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-   -   Winter Contest Comment thread (http://forums.writersbeat.com/showthread.php?t=55353)

Tau 12-10-2014 09:22 AM

Winter Contest Comment thread
 
This thread is for all questions, comments, musings and anything else related to the Winter contest. :D

max crash 12-10-2014 03:15 PM

I'm in, i'll have a story soon - although I don't know what it is yet.

mean while, don't beat me - it's been a long time.

et permaneant oculi mei vigilum

sicut accipiter afflixerunt


Max

FX Lord 12-28-2014 04:17 PM

Thank you Tau, once again.

I'll come up with something sooner or later.

Good luck all...

FX Lord 12-28-2014 04:28 PM

Whoa Supergurl! What a way to throw down the gauntlet. An extremely pleasant and well written piece.

Let it now be set in stone that this is our marker for quality. Anything less than this and it most definitely won't win.

brianpatrick 12-28-2014 04:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FX Lord (Post 683146)
Whoa Supergurl! What a way to throw down the gauntlet. An extremely pleasant and well written piece.

Let it now be set in stone that this is our marker for quality. Anything less than this and it most definitely won't win.


Agreed.

Delicious story.

JMummey 12-29-2014 06:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FX Lord (Post 683146)
Whoa Supergurl! What a way to throw down the gauntlet. An extremely pleasant and well written piece.

Let it now be set in stone that this is our marker for quality. Anything less than this and it most definitely won't win.

I agree. The story was delightful and it flowed well. The ending was endearing, nostalgic and a nice surprise.

SuperGurl 12-29-2014 06:44 AM

Aw, thanks guys! I was hoping someone would comment soon. It was so hard to be the first one!

I can't wait to see what everyone else comes up with. I know we'll have some good stuff soon!

Nil 01-06-2015 07:35 PM

I've been looking at some of the past contests ... Does FX Lord ALWAYS win!?? haha I'm going to try enter if I can work up the courage before the end of Feb. Has anyone else started writing (besides SuperGurl of course)? How are they coming?

brianpatrick 01-06-2015 09:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nil (Post 683853)
I've been looking at some of the past contests ... Does FX Lord ALWAYS win!?? haha I'm going to try enter if I can work up the courage before the end of Feb. Has anyone else started writing (besides SuperGurl of course)? How are they coming?


I am 'seriously considering' a run.... I've put together a team to explore the options.

Tau 01-06-2015 09:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nil (Post 683853)
I've been looking at some of the past contests ... Does FX Lord ALWAYS win!?? haha I'm going to try enter if I can work up the courage before the end of Feb. Has anyone else started writing (besides SuperGurl of course)? How are they coming?

No, but he has been on a spree for the last few. More entries are always welcome so do enter and good luck if you do.

FX Lord 01-11-2015 12:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nil (Post 683853)
I've been looking at some of the past contests ... Does FX Lord ALWAYS win!??

Don't draw everyone's attention to that! Now everyone's going to vote against me so I don't win. Sigh.

I have an idea for a story but think it'll come out too long so I'm going to see if I can break it down to its bare bones.

brianpatrick 01-19-2015 11:58 AM

Aw crap, I posted something but didn't read the word limit before I did.

Oh well, hope y'all enjoy it anyway.

inkylinks 02-03-2015 01:08 PM

Quote:

Aw crap, I posted something but didn't read the word limit before I did.

Oh well, hope y'all enjoy it anyway.
Dang. I just read through the current entries and I must say I thought yours would be a shoe-in for the winner . . . if only it weren't for the word limit! Regardless, I love how complete the story is. I feel I know a great deal about the long lives of the characters and the circumstances that have shaped them all and ultimately led to this moment. In addition you have an insightful way of exploring the situation from many viewpoints - we feel not just the emotions of the family unit and patient, but also of the care workers and the wider atmosphere of this place. This 'completeness' is something I find very difficult to insert naturally into any kind of short story; I realise word count is a factor and I'd be interested to know what sections you might have cut out to bring it down to 2000 words.

The other two entries are also very strong. SuperGurl's piece is nicely uplifting and I particularly enjoyed the distinct voice of the narrator. Agatha Christie's entry keeps us guessing til the end and I have to say I'd like to know what happens just after the story's conclusion!

SuperGurl 02-03-2015 04:25 PM

No kidding! I liked brian's story a lot. Very strong and believable emotions. And Agatha Christi--yours was very unique too. Definitely held my interest too the end.

Thanks for reading the entries inkylinks! I personally enjoyed each story.

Tau 02-03-2015 07:59 PM

How much over the limit is it brianpatrick?

If it is only a little then maybe something could be done, it would be a shame to lose and excellent entry on a technicality.

On a general note, the entries so far all look good, I just wish there were a wee few more. Thank you to all who have entered so far. Maybe inspiration will strike and I can add one.

FX Lord 02-06-2015 01:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tau (Post 685651)
How much over the limit is it brianpatrick?

I'm afraid Brianpatrick's is almost 4000 words. Which is a shame as it is an excellent entry. I'd second lifting the word limit this time around if you want. Saves me trying to hack perfectly good story ideas down to 2000 words.

Tau 02-06-2015 07:22 PM

I might just do that, still thinking about it. I might also remove the limit going forward, or move it up to the general word limit of 3000 found in the Write Here Section.

Need to think this through.

I will try to have an interim answer by the end of the weekend.

Agatha Christie 02-07-2015 01:54 AM

word limits
 
Might I suggest that any change of word limit take effect from the next competition. Changing the rules mid stream seems distinctly odd. Everyone was faced with the same limitations at the start of their writing. If an entrant prefers to ignore the rules, it seems wrong that rules are changed to accommodate the errant writer.

Tau 02-07-2015 02:40 AM

And that is why I need to think about this, I don’t want to disadvantage anybody who has already entered, especially if they have stuck to the current limit.

As I see it I have three options with the current contest.

- Leave it as is.

- Remove the word limit (and likely apply some form of positive discrimination to those who already have entered and are within the limit, currently thinking of giving such entries an extra vote).

- Remove the limit, extend the contest by another month or two and contact all who have entered already to give them a chance to change their entry.


For fairness sake the first one is right, and then any change to contest structure will happen with the next one. However the contest has been simmering fairly quiet and has not had a lot of people enter and if I am strict with the word limit rules then it might simply a vote on two or three items.

So please say your mind here, I would like to hear everybody’s thoughts so that it is fair as can be without having the contest fall apart due to lack of entries.

Also any additional thoughts on what could change for the next contest are welcome.

Agatha Christie 02-07-2015 02:51 AM

why?
 
The thing is, why aren't people entering? I can hardly believe it is because the word count is too low. Do you have any historical data that says more people enter when the word count goes up?

Competitions are there for those who want them. If only a handful of members wish to take advantage of such an opportunity, then the votes have go to those who enter. Surely it's those who take the trouble to enter who should be studied, not those who don't.

Maybe the rewards of winning should be greater, perhaps more exposure on the site: highlighted in the fiction section; kept at the top of the list for a period in bright red letters. Perhaps when members see there is a chance of more reads/comments/recognition, they will take the trouble to produce something, regardless of the word count.

Just a thought.

Tau 02-07-2015 04:12 AM

The contest used to be more popular in years past but has been struggling for a while. I have no evidence that a change in word limit will help or not, but I am willing to try with the next one.

The question on why people are not entering is not easy to answer. I have been running the WB contest in one form or another for many years and there is no one (or even several) reasons that stand out why there has been a decline over the years. Most likely it is a bunch of minor factors that are trivial on their own but add up over time.


The prise use to be that the winner (and often the runner up) would be featured in the WBQ, but that is currently on a hiatus.

inkylinks 02-07-2015 07:46 AM

I realise I might be a bit new to weigh in on this, but I feel the parameters of a contest should not be changed mid-way. As much as I love brianpatrick's entry, if they had created their story within the word-limit then I've no doubt it would have read very differently. Similarly, I feel giving the current entrants an option to edit their work wouldn't really help - they'd be having to try to write an entirely different sort of tale themselves.

I personally think that varying the word limit from comp to comp would keep things interesting (I presume it has been 2000 words for all past comps?), but at the very least, any change to the word limit should occur after the current comp has closed.

May I ask what the current prize for the comp is, if WBQ is on hiatus? I can't see a mention of it in the comp thread. I like AC's idea of improving the reward, but I haven't been here long enough to see how popular/unpopular comps are. Also wondering if it would be worth sticking a thread in General Discussion just asking people why they don't join in and what would entice them to.

I'm aiming to complete an entry myself, so hopefully you'll have at least one more before the end of the month!

FX Lord 02-07-2015 10:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by inkylinks (Post 685824)

May I ask what the current prize for the comp is, if WBQ is on hiatus?

The pride of winning!

Don't tell me I'm the only person who values that. I enjoy these contests (although in truth I haven't lost since I started yet) and I don't mind that there is no material nor monetary prize. I write regularly anyway, this competition provides me a focus for my creative energies.

Maybe I'm partially to blame for convincing Tau to run the contest again despite the state of WBQ. I never really saw that as the reason for competing anyway. It was nice to be featured, but it's not really what it's about.

P.S. I have to admit to delaying my entry deliberately so I can gauge what entries I'm up against. Sorry. I have a reputation to think about.

SuperGurl 02-07-2015 11:10 AM

Lol, FX Lord! Definitely the pride of winning. Why else compete at anything? :-)

I am totally fine with raising the word limit. It was no struggle for me to stay under--the story ended when it needed to end--so I did not have to jump through hoops that others did not. However, it may be best not to change half-way through, as some have mentioned.

I wonder if you could edit it down, brianpatrick? Seems like a hard one to cut, but you never know!

So, yeah, I'm good with any decision. I really hope more people enter.

FX Lord 02-07-2015 12:33 PM

Ignore this post, I didn't read the earlier posts which make this post invalid.

brianpatrick 02-07-2015 12:37 PM

If everyone agreed to raise the word limit, i would be fine with it. This story couldn't have been told by me any shorter. However, I think it's unfair to change the rules mid-contest if there are dissenters. I could have read the rules and submitted something shorter.

Thanks all for the nice comments. I really appreciate them.

I would like to suggest raising the word count, or eliminating it for the next one. I don't see how it is anything but arbitrary. I suppose there has to be rules, but can't wrap my head around the usefulness of this rule for the contest.

Tau 02-07-2015 02:16 PM

Thank you all for your thoughts and more are always welcomed.


I think it is beset as well as fairest to leave the limit as is until the end of this contest and any entries that are over just won’t be added to the voteing options.

For the next context the word limit will change, though whether it is up or gone I still need to decide.

While the WBQ is on hiatus there is no prize in that regard, though simply winning can be reward enough, or the fun of entering and the challenge of writing. Back in the day I entered most contests here and while I can remember winning it was very rare, I just enjoyed the challenge of taking the subject/theme and making something of it. Anyway I am digressing, what I meant to say at the beginning of this paragraph was that when the WBQ comes out of Hiatus we will be looking at the contest winners for work to feature. So while that part of the prize is not current it might be in the future. I should say that part of the process to be featured does include a through critique so that the version that is included in the WBQ was the best it can be. Sadly I have always been the least competent of the editors in terms of SPaG and therefore did not think that I could do a critique on my own to that was good enough to help the winner improve as part of the prize.

I can certainly try if people want, but I can make no promises on that regard.

The word limit evolved from the origin of the contest here. Back in the day contest where monthly so a limit was needed. Especially as in those days the winner was not decided by public vote but by a panel (who could enter work in the contest). This fell apart after a while due to several factors such as time constraints. Then it was changed to two/three month long and the winner was selected by public vote. The word limit was increased at this point (I think, it is all so long ago) and some of the other rules where relaxed, changed or removed. Since then the contest has changed a little with each year but has remained broadly similar.

You are not to blame FX Lord, I want to continue to run contest at regular intervals because they can be fun, and one of these days I will even have the time to write and enter again myself. Also I had a lot of fun taking part when I was new to the site and I do not want to take the potential experience away from new members to day and in the future.

max crash 02-15-2015 08:29 AM

I finally put in my two cents worth, had a lot of trouble with the subject as I don't believe there is such a thing as the wrong present.

a present is a gift from the heart and not a physical thing.

Max Crash

FX Lord 02-22-2015 05:12 PM

For those of you still waiting with baited breath for my entry (LOL), I've written it I just have to decide which 1200 words aren't as important as the other 2000.

inkylinks 02-26-2015 05:56 PM

Nnnnnnyargh. I can't make my piece work, and I've run out of time to agonise over it. Well done to those who've submitted; looking forward to reading the newest entries :)


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