?

Cast your vote:

  1. Yes: Split threads for each entered story

    6 vote(s)
    20.7%
  2. Yes: Unified thread for ciritques

    4 vote(s)
    13.8%
  3. No

    16 vote(s)
    55.2%
  4. Other - Please Specify Bellow

    3 vote(s)
    10.3%
  1. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    Critiques in the Short Story contest? Cast your vote!

    Discussion in 'Bi-Weekly Short Story Contest Archives' started by Lemex, Jun 23, 2013.

    It has been suggested in this thread:

    http://www.writingforums.org/showthread.php?t=62680

    To have critiques allowed in the short story contest. I have split up the different ways of doing this as I can see into different versions of the affirmative 'Yes' choice. Naturally I will consider, however, that all Yes type votes will fall under a blanket affirmative and count those against the No. So, is this something we want as a community. Cast your vote here!
     
  2. Mithrandir
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    Mithrandir Contributing Member

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    deleted
     
  3. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I'm neutral so I voted "other".
     
  4. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm not entirely clear on the option of "Unified thread for critiques." Does that mean a single thread for critiquing all entries to a story? That would be an unwieldy nightmare, so I'm guessing that's not what is intended. What does that mean?

    I guess when I say here "I'm not entirely clear" I mean "I don't understand at all." ;-)
     
  5. blackstar21595
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    blackstar21595 Contributing Member

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    Yes but only if the poster has met the requirements of the site.
     
  6. killbill
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    killbill Contributing Member

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    I have voted "no" because I want the SS Contest to remain a contest. If there are critiques for the entries before the voting close it will certainly lead to bias voting.

    If the standard of critiques are high then may be it'll lead to the best story winning, and all is well, even though I still would object because it is against the spirit of competition.

    But, what about critiques which sounds very much like they know what they are saying, but actually they are very poor critiques. And we all know many newbies have a tendency of agreeing with any critique which sounds authoritative. They will abandon their own instincts and may vote for the wrong story.

    So, if SSC is still a competition then let all its eligible voters vote without any bias. Otherwise, we might have to change the eligibility standard of the voters: limiting the voters to those who won't be influence by any critique.

    Another argument I read in the link in the OP is that the critiques will be short and won't be detailed critiques. Well, how will you guarantee that, and even if it kept short and sweet, what will be that of use to the writer or anybody else.

    So, my vote is a definite "NO".

    Edit: But I would definitely like to hear why the voters voted the way they did after the contest is over. So, may be there should be some sort of system where a voter has to (compulsorily) leave a comment immediately after voting and all the comments will be make visible only after the winner is announced. This will also prevent cheating or voting without reading the stories, because people know as soon as the winner is announce their names are going to appear along with the reasons for voting the way they voted.
     
  7. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    It's pretty much what you thought here. And while I am not going to pass judgement on it, but that was the other way I thought this could work and included it. The 'Other' was mostly to cover other ideas not there included.
     
  8. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    No to critique threads in the Writing Workshop for the winners. See my other post on the subject.

    No to critiques in the contest space, unless that is only after the voting is closed. Drawing extra attention to a piece will influence the contest outcome. No comments should be permitted at all on the site to draw attention to a particular entry. Even pists urging people to vote should only be posted by people who are not entered into the contest.
     
  9. Pheonix
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    Pheonix A Singer of Space Operas and The Fourth Mod of RP Staff Contributor

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    I like how it is now... if the person wants to post it in the workshop after the contest, they can and it's no problem.

    I voted no.
     
  10. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    I should put, I have voted 'No' too.
     
  11. JJ_Maxx
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    JJ_Maxx Banned

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    I voted 'No.'

    This is a writing contest, not a story concept contest. In the contest, you not only have to have a great story idea, but you have to be able to write it eloquently and well in order to win.

    Plus, just post it in the workshop when the contest is over. Easy enough.
     
  12. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    I wouldn't mind comments but not critiques. Plus you'd get a lot of - I would've voted for you if you hadn't so many typos,
    which would be frustrating.
     
  13. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    I voted no. I think the contest should remain a contest. Anybody who wants a critique can post the story again in the workshop. (Can't they?)

    I would be in favour of:

    1) anonymous submissions (if that wouldn't drive the moderators insane)

    2) each voter asked for a short (couple of sentences) reason to explain why they chose a particular story. A compilation of the reasons given for the winning entry would make interesting reading after the contest is over.
     
  14. phils
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    phils New Member

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    As a newbie I lack the insight into the proceedings so far but from what I learned reading in this thread I wholeheartedly agree with jannert.
     
  15. AVCortez
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    AVCortez Active Member

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    I voted other - people should have the option of asking for critique in the same thread as the short story contest - though penalties should be great for people who critique people who do not request it - the stuff I submite to the contest I generally don't really want feedback on. I try to write outside my usual style, and just have fun.

    On a side note - which goes into the comp? the original or the critiqued and refined? Seems like an unfair advantage to those who receive critique. I'm almost inclined to say keep it pure.
     
  16. DefinitelyMaybe
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    DefinitelyMaybe Contributing Member Contributor

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    I agree that there should be no critiques in the writing contest threads. If the author would like critiques of their work, then they can repost their work in the workshop forums. Unfortunately I can't vote in the thread right now as I'm on a tablet and the poll isn't showing.
     
  17. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    The consensus is overwhelmingly against critique, which I really don't understand. In any event, I just wanted to quickly answer this question by pointing out that it wouldn't make any sense whatsoever to allow revised stories into the contest. Feedback isn't necessarily the same as critique, and even critique doesn't mean a line by line analysis, which a lot of folks here seem to like to give. Allowing feedback would have no impact whatsoever on the "purity" of the story. The story submitted would be the story in the contest. It would be strange to complicate it by allowing different versions of the story.

    I hope the changes (which as far as I can see, the only change is making the entries anonymous, which I do think is needed) solve whatever issues led to the discussion of the contest rules and set-up. SS contests are a great way to get in writing practice and to try things that are outside your comfort zone.
     
  18. AVCortez
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    AVCortez Active Member

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    The way it works at the moment I can update the store whenever I want, before it gets moved to the official voting thread - if I was given feedback during the week or of the contest, I could update it for the better, and nobody would be the wiser. It is unfair because one story might get three reviews while another gets none. How is that fair on the person who recieves no feedback, and no ways to improve his/her story?

    Keep feedback out! There is nothing stopping anyone taking their story to the workshop after the competition; why change that? There is absolutely no reason to.
     
  19. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    It doesn't appear that feedback will be added so you don't need to be upset. However, as I understand it, the stories are being changed to an anonymous format. I don't see how one could change the story that way.

    Odd that your argument is against feedback, yet one of your reasons is that you fear here may not be enough.

    Even with feedback one could still post to the workshop after revising. (Or not revising). For me, the idea of posting to a vacuum isn't satisfying and I wouldn't bother. Also there would be no comments as to whether the story stuck to the parameters of that weeks theme, or was particularly clever in doing so, etc., which ultimately isn't that important, but can still be nice. Also, you don't really get a sense of whether people really liked your story -- even if it wins, it could just mean it was the least bad entry. Winning is nice but it alone doesn't really tell you that much.

    Again, it seems like the only change is that the story submissions are becoming anonymous, so the contest will mostly be run the way it always has. You seem to like it, as do many others. So carry on and continue to have fun with them.
     
  20. AVCortez
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    AVCortez Active Member

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    I think I got a little mixed up: I do not think review should be permitted on stories before entries to the contest close.

    Once it goes up for voting then that is fine.

    EDIT: Definitely need something to get people more interested in actually reading the pieces submitted (perhaps lowering the word limit, or entrants, or something). Exhibit A: the current poll has about 5 days left, and only has 7 votes spread across the board - there are (I think) 13 entrants in the contest.

    The people entering aren't even reading them... A bit rich for me to complain, as I haven't read them or voted either, but in my defence: I have been busy with family and life stuff.
     
  21. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    You bring up a point that I'm not sure was specifically laid out for consideration. For starters, I think that if you want comments, each story should have its own subthread, to keep the comments together with the story and to enable somewhat of a back and forth or conversation between commenters, plus it keeps the comments all in one place and it's easy to find the story again. Maybe the threads could be closed/locked before voting ends, and then unlocked after voting ends.

    I still don't see why a commenter or voter should be swayed by other comments with which they disagree, so I don't see the problem even with commenting before voting ends. But, opening up the stories to comments after voting closes is another scenario that you all could consider, if enough people so desire.
     
  22. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    They need to make the competitions more interesting by offering a prize, that being an obnoxious sig on the winner's posts, highlighted in neon, which says "this person has won n writing contests."
     
  23. AVCortez
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    AVCortez Active Member

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    Haha, or like over at conceptart.org - they have a trophy system for people who have won weekly challenges.

    I'll use us as an example because my grammar has been failing me lately so I don't think I'm making my point properly.

    You and I both enter the contest, we are the only entrants and we pretty much write at the same level as far as spelling and grammar are concerned.

    Before voting, 7 people give me critique on my story - you missed a full stop here - this sentence could flow a bit better - I don't like the twist at the end - your supporting characters don't ring true. It goes on and on until my story is as good as it's going to be.

    Your story has similar problems (it turns out), but nobody (for whatever reason) decided to read and comment on it.

    I make the adjustments and it goes to the polls and in effect my story is the collective effort of 8 peoples ideas and eyes, while yours is one. Which is unfair, but I win.

    Not only because my story was more refined, but because the people who commented and involved themselves in my story are more inclined to vote for me especially if I made the changes they suggested because they will feel as though they contributed to a winning story.

    If it was restricted to basic comments like "this is cool" then what's the point? Negative feedback without construction is even more pointless, and very disheartening to new writers.

    As it stands, after voting, you can take your story to the workshop, or anywhere else for feedback - what's the point of adding new forums or threads?

    True, but it ties in - if a commenting system was generated that could increase activity in the voting phase of the short story comp; I'm all for it.
     
  24. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    As shocking as it may sound, some people, like myself, actually CAN be persuaded by other's comments.
     
  25. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hence my qualifier of "with which they disagree." I sometimes see comments that give me food for thought. Sometimes I agree and sometimes I don't. If I don't agree with them, then it doesn't really affect me. If I were voting in a contest, and a story had numerous negative comments with which I disagreed, and I really liked the story, I'd still vote for it if I thought it was the best story. If a story that I didn't like at all and felt had major problems, I wouldn't vote for it even if everyone else did. There's nothing wrong with being persuaded by the comments of others -- that's part of what this site is all about. Ruminating about comments is a good thing. But feeling cowed and overwhelmed by the comments of others and deciding to vote based on what others think, even if that is contrary to one's own thoughts strikes me as unreasonable, irrational, and unhelpful.

    It really just doesn't make sense to me to disregard one's own feelings about a story in a contest. We're all readers here. We can all have valid impressions of a piece of writing. Even renowned, classical works have detractors. This is not a high stakes contest. No one's winning a million dollars or losing a contract. It's a small contest on a writing site.
     

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