The Read In A Rush suggestion thread

The Bolthole's monthly 1,000 word story competition.

Re: The Read In A Rush suggestion thread

Postby Pyroriffic » Thu Nov 15, 2012 1:33 am

There is a drabbles thread somewhere here already. I'd love to see someone start that up again...
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Re: The Read In A Rush suggestion thread

Postby Shaggy » Fri Nov 16, 2012 12:40 am

Pyroriffic wrote:There is a drabbles thread somewhere here already. I'd love to see someone start that up again...

Ouch. That's 100 words exactly, isn't it? That's even harder than approx 1000 words, and that's hard enough!
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Re: The Read In A Rush suggestion thread

Postby J D Dunsany » Fri Nov 16, 2012 7:45 am

We could do, I think, with an organized drabble competition of some kind.

I don't really have the time to do it, but if someone else wanted to, I'd be more than happy to sticky the relevant topic in the competition thread.

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Re: The Read In A Rush suggestion thread

Postby Smackbeth » Wed Nov 28, 2012 12:21 pm

I'll probably post a tweaked Drabble Challenge in a sec, a tad different from the norm.

My suggestion would be to ask that people who contribute to the RiaR must vote in the voting post if they submit an entry, just to ensure turnover is constant? (Most people do so anyway but it couldn't hurt)
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Re: The Read In A Rush suggestion thread

Postby Liliedhe » Wed Nov 28, 2012 12:23 pm

Yeah, that has occurred to me, too.

Over at Heresy Online, they use that rule for their monthly competition: If you dont vote, any points you received for your story will not count.
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Re: The Read In A Rush suggestion thread

Postby Xisor » Sun Jan 27, 2013 10:24 pm

As it first appeared from the mouth of Rob 'Babes' P over on H-O, I'd be keen to see a RiaR based on this topic:

"Nothing happening in a cave."

Many legs to that?
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Re: The Read In A Rush suggestion thread

Postby schaferwhat‽ » Sun Jan 27, 2013 10:25 pm

Xisor wrote:As it first appeared from the mouth of Rob 'Babes' P over on H-O, I'd be keen to see a RiaR based on this topic:

"Nothing happening in a cave."

Many legs to that?


Oh I like that.
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Re: The Read In A Rush suggestion thread

Postby J D Dunsany » Mon Jan 28, 2013 7:45 am

'Nothing Happened In A Cave' is just a little too verbose for a RiaR prompt.

'Subterranean Inaction' might work though...

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Re: The Read In A Rush suggestion thread

Postby schaferwhat‽ » Mon Jan 28, 2013 12:57 pm

how about "Disgruntled Townsfolk"
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Re: The Read In A Rush suggestion thread

Postby Jelboy » Tue Jan 29, 2013 7:09 pm

How about, alongside the regular competition, there is a Handicap competition (handicap, as in handicap golf, for example).

What would change about the competition? In all respects it would be the same (with the same entries), but alongside the regular winner - there would also be a handicap winner.

How could the handicap be calculated? Well, presumably each month the points given to each riar entry is totaled to learn which won the most? This total for each entry/person could be stored against that person's name, each month. Their handicap could, then, be (for example) the average number of points from their last riar 4 entries.

For the handicap result - each person would receive the total of the points allocated to their entry minus their handicap points.

Why bother? The competition is great fun, but can be a bit disheartening when you relentlessly don't reach the podium - the handicap competition is a way to give everyone a level playing field result.

But life, especially in 40k is not fair, you say, why should RIAR be? Well, the regular result process will run, but we willl just add the handicap result process too. Clearly there are several levels of skill in the competition - some have had multiple first places, some have had multiple 2/3rd places, some have had the occasional 2/3 - and some haven't been placed at all. The handicap result makes the winner a lot more uncertain.
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Re: The Read In A Rush suggestion thread

Postby schaferwhat‽ » Tue Jan 29, 2013 10:07 pm

how would you propose allocating handicap scores.
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Re: The Read In A Rush suggestion thread

Postby Jelboy » Wed Jan 30, 2013 9:02 am

My thumbnail sketch initial idea would be that each person's handicap would be based on the average of their last four riar entries. If they've only entered 3 times, then the last 3 entries, etc.

So, say schaferwhat‽ had the following points given to him for his last four riar entries:
1) 0 (obviously not your best)
2) 3
3) 12 (which happened to place 2nd that month)
4) 6

Your handicap would be 21/4 equals 5.25. rounded up equals 6.

My last four stories might not have reached the podium, but received the following points:
1) 2
2) 1
3) 5
4) 2

My handicap would be 10/4 equals 2.5 rounded up equals 3

Clearly, you have a higher skill than me.

In this current competition if I received 4 points (votes whatever) my amended score would be 4-3 equals 1.
If in this competition if you received 4 your amended score would be 4-6 equals minus 2.
For the handicap competition I would finish higher than you on the podium.

This might all seem a bit complicated. But I reckon, J Dunsany must tally the points/scores allocated to each person's story each month anyway, it would simply be a case of recording those scores, and doing a little bit of math at the end of each month.

Such a system would mean that someone who normally receives no points in a competition might top the podium if s/he manages one point this time - that much more incentive.
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Re: The Read In A Rush suggestion thread

Postby schaferwhat‽ » Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:41 am

it seems convoluted, the people without a history will get less support from the handicap and what of those like me whose 4 entries have been spread over the past two years? Seems harsh to expect JDD to keep detailed records of it all or to look it up as appropriate.

Perhaps the answer is to riff off the fact that most readers/voters tend to comment on every story anyway and alter the scoring system so that you rank each of the stories instead.

Have the top three ranks have a 2 point gap between them all and the remaining stories have 1 point between them. So in a 10 story month the points would go.
1st 11
2nd 9
3rd 7
4th 5
5th 6
6th 5
7th 4
8th 3
9th 2
10th 1

can't choose between them say the bottom 3 stories are all equal and you feel harsh separating them, equal 8th 3 points each. (Admittedly equal first grants big points allot but I would suggest at the upper end of the ranking there is more emphasis on the voter to make up their damned mind and make arbitrary calls of judgement.) Everyone gets points and is getting at least some response to their stories, the oft done "honourable mentions" will be in the running in the vote for longer. It may work better.

Then again it may not, I think the handicap has logistical issues and I speak as someone who should participate in this far more really.
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Re: The Read In A Rush suggestion thread

Postby Jelboy » Wed Jan 30, 2013 1:03 pm

hmm... Your system would allow everyone to feel that their entry has been considered properly - though it will still be something of a regular scoring system - i.e. the same people will often be at the top and some people might feel that their attempt is worthless because they 'will not get anywhere'.

...and anyway... I'm not proposing replacing the existing system - just having a handicapped result beside it.

I agree there are various issues with my proposal, it's not perfect. But.... if we start from now - then JD would have records for everyone. Also, if a new member posts an entry (for the first time ever) their handicap would obviously be zero and so they are initially favoured (i.e. new members to riar will stand a higher chance of reaching the podium).

I'm sure there is a better system that could be dreamt up though - I just thought that it would be good if, alongside the regular scoring system, there could be a handicap system that rewards the relative efforts of peoples entries (i.e. someone who normally gets 0 points awarded to their story but gets 3 this time (has relatively improved) more than somebody that gets 15 points but gets 7 points this time.
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Re: The Read In A Rush suggestion thread

Postby schaferwhat‽ » Wed Jan 30, 2013 5:55 pm

But your system disincentivises those with a record of success. I am the wrong person to discuss this with. I don't participate enough to see the disillusionment claimed.
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Re: The Read In A Rush suggestion thread

Postby Jelboy » Wed Jan 30, 2013 6:44 pm

The existing system would be maintained and so the best overall story would still win and go through to the hall of fame. I just thought that a handicap competition result could also be bolted on (i.e. using the same points awarded, on the same stories). One competition - 2 results - Overall and handicapped.

But... it's not a terribly important for me to have the handicap result - its just an idea.
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Re: The Read In A Rush suggestion thread

Postby J D Dunsany » Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:54 pm

It's an interesting idea, actually - although perhaps a little unwieldy. I quite like the idea of keeping track of votes over the longer term. I've toyed in the past with the idea of keeping a big old spreadsheet of past votes, but, as always, it's finding the time to do it.

Extending the voting is a possibility. There's a couple of suggestions I'm mulling over and thinking about putting to a more public vote/feedback and that's definitely one of them.

I'm thinking. Will respond later. (Perhaps quite a bit later. We shall see...)

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Re: The Read In A Rush suggestion thread

Postby Mossy Toes » Thu Jan 31, 2013 3:38 am

The problem with any weighting handicap is that it's still going to be a competition to win--will it produce random winners based on the quirks of prior votes? Will it let a few upper middle members of the pack win but not substantially alter the status quo of vote-neglect for some stories?

I say strike out for wilder territory in terms of categories. Each person has two votes--one for the "Best Written" story and another for the one with the "Best Idea," perhaps, rather than simply having 3 votes to determine the ranked winner. We could even add more categories as necessary: "Best Theme Interpretation," for instance. The "Best Written" story will provide an outlet for competition among the better writers--and perhaps it will encourage deliberation and ruminations upon grammar versus plot and story structure, etc--but really, anybody can have a shot at being the most creative or coming up with an awesome idea for a short story that ties into the theme.

(credit where it's due: the Heresy Online Monthly Conversion Contest inspired this suggestion, with its division of competition entries into "Most Innovative" and "Best Executed" categories)
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Re: The Read In A Rush suggestion thread

Postby Jelboy » Thu Jan 31, 2013 9:28 am

I do like the idea of categories. Would there be multiple categories each month or perhaps one random/different category each month (other than overall best).
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Re: The Read In A Rush suggestion thread

Postby Ghurlag » Wed Mar 06, 2013 11:11 pm

Can I query as to why poetry submissions aren't acceptable?

I mean, it's not as if I've got a poem lined up I wanted to submit, it just seems a bit of an odd restriction, given that we allow audio scripts and suchlike, and the short length of the RIAR entries somewhat lends itself to a bit of verse for those who wanted to try it.

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