Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by SolarisOne, Nov 15, 2018.
I'm taking @Admiral2's exhortation literally. Here's the poll, once and for all.
I'm voting yes, for the most important reason: there's no easier or more expedient way for fan writers in this forum to post a story and have that story be read. That's the point of the monthly contest, for authors to test their skills and have fellow authors evaluate how well they did. It gives the participants the chance to pratcice and get feedback on their storytelling skills. It's not just a game...it's a resource.
I voted yes as well! It's a great opportunity for writers to evaluate their skills and compete to improve their work, and receive constructive criticism. Most of all, it's fun!
Your enthusiasm for this is encouraging.
I voted "yes" because:
And it's a resource that works very well in the Fan Art thread's monthly art challenges, too (as well as being fun!).
I enjoy reading some of the stories here in Fan Fiction, and one day I'm going to find the time to have a very amateur go myself.
Overenthusiasm talking. Disregard.
I hate to be Negative Nelly here, but we can't come to that conclusion yet. I've been on this board long enough to realize that sometimes people here vote "No" by abstaining. It's entirely possible that there are patrons who would vote no but don't want to be seen doing it, so they're simply staying out of the thread and hoping it will just move on without their input.
Here's the thing: seven people voting "yes" can't be the last word on this because of what started all this, namely the challenge thread that sat ignored for the better part of a year. That doesn't happen if the current tally indicates a majority of people want the contests. If that's really the case, then I go back to my original question: What the hell happened with the last contest?
The reason I wanted a poll thread was not just to see how many people wanted the contests. I wanted to hear from the people who don't. I wanted dissenters to vote no in public and go on the record saying why. I want to know what some people found so objectionable that they just walked away.
I don't think we should go forward with any revival until we get the dissenting views and address them. Again, the goal is to make sure an abandoned contest doesn't happen again.
You're probably right.
But what do we do if no dissenters step forward?
The poll's only a couple of days old. I'm just saying it's too soon to come to any conclusion. Give it at least week. Hell, Thanksgiving is coming up. maybe somebody from the other side might want to chime in on Black Friday.
I voted 'yes' because the challenge is a good way to do just that, challenge fanfic writers. Give them a topic they hadn't considered, have them work with new characters or species, edit themselves to tell a good story in only a couple thousand words. In principle, I'm all for it, but in reality I'm not holding my breath.
I like the idea of encouraging writers, but I'd like to give more lead time. Maybe we should have a list of themes for each month posted at the start of the year. Just some suggestions:
December 2018: Home for the holidays
January 2019: A new year, a new beginning / New Year's resolutions
February 2019: Valentine's Day / love is in the air (keep it clean!!)
March 2019: Not what you expected / Didn't see that coming (must have a surprise ending)
April 2019: Something funny / practical jokes (April Fools)
May 2019: Remembrance / Memorial Day
June 2019: War Is Hell == anything involving combat
July 2019: A nice, quiet vacation. At least, that's what was planned...........
August 2019: Lower decks == focus on junior officers / enlisted (command staff may have cameo role)
September 2019: School's back in session = anything set in a classroom or on a training ship, etc.
October 2019: Very Scary Trek -- Halloween special
November 2019: Something to be thankful for
December 2019: Home for the holidays
Or for those of us in the UK: Gunpowder treason and plot
I like the idea of the themes being decided in advance, it takes the pressure off the winner having to think of "something good" for the following challenge, and it also means that someone could have a story (or stories) in the can, ready to post for a topic(s) they like the look of at a time when they have the opportunity to write.
I like this idea very much. Also the specific suggestions for themes.
Remember, guys, the only prize the winner gets for winning the contest is the job of running the next contest, which includes the exclusive right to choose the next theme. Suggestions are fine, but we don't want to hold the contest winners to a preset list of themes, because that takes away the best part of winning, and then what's the point?
Also, who gets to make the annual list? There's a mechanism in place already for choosing each individual contest theme. A new fixed annual list requires a whole new mechanism to create it, or it has to be imposed on us by the mods.
There is a compromise. Over in the Art Forum there's a thread titled "Can I suggest an art contest?" It started out as an individual query but the mods stickyed it and made it into a suggestion box for art contest themes. We could have a similar thread here. Anybody could post theme ideas there, discuss them with others and give contest winners the chance to gauge the forum mood and pick a popular topic without that topic being mandatory.
As for increasing lead time, that can be done by adjusting the contest duration and shortening the required word count as necessary.
Maybe in regard to "who decides the topic" there are months when there is a certain theme/genre (e.g. romance in February and horror in October) and others when it is wide open for the previous winner to decide what the challenge will be. During a 'genre month' then the winner can still think up some different ideas within the set theme, for example in February there could be challenges such as:
Love at first sight
Happily ever after
Happiest day of their lives
Vulcan Love Slave (aka clean up crew to the holodeck)
Starfleet Cadet alien STD advisory
Ok some of those may not be workable (or postable on TrekBBS), but limitations can give way to creativity--even when thinking up what the new topic might be.
There could be six of each, so some months we have a rough idea what we'll be faced with and others will be limited only by the winners imagination.
But you're still left with the same question: Who decides? Who picks the alternate months? Who picks the themes for those months? The problem is not what themes are chosen. The problem is how we decide who makes the choice. Is it a moderator? Is it the December contest winner mapping out the next year? Do we put up a poll with offered themes at the beginning of the year so everyone can vote on them?
Any one of those choices adds a layer of complexity to the regular contest, as well as subverting - if not outright defeating - the purpose for having it. You're competing for the right to set the terms for the next contest, including setting the theme, which is arguably the main part of the job. What you're suggesting would require a whole new mechanism separate from the contest for the sole purpose of denying the winner that part of the job for half a year (or for good, the way Sgt. G proposed it.)
A suggestion thread open to anyone at any time preserves the one real prize in the contest: Choice. Preselected topics for six or twelve months infringes on that choice, and utterly ignores the concept of a "challenge." If lead time is really an issue, the contest schedule can be made bi-monthly or quarterly, and keeping the word count small would mean less work to do over that period of time, but think about it - if you want to know in advance what you have to enter into a contest just to compete to be told how to frame the next contest, why are you entering?
Okay, so I guess now is a good enough time to declare victory.
In that vein, after consulting with Bry_Sinclair, I have started a new challenge thread. You can find it here:
Also, I have added a "suggestion box" thread. That is here:
Peruse and participate as you like.
Separate names with a comma.