1. LordKyleOfEarth
    Offline

    LordKyleOfEarth Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2009
    Messages:
    3,249
    Likes Received:
    80
    Location:
    San Antonio, TX. USA

    A small request

    Discussion in 'Support & Feedback' started by LordKyleOfEarth, Mar 8, 2011.

    In a thread in the review forum, a point was raised that work can get completely missed when the author adds an additional excerpt, from the same overall work, to an existing thread (per the existing rules).

    Typically this happens when a thread has reached 2 or 3 pages in length (due to commentaries and revisions) and then the author decided to critique a different excerpt from the same overall work. Potential reviewers see the long list of replies and assume the work has been discussed to death and skip in in lieu of a less discussed piece of writing. Then end result is an unreviewed piece of writing and a slightly miffed author.

    I'll be the first to admit that this scenario makes up likely less than 1% of the writing in the review forums. But given that it is such a rare occurrence, could an exception be made in the rules that allows the new excerpt to be posted in a new thread?

    Maybe we could test drive it and if it results in some sort of an unseen problem revert back to a hard enforcement.
     
  2. Elgaisma
    Offline

    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2010
    Messages:
    5,337
    Likes Received:
    92
    I'm going to agree with this - my additions and rewrites have always got lost. I have tried mentioning at the top there is a rewrite. Only way round it has been to delete the original piece. My work quite often gets a number of reviews which I try to respond to so I guess people see it has had fifteen replies it doesn't need adding to.

    I have about six threads this affects. Doesn't bother me anymore but then unless I do the rewrite overnight I no longer bother posting one.
     
  3. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    One reason this approach was taken was to keep people from monopolizing the Review Room with a dozen or so separate threads from the same piece of writing.

    It's far better for the author to carefully select which excerpt he or she posts for feedback, and concentrate on that one alone. Occasionally it helps to post an additional excerpt or two that exhibit different writing challenges, but the author still runs the risk of overwhelming the readers with too many choices.

    What you call a disadvantage, we would call encouraging smart, selective posting.
     
  4. Thanshin
    Offline

    Thanshin Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2010
    Messages:
    564
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    Spain
    It would be nice to have a list of text posted for review.

    Something like:

    09/03/2011-14:27: UserA: [Link to the post with the thread name]
    09/03/2011-14:22: UserB: [Link to the post with the thread name]
    09/03/2011-13:58: UserC: [Link to the post with the thread name]

    It would allow to quickly find and reach updated review posts.

    However, that would probably require an "I'm posting this for review" checkbox somewhere, and the associated coding that:
    - Only allowed the thread creator to check it.
    - Only showed the control in the appropiate forums.
    - Only took into account the most recent such post in each thread.

    Maybe it could also be used as a way of showing that one has no right yet to post for review (as per the usual rules).

    However, I imagine that here as in most other forums, changes to the page structure are simply too much work for our beloved admins that already spend some of their free time on basic maintenance tasks for us to enjoy the site.
     
  5. Elgaisma
    Offline

    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2010
    Messages:
    5,337
    Likes Received:
    92
    Thing is my writing improves over time and these are rewrites of the same thing generally that just get lost. At the time of the original post I wouldn't have been capable of writing it a certain way. This makes the whole review process pointless to the writer as they cannot evolve their writing effectively. I write my novels fairly quickly but my writing evolves during the process and what was my best piece at one point may not be later. Not to mention over a long process it's good to get feedback more than once.

    I have several threads where I have rewritten the work say three or four months on when my work has improved. Posted it and it's ignored - it's seen as an old already reviewed post, or worse is someone comments on the original post telling you all the problems which you have fixed - now that is irritating.

    Why I have taken to deleting the original post as mentioning rewrite is further down has proven pointless. It also means those that critque don't get to see changes that their work has come about so it is not helping the critquer either. Surely the simplest method would be to post a link to the new thread at the top of the old one and then entitle the new one rewrite and date it.
     
  6. Thanshin
    Offline

    Thanshin Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2010
    Messages:
    564
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    Spain
    There are two different problems:
    - Reviews on the wrong version.
    - Unseen updates.

    The first one could be avoided by adding the link to the last version in a big bold font and coloring the entire old post in a tone of grey (leaving the text for future reference but makig it clear that it's not the valid one).

    The second one is much harder. The only solution I can think of is asking the community whether we'd mind being PMd when a piece has been reviewed and nobody has seen it.
     
  7. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Please DO NOT delete/deface posts. The thread does not exist for the sole benefit of the author. The history of a piece through the critique and revision process should be maintained for all to see and learn from.

    The Review Room is a critiquing workshop, for members to learn to critique effectively and thereby become better writers.

    If the moderators see a defaced post, they WILL restore it and warn the originator. If the member persists, he or she may be banned, particularly if the defacing is done in a "F*** You and the horse you rode in on!" attitude.

    You own the copyright on the story, but in posting it, you agree to leave it there for critiquing purposes. That is clearly stated in the site rules. The purpose of allowing members edit permission on posts is to make minor corrections or clarifications, particularly in discussion threads. It also is an underused mechanism to avoid chaining multiple sequential posts onto a thread.

    It is not fair to other participants of the workshop if you destroy the thread by removing its foundation.
     
  8. Elgaisma
    Offline

    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2010
    Messages:
    5,337
    Likes Received:
    92
    OK then won't do it again but would like better suggestions for how to handle the situation ?

    As it stands it doesn't work in favour of either author or critiquer - neither get to see the progression of the work. How can a critquer improve if they do not see the progression either ?

    Right now the situation we have isn't working very well and is certainly disheartening. It's not really improving anyone.

    Right now it is certainly stacked against the author or critquer that wants to improve and take their work to the next level.
     
  9. PurpleCandle
    Offline

    PurpleCandle Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2010
    Messages:
    165
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    NC
    Is there anything wrong with saying in your blog,

    "Hey guys I just added a second/third/forth installment to my thread titled What I Wrote. My new stuff is located on page 3 and is the fourth post down. Please review this new material please."

    Then you could title the blog "New installment in the Review Room"

    And everyone would see that and know where to go to see the new stuff.
     
  10. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Putting a highly visible link or notice to a revision later in the thread is the preferred method, e.g.:

    If that is at the top of the first post of the thread, the critiquer knows right away to skip ahead if they want to comment on the latest and greatest.

    But even if they choose to comment on the original version, it is probably worthwhile for you to read. They may have picked up on something no one else has pointed out.
     
  11. LordKyleOfEarth
    Offline

    LordKyleOfEarth Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2009
    Messages:
    3,249
    Likes Received:
    80
    Location:
    San Antonio, TX. USA
    Would it be acceptable to edit the first post, mention that a new version has been posted and then contain the original version (and older revisions) inside spoiler tags? That would keep it available for interested parties, but clearly indicate that there is a more current version, for reviewers who are less observant would otherwise miss it. Example below:

    [example]
    Fictional Tale
    By Kyle Baker

    First version:
    This is the first version.
    Second version:
    This is the second version, I didn't like it as much

    LATEST VERSION:
    This is the current version of the work. It is great, but could be better.

    [/example]
     
  12. Elgaisma
    Offline

    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2010
    Messages:
    5,337
    Likes Received:
    92
    I tried that one initially. Showing I am probably not the only one that ignores intial introducing the work paragraphs until after I have reviewed. Given as several have mentioned they didn't see the new draft until after reviewing the old one and will get to it later - then naturally they forget. I am a relatively intelligent being but I have done the same thing with other people's threads.

    LordKyleEarth's spoiler tags might work, but doesn't bump up the thread - would it be acceptable to then add a post at the bottom stating there is a new one at the top. Just mentioning even in red has proved ineffective.

    This affects only the writers that post revisions of which there are very few - but it should be encouraged as it gives better posts for critquers to work on - often the quality of the work to be critiqued is complained about.

    All posting revisions has done has made my threads longer and unwieldy - probably more confusing for the reader than adding a new thread.
     
  13. Reggie
    Offline

    Reggie I Like 'Em hot "N Spicy Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2010
    Messages:
    680
    Likes Received:
    22
    Location:
    USA
    This explains why I hardly post revisions anymore. :) I'm glad that I'm not involved in any administrative activites of the forums who may regulate another member or guest of the forums, because it can be overwhelmped and make a member mad about posting revisions of their work.

    I was thinking that after every 10 replies (not including the original, so the 11th reply, in that's the case), then the person can post a new thread, or must ask the moderator's permission, and then the moderator will decide on rather he or she can post a new thread of the review by PMing the member saying he/she can or not do that.
     
  14. Thanshin
    Offline

    Thanshin Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2010
    Messages:
    564
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    Spain
    That solves the problem of people not reviewing the latest version, but not the one about nobody noticing there is a new version in the first place.

    That wouldn't work for me. I start my reviews by quoting the original post, and having to delete several spoiler blocks would be quite cumbersome.


    I don't remember the reason Cogito gave me for avoiding the two
    solutions I've found:
    - Starting all threads with a link to the last version and allowing the author to add the version number to the title.
    - Creating a new thread for every version and adding links on every thread to the previous and next versions.

    However I do remember it was a good reason that did convince me, so I consider this an unsolvable problem. :)
     
  15. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Using spoiler tags is counter-productive. If you want people to SEE the notice that the version at the head of the thread is not current, use quote tags.

    There is no good reason for spoiler tags in a piece of writing to be critiqued at all. Everything you put up there should be clearly visible.

    I think you misunderstood. The link or notice goes in the initial post of the thread. It directs the critiquer to posts later in the thread.
     
  16. IfAnEchoDoesntAnswer
    Offline

    IfAnEchoDoesntAnswer Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2011
    Messages:
    98
    Likes Received:
    3
    I think he meant it doesn't solve the problem of people not opening the thread at all, because it has enough responses that they figure there's nothing left to say, and gravitate towards something with fewer posts instead.

    In the short fiction forums, I can see how the rule makes sense. But I can see how it becomes a significant problem for people in the novel forum. (I've done a few reviews, and admit I found myself skipping high-post count threads. But I haven't posted my own work yet, so don't have the experience to form a strong opinion)

    One solution might be if it's possible to make the post tile (as viewed when scanning all the posts in the forum, before opening a post) editable by the user, so that they can append {3/10/11: new revision pg 14} or {3/10/11: new excerpt pg 17} to the thread title.
     
  17. Thanshin
    Offline

    Thanshin Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2010
    Messages:
    564
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    Spain
    Yes, that's exactly what I meant.
     
  18. Elgaisma
    Offline

    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2010
    Messages:
    5,337
    Likes Received:
    92
    Trouble is people put a lot of rubbish at the top of threads I have found it counter-productive to pay attention to it before I critique. Clearly other evaluators/critiquers do as well and will skip straight to the work itself. Putting it in the same font as the rest of the story is more likely to get it read. If big and red with links is not going to work highly doubt quotes will but I will try it. Fact is the review forums are a mess because of the current policy - they are difficult to navigate and confusing as it stands. This has been shown by the number of people that post saying they can't see the good stuff.

    And not doing anyone either writer or critquer a service. They are one area of the forums the mods do not heavily frequent and haven't since the forum has grown to the size it is. This is something that can be looked at and made easier with measures that do not require admin intervention just a simple look at the rules and finding a mechanism that does work. One possible admin thing that might help is removing the post count.


    The problem is the same in both short fiction and novel forums in fact personally it's worse for me in short fiction because any later rewrites of novels I won't post because I want them published - it also discourages the author responding to the critiquer with even a thank you because that bumps up the post count, which decreases the number of other people looking at it and amount of feedback. Which is a problem if we are saying the forums are for the critiquer to learn as without evaluation/feedback of the critque by the author there is no means for a critiquer to know how effective their critique is - this is particularly valuable on the novels or where the short story is only a part of a larger one. For the author its a nuisance because asking questions of a critquer getting them to explain anything unclear is going to reduce your chances of getting the rewrite looked at.

    This problem effects at least three of my short fiction pieces. I rewrote them using the suggestions on the thread a few months later and because of a combination of my own ability increasing and the comments the pieces are very different.

    As I see it the current system is more confusing to the reader than actually posting a new thread and adding a link to both the new thread on the old one and to the old one on the new one.

    The present system is quite frankly not encouraging anyone to bother putting improved works up. Also because those improved works are not being made obvious to the critiquers it is not encouraging those evaluating the work to up their game by taking on the better pieces.

    At present the current rules are impinging on the forums ability as a workshop of writing and critiquing, because posting improved pieces is frowned on by the current system.

    Not to mention this does not affect all that many writers on the forum - a lot of the pieces will not be rewritten or the rewrite won't be posted. I am getting the point where I don't often bother.
     
  19. Thanshin
    Offline

    Thanshin Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2010
    Messages:
    564
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    Spain
    Ok, let's see if we can clarify the bigger problem and leave everything else behind for a second.

    1 - The nth review is on average less useful/interesting/whatever than the n-1th.
    2 - Because of 1, Reviewers use post count to decide what to review next.
    3 - Reposting the text doesn't reset the post count.
    4 - As the problem is pre-entering the thread, any solution that involves the first post doesn't work.

    What information does the reviewer have before entering the thread? Post count, which is automatic and thread count, which the authoir is it's not allowed to change.

    So, the problem has no solution unless one of the premises is changed. Thus:
    Choose one:
    A - Adding a new source of info to the reviewer, outside the thread.
    B - Changing the post count behaviour.
    C - Changing the thread name behaviour.
    D - Changing the reviewers behaviour.
    E - Accepting the situation as irresoluble.
     
  20. IfAnEchoDoesntAnswer
    Offline

    IfAnEchoDoesntAnswer Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2011
    Messages:
    98
    Likes Received:
    3
    Ah, good point

    But if the current system makes it difficult to get feedback on later revisions of the same excerpt (because critiquers don't open every thread on the board, but instead gravitate to the low-post-count ones), is it really achieving it's desired purpose?

    Good summation.
     

Share This Page