you post will be that much better to begin with. As a means of improving your writing, it really does work.

    Support your local mods! :)
     
  7. rhduke
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    rhduke Contributing Member Reviewer

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    I just wanted to mention the "Flash Fiction" section. If this isn't relevant here.. then I'll move the discussion.

    I think FF is generally supposed to be like 1000 words or less and a full short story is 1000 or more, which would categorize most stories posted here under FF (which makes the genre kind of pointless). It seems to me, most people try to keep their stories under 1000 words because it makes it easier for others to critique and therefore get more comments. Not only that, I think writers would rather place their story in an actual genre like Sci-fi or Fantasy rather than sticking it in FF.

    That's probably why FF section is empty right now, and why I think we should remove it. The other genres added this year I think are great and will grow eventually.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2014
  8. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Flash fiction isn't really a genre, but it does have unique characteristics that can affect the critique. The nature of the format does mean it is probable that the entire piece of writing is presented. Even a short story may be long enough that only an excerpt would be presented.

    But the brevity of flash fiction makes it approach poetry in the necessity of making every word count. There is rarely room for character development or growth. The story has to get straight to the point, so any deviations from it should be pointed out.

    Flash is an excellent exercise for developing focus and writing concisely and economically. I think the section is worth retaining, and I'm not usually one to recommend more sections.
     
  9. rhduke
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    rhduke Contributing Member Reviewer

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    i agree, its more focused and intimate to the reader. i like writting ff myself but im just saying i would rather put my story into an acual genre so readers know what to expect from it. i dont have anything against the type of story, just that the section feels impractical. perhaps im wrong and the sec only needs more time
     

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