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Why do so few of us actually post our stories?

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justmel View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote justmel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Feb 2020 at 5:54am
I started doing these contests in 2015, and up until last year, I think I posted everything I submitted.  In the early years, it was pretty easy to return all crits, and I got (and I hope gave) some great feedback--but then, as the forums grew, it got a lot harder, and a lot of the familiar faces vanished--and honestly the quality of feedback slipped pretty significantly (one or two sentences of "great work, good luck" became the norm).  Some people still left (and still leave) really excellent, well-thought out, balanced feedback, so it was still worth it to participate, but then I switched providers and wound up with limited data. I continued to post, now with disclaimers about probably not being able to return crits, but although I still tried to return as many as I could, I felt guilty about not returning them all--and I hate feeling guilty!  Finally, when I started hearing whispers of plagiarism, I stopped posting altogether.  Whether those whispers were true or not is irrelevant to me.  I do miss the camaraderie of the early days (I know I sound like a grumpy old dinosaur here, get off my lawn, sorry), but anyway now I just share with my writer's group and am much less active in the forums as a whole.  (This is just my experience.  Your mileage may vary.)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (3) Thanks(3)   Quote Jewel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Feb 2020 at 7:54pm
I am a newbie to the NYC Midnight contest, and I had no idea when I decided to enter the contest as a fun challenge for myself that there was this whole community of writers sharing stories and critiques on the forums! I have read many posts and several stories, and am impressed with all of the talent as well as with the thoughtful reviews.

As to why some people aren’t posting their stories, I can only say as a newcomer, it is very intimidating to see all these short stories that are incredibly well written, and feel like my story is like a third grader’s essay in comparison!! Also, even though there are very detailed instructions on how to post and link, if anyone is somewhat technologically challenged like I am, it seems a little daunting to even post the stories correctly!!

( if this first note posts to the forum, I will have overcome one hurdle today!!)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote stevieh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Feb 2020 at 3:24pm
I'm a newbie to NYC midnight this year and I posted my story without giving much thought to it.
I had assumed that more people would post theirs too. I'm a little disappointed I can't read more from my heat.
There's probably a lot of reasons why people don't post. I would think if people have had any experience with mean or hateful comments on them in the past they may be reluctant to post again. 
There are people I'm sure that never finished and submitted. It would be really interesting to see the percentage of submission.
I think getting conflicting critiques on a piece can really mess with your head. Maybe some people prefer for the judges feedback? I know usually I'm reluctant to show my work to people without it first checking they know what they are talking about. There would be plenty of people on here that wouldn't know what they are talking about when they say things with authority just like on a lot of critique sites. I think that would put people off aswell. 
round1, heat 77:
Paintings in the blood
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Krystyne Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Feb 2020 at 6:37pm
Originally posted by Jewel Jewel wrote:

I am a newbie to the NYC Midnight contest, and I had no idea when I decided to enter the contest as a fun challenge for myself that there was this whole community of writers sharing stories and critiques on the forums! I have read many posts and several stories, and am impressed with all of the talent as well as with the thoughtful reviews.

As to why some people aren’t posting their stories, I can only say as a newcomer, it is very intimidating to see all these short stories that are incredibly well written, and feel like my story is like a third grader’s essay in comparison!! 

Ditto!
It is very intimidating after reading all these fantastic stories. But I suppose,in order to get better at this, I need to put it out there, warts and all.
Hopefully someone will read it (if I did the linking correctly) lol
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote craigs Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Feb 2020 at 4:27pm
I can only speak for myself, but I didn't post my story because it isn't really ready for feedback.  I submitted at the last minute because I was still revising, and have tons of changes I want to make.  So I don't want feedback because I already know the major weak points.  If there were some way to get feedback on a future revision, it could expose the weak points I don't see.  But as it stands, I don't see the feedback being useful yet.

Truthfully, now I am just waiting to see if I happen to make it to the next round. The feedback isn't really a priority. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote aniaheasley Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Feb 2020 at 7:26am

My daughter entered this competition on a spur of the moment, it seemed a great idea at the time. She is only 14 and perhaps she realised this might be a little too hard for her. But. But. But. She still wrote, rewrote, rewrote again and submitted her story, on topic, on time, hovering around 2100 word count and she already feels like a winner because she did. Sharing it though, with all the pros and semi-pros among you good people is a different story. 
For the record, she was in Heat 117 (comedy-successful-paleontologist).  

What do you want to do ?
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Edited by aniaheasley - 11 Feb 2020 at 9:32am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote sootfoot5 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Feb 2020 at 7:33am
Originally posted by justmel justmel wrote:

I started doing these contests in 2015, and up until last year, I think I posted everything I submitted.  In the early years, it was pretty easy to return all crits, and I got (and I hope gave) some great feedback--but then, as the forums grew, it got a lot harder, and a lot of the familiar faces vanished--and honestly the quality of feedback slipped pretty significantly (one or two sentences of "great work, good luck" became the norm).  Some people still left (and still leave) really excellent, well-thought out, balanced feedback, so it was still worth it to participate, but then I switched providers and wound up with limited data. I continued to post, now with disclaimers about probably not being able to return crits, but although I still tried to return as many as I could, I felt guilty about not returning them all--and I hate feeling guilty!  Finally, when I started hearing whispers of plagiarism, I stopped posting altogether.  Whether those whispers were true or not is irrelevant to me.  I do miss the camaraderie of the early days (I know I sound like a grumpy old dinosaur here, get off my lawn, sorry), but anyway now I just share with my writer's group and am much less active in the forums as a whole.  (This is just my experience.  Your mileage may vary.)


justmel, what you said is so true but it also kinda makes me smirk.  I started doing these comps in 2008, and you want to talk about the familiar faces, etc!  And leadership...ahhh, serious "good old days" (getting out my rocking chair, pipe, and pushing back my grey hair to tell you young pups a tale.)

But past is past.  Or is it?  The past that justmel is referring to still contains current members who have chosen not to post.  I know why some of them don't.  It is like this:  when you've been in this comp for a while, you become a better writer.  But you still have your day job, your bread and butter job.  But when you become a better writer, you usually spend more time submitting for publication or seriously working on a novel.  You may also spend time in a writer's group or going to writing seminars, lectures, reading writing books, and so on.  

Now, before I go any further, I want to EMPHATICALLY state that what made many of these people better writers was the time they spent reviewing in this forum.  When you take time critiquing other people's work, you find it much easier to find the flaws in your own, especially in that damnable bane of all writers, POV.  (shudder)  Many of these writers who used to post and now don't were ones who wrote some of the most in-depth reviews.  

And, there are some of us old farts, myself being a prime example, who used to give much more in-depth feedback but seldom do anymore.  Honestly, I find it is seldom truly appreciated.  People say they want a "real review" but I don't think many writers do or understand what that entails.  Correcting someone's grammar isn't a review.  By the time the story has hit the fan (lo) the writer probably has already figured out those mistakes; furthermore, I've read numerous -- more than I can count -- corrections that were incorrect.  The reviews that are merely grammar corrections or "nice story" are another reason why many people don't post.  They don'thave the time to review a story in return for someone who gave their story such a shoddy review.  

Short version:  If you can't think of anything else to say in a review, pick out some things you liked about the story.  It is always helpful to a writer to know what works!  

Some people, especially the new members, try to review and kudos to them.  They are learning.  But I had someone review me last fall in Flash who said something like, "Great story click the link to read my story (story title)" -- needless to say, I did NOT click the link.   

BTW, there are a multitude of contestants who have never posted in the forum.  These are the professional writers.  I know this because I have, in the past, google people in my heat when they didn't post.  Now that I know pros sometimes enter, I don't make myself sick by doing that.  The interesting thing is that these people seldom win the contests.  I think they drop out.  

There are also people who I think don't know the forum exists.  

There are the reasons I believe people don't post.  I could be wrong, but I've been around here for a while.  The way I look at it is that there are more than enough stories to read and writers to get to know, so who cares if some don't post?  

Enough is as good as a feast.    


Edited by sootfoot5 - 14 Feb 2020 at 9:55am
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billyliggett View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote billyliggett Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Feb 2020 at 4:56pm
I'm one of those newbies, and I enjoy the forum immensely. For now, I post my stories — but I suffer from a slight case of "imposter syndrome," and I take most of the atta-boys as people just being nice. 

I also like reading others' stories — and I love giving feedback, because most of them are either good to great. But then I recently came across a few headscratchers, and I struggled to give feedback without sounding like a big phony. 

So, all that to say ... I understand people who want nothing to do with this. 

We're all writing, and writing is hard as hell. Putting your writing out for others to read is even harder. 

So good for all of us!

PS: Don't read my stuff. ;)


Edited by billyliggett - 14 Feb 2020 at 5:02pm
Finalist: 2019 Microfiction
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Preyingcloud Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Feb 2020 at 8:42pm
I post my stories but I don't get many reads, probably because of my uninspiring titles or just the volume. Actually, the volume of choice is overwhelming. My day job is ultra demanding and sometimes I run out of steam so I read stories and my mind is like "that was gooder than the last one" and this is not a valuable review. I also don't know where to begin so I sort of hope people will read mine so I can read theirs and not have to pick. (Sorry, my daily cognitive load is so out of control I literally can't decide what to eat. I live on carrot sticks, quinoa biscuits and hummus and wait to see what the husband is serving for dinner. Trying to pick out a story to read ... I should. I want to! I freeze .. )

But I am so glad so many of us do post, even if it isn't the majority. Hell that would be true overload! Even just reading people's stories is inspiring. And criticism is so necessary for improvement. Also flat out stealing someone else's work is a surefire way to destroy ones own reputation. But every story and idea when taken on macro level is a recycled version of another story, it's how you tell it that counts and that is rooted in individual experience. You can't steal that.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Judit Dani Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Feb 2020 at 3:14pm
Originally posted by stevieh stevieh wrote:

I'm a newbie to NYC midnight this year and I posted my story without giving much thought to it.
I had assumed that more people would post theirs too. I'm a little disappointed I can't read more from my heat.
There's probably a lot of reasons why people don't post. I would think if people have had any experience with mean or hateful comments on them in the past they may be reluctant to post again. 
There are people I'm sure that never finished and submitted. It would be really interesting to see the percentage of submission.
I think getting conflicting critiques on a piece can really mess with your head. Maybe some people prefer for the judges feedback? I know usually I'm reluctant to show my work to people without it first checking they know what they are talking about. There would be plenty of people on here that wouldn't know what they are talking about when they say things with authority just like on a lot of critique sites. I think that would put people off aswell. 

Stevieh, You're absolutely right on all your points. Especially with the messing with the head part. I asked the few people that knows about my passion for writing to read my story and I got good and constructive feedback. But they are not writers and I am thinking most readers are not writers as well, and if they enjoyed it then that means something. Yes, professional feedback is important, but I would first wait for the judges to give me one, than to be put off by the authority you mentioned in your post, Stevieh. 
There were two stories posted in my heat, and honestly if I'd received some of the comments they got I would definitely get discouraged, which - after spending considerable energy to beat the procrastinating monster and actually start writing - is not something I need. I really enjoyed writing and want to keep going. 
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