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Welcome => Announcements => Topic started by: Jedi Knight Muse on May 11, 2017, 11:56:11 AM

Title: Monthly writing challenge feedback - please read/reply
Post by: Jedi Knight Muse on May 11, 2017, 11:56:11 AM
Hi everyone,

So it's been several months since the last time we asked for feedback regarding the writing challenges, and we have this new group of members (yay!) so we thought that it would be a good time to get some more feedback on the challenges, particularly with the writing prompts themselves. We'd greatly appreciate it if you guys could take a few minutes and fill out and answer these questions (via a reply to this post).

One thing I'm curious about is whether anyone has any ideas for any new kinds of challenges- like right now, the challenge is to pretty much take the theme/prompt/whatever we give and use it to write a story within 5,000 words, whether literally or as part of a theme in the story. But does anyone have any ideas for a new type of challenge? Like...I don't know...having to use X amount of words within the story or something? Things like that? Just something to give a new spin to the challenges.

Code: [Select]
[b]What kinds of writing prompts do you usually like?[/b]
[b]Do you like more open ended prompts, or do you prefer more specific prompts?[/b]
[b]Do you like it when there's more than one prompt to choose from, or do you prefer one prompt?[/b]
[b]Do you have any prompt suggestions?[/b]
[b]Do you have any new challenge suggestions?[/b]
[b]Any other feedback you'd like to give regarding the challenges?[/b]

We'd especially love to get whatever ideas anyone may have for writing prompts that we could use for future challenges.

Looking back at one of the old feedback threads I had made, one of the things I had apparently thought of was prompts for things like "show us a scene that you're proud of because of the dialogue" and "show us a scene that you're proud of because of the description" or something. Is this something people would be interested in participating in? It would basically be a way of showcasing a specific scene that you're proud of and doesn't have to fit a specific prompt, and then get feedback. If you're interested in it, do you have any other ideas for prompts that would work along those lines?

One of the things that's also been a struggle is getting feedback for everyone, whether the writing is specifically for a challenge or just something that's been submitted to the library. I was thinking that maybe we could have some kind of a challenge that's specifically about giving feedback to other members? Like on a forum I used to go to, they have a specific day that's dedicated to giving as much REAL feedback (not just "I really like this, good job!" but real reviews) as possible. Would anyone be interested in this kind of a challenge? If so, do you have any ideas for it?

We appreciate whatever feedback you guys can provide! :) And if you have any other feedback/suggestions beyond what I've written, please feel free to tell us.
Title: Re: Monthly writing challenge feedback - please read/reply
Post by: GeneBWell on May 11, 2017, 12:30:21 PM
What kinds of writing prompts do you usually like?
Any! Dealing with all sorts of different prompts helps build those writing muscles and provides good nutrition for the muse.
Do you like more open ended prompts, or do you prefer more specific prompts?
I like prompts that are open to interpretation. Then again, specific prompts are good training for things like magazine submissions, which may have very narrow theme restrictions.
Do you like it when there's more than one prompt to choose from, or do you prefer one prompt?
I'd prefer a single prompt, though providing multiple possible interpretations/angles on the prompt for folks to use would be nice. If everyone's picking different themes it would be hard to do an apples-to-apples comparison of their submissions.
Do you have any prompt suggestions?
Not at the moment
Do you have any new challenge suggestions?
Not at the moment
Any other feedback you'd like to give regarding the challenges?
I'm excited to be taking on my first writing prompt and look forward to many more!

One of the things that's also been a struggle is getting feedback for everyone, whether the writing is specifically for a challenge or just something that's been submitted to the library. I was thinking that maybe we could have some kind of a challenge that's specifically about giving feedback to other members? Like on a forum I used to go to, they have a specific day that's dedicated to giving as much REAL feedback (not just "I really like this, good job!" but real reviews) as possible. Would anyone be interested in this kind of a challenge? If so, do you have any ideas for it?

This may be a bit draconian but an enforced review-to-review-request ratio can help. Forcing folks to give X number of detailed reviews for each Y number of pieces they put up for review is a good two-pronged strategy that ensures lots of feedback and bottlenecks submissions so there's not too many for people to reasonably cope with. Of course, it can lead to people rushing out some quickie reviews just to fill their quota so they can post up their next piece, but that's still more than the none they would have posted before the rule. A review template could help on that front. At least that way you could ensure that some basic review points are touched on before someone can officially 'count' their reviews.

Some toes may be stepped on if this is seriously enforced, but on the other hand I doubt we'd get everyone involved in reviewing if we don't go to those kinds of lengths.
Title: Re: Monthly writing challenge feedback - please read/reply
Post by: HSCook on May 11, 2017, 12:53:51 PM
I don't like the idea of a feedback challenge. A feedback day would be great, or a feedback reward system (no idea how this would be done).

A group I'm in has a great system for challenge feedback. Took a while to implement but works great! We have a short story (3000 words)
 and a poetry (30 lines) prompt (ran as two competitions). If you enter, you need to provide feedback to three other entries otherwise your entry is not valid.

They run weekly so should work monthly nicely - maybe have a prompt on the first, submission by the 15th, feedback by the 25th and voting for a week after. Each writer who has entered is given three titles to provide feedback on. With a small group like here, everyone would get lots of feedback this way. It is a bit of work the day after entries close and the day after feedback closes, just making checks but apparently isn't too bad; the group has 20-30 entries at a time.

One thing I would like to see is anonymous submissions (anonymous to the readers), if it's possible. Reveal the authors after the winner is chosen. I'm not suggesting there might be bias now, but it does eliminate any.

I like single prompts and won't enter if I'm really really stuck. Multiple prompts is OK, but not a huge fan. Also, open prompts are good usually. They allow for branching and tenuous connections that are a delight to read.

As for other challenges. How about throwing some of these in?
-Starting line or ending line prompts.
-Flash (less than 500 words) and super flash (50 words or less) competitions.
-The 50 words and 1 challenge (50 words and a closing sentence).
-The 5-7-5 challenge (haikus) or the limerick challenge (this can be extended to any other specific form)

Personally, I'm not a fan of 'share a scene because of x' ideas. Run an excerpt challenge (not a contained story) with the five senses or only description. If someone wants to then enter something they have already written, great, but still leaves scope for new writing.

Just suggestions.

EDIT: I thought of something else we did in out writing group that was loads of fun but really challenging. Either open or themed, we would have a no-dialogue challenge and a dialogue-only challenge. No dialogue means only narrative and no speech of any kind (including telepathic)  to work on building a strong narrative. Dialogue-only was the opposite to create strong, identifiable voices. No narrative was allowed, which includes dialogue tags. The indication of speaker can from structure, voice and good writing. Done well, it could be followed.
Title: Re: Monthly writing challenge feedback - please read/reply
Post by: HSCook on May 11, 2017, 12:55:18 PM
This may be a bit draconian but an enforced review-to-review-request ratio can help. Forcing folks to give X number of detailed reviews for each Y number of pieces they put up for review is a good two-pronged strategy that ensures lots of feedback and bottlenecks submissions so there's not too many for people to reasonably cope with. Of course, it can lead to people rushing out some quickie reviews just to fill their quota so they can post up their next piece, but that's still more than the none they would have posted before the rule.

This is what critique sites like CC and. Scribophile do... Usually three crits work out to a sub.
Title: Re: Monthly writing challenge feedback - please read/reply
Post by: Jedi Knight Muse on May 11, 2017, 02:06:04 PM
What kinds of writing prompts do you usually like?
Any! Dealing with all sorts of different prompts helps build those writing muscles and provides good nutrition for the muse.
Do you like more open ended prompts, or do you prefer more specific prompts?
I like prompts that are open to interpretation. Then again, specific prompts are good training for things like magazine submissions, which may have very narrow theme restrictions.
Do you like it when there's more than one prompt to choose from, or do you prefer one prompt?
I'd prefer a single prompt, though providing multiple possible interpretations/angles on the prompt for folks to use would be nice. If everyone's picking different themes it would be hard to do an apples-to-apples comparison of their submissions.
Do you have any prompt suggestions?
Not at the moment
Do you have any new challenge suggestions?
Not at the moment
Any other feedback you'd like to give regarding the challenges?
I'm excited to be taking on my first writing prompt and look forward to many more!

One of the things that's also been a struggle is getting feedback for everyone, whether the writing is specifically for a challenge or just something that's been submitted to the library. I was thinking that maybe we could have some kind of a challenge that's specifically about giving feedback to other members? Like on a forum I used to go to, they have a specific day that's dedicated to giving as much REAL feedback (not just "I really like this, good job!" but real reviews) as possible. Would anyone be interested in this kind of a challenge? If so, do you have any ideas for it?

This may be a bit draconian but an enforced review-to-review-request ratio can help. Forcing folks to give X number of detailed reviews for each Y number of pieces they put up for review is a good two-pronged strategy that ensures lots of feedback and bottlenecks submissions so there's not too many for people to reasonably cope with. Of course, it can lead to people rushing out some quickie reviews just to fill their quota so they can post up their next piece, but that's still more than the none they would have posted before the rule. A review template could help on that front. At least that way you could ensure that some basic review points are touched on before someone can officially 'count' their reviews.

Some toes may be stepped on if this is seriously enforced, but on the other hand I doubt we'd get everyone involved in reviewing if we don't go to those kinds of lengths.

Yay, I'm glad you're excited! ^__^

We've actually discussed having an enforced review-to-review request ratio in the past and we've decided against it. In both my experience and the experience of at least one other member that I know of, that kind of thing doesn't tend to work unless you have a small group of REALLY serious writers who can actually commit to giving feedback. (I realize that I'm generalizing and that it has worked on other sites, but those sites tend to be for the REALLY serious writers from what I've seen, where the focus is actually on the critiquing. We're meant to be more of a laid back community where critiquing isn't THE focus like those sites are, it's just one of the focuses.) Plus, I honestly think that if we started implementing that kind of a system, it would scare off a lot of people, especially since not everyone has the time to commit to reviewing X amount of stories. If we were going to do something like that, it would have needed to be from the start of the site, not a year into it, I think.

I don't like the idea of a feedback challenge. A feedback day would be great, or a feedback reward system (no idea how this would be done).

A group I'm in has a great system for challenge feedback. Took a while to implement but works great! We have a short story (3000 words)
 and a poetry (30 lines) prompt (ran as two competitions). If you enter, you need to provide feedback to three other entries otherwise your entry is not valid.

They run weekly so should work monthly nicely - maybe have a prompt on the first, submission by the 15th, feedback by the 25th and voting for a week after. Each writer who has entered is given three titles to provide feedback on. With a small group like here, everyone would get lots of feedback this way. It is a bit of work the day after entries close and the day after feedback closes, just making checks but apparently isn't too bad; the group has 20-30 entries at a time.

One thing I would like to see is anonymous submissions (anonymous to the readers), if it's possible. Reveal the authors after the winner is chosen. I'm not suggesting there might be bias now, but it does eliminate any.

I like single prompts and won't enter if I'm really really stuck. Multiple prompts is OK, but not a huge fan. Also, open prompts are good usually. They allow for branching and tenuous connections that are a delight to read.

As for other challenges. How about throwing some of these in?
-Starting line or ending line prompts.
-Flash (less than 500 words) and super flash (50 words or less) competitions.
-The 50 words and 1 challenge (50 words and a closing sentence).
-The 5-7-5 challenge (haikus) or the limerick challenge (this can be extended to any other specific form)

Personally, I'm not a fan of 'share a scene because of x' ideas. Run an excerpt challenge (not a contained story) with the five senses or only description. If someone wants to then enter something they have already written, great, but still leaves scope for new writing.

Just suggestions.


I do like the idea of having a designated feedback day or some kind of feedback reward system...no idea how it would be implemented either. Right now the only "reward" we have is the signature graphics for the challenges, which is pretty much all that we can offer that's free, unless you or someone else has a suggestion.

Hm. I kind of like the idea of the system that the group you mentioned uses...I just don't know how many people would be turned off by being required to give X amount of feedback in order to keep their entry validated for the challenge. I think it would also bring on more work for us as staff to do that, to have to keep track of which members have submitted and given feedback, which I don't think would be a problem necessarily, but...it's something to at least discuss the idea of, maybe.

The only other thing about that system is that I don't know how many people would like suddenly having to submit their entries in the middle of the month. Originally, when the site first started, we were doing two weeks at a time for the challenges, and then we ended up switching to month long once back in...January? And it's been going well ever since, because it gives people enough time to get something written and edited.

I like your prompt ideas, too.
Title: Re: Monthly writing challenge feedback - please read/reply
Post by: GeneBWell on May 11, 2017, 02:13:15 PM
Maybe reward frequent reviewers with custom titles/avatars/sig graphics? And have votes for particularly effective reviewers with even more unique title/avatar/graphics as rewards for the winner? I've seen people go to great lengths to get coveted special titles.
Title: Re: Monthly writing challenge feedback - please read/reply
Post by: HSCook on May 11, 2017, 02:24:28 PM
Could make
it three weeks with voting running parallel to the next. I dunno. I'm used to challenges with very tight deadlines (the worst is a series of two day prompts with heats... Mental!) but life is a pain and if people are struggling to write anything in a fortnight then that makes sense.
Title: Re: Monthly writing challenge feedback - please read/reply
Post by: Rohierim on May 11, 2017, 03:16:13 PM
What kinds of writing prompts do you usually like?
I've worked with many types of prompts. Some have been as simple as a single word, all the way to a specific type of character HAS to be in the story. I think it is a matter of some prompts resonating with others better than some. I know I had something written for April because the prompt sprang an idea up right away for me. I didn't submit only because the weekend was taken away from me and I didn't get to finish it and then forgot about it as I was finishing my novel when the deadline was extended for a few days. So far May's has fallen flat for me, but that doesn't mean it won't change before the end of the month.

I've written for the following prompts:

Assassins (Your story must have an assassin in it)
Hath No Fury (Write a story about a bad-ass woman in a medieval setting)
The Death of all things (Death must be a character, like a "LIVING" breathing character. Think Terry Pratchet or Supernatural)

Ideas that can generate more of a flow. But these are what does it for my writing. Some may find that YMMV.

Do you like more open ended prompts, or do you prefer more specific prompts?

I think I answered this one kind of with my above response. Go too broad and you get something that no one can really sink their teeth into, go too direct and some people may not like that idea. All a game of chance here.

Do you like it when there's more than one prompt to choose from, or do you prefer one prompt?

For the best chances of people participating multiple prompts would be better.

Do you have any prompt suggestions?

I can try and come up with some. At the moment I don't but that maybe because I'm very tired and have a lot of editing to do this afternoon.

Do you have any new challenge suggestions?

I've got many ideas for challenges that I'd think of doing with other writers. But it all consists of very little difference from what we are doing right now. I've seen challenges similar to a short story a day for a month, a short story a week for a year, a novel a month for three months in a row. All kind of depends on what you want to do as a writer at your current stage. At the moment we are doing a short story a month based on a prompt with no expectation of participation. As you said it is a laid back approach and to be honest I'm not sure we could do much else.

Any other feedback you'd like to give regarding the challenges?

For a laid back approach to writing challenges this monthly short story prompt is not a bad idea. I know you mentioned about getting more feedback from the readers. I know myself personally I didn't realise we were looking for feedback. I know I voted but didn't really think there was a want for feedback. As for feedback when it comes to the Library itself, for me it is a two edged sword. First, I don't go into the library much. I have a limited amount of time to spend browsing the forums and the Library forces me to log in again. Maybe I should make an effort to log into it more often.

Second comes from me personally that I really only like to give feedback on finished works. By finished I mean word one to the words THE END. Chapters change. Middle chapters read without context will almost always fall flat with me. I've done my fair share of reading novels to give a writer feedback but never until it is finished because I will tell you my opinion on the story as a whole. A pie isn't a pie without all of its pieces.

So if some people are really interested in some dedicated challenges I'm in. If people have some finished works that they want another set of eyes on, I can help if things work out time wise and taste wise. I can definitely see if I have some prompts that I can suggest for future monthly challenges, but to be honest with my tired mind I'm not sure I see much to change from what you are currently doing.

Thanks,

Roh
Title: Re: Monthly writing challenge feedback - please read/reply
Post by: Silver on May 11, 2017, 06:01:06 PM
They run weekly so should work monthly nicely - maybe have a prompt on the first, submission by the 15th, feedback by the 25th and voting for a week after. Each writer who has entered is given three titles to provide feedback on. With a small group like here, everyone would get lots of feedback this way. It is a bit of work the day after entries close and the day after feedback closes, just making checks but apparently isn't too bad; the group has 20-30 entries at a time.

I think this is a nice idea in theory. But in practice... I think there's a big risk that it is going to make people stop wanting to post challenge entries. I know that for me, I cannot absolutely commit to being able to review three stories in a set space of time - so therefore, would there be any point in my entering in the first place if I could be 'disqualified' due to personal circumstances?

The other thing that concerns me about making people review is that some people (myself included) are just not good at reviewing. I try and I did review a few pieces before the library went down, but it concerns me that people might look at my brief reviews and decide it isn't good enough or long enough or whatever. I would hate for a situation to develop like that. So that is something we need to keep in mind.
Title: Re: Monthly writing challenge feedback - please read/reply
Post by: sapheyerblu on May 11, 2017, 07:18:26 PM
What kinds of writing prompts do you usually like?
I love all kinds of prompts. Not that I'm very good at making them into actual workable pieces, but...

Do you like more open ended prompts, or do you prefer more specific prompts?
I like the more open-ended kind as it's easier to put your own spin on the idea.

Do you like it when there's more than one prompt to choose from, or do you prefer one prompt?
Sometimes it's better to have more than one. Gives everyone a chance to get in the game.

Do you have any prompt suggestions?
Always!!!

Do you have any new challenge suggestions?
Not yet but could try to come up with something.

Any other feedback you'd like to give regarding the challenges?
No, I'm just having fun being part of the group.

Loved @HSCook ideas. Got a ton of first lines in a notebook, but not sure how many would work in the fantasy genre.
Title: Re: Monthly writing challenge feedback - please read/reply
Post by: rkcapps on May 11, 2017, 08:10:06 PM
I like a challenge for the fun of a challenge and would like to read everyone's interpretation of a challenge. I don't feel the need to have my challenge critiqued. I'm not serious about them, I'd rather a review section where we can post a piece we want critiqued whenever we're able. A challenge piece may be "put up" there for critique for anyone who chooses.

I like the suggestion all entries be anonymous although I'm not sure "technically" how to make that happen.

I'd suggest 5000 too much, I do want to enter but I also want to work on my novel. Maybe 1500-2000?

I like to make challenges fun so something like:

Theme: high fantasy
word limit: 2000 words
Difficulty: no elves or dragons

You could throw in something else too.

Of course, happy to go with flow!


Title: Re: Monthly writing challenge feedback - please read/reply
Post by: sapheyerblu on May 11, 2017, 08:37:04 PM
5000 is the maximum amount. You can post as few as you want. I did a poem for last month. Don't think I even hit 100 words.

I agree about the anonymous thing and like the idea of a "difficulty" factor.
Title: Re: Monthly writing challenge feedback - please read/reply
Post by: CMMai on May 11, 2017, 09:37:09 PM
What kinds of writing prompts do you usually like?
I am new to this whole writers group thing and in fact i have only just returned to writing. I haven't wrote anything except d&d campaigns for 13 years. So in regards to the writing prompts i do not have a like or dislike yet.

Do you like more open ended prompts, or do you prefer more specific prompts?
I think either could be fun.

Do you like it when there's more than one prompt to choose from, or do you prefer one prompt?
I like the idea of options.

Do you have any prompt suggestions?
I have been online reading some ideas.  There is so many to choose from. Think of your greatest strength, write a character that does not have that strength.  I did this for a d&d character but i gave her my worst trait, clumsiness.

Do you have any new challenge suggestions?
There is an idea i like called 3 elements. You give three elements for example an apple tree, a box and a secret. You need to write a story that has these 3 elements in it.

Any other feedback you'd like to give regarding the challenges?
I think there is a different skill level each of us have some are experienced and some are newbies to writing. With that in mind the higher experienced writers are most likely to win these challenges. But how is one to improve on their writing if no one is willing to help them improve. They could submit 50 entries and never win because there is no feedback. Though i agree feedback is daunting and some people don't want it. Maybe in the entry one could say Feedback: Yes or No.
Title: Re: Monthly writing challenge feedback - please read/reply
Post by: Jedi Knight Muse on May 11, 2017, 10:04:41 PM
Maybe reward frequent reviewers with custom titles/avatars/sig graphics? And have votes for particularly effective reviewers with even more unique title/avatar/graphics as rewards for the winner? I've seen people go to great lengths to get coveted special titles.

We could definitely do graphics. Some people may not particularly care about graphics, though, so then we're still kind of lacking in something else that we could offer them...but as long as everyone is fine with us just offering graphics instead of any kind of a prize, we can definitely do graphics for reviewers, I think. I'll talk it over with Silver and Sheepy and see if we can come up with some kind of a system that will make it easy on those reviewing and on us as far as keeping track of reviews goes.

What kinds of writing prompts do you usually like?
I've worked with many types of prompts. Some have been as simple as a single word, all the way to a specific type of character HAS to be in the story. I think it is a matter of some prompts resonating with others better than some. I know I had something written for April because the prompt sprang an idea up right away for me. I didn't submit only because the weekend was taken away from me and I didn't get to finish it and then forgot about it as I was finishing my novel when the deadline was extended for a few days. So far May's has fallen flat for me, but that doesn't mean it won't change before the end of the month.

I've written for the following prompts:

Assassins (Your story must have an assassin in it)
Hath No Fury (Write a story about a bad-ass woman in a medieval setting)
The Death of all things (Death must be a character, like a "LIVING" breathing character. Think Terry Pratchet or Supernatural)

Ideas that can generate more of a flow. But these are what does it for my writing. Some may find that YMMV.

Do you like more open ended prompts, or do you prefer more specific prompts?

I think I answered this one kind of with my above response. Go too broad and you get something that no one can really sink their teeth into, go too direct and some people may not like that idea. All a game of chance here.

Do you like it when there's more than one prompt to choose from, or do you prefer one prompt?

For the best chances of people participating multiple prompts would be better.

Do you have any prompt suggestions?

I can try and come up with some. At the moment I don't but that maybe because I'm very tired and have a lot of editing to do this afternoon.

Do you have any new challenge suggestions?

I've got many ideas for challenges that I'd think of doing with other writers. But it all consists of very little difference from what we are doing right now. I've seen challenges similar to a short story a day for a month, a short story a week for a year, a novel a month for three months in a row. All kind of depends on what you want to do as a writer at your current stage. At the moment we are doing a short story a month based on a prompt with no expectation of participation. As you said it is a laid back approach and to be honest I'm not sure we could do much else.

Any other feedback you'd like to give regarding the challenges?

For a laid back approach to writing challenges this monthly short story prompt is not a bad idea. I know you mentioned about getting more feedback from the readers. I know myself personally I didn't realise we were looking for feedback. I know I voted but didn't really think there was a want for feedback. As for feedback when it comes to the Library itself, for me it is a two edged sword. First, I don't go into the library much. I have a limited amount of time to spend browsing the forums and the Library forces me to log in again. Maybe I should make an effort to log into it more often.

Second comes from me personally that I really only like to give feedback on finished works. By finished I mean word one to the words THE END. Chapters change. Middle chapters read without context will almost always fall flat with me. I've done my fair share of reading novels to give a writer feedback but never until it is finished because I will tell you my opinion on the story as a whole. A pie isn't a pie without all of its pieces.

So if some people are really interested in some dedicated challenges I'm in. If people have some finished works that they want another set of eyes on, I can help if things work out time wise and taste wise. I can definitely see if I have some prompts that I can suggest for future monthly challenges, but to be honest with my tired mind I'm not sure I see much to change from what you are currently doing.

Thanks,

Roh

Yeah, right now May's challenge has fallen flat for me, too. I mean, I kind of have an idea, but it's nothing I'm in love with and dying to write...I think I kind of screwed myself over in choosing this prompt 'cause I have 0 ideas for it. :P But I suppose that's what'll end up making it a challenge for me.

I really like the examples you gave for prompts, and I'll definitely make note of them to use in the future for challenges.

Quote
Go too broad and you get something that no one can really sink their teeth into, go too direct and some people may not like that idea. All a game of chance here.

Yeah, that's exactly one of the problems we've run into. i.e. the May challenge may be a little too broad for people, which...I'm not that surprised about. But that's also why I said that if we needed to add in a second prompt, we could do so. So far no one's asked for it, so I haven't added one in.

Quote
For the best chances of people participating multiple prompts would be better.

Yeah, that's what I'm finding. But we've also been trying to mix it up a bit, so that it's not always "easy" to just be able to choose one out of four prompts and be able to write something, if that makes sense. I was actually really tempted to give the May challenge more than one prompt and then I decided against it because we just did the one with, essentially, four prompts.

Quote
I can try and come up with some. At the moment I don't but that maybe because I'm very tired and have a lot of editing to do this afternoon.

That would be great if you can come up with some! :) We currently have this post (http://forum.worldsmyths.com/index.php?topic=9) for writing prompt suggestions (which I just realized was locked..I just unlocked it, though, so people can reply with suggestions).

Quote
I've got many ideas for challenges that I'd think of doing with other writers. But it all consists of very little difference from what we are doing right now. I've seen challenges similar to a short story a day for a month, a short story a week for a year, a novel a month for three months in a row. All kind of depends on what you want to do as a writer at your current stage. At the moment we are doing a short story a month based on a prompt with no expectation of participation. As you said it is a laid back approach and to be honest I'm not sure we could do much else.

Hm. A short story a day challenge could be interesting (and actually, there's a website I found and posted a link to recently that's basically for that exact thing for the month of May, and I said that we could possibly try doing our own version of it if people were interested). I'm not sure that a novel a month would be something that anyone could commit to. I plan on holding our own version of NaNo at some point. And actually, I have no idea how this would actually work because I've never tried it before, but I've had the idea of doing some kind of a world building challenge...it MIGHT include having to write a short story of some kind, but mostly it would be a challenge focused on world building and figuring out information about your world. I'd be curious to know if there would be any interest in this kind of thing, and if anyone had any ideas for it, but I think it'd be better for a different discussion thread, maybe. There's a lot of logistics that would have to be figured out with it, too.
 
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For a laid back approach to writing challenges this monthly short story prompt is not a bad idea. I know you mentioned about getting more feedback from the readers. I know myself personally I didn't realise we were looking for feedback. I know I voted but didn't really think there was a want for feedback. As for feedback when it comes to the Library itself, for me it is a two edged sword. First, I don't go into the library much. I have a limited amount of time to spend browsing the forums and the Library forces me to log in again. Maybe I should make an effort to log into it more often.

Okay, so here's the thing regarding the library...it doesn't exist at the moment! This post (http://forum.worldsmyths.com/index.php?topic=912.0) goes into more details, but basically, I screwed up and canceled the hosting that the old library was on because I didn't want the host to have any more of my money, and wasn't even thinking about the fact that the library was still being hosted there. Our developer, @Xyem is currently working on building us a custom built library site for us that will have way more features than the other one did AND you won't have to register/log in to a separate account any more, because you'll be logging in to the same account that you're using on the forum. I'm hoping that he'll have it ready for submissions soon.

The April challenge is a bad example of being able to give feedback for writing challenges, because the library disappeared before anyone was able to use the old library to read and give feedback, but in the past, we've absolutely been giving feedback to submissions into the library, regardless of whether or not it's a challenge submission. Obviously if the author says "I'm not looking for feedback" and they just want to showcase the story in the library, that's one thing, but otherwise we've still been giving feedback, and we encourage that to continue.

I know for me, the only things I've recently been putting into the (now temporarily non-existent library) since...December, basically, have been writing challenge entries. They've been things involving my characters from my current project, but they're just side stories that have helped me develop them further. I don't mind getting general feedback on those things because I enjoyed writing the challenge entries, but I'm not particularly worried about feedback for them because they're PROBABLY not anything that I'd plan on editing/submitting to, like, a short story contest for a prize or something. I'm still working on the first draft of my current project and am probably not going to submit anything from it to the new library, at least not right away since I'm no where close to being done with it. I might post excerpts, but that's about it.

If one of the members submits a challenge entry and says "I'm not really looking for feedback" in the author's note, then that's your queue to know that they're not looking for feedback, which is totally fine. But we're not going to say "you shouldn't give challenge entries any feedback," because that's kinda ridiculous. A library submission is a library submission, you know? I hope that makes sense.

So, sadly right now you can't make an effort to log into the library more often, 'cause it doesn't exist at the moment, and we only have the forum section for submissions at the moment. But hopefully that will change soon and we'll be able to use the brand new Librarium (aka the new library).

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Second comes from me personally that I really only like to give feedback on finished works. By finished I mean word one to the words THE END. Chapters change. Middle chapters read without context will almost always fall flat with me. I've done my fair share of reading novels to give a writer feedback but never until it is finished because I will tell you my opinion on the story as a whole. A pie isn't a pie without all of its pieces.

Totally understandable and reasonable. For me, I mean...I like being able to give feedback as a writer progresses through a story, because then I can maybe give them feedback that will help them fill in a plot hole, or it'll give them a new idea to add into the story that they weren't already thinking of. That's why I don't mind posting drafts as I'm writing them (except for with this current project...I've posted the side story challenge entries, but outside of a few of those challenge entries basically being part of the story anyway (because I basically ended up deciding to expand on one of the challenge entries I wrote back in the summer and turned it into an idea for a full novel, but I'm waiting until I have way more completed chapters to post that don't say "add more here"), because then I can get feedback on things that I might not realize need to be changed, or I can get an idea for something that I may not be thinking about.

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I can definitely see if I have some prompts that I can suggest for future monthly challenges, but to be honest with my tired mind I'm not sure I see much to change from what you are currently doing.

Honestly, pretty much any prompts that would fit the fantasy genre would be fine at this point, no matter what the actual prompt is or how different it is from the prompts we've had in the past, because @Silver and @Sheepy-Pie and I have been wracking our brains to come up with prompts, but we haven't come up with tons of them, so whatever suggestions you have would be great. I will say that one of our most successful challenge prompts that got like...seven or eight entries I think was "write about a fight/duel." It seemed to really inspire people, because it was specific in that it had to be about a fight/duel, but it was still open ended. We ended up getting some great entries for that one.

I wrote too much. :P Continued in the next reply.
Title: Re: Monthly writing challenge feedback - please read/reply
Post by: Jedi Knight Muse on May 11, 2017, 10:04:55 PM
They run weekly so should work monthly nicely - maybe have a prompt on the first, submission by the 15th, feedback by the 25th and voting for a week after. Each writer who has entered is given three titles to provide feedback on. With a small group like here, everyone would get lots of feedback this way. It is a bit of work the day after entries close and the day after feedback closes, just making checks but apparently isn't too bad; the group has 20-30 entries at a time.

I think this is a nice idea in theory. But in practice... I think there's a big risk that it is going to make people stop wanting to post challenge entries. I know that for me, I cannot absolutely commit to being able to review three stories in a set space of time - so therefore, would there be any point in my entering in the first place if I could be 'disqualified' due to personal circumstances?

The other thing that concerns me about making people review is that some people (myself included) are just not good at reviewing. I try and I did review a few pieces before the library went down, but it concerns me that people might look at my brief reviews and decide it isn't good enough or long enough or whatever. I would hate for a situation to develop like that. So that is something we need to keep in mind.

Yeah, I agree with @Silver about this. And like I said earlier, I really don't think that requiring a ratio of reviews to be met would work. I remember trying to enforce that kind of thing several years ago on one of my first forums for writers that I ran and it just didn't work. It was one of the reasons the site ended up closing, I think. And I also agree with your point about how not everyone is good at reviewing. I wouldn't want to enforce a rule that's going to make people uncomfortable because they're not good at writing reviews.

What kinds of writing prompts do you usually like?
I love all kinds of prompts. Not that I'm very good at making them into actual workable pieces, but...

Do you like more open ended prompts, or do you prefer more specific prompts?
I like the more open-ended kind as it's easier to put your own spin on the idea.

Do you like it when there's more than one prompt to choose from, or do you prefer one prompt?
Sometimes it's better to have more than one. Gives everyone a chance to get in the game.

Do you have any prompt suggestions?
Always!!!

Do you have any new challenge suggestions?
Not yet but could try to come up with something.

Any other feedback you'd like to give regarding the challenges?
No, I'm just having fun being part of the group.

Loved @HSCook ideas. Got a ton of first lines in a notebook, but not sure how many would work in the fantasy genre.

Yeah, I hear you. I'm usually not that great at responding to prompts...like, on my own, I can't seem to respond to prompts that well. I have tons and tons and tons of them in my idea journals, and outside of for purposes such as this site, have I responded to any of them? Nope.

I also agree about having more than one prompt. Like I said above, we've been trying to change it up a bit and not ALWAYS have more than one prompt to respond to for each challenge, but...I think at the very least, at least for a little while, we could try maybe sticking to two prompts to choose from that are hopefully open ended and easy to respond to.

We'd love to see what ideas you have for more prompts, if you wanna reply to this post (http://forum.worldsmyths.com/index.php?topic=9) with them.

I like a challenge for the fun of a challenge and would like to read everyone's interpretation of a challenge. I don't feel the need to have my challenge critiqued. I'm not serious about them, I'd rather a review section where we can post a piece we want critiqued whenever we're able. A challenge piece may be "put up" there for critique for anyone who chooses.

I like the suggestion all entries be anonymous although I'm not sure "technically" how to make that happen.

I'd suggest 5000 too much, I do want to enter but I also want to work on my novel. Maybe 1500-2000?

I like to make challenges fun so something like:

Theme: high fantasy
word limit: 2000 words
Difficulty: no elves or dragons

You could throw in something else too.

Of course, happy to go with flow!


Like I said way above, there won't be a forum section (at least, not for long. Right now we have a temporary one because of the fiasco from me canceling the old hosting), it'll be a library. Think of it as being something along the lines of Fictionpress, or Wattpad, in terms of its set up and features (more so like Wattpad, I think, than Fictionpress). The submissions will be submitted only onto the new Librarium site, as will the reviews, but there will be an in-line review feature, meaning that you can scroll through the story and give your thoughts as you read it, rather than having to read the entire story and then write your review.

I forgot to respond to this sooner, I think, but as far as anonymous submissions for the challenges...there's no reason for that? We've gone nearly a year with the authors being known and we haven't had any issues. I'm not sure why there would be a need to have the submissions be anonymous, honestly. The only way I could see that needing to happen is if we figured out that there was cheating going on with the voting or something.

5000 is the maximum amount. You can post as few as you want. I did a poem for last month. Don't think I even hit 100 words.

I agree about the anonymous thing and like the idea of a "difficulty" factor.

Yeah, technically we have no rules saying that poetry isn't allowed, although that's mainly because I, at least, never expected anyone to actually submit any poetry to one of the challenges (or to the library at all). That doesn't mean you can't submit poetry, of course, since there's no current rule regarding it. But if people want to write poetry and submit it for the challenge, I say go for it.

What kinds of writing prompts do you usually like?
I am new to this whole writers group thing and in fact i have only just returned to writing. I haven't wrote anything except d&d campaigns for 13 years. So in regards to the writing prompts i do not have a like or dislike yet.

Do you like more open ended prompts, or do you prefer more specific prompts?
I think either could be fun.

Do you like it when there's more than one prompt to choose from, or do you prefer one prompt?
I like the idea of options.

Do you have any prompt suggestions?
I have been online reading some ideas.  There is so many to choose from. Think of your greatest strength, write a character that does not have that strength.  I did this for a d&d character but i gave her my worst trait, clumsiness.

Do you have any new challenge suggestions?
There is an idea i like called 3 elements. You give three elements for example an apple tree, a box and a secret. You need to write a story that has these 3 elements in it.

Any other feedback you'd like to give regarding the challenges?
I think there is a different skill level each of us have some are experienced and some are newbies to writing. With that in mind the higher experienced writers are most likely to win these challenges. But how is one to improve on their writing if no one is willing to help them improve. They could submit 50 entries and never win because there is no feedback. Though i agree feedback is daunting and some people don't want it. Maybe in the entry one could say Feedback: Yes or No.

Yeah, I've seen prompts like the one you mentioned before. It could be fun to do that kind of thing in the future. Usually when we give more than one prompt it has to just be ONE of the X amount of prompts, but having to include ALL of them would be interesting to do.

Yeah, I agree with you about the different levels of writing. One of my worries with the submissions, regardless of whether it's a challenge entry or just a regular library submission, is that if someone who's newer to writing submits something and they don't get any feedback, they'll be scared off from wanting to submit anything more to the library and will just stop coming onto the site altogether. I think there are probably at least a few people that that applies to. That's one of the reasons I want to encourage people to give feedback, but I can't force them into doing it, and I'm strongly against enforcing a ratio rule because I think it would scare even more people off.
Title: Re: Monthly writing challenge feedback - please read/reply
Post by: CMMai on May 11, 2017, 10:34:44 PM
Personally i get the hesitation to give feedback. I once gave a friend feedback on one of their stories and they got quite annoyed about it and stopped talking to me for a while. I meant no harm i was trying to help. I know with my work I have a lot of concern and worry. I have questions like do the relationships seem believable?  Does the story flow okay? Does the mood of the story change?

I don't really have to much concern with the challenges though they are just a nice side project for fun.
Title: Re: Monthly writing challenge feedback - please read/reply
Post by: Jedi Knight Muse on May 11, 2017, 10:53:49 PM
Haha, I just realized that I gave the wrong link earlier regarding information about the library. -__- My bad.

@Rohierim (and anyone else) this (http://forum.worldsmyths.com/index.php?topic=915.0) is the post I meant to link you to earlier.

Personally i get the hesitation to give feedback. I once gave a friend feedback on one of their stories and they got quite annoyed about it and stopped talking to me for a while. I meant no harm i was trying to help. I know with my work I have a lot of concern and worry. I have questions like do the relationships seem believable?  Does the story flow okay? Does the mood of the story change?

I don't really have to much concern with the challenges though they are just a nice side project for fun.

I could have sworn this was on the list for the new Librarium, but now I can't find it in the Google doc...but I THINK there MIGHT (and @Xyem and/or @Sheepy-Pie  can confirm this, 'cause I can't find it at the moment) be a spot when you submit a story for giving a list of some kind of what you're looking for for feedback...I THINK. Don't quote me on that, 'cause right now I can't seem to find it in the Google doc so I'm not positive. But if we do have that, then I think/hope you'll be able to set those kinds of questions up for people to answer when they're giving a review. Again, don't quote me on that. :P

And yeah, I get the hesitation with feedback, too. I beta read a prologue and chapter for someone a few months ago...I might have been overly harsh in my notes, because I basically told the person that they needed to just start fresh with the story.  :-\ But I didn't want to sugarcoat it and lead them into thinking that the story was good, when...I don't know. The general concept was okay but honestly, the most I got out of it was a lot of world building information and not a whole lot in the way of, like, action and dialogue. It sucks because I think I scared them off, but I did try to tell them as nicely as possible. Giving feedback is such a hit or miss thing...either someone's going to accept it graciously and say thank you (or just not respond at all) or they'll overreact. Luckily this person didn't overreact, but they haven't been back on the site since, so... :-\
Title: Re: Monthly writing challenge feedback - please read/reply
Post by: sapheyerblu on May 11, 2017, 11:03:19 PM
I suck at giving feedback because I don't like to hurt a person's feelings. I don't want to say it's good if it's not, but I know first hand what it feels like to have all your hard work torn to shreds.

I also want to apologize for this month's prompt. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but even I'm having issues with it. I have a million ideas, but not all are epic. Lol

I am going to start working on some prompt ideas to keep us all going. I love @HSCook 's idea on first/last lines and have some things already in mind for that.
Title: Re: Monthly writing challenge feedback - please read/reply
Post by: Jedi Knight Muse on May 11, 2017, 11:33:09 PM
For me, sometimes it's depended on the situation. Like when I used to go on Fanfiction.net and Fictionpress a lot, I didn't care about giving harsh feedback (especially since I was given harsh feedback, too, on a lot of my stories)...but as an admin, and an older, mature writer, I try to be more careful because I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings, either, and scare them off. But I admit that I haven't really given a ton of feedback over the past year...a large part of that was because I had school, especially from August to December, so that kept me busier. Though even without school I admit to having not been that great about giving reviews, but I have been trying.

So from what I'm gathering, it sounds like MOST people don't care about getting feedback on their challenge entries necessarily...but the bigger issue is getting feedback on the non-challenge entries. Like I said, I do NOT want to start enforcing a critique ratio, because I really don't think we're the kind of site that should have that. But maybe having a designated day to get X amount of reviews done in one day by a team of members would work? The site I got that idea from does it on Sundays. I imagine any day Friday-Sunday would work best? But then you have to deal with time zones- i.e. it might be Saturday night for me, but for someone in, say, Australia, it's Sunday morning. Any more thoughts on that?

Yeah, I liked her prompt ideas, too. I found a bunch of prompts on another site that I'm mostly a lurker on, so I grabbed some of those to stick into a list for future use, and I'll stick some of the ideas that people have given in this thread in there, too.
Title: Re: Monthly writing challenge feedback - please read/reply
Post by: Sheepy-Pie on May 12, 2017, 03:13:15 AM
I THINK there MIGHT (and @Xyem and/or @Sheepy-Pie  can confirm this, 'cause I can't find it at the moment) be a spot when you submit a story for giving a list of some kind of what you're looking for for feedback...I THINK. Don't quote me on that, 'cause right now I can't seem to find it in the Google doc so I'm not positive.

Doesn't look like it, but I only scanned the doc and it'd probably come under the tagging system. Tag your piece if you want feedback.

As for feedback, I think the suggestion when submitting your entry to put if you want feedback is good because then people can focus feedback on those who need/want it. For example I really want feedback on all the things I do, especially as I write in first so I want to make sure I am doing better. I've also been putting up draft pieces from my WIP and that's under edit. Personally I would add with mine that I want a full on honest review. Even if it's hated. The key is constructive criticism. No matter how you feel about the writing, if you explain why and make it constructive, it's good feedback. I know what it's like trying not to hurt feelings, cause I am wary too! But you also might fall the other way and by not saying x they don't improve it or they keep going and it causes more work in future.
Title: Re: Monthly writing challenge feedback - please read/reply
Post by: GeneBWell on May 12, 2017, 09:25:55 AM
As far as feedback for general library submissions go, this is just me personally but I'd trade 50 reviews of my first chapter for just 1 person to beta read the whole MS. I think rather than trying to emphasize single submission reviews the goal should be to match up beta readers or writing buddies. I'm currently exchanging chapters with another writer, and I think having someone who comments while seeing your story as a whole is more effective than a bunch of people looking at one snapshot (except in cases where you want opinions on a very specific thing).

Story cohesion as a whole is more important than fixing individual flaws in each chapter. An editor can fix a lot of the minor stuff once you land one, the important thing is having a solid tale from beginning to end that an agent will want.

I dunno how we would get people more interested in Beta-ing and MS exchanges but I think it's what folks should focus on.
Title: Re: Monthly writing challenge feedback - please read/reply
Post by: Sheepy-Pie on May 12, 2017, 09:42:13 AM
I don't know how to get beta people more interested either, as we have a whole section for it but nobody has ever really agreed much :/ I bumped my topic for a long time and had no replies. I get the impression that there might not be many people who want to beta, but then there have been a ton of new people recently so who knows now.
Title: Re: Monthly writing challenge feedback - please read/reply
Post by: Jedi Knight Muse on May 12, 2017, 11:44:30 AM
I THINK there MIGHT (and @Xyem and/or @Sheepy-Pie  can confirm this, 'cause I can't find it at the moment) be a spot when you submit a story for giving a list of some kind of what you're looking for for feedback...I THINK. Don't quote me on that, 'cause right now I can't seem to find it in the Google doc so I'm not positive.

Doesn't look like it, but I only scanned the doc and it'd probably come under the tagging system. Tag your piece if you want feedback.

As for feedback, I think the suggestion when submitting your entry to put if you want feedback is good because then people can focus feedback on those who need/want it. For example I really want feedback on all the things I do, especially as I write in first so I want to make sure I am doing better. I've also been putting up draft pieces from my WIP and that's under edit. Personally I would add with mine that I want a full on honest review. Even if it's hated. The key is constructive criticism. No matter how you feel about the writing, if you explain why and make it constructive, it's good feedback. I know what it's like trying not to hurt feelings, cause I am wary too! But you also might fall the other way and by not saying x they don't improve it or they keep going and it causes more work in future.

Hm. I could have sworn that was a discussion that I'd had with either you or Xyem...maybe it's something that can still be added, though. I'd imagine something with a checklist, like "characterization, plot development, plot holes, etc" for the author to check off for things they want focused on, and then a text area where people can write "I really want to know X, Y, Z and 1, 2, 3" and ask questions...or something like that. It'd actually be easier if there was a way for the author to create a customized form of sorts for people to fill out when critiquing, but I don't know how easy that would be to do. Or we could come up with a list of questions ourselves and have it be in the review...thingy...or something. I dunno, I'm not describing it right. :P

As far as feedback for general library submissions go, this is just me personally but I'd trade 50 reviews of my first chapter for just 1 person to beta read the whole MS. I think rather than trying to emphasize single submission reviews the goal should be to match up beta readers or writing buddies. I'm currently exchanging chapters with another writer, and I think having someone who comments while seeing your story as a whole is more effective than a bunch of people looking at one snapshot (except in cases where you want opinions on a very specific thing).

Story cohesion as a whole is more important than fixing individual flaws in each chapter. An editor can fix a lot of the minor stuff once you land one, the important thing is having a solid tale from beginning to end that an agent will want.

I dunno how we would get people more interested in Beta-ing and MS exchanges but I think it's what folks should focus on.

Yeah, I really want to encourage people to start beta reading/being writing partners for each other...I think a large problem is that we're all at different points with our writing. Like for me, I'm still writing the first draft, so I don't need a beta reader yet. If I get to the point of needing a beta reader, I will be jumping for joy XD. But I am writing partners with @Ahryantah, so we bounce ideas off of each other. She's been helping me for YEARS with me writing and brainstorming.

There's an entire beta reading section with forms that people can fill out asking/offering to beta reading/be writing partners but not many people have used it.  :-\ We also have a huge list (http://forum.worldsmyths.com/index.php?topic=632.0) of people who...I mean, the majority of them say "depends/other," but they MIGHT be willing to beta read? Lol. I think the other issue is that a lot of people don't have time to dedicate to reading a whole manuscript, 'cause they already have their own writing projects to focus on and such. So it's almost easier to agree to only reading a few chapters, or only reviewing a few chapters that are up on the library, because then you don't have to commit to a full novel.

It's hard to focus on doing beta-ing and manuscript exchanges when you don't have anything in return to exchange for actual editing purposes. Like for me, Ahryantah has a story that she's sent me Google doc links for a few chapters at a time that I've given feedback on, and I have basically nothing that I can give her in exchange to actually beta read but she helps me figure out world building and plot stuff in exchange.

I don't know how to get beta people more interested either, as we have a whole section for it but nobody has ever really agreed much :/ I bumped my topic for a long time and had no replies. I get the impression that there might not be many people who want to beta, but then there have been a ton of new people recently so who knows now.

Well we do have the list (http://forum.worldsmyths.com/index.php?topic=632.0) of people who are willing to beta, although some of them aren't as active as they were when I initially added them to the list...I think part of it is that people need to be willing to reach out to others and ask to exchange chapters.
Title: Re: Monthly writing challenge feedback - please read/reply
Post by: Jedi Knight Muse on May 15, 2017, 10:15:49 AM
Bump!

I'd be curious to know what anyone else thinks about this, if there's anything else to add. We're discussing the possibility of doing a designated review day. If we end up doing that, we'll have an info/possibly sign up post up for it.
Title: Re: Monthly writing challenge feedback - please read/reply
Post by: ReddieRobin on May 15, 2017, 12:20:54 PM
An idea for prompts, in college, my professor, would switch it up with images and songs, as well as word prompts.
I'm a visual person, so that always helped me get ideas.
Title: Re: Monthly writing challenge feedback - please read/reply
Post by: Sheepy-Pie on May 15, 2017, 12:24:51 PM
We had some image prompts before, but at the time people were preferring word prompts so we stopped them. There are image prompts in the normal prompt area though :)
Title: Re: Monthly writing challenge feedback - please read/reply
Post by: Jedi Knight Muse on May 15, 2017, 04:31:09 PM
Yeah, pretty much what Sheepy said. I don't mind tossing in an image prompt every once in a while, though, just to shake things up. Songs we haven't done, though. That could be interesting and fun to do.
Title: Re: Monthly writing challenge feedback - please read/reply
Post by: Silver on May 15, 2017, 05:21:00 PM
Yeah, I really want to encourage people to start beta reading/being writing partners for each other...I think a large problem is that we're all at different points with our writing. Like for me, I'm still writing the first draft, so I don't need a beta reader yet. If I get to the point of needing a beta reader, I will be jumping for joy XD. But I am writing partners with @Ahryantah, so we bounce ideas off of each other. She's been helping me for YEARS with me writing and brainstorming.

I think this is definitely part of it. I am happy to beta read or go over ideas with someone, but I don't really need anything in exchange because I have a co-writer/writing buddy and we do that for each other. I don't care, I'm still happy to help people out if I can but I don't know if people like asking for help when there isn't anything they can offer in return.
Title: Re: Monthly writing challenge feedback - please read/reply
Post by: Myffanwy on May 18, 2017, 03:00:50 AM
As someone who is currently going through the process of (hopefully) getting published, one of the things I have trouble with is trying not to info dump on readers. I often skip pages if there is page after page without dialogue because to me it sounds like there's no interaction between characters.

So I'd love a prompt that could force me to give information in a manner that is not an info dump and creates action and/or dialogue for the characters involved.

Is that what you're after?

Julz.
Title: Re: Monthly writing challenge feedback - please read/reply
Post by: Jedi Knight Muse on May 18, 2017, 11:46:21 AM

EDIT: I thought of something else we did in out writing group that was loads of fun but really challenging. Either open or themed, we would have a no-dialogue challenge and a dialogue-only challenge. No dialogue means only narrative and no speech of any kind (including telepathic)  to work on building a strong narrative. Dialogue-only was the opposite to create strong, identifiable voices. No narrative was allowed, which includes dialogue tags. The indication of speaker can from structure, voice and good writing. Done well, it could be followed.
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Yeah, I like this idea. I admit that I'm not very good at writing things without dialogue in them. @Arc is an expert at it, though. :P

As someone who is currently going through the process of (hopefully) getting published, one of the things I have trouble with is trying not to info dump on readers. I often skip pages if there is page after page without dialogue because to me it sounds like there's no interaction between characters.

So I'd love a prompt that could force me to give information in a manner that is not an info dump and creates action and/or dialogue for the characters involved.

Is that what you're after?

Julz.

Hm. Coming up with a prompt for that could be tricky but I think it'd be doable.

Yeah, pretty much any kind of prompts that are going to be likely to get people interested and actually write something that will still fit the fantasy genre.
Title: Re: Monthly writing challenge feedback - please read/reply
Post by: MagicMagor on May 30, 2017, 01:36:20 AM
I haven't read the whole thread yet but here are my answers:

What kinds of writing prompts do you usually like?
One that initially spark an idea. Difficult to pin down what makes a prompt that way, but one thing is, i guess, that dialouge prompts (where you are given a certain line of dialouge) aren't very good at it.
Do you like more open ended prompts, or do you prefer more specific prompts?
Open ended. If the prompt is too specific it hampers my creativity and would require more work to get an idea for.
Do you like it when there's more than one prompt to choose from, or do you prefer one prompt?
I prefer one prompt. This also makes it easier to compare different entries seeing how each handeled the prompt. With multiple prompts however the chance is higher that one of them might spark an idea. So i guess both ways are fine.
Do you have any prompt suggestions?
Not really.
Any other feedback you'd like to give regarding the challenges?
The current challenges don't feel like challenges. They are more like timed prompts with a maximum word count, nothing really "challenging". I would wish we had more real challenges, that challenge certain part of my writing ability and forces me to train these parts. Granted coming up with such challenges is hard, harder than coming up with the current prompts but it would be nice if at least some of these challenges could become more specific training exercises rather than just prompts. To start it off with, i will give you two challenge ideas.
Do you have any new challenge suggestions?
Title: Re: Monthly writing challenge feedback - please read/reply
Post by: Jedi Knight Muse on June 01, 2017, 12:15:14 AM
I haven't read the whole thread yet but here are my answers:

What kinds of writing prompts do you usually like?
One that initially spark an idea. Difficult to pin down what makes a prompt that way, but one thing is, i guess, that dialouge prompts (where you are given a certain line of dialouge) aren't very good at it.
Do you like more open ended prompts, or do you prefer more specific prompts?

Yeah, this is specifically why we haven't done any dialogue prompts in a while. Sometimes dialogue prompts can inspire things, other times it's like "...nope."

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Do you like it when there's more than one prompt to choose from, or do you prefer one prompt?
I prefer one prompt. This also makes it easier to compare different entries seeing how each handeled the prompt. With multiple prompts however the chance is higher that one of them might spark an idea. So i guess both ways are fine.

Yeah, I like giving multiple prompts specifically because there's a higher chance of at least one of them sparking an idea. I almost did that with the May challenge and I wish I had, since we've gotten no entries. :|

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The current challenges don't feel like challenges. They are more like timed prompts with a maximum word count, nothing really "challenging". I would wish we had more real challenges, that challenge certain part of my writing ability and forces me to train these parts. Granted coming up with such challenges is hard, harder than coming up with the current prompts but it would be nice if at least some of these challenges could become more specific training exercises rather than just prompts. To start it off with, i will give you two challenge ideas.

This is absolutely a fair enough critique, and I agree with it. You're right, the biggest issue is coming up with ideas for challenges that are actually CHALLENGES. I mean, I have ideas for large challenges, but they'd be, like, month long ones (i.e. some kind of a world building challenge, which I haven't figured out the details of), and they'd require commitment from multiple people in order to work. I don't really have any ideas for actual challenges that are along the lines of what you're looking for.  :-\ But the other thing with the kinds of challenges you're looking for is that people have to be interested in those kinds of challenges, and I'm not sure how many people would be interested in them...maybe if we came up with a list of ideas, we could go from there with finding out who'd be interested in us throwing up those kinds of challenges every now and then or something.

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  • Take a negative character or personality trait, which you absolutely loathe in real life. Like racism or sexism or something along these lines. Then make the protagonist of a short story have this trait. His trait must become visible during the story and the story can not be about him overcoming this flaw.
    The goal is to learn how to write such characters in a positive way because his background made him so. I find it a lot easier to write characters i like or portray those i don't like in a negative way.
  • Write a conversation between at least two persons. Neither names can be mentioned or say-tags used. The goal is to differentiate the characters just by their own voice.

I like the conversation prompt.

Thank you for your feedback. ^_^
Title: Re: Monthly writing challenge feedback - please read/reply
Post by: justaddnoise1985 on June 01, 2017, 12:51:55 AM
What kinds of writing prompts do you usually like?
Word challenges.
Start your story with a line of dialogue or setting.

Do you like more open-ended prompts, or do you prefer more specific prompts?
It doesn't really matter to me.

Do you like it when there's more than one prompt to choose from, or do you prefer one prompt?
I think one prompt work well.

Do you have any prompt suggestions?
I might be able to come up with some.

Do you have any new challenge suggestions?
Bingo-style type challenges.

Any other feedback you'd like to give regarding the challenges?
I am really too new here to comment on this part.
Title: Re: Monthly writing challenge feedback - please read/reply
Post by: Jedi Knight Muse on June 01, 2017, 12:59:33 AM
What kinds of writing prompts do you usually like?
Word challenges.
Start your story with a line of dialogue or setting.

Do you like more open-ended prompts, or do you prefer more specific prompts?
It doesn't really matter to me.

Do you like it when there's more than one prompt to choose from, or do you prefer one prompt?
I think one prompt work well.

Do you have any prompt suggestions?
I might be able to come up with some.

Do you have any new challenge suggestions?
Bingo-style type challenges.

Any other feedback you'd like to give regarding the challenges?
I am really too new here to comment on this part.

Ooh, I like the idea of a bingo type challenge. I'd had an idea for a challenge involving a prompt table with a bunch of different prompts in it, and I'd proposed it several months ago but people basically weren't interested in it, so we decided not to go through with it. But maybe there'd be enough interest now? I need to try and find the post I'd made about it...here it is. (http://forum.worldsmyths.com/index.php?topic=299)
Title: Re: Monthly writing challenge feedback - please read/reply
Post by: Jedi Knight Muse on June 18, 2017, 11:52:47 PM
Bumping, just to see if we can get any more feedback...

The current challenge has only one entry. I'm curious about whether or not anyone else intends to submit something to it, and if there's some other kind of prompt we can try for the July challenge that may catch people's interests. Most of the prompt ideas that we have a list of are basically for the ones that we've been doing- i.e. seasons or "someone who's supposed to be dead" or dialogue prompts or "write a scene involving a fight of some kind." I realize that while one kind of prompt may work for one person, it may not work for another, so that makes it harder to figure out a prompt that will get responses.

Do you want prompts that are more like "show us your favorite scene from a current project" or "show us a scene where your character faced a fear of theirs" or something? Do you have any ideas for prompts that are more along these lines?

Mostly I'm just spit-balling this 'cause this challenge and the last challenge don't seem to be doing very well as far as getting responses goes, so I'm trying to figure out something for the next challenge/future challenges so that we can maybe get them back on track with getting more entries.
Title: Re: Monthly writing challenge feedback - please read/reply
Post by: Ahryantah on June 19, 2017, 05:49:41 PM
I feel guilty because I just haven't been writing much at all, and what I have been doing has been going toward my novel. I just haven't been in the head space for prompts the last couple of months.

So for me, the problem isn't the prompts. I think they're fine.

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Do you want prompts that are more like "show us your favorite scene from a current project" or "show us a scene where your character faced a fear of theirs" or something? Do you have any ideas for prompts that are more along these lines?

Eh, I don't really like these prompts as much. I prefer the ones that are based around a phrase or a theme. And the picture ones!
Title: Re: Monthly writing challenge feedback - please read/reply
Post by: Jedi Knight Muse on June 19, 2017, 09:17:38 PM
I feel guilty because I just haven't been writing much at all, and what I have been doing has been going toward my novel. I just haven't been in the head space for prompts the last couple of months.

So for me, the problem isn't the prompts. I think they're fine.

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Do you want prompts that are more like "show us your favorite scene from a current project" or "show us a scene where your character faced a fear of theirs" or something? Do you have any ideas for prompts that are more along these lines?

Eh, I don't really like these prompts as much. I prefer the ones that are based around a phrase or a theme. And the picture ones!

Yeah, I think that's probably the issue with a lot of people, is that they're focusing on their own projects and don't want to write something else that may work for the prompt, although they do have the option of submitting something that they've already written...but then it's a matter of that something needing to match the prompt that's been given, which isn't always the case.

I do, too, but I thought that maybe prompts like that, at least once in a while, would help with people who are too focused on their current projects to be able to write anything new, and don't have anything that matches the other kind of prompts, like the ones for the June challenge. I dunno.  :-\ it's really hard to pinpoint what kind of prompts we should be giving because everyone enjoys different kinds of prompts. And sometimes the prompts just don't inspire anything.
Title: Re: Monthly writing challenge feedback - please read/reply
Post by: Jedi Knight Muse on July 23, 2017, 01:43:18 PM
Bumping, because it's been a while and I'm curious to see if any of the newer members, or anyone who didn't respond the last time, has any input regarding the challenges. (Please make sure to read the previous responses, 'cause I think I remember there were some things brought up in this discussion to be aware of.)

Also, right now all we have to offer is a signature graphic for the challenge winners, which I know isn't much...but if someone has any ideas for free/cheap things that we could somehow offer as 'prizes,' I'm open to suggestions. I think it'd be neat to have bookmarks for Worldsmyths made, but there are some logistics we'd have to figure out (i.e. which site would be best and cheapest to use for printing). The other thing is that I'd probably like to see the community become a bit more active before we get to the point of offering any kind of prize beyond a graphic.
Title: Re: Monthly writing challenge feedback - please read/reply
Post by: Manu on August 08, 2017, 04:53:43 PM
What kinds of writing prompts do you usually like?
Any, really.

Do you like more open ended prompts, or do you prefer more specific prompts?
Depends totally on the prompt and on my mood. In general, more specific ones tend to spark inspiration slightly better for me. That's not always the case, though.

Do you like it when there's more than one prompt to choose from, or do you prefer one prompt?
Maybe one open ended and one specific prompt would be a good combination?

Do you have any prompt suggestions?
Do you have any new challenge suggestions?
I've recently done the creative writing online course on Futurelearn, they had a couple of interesting exercises. Here are some:

Any other feedback you'd like to give regarding the challenges?
Since I'm new, not yet.
Title: Re: Monthly writing challenge feedback - please read/reply
Post by: HSCook on August 11, 2017, 05:49:25 AM
Sorry I have been inactive of late. I kinda... broke for a while.

Anyway, just thought, what about the ten word challenge. The task is to write a paragraph or two, usually humorous, which must contain ten really random and obscure words somewhere.

A chat room I used to frequent did t this a lot... The users would give a random word and the first ten provided would be the prompt. Do much weirdness ensued. And it's only a paragraph or two, probably no more than 500 words and often a lot less. They weren't meant to be things you thought out or laboured over, but rather a quick entry to get writing juices flowing.