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Author Topic: I Want To Pick The Theme!  (Read 23399 times)

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Offline Red Right Hand

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Re: I Want To Pick The Theme!
« Reply #90 on: December 21, 2015, 10:16:38 PM »
Random word count locked in for Jan/Feb...

PM going out to randomly selected volunteer to start dreaming up a theme.
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Offline Red Right Hand

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Re: I Want To Pick The Theme!
« Reply #91 on: December 22, 2015, 02:26:38 PM »
First nominee replied and is a go.
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Offline Red Right Hand

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Re: I Want To Pick The Theme!
« Reply #92 on: December 31, 2015, 10:37:24 PM »
To date:

The March/April 2015 Story Contest criteria:
     1)   A Word Count Limit of 3,500 words or less
     2)   A theme of Abduction/Underworld/Betrayal chosen by RC Member, EssenceofRed

The May/June 2015 Story Contest criteria:
     1)   A Word Count Limit of 4,200 words or less
     2)   A theme of Implements/Improvisation/Impersonal chosen by RC Member, Red Right Hand

The July/August 2015 Story Contest criteria:
     1)   A Word Count Limit of 4,500 words or less
     2)   A theme of Vote/Arrest/Knowledge chosen by RC Member, kittyumbrass

The September/October 2015 Story Contest criteria:
     1)   A Word Count Limit of 3,000 words or less
     2)   A theme of Elsewhen/Hierarchy/Entitlement chosen by RC Member, lysyn

The November/December 2015 Story Contest criteria:
     1)   A Word Count Limit of 4,500 words or less
     2)   A theme of Foul Spirit/Family Gathering/Father Christmas chosen by RC Member, FrodoKreuger

The January/February 2016 Story Contest criteria:
     1)   A Word Count Limit of 1,750 words or less
     2)   A theme of Apocalyptic/Captured/Inhuman chosen by RC Member, flash713



Our list of volunteers to randomize from:
  • lysyn
  • kittyumbrass
  • EssenceofRed
  • LiskaHunter
  • Tragedy
  • Rosary
  • Cannonball
  • BlackKnight
  • death2uall
  • Avendia
  • Punpun
  • melodyforever
  • FrodoKreuger not eligible until May/June, 2016
  • flash713 not eligible until July/August, 2016
Any new volunteers will be added as the next eligible position at the bottom of the list. I will remain as the fail-safe in case the randomly selected individual does not deliver a theme. If you are chosen, then you become ineligible for the following two contest cycles.


Our list of Word Count Limit choices to be randomized:
  • 3,000
  • 2,000
  • 3,500
  • 5,000
  • 2,500
  • 4,000
  • 6,000
  • 4,500 not eligible until May/June, 2016
  • 1,750 not eligible until July/August, 2016
Just as with the theme volunteers, the random selection of a Word Count Limit will invalidate that choice from eligibility for two successive rounds and drop it to last place on the list. When it comes back in play it will move to slot 1 and push all choices down a place...


Still accepting members to volunteer for the random drawing to determine the theme. Simply post your willingness below or send me a PM.

If you want to be removed from the list of volunteers, PM me or post below.
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Offline Red Right Hand

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Re: I Want To Pick The Theme!
« Reply #93 on: January 13, 2016, 01:14:32 PM »
The lists have grown so much longer than when we started... I'm going to move to exempting a selected member or word count from eligibility for 3 cycles or 6 months. This change will take place effective before the next cycle opens (March/April 2016). Is this a good idea or not?


Shall we try including 1,200, 7,000 and 8,500 words? 8,500 is a lot of words in 30 days and not everyone has that kind of time... Especially if they are actively RPing. I wouldn't ever want to go higher than 8,500 and it may be pushing the envelope.


Would we like a minimum as well? I.E.:
  • 1,200 - 1,500
  • 1,500 - 1,750
  • 1,750 - 2,000
  • 2,250 - 2,500
  • 2,600 - 3,000
  • 3,100 - 3,500
  • 3,500 - 4,000
  • 4,000 - 4,500
  • 4,500 - 5,000
  • 5,250 - 6,000
  • 6,000 - 7,000
  • 7,000 - 8,500

Or is a minimum too off putting?


Currently the tolerance is 10% on the max word count.... So if the limit is 3,000 up to 3,300 is acceptable. That same 10% could apply to under. So 2,600 - 3,000 effectively becomes 2,340 - 3,300.

Do we want a tolerance or a strict enforcement? Records indicate one author went over by 12 words on a 4,500 word limit. Myself I've hit target exactly but struggled mightily that cycle to not go over.

Tolerance: yea or nay? 10% or 5%?


Seriously I'd like feedback. Not only from authors. I feel readers have a stake in this too. If we aren't pleasing readers there goes most of the point of the thing.
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Offline kittyumbrass

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Re: I Want To Pick The Theme!
« Reply #94 on: January 13, 2016, 06:42:06 PM »
Argh! a lower limit would really mess me up, I'd stress so much about that, I wouldn't dare to write anything (or else, fill it with padding just to be sure!)

I'm pretty sure at least 3 of my entries would have failed on that system.

Offline LiskaHunter

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Re: I Want To Pick The Theme!
« Reply #95 on: January 13, 2016, 06:48:43 PM »
I agree with [member=170]kittyumbrass[/member].  A Lower Limit, in my own humble opinion, creates artificial restrictions that would stifle creativity. An upper limit, sure, which is part of the challenge. I don't necessarily like the fluctuating limit, but I see the point of it to provide an interesting challenge when combined with the three-element requirement. 10% over the limit seems reasonable, but I really don't mind having it a hard-limit. After all, clever use of words enhance a story ("mansion" vice "really big, expensive house"..."carmine" vice "that shade of red that blood is").

Meh. Just my two cents.
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Offline cumgetme

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Re: I Want To Pick The Theme!
« Reply #96 on: January 13, 2016, 09:56:22 PM »
As far as my opinion goes...as a writer the 1750 was just right for me. Anything too much lower and I would have been in trouble. If I'm to write a story with a decent plot that has all the good stuff and ends appropriately without a rush towards the end, I need at least 1500 minimum. That's just me though. With my paid writing for the articles I do, I'm OK with 500-1,000 limits. For my stories, though, to have a nice build up in the beginning, a good action section and then a really good close, that doesn't work for me. Of course, my opinion. I'll ALWAYS try to write within any limit because, well I'm a writer :D I like a challenge. So there's my two cents.


As a reader? Hahaha...I rather enjoy having to stop what I'm doing to scroll down a bit further  :girlwank:
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Offline Alexander

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Re: I Want To Pick The Theme!
« Reply #97 on: January 14, 2016, 04:33:11 AM »
While I haven't taken part in this contest yet Im always interested in the topics and reading the entries.


My thoughts as a reader are this. The 1750 limit was a good base this time around. I am time poor and being able to read all the entries in a short time once in a while is a bonus. Anything over about 5000 and the story really needs to grip my attention or Im going to back to around half way. And yeah. As a number of people mentioned this time around, a lower word count sets challenges of its own. The writer needs to be highly focussed and very clear about the story line - no room for wandering or waffling. Nice and tight, like some other things that are appreciated on this site.  >:) :D


The other facet as a reader is I'd prefer to have five or six shorter stories than three long ones because other prospective writers struggled in the timeframe to get their stories finished. So yeah. A lower upper limit might encourage more entries on a consistent basis.


As a writer, Id prefer a mid sized target simply because of the time thing again. One day when the stars align, Ill write something - those stars being a topic I like and a word count that suits.


Finally, I like the set up as it is. More fiddly runs the risk of making it un-necessarily over complicated. It works now - if it aint broke........
« Last Edit: January 14, 2016, 04:35:30 AM by Alexander »
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Re: I Want To Pick The Theme!
« Reply #98 on: January 14, 2016, 11:58:22 AM »
I'd never dare the longer limits if they also had a lower bound. Too much pressure. However, take it as from someone who has never done more than PLAN an entry yet!
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Re: I Want To Pick The Theme!
« Reply #99 on: January 14, 2016, 03:06:48 PM »
Yeah I think you'd get way less participation with both a word count floor AND a ceiling. Personally, I never really know exactly how long a story is gonna be until I actually write it, and some of the higher word count floors could be very daunting. Besides, a short, succinct story can be just as hot as a long one.... Beautiful, even, given the right author.

So yeah long story short I think that imposing a minimum words requirement would be creatively restrictive, and might damage the good amount of writer participation we've had thus far - and certainly keep others from trying out the contest.
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Re: I Want To Pick The Theme!
« Reply #100 on: January 14, 2016, 05:06:44 PM »
Personally, I never have any problem getting up to the word count, it's usually all about getting down to the maximum limit for me! (I need to start using the word mansion more often.) With that said, there's something about the minimum limit that I find psychologically daunting. I'm getting a little panicked just thinking about it! I don't mind the tolerance, although I do try to hold myself strictly accountable.
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Offline Red Right Hand

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Re: I Want To Pick The Theme!
« Reply #101 on: January 14, 2016, 06:43:32 PM »
Certainly the tolerance is needed if it is just a stated ceiling. Try as everyone obviously does, I don't want to turn a story back just because it's a couple words over.

10% may be too generous, especially at the upper limits. 6,000 and 6,600 are pretty far apart. Even 5% on a 1,750 limit allows up to 1,838...


I'm digging the feedback. It isn't a closed topic yet. :)
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Offline Alexander

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Re: I Want To Pick The Theme!
« Reply #102 on: January 14, 2016, 09:29:48 PM »
Maybe there's no need for a rule as such about tolerance. Just discretion. I doubt anyone is going to arch up about you using some judgement and neither if you were to return a story to some extent and ask them to trim or ad 50 or so words.

This is after all fun process and not a regulated, closely controlled international voting process open to public scrutiny. I nearly said Federal Election but I bit my tongue when suddenly the phrase "pregnant chad" rushed across my minds eye. I think even now RRH has in place a more credible process than that.  :rofl:
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Offline death2uall

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Re: I Want To Pick The Theme!
« Reply #103 on: January 15, 2016, 01:14:24 AM »
I loathe word count limits generally, so I should probably not even participate in this particular discussion, but I will add my two cents anyway because writing is quite literally my first passion: I became passionate about writing before the word had even entered my vocabulary.

If half a dozen contestants each come up with 40,000 words worth reading in a 30-day period (unlikely but possible), I will FIND the time to read those 240,000 words. If five of those six come up with 40,000 words that are not worth reading, I'll know within 2,000 words or so that I would never vote for their stories and not further waste my time. I've already stopped reading several stories that failed to interest me partway through, and it didn't stop me from voting. I won't continue to read a story that bores, disgusts, or just fails to interest me for some vague concept like "fair play." If you haven't interested me in the first couple of hundred words, you're not going to interest me later on.

As a potential contestant, I will always object to word-count limits. I don't give a damn what "professional" markets like magazines (and that is what I'm reminded of every time I see a word count limit on a contest here, no matter how "generous") do; I am not a "professional" writer. I write for my own pleasure, and I will not have my pleasure constrained by somebody else's decision.

Particularly not by a decision that seems to be controlled by the roll of a fucking die. I have already refused to compete in three of these contests specifically because of this arbitrary and random word count limit, and am likely to continue doing so.
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Offline cumgetme

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Re: I Want To Pick The Theme!
« Reply #104 on: January 15, 2016, 01:26:26 AM »
[member=64]death2uall[/member]


I cringed at your 40,000 word comment. Reminds me of NaNoWriMo. *shudders*



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