Science Fiction Microstory Contest discussion

21 views
AUGUST 2016 MICROSTORY CONTEST - COMMENTS ONLY

Comments Showing 1-50 of 121 (121 new)    post a comment »
« previous 1 3

message 1: by Jack (new)

Jack McDaniel | 246 comments The theme* for the month follows this note from the competition's Creator/Director, Jot Russell:

To help polish our skills and present a flavour of our art to other members in the group, I am continuing this friendly contest for those who would like to participate. There is no money involved, but there is also no telling what a little recognition and respect might generate. The rules are simple:

1) The story needs to be your own work and should be posted on the Good Reads Discussion board, which is a public group. You maintain responsibility and ownership of your work to do with as you please. You may withdraw your story at any time.

2) The stories must be 750 words or less.

3) The stories have to be science fiction, follow a specific theme and potentially include reference to items as requested by the prior month's contest winner. The theme for this month is posted below.

4) You have until midnight EST on the 22nd day of the month to post your story to the Good Reads Science Fiction Microstory Contest discussion. One story per author per month.

5) After, anyone from the LI Sci-Fi group or the GR Science Fiction Microstory Discussion group has until midnight EST of the 25th day of the month to cast a single private vote to Jot Russell () for a story other than their own. This vote will be made public once voting is closed. Voting is required. If you do not vote, your story will be disqualified from the contest. You don't need a qualifying story to cast a vote, but must offer the reason for your vote if you don’t have an entry.

6) To win, a story needs at least half of the votes, or be the only one left after excluding those with the fewest votes. Runoffs will be run each day until a winner is declared. Stories with vote totals that add up to at least half, discarding those with the fewest votes, will be carried forward to the next runoff election. Prior votes will be carried forward to support runoff stories. If you voted for a story that did not make it into the runoff, you need to vote again before midnight EST of that day. Only people who voted in the initial round may vote in the runoffs.

7) Please have all posts abide by the rules of Good Reads and the LI Sci-Fi group.

8) Professional comments and constructive criticisms are appreciated by any member in either group and should be posted to the separate thread that will be posted at the end of the month and all voting is complete to avoid any influence on the voting. Feel free to describe elements that you do and don't like, as these help us gain a better perspective of our potential readers. Remarks deemed inflammatory or derogatory will be flagged and/ or removed by the moderator.

9) The winner has THREE days after the start of the new month to make a copy of these rules and post a new contest thread using the theme/items of their choosing. Otherwise, the originator of the contest, Jot Russell, will post a new contest thread.
______________________________

*Theme / Requirements for the August 2016 contest:

Must be SciFi

Must Include: Alien bones are discovered where they shouldn't be. Use that however you want.


message 2: by Heather (last edited Jul 28, 2016 11:07PM) (new)

Heather MacGillivray | 581 comments Good topic, Jack,
I think this might be the first time we've been given 'Aliens' directly as part of the topic. And, to my way of thinking, their ''bones ... discovered where they shouldn't be" gives a nice shiver-up-the-spine feel to it all. Should be fun! ... though I suppose it could be 'serious' too. Lots of room to move for different writers' interpretations!


message 3: by Richard (new)

Richard Bunning (richardbunning) | 1 comments Story up- I do like being first, certainly before Jack, as that story is always so good it puts me off trying.


message 4: by C. (new)

C. Lloyd Preville (clpreville) | 736 comments Mine's up too. Fun one this time!

-C.


message 5: by C. (new)

C. Lloyd Preville (clpreville) | 736 comments Thank you Heather for your additional notes!

My response wasn't intended as any sort of criticism of your critique, but rather a sincere heart-felt thank you with a bit of encouragement tacked on. My suggestions about constructive criticism were directed at all of us, myself included, as we formulate how to find the right tone for this new critique process.

However, since you have so much to contribute in my particular case, being an intelligent and articulate writer with a completely different writing--and thinking--style, I selfishly refuse to miss this opportunity. : )

-C.


message 6: by Paula (last edited Jul 30, 2016 10:34PM) (new)

Paula | 943 comments I believe the critiques, including any extra critiques beyond the one-per-critiquer-per-story, go in the Critiques thread. That's what it's for. If the one-per-one-per-one presents a problem, anyone affected needs to contact Jot, as this would be a very good question.


message 7: by Jack (new)

Jack McDaniel | 246 comments Jot does that. I sent him a note Friday. He is probably busy for the weekend and will get to it tomorrow.


message 8: by C. (new)

C. Lloyd Preville (clpreville) | 736 comments Andy wrote: "So the assumption is that submitting a story requires that one is open for any and all critiques?"
\
Andy,

There doesn't appear to be, yet anyway, any guidance to the contrary in the rules. Do you have a suggestion how this should work? Your comments might best be located here rather than on the critiques only thread.

-C.


message 9: by Andy (new)

Andy Gurcak | 91 comments C. - I would simply have folks put something like a "(C)" after the title of their story if they welcome critiques. Otherwise, hold off on critiquing that particular story. I would make it be a positive action on the author's part to indicate a desire /willingness for a critique if someone is willing.


message 10: by Tom (new)

Tom Olbert | 1090 comments My story's up, and open to critiques. (Now, how do you get to the critique thread?)


message 11: by Heather (last edited Jul 31, 2016 09:05PM) (new)

Heather MacGillivray | 581 comments Tom,
https://www.goodreads.com/topic/group... gets you to the page(s) listing all the discussions ... and at present the Critiques thread is on page 2, meaning you have to scroll down to the bottom to click 'page 2' (but hopefully soon Jot will soon put it at the top of page 1, next to the "Stories" and "Comments" threads)
OR
just go via the direct link, here https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...


message 12: by Richard (new)

Richard Bunning (richardbunning) | 1 comments Well, if anyone had made it clear that author to author criticism should be in private and not potentially in front of the world, its me. But clearly my views are as penetrating as my stories.
I can do within the ******* undergrad. student analysis. I've better things to do.


message 13: by C. (new)

C. Lloyd Preville (clpreville) | 736 comments Suggest we added a "P" for those who don't want critiques instead of a "C" for those who do. That way people will opt out rather than opt in.


message 14: by Jot (new)

Jot Russell | 1254 comments Mod
Andrew asked> So the assumption is that submitting a story requires that one is open for any and all critiques?

Correct.


message 15: by Justin (new)

Justin Sewall | 1035 comments I plan on adding to the critiques thread. I've just been out of town for a few days and am trying to get caught up here!

I love the challenge topic for this month!


message 16: by Paula (new)

Paula | 943 comments So, Jot,
1. Then how do we opt out from the "critiquing", if we wish:
a. for our own stories
b. to avoid being ambushed b2y critiques that have spoilers and/or judgments about current stories during a given month before the voting on them?
2. How do you see the threads as different, if follow-ups to the one-critique ff by one-reply per criquer-author dyad are to go into the "comments" thread rather than the "critiques" thread?
Just askin'.


message 17: by Tom (new)

Tom Olbert | 1090 comments Heather wrote: "Tom,
https://www.goodreads.com/topic/group... gets you to the page(s) listing all the discussions ... and at present the Critiques thread is on page 2, meaning you have..."


Thank you. I plan to use this thread, to the best of my ability.


message 18: by Paula (last edited Aug 02, 2016 02:54AM) (new)

Paula | 943 comments Richard wrote: "Between you, critics, you're destroying this group. Whenever we get into this bitter/sweet cross fertilization crap we lose writers. It always gets heavy, breaking down into a mixture of arse licki..."
Ah, but keep in mind J.J.'s good line.
By the way, Richard, agreed entirely that "the vote is absolutely ruined by having people dissecting each other's work before we vote." But, again, of course the critiquers are judged as well.


message 19: by C. (new)

C. Lloyd Preville (clpreville) | 736 comments Richard,

I agree with your concerns but not your lack of patience.

This is a big change and will take some time to sort itself out.

I have suggested we all critique one story selected from the previous months contest, which would address many of the problems you cited.

How this works out is up to the group but i believe we can make the group better not worse.

Hang in there and help.

-C.


message 20: by Jon (new)

Jon Ricson (jonricson1) | 61 comments I for one have no interest being critiqued in this group. I know I don't contribute every single month, but this group has always been a nice fun exercise in writing a quick story on demand, and just getting my voice heard. If someone said something nice or I was in the running for the win, well that was a bonus.

Now that there is critiquing, it's going to make me think twice about everything I do. That kind of sucks all the fun out of it.

I'm not out...just leery.


message 21: by Jot (new)

Jot Russell | 1254 comments Mod
Let's give this a month or two to see how this works and how we might want to change it. And Heather, please give everyone an equal voice. At the hospital for my father today, but will go over this tomorrow and remove runon posts. Let's keep it brief and to the point.


message 22: by C. (new)

C. Lloyd Preville (clpreville) | 736 comments I'd be happy to volunteer my last month's story for a group critique but the current rules don't allow for this.

One thing i'd like to add to my previous comments to Richard is that I hopes he stays to help craft a workable critique board because he had a lot to contribute.

-C.


message 23: by Jot (new)

Jot Russell | 1254 comments Mod
So, how do people feel about critiques?

* Should we limit them in size to under 500 words?
* Should we allow a writer to request specific critiques be removed?
* Should we allow writers to request no critiques be provided for their story?


message 24: by Jot (new)

Jot Russell | 1254 comments Mod
Richard questioned if the voting details were published for last month. They were on the stories thread, as with each month. Here is a copy of those details:

First round votes:
Richard Bunning => ****Jack, Justin, Kalifer, Dorthe, Chris, Lloyd, Karl
C. Lloyd Preville => ***Chris
Tom Olbert => John, Jack, Chris, Karl
Justin Sewall => ***Chris, Greg, Karl, Lloyd, Jack, Kalifer
Karl Freitag => ****Jack, Jot, Chris
Jack McDaniel => ***Lloyd, Tom, Kalifer
Chris Nance => ****Jack, Jot, Dorthe
J. J. Alleson => Paula, Jot, Andrew, Greg
John Appius Quill => ***Lloyd, Tom, Dorthe, Greg, Jack, Chris, Justin
Paula Friedman => **Greg, Richard, Dorthe, JJ/Jack/Andrew
Jot Russell => ***Lloyd
Andrew Gurcak => Richard, JJ, Dorthe, Paula, Greg
Kalifer Deil => ****Jack, John, Chris
Greg Krumrey =>
Jeremy McLain => **Greg, Chris
D C Mills => JJ, Andrew, Greg, Justin
Heather MacGillivray => ***Chris, Karl, Andrew, Tom, Richard, Jot

First round finalists:
Tempest in a Martini Glass by C. Lloyd Preville
Signs of Life by Jack McDaniel
The Lab by Chris Nance

Second round votes:
Richard Bunning => #***Jack, Justin, Kalifer, Dorthe, Chris, Lloyd, Karl
C. Lloyd Preville => #Chris
Tom Olbert => John, #***Jack, Chris, Karl
Justin Sewall => #Chris, Greg, Karl, Lloyd, Jack, Kalifer
Karl Freitag => #***Jack, Jot, Chris
Jack McDaniel => ***Lloyd, Tom, Kalifer
Chris Nance => #***Jack, Jot, Dorthe
J. J. Alleson => Paula, Jot, Andrew, Greg; #***Jack
John Appius Quill => ***Lloyd, Tom, Dorthe, Greg, Jack, Chris, Justin
Paula Friedman => Greg, Richard, Dorthe, JJ/#***Jack/Andrew
Jot Russell => ***Lloyd
Andrew Gurcak => Richard, JJ, Dorthe, Paula, Greg; #Chris
Kalifer Deil => #***Jack, John, Chris
Greg Krumrey =>
Jeremy McLain => Greg, #Chris
D C Mills => JJ, Andrew, Greg, Justin; #***Jack
Heather MacGillivray => #Chris, Karl, Andrew, Tom, Richard, Jot

Finalists:
Signs of Life by Jack McDaniel
The Lab by Chris Nance

Third round votes:
Richard Bunning => #****Jack, Justin, Kalifer, Dorthe, Chris, Lloyd, Karl
C. Lloyd Preville => #*Chris
Tom Olbert => John, #****Jack, Chris, Karl
Justin Sewall => #*Chris, Greg, Karl, Lloyd, Jack, Kalifer
Karl Freitag => #****Jack, Jot, Chris
Jack McDaniel => Lloyd, Tom, Kalifer; #*Chris
Chris Nance => #****Jack, Jot, Dorthe
J. J. Alleson => Paula, Jot, Andrew, Greg; #****Jack
John Appius Quill => Lloyd, Tom, Dorthe, Greg, #****Jack, Chris, Justin
Paula Friedman => Greg, Richard, Dorthe, JJ/#****Jack/Andrew
Jot Russell => Lloyd
Andrew Gurcak => Richard, JJ, Dorthe, Paula, Greg; #*Chris
Kalifer Deil => #****Jack, John, Chris
Greg Krumrey =>
Jeremy McLain => Greg, #*Chris
D C Mills => JJ, Andrew, Greg, Justin; #****Jack
Heather MacGillivray => #*Chris, Karl, Andrew, Tom, Richard, Jot

Winner:
Signs of Life by Jack McDaniel


message 25: by Jot (new)

Jot Russell | 1254 comments Mod
I removed a number of the posts, as they were carried over details from the critiques thread over to the comments. Critiques need to be restricted to that thread.


message 26: by Heather (last edited Aug 03, 2016 07:58AM) (new)

Heather MacGillivray | 581 comments Where do we answer the questions you've asked us to respond to re the critiques, Jot? by email to you? ... or post our responses here on this thread? That is, is it to be by secret ballot, or, is it meant to be a public vote, perhaps including a rationale for each choice?


message 27: by Jot (new)

Jot Russell | 1254 comments Mod
It's just a discussion at this point, so people are welcome to comment about how they might like to see it work. Just want to keep it simple, so I posted the three options.


message 28: by C. (new)

C. Lloyd Preville (clpreville) | 736 comments Jot wrote: "So, how do people feel about critiques?

* Should we limit them in size to under 500 words?
* Should we allow a writer to request specific critiques be removed?
* Should we allow writers to request..."


Hi Jot,

This is all new, and subject to a lot of problems as we find how to best structure a critique process. For instance with critiques on current stories, I expect it is causing concerns and perhaps delays in story publications since people are waiting to see how this works before they toss their stories into the blender.

And some folks have indicated serious concerns or refused to have their stories critiqued. I think we're bound to honor such a request.

So I'm going to reiterate my earlier suggestions with some tweaks:
1. Critique prior month stories only, so we don't effect the current month's competition.
2. Pick one story (you or at random), and check with the author before announcing it to get an ok for the story to be critiqued.
3. All of us critique the same story. So it's not possible for anyone to target a story on their own. This will eliminate any back and forth retributions.
4. 500 word limit is a great idea. Helps to sharpen us up as critiquing authors and eliminates the "stream of consciousness" approach.
5. All our critiques should be hidden until the end of the month after the winner of the current competition is announced. It would be instructive to see where many agreed and many disagreed about a particular story.

I think if we do these things, people will find having their story critiqued to be an empowering and reinforcing experience, rather than the current experience, which is much like being fitted with a blindfold and offered a cigarette while being tied to a pole.

Maybe someone can volunteer to assist with some of the logistics, since I recognize it puts additional administrative load on this site's management. i'd be happy to volunteer my time to do so and I'm sure others would do so as well.

-C.


message 29: by Jot (new)

Jot Russell | 1254 comments Mod
I disagree with picking a single story and also would like to still see the critiques be based on this month's stories. It's out-of-sight/out-of-mind attitude otherwise.


message 30: by C. (new)

C. Lloyd Preville (clpreville) | 736 comments Hmm. Interesting problem then. Here's my vote:

* Should we limit them in size to under 500 words? YES
* Should we allow a writer to request specific critiques be removed?
NO --Suggest we only allow a writer to take down all critiques or none, not cherry pick.
* Should we allow writers to request no critiques be provided for their story? YES


message 31: by Justin (new)

Justin Sewall | 1035 comments I concur with CLP.

Critique size under 500 words? YES
Permit specific critiques be removed? NO
Allow writers to request no critiques for their story? YES

A simple (Yes critique, or No critique) at the top of a story should suffice.

I do agree with Jot for reviewing the current month's stories and not just picking one story.


message 32: by Heather (last edited Aug 03, 2016 11:38PM) (new)

Heather MacGillivray | 581 comments My answers to Jot's questions (above) on the CRITIQUES:
* Should we limit them in size to under 500 words?
YES, because it will keep the format (more) consistent; thus allowing (the differences in) the actual content of each critique to be the highlight ... and thus more informative and helpful.
* Should we allow a writer to request specific critiques be removed?
NO, as long as a writer can opt out - in advance - of being critiqued, which they should be able to do, in my opinion (see answer to next question below) then 'accepting a critique' for that month is essentially a 'commitment made,' for that month, to a valuable group activity and so shouldn't be reneged on after the event. (And writers have 'the right of rebuttal' ... which is enough to address a critique they don't like.)
* Should we allow writers to request no critiques be provided for their story?
YES. It's clear that the one word "critique" has at least two polar opposite meanings to different group members. To some, myself included, it means (something along the lines of) an opportunity for mutual help among writers about a project outside themselves and therefore outside of their ego or sense of worth, viz., it is a critique of, not them, but rather their Written Art which, once written, has a life of its own outside of the writer. And so, from that viewpoint, 'having one's work critiqued' is a great benefit, potentially, but not prescriptively allowing the writer's subsequent works to be more honed and refined ... before those subsequent works, in turn, also 'go out' to have a life of their own. (And its also a chance to practise the skill of critiquing and to see the critiquing of other stories and other responses/rebuttals, which also is all valuable learning.) The other polar opposite view seems to be that 'having one's work critiqued' equates to an attack on the ego - an humiliation. I feel sorry for writers who adhere to that latter viewpoint ... BUT realistically, they are not going to change and so they should be allowed to opt out IN ADVANCE of what, to them, is traumatizing.


message 33: by Carrie (last edited Aug 04, 2016 07:13AM) (new)

Carrie Zylka (carriezylka) | 223 comments Jot wrote: "So, how do people feel about critiques?

* Should we limit them in size to under 500 words? YES (I would vote for less words.)
* Should we allow a writer to request specific critiques be removed? NO (take all critiques, good and bad)
* Should we allow writers to request no critiques be provided for their story? YES (since it's a just for fun contest, I think people should have the option to opt out of critiquing.)

And I vote for current stories, agree with the "out of sight out of mind" mentality.


message 34: by Carrie (last edited Aug 04, 2016 07:14AM) (new)

Carrie Zylka (carriezylka) | 223 comments One quick clarification I'd like (I may have missed it)

We can choose to critique one story, all or none correct?

And what if we don't want to rebut a critique? (I'll say thanks, take their advice and incorporate it into the future.) We don't have to explain why we wrote something - correct?


message 35: by C. (new)

C. Lloyd Preville (clpreville) | 736 comments Nice story, Carrie!

Are you taking critiques on this? I figure it doesn't hurt to ask.

-C.


message 36: by Justin (new)

Justin Sewall | 1035 comments She did indicate critiques were welcome at the top of her story.

I liked it Carrie!


message 37: by Carrie (new)

Carrie Zylka (carriezylka) | 223 comments oh yes, the more brutal the critique the better!!


message 38: by Marianne (new)

Marianne (mariannegpetrino) | 388 comments Off to Ireland. Hoping the critical dust settles by my return. Hope to contribute more in the autumn. :)


message 39: by Justin (new)

Justin Sewall | 1035 comments Story is up. Please feel free to critique. Constructive criticism welcome!


message 40: by C. (new)

C. Lloyd Preville (clpreville) | 736 comments Carrie,

I just critiqued your cool little micro-story. Usually I wouldn't do this many critiques, but we're all feeling our way here and it's interesting to experiment with different critique styles and approaches.

I hope you like it.

-C.


message 41: by Jot (new)

Jot Russell | 1254 comments Mod
We seem to have a consensus. Please limit the critiques to 500 words and include a mention at the bottom of your story if you choose NOT to have it critiqued.

And Carrie, you can pick and choose which stories you would like to critique.


message 42: by Carrie (new)

Carrie Zylka (carriezylka) | 223 comments Awesome sauce!


message 43: by Justin (new)

Justin Sewall | 1035 comments Paula,

Thank you for the ending critique, I really appreciate it!!

If somehow my settings show me as not accepting messages please tell me. It would simply be ignorance on my part on how to set it properly!


message 44: by Carrie (new)

Carrie Zylka (carriezylka) | 223 comments Are we allowed to edit our stories afterwards? I couldn't find it in the rules but I'm not sure how fair it would be to take some critique advice and re-post it.

So I don't think I will anyway - but I was just wondering.


message 45: by C. (new)

C. Lloyd Preville (clpreville) | 736 comments Carrie,

I had my attorney review the language, and as far as he can tell, it's not against any current rules.

(Just kiddin'. . .)

-C.


message 46: by Carrie (new)

Carrie Zylka (carriezylka) | 223 comments C. wrote: "Carrie,

I had my attorney review the language, and as far as he can tell, it's not against any current rules.

(Just kiddin'. . .)

-C."


LOLOLOL quite trying to get me in trouble!! :P


message 47: by Jot (new)

Jot Russell | 1254 comments Mod
Editing is okay. The point is to try to create a perfect story. Even with a little help, this is no small feat.


message 48: by Carrie (new)

Carrie Zylka (carriezylka) | 223 comments Jot wrote: "Editing is okay. The point is to try to create a perfect story. Even with a little help, this is no small feat."
Ok, I might try to re-work that ending then (for the 5th time!!!!!)


message 49: by Heather (new)

Heather MacGillivray | 581 comments I've just posted a critique of Carrie's story, "Door Number Three" ... I'm really interested in seeing how different people critique, any given, same story and what the author gets out of the different critiquing perspectives as a whole experience of learning.

p.s. My critique is exactly 500 words ... excluding the heading identifying which story is being critiqued and the word count of the critique (same as how the heading etc is not counted in the word count for stories.) Hope that is OK.


message 50: by Paula (new)

Paula | 943 comments Carrie, in reworking it, think of Poe's dictum--everything toward a single emotional effect (this is not how Poe phrased it, though).
Justin--no, I was referring only to Carri's settings. I didn't actually check yours; sorry if that misled.
Heather, there are more than two attitudes toward critiquing; some may be quite happy to get critiques from people whose literary knowledge they admire.


« previous 1 3
back to top