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 schaferwhat‽ » Wed Mar 06, 2013 11:17 pm

If you ever want to do a song as inspiration experiment may I suggest this one.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B_5PVUmmVf4
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Re: The Read In A Rush suggestion thread

Postby J D Dunsany » Wed Mar 06, 2013 11:38 pm

Good call, actually. I think I will! :)
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Re: The Read In A Rush suggestion thread

Postby Liliedhe » Thu Apr 04, 2013 8:40 am

I do have a suggestion: whoever enters a story needs to vote, or whatever points he gets for his own story are not counted. This rule is in use over at Heresy Online in their monthly fiction competition and with good reason:

It is very impolite to enter a story and expect others to read it, but never bother to read those stories the others wrote. Impolite and inconsiderate. This month, we had entries by nine authors, only four of which actually voted, three other voters had entered no stories. Other months saw even less votes. I know it is somewhat juvenile if politeness towards others has to be enforced via rules... The longer voting window didnt raise participation.
"You were a warleader, a fighter, when did you gain such illuminating insight into the minds of others?"
"I learned such things as you and your brothers applied brand to my flesh and parted skin with rasp and knife," snarled Astelan. "When your witches tried to prise open my mind they opened me for an instant and I stared back."
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Re: The Read In A Rush suggestion thread

Postby J D Dunsany » Thu Apr 04, 2013 10:10 am

Thanks, Lil. I used to be very much against this, but I'm now inclined to agree with you. Unless I hear from the community that they'd prefer the status quo, this will come into force next month.

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Re: The Read In A Rush suggestion thread

Postby schaferwhat‽ » Thu Apr 04, 2013 10:56 am

this wasn't the case already?

Mostly I don't post because I am never sure if I'll get around to giving the stories all a read and decent set of comments.

Wasted so many opportunities to participate without obligation.
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Re: The Read In A Rush suggestion thread

Postby Liliedhe » Thu Apr 04, 2013 11:00 am

schaferwhat‽ wrote:this wasn't the case already?

Mostly I don't post because I am never sure if I'll get around to giving the stories all a read and decent set of comments.

Wasted so many opportunities to participate without obligation.


One should consider it a case of basic politeness.
"You were a warleader, a fighter, when did you gain such illuminating insight into the minds of others?"
"I learned such things as you and your brothers applied brand to my flesh and parted skin with rasp and knife," snarled Astelan. "When your witches tried to prise open my mind they opened me for an instant and I stared back."
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Re: The Read In A Rush suggestion thread

Postby schaferwhat‽ » Thu Apr 04, 2013 11:18 am

true enough though there are always IRL issues that crop up which may factor into people not giving a vote at the end of the competition period. A technical disqualification works (the writers will get to see on the thread if they got points and some feedback without necessarily tarnishing them all as impolite scumbags. (I am sure they are but for different reasons than RiaR etiquette)
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Re: The Read In A Rush suggestion thread

Postby Commander Shadow » Thu Apr 04, 2013 3:34 pm

I haven't voted in a while due to the fact that while my intention is to give all stories a read through, the massive amount of work mixed with sports practice gives me very little time to sit down and do it. That being said, i'm making and effort to get my life on lock so i can contribute to the positive feed-back in the future.

rudeness was not intended.
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Re: The Read In A Rush suggestion thread

Postby mstevns » Thu Apr 04, 2013 4:36 pm

Hi all,

I was very happy to participate in the competition and I am equally very humble about the fact that people gave me their votes. I was just not aware that one could vote as a participant.

I have been on holidays and working abroad for a few weeks, so I never got around to asking, but it has been clarified now. As Commander Shadow, I meant no disrespect by not voting and think it is a fair rule to enforce going forward.

Thanks again & kind regards,

Mike
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Re: The Read In A Rush suggestion thread

Postby Ghurlag » Thu Apr 04, 2013 4:48 pm

Seeing as you seem to have missed my earlier query, I'll repost it.

Ghurlag wrote: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.


Additionally, I'd like to point out that the winner's thread hasn't been updated since February. I'm sure the winners don't mind that much (or are too polite to mention it if they do), but we should make sure they're getting the recognition they deserve.

I'm ambivalent about the 'must vote' restriction. I agree that it'd have been nice to get more feedback than there was, but we don't want to discourage people from entering. Mstevn's case is telling, perhaps - new entrants don't necessarily know that they can vote.

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Re: The Read In A Rush suggestion thread

Postby Commander Shadow » Thu Apr 04, 2013 6:30 pm

mstevns wrote:Hi all,

I was very happy to participate in the competition and I am equally very humble about the fact that people gave me their votes. I was just not aware that one could vote as a participant.

I have been on holidays and working abroad for a few weeks, so I never got around to asking, but it has been clarified now. As Commander Shadow, I meant no disrespect by not voting and think it is a fair rule to enforce going forward.

Thanks again & kind regards,

Mike


I think the unspoken word is we can't/shouldn't vote for ourselves. But yes, to echo mstevns, i have no problem with enforcing this rule going forwards.
- And there arose from the abyss a terrible beast and the armies of man were laid low by the walls of the ancient city. The ground shook and the skies trembled and all knew as the beast had come forth and that the end of time was upon them.

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Re: The Read In A Rush suggestion thread

Postby J D Dunsany » Thu Apr 04, 2013 11:23 pm

Some interesting things coming out of this thread, which I'll try to address as fully as I can.

Firstly, thanks for the nudge, Ghurlag, as far as updating the winners' thread is concerned. I'll get onto that in a few moments.

Secondly, poetry isn't admissible for the simple reason that a 1000 word poem is, imho, a bigger ask than a 1000 word prose story. That's an entirely subjective judgement, of course, and so is what's about to follow. (Please feel free to add your opinions below.) Poetry is more condensed language than prose. It's consequently harder work for the author and possibly the reader. While I think that drama and prose are reasonably close in form (in the sense that they both are - usually - concerned with narrative and things like characters and plot), poetry is not similar enough for me to be happy with forcing readers to vote on both poetry and prose/drama in the same comp. I'm open to opinions on this, obviously, but, at the moment, I'd like to keep things as they are - with one exception. The 'trial' period for audio submissions is up and I'm going to throw open the issue for a vote on the boards. I'll set up a poll in its own thread and we'll have a straight 'yes' or 'no' vote to decide whether we want to make audio submissions a permanent feature of the competition. The thread'll go up in a couple of days' time. Back to the poetry idea, I'd be more than happy to host a poetry only comp - it could even take the place of a regular RiaR one month. Again, I'm open to ideas.

Thirdly, as with people voting for themselves last month, the fact that mstevens didn't even know he could vote makes it obvious that the 'rubric' that introduces both the competition itself and the voting thread needs some work. Again, I'll get onto that over the next couple of days and post a draft up here for feedback. In the meantime, I can only apologise to mstevens for the fact that things were so unclear.

Finally, the 'you must vote' thing. Yeah, I know where Ghurlag's coming from. It's perhaps a bit authoritarian, but the feeling I've got from the community ever since I've been running this competition is that this is something we should introduce. I don't want anyone, though, to feel like they're being 'got at' here. Most of us are busy. Heck, I run the comp and I haven't contributed/commented for a couple of months now except in the most general of ways. I think the voting window is reasonably generous and I just think we need perhaps to be a bit more prompt at reading and voting once it opens. That said, I've been open to voting window extensions in the past and will be again. The last thing I want to do is drive people away or make them feel bad. Perhaps, just like with the audio submissions, we should run this on a trial basis for a few months to see how it plays out, but I definitely think it's worth a go. I'd like us to 'try on' the mindset of entering the comp knowing that, as we do so, we're committing to vote.

Just to be clear on this, by the way, we're talking about votes being discounted after the deadline has passed. There isn't - and never will be - a requirement on voters to comment, although, obviously, comment is very nice.

And... erm... I think that's it.

Feel free to discuss/contradict/argue etc. :)

Regards,

JDD
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Re: The Read In A Rush suggestion thread

Postby J D Dunsany » Mon Apr 08, 2013 2:49 pm

Further to my comments about disallowing poetry, Ghurlag's just posted a poem of sorts as a second entry in the current RiaR comp. (You can find the story here.)

What do we think?

For my part, I kind of like it and think it shows very eloquently what poetry entries could look like and what they could be. Feel free to add your comment and opinion below!

:D

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Re: The Read In A Rush suggestion thread

Postby Liliedhe » Mon Apr 08, 2013 2:59 pm

I wouldnt mind poetry entries. Those are still literature, not "special effects". I think writing a poem of such length would be rather hard, though - but thats not a reason to disallow it.
"You were a warleader, a fighter, when did you gain such illuminating insight into the minds of others?"
"I learned such things as you and your brothers applied brand to my flesh and parted skin with rasp and knife," snarled Astelan. "When your witches tried to prise open my mind they opened me for an instant and I stared back."
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Re: The Read In A Rush suggestion thread

Postby Ghurlag » Mon Apr 08, 2013 3:06 pm

Just to clarify, I've no intention of this being a real entry to the ongoing competition (I said it was 'quite probably' against the rules, but that was my British understatement taking over) and it was more of an experiment than me setting out to challenge the policy (though, uh, I seem to have done so :oops: ).

Some points:

- It's not all that hard to come up with a RIAR-length bit of poetry if you're using something as easy to generate as rhyming couplets. I've no idea how much that generalises to other forms (a 1000 word haiku might be a challenge, for example). It's also worth noting that the entry is on the shorter end of the word count, and there were points along the way where I know I could've stopped.

- Aside from obvious poetic meters and rhyming, I'm not sure how we'd decide what was poetry and what wasn't. If there was any special arrangement for poetry, this could end up rather tricky to adjudicate.

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Re: The Read In A Rush suggestion thread

Postby Mossy Toes » Tue Apr 09, 2013 6:53 am

I, for one, am perfectly all right with permitting Ghur's entry. Or poems in general--an entry such as this that blurs the line between poetry and prose, to a degree, really just shows that poems are just another way to arrange words. They entrant is still restricted by the theme and the word count, so why not? I thought we were looking for who arranges words best and most prettily here, after all.
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Re: The Read In A Rush suggestion thread

Postby Liliedhe » Mon Jun 03, 2013 6:35 pm

So, the "who writes must vote" rule got abolished again?

Why should one vote then when there are so few participants? Because if you do, and nobody else does, you shoot yourself in the knee. Sure, it's all in good fun... still it is annoying if such tactics are used.
"You were a warleader, a fighter, when did you gain such illuminating insight into the minds of others?"
"I learned such things as you and your brothers applied brand to my flesh and parted skin with rasp and knife," snarled Astelan. "When your witches tried to prise open my mind they opened me for an instant and I stared back."
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Re: The Read In A Rush suggestion thread

Postby J D Dunsany » Mon Jun 03, 2013 7:12 pm

Liliedhe wrote:So, the "who writes must vote" rule got abolished again?

Why should one vote then when there are so few participants? Because if you do, and nobody else does, you shoot yourself in the knee. Sure, it's all in good fun... still it is annoying if such tactics are used.


No, it's not been abolished. I just forgot to remind everyone about it in the opening post of the voting thread and, as we had a first-timer enter this month, I felt it was unfair to impose the rule on someone who couldn't reasonably be expected to know about it in advance.

My mistake and I can only apologise for it. This month's voting thread will definitely have that rule very heavily emphasized, though. It is something I'm wholeheartedly in favour of. I kicked myself when I realized I'd not put it into the initial voting thread.

Commander Shadow has PMed me to say he was intending to vote but was travelling yesterday. These things happen unfortunately. It's fair to say that, if the rule had been foregrounded at the start of the comp/voting period, people might be more careful about getting their votes in early. Hopefully we'll see that over the next few months.

All the best!

JDD

Edit: I've changed the opening post for this month's story thread to highlight this particular rule. Hopefully that'll help concentrate people's minds. There'll naturally be a reminder in the voting thread, too.
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Re: The Read In A Rush suggestion thread

Postby Commander Shadow » Mon Jun 03, 2013 7:43 pm

yeah sorry about that, was fully intending to vote but bloody bus had no internet and... was not nearly on time as i thought it would be.
- And there arose from the abyss a terrible beast and the armies of man were laid low by the walls of the ancient city. The ground shook and the skies trembled and all knew as the beast had come forth and that the end of time was upon them.

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Re: The Read In A Rush suggestion thread

Postby J D Dunsany » Mon Jun 03, 2013 9:04 pm

Commander Shadow wrote:yeah sorry about that, was fully intending to vote but bloody bus had no internet and... was not nearly on time as i thought it would be.


Don't worry about it. As I said, these things happen and, in any case, I take full responsibility for not publicising the rule as much as I should have.

All the best!

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