Cafe Doom

The Critique Crypt => General writing chat => Topic started by: Ed on August 10, 2010, 06:27:55 PM



Title: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Ed on August 10, 2010, 06:27:55 PM
(http://shocktotem.com/images/issue_01.jpg)  (http://shocktotem.com/images/issue_02.jpg)

This year we are teaming up with Ken Allen Wood and his staff at Shock Totem Magazine (http://shocktotem.com/) :cheers:

Ken will choose the winning story from our top ten, publish it in Issue #4 and pay the author the princely sum of five cents per word. In addition he will choose the second and third place runners-up, whom I will award Amazon vouchers to the value of $100 and $50 respectively. To sweeten the pot a little more I'll be giving away copies of Shock Totem, issues #1 and #2 to the authors of my personal favourite top three, which may or may not feature in the overall top ten.

Word limit is 5,000 and the closing date is 30th October 2010. For a full list of details please read on:


***

We’re sticking with the same format as the past couple of years, which is a fairly unusual way to run a comp, because all the entrants get to have their say about the stories and pick their favourites.

What happens is each entrant has to join the Cafe Doom forum (if they’re not already a member), then send their entry to blunted (at) cafedoom.com via an e-mail attachment in .rtf or .txt format, single spaced, line breaks instead of indents to denote paragraphs, and use BB Code to format any italics, etc.

In the body of the e-mail, they must state their forum name and the title of their story. DO NOT POST YOUR STORY IN THE BODY OF THE E-MAIL.

On 31st October, the day following the closing date of the competition, all the stories will be posted anonymously on one forum thread by the forum admin. Thereafter, and for the following seven days (may be extended to fourteen if we’re swamped with submissions), the entrants must read the entries, and vote for their top three favourite stories on another forum thread. Failure to vote will result in the entrant being disqualified and their story being stripped of its points. Ken Allen Wood will choose the winning stories from the top ten entries.

To summarise –

Prizes as follows:

1st place - Pro rate of pay, plus publication in issue #4 of Shock Totem.

2nd place - $100 Amazon voucher.

3rd place - $50 Amazon voucher.

In addition to this I will give issues of Shock Totem #1 and #2 to the authors of my three favourite stories.

Theme – open, but dark.

Word limit - 5,000

Closing date – 30th October 2010


Be aware that Shock Totem may require the author of the winning story to make changes to it in order to meet their editorial standards. As with any other market, the magazine will sometimes ask their authors to make a few edits and additions to keep the editor happy.

For a better chance of catching the editor's eye, take a look at the Shock Totem submission guidelines:

Quote
What We Want:

Fiction: We consider original, unpublished stories within the confines of dark fantasy and horror—mystery, suspense, supernatural, morbid humor, fantasy, etc. Stories must have a clear horror element. We're looking for short stories up to 5,000 words (firm).


***

You can find the story thread here - http://www.cafedoom.com/forum/index.php?topic=3428.0

You can find the voting thread here - http://www.cafedoom.com/forum/index.php?topic=3427.0

Both threads are locked for the time being and are off limits to guests - you must join the forum to view them.

***

Please feel free to ask questions and comment on this thread.

Finally - good luck, everybody :afro:


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Rev. Austin on August 10, 2010, 08:29:35 PM
Woo!  Nice one Ed!

I squandered my chance last time by entering something quite unlike what I normally write, so this time it's Rev Austin Style all the way, baby!  Woo!  Yeah!


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: elay2433 on August 10, 2010, 11:58:58 PM
Thanks, Ed. Great of you to set this up.


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: delph_ambi on August 11, 2010, 02:12:59 AM
Hurrah!

Only now I have to write a story. I'm not writing stories this year. Hmm...  :scratch:


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: leatherdykeuk on August 11, 2010, 03:43:25 AM
Super!
Now there's another 'long' short story on my to-do list!


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: delboy on August 11, 2010, 03:45:12 AM
Great stuff, Ed!

I was going to give this year's comp a miss... but each year I think the same thing and each year I get tempted into having a go and really enjoying the event. Now it's up to 5k it's even harder to resist!

Quote
I'm not writing stories this year.

Same here, Delph. Might need to make an exception for this, put the novel aside for a month and see what happens...

Derek


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Bec on August 11, 2010, 04:24:23 AM
Ooh, this looks good. I might have a go at this one.


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Kenwood on August 11, 2010, 12:20:25 PM
Good luck, everyone! =)


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: catephoenix on August 11, 2010, 01:13:51 PM
I love the guys over at Shock Totem. Fantastic news, Ed.


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: JonP on August 11, 2010, 01:16:54 PM
Great stuff! Although 5000 words is wa-a-a-ay beyond my usual limit ....


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Ed on August 11, 2010, 01:23:26 PM
I love the guys over at Shock Totem. Fantastic news, Ed.

Yeah, Ken's been great. I kinda pounced on him with very little notice and pummeled him for a decision, but he took it all in his stride and has very generously offered his time and funds to sponsor this year's comp. I'm looking forward to this one, big time.

Jon -- don't worry, you don't have to use the full limit. There's no minimum :afro:


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: BluGilliand on August 11, 2010, 01:35:55 PM
Sweet! I was hoping this announcement was coming soon!

Blu


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: cherlynn on August 11, 2010, 05:18:17 PM
I came across this contest last year, but didn't enter.

I have one question that may sound trivial with the great prizes available.  ;) With the stories being posted on the forum for us to vote on, will this make the story considered published for those who wish to send them elsewhere once the contest is over. You know, the one's that don't get picked for publication with Shock Totem.

Also, as an aspiring author, I'm always wonder what is necessary for your stoy to have a horror element. I've submitted to Shock Totem in the past, but have been rejected. Not sure, the stories may have not been scary enough. I'd enjoy hearing some thoughts on that matter.


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Kerr on August 11, 2010, 06:13:21 PM
Thanks Ed. That should be enough time hopefully to make something scary, maybe.


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: shiney on August 11, 2010, 06:46:52 PM
Those cats at SHOCK TOTEM are tough eggs to crack, as far as what they look for in horror content. We read everything....and we like what we like. Simple as that.

And we hear we might be pretty sexy, but I fear that could be a lie.


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Grillmeat on August 11, 2010, 07:11:32 PM
Really great job Ed.
Shock Totem is a cool outlet. Never cracked it myself but some good stuff there.


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Kenwood on August 11, 2010, 07:41:11 PM
I came across this contest last year, but didn't enter.

I have one question that may sound trivial with the great prizes available.  ;) With the stories being posted on the forum for us to vote on, will this make the story considered published for those who wish to send them elsewhere once the contest is over. You know, the one's that don't get picked for publication with Shock Totem.

Also, as an aspiring author, I'm always wonder what is necessary for your stoy to have a horror element. I've submitted to Shock Totem in the past, but have been rejected. Not sure, the stories may have not been scary enough. I'd enjoy hearing some thoughts on that matter.

We are a tough market, but that's only because we don't have one person picking all the stories. We have a team of five, and in order for any story to make it onto our pages three of those five have to vote to accept it. That may seem unduly harsh, but it ensures that all editors and (slush) readers have an equal say. Since no one gets paid to do this--and in fact we pay into it--there has to be incentive to continue doing so. That incentive is having a voice and a vote that matters.

So don't ever think your story isn't scary enough. Dark is perfectly fine with us. But yeah, we're a tough market. Sorry. =(


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: delph_ambi on August 12, 2010, 02:19:40 AM
Cherlynn, as far as I'm aware the stories won't be considered published as they'll be invisible to the general public. Only members of the forum will be able to see them.


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Ed on August 12, 2010, 07:07:44 AM
Delph is correct . Because the forum the story will be posted on is password protected and search engines and the general public can't gain access to it, most places wouldn't count it as published -- it's little different to posting it in a crit group. However, that said, some places don't accept anything that's been posted anywhere online, even inside a crit group, so it varies.


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: cherlynn on August 12, 2010, 09:50:12 PM
Quote
We are a tough market, but that's only because we don't have one person picking all the stories. We have a team of five, and in order for any story to make it onto our pages three of those five have to vote to accept it. That may seem unduly harsh, but it ensures that all editors and (slush) readers have an equal say. Since no one gets paid to do this--and in fact we pay into it--there has to be incentive to continue doing so. That incentive is having a voice and a vote that matters.

So don't ever think your story isn't scary enough. Dark is perfectly fine with us. But yeah, we're a tough market. Sorry. =(

By all means, don't be sorry. :) If getting published was easy, everyone would be doing it and then well what would be the point.


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: cherlynn on August 12, 2010, 09:52:11 PM
Thank you all for commenting on the publication issue. I believe it will be worth the chance to try. Shock Totem is in my top 5 list of where I'd most like to see my work appear. Now I just need to decide which story would be the best to enter.


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: LeeThompson on August 13, 2010, 01:33:18 AM
Fantastic! The ST team is great! I'm gonna brew something wicked.
Very cool, Ed!


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: tdaene on August 13, 2010, 08:20:49 PM
 :cheers: I have only tried submitting to Bloody Carnival as I am new to this.  Children's books kinda frown on this sort of thing!  This seems really neat!  I can't wait to see how all this works and read the other stories!



Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Ed on August 14, 2010, 06:48:59 AM
I'd say all the paying markets are tough, because they have hundreds, maybe even thousands of stories submitted to them during each reading period, out of which they have to select perhaps as few as four stories they love. That in itself is a very difficult task, and I think the mountains of slush each magazine has to sift through can get on top of some of them. Doorways springs to mins as one that might have suffered from that problem.


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Flirtybee on August 16, 2010, 10:23:47 AM
Great news, Ed, been waiting for the comp again. It's my fave. Plus I have something kept back for just this ... needs a little honing, but as soon as I wrote it I knew what it was for :)

Best of luck all  :afro:


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Ed on August 16, 2010, 11:18:10 AM
Cool -- looking forward to reading it, Flirty. Yours was one of my favourites last year. :smiley:


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Robert Essig on August 17, 2010, 11:27:30 AM
I'm going to throw my hat in the ring.  I just have to choose which story I want to submit.   :/


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Ed on August 17, 2010, 04:19:41 PM
Good luck, Robert :afro:


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: doolols on August 18, 2010, 08:26:15 AM
Sounds a great comp. Ed. I don't think I've entered before, but then I've been asleep since the last one, and may have forgotten  :/

I have some ideas for stories, which I wrote down somewhere ....  :idiot:

Gerald


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: desertwomble on August 18, 2010, 12:00:52 PM
Hmmmmm!

I may just have something in the works.

DW :cheesy:


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Woody on August 28, 2010, 08:03:41 PM
Bugger - though I have story ideas that may well be accepted I can't de-prioritise the stuff I'm currently working on. I'll have to wait for the 2011 comp.


Title: .
Post by: Woody on August 28, 2010, 08:14:23 PM
posting here has proven unwise. ed will keep your stuff after he bans you. only he knows why.


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Ed on August 29, 2010, 04:12:38 AM
That's it, plus any rules Shock Totem stipluate on their submissions page, for obvious reasons. We try to keep it simple, and if anything crops up that isn't covered by the rules, we'll make a decision on it if and when necessary. :smiley:

You could always submit an old story, Woody. Good luck, if you decide to throw your hat into the ring :afro:


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Kenwood on September 06, 2010, 12:15:55 AM
So how goes the writing?


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Ed on September 10, 2010, 03:50:33 AM
So how goes the writing?

Looks like it's just the three entries I've received so far then, Ken :scratch:

On the upside, it should make judging a bit easier for you :afro:


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: leatherdykeuk on September 10, 2010, 04:02:01 AM
I've got one started :)


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Pharosian on September 10, 2010, 07:42:09 AM
I got a couple of thousand words into my first attempt before abandoning it because I couldn't figure out what the MC wanted. I'm about 1300 words into a second story that's looking much better.

But I figure I'm a good five weeks away from worrying, and six weeks away from panicking. Plenty of time!  :cool:

Anyone who turns a story in now is just giving up valuable editing time.  :bleh:


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Kenwood on September 15, 2010, 01:58:06 AM
Only three! Do we smell?


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Ed on September 15, 2010, 02:24:06 AM
Only three! Do we smell?

No, nope, no problem, Ken -- we've had another entry since my last post. We're up to four :cheers:


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Pharosian on September 15, 2010, 08:14:13 AM
Only three! Do we smell?

HEY! Some of us don't write as fast as others. My story is up to 2700 words now. And the deadline is STILL just over six weeks away.  ::)

Do we need to get you a sign you can post in a prominent spot with the reassuring words "Don't Panic" written on it?   :cheesy:


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: delboy on September 15, 2010, 08:55:45 AM
My story is still bubbling away in the dark sludge of my brain. I know the setting I want to write about but I'm still waiting for a story (and a hero) to come crawling out of this particular swamp.

Alas, the only thing to emerge in recent months has been hiccups, headaches, and halitosis  :shocked:

Derek


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: delph_ambi on September 15, 2010, 09:10:14 AM
I don't know the setting, the characters or the plot. I don't know any of the words, though I suspect 'the' will feature. Okay. That's one word. It's a start.


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: JonP on September 15, 2010, 11:57:12 AM
Reminds me of that old Python sketch: "And he's written the first word, it's the definite article and it's 'The'. Oh, and he's signed his name again ... It's Tess of the d'Urbevilles all over again ..."

I am in a similar position, BTW. Still, there's over a month to go ...


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Russell on September 15, 2010, 03:54:39 PM
I was going to give it a go - although it is rather more words than I've attempted before so don't hold your breath.


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Ed on September 15, 2010, 04:15:15 PM
I was going to give it a go - although it is rather more words than I've attempted before so don't hold your breath.

You don't have to write to the limit, Russell. A past winner was a good two thousand words or so under the limit, so just give it your best shot :afro:


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Ed on September 15, 2010, 04:26:02 PM
BTW, Ken, I've just checked, and we're doing ok going by last year's figures. In fact, we're slightly ahead of the game this time, with double the amount of entries we had this time last year, and I announced the comp a few weeks earlier last year  :afro:

Here are the figures:

Two entries at 14th September -- http://www.cafedoom.com/forum/index.php?topic=2812.msg29460#msg29460

Twelve entries at 6th October -- http://www.cafedoom.com/forum/index.php?topic=2812.msg30158#msg30158

Thirty-one at 23rd October -- http://www.cafedoom.com/forum/index.php?topic=2812.msg30652#msg30652

Forty-four on 30th October -- http://www.cafedoom.com/forum/index.php?topic=2812.msg30870#msg30870


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: delboy on September 16, 2010, 03:45:23 AM
Quote
Quote from: Russell on Yesterday at 08:54:39 PM
I was going to give it a go - although it is rather more words than I've attempted before so don't hold your breath.


You don't have to write to the limit, Russell. A past winner was a good two thousand words or so under the limit, so just give it your best shot


Yeah, I was just going to go with 30 words or so:

Let me tell of tragic Tom Lee
A hybrid of werewolf and zombie
Tom's ma was quite hairy
His pa awful scary
Now poor Tom is a pretty grim combi

 :hidin:

But I think I might try for something shorter!

Derek


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Rev. Austin on September 16, 2010, 04:52:48 AM
I've got like a million story ideas on the go at the moment so I'm sure I'll be able to come upw ith something in time.  If I could just concentrate on one long enough...


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: desertwomble on September 16, 2010, 06:16:44 AM
Quote
Quote from: Russell on Yesterday at 08:54:39 PM
I was going to give it a go - although it is rather more words than I've attempted before so don't hold your breath.


You don't have to write to the limit, Russell. A past winner was a good two thousand words or so under the limit, so just give it your best shot


Yeah, I was just going to go with 30 words or so:

Let me tell of tragic Tom Lee
A hybrid of werewolf and zombie
Tom's ma was quite hairy
His pa awful scary
Now poor Tom is a pretty grim combi

 :hidin:

But I think I might try for something shorter!

Derek

Tragic Thomas Lee.
Hybrid werewolf and zombie;
Grim combination!

W :cheesy:


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: delboy on September 16, 2010, 07:48:52 AM
Quote
Tragic Thomas Lee.
Hybrid werewolf and zombie;
Grim combination!

When does the voting thread open, Ed?


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Ed on September 16, 2010, 03:08:44 PM
Hold yer horses there, Del -- it''l be a while yet :afro:


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Robert Essig on September 17, 2010, 09:43:21 AM
I've got a story primed and ready to go, but I'm currently writing another one that is a contender.  I'll weigh my options and submit closer to the deadline...but not too close.  Probably the ides of October.


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Kenwood on September 19, 2010, 03:04:53 PM
BTW, Ken, I've just checked, and we're doing ok going by last year's figures. In fact, we're slightly ahead of the game this time, with double the amount of entries we had this time last year, and I announced the comp a few weeks earlier last year  :afro:

Here are the figures:

Two entries at 14th September -- http://www.cafedoom.com/forum/index.php?topic=2812.msg29460#msg29460

Twelve entries at 6th October -- http://www.cafedoom.com/forum/index.php?topic=2812.msg30158#msg30158

Thirty-one at 23rd October -- http://www.cafedoom.com/forum/index.php?topic=2812.msg30652#msg30652

Forty-four on 30th October -- http://www.cafedoom.com/forum/index.php?topic=2812.msg30870#msg30870

Very cool. We'll see what happens. =)


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Ed on September 20, 2010, 03:32:29 PM
BTW, don't forget, everybody -- the sooner you get your entry in, the better your chances of avoiding reader fatigue. I'll be posting the entries in the order they are received in :afro:


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: delph_ambi on September 20, 2010, 03:59:24 PM
I've managed about three sentences so far.  :/


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Rev. Austin on September 20, 2010, 06:17:54 PM
I started working on my magnum opus!

That is to say, a story  :cheesy:


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Ed on September 20, 2010, 06:40:00 PM
Isn't it funny how we all think our best work's ahead of us, or it's the story we're working on, or the one we've just finished :scratch:

We probably have tons of great stories sitting on our hard drives by now, but we always think we can do better with the next one :smiley:


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Rev. Austin on September 20, 2010, 07:21:49 PM
I always prefer moving forward and writing new stuff, which is to my detriment in that I don't spend much time sending previously written stories to different markets - if it's rejected I generally put it in a 'need to polish' pile and crack on with something else.  Of course, a writer can only get better (I hope haha) so maybe it all evens out, what with continuing to "hone my craft".  In any case, I firmly believe whatever I enter into the comp this year will be worthy of it, unlike my piece last year which was a bit of a gamble...


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: fnord33 on September 20, 2010, 09:28:51 PM


I'm so bogged down with rewrites that I'm beginning to winder if I'll ever get to work on anything new. It would be depressing to think that my best work is behind me, but honestly I still like my first novel better than anything I've written since. I think that my technical abilities are a million times better now (not that that is saying very much ;)) but my brain was a lot sharper back in the day. I started rewriting FOPOOE the other day and was amazed at how much I had learned here over the past few months. I can see now why nobody liked it. Sixteen pages in I've already cut about 3k words.   


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: jingold on September 20, 2010, 10:33:31 PM
I have nothing for this yet.  Everything I write is dark fantasy, and the story I thought could work for the contest has climbed to 7k and isn't even done.  The plot is crazy complicated--the crit group's in for a mess if I can finish it in time for the next session. :bleh:

I'm curious as to whether I'll be able to guess some of the authors this year though, since I've gotten more familiar with some of your styles....


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: delboy on September 21, 2010, 06:16:32 AM
I was half thinking of starting my story this week - but I've been asked to step into the guitar-slinger's breech for a gig on Saturday and now I have 28 songs to learn in four days... including some disco! I can't even hear the guitar on the disco tracks when I listen to them on YouTube so I might just put on some spangly bellbottoms and shake my hips with the guitar volume turned way down low... Also have a jazz assignment (Green Dolphin Street) to submit to my teacher by the end of September and next week I'm away all week on a business course, so time is tight and I shan't be starting my tale until October at the earliest. That said, I really don't have a tale to tell yet, just some ideas on setting, so the next fortnight's busy-ness isn't really a factor.

Derek


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Pharosian on September 21, 2010, 08:31:09 AM
Isn't it funny how we all think our best work's ahead of us, or it's the story we're working on, or the one we've just finished :scratch:

We probably have tons of great stories sitting on our hard drives by now, but we always think we can do better with the next one :smiley:

I would hope my best work is still ahead of me... otherwise why would I bother trying to learn how to tell stories more effectively and improve the readers' experience?

I don't think I've got tons of great stories on my hard drive so much as tons of great ideas that didn't quite pan out for one reason or another. Each of us has our own set of weaknesses, and in my case it isn't a lack of writing ability per se, it's a tendency to write "at a distance" without getting up close and personal with my characters... that and an unwillingness to give my characters sufficiently tough obstacles and to hurt them... and up until recently, only a foggy grasp of how to structure a story for maximum advantage... and that's just the stuff I know about!  :/


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: delph_ambi on September 22, 2010, 07:22:12 AM
This is tough. I have my characters. I have my scenario. My set up. My location. Even a sort of a theme. What I don't have is any sort of a plot. Help! I know if I write my normal literary-virtual-poetry-poetry I'll get nowhere in this particular competition. I have to have a story. I don't do stories. I do textures.  :scratch:

This is probably the most challenging writing I've done all year.


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Pharosian on September 22, 2010, 08:08:55 AM
Plot comes down to Goal, Motivation, and Conflict. What do your characters want? What are they willing to do to get what they want, and what obstacles must they overcome in the process--that is, who (or what) is preventing them from getting what they want?


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: delph_ambi on September 22, 2010, 09:07:21 AM
Thanks Pharo. I'll paste that at the top of the document and keep referring back to it. Very useful. Should keep me focused.


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: LashSlash on September 22, 2010, 09:50:02 AM
hey delf, i'll ghost write it for you, if you want --- wont tell a soul, cub's honour ;)


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: delph_ambi on September 22, 2010, 10:22:26 AM
A very kind offer, but one which I will have to refuse, as a good and honorable girl guide.   :azn:


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Ed on September 22, 2010, 02:41:45 PM
What Pharo said :afro:

Give your MC a hard time. Ask each character what they're doing in the story -- they're either helping or hindering the MC, and if they're doing neither, they have no business being in the thing.


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: delph_ambi on September 22, 2010, 04:55:28 PM
Good point.

(If I ask enough questions you lot will end up writing the story for me.)


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Rev. Austin on September 22, 2010, 06:24:32 PM
Make the protagonist a talking hat.  There aren't enough talking hats in horror literature nowadays.  :grin:  :cheesy:


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: leatherdykeuk on September 22, 2010, 06:55:03 PM
Make the protagonist a talking hat.

Been playing Echo Bazaar, by any chance?


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: delboy on September 23, 2010, 09:46:56 AM
My story is starting to coalesce in my mind. Still got a lot of fermentation to go, but I'm beginning to feel the first connections growing. Or at least some random proteins slowly drifting towards one another in the thick soup of my muse. Can't see me starting it in anger for another week so it may be touch and go...


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: delph_ambi on September 23, 2010, 10:41:35 AM
I just surprised myself by writing 600 words of mine. I have my character(s). They have a problem. They are trying to overcome the problem. The problem's getting worse. Only thing is, the problem has no logic to it whatsoever. Yet.

More to the point, I don't think the story's remotely scary. Not sure how to fix this.  :scratch: Build in some tension? That might not be a bad idea for starters. It's all too comfortable at the moment. Could be sorted by a sensible chat over a nice cup of tea and a ginger hobnob (or whatever the galactic equivalent might be). Who needs dilithium crystals when you have hobnobs. Who needs WD40 when daleks can fly. Who needs fisshhhh.... (of the red herring variety).


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: delboy on September 23, 2010, 12:35:01 PM
And there's the thing. In addition to Pharo's excellent summary of what a story is:

Quote
Plot comes down to Goal, Motivation, and Conflict. What do your characters want? What are they willing to do to get what they want, and what obstacles must they overcome in the process--that is, who (or what) is preventing them from getting what they want?

you also have to have some reason why the characters can't just walk away from the conflict (or, of course, can't solve it in an easier way than they're doing, like having a hobnob and a cup of tea).

We've almost got the Cafe Doom "How To Write Stories" book finished in about 50 words!

Derek


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: LeeThompson on September 26, 2010, 01:12:57 AM
Got my story idea but it's going to be hell to pull off just right. Onward and upward!  :cheers:


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: delph_ambi on September 27, 2010, 04:34:52 AM
First draft complete, and not a hobnob in sight. Only problem is there's not much that's horrific or scary or shocking in it as yet either. No monsters. No ghosts. No zombies. No giant insects. No slimy things from outer space. No creeping shadows. Not even a maggot.  :scratch:


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: desertwomble on September 27, 2010, 06:08:57 AM
First draft complete, and not a hobnob in sight. Only problem is there's not much that's horrific or scary or shocking in it as yet either. No monsters. No ghosts. No zombies. No giant insects. No slimy things from outer space. No creeping shadows. Not even a maggot.  :scratch:

How about malevolent wombles?

DW :cheesy:


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: delph_ambi on September 27, 2010, 06:29:12 AM
How about malevolent wombles?

Now there's a thought...


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Ed on September 27, 2010, 12:16:14 PM
It was a dark and stormy Womble.


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Robert Essig on October 05, 2010, 09:04:50 PM
So I'm getting ready to send my story in, and I am following the guidelines closely, but I don't know what this means: "BB Code to format any italics".  What is BB code?  :scratch:


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Ed on October 06, 2010, 02:26:00 AM
So I'm getting ready to send my story in, and I am following the guidelines closely, but I don't know what this means: "BB Code to format any italics".  What is BB code?  :scratch:

Bulletin Board code :afro: The easiest way to format your entry using it is to go as if to post it on a thread here, select the text you want italicised, then press the slanting 'I' button, which will add the code, like this:

Code:
I want [i]italicised[/i] text [i]here[/i]

Which gives you this: I want italicised text here

You can then use the preview button to check it's alright, then copy the whole lot to a fresh Word .rtf and you're in business :smiley:


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: delboy on October 06, 2010, 03:04:49 AM
It's a race against time for me - up to about 3000 words on a very rough first draft. I'm loving the story but it needs a lot of work. With 'proper' work the way it is, time is very tight... we shall see. Worse thing happens, then at least I'll be able to partake in a crit group soon!

Derek


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Ed on October 06, 2010, 03:31:45 AM
Cool  :afro: Good luck with the editing, Del. I enjoyed your last comp entry.


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: delboy on October 06, 2010, 04:38:38 AM
This one is written in a style I'm calling "Post Reverend, neo-Delph-Womble". It's an epic poem about a zombie detective with an ambition to record Beethoven's Opus 61 before his fingers fall off, meanwhile he's being hunted by a five-hundred year old sea monster who (mistakingly) believes the zombie's music is the mating call of a long-forgotten (and very hot!) female. It's a piece for under-fives, of course.

Derek


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Rev. Austin on October 06, 2010, 05:14:36 AM
I'd buy that for a dollar!


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: delboy on October 06, 2010, 07:35:43 AM
Hey, I've got a vote already!  :cheers: Kewl. Del sets the early pace...

Trouble is I never mention any smells and I start off with dialogue... so there's Geoff's and Ed's votes gone...  ;)

Derek



Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Robert Essig on October 06, 2010, 10:38:03 AM
So I'm getting ready to send my story in, and I am following the guidelines closely, but I don't know what this means: "BB Code to format any italics".  What is BB code?  :scratch:

Bulletin Board code :afro: The easiest way to format your entry using it is to go as if to post it on a thread here, select the text you want italicised, then press the slanting 'I' button, which will add the code, like this:

Code:
I want [i]italicised[/i] text [i]here[/i]

Which gives you this: I want italicised text here

You can then use the preview button to check it's alright, then copy the whole lot to a fresh Word .rtf and you're in business :smiley:

Thanks, Ed.  Mine should be submitted very soon.


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Rev. Austin on October 06, 2010, 02:12:45 PM
If what I'm working on gets suitably polished in time to send in, none of the usual crit group members will know which story is mine, uh huh, no way  :grin:


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Ed on October 06, 2010, 06:39:36 PM
We're up to fifteen entries, now. Three more than this time last year.


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Pharosian on October 06, 2010, 07:10:55 PM
If what I'm working on gets suitably polished in time to send in, none of the usual crit group members will know which story is mine, uh huh, no way  :grin:

Well, you sure had everyone fooled LAST year!  :shocked:


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Rev. Austin on October 07, 2010, 04:50:41 AM
Not this time, bucko!   :grin:


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: LeeThompson on October 10, 2010, 07:09:19 PM
Sweet! Got my story edited and sent in! Can't wait to read everyone's entries!  :dance:


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Ed on October 13, 2010, 03:01:08 AM
Still only sixteen entries, with two weeks left to go.


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: delboy on October 13, 2010, 06:27:48 AM
Everybody knows that #17 is the cursed position... that no-one has ever voted for the 17th story... so we're all just waiting for someone else to blink first...

Derek


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Rabid on October 13, 2010, 01:27:13 PM
I finally got around to signing up to these forums. I believe I'll have to throw my name in the hat for this competition. Already working on the story. Fingers crossed.


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: fnord33 on October 13, 2010, 04:36:04 PM
I've got to get on this. I've had the story written for about a month, but I haven't gotten around to putting the finishing touches on it yet. :/


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Rev. Austin on October 14, 2010, 05:06:07 AM
I started working on something else for this that I've had mapped out for a while, but just never got round to finishing.  Started working on it again though because I've decided I'd rather enter something brand new, rather than a reworked crit session story...


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: delboy on October 14, 2010, 05:51:22 AM
I'm submitting something from waaaaay back. An early Del. From my cubist period when men wore hats and moustaches and railroad watches, women cooked apple pie a la mode and listened to Bing, horsepower was measured in single digits, and stories didn't need to start with a hook, include sex and violence, or even have a theme...

Del


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: starktheground on October 14, 2010, 09:22:14 AM
I haven't written anything I'm really proud of in the past few months, but maybe I'll throw something together. (And now I'm getting excited to read the rest of the stories too! That's always fun.)


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Rook on October 14, 2010, 10:31:27 AM
I'm going to send mine in, sometime in the next few days. I'll read it through a couple of times more. I keep finding typos.

It was my second choice, actually; I have a piece suited to a larger audience, that I was really excited about entering here, but it is at 7500 words right now, and while I could cut about 1000w without too much plot and atmosphere damage, everytime I get any closer to the limit, I lose what makes it something other than a run-of-the-mill serial killer story. Mainly the MC's voice.  :bangh:

Not that I don't like the one I am sending. In fact, I love it; I just think it is suited to a particular taste. Oh well, at least I finished it!  :cheers:


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Rev. Austin on October 14, 2010, 11:55:05 AM
I'm submitting something from waaaaay back. An early Del. From my cubist period when men wore hats and moustaches and railroad watches, women cooked apple pie a la mode and listened to Bing, horsepower was measured in single digits, and stories didn't need to start with a hook, include sex and violence, or even have a theme...

Del

Sounds like a winner!  I'm thinking of reworking mine so it includes an irrepressible lady detective who makes her living as a writer, and has an uncanny knack of turning up to crime scenes without an invite, and then snidely revealing the culprit to the nearby police.  I think I'll call her 'Meredith'.  But so it also fits in with the dark/horror theme of this competition, I'll probably also make her a werewolf or something.


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: delboy on October 14, 2010, 01:16:45 PM
Quote
I think I'll call her 'Meredith'.  But so it also fits in with the dark/horror theme of this competition, I'll probably also make her a werewolf or something.

In a little (and probably nowadays(*) obscure) nod to the day the music really did die you could have someone on her trail - the Meredith Hunter...

Derek

(*) But not to oldies like me.


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Rev. Austin on October 15, 2010, 04:28:25 AM
Well, you just caused me to google Meredith Hunter and learn something new.  Well done, granddad  :2funny:

Sorry Del hahah "I don't get no respect" indeed


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Pharosian on October 15, 2010, 10:03:02 AM
Well, you just caused me to google Meredith Hunter and learn something new.  Well done, granddad  :2funny:

Ditto!  ;)


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: delboy on October 15, 2010, 10:40:38 AM
I feel very old now!  :/

As an aside, I watched the movie Gimmie Shelter (in which Meredith Hunter's murder is caught on film) last Christmas followed almost immediately by a documentary of Take That on tour. How music has changed in the last 40 years! One was proper rock'n'roll, the other was like an hour in a soft play room.

Grandpa Del


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Kerr on October 18, 2010, 02:09:48 PM
I just stopped in and read through. *chuckles* You guys are all so cheering the way you poke fun at yourselves, except that you started a month back with the nail biting when you hadn't yet thought of a damn thing to write about. Only two weeks left now and I have to say that I'm getting a little nervous. I've had a WIP in my head working hard to find means of escape. I haven't lost all hope yet though of figuring out how to hand two things at once. 


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: LeeThompson on October 18, 2010, 05:17:26 PM
Don't lose hope, Kerr! You still have time!  :dance:


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Ed on October 18, 2010, 06:05:07 PM
Only had one more entry during the past week :/

I hope we get a last minute rush.


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: starktheground on October 18, 2010, 08:36:04 PM
I'm still trying to decide if I should submit an old story I like, or submit the new one which is a little bit of a mess right now. But I one hundred percent intend to submit.


Ed: You want me to put info about the contest on my Facebook and Twitter, to see if I can drum up more interest? I also have a few writer friends I may be able to talk into participating.


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Ed on October 19, 2010, 03:29:07 AM

Ed: You want me to put info about the contest on my Facebook and Twitter, to see if I can drum up more interest? I also have a few writer friends I may be able to talk into participating.

Yep -- the more the merrier. Thanks :smiley:


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Rev. Austin on October 19, 2010, 04:23:43 AM
Ah!  That's a great idea!  I'll plug it too!


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Charlie In The Box on October 19, 2010, 10:45:53 PM
Hey Rev, I saw your comment about this contest and I'm so in this. I've been weaving up a tale of dark fiction for a few weeks now, which was originally intended for an anthology submission with a publishing press, but after seeing this, I've decided I'm going to enter it in this contest first.  I was in a Flash Fiction contest with Shock Totem back in September, and my story (1000 words) was a total failure. I rushed it!! This one is near completion which will allow me time to pass it around, get feedback and polish her off before I submit. And this story is creeping me out just writing it. My lead character has been speaking to me in my head, demanding that I tell his story. I'm all over this.

And thank you for the heads up, otherwise I would have missed this exciting opportunity. I owe you one.  Here goes. If your into zombies, APEX is having an open call for submissions for a Zombie anthology or something in that realm, and the deadline is the 31st of this month. Go to their website and click submissions to find out more.

Thanks again and good luck to all,
Charles Day

Aka Charlie In The Box


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Rev. Austin on October 20, 2010, 05:12:19 AM
Welcome aboard Charlie!  I'll have a gander at Apex's website!  ;)

ED: are reprints allowed?


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Kerr on October 20, 2010, 02:10:38 PM
Okay, I'm 1,300 words in, nowhere near an end and enjoying myself. That's all good signs.


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: LeeThompson on October 20, 2010, 10:04:39 PM
Good deal, Kerr! Keep at it!  :cool:


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Kerr on October 20, 2010, 10:37:59 PM
Thanks Lee.  I hate to miss out on all the fun. Good or bad, I'll get something together.


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Charlie In The Box on October 21, 2010, 10:38:17 AM
Hello fellow writing cometitors,

My Writing project for this one has been good. The voice in my head, Jacob, is helping me tell his story.  Wow, I can see why he needs to get this one off his chest. Giving me the heebie-jeebies as well!!  Hoping to have his story done by this weekend, so I can have ample time to have some peeps read, before I polish this off and submit by the 30th!!

I'll be hiding in my charlie box typing away!!

Wishing everyone success on this one!!


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Ed on October 22, 2010, 03:47:08 AM
Welcome aboard Charlie!  I'll have a gander at Apex's website!  ;)

ED: are reprints allowed?

Sorry, Rev -- didn't see this before. Considering the winning entry is to be published in Shock Totem, I doubt it's a good idea, but check their guidelines for a definitive answer. It may mean a reduced payout, if allowed. Personally, I wouldn't chance it.

In other news -- a week to go, and still only twenty entries received. We're three down on the number of entries when compared to this time last year.


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Rev. Austin on October 22, 2010, 04:23:50 AM
Cheers Ed - I asked on behalf of someone ese; you'll get a Rev. Austin original off me next week ;)


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: fnord33 on October 22, 2010, 05:53:08 AM
You'll have mine soon. I'm waiting for my wife to give it a read and see if she can find fault with anything.


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: starktheground on October 22, 2010, 12:03:04 PM
Is it bad form to use a story that I used in the critique group here a long time ago? The story's never been published, but it's one of my favorites, and I just can't seem to get the creative juices flowing for something fresh. Well, I've written a bit, but it's not anything that's ready to be shared.  :/


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Ed on October 22, 2010, 01:58:17 PM
Is it bad form to use a story that I used in the critique group here a long time ago? The story's never been published, but it's one of my favorites, and I just can't seem to get the creative juices flowing for something fresh. Well, I've written a bit, but it's not anything that's ready to be shared.  :/

It's been done before. I don't think it alters a story's chances for better or worse, so feel free to put it in :smiley:

Rev & fnord -- looking forward to reading both :afro:


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Charlie In The Box on October 22, 2010, 04:27:53 PM
Hey Ed,

Looking forward to finishing my story in time. I'm going to be hiding in my little charlie box until this is finished.



Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Charlie In The Box on October 22, 2010, 04:32:57 PM
Hey Ed,

Charlie in the Box here.
Has it happened before that your avatar and other profile descriptions just disappear. I checked today and saw that my profile was gone including some of my info, so I'm going to put it all back in.

Could this possibly be a computer glitch, or are the voices in my head responsible for my latest story, getting back at me for not telling the story the way they want it told?


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Charlie In The Box on October 22, 2010, 04:37:26 PM
Hey Ed,

All fixed.  Sorry about that.


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Ed on October 22, 2010, 06:02:11 PM
Hey Charlie -- you're breaking-up, dude :afro:


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Kenwood on October 22, 2010, 07:09:11 PM
What are we up to?


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Ed on October 23, 2010, 04:45:30 AM
What are we up to?

Only twenty so far, Ken -- we're three entries down on this time last year. Hopefully we'll get a last minute rush.


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: delboy on October 23, 2010, 06:02:20 AM
It'll be like an eBay auction! Last day all the bids will come in.

Derek


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Charlie In The Box on October 23, 2010, 09:09:58 AM
@ Ed, I know, I get all wound up, and then I pop out of my charlie box and let it all out. LOL!!!

Nonetheless, my dark tale is near completion, Jacob's story is about to become part of this exciting writing endeavor!!

@ Delboy,  Yes, the flood gates will open on the last day. I have seen this in other contests that I've participated in!!


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: LilyChilds on October 24, 2010, 05:09:26 AM
I have two pieces for this; can't decide which one to go for...



Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Ed on October 24, 2010, 09:14:13 AM
Cool :afro:

Thanks to a couple more entries late in the day, we finished the 23rd on a total of 22 entries, which is nine short of last year's total on that date :/


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: jingold on October 24, 2010, 10:39:34 AM
I'm writing something new, so mine will be a last minute entry.  And I still have to figure out how it's going to end....  Should be a fun week.  :bangh:


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: notsoscarey on October 24, 2010, 02:44:25 PM
Howdy!  I'm following Rev around too, but I brought cupcakes to the party.  I've got a story almost ready for this...should be fun! :cheesy:


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Charlie In The Box on October 25, 2010, 08:29:15 AM
Hey Rev,

I started reading one of your stories "Of Dirt and Dust" and I'm so hooked and loving it. Looking forward to finishing it tonight. My first from you, but certainly not my last. I love the visuals bouncing around in my head while reading your dark tale!!


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Rev. Austin on October 25, 2010, 08:36:05 AM
Thanks Charlie  :afro: I like this whole 'Rev Congo Line' thing that's going on, with people following me here.  I wonder if I can draw anyone else here...time for sneaky tactics!


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Ed on October 25, 2010, 02:50:57 PM
It'd be good if you could, Rev -- we've had a pretty poor response this year. If it ends too badly this might be the last time I run the competition, in its current incarnation, anyway.

It's kinda disheartening when I struggle to cajole just a few responses from hundreds of aspiring writers, when I know quite a lot of FTLO ezines get three times that number of submissions in the same period of time. I put at least a couple hundred dollars of my own money into it every year, and for last year and this, the editors of two great (pro-paying) print magazines have generously put up the first prize money, and offer the winner a professional rate publishing credit. How amazing is that from a free to enter competition? No catches, either. Yet, here we are, five days away from the closing date of the competition, with just twenty-two entries.

WTF? I don't understand it. I really don't :scratch:


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: starktheground on October 25, 2010, 03:40:19 PM
I sent my entry last night; just wanted to make sure you got it.

That really makes no sense to me about the response to the contest, Ed. It's a GREAT contest, and I don't understand why more people have entered either. I mentioned it to four author friends personally, and they all had excuses why they couldn't do it.  :scratch: I just wanted to shake them. What have they got to lose? Ah well, I'm still looking forward to it myself, and I hope there's a last minute rush so the contest can continue next year. Thank you for providing it to us, though.  :afro:


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: fnord33 on October 25, 2010, 04:14:13 PM
I've noticed that the better a deal is the less likely people are to take advantage of it.  :scratch: It's weird. I'm sure you'll see a ton flood in over the next few days though. Mine is still coming, probably tomorrow.


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Rev. Austin on October 25, 2010, 05:09:00 PM
Bit late now, but this could feasibly have gone on Duotrope and Ralan.  I assumed it already was, but can't find any mention of it...if this goes ahead next year, that's something to consider...?  I bet most of the subs to my various anthos have been through those (well they must have been since quite a few people clearly never read the full guidelines hahhaarrrgghhh).


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: notsoscarey on October 25, 2010, 05:14:13 PM
Before I send my story, I just want to ask a teensie question...  Do you want us to include our name, address, email, word count, etc on the first page of actual story or just put the title and then the story?  I don't wanna screw anything up.   :/


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Ed on October 25, 2010, 05:56:01 PM
Don't feel like you've got to rush your entries in, just because I'm having a whine -- I'd rather you hung onto them until you're happy to send them. Got yours, Angela, thanks.

Rev -- I put the advertisement up on Ralan ages ago, but Duotrope (unless things have changed recently) don't accept competition listings.

Notso -- just the title and the story, thanks. Other details can go in the body of the e-mail.


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: notsoscarey on October 25, 2010, 06:04:04 PM
Thanks, Ed!  I'm gonna give mine one last read and send it out so I can hop onto the next project.  Woohoo!


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Rook on October 25, 2010, 06:47:48 PM
It really is puzzling... I would think anyone would like it. How many other places are you going to get feedback from so many different perspectives? From writers no less...  :scratch: I don't see how this isn't ten times better than throwing a piece into the ring and getting a flat win or lose. That's one of the things that attracted me here in the first place. Last year was grand fun!

Stark is right: what is there to lose? And with a shot a great prize? People are just plain daft.

But don't worry, Ed, I am sure there are a ton waiting in the wings to deluge you at the last minute.  :afro: And we all appreciate your hard work.  :smiley:


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: JonP on October 25, 2010, 06:57:21 PM
I'm just wondering if the 5000 limit is panicking people a bit this year. I know it's only a maximum, not a target, but psychologically it's a bit intimidating. Still don't know if I'll manage to put anything together for this one. Have some serious other stuff to finish off by Friday. But I'll see what I can do :)


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Ed on October 25, 2010, 07:33:58 PM
Yeah, could be, Jon. We've had a fair few entries under the limit, though.

Personally, I think the longer limit forces writers to employ different techniques from shorter stories -- the words have to be used carefully, because any padding for the sake of upping the count stands out as flat spots in pace, but those extra words, when used well, can add several facets to a tale that you just can't achieve with a short word count. Be it another plot line, an additional character, a certain atmosphere, a variation in pace, deeper texture, etc. Lots of things are possible that can't be done with fewer words. In some ways it's harder, but in others it's easier. I find it difficult to limit myself to 5,000 these days. That's not to say I'm good at it -- just that I tend to ramble more as I get older :grin:

Thanks for your support, everybody :smiley:


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Robert Essig on October 25, 2010, 09:22:13 PM
Good to see you here, Scarey!  I followed Rev here as well.

I can't wait to read all the entries.  It'll be a fun follow-up to Halloween.


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Kerr on October 26, 2010, 02:12:33 AM
I'm almost there Ed, and I think I'll make it. After 3,000 words on one that I'd begun to hate, I have another tonight up to 1500 that I've fallen in love with. Now if I can only end it on that same note. But I still have time so I'm not panicking yet. Your contest rocks. Unfortunately, I'm sure there are also a bunch of writers out there just like me.  :idiot:  :bangh:


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Rev. Austin on October 26, 2010, 03:52:07 AM
Ah, my apologies Ed - clearly my search techniques leave a lot to be desired  :cheesy:  ::) I''ll have my story winging its magical way to you on Thursday at the latest, I dare imagine!

Robert - you get a free kiss!  Give him a kiss, DW.



Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: LashSlash on October 26, 2010, 05:54:25 AM
I'm sure there are also a bunch of writers out there just like me.  :idiot:  :bangh:
  .... if your avatar is you,  not quite....


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Charlie In The Box on October 26, 2010, 07:57:42 AM
Just read the thread above me here while out of my Box.  Like I stated earlier, there should be a flood of last minute entries coming in by the deadline, I hope, I'll be holding onto mine until the last minute. Call me Mr. Insecurity with OCD!!

Anyway, if I may play devil's advocate for a second. I was in a contest just like this one, and the thing I feared the most was having everyone read my story and than critique it, as I had to critique theirs. I came out with a bad experience. I actually dragged my charlie chin around for awhile, before going back down in my box, and promising myself, I would learn from my errors from this 1000 word fash contest. And I did.

However, this may be why a few do not want to enter, perhaps its happened to them, or they do not like to have to give feedback because they do not want to hurt another writers feelings. Some people just prefer to hand it in and wait for a yes or no, and be done with it. Am I right?

Good luck to everyone who enters.  I see Robert has entered.  Cool!!

I


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Gardner Goldsmith on October 26, 2010, 11:53:27 AM
Great stuff! Although 5000 words is wa-a-a-ay beyond my usual limit ....
Just sent my entry in. And had to mention to you, Jon, that your King Crimson Avatar is DA BEST!


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: ozmosis7 on October 26, 2010, 04:22:18 PM
Got mine in today


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: notsoscarey on October 26, 2010, 04:51:59 PM
I'm rather agreeing with Charlie as to why I'm nervous as hell to submit.  I can handle an editor or three dissecting my stories but I'm scared carpless (yes, you read that right) to have a bunch of fellow authors read and critique.  Why?  Beats me.  I'm about to submit mine though and it feels like stepping off a cliff and not being sure you have a parachute on.  Here I gooooooooo....


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Ed on October 26, 2010, 06:01:23 PM
Thanks again for your support, folks :afro:

Carey -- writers are often the hardest audience you'll ever have to please, but don't worry about it. It's all good :smiley:


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: JonP on October 26, 2010, 06:41:37 PM
And had to mention to you, Jon, that your King Crimson Avatar is DA BEST!

:)


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: delboy on October 27, 2010, 02:44:09 AM
Hey Ed, it's a great competition - and I suspect this year will be as much a roaring success as other years! And let me speak on behalf of everyone here - your generosity in running the comp (and the site) doesn't go unnnoticed. Folks like you make life easier and more fun and enable all these great connections and opportunities for the likes of the rest of us. Keep up the good work, man!

Apologies for being a tad quiet on the forum at the mo' - doing my get up at 5.00, drive to Birmingham, work, leave at 5.30, get home at 7.00, walk the dog (not a euphanism), eat, bathe, and sleep, thing at the mo'.!

Del


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Craig Herbertson on October 27, 2010, 06:22:22 AM
Hey Ed, it's a great competition - and I suspect this year will be as much a roaring success as other years! And let me speak on behalf of everyone here - your generosity in running the comp (and the site) doesn't go unnnoticed. Folks like you make life easier and more fun and enable all these great connections and opportunities for the likes of the rest of us. Keep up the good work, man!

Apologies for being a tad quiet on the forum at the mo' - doing my get up at 5.00, drive to Birmingham, work, leave at 5.30, get home at 7.00, walk the dog (not a euphanism), eat, bathe, and sleep, thing at the mo'.!

Del

Agreed, wholeheartedly and just on a tangent  jon's King Crimson avatar is my favourite album


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Ed on October 27, 2010, 01:53:37 PM
Aaw shucks, thanks guys  :gross:


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Kerr on October 27, 2010, 03:57:15 PM
Ed, I'm at the end and feeling a bit retch-ed as I nail this sucker to the wall. Whoots! *does the happy dance*


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: shiney on October 27, 2010, 04:50:24 PM
I entered this thing last year, and it was cool. While my story, surprisingly got alot of positive mentions and whatnot...I didn't win. But the feedback was polite and helpful...which is the way to go.

Some people can lack tact or just be mean....it can be a bit painful, but as I tell my kids: Ignore it.  :smiley:

If I can get a story about a talking tapeworm to float around and receive a little praise, then I suspect you all can have a good experience with this.

Ed...Don't let it get you down. There will no doubt be some last minute action.

As for Ken....Don't sweat him....he reads Koontz...on purpose!!, fer cryin' out loud.
 :bleh:


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Charlie In The Box on October 27, 2010, 06:45:20 PM
I put the word out to a few more folks. Hopefully they will enter as well. I'm trying to finish up my story. Can't wait for the fun to begin!!


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Rev. Austin on October 27, 2010, 06:51:53 PM
Aaaannnd I've just sent mine in.  It's about a chain-smoking golem with herpes, and his hilarious, but deadly, quest to find a cure.  It's called 'Stone Can Get Itchy'.


I have actually entered, but it's not really about this.  It's actually about a downtrodden hooker crack addict.  OR IS IT?  No.


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Ed on October 27, 2010, 07:09:47 PM
I may or may not have received it :azn:


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Ed on October 27, 2010, 07:14:25 PM
In other news, we're up to thirty-one entries now, which is good news -- I feel a lot happier with that number. I reckon we'll finish on just over forty entries, which would be about perfect. Thanks for the help and support, everybody :afro:


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Kerr on October 27, 2010, 11:30:48 PM
I entered this thing last year, and it was cool. While my story, surprisingly got alot of positive mentions and whatnot...I didn't win. But the feedback was polite and helpful...which is the way to go.

Some people can lack tact or just be mean....it can be a bit painful, but as I tell my kids: Ignore it.  :smiley:

I'm hearing you Shiney. I think I got one vote. Maybe. I promptly put that out of my mind (when I was banging my head.) It's disappointing and you're right, some of the remarks really hurt. But here's the benefit as I see it, you get a lot of feedback which means you can trust it more than you can from a single editor--that's if the editor gives feedback. We're all seasoned readers even though none of us hit the mark every time we write. And though we like certain kinds of stories over others, we know what works when we read it. So it's not just the comments on our own stories we gain ground from in these contests. We learn from them all.


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Alex J. Kane on October 28, 2010, 12:35:11 AM
Sent my entry in. Look forward to the reading/voting process.

Will we receive an email confirmation of our submission?

I'm not paranoid or anything... :hidin:


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Rev. Austin on October 28, 2010, 04:36:48 AM
Geoff was the only person who liked mine last year, and even he admitted it was rather purple (it was).  But, last year's entry was a misstep.  Not so, this year!  Ed, you might as well burn all the other entries now I've submitted something hahahaha aaahhhh yeah.


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Craig Herbertson on October 28, 2010, 04:48:22 AM
It;s quite a humbling experience no matter how many stories you've had published. There were some really good entries last year and it was quite scary looking at the standard. But isn't that the great thing - you try your best and then get a real kick out of seeing some of the other entrants stuff - then you cheat like mad working out a tactical strategy to get your story off the bottom (Kidding)


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Rook on October 28, 2010, 07:04:36 AM
I'm hearing you Shiney. I think I got one vote. Maybe. I promptly put that out of my mind (when I was banging my head.) It's disappointing and you're right, some of the remarks really hurt. But here's the benefit as I see it, you get a lot of feedback which means you can trust it more than you can from a single editor--that's if the editor gives feedback. We're all seasoned readers even though none of us hit the mark every time we write. And though we like certain kinds of stories over others, we know what works when we read it. So it's not just the comments on our own stories we gain ground from in these contests. We learn from them all.

Well put!


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: william on October 28, 2010, 10:04:15 AM
Howdy, everyone. I tend to lurk, but I figured I should say hello before you start seeing my comments about the upcoming stories and wonder just who is this guy?  :smiley:

Oh, and I'm really looking forward to this! Very cool.



Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Rev. Austin on October 28, 2010, 11:12:30 AM
Hello there, William!


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: starktheground on October 28, 2010, 03:11:41 PM
Geoff was the only person who liked mine last year, and even he admitted it was rather purple (it was).  But, last year's entry was a misstep.  Not so, this year!  Ed, you might as well burn all the other entries now I've submitted something hahahaha aaahhhh yeah.

I'd be giddy if at least one person liked my story.  :smitten: But I'm easy to please.

And I predict that the contest will get a last-minute rush and there will end up being at least 50 entries!  :afro:


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Cory Cramer on October 28, 2010, 03:20:19 PM
I'm in.

I loved last year's contest, and I didn't get any votes either. Took a different approach this time around.


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Ed on October 28, 2010, 04:26:57 PM
Hi William -- welcome aboard. I hope you enjoy the comp :smiley:


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Charlie In The Box on October 28, 2010, 05:43:04 PM
Ohh, the pressure is on, the stress level is up, and I'm locking my charlie box (takes off lever so no one winds him up) and hiding with my laptop for the next couple of days!!


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Alex J. Kane on October 28, 2010, 05:58:20 PM
That's the spirit, Charlie! :dance:


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: ozmosis7 on October 28, 2010, 07:33:17 PM
LOL...you guys that were in it last year make it sound like a caged death match.  Just kidding.  Honestly, criticism goes a long way towards improving your craft whether its positive or negative feedback.  So try not to take any of it in a bad way, but rather a harsh way of telling you what you can do to be better.  I know it can be disheartening though, but I look forward to this very much.  :dance:


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Flirtybee on October 28, 2010, 11:12:54 PM
Just got to double check my formatting etc and it'll be in, Ed :)

Gawd but I LOVE this comp!

Best of luck all :afro:


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: fnord33 on October 29, 2010, 05:24:44 AM
I finally sent mine in.  :cheers:

I wasn't here last year. Could somebody explain the feedback portion of the contest to me? Is there some specific place for the comments. Do we score them like we do in the crit group or do we have to talk about specific strengths and weaknesses? Do we make comments on all of them or just the ones that stick out one way or another?


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Rev. Austin on October 29, 2010, 09:02:02 AM
Last year, people said what they liked about their choices, and maybe made honourable mentions too.  Nothing too heavy or in-depth, which kept it fun and breezy.  Haha!  Got to use 'breezy' in a sentence, at last!


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Pharosian on October 29, 2010, 09:42:50 AM
The minimum requirement is to post a reply on the voting thread that lists your top three choices IN ORDER of first, second, third.

From that point, you're free to add comments about what you liked about your choices, whether there were any stories that just missed making your top three and why, or other comments.

Last year I didn't enter, but Ed thoughtfully proved a lurkers' voting thread, and I posted comments about a number of the stories.

You can check out how it works by reading the voting threads (and stories) from last year. Click here. (http://=http://www.cafedoom.com/forum/index.php?board=87.0)


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Cory Cramer on October 29, 2010, 10:06:37 AM
LOL...you guys that were in it last year make it sound like a caged death match.  Just kidding.  Honestly, criticism goes a long way towards improving your craft whether its positive or negative feedback.  So try not to take any of it in a bad way, but rather a harsh way of telling you what you can do to be better.  I know it can be disheartening though, but I look forward to this very much.  :dance:

This contest actually isn't harsh at all, since usually people only comment on the stories they like. The real value, in my opinion, is getting to experience--at least in part--what an editor has to go through when selecting stories. You get to read (or skip, or skim) 40-50 stories in a week or two, selecting which ones you like (or you think readers will like, or perhaps what Shock Totem will like) and, essentially, rejecting the rest. It's a good learning experience whether anyone loves your story or not.


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Charlie In The Box on October 29, 2010, 11:38:48 AM
@ Ozmosis,

I totally agree with you on what you said.


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: David North-Martino on October 29, 2010, 11:54:33 AM
Count me in! I just finished and submitted. Good luck to everyone.  :smiley:

Dave


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Craig Herbertson on October 29, 2010, 04:38:04 PM
Liked 'caged death'.  :cool:

It was actually  a bit nerve wracking when you saw the votes coming in. Reading the stories was the best bit for me. It was a mixed bag but there were some really good stories and some good concepts that just needed a bit more work. The big surprise came when a story you liked didn't get a look in. I think it only shows that opinions differ, sometimes quite widely, and I think generally, all the comments were pretty positive.

I'm not going to have the time to do an in depth approach to judging merit so I am simply going to read the lot like an anthology and make a very intuitive decision -  not necessarily a bad approach - but I know last time some people put a great deal of effort into their decisions which was pretty fine.


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Ed on October 29, 2010, 04:55:09 PM
I never really know how critical to be of the stories that don't make the grade for me. I've just started reading this year's stories, with a view to writing something about each entry like I did last year, and one of the stories I've read needs a fair bit of work to come up to a publishable standard, IMO. Do I say so, and go into detail, or do I simply say it wasn't for me? I think I'm probably going to keep it brief. :scratch:


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: ozmosis7 on October 29, 2010, 08:32:35 PM
I rather like that way of handling it Craig.  You always have a favorite in any anthology.

And, I also agree with Cory on the learning experience.  That's what I hope to gain most from this.  And, if able to, I hope to provide that for others the best I can.

Ed, I have been doing a few peer readings lately.  What I have always found works well though, is salt and pepper if you know what I mean.  Not too much of one or the other, but well seasoned.   And, you can't make a good dish without stirring the pot a bit.  Hope that helps.


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Pharosian on October 29, 2010, 08:45:58 PM
I never really know how critical to be of the stories that don't make the grade for me. I've just started reading this year's stories, with a view to writing something about each entry like I did last year, and one of the stories I've read needs a fair bit of work to come up to a publishable standard, IMO. Do I say so, and go into detail, or do I simply say it wasn't for me? I think I'm probably going to keep it brief. :scratch:

I don't think you need to write an essay about a story such as the one you describe, but if someone says, "It wasn't for me," that implies that it's just a matter of personal preference and the story may find a home elsewhere. That's far different from constructive feedback that points out two or three concrete issues. For example, the writing mechanics (spelling, grammar, punctuation) may need work, or the dialogue may not ring true, or character motivation may be weak, or the writing is full of cliches and/or doesn't have enough original phrasing to make the reading interesting, or ... You get the idea.

When it comes to stories that just don't work or writing that isn't of publishable quality, there's no point in giving feedback if the author can't use it to get better. You're not obligated to be their copy editor, but pointing them to some categories that they can work on is kinder than a non-committal response.

In my never-so-humble opinion.  :bleh:


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: fnord33 on October 30, 2010, 06:20:41 AM
If it was me I'd like to know some specific things that I needed to work on. It was me, wasn't it? I knew it.  :'(


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Charlie In The Box on October 30, 2010, 10:40:08 AM
ED,

Are you accepting subs until midnight tonight Eastern Standard Time?


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Charlie In The Box on October 30, 2010, 11:43:57 AM
Ed, (raises hand for another question)

That BB code, if we do not have anything Italized, can we just attach as an RTF or Doc, and submit without going through this portion of it?


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Charlie In The Box on October 30, 2010, 11:46:20 AM
Chopping away at this, I went over 5000, and could of continued on until it was Novella length, but I have to follow the rules here, 5,000 max!!

How's everone else doing. And Lorraine you out there? I sent you a PM on this Forum, I'm looking for you!!


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Ed on October 30, 2010, 12:55:16 PM
ED,

Are you accepting subs until midnight tonight Eastern Standard Time?

Midnight GMT, but I shan't penalise anybody for being a few hours adrift.

Ed, (raises hand for another question)

That BB code, if we do not have anything Italized, can we just attach as an RTF or Doc, and submit without going through this portion of it?

Yes. :afro:


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Charlie In The Box on October 30, 2010, 01:18:26 PM
Ed,

Thanks for the answers to my questions, now back to editing!!


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: JonP on October 30, 2010, 02:20:05 PM
You did get mine, didn't you?


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Kerr on October 30, 2010, 03:43:30 PM
Okay, done. I've gone over this a few times and now I'm basically just changing things back and forth. I'm off to mail. Good luck everyone.


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Grillmeat on October 30, 2010, 04:29:59 PM
Good luck everyone!


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: mgriffin on October 30, 2010, 06:41:52 PM
My entry is in. Good luck to all the other participants. I look forward to reading everybody else's work.


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: starktheground on October 30, 2010, 08:26:19 PM
I never really know how critical to be of the stories that don't make the grade for me. I've just started reading this year's stories, with a view to writing something about each entry like I did last year, and one of the stories I've read needs a fair bit of work to come up to a publishable standard, IMO. Do I say so, and go into detail, or do I simply say it wasn't for me? I think I'm probably going to keep it brief. :scratch:

That's a hard call. As a writer, I used to be extremely sensitive about the slightest criticism. But now I'd rather learn and grow than have anyone walk on eggshells with their opinions. Sooo, if it was me, I'd want to be told . . . but nicely please.  ;)


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Charlie In The Box on October 31, 2010, 12:05:49 AM
Oh my God, the preparation, the story I had to write, the stress of editing, the crys of agony to my facebook friends to read some of my material and let me know if all is ok, and then the final edits, and the BBBCoding, and finally trying to get my story in before midnight, which I just made by the hair of my chinny chin chin, I officially have just hit the witching hour. Happy Halloween to all, and to all a good night. (passess out with face hitting laptoppppppppppppppppp)!!!!


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Ed on October 31, 2010, 04:42:11 AM
Imagine going through all that only to get disqualified for missing the deadline :shocked: What a bummer. Good job I'm not strict about it :afro: We had a final flurry of eight entries, five of which came in after midnight GMT. Charlie -- yours came in at 3:59am. Like I said before, though, I won't penalise anybody for being a few hours adrift when there's international time zones and a change from BST to GMT to contend with.

I often write down to the wire myself, but we really shouldn't, because most places slam the gate shut at the stated time.


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Kerr on October 31, 2010, 08:40:15 AM
Charlie, you're so funny. I can't wait to read your story. All of them. I slept like a baby last night and am ready. Now comes the hard and fun part, reeeeeeading. Get up! Woot!


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Charlie In The Box on October 31, 2010, 09:07:32 AM
@ Ed, thank you for your kindness in being open to the differences in time zones, and accepting my story into the contest.
I'm looking forward to reading everyones story.

@ Kerr, thank you for the kind words, looking forward to reading your story as well!!


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Caz on October 31, 2010, 01:25:09 PM
Just noticed that 'Drums of the Dead' has been posted twice. Not sure if this matters but I thought it might be worth a mention.


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: calibannn on October 31, 2010, 03:03:16 PM
Hi all! Just wanted to make sure I could find the CafeDoom 6th Annual Comp entries for voting. Have they been posted yet? Kinda new to the group - where should I look for the forum thread? Thanks-


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: starktheground on October 31, 2010, 03:59:13 PM
Click on:

Forum - Short Story Competitions and Markets - Doom's 6th Anniversary Comp 2010

Good Luck!  :afro:


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Ed on October 31, 2010, 04:21:19 PM
Just noticed that 'Drums of the Dead' has been posted twice. Not sure if this matters but I thought it might be worth a mention.

Yes -- my cockup, sorry folks. I noticed we were one story adrift, so I went through the list in the order they were received and found I had left out (or so I thought) Drums of the Dead. It came in a format I couldn't originally open (.rtx) so I posted it later. Turns out I posted it twice, at the expense of Wicked Too, which should have appeared between Steel Works and One Day After The End. Sorry for messing it up. I'm kicking myself. :bangh:


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: starktheground on October 31, 2010, 09:51:13 PM
I hadn't even got that far to notice yet, Ed.

I'm about a fifth of the way through reading the stories, and I just wanted to express what fun I'm having. There is a good deal of talent in this competition; I honestly didn't expect so many gems from just a few stories! Okay, back to reading.  :cheers:


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: delboy on November 01, 2010, 06:22:00 AM
Man, I'm off the pace. I've read... one... so far. I think I need to create a bit of a project plan or I'm going to find myself with thirty stories to read in the last few days. I'll try and read another this evening. I'm picking them at random rather than going in order to avoid any reader fatigue patterns.

Derek


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: delph_ambi on November 01, 2010, 06:47:38 AM
I've gone through them all reading the first few paragraphs. That's weeded out three or four that I know I'm going to struggle to read any further. Still leaves a LOT of stories of course. I'm now going through seeing how far I can get into each story. The variety of styles and content is extraordinary. Fascinating stuff. This is going to be VERY hard to judge.


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: fnord33 on November 01, 2010, 08:09:06 AM
I'm most of the way through the first page. Lots of good stuff here and it's going a lot faster than I thought it would. I am quite curious who wrote what.   


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Pharosian on November 01, 2010, 08:20:44 AM
Yesterday I spent most of the day on this, and got a little over halfway through, reading every story (except one which I couldn't finish despite trying twice) from start to finish. Totally agree with delph--it's going to be tough to judge. I'm impressed with the quality of the entries!

I *think* I know who wrote a small number of them, but then I recognize two from their starts either in the weekly flash fiction or the critique group.

On to the remaining half!  :dance:


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Rev. Austin on November 01, 2010, 08:33:10 AM
I skimmed through  a few yesterday but I'm going to make an earnest effort to read through a bunch today.  Part of the fun is trying to guess which story belons to whom - I was wwaaayyy off last year haha


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Kerr on November 01, 2010, 10:03:48 AM
The only problem I'm having with reading is the dog. She keeps climbing in behind my back to get warm. Try sitting up to read for a couple hours.  :/


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: delph_ambi on November 01, 2010, 12:14:47 PM
There were at least 101 things I was supposed to do today. I've only done one of them (read and re-read all the stories). It's been a good day! And amazingly, I've narrowed it down to my top three. Couldn't have done it if I'd had to work today, but I had a rare day off so made the most of it.



Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: mgriffin on November 01, 2010, 04:02:37 PM
I've seen a lot of variety already. It's fun to read a story without having any notion of the writer behind it.

I'm trying to skip between pages, so I don't get sick of reading after page 1 and find myself less enthused for pages 2-4.

It's been a fun insight into the "slush sorting" process for me.


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: GraemeR on November 01, 2010, 04:07:27 PM
I have just finished reading the tenth story and I have to say that I am enjoying them so far. I am making myself read the entire thing and then giving it a mark out of ten to create a shortlist, then am going to go back over the top five and decide on my winners.



Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Robert Essig on November 01, 2010, 05:53:26 PM
I'm on the sixth story.  I'm a slow reader, so it's a good thing I have two weeks.  I'm taking the same approach I do when reading for an anthology.  It's fun reading each person's top three as they trickle in on the voting thread.


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Kenwood on November 01, 2010, 06:04:13 PM
So what was the final tally? I can't see the story forum.


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Ed on November 01, 2010, 06:09:51 PM
So what was the final tally? I can't see the story forum.

Are you sure you can't see it, Ken? It should be visible to all members, here -- http://www.cafedoom.com/forum/index.php?topic=3428.0

The final tally was fifty stories. Three more than last year :afro:


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: notsoscarey on November 01, 2010, 06:10:19 PM
Wow...I need to read faster.  I have even more respect for editors now but this is truly fun!


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: delboy on November 01, 2010, 06:40:35 PM
I'm still only on one. Oh dear! Luckily I have Friday morning off - hopefully I can get through a couple then...


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Rook on November 01, 2010, 06:57:44 PM
I am doing fairly well, in that I read them all yesterday and have begun re-reading my shortlist. (Having a cold is a wonderful excuse to stare at the computer most of the day...)

But, on the other hand, I have very little idea which ones I am going to vote for... so having the two weeks looks like a good thing!  :afro:


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Kenwood on November 01, 2010, 07:04:11 PM
So what was the final tally? I can't see the story forum.

Are you sure you can't see it, Ken? It should be visible to all members, here -- http://www.cafedoom.com/forum/index.php?topic=3428.0

The final tally was fifty stories. Three more than last year :afro:
I can see it. Sorry about that. Apparently I was looking for something far less obvious. Haha.

And very cool on the response! I hope you're in better spirits now. =)


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: ozmosis7 on November 01, 2010, 08:05:29 PM
I have to say that I have been reading pretty much all day since the files were posted.  My eyes are friggin killing me.  I now have a profound utter respect for editors.  It is neither an easy task to read them all, let alone comment, and then pick from an excellent group (let alone edit as well).  [Bows to all editors] :2thumbs: I really enjoyed all of the stories and it was a great read.  Good luck to the winners.  :cheers:  And yes...I do love these little smileys a lot.  :smitten:


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Kerr on November 02, 2010, 10:57:09 PM
What a whoot. Great stuff and I laughed till I cried tonight. Thank you all.   :2funny:


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Charlie In The Box on November 03, 2010, 07:28:37 AM
Slowly reading through the stories and writing down my comments. Really enjoying some of the stories I've read so far!!


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: delboy on November 04, 2010, 07:24:53 AM
Me, too. Morning, noon, and night my existence is filled with horror and some very twisted people  :afro: At last count I was up to 17. I'm picking at random from the thread and already I've got a couple of great stories marked for rereading. Great fun, but challenging, and it's definitely put my off being an editor.

Derek


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: william on November 04, 2010, 09:09:01 AM
Me, too. Morning, noon, and night my existence is filled with horror and some very twisted people  :afro: At last count I was up to 17. I'm picking at random from the thread and already I've got a couple of great stories marked for rereading. Great fun, but challenging, and it's definitely put my off being an editor.
Derek

Hey, I'm at 17 too! And hoping to knock out a few more today. Sure am glad we have until the 14th. I should be done well ahead of schedule, but its nice to have the time just in case!  :smiley:


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Rev. Austin on November 04, 2010, 08:06:39 PM
Pheweee!  I only ended up basically skipping a few stories, which just goes to show the level of talent on offer this time (not like last time felt like a dirge or anything).  Yeah, I'm sucking up to everybody but you might not even have voted for me at all, so what the hell.  It was fun.  Same time next year?  ;)

Actually, a serious question for Ed/Kenwood: If we don't get anywhere with our entry in this comp, would we still be allowed to sub it to ST?  Or would you prefer if we never sully your inbox with our literary filth?  :grin:


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: starktheground on November 04, 2010, 08:22:05 PM
Ahhhh. About one-fifth left to go, but I think I need a break. I don't know how editors do it! I'm still having fun reading, though, and it's interesting to read the opinions on the voting thread too (although I'm being careful to avoid spoilers). It sure is funny how different opinions can be! One man's trash is another man's treasure and all.  :azn:


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Robert Essig on November 04, 2010, 08:58:06 PM
Well, editors have more than two weeks to read fifty stories or else they'd end up like this:  :buck:

I'm 1/3 of the way through.  I had to stop for a day to finish editing an anthology and submit a few stories.  Now I'm going to dig in for the final 2/3.



Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: LashSlash on November 05, 2010, 06:30:55 AM
a suggestion:- first read the pathetic stories, then you' ll be left with the good ones to choose from.... that should save time.   ;)


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Charlie In The Box on November 05, 2010, 10:07:52 AM
@ LashSlash,

I would disagree with your word "Pathetic" stories because I'm confident in saying that every person who sent in an entry put their heart and soul into creating what they felt was the best story for them. Although they may not have produced a publishable piece of material, they made ever effort to try, depending on what level they are at in the always learning to improve, craft of writing.

So, in my opinion, every story comes with much effort, and every writer tried the best they could, and yes, there are those stories I've read so far that are better than average, but none of the stories would ever be "pathetic", only a selection of thoughts that may need improvement and direction to become a saleable piece!!


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Rev. Austin on November 05, 2010, 11:56:42 AM
I don't know Charlie, some of the pieces made me want to vomit out my eyes, I found them so awful.

Only joking!

OR AM I?

Yes.

OR AM I?

No.


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Rev. Austin on November 05, 2010, 11:57:09 AM
OR AM I?


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: delph_ambi on November 05, 2010, 12:09:02 PM
Charlie, you need to get used to LashSlash's sense of humour. He's not saying any of the stories are pathetic. He's positing a logical paradox. He does stuff like that.  ;)


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Charlie In The Box on November 05, 2010, 01:30:24 PM
Yeah, Ok. Not  a problem. I thought he was serious, because everyone worked hard on their stories I'm sure, and a few could take that the wrong way, well like myself, a newbie to this forum thought, until you mentioned his "humor"!!


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Ed on November 05, 2010, 02:37:04 PM
I always assume everybody's motivated by the best intentions, and try to view everything through that screen. It makes for a happier existence, if nothing else :smiley:


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Charlie In The Box on November 05, 2010, 02:50:28 PM
@ the Rev, somehow I know there is some truth to what your saying. I know I should have not taken it so personal, but writing is very serious to so many people including myself, and I feel it's easier to tell someone they need serious improvement and follow up with an explanation with regards to their writing rather then tell tell them their story is "Pathetic, or "your story made me vomit" LOL!!


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Charlie In The Box on November 05, 2010, 02:51:24 PM
I always assume everybody's motivated by the best intentions, and try to view everything through that screen. It makes for a happier existence, if nothing else :smiley:

I so agree with you Ed!!


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Caz on November 05, 2010, 07:18:05 PM
Things are hoting up. The votes are coming in.  No clear front runner to be seen. All remains to be played for.

Caz, on the front line.


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Rev. Austin on November 05, 2010, 07:37:40 PM
@ the Rev, somehow I know there is some truth to what your saying. I know I should have not taken it so personal, but writing is very serious to so many people including myself, and I feel it's easier to tell someone they need serious improvement and follow up with an explanation with regards to their writing rather then tell tell them their story is "Pathetic, or "your story made me vomit" LOL!!

Don't mind me, Charlie - I take the piss so often I can't even remember where the truth begins any more  :'( the doctors say the condition is irreversible   :(


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Ed on November 05, 2010, 07:40:06 PM
OR DO THEY?


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Rev. Austin on November 05, 2010, 07:40:38 PM
Oh crap, I think I just did it then  :cheesy:

But seriously (I think), you'll really get a kick out of the actual crit group here, Charlie.  Everyone's very sensible and helpful, and Lord knows I'm a much better writer now because of the fine chumps on this board.  No, I'm pretty sure I am being serious now.  OR AM I? Oh good grief  :grin:


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Charlie In The Box on November 05, 2010, 09:14:47 PM
Hey guys,

I don't mind the crits because if it weren't for all the virtual slaps I've received over the last few years, I would not be where I am today with my writing. Which by the way, is not even near where I want to be. In fact, I was just hit with the hard truth earlier today by an accomplished writer who gave one of my stories a look over and smacked me back down to reality.  I know its part of becoming a better writer and if you can't handle the truth, then you may never make it to the next level.

I'd love to be part of you folks here, I can handle the truth, so bring it on. Just play nice!! No naughty words!! Especially from you Rev. If your nice, I'll let you play in my sandbox!! LOL!!


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: ozmosis7 on November 05, 2010, 09:31:04 PM
LOL...I was reading that Charlie and all I could think of was a movie quote...

"You want the truth!  You can't handle the truth!"

It's actually been used so much, but still funny.  Even the toughest crits (and I have had plenty as I suspect any have) define your craft.  Set small goals and keep conquering them.  But, honestly if not for the help of some of my peers I would be back at square one as I was a few years back.  Brutal honesty is sometimes the best building block to build with.


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Ed on November 06, 2010, 03:40:28 AM
I dunno, really. As you can see from the votes and comments that are coming in for the stories in the comp, the 'truth' depends very much on who's giving it out, so you have to temper any brutal honesty you get by bearing in mind what you're trying to achieve in your writing. Keep to your own editorial line, because strong unique voices are what editors look out for :afro:


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Rev. Austin on November 06, 2010, 06:24:04 AM

I'd love to be part of you folks here, I can handle the truth, so bring it on. Just play nice!! No naughty words!! Especially from you Rev. If your nice, I'll let you play in my sandbox!! LOL!!

Ooo, matron!
(http://i.telegraph.co.uk/telegraph/multimedia/archive/01202/Kenneth-Williams-4_1202838c.jpg)

But Ed's right - I'm pretty sure everyone, not matter what level of writer they are, gets told by one person their story is awful, only for someone else to say "Well, I liked how they used this and this and this".  Potato/Potato  :cheesy:


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: ozmosis7 on November 06, 2010, 08:08:04 AM
Thats true too...although...brutal honesty also works that way as well.  They could honesty love your story while someone else hates it.  But, I'll go back to a statement I made a while back.  its always better to salt and pepper.


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: delboy on November 06, 2010, 08:32:21 AM
Any art is purely subjective. So many times people have foisted their "all time favourite book" on me with the absolute surety that "you'll love it" and, almost without exception, there's been none of them would make it anywhere near my own top 100 books. Probably not even my top 500. The same thing has happened in reverse - the only difference being I know my taste is impeccable and if the people I foist my "all time favourite books" upon don't get them then the problem is clearly with them, not with the books... ;)

Same with music. I only have to turn on Radio 1 or watch a few minutes of any music channel to know that millions and millions can be - and are - wrong. Again:  ;)

As regards this great competition a couple of thoughts have cropped up several times. One is that, for quite a few of the stories, I've thought "I wish this could go through the CD Crit Group." The combined opinion and knowledge of the people there could help polish some of these already fine stories into gleaming gems. Second thought is that a number of times I've been really glad I elected to read right the way through all the stories. One of my absolute favourites so far (I'm only up to about 22) wouldn't have got past the opening few paragraphs had I been applying my normal preferences / criteria. Third thought is that, looking at the stories and the voting, how different we all are! One of my favourite bits of the comp' is afterwards, once the results and authors are revealed, is to go back and see who wrote which story, what stories they liked the most, what they're tastes tend to be etc etc That way you can start to uderstand the scoring and the relevance of that scoring to your own writing. I guess this is a complicated way of saying if someone who is into uber-splatterpunk give your post-literary modernistic monologue a low score you mightn't need to take it to heart too much.

Anyway, you're all wrong. When I give my votes they will be the definitive votes  ;)

Derek


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: ozmosis7 on November 06, 2010, 10:26:51 AM
I agree Delboy.  I wanted to read them all the way through for that very reason.  Sometimes the opening sentence or first few lines can make an absolutely great piece seem bad.  And, so if you drop it too soon, you might miss something great.  This was true in this competition for me on a few.  But, I also figure, if they put in the time to write them, I should put in the time and try to offer something on as many as I could (albeit not much and opinion only).


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Rev. Austin on November 06, 2010, 12:18:49 PM
Sometimes I'll hate the start of a story but then BAM! halfway through it gets amazing, and I found that with a few of the stories in the comp.  But as the flipside of the comment Del made, and as I've already said - I'm obviously the clear favourite and it's pretty obvious he's going to put my story in all three places, and also as every honourable mention on his list.  That's just the way the world works, and you chumps better get used to it! hahaah! HAHAH! BWAHAHAAH!!!!

(Dell, your money's in the post)


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: delboy on November 06, 2010, 02:50:54 PM
Quote
But as the flipside of the comment Del made, and as I've already said - I'm obviously the clear favourite and it's pretty obvious he's going to put my story in all three places, and also as every honourable mention on his list.

Goes without saying, Rev. So, hopefully, if I don't say it, you'll understand.  :cool:

Derek


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Rev. Austin on November 07, 2010, 08:04:30 AM
Ah, I see what you did there, you tinker!


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: delboy on November 07, 2010, 05:15:14 PM
Up to 30 now. Read a couple of cracking stories tonight. Suddenly the leadership board is getting crowded - in a good way!

Derek


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Ed on November 07, 2010, 06:23:56 PM
I fear I'm lagging behind quire badly -- I'm only into the early teens with my reading :scratch:


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: william on November 07, 2010, 06:54:54 PM
All read...wow.

Now the first stage of cuts...the hard part.  :bangh:



Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: delboy on November 10, 2010, 03:51:39 AM
Phew! That's it. Just read the last of the stories. I feel like I've been put through a wringer - in the nicest possible way. Some cracking stories there - my short list kept getting longer and longer. I have 13 pages of notes to review now, and about a dozen stories to reread and from which to choose my top three.

It was luckily I had a few days off this week - no idea how I would have managed this without that time. I'm definitely not cut out to be an editor.

Onwards to round two!

Derek


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Ed on November 10, 2010, 04:28:03 PM
I'm seriously struggling to get through them all. :scratch:


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: delboy on November 10, 2010, 05:24:16 PM
Time to award yourself an extension, Ed? The benefits of being in charge? There nay be other folks who'd appreciate that too.

Derek


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Ed on November 10, 2010, 05:46:29 PM
No, I'll get through them one way or another, Del :afro:


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Robert Essig on November 11, 2010, 10:15:26 AM
I'm on #44.  This doesn't really resemble what it is like to be an editor.  If I had to read 50 stories in two weeks I would certainly think twice about editing anthologies.  It is good fun though.  If there's a competition next year, I'll surely enter. 

I think a similar comp with flash fiction would be fun.


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: jingold on November 11, 2010, 10:53:00 AM
Robert -- Shock Totem has a flash contest set up like this too (it'll probably start up again in January).  The stories are prompt-based and you only have a week to write them, but it's great fun too.

On another note--and as much fun as it always is--I'll be really glad when this is over.  Between checking the voting thread like a crazy person and reading all the entries, I've been useless writing-wise for the past week and a half.


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Pharosian on November 11, 2010, 10:58:11 AM
Between checking the voting thread like a crazy person and reading all the entries, I've been useless writing-wise for the past week and a half.

Thank goodness I'm not the only one!   ::)


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: delboy on November 11, 2010, 11:18:18 AM
I've been useless for far longer than a week and half!


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Kenwood on November 11, 2010, 01:46:43 PM
I'm on #44.  This doesn't really resemble what it is like to be an editor.  If I had to read 50 stories in two weeks I would certainly think twice about editing anthologies.  It is good fun though.  If there's a competition next year, I'll surely enter. 

I think a similar comp with flash fiction would be fun.

We get nearly 100 submissions a week at Shock Totem, sometimes more. I'd gladly take 50 every two weeks. Haha.


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Robert Essig on November 11, 2010, 11:23:46 PM
I'm on #44.  This doesn't really resemble what it is like to be an editor.  If I had to read 50 stories in two weeks I would certainly think twice about editing anthologies.  It is good fun though.  If there's a competition next year, I'll surely enter. 

I think a similar comp with flash fiction would be fun.

We get nearly 100 submissions a week at Shock Totem, sometimes more. I'd gladly take 50 every two weeks. Haha.

I stand corrected.  Damn that's a lot of stories.  My last anthology received 200 submissions in four or five months.  100 a week would melt my brain, though I would have to assume you have some slush readers.


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Kenwood on November 12, 2010, 12:17:59 AM
I'm on #44.  This doesn't really resemble what it is like to be an editor.  If I had to read 50 stories in two weeks I would certainly think twice about editing anthologies.  It is good fun though.  If there's a competition next year, I'll surely enter. 

I think a similar comp with flash fiction would be fun.

We get nearly 100 submissions a week at Shock Totem, sometimes more. I'd gladly take 50 every two weeks. Haha.

I stand corrected.  Damn that's a lot of stories.  My last anthology received 200 submissions in four or five months.  100 a week would melt my brain, though I would have to assume you have some slush readers.

There's five of us reading, which is great, but it's still tough on all of us, especially those with kids.


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Ed on November 12, 2010, 02:47:21 AM
So, to summarise, you get 100 subs a month, chasing something like 4 or 5 slots in the magazine, which comes out every three months. That's 1200 ish submissions that have to be weeded down to 4 or 5 keepers by a process of elimination. Scary figures.

What would you say the majority get rejected for, and what makes those 4 or 5 stand out, Ken?


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Rev. Austin on November 12, 2010, 04:20:17 AM
I'm on #44.  This doesn't really resemble what it is like to be an editor.  If I had to read 50 stories in two weeks I would certainly think twice about editing anthologies.  It is good fun though.  If there's a competition next year, I'll surely enter. 

I think a similar comp with flash fiction would be fun.

We get nearly 100 submissions a week at Shock Totem, sometimes more. I'd gladly take 50 every two weeks. Haha.

I stand corrected.  Damn that's a lot of stories.  My last anthology received 200 submissions in four or five months.  100 a week would melt my brain, though I would have to assume you have some slush readers.

There's five of us reading, which is great, but it's still tough on all of us, especially those with kids.

How so?  Do you get the kids to read the slush pile? wah wah wwaaahhhhhhhhh ::)


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: delboy on November 12, 2010, 02:12:56 PM
Quote
That's 1200 ish submissions that have to be weeded down to 4 or 5 keepers by a process of elimination. Scary figures.

Scary indeed! In fact, that's the scariest thing I've read in a long time - CD comp entries exlcuded, of course.

Derek


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: starktheground on November 13, 2010, 02:00:33 PM
One more day left. My own story doesn't seem to be doing too well, so now I'm excited to see who wrote what!  ;) This has been a fun contest regardless;  I hope to see it happen again next year. Thanks Ed!


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Rev. Austin on November 13, 2010, 03:53:14 PM
Yeah thanks Ed - I've really enjoyed it this year - feel more in the psirit and all that.  Yeah psirit!  I'm full of THAT.


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: delboy on November 13, 2010, 04:17:55 PM
Couldn't agree more. Hats off to Ed - this competition works on so many levels. It's a huge and vakuable learning experience. Like Stark said, really looking forward to the next stage and finding out who wrote what.

Derek


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Ed on November 13, 2010, 04:50:37 PM
You're welcome -- I'm glad you're all enjoying it. I've just sent off a bunch of PMs to those folks who haven't yet voted, so hopefully I won't have to disqualify anybody this year. That always makes me a little sad, especially when it's down to an oversight.

I'm still struggling to read through all the entries, but I'll get there one way or another. Jeysus, but it's been a tough week. I've got the day pretty much to myself tomorrow, so I'm hoping to get a lot done :smiley:


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Rook on November 13, 2010, 04:53:38 PM
It has been terrribly entertaining and informative experience!  The buildup to finding out who wrote what is exquisite!

And Ed, thanks for doing it! I hope the response puts you in the mood to do it next year, as well!  :afro: I don't think I would be the only one to miss the whole shebang!

 :smiley:
 



Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Charlie In The Box on November 13, 2010, 05:09:45 PM
I'm getting there, I was only able to read a few a day with my day job, 2 year old, writing projects and all. I will make sure I finish and have it posted by tonight!!


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Pharosian on November 13, 2010, 06:48:01 PM
It has been terrribly entertaining and informative experience!  The buildup to finding out who wrote what is exquisite!

And Ed, thanks for doing it! I hope the response puts you in the mood to do it next year, as well!  :afro: I don't think I would be the only one to miss the whole shebang!

 :smiley:
 

Absolutely! I'm just glad that the third time was the charm for me, as I'd intended to enter the 4th and 5th Annual Comps but never managed to finish a story I was willing to submit. It's a lot of fun, and I'm really looking forward to doing it again next year!

Thanks for providing such a great opportunity, Ed. I for one really appreciate having a place like this to hang out with other writers who aren't teenagers and where it's possible to follow all the conversations and get to know everyone. The contest is a great way to see what other people like and don't like in the dark fiction genre.


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Rook on November 13, 2010, 07:08:33 PM
Thanks for providing such a great opportunity, Ed. I for one really appreciate having a place like this to hang out with other writers who aren't teenagers and where it's possible to follow all the conversations and get to know everyone. The contest is a great way to see what other people like and don't like in the dark fiction genre.

Well put!  :afro:


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Kenwood on November 14, 2010, 02:35:44 PM
So, to summarise, you get 100 subs a month, chasing something like 4 or 5 slots in the magazine, which comes out every three months. That's 1200 ish submissions that have to be weeded down to 4 or 5 keepers by a process of elimination. Scary figures.

What would you say the majority get rejected for, and what makes those 4 or 5 stand out, Ken?

Well, we have a few more than five stories per issue. Issue #1 had 9 stories and one poem, and issue #2 had eight stories. The upcoming issue (see the cover here (http://i537.photobucket.com/albums/ff338/ShockTotem/st3_cover08_full.jpg)) will have 12 stories and one poem.

But we actually get about 300 to 500 subs a month, anywhere from 50 to 100 a week. There's an average in there somewhere. But generally we go through about 1,200 submissions every four months, to get about ten pieces. Though it seems that this reading period has been a bit on the lower end. Not sure if that's because we're now known as a tough market or if writers aren't using the submissions management system we now use. I could believe the latter given the fact that so many people clearly never read our guidelines before. They probably don't know that things have changed. Haha.

Anyway, we're a tough market. There are five of us involved, and everyone has a say. I don't pull the boss card, you know. We all do this for free, and even pay into it, so we all have equal say. That means we have a majority-rules process. A story is accepted ONLY if at least three of us vote to accept it. A story is rejected after two votes, or three if one person votes to accept. We've all had stories that we loved ultimately rejected. I still remember this story called "The Work of Clocks" that was rejected. I fucking LOVED that one. It needed a little editing, but I still loved the tale. But I had to reject it. We've all been there. It sucks, but we work as a team.

So that's why a lot of stories get rejected: You have to please three of us. But the majority are just not very good. And some...man, you can't imagine how bad they are. Haha.

Am I making sense? I'm at work, been writing this reply for about an hour. I keep getting interrupted.


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: notsoscarey on November 14, 2010, 03:21:46 PM
eeep!  Time is winding down....


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: Rev. Austin on November 14, 2010, 06:07:01 PM
That's brilliant to know Kenwood - when I first started taking my writing seriously (Rev. Austin does WHAT?!) I wish I knew more stuff about the workings of publishers, be they small press, established zine or whatever.  I think it really helps if you (as in a general 'you') know how places do business as it were, so as to better understand the process.  Places like CD help, because  the folks on here really know their their onions and have various experiences to share and all the rest of it, which is something I'd like to do if I get the chance, now I know some onions  ;) but anyway, I secretly hate you all.  Stop getting all cuddly and warm with me!  Eurgh!


Title: Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
Post by: ozmosis7 on November 14, 2010, 07:29:16 PM
I've actually used your new sub system Ken and its great.  Some others have ones like it, but they don't seem as clean....and....perhaps the stories sometimes get forgotten and end up being there near 350 days so far...but I'm not naming names LOL.


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