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lisafox10800 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote lisafox10800 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Mar 2017 at 12:14pm
Originally posted by ottersdaughter ottersdaughter wrote:

Originally posted by Suave Suave wrote:

Originally posted by Josh Josh wrote:

I was actively reviewing. I stopped. Real life happened. But I would have been more apt to return to this forum when I had some spare time if people gave more than a few lines of "wow this is good - nice work" speak. It makes me feel as though I am overly critical when I leave feedback speaking to what works and what doesn't.  Last thing I want at this point is to people to see me as a rude arrogant jerk. 


Ya, in previous contests I left real feedback in a couple of cases and in return was slammed.

I make it a point to leave feedback for people whose feedback style is what I want to receive. I rarely leave all positive or all negative reviews, and I try to always suggest a possible improvement or ask a question that might help the author to see their story in a new light. I haven't had any trouble with people being touchy.

My advice (unasked for as it is), is to read the feedback on a set of stories. Then go read and review work from the people who left the kind of feedback you'd appreciate getting.

Agree with you 100%!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote stephenmatlock Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Mar 2017 at 3:13am
Originally posted by Bookworm33 Bookworm33 wrote:

Originally posted by Josh Josh wrote:

I was actively reviewing. I stopped. Real life happened. But I would have been more apt to return to this forum when I had some spare time if people gave more than a few lines of "wow this is good - nice work" speak. It makes me feel as though I am overly critical when I leave feedback speaking to what works and what doesn't.  Last thing I want at this point is to people to see me as a rude arrogant jerk. 
This was one of the reasons I was very hesitant to post my story. During the FFC when I would read a piece that had, for example, an abundance of grammatical errors or obvious plot holes, most of the comments from reviewers would be along the lines of "I loved this! You've done such a great job!"
I wasn't sure if any of the feedback would be critical enough to help me. Fortunately, I've received some really good comments on my story.

I don't know if reviewers just don't want to upset anyone or hurt anyone's feelings, or if they just look over mistakes and inconsistencies if they like the overall content of a story. On some pieces I've reviewed this time around, things I found confusing or awkwardly written were praised by everyone else as the best elements of the stories. I'm almost beginning to question my own judgment as a writer after seeing comment after comment of "This is wonderful!" surrounding my own critiques.


This is very interesting --

My take is that by the time I get to the final form and I submit it, the things that should be fixed can't be, such as grammar/typos/plot holes/etc., so I personally try to avoid picking on those except if I can phrase it as "this didn't work for me."

During the beta process I'll point those out, but once it's final, it feels like I'm spending time on the small stuff.

But if I see a protagonist take up a crowbar in self defense and then hit his assailant with a 2x4, I'm going to want to point that out as "I was a bit confused when Jerry picked up the crowbar and then hit Tom with a 2x4. Did you drop a sentence where he switched weapons?" That seems to be more positive than "Did you know you have a ginormous error here when Jerry's weapon changes magically?" (This is something I did in one of my novels, and only an eagle-eyed reviewer saw it--it was in the final proof!)


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tcFlash Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Mar 2017 at 3:28am
First of all, was the time between submission and results longer this time than ever before? It was eight and a half weeks. I don't remember it being that long, but I might be mistaken. That would lend itself to burning people out. 

I encourage those who have been around for a while to continue offering high quality reviews and critiques, even if you offer fewer. People read those and learn how it's done. They may begin by mimicking your style and form. That's fine, as long as they go on to develop their own.

I think I'm in favor of breaking the forum up. I may not have thought that through enough, but it seems reasonable at this point.

High numbers of participants and too long a waiting period between submission and results is bound to be a killer. Add that to the old-timers being completely swamped with newcomers and you can include old-timer burnout to the issues.  It's a growth thing. We need some good ideas for handling growth.


Edited by tcFlash - 19 Mar 2017 at 3:29am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tcFlash Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Mar 2017 at 3:40am
Another question I have, which I'm not sure how to go about answering, is this. Can we somehow compare participation over the years to see if it is falling off? Or, is participation still relatively high and we are being more efficient because of the Master List?

I do know that this year I considered how much reviewing I was doing early on and I knew I could not keep that up for 8 1/2 weeks. I have other writing projects I am working on besides NYCM. A shorter period between submission and results would be nice, but it would require more judges. As far as I am concerned, there are some people right here in the forums who would be outstanding judges, probably as good or better than the ones we now have. That is not a negative criticism of the current judges, but it is high and deserved praise for some people with tremendous insight.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote michelecacano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Mar 2017 at 3:42am
Originally posted by tcFlash tcFlash wrote:

First of all, was the time between submission and results longer this time than ever before? It was eight and a half weeks. I don't remember it being that long, but I might be mistaken. That would lend itself to burning people out. 

I encourage those who have been around for a while to continue offering high quality reviews and critiques, even if you offer fewer. People read those and learn how it's done. They may begin by mimicking your style and form. That's fine, as long as they go on to develop their own.

I think I'm in favor of breaking the forum up. I may not have thought that through enough, but it seems reasonable at this point.

High numbers of participants and too long a waiting period between submission and results is bound to be a killer. Add that to the old-timers being completely swamped with newcomers and you can include old-timer burnout to the issues.  It's a growth thing. We need some good ideas for handling growth.



Yes, I agree with you. Higher quality critiques are useful, both to the writer being reviewed and anyone else reading those reviews.

After finding that amazing Master List, I found it much easier to read and review works, myself (not that I've made much time for it... Soery!).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tcFlash Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Mar 2017 at 3:46am
Originally posted by stephenmatlock stephenmatlock wrote:

Originally posted by Bookworm33 Bookworm33 wrote:

Originally posted by Josh Josh wrote:

I was actively reviewing. I stopped. Real life happened. But I would have been more apt to return to this forum when I had some spare time if people gave more than a few lines of "wow this is good - nice work" speak. It makes me feel as though I am overly critical when I leave feedback speaking to what works and what doesn't.  The last thing I want at this point is to people to see me as a rude arrogant jerk. 
This was one of the reasons I was very hesitant to post my story. During the FFC when I would read a piece that had, for example, an abundance of grammatical errors or obvious plot holes, most of the comments from reviewers would be along the lines of "I loved this! You've done such a great job!"
I wasn't sure if any of the feedback would be critical enough to help me. Fortunately, I've received some really good comments on my story.

I don't know if reviewers just don't want to upset anyone or hurt anyone's feelings, or if they just look over mistakes and inconsistencies if they like the overall content of a story. On some pieces I've reviewed this time around, things I found confusing or awkwardly written were praised by everyone else as the best elements of the stories. I'm almost beginning to question my own judgment as a writer after seeing comment after comment of "This is wonderful!" surrounding my own critiques.


This is very interesting --

My take is that by the time I get to the final form and I submit it, the things that should be fixed can't be, such as grammar/typos/plot holes/etc., so I personally try to avoid picking on those except if I can phrase it as "this didn't work for me."

During the beta process I'll point those out, but once it's final, it feels like I'm spending time on the small stuff.

But if I see a protagonist take up a crowbar in self-defense and then hit his assailant with a 2x4, I'm going to want to point that out as "I was a bit confused when Jerry picked up the crowbar and then hit Tom with a 2x4. Did you drop a sentence where he switched weapons?" That seems to be more positive than "Did you know you have a ginormous error here when Jerry's weapon changes magically?" (This is something I did in one of my novels, and only an eagle-eyed reviewer saw it--it was in the final proof!)


Stephen, I agree with you that when I finally submit, I am doing so, knowing that I have issues. But the deadline rules the day. I do go easy on some grammatical, punctuation and spelling errors. I'm looking for a great story. If I have the choice of improving my storyline or improving the grammatical part of my story, I'll opt for working on the plot and characters.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tcFlash Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Mar 2017 at 3:50am
Originally posted by michelecacano michelecacano wrote:

Originally posted by tcFlash tcFlash wrote:

First of all, was the time between submission and results longer this time than ever before? It was eight and a half weeks. I don't remember it being that long, but I might be mistaken. That would lend itself to burning people out. 

I encourage those who have been around for a while to continue offering high quality reviews and critiques, even if you offer fewer. People read those and learn how it's done. They may begin by mimicking your style and form. That's fine, as long as they go on to develop their own.

I think I'm in favor of breaking the forum up. I may not have thought that through enough, but it seems reasonable at this point.

High numbers of participants and too long a waiting period between submission and results is bound to be a killer. Add that to the old-timers being completely swamped with newcomers and you can include old-timer burnout to the issues.  It's a growth thing. We need some good ideas for handling growth.



Yes, I agree with you. Higher quality critiques are useful, both to the writer being reviewed and anyone else reading those reviews.

After finding that amazing Master List, I found it much easier to read and review works, myself (not that I've made much time for it... Soery!).
Also, we lost some old-timers who were extremely active in the past. I felt that in a big way this time. I've been around for four years, but I am not in the same league with the people I am referring to. But, it may be time for others to step up and fill the void. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tcFlash Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Mar 2017 at 3:57am
Originally posted by nixie nixie wrote:

Originally posted by justmel justmel wrote:

I agree with Stephen.  Also, not all of the stories were necessarily listed in Sauve's list (not though any failing on his part!), and I was sad that mine was the only one in my group until I started scrolling through the forum itself and found two more.  I gave their info to Suave to add to the Master List, but I don't think those two got much feedback.  There are still nine "only children" in the ML, and I can't help wondering if some of those might have a sibling or two that they just don't know about.

Just illustrates how easy it is for stories to get 'lost' in the forums - which is why it is so helpful, when trying to maintain a master list during a period of furious activity, that the forumites come together to point out anyone who forgot (or didn't know) to share their info on the ML post to get added.

Also shows why the ML is such a neat invention - much easier to look for stuff.  

And yes - I am just sticking my Nixie nose in long enough to publicly pat Suave on the back for taking on the immense task of MLing the SSC.  It's a big job - but once it gets established, it makes it *so* much easier to ensure that stories don't get "lost in the forum" and missed!  

Here's my pat on suave's back....Great job. Thank you for making this year's SSC as enjoyable as it has been. 

Now, regarding the maintenance of the ML in the future, would two, smaller forums with an ML of their own be more effective and encourage participation?



Edited by tcFlash - 19 Mar 2017 at 3:59am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote patsy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Mar 2017 at 9:10pm
I'll admit I've been bad this year.  I did read back reviews but very few seek outs.  I did more in flash.  perhaps it was the length that burned me out faster, or just too much going on!  But I have done less this round :( 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote nixie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Mar 2017 at 11:30pm
Originally posted by tcFlash tcFlash wrote:

Here's my pat on suave's back....Great job. Thank you for making this year's SSC as enjoyable as it has been. 

Now, regarding the maintenance of the ML in the future, would two, smaller forums with an ML of their own be more effective and encourage participation?


I think, in the general scheme of things, the forums are tough to search and posts accumulate quickly.  The "most-recently-touched-post-to-the-front" logic makes it easy to miss posts, and the more random subject lines are, the harder it is to sort them in any meaningful way.  I can totally understand how 'fewer things in one place' would make that easier to wade through.  But that annoyance is the origin of the Master List.  

I don't know that 'separate forums" would be that much different, at this point, as long as someone picks up the ML task (I am "in" for FFC - if you see my Nixie nose, there will be a Master List - so kiss up to Suave to keep doing one for SSC ;) ).  Splitting into two forums *would create extra steps for those who, for example, skim the ML to find other groups that wrote in their genre, etc.

Thoughts?
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