1. popsicledeath
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    popsicledeath Banned

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    Short Story Discussion Group

    Discussion in 'Support & Feedback' started by popsicledeath, May 26, 2011.

    I noticed there was a reading discussion group, then I noticed it seemed to be for novels. I find short stories infinitely (yes, infinitely, I've done the mathing) more helpful, as in theory you have a single definite story arc in an easily dissectable form. I find the discussions on novels usually remain fairly generic, and generalized, as it's hard to get down and dirty within so much space. In a short story, though, it's easier to see how elements of story telling are working, why, where, etc, to better make sense of craft and story telling elements. Larger works are great for discussion groups as readers, but for discussion groups as writers I find short stories more feasible.

    Has there been one in the past that didn't work? If not, any interest in a reading group for short stories? We could pick an anthology to read from, or there are tons of stories online, which would have the added benefit of helping generate a bit more traffic to online journals. As well, there are a lot of widely anthologized stories increasingly available (legitimately) online.

    I'd volunteer to help lead things once in a while, or suggest stories, or whatever.
     
  2. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    I'm down for discussing short stories. Novels are a little impractical betweenreading for study and work, so short stories would be pretty cool.
     
  3. popsicledeath
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    popsicledeath Banned

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    Yeah, that's what I've found too. A lot of time invested and usually trying to rush to get done, or just not finished, and then having too much material to really handle fully in a discussion.

    Most groups discuss novels. Thankfully I've found one group locally that is basically a group of 4-6 writers and we read-discuss a short story every other week for an hour and a half (or two hours, standing in the parking lot after the library has closed, lol), and it's been the best writing group I've had, despite just being a 'reading group for writers.'
     
  4. dizzyspell
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    dizzyspell Active Member

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    I think that's a great idea. I'd definitely be into it.
     
  5. Trish
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    Trish I've been deleted.. again Contributor

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    I'm up for it. If it'll help me learn, I'm in :D
     
  6. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    For the book club, we usually read novels, although short story collections are encouraged as well. But discussing individual short stories sounds like a good idea.

    We can set this up in the same way as the book club. People nominate stories, and then we vote to see which one we read and discuss. I'm sure we should be able to read a few stories a month.
     
  7. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    Yeah, I mean, as long as we keep the stories below the 5k mark, it shouldn't be hard for most people to get through one a fortnight or something, with time for some analysis and stuff.
     
  8. Trish
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    Trish I've been deleted.. again Contributor

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    Certainly not for me. I can read a couple of books in that time, but I don't have time constraints like you guys. So I'll read whatever :)
     
  9. popsicledeath
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    popsicledeath Banned

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    Great idea, thanks for the insider perspective. Do you have a thread/poll where people vote on which book you guys read? Couldn't find one and wanted to see how nominations/votes worked on the forums.

    Would be great to ensure diversity and encourage people to get out there looking and reading on their own to find stuff they're interested in discussing, instead of just one person suggesting their favorites over and over.
     
  10. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    A new one is created every month, assuming there are enough different suggestions and participants, otherwise it's decided without a poll. You could open a new thread in the Book Discussion forum and gather a range of suggestions, then open a poll based on those.
     
  11. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    Sounds like a great idea. If someone can set it up, then go for it.

    The only issue I can see is availability. You'd have to make sure that the short stories are widely available, so that people can get hold of them to read.
     
  12. popsicledeath
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    popsicledeath Banned

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    There are tons of stories available online of varying quality levels and subjects/themes/genres. I've found a lot of great stories re-printed on sites (legally) and there are plenty of good journals that offer stories online for free. So that's an option, though it takes leg work to root them out (the hope being individual members seek out stories they want to read, personally, and see analysis of, which gets them reading and scouring the wealth of amazing journals that are out there for short stories that a lot of people don't even know about, choosing to go instead for novels or popular collections).

    Free is important, I've found, to keep diversity and interest up. I've had local groups where we usually just buy the 'best of' or 'prize' anthologies, as they're are always good to read the 'best' fiction out there, but that requires people usually having to buy the anthology since there are limited supplies in libraries and friends don't usually have copies laying around.

    Same too for short story collections, as often only the most popular are available in libraries, and then you're 'stuck' with a collection all by the same author, which can be a drawback that limits diversity.
     
  13. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    There are several old threads in Book Discussion where people vote and suggest books to read, so you can look through those. I currently have it set up so that people suggest a book or two, and when I get around 10 or so total suggestions, I set up a poll and let people vote.
     
  14. popsicledeath
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    popsicledeath Banned

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    Yeah, found them, not sure how I missed them the first time. My vacation is obviously on brain, eh.
     
  15. Gannon
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    Gannon Contributing Member Contributor

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    As we permit near anything in the book discusssion group we can just add whatever short stories are suggested to those polls. I'd rather not have two discussion groups as participation is slow with one group. With two groups I feel members' attention would be divided. So, if it's a part of the existing group I'd be very happy participating. Get suggesting as per thirdwind's advice.
     
  16. Trish
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    Trish I've been deleted.. again Contributor

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    While I don't particularly have time constraints, most of the people who have shown an interest in a short story only group DO have time constraints and/or are simply not interested in discussing full-text as that would spread them to thin.

    Combining the two won't increase participation in discussion for full-length texts, it will just have the people who can only read for the short story group not participating during the time that a full-length text has been voted. I don't personally see how this will be helpful. I don't think the goal is to exclude anyone, I think the goal is to give options.
     
  17. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Please limit it to stories that can be located via google by title and author. The policy regarding offsite links remains in effect,
     
  18. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    Where did it go?
     
  19. Trish
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    Trish I've been deleted.. again Contributor

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    That's what I was wondering. Wasn't it stickied? We could've deleted the links....
     
  20. popsicledeath
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    popsicledeath Banned

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    Who knows where the thread went. Yet another thread simply deleted without the first explanation as to why, or IF it even broke any rules. As far as I could tell, all the links were fully allowable under site rules, as we specifically, with a moderator in this very thread, discussed the entire thing. Seems things changed around the time Cogito posted his response here, so I guess we should assume he found an issue with the ENTIRE thread, such that it needed deletion, instead of moderation if there were inappropriate links?
     
  21. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    It was removed because it was too full of links to waste my time removving the links. As I indicated three posts above, the site's links policy remains in fuill effect.

    Attention, please, regarding offsite links

    Also, the sticking of the thread is not authorized.
     
  22. popsicledeath
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    popsicledeath Banned

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    So, should I just assume any response I post will just get deleted at this point?

    I really would like to make sense of why outside links to texts in the other reading group didn't seem to be a problem, having existed there for weeks/months, but suddenly it is a problem now despite the links not exactly being youtube/video spam or 'go check this out' sort of links (which we all agree need limited).

    I'd also like some clarification, because on the one hand it says no outside links, but then on the other hand in that very rules description it says when some outside links are allowable, and I've seen plenty of threads with members linking to outside sites and it not only being allowed, but seeming encouraged by moderators.

    It seems there's subjective selection of which links are allowed, and when, and it doesn't make sense, especially when nobody is spamming to their personal site, or mindless videos, by trying to build a reader group, a learning tool, to bring to the forums, much like the other reading group that already exists.

    Is that the issue? That there's another reading group and they don't want the perceived competition? Is it just that we can have a short story reading group, even of stories posted online, we just can't link to those stories?

    It would be nice if those who help run the site would work with us on this, instead of just deleting threads and posts leaving people to wonder what exactly the problem is, especially since links was sort of cited as the issue, but there are plenty of other similar links in other threads, even to texts in the other reading group threads where it didn't seem to be an issue.

    Why is it an issue now, and is there no way the mods can help actually work around the issue to help bring a feature to the forums? Or is it just that you don't want this sort of group on the forums for some reason?
     
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  23. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    This makes no sense to me. IMO a short story discussion group is just as important as the book club, so I don't see why it shouldn't be stickied.
     
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  24. Trish
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    Trish I've been deleted.. again Contributor

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    I have to say I'm at a bit of a loss here too. Like pops, I see outside links all the time that manage to not be deleted. I'm not quite clear on what exactly the issue is. We just want to read short stories and talk about them without having to be in the middle of a book club where we might also have to read poems and/or full texts. Not that there's anything wrong with those, it's just not what we want to do. Why, exactly, is this a problem?

    (And from what I remember there were 9 links. 5 in one post, 3 in another, 1 in one more. The first 8 took you directly to a short story for consideration and the last one to a short story site. I guess I can understand the last one? I do not understand the first 8 being deleted. They didn't break any of the rules that I can see. They weren't advertising, you couldn't buy anything there, there were no videos. Even if they had though, it hardly seems worth deleting an entire, valuable, member WANTED thread geared towards learning more about the craft of writing.) Oh... yeah (IMO).
     
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  25. Eunoia
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    Eunoia Contributing Member Contributor

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    I understand why my link was against rules, though I have to be honest the whole posting links thing is rather confusing about what is allowed and what isn't for reasons others have mentioned.

    It would be great if another thread for a short story reading group could be created because I don't see any reason why there shouldn't be. Yes, there's already a book club but for people who don't have time, or can't get hold of novels, the short story reading group would be better. And I really enjoy short stories so discussing them and learning more from them would be really valuable.
     

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