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News: The FINAL ROUND of the PseudoPod Flash Fiction Contest has begun!
 
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Author Topic: Pseudopod Flash Fiction Contest IV Rules  (Read 28553 times)
DoWhileNot
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« Reply #140 on: October 14, 2015, 10:09:12 PM »

For better or worse,  I know that group think DOES effect me.   I'm very careful therefore when I'm reading the stories not to read the comments right away.   I keep a notepad by me while I read and give all of the stories a score and a brief couple of notes about my impression.   It's only after that that I go ahead and read the comments.

I'll vote for whichever stories get the highest score regardless of what the comments say or how they influence me.   On a scale of 1 to 10, so far nothing has been lower than a 4 or higher than a 9.5.  Lots of 9.5s though.   This has been a great contest so far.
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Not-a-Robot
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« Reply #141 on: October 21, 2015, 05:05:47 AM »

The way I voted in the prior rounds of the contest:

I would open the group in a new window and open all the stories in individual tabs.

I'd move the story to the left of the poll if I liked it. I'd close it if I didn't.

Then I would read the comments to help me narrow my choices down to three.

How have all of you been voting?


I read the story, then I read the comments,
Most of the time I go, "Yeah, I agree" or "What the hell are they all thinking?"
Then I vote and find out that nobody has the same tastes as I do.
Have I been affected by group think?  It's a possibility that I can't rule out, but I have had many instances where I have disagreed with the comments and voted my own way.

I like the commenting, and I think that it's sometimes a good thing.  For instance, I have learned a ton about banshees, and I know that group think DOES effect me.   I'm very careful therefore when I'm reading the stories not to read the comments right away.   I keep a notepad by me while I read and give all of the stories a score and a brief couple of notes about my impression.   It's only after that that I go ahead and read the comments.

I'll vote for whichever stories get the highest score regardless of what the comments say or how they influence me.   On a scale of 1 to 10, so far nothing has been lower than a 4 or higher than a 9.5.  Lots of 9.5s though.   This has been a great contest so far.


Uhh oh...
« Last Edit: October 21, 2015, 05:09:53 AM by Not-a-Robot » Logged
Chicken Ghost
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« Reply #142 on: October 21, 2015, 11:52:14 PM »

I've been reading them and recording them in a "maybe" list and a "no" list.  I usually don't read the comments until I've decided.  If I've only got 3 in the "maybe" list (only 2 or 3 groups so far) the rest is easy.
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Not-a-Robot
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« Reply #143 on: November 01, 2015, 09:37:11 AM »

Just a quick question for the future.

In case anyone would want to get a head start on things for 2016, would the PC and EP flash fiction contests have the same word limit as this contest?  Or is that not known yet?
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Fenrix
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« Reply #144 on: November 01, 2015, 09:44:54 AM »

Just a quick question for the future.

In case anyone would want to get a head start on things for 2016, would the PC and EP flash fiction contests have the same word limit as this contest?  Or is that not known yet?

Odds are good. I think some in the past have been 750, but 500 is a good size to shoot for.
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Bdoomed
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« Reply #145 on: November 01, 2015, 04:21:00 PM »

Definitely a safe bet at 500.
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I'd like to hear my options, so I could weigh them, what do you say?
Five pounds?  Six pounds? Seven pounds?
eytanz
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« Reply #146 on: November 03, 2015, 06:46:48 AM »

I ran the previous EP contest with a 750 word limit as an experiment, but afterwards the consensus was that while there were some stories that took advantage of the extra words quite well, overall it did not make a big enough impact on the quality of the stories to be worthwhile the longer reading times necessary. I haven't discussed it with the editors yet - and the final decision is theirs - but I think the next EP contest will be 500 words.
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Scattercat
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« Reply #147 on: November 03, 2015, 12:10:18 PM »

I know I'll be advocating 500 tops.  The 750 stories were just too saggy overall, unless interest drops dramatically and we were only expecting like twenty people to submit.  XD
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Sir Postsalot
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« Reply #148 on: November 03, 2015, 06:02:26 PM »

As a writer, I really want 750 words, because in both my entries this time I had to cut vital information that I could've fit with another couple hundred words.

But as a reader/voter/participant, I'm good with 500 because I was already worn out by the end with 500 words apiece!
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Chicken Ghost
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« Reply #149 on: November 04, 2015, 02:47:14 AM »

Now we almost know how slush readers feel.
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Sir Postsalot
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« Reply #150 on: November 04, 2015, 12:30:20 PM »

Now we almost know how slush readers feel.

I've also been a slushreader, but when I am I don't give out detailed comments to every story I read, and I don't necessarily read every story front to back like I do here, so this is still more time-consuming.
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Chicken Ghost
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« Reply #151 on: November 04, 2015, 11:16:36 PM »

So when you were doing that, what would make you go "nope, next?"
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Sir Postsalot
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« Reply #152 on: November 05, 2015, 09:57:44 AM »

So when you were doing that, what would make you go "nope, next?"

For specific things: awkward writing (which doesn't happen too often).  I'm really tired of serial killers and zombies so if a story has those then it needs to make up for it in some other way, it could be an interesting new angle or perspective, or particularly clever language, or really anything to show that it's not a member of the rank-and-file.

But most early-nopes boil down to the general category "didn't catch my interest".  I usually give a story at least a few hundred words to grab my attention, which is more than some readers will do.   If I can set that story down and not wonder what happens next, then it's probably not for me--I've experimented with reading further after I get that initial sense, but I don't recall a case where my initial disinterest was reversed. 

The cause of that can be a variety of things, and it's important to realize that such disinterest is largely a matter of taste--I have similar disinterest in a fair amount of professionally published stories. 

My interest can be triggered by a variety of things--a character I can empathize with, a weird and fun situational idea that I haven't seen before, a cool speculative element, clever or funny use of language.
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Fenrix
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« Reply #153 on: November 05, 2015, 10:00:29 AM »

This is a killer:

“I don’t care what happens to these people.”

http://www.pcwrede.com/the-eight-deadly-words/
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MCWagner
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« Reply #154 on: November 05, 2015, 01:46:41 PM »

As a writer, I really want 750 words, because in both my entries this time I had to cut vital information that I could've fit with another couple hundred words.

But as a reader/voter/participant, I'm good with 500 because I was already worn out by the end with 500 words apiece!

When I started participating in these contests, I was really wanting that 750 word limit, as I tended toward the lengthy and wordy (NO!  Say it ain't so!).  Now that I've been at it a while, I realize the 500 really does improve your writing.  Textual efficiency has a huge learning curve, but once you master hammering your own work into such a small space, you start noticing lazy writing elsewhere.  Needless words, bad, convoluted structure.  The tighter the wordlimit, the better your writing has to be to even make sense in such a small snippet.  (Up to a point, presumably.)

So I'm also in favor of the 500 word limit...
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FireTurtle
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« Reply #155 on: November 05, 2015, 02:04:01 PM »

What MCWagner said!
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“My imagination makes me human and makes me a fool; it gives me all the world and exiles me from it.”
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