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How are topic assignments generated?

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mimzee View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote mimzee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: How are topic assignments generated?
    Posted: 24 Jan 2019 at 2:51pm
I poked around a bit and don't see an answer (maybe by design, as this is not supposed to be known?) but i am curious how the genre/setting/character prompts are generated. I assume there's a master database, but who decides which words are used for possible settings, characters, etc? Are the resulting prompts then reviewed by humans and is there ever a case where the combination makes so little sense it's discarded, or is anything the computer spits out fair game as a prompt for writers? if this is all discussed somewhere, i'd love a link. Not like I need to know, but I like to know how everything works, it's my curse.


Edited by mimzee - 24 Jan 2019 at 3:05pm
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mimzee View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mimzee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Jan 2019 at 1:11pm
Hmm... i was sure one of the old-timers or someone from NYCMidnight would answer. Is this like a trade secret that must not be discussed?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote steph9289 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Jan 2019 at 1:23pm
Originally posted by mimzee mimzee wrote:

Hmm... i was sure one of the old-timers or someone from NYCMidnight would answer. Is this like a trade secret that must not be discussed?

I don't think anyone knows!! Haha! Sometimes it seems totally random and the prompts don't make any sense together. Other times, the connection is SO obvious that everyone in the group gets the same idea! Haha. You just never know what's going to happen!
ShSt19 R1 G129 ~ Bed Ridden (Crime Caper)
ShSc18 C3 G002 ~ Pox Party (Comedy)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote mimzee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Jan 2019 at 1:37pm
thanks (and PS just read Pox Party and loved it -- great rendition of the Mommy Wars!)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (6) Thanks(6)   Quote NYC Midnight Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Jan 2019 at 3:06pm
We randomly generate the genres for each group number, but then staff manually places additional elements (subject, location, character, object, etc.) in each group.  We have a master list of elements that have been used, so we do our best to avoid any similar elements used in recent years and avoid any combinations that may jump out as too difficult or too obvious, though we realize this can be subjective.  Registered writers are assigned to their group assignments randomly as well.

We hope this helps answer your question, but please let us know if you have any other questions or need anything else.  Good luck!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote OnyxLily Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Jan 2019 at 5:13pm
Originally posted by NYC Midnight NYC Midnight wrote:

We randomly generate the genres for each group number, but then staff manually places additional elements (subject, location, character, object, etc.) in each group.  We have a master list of elements that have been used, so we do our best to avoid any similar elements used in recent years and avoid any combinations that may jump out as too difficult or too obvious, though we realize this can be subjective.  Registered writers are assigned to their group assignments randomly as well.

We hope this helps answer your question, but please let us know if you have any other questions or need anything else.  Good luck!

Thanks, that’s really interesting!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote RoryShores Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Jan 2019 at 8:01pm
4 monkeys. 1 bottle of tequila. 50 darts. A wall with 100 post-it notes with genres and themes (yellow). The darts have character scratched onto them. If a monkey passes out, iy is dragged off and replaced with a fresh monkey and another bottle. That last part is the most important.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sephira Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Jan 2019 at 1:55pm
I think I was much happier when I was under the assumption that it was all randomly generated. The fact that actual humans thought Sci-Fi/Summer School/Forklift Operator was a great idea makes me a little sad. XD
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Merrill Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Jan 2019 at 2:51pm
And I thought mine was difficult enough - wow!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote stephenmatlock Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Jan 2019 at 4:49pm
Originally posted by RoryShores RoryShores wrote:

4 monkeys. 1 bottle of tequila. 50 darts. A wall with 100 post-it notes with genres and themes (yellow). The darts have character scratched onto them. If a monkey passes out, iy is dragged off and replaced with a fresh monkey and another bottle. That last part is the most important.


This seems much more plausible.

Although there is also an algorithm that says "If writer X has complained about Genre Y that they've received recently, assign Genre Y to that writer."

How else do you explain an unbroken series of Ghost Stories for me?
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