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Dan Hocker
06-01-2011, 03:24 PM
This is the discussion thread to comment on the entries for the Writing Contest. Please remember to follow all forum rules and treat others as you would like to be treated yourself.

Pooks
06-01-2011, 05:34 PM
How long does it take for new submissions to get posted?

Nik Houser
06-01-2011, 06:51 PM
Holy crap. I was going to wait for the weekend to start reading entries, but with the amount that are being posted, that plan just flew out the window and hit the pavement. Better start tonight. Hope everyone that votes reads all the stories. Unless they're voting for me. KIDDING!

Ben Staad
06-01-2011, 07:13 PM
I am surprised by the number of entries as well. Without reading all the stories it looks like this contest is a success for you Dan.

Dan Hocker
06-01-2011, 07:16 PM
It does. I was actually really surprised by the number of entries.

Dan Hocker
06-01-2011, 07:19 PM
How long does it take for new submissions to get posted?

Not long, unless all the moderators are asleep at the wheel. I know I check back every fifteen minutes or so.

peteOcha
06-01-2011, 08:07 PM
I was thinking that by the end of the week there would be 3-4 pages of stories tops, but we're only a few hours into the contest and there's already 2 pages worth of reading:) Someone is going to be slacking around the office tomorrow...:) Finally with so much reading to do here i won't be bored.

Ben Staad
06-01-2011, 08:11 PM
It does. I was actually really surprised by the number of entries.

Out of what I have read so far there are some very entertaining stories. This will be a tough competition for people to vote on. I would have to say I love my story but in actuality this is a great learning experience for me.

Dan Hocker
06-01-2011, 08:13 PM
I'm trying to figure out when I'm going to have time to read all of these......lol

Ben Staad
06-01-2011, 08:21 PM
I'm trying to figure out when I'm going to have time to read all of these......lol

Having to much to read is actually a good thing in my book :)

onipar
06-01-2011, 08:53 PM
I expected a good turn out, but wow, this is crazy. I've had a chance to read a handful so far, and there are some great stories in the bunch. This is going to be very, very hard.

Good luck every one! And congrats, Dan, on the exceptional (and early) turnout.

-Tony

jmcraven
06-01-2011, 09:17 PM
So far, I have read 10 stories (other than my own). I love short stories, and I am really enjoying taking them all in. And, of course, I also hope my story, "Home Sweet Home", is very enjoyable to others. :)

I doubt there is a way to do this, but it would be great if each person had 3 votes (that have to be for 3 different stories), since there will be 3 winners.

Again, thanks to Dan and CD for this competition. Regardless of which stories make the cut (pun intended), this contest has been great motivational fun.

C.W. LaSart
06-01-2011, 09:26 PM
I'm actually not terribly surprised at the turn-out. Most Horror contests get hundreds of submissions, and with the name Cemetery Dance attached-I won't be surprised if you get MANY more! The sad part is that most voters won't read them all. I am working on it-I have gotten about half through. I'm excited that my story has gotten as many views as it has :)

Dan Hocker
06-01-2011, 09:28 PM
I doubt there is a way to do this, but it would be great if each person had 3 votes (that have to be for 3 different stories), since there will be 3 winners.

I wanted to do it this way, but I haven't found a way to do it that way yet. It's either 1 vote per person, or unlimited votes per person. I'll keep searching though.

C.W. LaSart
06-01-2011, 09:29 PM
So far, I have read 10 stories (other than my own). I love short stories, and I am really enjoying taking them all in. And, of course, I also hope my story, "Home Sweet Home", is very enjoyable to others. :)

I doubt there is a way to do this, but it would be great if each person had 3 votes (that have to be for 3 different stories), since there will be 3 winners.

Again, thanks to Dan and CD for this competition. Regardless of which stories make the cut (pun intended), this contest has been great motivational fun.

That would be nice-it would force people to read more of the stories! At least they are all VERY short!

Ricky
06-01-2011, 10:41 PM
I doubt there is a way to do this, but it would be great if each person had 3 votes (that have to be for 3 different stories), since there will be 3 winners.

That's how I thought it was going to be a first. I know you can set up boxes to tick off instead of a single vote, but I wouldn't know how limiting three ticks per person could be enforced.

Nik Houser
06-01-2011, 11:43 PM
I have an idea. It would mean voting couldn't be anonymous, but you could have a voting thread where people post the names of their top three stories. I don't think non-anonymous (would that be "nonymous"?) voting is a big deal, especially since online forums can be pretty anonymous anyway, but that's just me. I certainly understand how someone might feel differently. Thoughts?

bsaenz24
06-02-2011, 12:08 AM
Good luck to all of the authors. I'm afraid I won't vote because I don't have time to read through many and I don't think it would be fair to vote on the few I get time to read. So, best of luck to all!!!!

chantal
06-02-2011, 12:21 AM
I'm sorry, very stupid question.. Where do we view the stories once published? :confused:

C.W. LaSart
06-02-2011, 12:33 AM
I'm sorry, very stupid question.. Where do we view the stories once published? :confused:

They are in the grey sub-forum box at the top of the Writer's Corner page

ozmosis7
06-02-2011, 12:54 AM
Thank you very much for pulling this opportunity together. I agree with some of the previous posts too. With this being a non-anonymous submission contest, you are almost best off either requiring everyone to post their top 3 choices in their own thread. Either that, or you create a voting committee that would determine the end results based on the vote. Just throwing this in to see if it helps. Other than that I hope you all enjoy all the tales, and good luck to everyone involved.

Pooks
06-02-2011, 01:52 AM
Not long, unless all the moderators are asleep at the wheel. I know I check back every fifteen minutes or so.

Thanks Dan for all your support today. Everything is as it should be. Again, another found great employee of Cemetery Dance.

Kenwood
06-02-2011, 03:34 AM
Not sure it's wise to change the rules now that the contest has begun, even if a change would be better. Best to live and learn.

Eldritch
06-02-2011, 03:38 AM
What do the yellow stars mean, and how did they get there?

Ronové
06-02-2011, 03:53 AM
Apparently this forum has a feature that lets you "rate" threads.

Kenwood
06-02-2011, 04:49 AM
Looks like someone started a trend.

Dan Hocker
06-02-2011, 05:29 AM
The thread rating system won't work as a voting method, as there is no way to limit the number of votes. I've gotta talk it over with Brian and see what we want to do. I may just use a google doc or something like that to do the vote.

C.W. LaSart
06-02-2011, 06:16 AM
Looks like someone started a trend.

Looks like we all get 3 stars! Yay for mediocrity! Seriously, it does look like the stories are evening out!

Kenwood
06-02-2011, 07:20 AM
Looks like we all get 3 stars! Yay for mediocrity! Seriously, it does look like the stories are evening out!

And I imagine that's how it'll stay. Every author will give his own story five stars, then others will give it less to knock it out of the four- or five-star rating. Haha.

Draven Ames
06-02-2011, 08:03 AM
Is it copyright infringement to quote a TV show? If so, I think I need to fix my post.

Eldritch
06-02-2011, 10:54 AM
Apparently this forum has a feature that lets you "rate" threads.

Ah. Thanks.:)

Ben Staad
06-02-2011, 12:30 PM
And I imagine that's how it'll stay. Every author will give his own story five stars, then others will give it less to knock it out of the four- or five-star rating. Haha.

I have to say that once I saw that someone had started rating the threads I had to take action. :) I certainly value my story at more then one star! I'm also really shocked (not sure why I am) that people will give other peoples stories a one star rating. I've read almost all the stories now and certainly would not consider anyones story to be terrible.

Dan Hocker
06-02-2011, 01:28 PM
And thread rating has been removed from that section of the forums. Also I bumbed the number of votes required to display the rating up, so that the one's that where already rated no longer display their ratings.

peteOcha
06-02-2011, 01:51 PM
And thread rating has been removed from that section of the forums. Also I bumbed the number of votes required to display the rating up, so that the one's that where already rated no longer display their ratings.

Nicely done! Although i was reading stories and tried to give them a rating based on how i really felt about them, i can see how the rating system could be abused.

And as copefiend2, i don't see any stories here that should get 1 star.

Ben Staad
06-02-2011, 01:55 PM
And thread rating has been removed from that section of the forums. Also I bumbed the number of votes required to display the rating up, so that the one's that where already rated no longer display their ratings.

Thumbs up for Dan! I think it's better without the thread voting anyway. You wouldn't want to discourage someone from reading a submission if it is rated low or vice versa.

peteOcha
06-02-2011, 02:20 PM
*Decided to edit this post, as I agree with TerryE that it would be a good idea to save the discussions for after the voting ends.

There's always private messeges for getting a discussion going and not worrying about it having any influence on votes.

TerryE
06-02-2011, 02:46 PM
I love the idea of discussion of these stories. I think it would be great if all of us could workshop each other's tales. However I just got to thinking last night that maybe all of that should wait until after the voting is concluded. Reviews and criticism could influence the voting (for good or bad) based on what the voters read. Maybe, after the voting is done, each story thread could be opened for comments from the readers. I'm sure all of us would appreciate the input from our peers. And, hey, any of the pros from Cemetery Dance if they have the time and inclination. But it should definitely wait until after voting.

peteOcha
06-02-2011, 02:53 PM
I love the idea of discussion of these stories. I think it would be great if all of us could workshop each other's tales. However I just got to thinking last night that maybe all of that should wait until after the voting is concluded. Reviews and criticism could influence the voting (for good or bad) based on what the voters read. Maybe, after the voting is done, each story thread could be opened for comments from the readers. I'm sure all of us would appreciate the input from our peers. And, hey, any of the pros from Cemetery Dance if they have the time and inclination. But it should definitely wait until after voting.

You know what, that's a really good point. A positive or negative review could influence voting. I didn't think too much of it before posting, just took the thread for what it was and decided it was time to do some discussing.

Dan Hocker
06-02-2011, 03:05 PM
I love the idea of discussion of these stories. I think it would be great if all of us could workshop each other's tales. However I just got to thinking last night that maybe all of that should wait until after the voting is concluded. Reviews and criticism could influence the voting (for good or bad) based on what the voters read. Maybe, after the voting is done, each story thread could be opened for comments from the readers. I'm sure all of us would appreciate the input from our peers. And, hey, any of the pros from Cemetery Dance if they have the time and inclination. But it should definitely wait until after voting.

This is one of the reason's why I was refraining from commenting on any of the stories I've read till after the voting was over. I however was planning on archiving the submission stories away before the chapbook actually comes out though. That way there's a clean slate for the next contest we do, and if people make tweaks and redo parts of their story they can feel they can reuse them for another contest.

I don't necessarily think it's a bad thing to discuss the stories here though, I was just refraining because I don't want the fact that I'm a CD employee to influence the voting. I will say this, I've only gotten to about 5 of the stories so far, and there hasn't been a bad one in the bunch. In fact 2 of them used some really great imagery.

Eldritch
06-02-2011, 03:22 PM
*Decided to edit this post, as I agree with TerryE that it would be a good idea to save the discussions for after the voting ends.

There's always private messeges for getting a discussion going and not worrying about it having any influence on votes.

Thanks for the shout out, peteOcha. Glad I saw it before you edited it. Your comment really made my day.:)

Eldritch
06-02-2011, 03:30 PM
This is one of the reason's why I was refraining from commenting on any of the stories I've read till after the voting was over. I however was planning on archiving the submission stories away before the chapbook actually comes out though. That way there's a clean slate for the next contest we do, and if people make tweaks and redo parts of their story they can feel they can reuse them for another contest.

I don't necessarily think it's a bad thing to discuss the stories here though, I was just refraining because I don't want the fact that I'm a CD employee to influence the voting. I will say this, I've only gotten to about 5 of the stories so far, and there hasn't been a bad one in the bunch. In fact 2 of them used some really great imagery.

Dan, it would be great if you offered feedback. (After the contest ends of course.) That would be an awesome extra bonus for those of us who entered a story. :cool:

Z0mbiegrl
06-02-2011, 03:32 PM
Total newbie question - how do I submit an entry?

Dan Hocker
06-02-2011, 03:34 PM
Dan, it would be great if you offered feedback. (After the contest ends of course.) That would be an awesome extra bonus for those of us who entered a story. :cool:

My feedback wouldn't be much more than which one's I liked and didn't. I actually don't really know much about writing or any of that. So the feedback I could give really wouldn't be of much help.

peteOcha
06-02-2011, 03:37 PM
Thanks for the shout out, peteOcha. Glad I saw it before you edited it. Your comment really made my day.:)

No problem, glad to have given you a reason to smile. :)

peteOcha
06-02-2011, 03:50 PM
Total newbie question - how do I submit an entry?

http://forum.cemeterydance.com/forumdisplay.php?20-Contest-Submissions

make a new thread with your story and submit. Good luck.

Nik Houser
06-02-2011, 04:14 PM
While reading the stories, I'm trying make little short-hand notes in the margins (just a few per story), so that I can come back to them and actually post thoughts when everyone agrees it's a good time to offer notes. I tried printing them at first, but there are SOOOOO many, I think I need to just paste them into a doc, then type my notes in the margins.

Nik Houser
06-02-2011, 04:15 PM
Also, I just wanna say how amazing this group has been. What a rad bunch of people to enter a contest with.

onipar
06-02-2011, 04:45 PM
Also, I just wanna say how amazing this group has been. What a rad bunch of people to enter a contest with.

Agreed, Nik. Very cool. I don't know if this will help, but I've just been jotting notes down in a composition notebook with the title of the story. It has worked well enough.

Z0mbiegrl
06-02-2011, 05:00 PM
Thanks! Done and done! I hope you like it, should you read it! :)

jmcraven
06-02-2011, 05:37 PM
Well, I have now read 31 of the posted stories (32, if I include my own). Great stuff!

Like others have said, I'm not going to heap praise in any direction until after voting is concluded (and I am certainly not going to cast unsolicited criticism of anybody else's work), but each story I have read has definitely been worth the read.

Dan Hocker
06-02-2011, 05:45 PM
Well, I have now read 31 of the posted stories (32, if I include my own). Great stuff!

Like others have said, I'm not going to heap praise in any direction until after voting is concluded (and I am certainly not going to cast unsolicited criticism of anybody else's work), but each story I have read has definitely been worth the read.

WOW! You've been busy!

jmcraven
06-02-2011, 06:29 PM
WOW! You've been busy!

Yes, but I'm really enjoying it. My wife keeps reminding I have other things that need doing, but I figure I can do those things tomorrow when my son's summer break starts and I won't have the alone-time to really get into the stories... ;)

Draven Ames
06-02-2011, 06:42 PM
I asked earlier, but it was missed. Is it "Fair Use" to quote a TV show in your story, or is that copyright infringement?

Draven Ames
06-02-2011, 06:52 PM
I've read the first page of stories so far. Everyone is doing such a good job. It will be very hard to vote.

jmcraven
06-02-2011, 07:39 PM
I asked earlier, but it was missed. Is it "Fair Use" to quote a TV show in your story, or is that copyright infringement?

Hi Draven- That's a legal question that depends on the unique facts of your endeavor and should be answered by an IP attorney. Without offering a legal opinion on this question, I would bet that some quick online research will lead you to decide that it's best to err on the side of caution. You could probably find a creative way to convey your message while avoiding any potential legal issues.

I look forward to reading your submission- Best of luck!

C.W. LaSart
06-02-2011, 07:58 PM
I asked earlier, but it was missed. Is it "Fair Use" to quote a TV show in your story, or is that copyright infringement?

I try to never use direct quotes in my writing-makes me nervous! I don't want anyone suing me for the millions of dollars I'm not making ;) Nice to see you made it on here Draven!

the_last_gunslinger
06-02-2011, 07:58 PM
I asked earlier, but it was missed. Is it "Fair Use" to quote a TV show in your story, or is that copyright infringement?

I can only make an educated guess on this, but based on what I've heard, it might be legal to reference a show, but it may be crossing a line to quote it exactly. It's like with a song; you can use the title as that falls under the Fair Use rules, but you can't quote the lyrics without permission. Logically, it would seem that the same would apply for television shows also. So my guess is that it would be permissible to mention the show, but I would recommend doing some research first. This stuff is readily available if you show a little diligence.

Dan Hocker
06-02-2011, 08:09 PM
I'm not 100% sure on this, but I think quoting anything is legal as long as you site the reference in your work. Don't quote me on that though.

mercuryval
06-02-2011, 08:14 PM
I'm enjoying reading all these stories, and I hope we'll be able to offer feedback on all the stories once voting ends. Thanks for this opportunity!

RJK1981
06-02-2011, 08:18 PM
Finally finished editing (yet again, since I also finished last night, lol), which included a name chance from Reset to The Job. Definitely not used to being limited to so few characters

Draven Ames
06-02-2011, 08:22 PM
Hi Draven- That's a legal question that depends on the unique facts of your endeavor and should be answered by an IP attorney. Without offering a legal opinion on this question, I would bet that some quick online research will lead you to decide that it's best to err on the side of caution. You could probably find a creative way to convey your message while avoiding any potential legal issues.

I look forward to reading your submission- Best of luck!

I think I'll go edit my story to reflect your advice. Thank you.

jmcraven
06-02-2011, 08:39 PM
I'm not 100% sure on this, but I think quoting anything is legal as long as you site the reference in your work. Don't quote me on that though.

That is more often true when you are using the material for educational, non-profit purposes, like a reasearch paper, but it doesn't apply the same for commercial endeavors.

jmcraven
06-02-2011, 08:45 PM
I think I'll go edit my story to reflect your advice. Thank you.

No problem- You're welcome

JJ Holden
06-02-2011, 08:53 PM
I notice the story 'Sticky Rules' by Dan Hocker appears to have the most views so far. ;)

Dan Hocker
06-02-2011, 08:58 PM
I notice the story 'Sticky Rules' by Dan Hocker appears to have the most views so far. ;)

I know, isn't it just an amazing story......:rolleyes:

peteOcha
06-02-2011, 09:01 PM
I know, isn't it just an amazing story......:rolleyes:

It is, the title is so catchy. "Sticky Rules"... makes you wonder what's going on in there...:)

ozmosis7
06-02-2011, 09:29 PM
In regards to quoting, most places I have found prefer to stay away from it. There is a very fine line there. While I believe quoting is accepted when referenced, the light in which it is conveyed also determines its legality I believe. So most don't mind a mention, say of an Author and the title of their book, but when it comes to quoting--it gets very sticky, so I would avoid such things. I'm no pro on the subject, but that is my two cents. Hope it helps.

TerryE
06-02-2011, 10:18 PM
I've just thought of another voting issue. If everyone gets to vote for only one story and they vote for their own story, there might be a huge tie for the lead. If there were a way to create the poll with each voter getting to vote for 3 stories, it would become much more balanced. I'm sure there will be more voters than writers, but I don't expect it to be a huge number more.

Now, it wouldn't be fair for this contest, since rules have already been established, but maybe a future contest could have the field cut down by the staff of CD, like the "name the chapbook" contest.

bsaenz24
06-02-2011, 10:22 PM
Now, it wouldn't be fair for this contest, since rules have already been established, but maybe a future contest could have the field cut down by the staff of CD, like the "name the chapbook" contest.

Or just add the rule that nobody can vote for their own story.

the_last_gunslinger
06-02-2011, 10:22 PM
I've just thought of another voting issue. If everyone gets to vote for only one story and they vote for their own story, there might be a huge tie for the lead. If there were a way to create the poll with each voter getting to vote for 3 stories, it would become much more balanced. I'm sure there will be more voters than writers, but I don't expect it to be a huge number more.

I had the same concern and was about to put it here. If we can somehow expand the voting, that would certainly alleviate this potential problem.

the_last_gunslinger
06-02-2011, 10:23 PM
Or just add the rule that nobody can vote for their own story.

This would be ideal, but is there any way to enforce this? I doubt the Honor System would work here.

bsaenz24
06-02-2011, 10:39 PM
This would be ideal, but is there any way to enforce this? I doubt the Honor System would work here.

I would guess/hope the polling system would record who made what vote.....it would take manual effort to make a list of who posted each story.

RJK1981
06-02-2011, 10:47 PM
I've just thought of another voting issue. If everyone gets to vote for only one story and they vote for their own story, there might be a huge tie for the lead. If there were a way to create the poll with each voter getting to vote for 3 stories, it would become much more balanced. I'm sure there will be more voters than writers, but I don't expect it to be a huge number more.

Now, it wouldn't be fair for this contest, since rules have already been established, but maybe a future contest could have the field cut down by the staff of CD, like the "name the chapbook" contest.

I think both of these ideas sound pretty good though that'd require them to work even more by requiring them to read and make their owns picks to put up to a vote, lol.

It'll be interesting to see how the voting works since there will be so many entries.

One idea I just had is to split them into different polls. Could be just 3 and the winners of each are the winners, though that could be bad depending on how they are split up. What could work in splitting the stories up and taking the top few from each poll and then doing a new poll with just those and the top 3 from there could be the overall winners. Depending on the number of stories, could split the polls into like 3-5 and then take the top 3-5 from each and have those be the final ones to vote on. Splitting them up could be done by the number of views each has, so that stories only viewed a small number of times are up again those with more views, and then provide links to each story in the final poll so people are more likely to read them.

I came up with all that as I typed it, lol

Draven Ames
06-02-2011, 11:00 PM
Or just have people vote publicly, not allowing them to vote on their own story. No poll, just a post saying who you vote for.

TerryE
06-02-2011, 11:10 PM
Or just have people vote publicly, not allowing them to vote on their own story. No poll, just a post saying who you vote for.

That will be a lot more work for Dan and/or the rest of the staff. Hopefully the I.T. guys can figure out an easy way for them.

RichardThomas
06-02-2011, 11:14 PM
good luck all - and i also agree on either letting us vote for three stories or NOT being able to vote for yourself - very cool so far, wow, the submissions!

Nik Houser
06-02-2011, 11:30 PM
Yeah, ideally there'd be a way to vote just one time on three different stories at once. That way, even if someone votes for their own story, they can't go back and vote for their own story three times.

Draven Ames
06-02-2011, 11:31 PM
I doubt it would be much work. Just a piece of paper and some tally marks. It would take about 20 minutes, if that.

onipar
06-02-2011, 11:51 PM
These are all good points being brought up about voting, and in fact, I'd been wondering about potential loopholes in the voting process. For instance, if the only requirement is to be a member of the forum, a writer could easily recruit friends and family to sign up and vote for his or her story. I'd hope no one would do something like that, but it did occur to me as a possible problem (unless of course I missed something in the rules that would prevent that, which would be a good thing. :-) ).

jmcraven
06-03-2011, 12:19 AM
As for number of votes, this was discussed briefly on page 2 of this thread, and Dan said he originally preferred each person to have 3 unique votes, but the way the forum polls are designed it is either 1 vote or unlimited votes.

I share many of the concerns you guys have voiced, but I have one concern that overshadows my others: if this becomes a headache for Dan and CD, they may not want to do this again.

C.W. LaSart
06-03-2011, 12:22 AM
As for number of votes, this was discussed briefly on page 2 of this thread, and Dan said he originally preferred each person to have 3 unique votes, but the way the forum polls are designed it is either 1 vote or unlimited votes.

I share many of the concerns you guys have voiced, but I have one concern that overshadows my others: if this becomes a headache for Dan and CD, they may not want to do this again.

I feel for those who are arranging this. I think they will come up with whatever they come up with, and the nervousness of waiting a whole week for a vote, just has everyone speculating. I will leave it up to them and accept whatever they do. If anyone disagrees with the voting process (including myself), they can just opt out of any further contests.

Draven Ames
06-03-2011, 12:33 AM
I feel for those who are arranging this. I think they will come up with whatever they come up with, and the nervousness of waiting a whole week for a vote, just has everyone speculating. I will leave it up to them and accept whatever they do. If anyone disagrees with the voting process (including myself), they can just opt out of any further contests.

+1

chickenfeet
06-03-2011, 12:44 AM
all uv da entrees r gr8

so many

i luv em alll

onipar
06-03-2011, 01:25 AM
all uv da entrees r gr8

so many

i luv em alll

I know! So much horror goodness. I feel like I'm getting $75 worth of free reads just by playing along with the contest. Awesome sauce. :-D

Pooks
06-03-2011, 02:32 AM
Out of curiosity do you know how the voting is going to work?

Scott
06-03-2011, 04:37 AM
As a new writer any critique is valuable, from other enthusiasts as well as the pros. Hell of a good idea.

Dan Hocker
06-03-2011, 05:08 AM
Out of curiosity do you know how the voting is going to work?

Ok, so we've just figured out how we're going to handle voting. We've had to change our strategy here due to the number of entries into the contest. Here's how it's going to work. When the submission period is over, I will take all of the stories and put them into a spreadsheet and randomize the order. Then we will vote in groups of 10 via a forum poll. Once the preliminary vote is over we will have a final round vote to determine the winners. Each vote thread will also have a link to each story in it to make it easier for people to read then vote. Hopefully this seems fair to everyone. We really just felt like having one large vote with all the stories in them would just make everyone kind of glaze over while looking at them.

WesleySouthard
06-03-2011, 05:34 AM
Ok, I'm kinda pissed at myself. I just re-read my story and realized I'm missing several words here and there. I do this crap all the time. :(

spernst
06-03-2011, 07:26 AM
What is the official voting day? Despite having a horse in the race if I don't write it down my poor scatter brain will probably forget...

Draven Ames
06-03-2011, 07:37 AM
Ok, so we've just figured out how we're going to handle voting. We've had to change our strategy here due to the number of entries into the contest. Here's how it's going to work. When the submission period is over, I will take all of the stories and put them into a spreadsheet and randomize the order. Then we will vote in groups of 10 via a forum poll. Once the preliminary vote is over we will have a final round vote to determine the winners. Each vote thread will also have a link to each story in it to make it easier for people to read then vote. Hopefully this seems fair to everyone. We really just felt like having one large vote with all the stories in them would just make everyone kind of glaze over while looking at them.

So we will be voting on 10 stories at a time, top 1 progresses in each round? Sounds fair, except you might pair three of the best stories in one group, thereby losing good stories. But it is better than everyone voting on themselves. Will people still be able to vote if they didn't enter the competition?

I will say that I am impressed that Cemetery Dance is adjusting as they see possible problems.

peteOcha
06-03-2011, 08:32 AM
except you might pair three of the best stories in one group, thereby losing good stories.

yeah, I could see that happening. I mean, they will be randomized, but it is still a possibility that a story that was a potential winner in the contest will not make it through because it was paired with other good ones.

Dan Hocker
06-03-2011, 01:19 PM
Everything is possible here, but I think this gives the fairest chance to everyone. It also provides more opportunities for people to vote fairly, as if they don't have time to read all the stories then they can read all the stories in a single group and only vote in that specific group. Also everyone who is a registered member of this forum gets to vote, not just people who entered the contest. Also this solves the problem we talked about earlier about offering the option for everyone to vote for their 3 favorites.

Nik Houser
06-03-2011, 04:17 PM
I think this is the best solution in a tough situation. I also really like the idea that if someone doesn't have time to read all the entries, they could instead read all the stories in one 10 story bunch, and vote on the ones in that bunch.

QUESTION: How long will the voting process be? A week, like the chapbook title?

ozmosis7
06-03-2011, 04:19 PM
You could do it all March Madness bracket like :)

Dan Hocker
06-03-2011, 04:25 PM
I think this is the best solution in a tough situation. I also really like the idea that if someone doesn't have time to read all the entries, they could instead read all the stories in one 10 story bunch, and vote on the ones in that bunch.

QUESTION: How long will the voting process be? A week, like the chapbook title?

I haven't decided yet. I am thinking a week or two on the first phase of voting, and a week for the final phase.

Blu Gilliand
06-03-2011, 04:40 PM
Sounds like you've come up with a good, fair solution. It's very exciting to have this opportunity - but the wait is going to kill us! :)

RJK1981
06-03-2011, 05:11 PM
I like this way much better than everything being in one poll, seems much more fair to those involved :) Seems very similar to the idea I had, though I'm sure only the top winner from each poll will move on. I am sure it'd also be more work to split them up by the amount of views they have had

Ben Staad
06-03-2011, 05:54 PM
I don't think there is any perfect way to do this. I just hope there are at least two votes next to my name...LOL

portrait in flesh
06-03-2011, 06:19 PM
yeah, I could see that happening. I mean, they will be randomized, but it is still a possibility that a story that was a potential winner in the contest will not make it through because it was paired with other good ones.

An online writing contest I entered last year that ended up with a whole lotta entries handled the situation a little like this:

The entries were grouped into sets of 10. Sets would be released every two days or so. You could vote for your favorite three per set, and those three would move on to a semi-final (or possibly quarter-final, depending on the number). The top three from the semi-final rounds would then be grouped into a final round, and the top three there were declared the winners.

I can't remember how long the overall process took. I think the voting process was open for five days per set (so it would be possible to vote in any set that was open until the next round began), but I'm not entirely sure.

Of course, by this point, this would probably just complicate things more.

RJK1981
06-03-2011, 06:52 PM
Ok, I'm kinda pissed at myself. I just re-read my story and realized I'm missing several words here and there. I do this crap all the time. :(

I know how that is. I reread my story many times while editing it down to the character count limit and even when I finished with that, I let it sit until the next day and read it one last time and found words missing

peteOcha
06-03-2011, 07:53 PM
I know how that is. I reread my story many times while editing it down to the character count limit and even when I finished with that, I let it sit until the next day and read it one last time and found words missing

I always seem to do that. When i read my own work and there is a word missing my brain just sometimes automatically fills it in and i keep on going.

patrickmalka
06-03-2011, 08:51 PM
Hi all,

Just wanted to mention that I love what I'm seeing here so far. It really bugs me that I might not have a chance to get through all the submissions in time for the vote. I'll definitely try. I'm wondering how everyone else is dealing with that.

Best of luck.

jmcraven
06-03-2011, 09:23 PM
I hear you, Patrick. I am really enjoying reading all these as well, but I can't seem to stay ahead of the curve- Ive read just over 40 so far. I imagine several will come in in the next 48 hours as the weekend comes.

Eldritch
06-03-2011, 10:56 PM
My feedback wouldn't be much more than which one's I liked and didn't. I actually don't really know much about writing or any of that. So the feedback I could give really wouldn't be of much help.

Hey, you know enough to have noticed the imagery in some of the stories.
Maybe the CD editor(s) could offer their feedback. It would be an invaluable learning experience.

Ben Staad
06-03-2011, 11:25 PM
Hey, you know enough to have noticed the imagery in some of the stories.
Maybe the CD editor(s) could offer their feedback. It would be an invaluable learning experience.

I second this. It would be greatly appreciated.

Eldritch
06-03-2011, 11:28 PM
I always seem to do that. When i read my own work and there is a word missing my brain just sometimes automatically fills it in and i keep on going.

Try reading your work out loud. You'll catch a lot of omitted words that way. You can also try printing your story out. For some reason, reading it on paper instead of the screen, helps you see things clearer.

Ben Staad
06-03-2011, 11:31 PM
Try reading your work out loud. You'll catch a lot of omitted words that way. You can also try printing your story out. For some reason, reading it on paper instead of the screen, helps you see things clearer.

Printing out the story on paper and reading it helps me quite a bit. Of course I still omit plenty of things but for some reason I don't catch squat reviewing it on the computer.

Dan Hocker
06-03-2011, 11:34 PM
Printing out the story on paper and reading it helps me quite a bit. Of course I still omit plenty of things but for some reason I don't catch squat reviewing it on the computer.

Have someone else read it. I'm sure they'll catch the missing words if you don't.

Eldritch
06-03-2011, 11:39 PM
Have someone else read it. I'm sure they'll catch the missing words if you don't.

:D
This too.

JJ Holden
06-04-2011, 01:56 AM
Reading out loud helps me quite a bit, but after a while I can get to the point where I'm cross-eyed from staring at the thing.

EC_Stories
06-04-2011, 02:33 AM
Hey all - just wanted to know if the window for submissions is closed, and if it is open, how much longer will it stay open? Thanks so much! EC

Antmusic
06-04-2011, 03:16 AM
Sheesh... there are at least over two hundred pages of submissions so far! I'm reading through them and taking notes as I go!

Antmusic
06-04-2011, 03:19 AM
EC, I think the submission time frame is still open for a couple more days.... So, go for it!

Ricky
06-04-2011, 10:13 PM
I like the idea of "bracket" voting. Like an earlier user said, a nice solution to a tough problem.

JHhorrors
06-04-2011, 11:21 PM
I love the idea of this contest.. great, great idea. Thanks very much, CD!

Tree705
06-05-2011, 01:22 PM
Hopefully my story will be done in time to submit. It's my first and it is short, oh so short, but I think it packs a good WTF. Wish me luck.

BTW how much are people charging for votes, just wondering if I should be buying or selling. :)

C.W. LaSart
06-05-2011, 10:33 PM
I am impressed with the solution to the problem of voting-I think it is the best possible way to do things, allowing writers to vote for their own stories while encouraging them to vote for others as well-I have read about half of them, but atleast we still have time to catch the rest. Good luck everyone!

the_last_gunslinger
06-05-2011, 10:51 PM
I didn't have any problems with the word count. Mine came to a little over 7,000 characters and had a satisfactory end, but I had tons of fun with this contest-if not a lot of squabbling with my brother.

hamount
06-05-2011, 11:03 PM
Yeah, I forced my entire family to read it, all of my friends, and an English teacher.

Ben Staad
06-05-2011, 11:34 PM
Fantastic entries! I'm not sure why I was surprised by the number of entries but I sure was. I have about thirty stories left to read and then I will be caught up.

folgersnyourcup
06-05-2011, 11:52 PM
Most fun I've had in awhile.... Seriously, some great stuff here!

C.W. LaSart
06-06-2011, 12:02 AM
I'm anxious for the voting portion, but waiting is part of writing. I've had to wait MONTHS to hear if a story has been accepted.

peteOcha
06-06-2011, 09:36 AM
I'm anxious for the voting portion, but waiting is part of writing. I've had to wait MONTHS to hear if a story has been accepted.

I'm anxious as well. Just a few more days and the wait will finally be over. Well, that's not 100% true because then we'll all be waiting for the voting portion to be over.

fmancino
06-06-2011, 10:40 PM
I'm loving this whole Writing Contest atmosphere. It is so much fun and exciting; such a great learning experience! I hope you have these contests more often! Thanks for the great opportunity! Thanks CD & CD Forums staff!

jmcraven
06-06-2011, 11:05 PM
Well, as we enter the homestretch of the submissions period, I have to think Dan's idea was a resounding success. With over a hundred submissions, I'd say this contest has certainly attracted a lot of folks to the forum. Congrats!

Draven Ames
06-07-2011, 12:11 AM
Well, as we enter the homestretch of the submissions period, I have to think Dan's idea was a resounding success. With over a hundred submissions, I'd say this contest has certainly attracted a lot of folks to the forum. Congrats!

No kidding. This contest might have opened the doors for future contests. Let's all hope so.

In the meantime, the waiting has given plenty of time for reading. 60+ down. There are some pearls in here. I'm glad we get more than one vote now.

JJ Holden
06-07-2011, 01:59 AM
I'm glad we get more than one vote now.


Me too! This is ridiculous - in a good way. I've read some good tales so far. :)

njhorror
06-07-2011, 02:37 PM
Yup, me too.

This was a great idea to generate some excitement and participation.

JHhorrors
06-07-2011, 07:08 PM
This was a blast- I am loving reading through all these! So much fun... and huge round of applause to all those who entered- writers of the macabre, unite! haha...

Wait, so we get more than 1 vote now???

peteOcha
06-07-2011, 07:20 PM
I just hope when voting time rolls in, stories that are really worth it will be picked, that the winner won't be someone who got all his facebook friends to sign up and vote... (i actually read this remark on another forum that was discussing this contest, I think it does bring up a valid concern...)

Now back to reading entries, still got quite a few left so i guess this week i'll be slacking around the office... more than usual that is.:)

C.W. LaSart
06-07-2011, 07:26 PM
I just hope when voting time rolls in, stories that are really worth it will be picked, that the winner won't be someone who got all his facebook friends to sign up and vote... (i actually read this remark on another forum that was discussing this contest, I think it does bring up a valid concern...)

Now back to reading entries, still got quite a few left so i guess this week i'll be slacking around the office... more than usual that is.:)

I guess we will have no way of knowing-atleast there are three positions available. It is what it is.

KT Wagner
06-07-2011, 07:52 PM
I guess we will have no way of knowing-atleast there are three positions available. It is what it is.

Interesting. I just keyword searched twitter etc. and there are indeed folks who are out promoting.

I don't particularly have a problem with it, it's the age of social media. However, I hope ethics will be maintained and those with extensive social media networks will simply ask their followers to check out the contest.

This is my first contest and so far, it's been a great experience. I was motivated to finish and polish a short story, I discovered this forum, and reading the entries has been instructive and entertaining.

Best wishes to everyone,

Katherine

"Cabin Fever" - second last page. :-)

C.W. LaSart
06-07-2011, 09:41 PM
I myself posted the link to this contest on Twitter-encouraging others to participate such as Draven and Gombegger-but I have seen no one actually looking for votes. As of yet anyway!

njhorror
06-07-2011, 10:46 PM
So, let me see if I have this right . . .

We get one vote for our favorite story.

Voting goes for a week.

Will the stories still be posted during the voting period? I figure.

The top three stories, by vote, win the lollipops.

spernst
06-07-2011, 11:15 PM
I've been afraid of this becoming a "popularity contest" since the beginning. The army always taught me that if "you aren't cheating, you aren't trying". call me cynical, but I'm pretty sure there will be a LOT of people trolling for votes. A friend and I were discussing this, and I think the best way to vote would be to close the vote to only people who submitted, give them 3 votes that can't be used on their own story, and make it a blind vote meaning nobody knows who has the most votes so that they can't intentionally skew the vote. sort of like college football voting lol. thoughts?

Dan Hocker
06-07-2011, 11:44 PM
I've been afraid of this becoming a "popularity contest" since the beginning. The army always taught me that if "you aren't cheating, you aren't trying". call me cynical, but I'm pretty sure there will be a LOT of people trolling for votes. A friend and I were discussing this, and I think the best way to vote would be to close the vote to only people who submitted, give them 3 votes that can't be used on their own story, and make it a blind vote meaning nobody knows who has the most votes so that they can't intentionally skew the vote. sort of like college football voting lol. thoughts?

Sorry, not going to happen. From the beginning this was advertised as a forum community vote. Where the forum community gets to vote and choose the winners.

ozmosis7
06-08-2011, 12:05 AM
Regardless of what the outcome is, I am glad to have found this forum, and am grateful for the chance at an incredible opportunity.

For those worrying, I would think the majority of the people who take the time to write a story for this are professional enough to avoid something like that. Besides, I would think it would be incredibly obvious if that did happen, as I would think all of the final winners would be in the tops of almost everyone's list. If not, I think that would be clear as day. No offense intended to anyone of course.

Anyway, all speculation of collusion and such aside, good luck to everyone in the contest!

JJ Holden
06-08-2011, 12:31 AM
The top three stories, by vote, win the lollipops.


We get lollipops? Sweet!

:) :) :) :)

jmcraven
06-08-2011, 12:33 AM
Since one of the primary purposes, if not THE primary purpose, of this contest is to attract people to CD's new forum, the bringing in of friends to vote is not likely to be discouraged, let alone disallowed. The recruiting of votes is a tough call, and I am not doing it. Obviously, each of us would like to be published in the book, but it doesn't really help a writer to have one's name floating around over a substandard piece. Coming from CD, this book may be read by a lot of folks- I only want people seeing my name under a title if it is deserving of publication. As such, I'm going to let it play out and hope that my story is well received. Besides, if this becomes a popularity contest, well, I've never won one of those, and I wouldn't expect to start now.

I hope the most deserving stories win. Again, a big Thank You to Dan and CD for opening up this opportunity to us, and congrats to CD on all the new faces brought to the forum through this event (including mine)!

Thad Linson
06-08-2011, 12:51 AM
On the forum I usually post on, I asked folks to come over to read the stories. I told them I don't care how, or if, they vote, as long as they come and read. I know they'll give me some feedback and, while winning would be nice, getting better from some constructive criticism is more what it's about, especially if there's another contest like this one.

ReticentRomeo
06-08-2011, 01:00 AM
Tried to get my tale in at the last moment (still displaying 108 threads in the contest out of the 110 available) but its displaying that i dont have permission to post on that page :(

Dan Hocker
06-08-2011, 01:27 AM
On the forum I usually post on, I asked folks to come over to read the stories. I told them I don't care how, or if, they vote, as long as they come and read. I know they'll give me some feedback and, while winning would be nice, getting better from some constructive criticism is more what it's about, especially if there's another contest like this one.

I still have two spots. PM me to work something out.

spernst
06-08-2011, 01:32 AM
Sorry, not going to happen. From the beginning this was advertised as a forum community vote. Where the forum community gets to vote and choose the winners.

meh. whatever the voting system and whatever the outcome, I hope everyone had fun with their story, and I'm glad for the opportunity. Thanks CD!

ozmosis7
06-08-2011, 01:36 AM
Very well put, Thad!

EdLinskey
06-08-2011, 02:16 AM
Hrm...I've got my entry ready, but can't seem to figure out how to post it. Anyone have any advice?

Dan Hocker
06-08-2011, 02:30 AM
Hrm...I've got my entry ready, but can't seem to figure out how to post it. Anyone have any advice?

Sorry Ed, but it looks like you missed the submission window. Hold onto your story for the next contest though, since this one seems to have been such a success I am positive we will do more contests like this.

brionen
06-08-2011, 03:30 AM
I just ran into the same situation; it's showing 109 entries but I can't post. I had my hopes up that I'd make it in one of the final 2 slots, but apparently it wasn't to be this time. At least I have something ready if there's another contest in the future and my job once again prevents me from getting in as much writing time as I'd like.

Plus, there's still the Cover Artwork contest. Time to get started so I don't run down to the wire on that one.

jmcraven
06-08-2011, 04:38 AM
Congrats to everybody that submitted, and thanks. It is one thing to send a story to a publisher, and it quite another to put your work out there for your fellow writers to review. It's scary and takes some guts. I am really enjoying these stories and I appreciate the opportunity to read them and learn from each of you.

Now, good luck!

C.W. LaSart
06-08-2011, 04:52 AM
I am glad that we will still be able to see the stories when voting. Though I am confident I will get through the twenty or so I have left, after reading so many submissions, my brain is mush. It will be nice to be able to take a peek at each one and remind myself what they are about before I vote! Good Luck everyone and thanks Dan for the opportunity!

Dan Hocker
06-08-2011, 05:01 AM
I am glad that we will still be able to see the stories when voting. Though I am confident I will get through the twenty or so I have left, after reading so many submissions, my brain is mush. It will be nice to be able to take a peek at each one and remind myself what they are about before I vote! Good Luck everyone and thanks Dan for the opportunity!

No problem. This voting system was really the only way I will be able to place my vote. There's no way I'd be able to remember enough details to compare all these stories otherwise.

KT Wagner
06-08-2011, 06:54 AM
No problem. This voting system was really the only way I will be able to place my vote. There's no way I'd be able to remember enough details to compare all these stories otherwise.

I like the voting system. I can easily read ten stories in one sitting and decide on my favourite. Reading 110 and trying to decide on a favourite...my head hurts just thinking about it.

I've read quite a few already and I have a suggestion for some of the submissions where it looks like the spacing formatting was lost when posted. It is possible to go in and correct the formatting by clicking "edit post". Adding back the spaces between paragraphs will make the stories much easier to read and consider.

Cheers,

Katherine

peteOcha
06-08-2011, 08:45 AM
Yeah, with so many stories read in such a short amount of time it's hard to keep track of them. Good thing I took some notes, when the time to vote comes I'll just refer to them and read any of the last few that I have missed.

HorrorScribe
06-08-2011, 01:13 PM
Have someone else read it. I'm sure they'll catch the missing words if you don't.

Once I decide that a story of mine is reader for "public viewing," I ask my wife to examine it both for quality (grammar, spelling, missing words, etc.) and for content (subject matter, plot, character arc, etc.). She's a great resource because she's a non-genre reader, so I feel like she reads my stories with much more objectivity than a horror enthusiast (like myself) would read it. So my advice is to find someone like that to review your work. In fact, some of my wife's suggestions have improved several of my stories that I'd given up on as being hopeless.

CoreyMaida
06-08-2011, 01:53 PM
All right, so I get that no more submissions are being accepted, but when exactly does the voting start? Today? I can't remember seeing that answer anywhere, unless I just missed it. Good luck to all--I've read some really great stuff on here! I'm not expecting to win, personally, but I would love some constructive criticism.

Ryserfan
06-08-2011, 02:10 PM
Sorry Ed, but it looks like you missed the submission window. Hold onto your story for the next contest though, since this one seems to have been such a success I am positive we will do more contests like this.

Seriously? I thought the submission deadline was 6-8 @ midnite. That's tonight as far as I'm concerned. It appears there was a 110 entry limit from reading the posts...somehow, I missed that tidbit. Oh well, next time, I s'pose. At least I have a story to submit if/when the next contest rolls around!!

Dan Hocker
06-08-2011, 03:43 PM
Seriously? I thought the submission deadline was 6-8 @ midnite. That's tonight as far as I'm concerned. It appears there was a 110 entry limit from reading the posts...somehow, I missed that tidbit. Oh well, next time, I s'pose. At least I have a story to submit if/when the next contest rolls around!!

The dedline was 7 days from when the the contest started. The contest started on the 31st of last month at 2 pm. I closed it yesterday at 4 pm. Almost everywhere I mentioned the contest I told everyone to not wait to the last minute, and that it would be best if everyone go it in early. 110 wasn't the entry limit, there where just 108 entries when I closed it and splitting it up evenly was just easier at 110, so I said first come first serve on those other two spots.

peteOcha
06-08-2011, 03:44 PM
All right, so I get that no more submissions are being accepted, but when exactly does the voting start? Today? I can't remember seeing that answer anywhere, unless I just missed it. Good luck to all--I've read some really great stuff on here! I'm not expecting to win, personally, but I would love some constructive criticism.

Today, I think. I saw Dan was creating a thread when I checked to see who was online, so lets hope that's the voting thread! :)

Dan Hocker
06-08-2011, 03:44 PM
All right, so I get that no more submissions are being accepted, but when exactly does the voting start? Today? I can't remember seeing that answer anywhere, unless I just missed it. Good luck to all--I've read some really great stuff on here! I'm not expecting to win, personally, but I would love some constructive criticism.

Voting will start today. I am currently in the process of making the vote threads which will go live once I have them all completed. It's an awful lot of work, so it could take awhile.

bsaenz24
06-08-2011, 03:50 PM
Though I'm not entered in the contest, thanks for all of your effort in this contest Dan!!! It's a great chance for new writers. Great idea!!

Nik Houser
06-08-2011, 04:13 PM
I want to echo what bsaenz24 said. Thanks Dan, it's a heckuva lot of work. Much obliged!

carios
06-08-2011, 04:18 PM
Im sorry, i thought i read somwhere that Submissions were open till June 8th, not June 7th. i missed the deadline???

Ryserfan
06-08-2011, 04:30 PM
The dedline was 7 days from when the the contest started. The contest started on the 31st of last month at 2 pm. I closed it yesterday at 4 pm. Almost everywhere I mentioned the contest I told everyone to not wait to the last minute, and that it would be best if everyone go it in early. 110 wasn't the entry limit, there where just 108 entries when I closed it and splitting it up evenly was just easier at 110, so I said first come first serve on those other two spots.

Thanks for the explanation Dan. I buy quite a few books but I don't hang out in the forums much so I missed a lot of info. I just saw the contest info a couple of days ago but obviously didn't read the rules correctly. Not a problem but I do hope you do this again! I've always wanted to write a short story and never had a deadline for inspiration. It was amazing how the words just poured out!! This will give me a chance to polish my story for next time!! Back to reading...man 110 stories is an impressive result and some are amazing!!

Thanks again!!

Max

njhorror
06-08-2011, 04:34 PM
Yeah, me too.

Job well done.

Dan Hocker
06-08-2011, 04:37 PM
I posted a clarification in the announcement. I do believe I may have miss spoke or miss counted somewhere along the lines and may have said the 8th. However the rules stated that the contest would be open for 1 weeks time and the contest opened on the 31st of May. Sorry again for any confusion that may have caused anyone.

carios
06-08-2011, 04:40 PM
Ohh, lol. alright Dan, thanks again for the hard work in this contest. Ill just save the story i worte for it for next time. Great submission's btw, i loved reading them.

TerryE
06-08-2011, 04:50 PM
Well, here we are getting ready to vote, and I've still only read about a third of the stories. It's been fun. I hope the voting is a little staggered so we can concentrate on one group of stories at a time. I'm really looking forward to giving and receiving critiques from everyone. Like many of you, I've never published anything and want to learn where I need to improve, or even what I might be doing right. I'm already anxious for another contest.

HorrorScribe
06-08-2011, 05:13 PM
Luckily, I have this week off for a personal writing retreat. The retreat gives me exclusive time away from my "real" job to devote to my budding writing "career" (three published short stories, a fourth just accepted last week, and selection as one of the finalists in Fangoria's Weird Words Fiction Contest). It also gives me time to agonize over the ultimate fate of my story in this contest.

I know I've said it before elsewhere on this forum, but best of luck to all of those who entered! I'm as eager to begin the voting process as the rest of you. The energy created by this contest has been positive and fantastic so far. And from the original announcement right through today and beyond, my excitement has been mounting. Regardless of who wins, Bad Dreams & New Screams will likely be one of the most anticipated and talked about chapbooks that CD puts out this year.

Dan Hocker
06-08-2011, 05:15 PM
I've decided to let voting last 2 weeks. I'll post all the votes at once though for the first round of voting. Just work in groups. I'm almost done, just have to write up the announcement and we'll be good to go! Good luck everyone!

jmcraven
06-08-2011, 05:36 PM
my budding writing "career" (three published short stories, a fourth just accepted last week, and selection as one of the finalists in Fangoria's Weird Words Fiction Contest).

That's fantastic- congratulations!

Dan Hocker
06-08-2011, 05:39 PM
Ok voting is up. That took awhile, now back to some real work.....:D

ClydeUmney
06-08-2011, 07:46 PM
In the premise of giving fair advert of what is out there, or giving you a chance to read what you'd like, this story is in GROUP TWO, and it's called A Scandal in Vivisection. If you want to read a creative reimagining of Sherlock Holmes, Professor Moriarty and Dr. Moreau in the tradition of Alan Moore's The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, this is a story you may want to read!

Best wishes and good luck to everyone in the contest! Now back to reading more of the contest entries! Only 80 left to go!

peteOcha
06-08-2011, 08:09 PM
Dan, will you open the original threads where the stories were posted, so that we can post comments to each story in it's actual thread? or should all entry discussion be carried out in the voting groups?

Dan Hocker
06-08-2011, 08:12 PM
Dan, will you open the original threads where the stories were posted, so that we can post comments to each story in it's actual thread? or should all entry discussion be carried out in the voting groups?

I will reopen the stories for comments and advice once voting is over. We do not want any constructive criticism or anything like that swaying other people's votes.

peteOcha
06-08-2011, 08:13 PM
I will reopen the stories for comments and advice once voting is over. We do not want any constructive criticism or anything like that swaying other people's votes.

Ok, cool. Good to know.

chantal
06-08-2011, 08:34 PM
I will reopen the stories for comments and advice once voting is over. We do not want any constructive criticism or anything like that swaying other people's votes.

Very exciting.. Can't wait to hear what people thought of my story ;)

Blackfish
06-08-2011, 09:16 PM
WHOA! The horror! The horror! So much bloody goodness. I can't wait to read more. What I'm loving so far is the sheer exuberance on display here.

Draven Ames
06-08-2011, 09:27 PM
I'm trying to figure out when I'm going to have time to read all of these......lol

Even if we lose, being read by Cemetery Dance is an honor unto itself. Thanks for reading them Dan.

chantal
06-08-2011, 09:44 PM
Even if we lose, being read by Cemetery Dance is an honor unto itself. Thanks for reading them Dan.

Very much agreed. Good point.

RJK1981
06-08-2011, 10:02 PM
Even if we lose, being read by Cemetery Dance is an honor unto itself. Thanks for reading them Dan.

Have to agree, and even to those who don't win, it does provide an opportunity to them by potentially being noticed by those who are connected to the publishing world. Just because a story doesn't win here doesn't mean it wouldn't have the potential to be published at a later time (either through CD or another publisher), especially if everyone working at CD reads them seeing as how they would know what could sell ;)

Antmusic
06-09-2011, 03:34 AM
I've got about 10 more left to read and then I will start my voting! Very fun stuff. I'm looking forward to opening them for discussions too! :)

spernst
06-09-2011, 04:46 AM
lol let the vote recruiting begin! I'm going to get slammed for this post, but I'm just calling it like I see it...
Can't help but notice one or two groups are more "popular" than the rest...for those of you playing an honest game, I applaud you...for those of you who actually want to win this thing, better start letting your friends know...

mlouisdixon
06-09-2011, 02:21 PM
I've noticed this too. It's a shame. I wouldn't want to win because I begged my friends to vote for me. I've actually tried to spread the word about the contest to get more unbiased votes. When I mention it, I specifically state, “please only vote for the stories you think are best.” To win by any other way would be hollow--sad.

MLD

peteOcha
06-09-2011, 02:22 PM
lol let the vote recruiting begin! I'm going to get slammed for this post, but I'm just calling it like I see it...
Can't help but notice one or two groups are more "popular" than the rest...for those of you playing an honest game, I applaud you...for those of you who actually want to win this thing, better start letting your friends know...

It's easy to see that some are doing it (all it takes is a quick look at the polls and the views stories got, or even google brings up a few interesting posts)... Oh well, can't stop them. Plus, as others have said it's not all about winning (I for one am really counting on some feedback after the voting ends).

An idea for the next contest: only those who posted a story or have over a certain amount of posts and have been members for x amount of time can vote. Iv'e seen it done on other forums where there are contests that are decided by votes from members. Should eliminate vote recruitment in my opinion. But that's for next time. This was the first one and I think that Dan did a really good job running it!

ozmosis7
06-09-2011, 02:41 PM
As the old saying goes, "If you can't beat em..."

If it means a lot for you to be in this book, that is likely the way to go, as I do think it has turned into that for several of the groups. However, I would suggest that there is more value in knowing someone truly enjoyed your story--after actually reading it. After all, as has been stated, there are important people reading these stories as well. A truly valid vote means much more than twenty or so solicited ones. I'll be asking people to come and read all of the stories (hoping they will), and vote for mine if they think it best. If your story is solid enough, I do think you can win over solicited votes...I think.

On a side note, I wanted to reiterate how great this all is, not only as an opportunity to see print, but as a chance to display your talent in front of many eyes. I think that means something. So thank you Cemetery Dance, and Dan for dealing with all the grief you are likely hearing. I look forward to other contests.

RJHubbard53
06-09-2011, 02:50 PM
As the old saying goes, "If you can't beat em..."

If it means a lot for you to be in this book, that is likely the way to go, as I do think it has turned into that for several of the groups. However, I would suggest that there is more value in knowing someone truly enjoyed your story--after actually reading it. After all, as has been stated, there are important people reading these stories as well. A truly valid vote means much more than twenty or so solicited ones. I'll be asking people to come and read all of the stories (hoping they will), and vote for mine if they think it best. If your story is solid enough, I do think you can win over solicited votes...I think.

On a side note, I wanted to reiterate how great this all is, not only as an opportunity to see print, but as a chance to display your talent in front of many eyes. I think that means something. So thank you Cemetery Dance, and Dan for dealing with all the grief you are likely hearing. I look forward to other contests.

i concur. I didnt enter this contest to win. I've got so many story starts I kinda wanted to use this as an opportunity to test the waters and see what happened and if some people like my stuff, then heck, I may pursue it. I mean, who here wouldn't rather be sitting in their den writing than sitting behind a desk "working" .

For those that solicit votes, or may even have multiple forum accounts, more power to ya!

Dan Hocker
06-09-2011, 03:18 PM
It's a bit of a shame really, but as I've told ozmosis7 there's really not much that I can do about it without defeating the whole purpose of the contest, which in the end is to bring new people to these forums. If even 1 out of every 10 people that registers to initially just to vote stays and participates then I can't really justify changing changing anything. If it really looks bad at the end of this contest, for the next one I may require that you be a participating member of the forums to vote, with a post pre-requisite, but this one is already under way and we can't change it at this stage of the game. Just remember that this is all good exposure, and if we see something we really like, just because you did or didn't win, doesn't mean we won't approach you to use your story in something else!

peteOcha
06-09-2011, 03:25 PM
It's a bit of a shame really, but as I've told ozmosis7 there's really not much that I can do about it without defeating the whole purpose of the contest, which in the end is to bring new people to these forums. If even 1 out of every 10 people that registers to initially just to vote stays and participates then I can't really justify changing changing anything. If it really looks bad at the end of this contest, for the next one I may require that you be a participating member of the forums to vote, with a post pre-requisite, but this one is already under way and we can't change it at this stage of the game. Just remember that this is all good exposure, and if we see something we really like, just because you did or didn't win, doesn't mean we won't approach you to use your story in something else!

+1 (especially for that last sentence, hope lives! :) )


It's true, whats done is done. Just have to ride this "wave" to the end and learn from it.

RJHubbard53
06-09-2011, 03:28 PM
yep. you guys are doing an awesome job driving traffic and participation in the forums. Keep it up and CD will be THE premier publishing house for this genre and size.

Long live the interwebz!

ozmosis7
06-09-2011, 03:28 PM
I didn't mean for that to come off as a complaint by the way, so I hope it wasn't taken as such. I think this is great, and the possibility you pose is what brought me here to begin with. Not only, do you get to pass your work in front of Cemetery Dance's eyes, but I know of at least one other big publisher that is likely perusing them. I would bet there are others as well.

Dan Hocker
06-09-2011, 03:31 PM
I didn't mean for that to come off as a complaint by the way, so I hope it wasn't taken as such. I think this is great, and the possibility you pose is what brought me here to begin with. Not only, do you get to pass your work in front of Cemetery Dance's eyes, but I know of at least one other big publisher that is likely perusing them. I would bet there are others as well.

Don't worry it didn't come off as a complaint. It was something I was concerned about myself. I just didn't think about it as a problem until it was really too late to do anything about it.

Mickmarseviltwin
06-09-2011, 04:14 PM
On a side note, I wanted to reiterate how great this all is, not only as an opportunity to see print, but as a chance to display your talent in front of many eyes. I think that means something. So thank you Cemetery Dance, and Dan for dealing with all the grief you are likely hearing. I look forward to other contests.

Couldn't agree more. Not only do we get our own stories out there, but where else do you get the chance to read 100+ original short stories? That's what it's all about! Maybe next time, CD could put out a MONSTER anthology!
:D

RichardThomas
06-09-2011, 04:24 PM
very cool all of this, good luck everyone, and thanks dan and CD for all of your hard work

CoreyMaida
06-09-2011, 04:54 PM
I'm really excited about the feedback process more than anything, since I'm completely unpublished. Which leads me, and don't take this in the vein of Robert Spearman who posted something similar a bit ago, to feel a little...jipped, so to speak, by being categorized with McClintlock, who is at least decently well-known and has published 12 stories or so if Google holds true. I mean, really, his level of practice and experience automatically (and number of votes) undermines everyone else in the group and basically throws our chance straight out the window. I'm not trying to complain by any means--this is an excellent opportunity and I'm thankful to be a part of it. It's just a grievance I had to at least get off my chest. Good luck to all, yet again, I'm reading some great stuff on here (including McClintlock's story--one of the best).

Untitled
06-09-2011, 05:07 PM
My eyes are starting to cross, so I better save more reading for tomorrow, but I just wanted to note the amazing variety here! Not just the subject matter, but specifically the way people are beginning their stories. There's the traditional ones that have a beginning, middle, end. And the "in medias res" (did I spell that right?) style of jumping right in with someone in danger or wounded. Cool guys, really cool.

C.W. LaSart
06-09-2011, 05:16 PM
These types of contests are fun but they will always be popularity contests. For those of you who are seriously struggling to get your name out there, I suggest Duotrope Digest as the best way to find contests in your genre. It's a godsend! Almost everyone is listed there! Not that this contest isn't a wonderful opportunity, it is fantastic, but there are other ones available where your story will be judged strictly on its merit.

Ben Staad
06-09-2011, 05:26 PM
These types of contests are fun but they will always be popularity contests. For those of you who are seriously struggling to get your name out there, I suggest Duotrope Digest as the best way to find contests in your genre. It's a godsend! Almost everyone is listed there! Not that this contest isn't a wonderful opportunity, it is fantastic, but there are other ones available where your story will be judged strictly on its merit.

Thanks for the tip. I still need to "really" look through the site but it looks like a great resource.

C.W. LaSart
06-09-2011, 05:28 PM
Thanks for the tip. I still need to "really" look through the site but it looks like a great resource.

It is the best that I have found so far! Also, it's always a good idea to follow writers on twitter-some of us share the contests we find ;) I shared this one!

Dan Hocker
06-09-2011, 05:31 PM
I'm really excited about the feedback process more than anything, since I'm completely unpublished. Which leads me, and don't take this in the vein of Robert Spearman who posted something similar a bit ago, to feel a little...jipped, so to speak, by being categorized with McClintlock, who is at least decently well-known and has published 12 stories or so if Google holds true. I mean, really, his level of practice and experience automatically (and number of votes) undermines everyone else in the group and basically throws our chance straight out the window. I'm not trying to complain by any means--this is an excellent opportunity and I'm thankful to be a part of it. It's just a grievance I had to at least get off my chest. Good luck to all, yet again, I'm reading some great stuff on here (including McClintlock's story--one of the best).

You can thank http://www.random.org/ for who you got paired with.

ozmosis7
06-09-2011, 05:32 PM
Also, make sure to look over the articles posted in the Writer's Corner. Many of the Author's whose names you see attached are well-known ones, and you should value their opinion.

ozmosis7
06-09-2011, 05:34 PM
Actually, I have attended many of Michael Knost's online classes, which are incredible, and have had many a "Aha" moments in those classes.

C.W. LaSart
06-09-2011, 05:43 PM
I'm really excited about the feedback process more than anything, since I'm completely unpublished. Which leads me, and don't take this in the vein of Robert Spearman who posted something similar a bit ago, to feel a little...jipped, so to speak, by being categorized with McClintlock, who is at least decently well-known and has published 12 stories or so if Google holds true.

Do not pass up the opportunity to network with published authors such as Kevin McClintock (a friend of mine and all around awesome guy). As budding writers, I can't stress enough the importance of making friends in this field and developing a list of writing colleagues. In a way, discussions like this may be more valuable to your career in the long run, than the contest itself! Good luck!

ozmosis7
06-09-2011, 05:48 PM
Do not pass up the opportunity to network with published authors
I fully agree with that. I have learned more about writing just by talking to others in the industry. And, you can never learn enough. It's a daily necessity to improve your craft. Also, read, read, read...and write, write, write.

RJHubbard53
06-09-2011, 05:48 PM
These types of contests are fun but they will always be popularity contests. For those of you who are seriously struggling to get your name out there, I suggest Duotrope Digest as the best way to find contests in your genre. It's a godsend! Almost everyone is listed there! Not that this contest isn't a wonderful opportunity, it is fantastic, but there are other ones available where your story will be judged strictly on its merit.

hey, thanks for this tip!

C.W. LaSart
06-09-2011, 05:50 PM
hey, thanks for this tip!

Anytime! If your on twitter, look me up ;) I love passing on great writing blogs and contest opportunities!

KevinM
06-09-2011, 06:19 PM
Thanks C.W.

While I've been published, all have been to non- or semi-professional markets. If I'm lucky enough to be published in CD, it would be my first "professional" sale, as far as the standards go with the Horror Writers Association. So technically, it's an even playing field. In the end, it depends on the story, not the writer how the writer credits. The strength of the story is what counts.

Nik Houser
06-09-2011, 06:31 PM
I've been published some, and here's my take on things, for what it's worth (which, admittedly, may not be much). The number of times you've been published won't really having any bearing on this contest. Here's why:

What's going to create outside awareness of your contest entry and (maybe) get people to register here and vote for you isn't having your name in a few tables of contents. It's having a blog. It's having twitter followers. It's having a bunch of friends on Facebook. And then telling all those folks about the contest and to vote for you. Not that I'm condoning that! The point is, I promise you're not at a disadvantage if you haven't published much, or at all. I haven't posted my entrance to the contest on Facebook or on my website (not that I have a legion of fans who would see the message anyway), which means my main advantage is the practice I've had writing. And practice is all up to the individual. Being published and building credits for your query letter doesn't make you a better writer. Writing makes you a better writer. Taking criticism constructively rather than personally makes you a better writer. Reading other people's fiction and seeing what works and what doesn't and how that can apply to your own fiction makes you a better writer. Now, have the other published writers in this contest bussed people/fans/followers over from their social networks to vote? Maybe, maybe not. It does look a little...interesting in some places, as others on this thread have already noted. And yeah, social networking can kill your chances of winning, no matter how much you've practiced. But my point is, fret not if your competing against more established writers. Unless they're telling people "Hey, if you like my work, come vote for me" (and anybody can drive friends to a poll, established writer or not) how you do in this contest is all up to you, and what you've done prior to this point to make your writing as strong as possible. Finally, this message was not posted with the spirit of "Oh, how can they think that, they're so wrong!" but rather, as a means to try to peaceably allay some valid concerns.

Draven Ames
06-09-2011, 06:33 PM
I can attest that Caren is a great source for other writers. She's always kind and helpful. I'm glad to know her.

And I did submissions with Kevin for a while. He is a great writer, deserving of every vote. I'm glad to see both of them are doing well.

Nik Houser
06-09-2011, 06:37 PM
And if anybody would like to check out my story because A: you now totally despise me and want to make sure you vote against me no matter what, or B: just wanna check out my story, I'll make it easy on ya. It's in Group 3, and is called American Inferno. Hopefully it's because you just want to read it, along with the other entries.

C.W. LaSart
06-09-2011, 06:41 PM
I can attest that Caren is a great source for other writers. She's always kind and helpful. I'm glad to know her.

And I did submissions with Kevin for a while. He is a great writer, deserving of every vote. I'm glad to see both of them are doing well.

Thanks Draven :) I agree with Nik that being previously published won't matter much in this contest-but I do strongly recommend that everyone build a list of writing friends. It's indispensible in this field. And that's not saying you have to "befriend" me, but find some other writers who are maybe a little farther along in their careers than you, they are a valuable resources. That said, I am always open to new friends and colleagues.

Draven Ames
06-09-2011, 06:47 PM
And getting your writing friends to beta read your stories can be invaluable, something Kevin has done for me many times and Caren has offered. I'd love to become friends with any writers who are looking to network. As Caren said, always open to new friends and colleagues.

RJHubbard53
06-09-2011, 06:47 PM
And if anybody would like to check out my story because A: you now totally despise me and want to make sure you vote against me no matter what, or B: just wanna check out my story, I'll make it easy on ya. It's in Group 3, and is called American Inferno. Hopefully it's because you just want to read it, along with the other entries.

hey, I voted for you before even knowing who you are! :)

You had good advice - practice, practice, practice. I've never submitted a story until now so have no following anywhere. Frankly, I would be embarassed to ask my FB friends to come over b/c most of them aren't readers, let alone horror readers, so they'd make fun of me later on the golf course.

Nik Houser
06-09-2011, 06:48 PM
Ditto for LaSart's comment on building a group of writing friends. Most important (not to mention rare) are the friends who've got the one-two punch of writing knowledge AND will be honest with you about what they thought worked and what didn't in your fiction. And yeah, building a list is really important. Because everybody, no matter how experienced, will see your work with some amount of subjectivity. And what might not work for them might still work for someone else. So yeah, building that list is GOOOOOD. Plus, it could lead to a good publishing connection. By which I mean an editor who wouldn't publish something because they know you, but rather, might fish it out of the slush pile a little more gingerly, and give it a more careful glance. Which can make all the difference sometimes.

Nik Houser
06-09-2011, 06:53 PM
Speaking of networking, hey Draven, I think you and I are going to be in the same SNM volume! Small world! And RJ, that's awesome, thanks! Hahaha. That totally made my day. By the way folks, I didn't mean to imply that anybody here, writer or not, was using their social network to their advantage simply because they had one.

P.S. I am officially envious of Draven's blog. Really nicely put together, man. Well done.

ozmosis7
06-09-2011, 06:55 PM
I agree with all of this. Probably the most difficult thing any writer will come up against is learning how to take harsh criticism the right way. You are never going to please everyone, but you can also take that information and use it to your advantage, in order to become a better writer. Typically, colleagues who criticize your work aren't trying to put you down, but rather help you advance to that next level. It can sting some, but learning to accept that with graciousness will best benefit your future. The crit group I am in is fantastic for that.

RJHubbard53
06-09-2011, 07:03 PM
boy you all opened a can of worms. I'm going to be bugging you for honest and frank advice as I try to progress in my writing. I'm an Information Technology manager - and throughout my career, many of MY managers say my biggest asset is taking criticism professionally and learning from it. I dont see how anyone aspiring to do anything can take criticism personally - how is one to progress in their trade/craft if no one ever tells them what they're doing WRONG?

Draven Ames
06-09-2011, 07:04 PM
Speaking of networking, hey Draven, I think you and I are going to be in the same SNM volume! Small world! And RJ, that's awesome, thanks! Hahaha. That totally made my day. By the way folks, I didn't mean to imply that anybody here, writer or not, was using their social network to their advantage simply because they had one.

P.S. I am officially envious of Draven's blog. Really nicely put together, man. Well done.

I'm just stoked that you looked me up, Nik. Glad to meet you and yes, my story will be the opening story in that same issue of Bonded by Blood with you. Congratulations on your writing so far.

Dan Hocker
06-09-2011, 07:04 PM
I would like to say that I liked all of the entries I've read so far. It's only been about 10 or so (not enough time in the day) but everyone of them has been good.

P.S. Up until the voting started I was reading them in the order they where posted, so you can guess if I've read yours or not :p

Nik Houser
06-09-2011, 07:05 PM
Absolutely, ozmosis7. I think the problem a lot of writers have is falling in love with their own work, so it's a bit of a crusher when someone offers criticism. I think this is pretty common. I certainly fall prey to that feeling of "oh man, this thing I wrote is so great! I can't wait for so-and-so to read it!" I have to constantly reign that crap in. And the more you do, the better a self-editor you can become, because the more objective you'll be able to see your own work. At least, that's what I strive for, with varying results.

Draven Ames
06-09-2011, 07:06 PM
boy you all opened a can of worms. I'm going to be bugging you for honest and frank advice as I try to progress in my writing. I'm an Information Technology manager - and throughout my career, many of MY managers say my biggest asset is taking criticism professionally and learning from it. I dont see how anyone aspiring to do anything can take criticism personally - how is one to progress in their trade/craft if no one ever tells them what they're doing WRONG?

very strong statement. You'll go far, my friend.

Nik Houser
06-09-2011, 07:07 PM
I'm just stoked that you looked me up, Nik. Glad to meet you and yes, my story will be the opening story in that same issue of Bonded by Blood with you. Congratulations on your writing so far.

Thanks for the congrats, and ditto! Especially trying to find time to write while raising a kid. Holy moly. I can't even imagine that. Do you even sleep?

Nik Houser
06-09-2011, 07:09 PM
boy you all opened a can of worms. I'm going to be bugging you for honest and frank advice as I try to progress in my writing. I'm an Information Technology manager - and throughout my career, many of MY managers say my biggest asset is taking criticism professionally and learning from it. I dont see how anyone aspiring to do anything can take criticism personally - how is one to progress in their trade/craft if no one ever tells them what they're doing WRONG?


Agreed. Plus, what they're doing right. It's good encouragement, and can show someone where their strengths are.

Draven Ames
06-09-2011, 07:14 PM
Thanks for the congrats, and ditto! Especially trying to find time to write while raising a kid. Holy moly. I can't even imagine that. Do you even sleep?

I sleep as much as my back will allow me. I've got two boys, 10 and 14. The family is very supportive of my writing. It's the only thing to keep me sane. Use it or lose it.

Dan Hocker
06-09-2011, 07:19 PM
I love this discussion guys! This is one of the main reasons for this contest. To stir up conversation in "The Writer's Corner" about writing in general.

ozmosis7
06-09-2011, 07:28 PM
I'm always up for discussing any of the creative arts. I dabble in them all, but try to focus on writing. Anyone should feel to approach me with anything regarding them. I'm always up for a chat. So feel free to add me to any social network, or link to my blog, etc. I typically hang out on facebook & the forums though.

C.W. LaSart
06-09-2011, 07:37 PM
I love this discussion guys! This is one of the main reasons for this contest. To stir up conversation in "The Writer's Corner" about writing in general.

This is a wonderful tool for networking! Although we are all competing against each other in this contest, we won't always be in direct competition and can benefit from each others friendship and experience.

Nik Houser
06-09-2011, 07:39 PM
I love this discussion guys! This is one of the main reasons for this contest. To stir up conversation in "The Writer's Corner" about writing in general.

SERIOUSLY! This conversation is SO much cooler than the dental appoint I have to go to now. Can't wait to get back here.

CoreyMaida
06-09-2011, 07:46 PM
The main reason I'm looking for constructive criticism right now is that I'm still very early in on an attempt at a writing career: I'm only 19, probably one of the youngest people to submit a story here if I could guess. I really want to know where to go from here as far as my writing is concerned, so, in theory, by my thirties or so I could potentially be learned enough to be a professional or otherwise paid to write. I wasn't trying to stir anything earlier, I hope there's no hard feelings! It was just something that was on my mind, so I figured why not let it out rather than harbor it in. :)

spernst
06-09-2011, 07:50 PM
insert foot in mouth. I'm pretty certain that 3/5 votes for my story are: wife, mom, brother. :( sorry, they're loyalists.
I'd like to hear what criteria some of you are using to judge entries- are you voting based on how well written an entry is, or how much you like the story? I voted for several that had obvious "writing mistakes" simply because I enjoyed their story, warts and all. I also voted for two that I only felt so-so on the story, but they got my vote anyways simply for being very sound writers...thoughts? seems like a very good amount of people have lost interest in winning and would just like some constructive criticism once this is over, and I'm starting to adopt that attitude-this is the first piece I've ever submitted for anything and I'm sure I'm not alone in that boat...there are people here who have been at the writing game awhile now and can give some great advice, so thank you cemetery dance for putting us in contact with other writers! Can't wait to get some feedback to help me improve...

spernst
06-09-2011, 07:54 PM
my first question for the more serious writers amongst us: Is it ok that I HATE writing? lol. I usually try to take the zen approach of "Its the journey that matters, not the destination" but in writing, I DESPISE the journey! I love my stories when I finish them, but I'm getting ulcers trying to get them right...does it ever get easier to drag your butt to the keyboard when you just don't feel like it?

Dan Hocker
06-09-2011, 07:55 PM
Anything that I voted for (which have only been 2 so far) have been because I enjoyed the story completely. I will say this though, and don't take it personally if you fall into this category. I have been skipping anything that has had really really bad formatting. Mostly because my eyes just can't deal with paragraphs blurring together.

ozmosis7
06-09-2011, 07:56 PM
The main reason I'm looking for constructive criticism right now is that I'm still very early in on an attempt at a writing career: I'm only 19, probably one of the youngest people to submit a story here if I could guess. I really want to know where to go from here as far as my writing is concerned, so, in theory, by my thirties or so I could potentially be learned enough to be a professional or otherwise paid to write. I wasn't trying to stir anything earlier, I hope there's no hard feelings! It was just something that was on my mind, so I figured why not let it out rather than harbor it in. :)

Well, you certainly have started in a very good place. Keep writing, and don't stop. The rest will come.

ozmosis7
06-09-2011, 07:58 PM
I look at style, voice, plot, theme, arc, are the characters believable, and stuff like that. In the end, the writer is most often telling a lie. If he/she is able to do that convincingly, or in a unique way, I think that is a winning story. That being said, I haven't read enough to vote in every group as of yet, but those are my criteria. Hope that helps.

Draven Ames
06-09-2011, 07:59 PM
insert foot in mouth. I'm pretty certain that 3/5 votes for my story are: wife, mom, brother. :( sorry, they're loyalists.
I'd like to hear what criteria some of you are using to judge entries- are you voting based on how well written an entry is, or how much you like the story? I voted for several that had obvious "writing mistakes" simply because I enjoyed their story, warts and all. I also voted for two that I only felt so-so on the story, but they got my vote anyways simply for being very sound writers...thoughts?

I voted based on both. Mostly, if two stories were good, I went for the one with the least amount of 'warts.'

C.W. LaSart
06-09-2011, 08:01 PM
insert foot in mouth. I'm pretty certain that 3/5 votes for my story are: wife, mom, brother. :( sorry, they're loyalists.
I'd like to hear what criteria some of you are using to judge entries- are you voting based on how well written an entry is, or how much you like the story?

I doubt there are too many on here who don't have atleast one person who came just to vote for them-my beloved joined and voted for me, but he is also a horror fan and has cast his votes for other groups as well. I am trying not to lose sight of the fact that the winners are going to be published with THREE very respectable writers. Any time a book is put together, it will be reviewed. It doesn't matter how great your story is if some reviewer proclaims the rest to be "crap"! I am trying to vote for the stories that I feel will look the least "amatuer" next to the big boys! So, although story is very important, I feel that editing is just as important. Sure, publishers have editors who will fix your mistakes, but if you aren't sending things out in as polished of a state that you can, they won't even look at them.

Dan Hocker
06-09-2011, 08:02 PM
Don't worry we'll most certainly be having the final entries proof read!

Draven Ames
06-09-2011, 08:07 PM
I doubt there are too many on here who don't have atleast one person who came just to vote for them-my beloved joined and voted for me, but he is also a horror fan and has cast his votes for other groups as well. I am trying not to lose sight of the fact that the winners are going to be published with THREE very respectable writers. Any time a book is put together, it will be reviewed. It doesn't matter how great your story is if some reviewer proclaims the rest to be "crap"! I am trying to vote for the stories that I feel will look the least "amatuer" next to the big boys! So, although story is very important, I feel that editing is just as important. Sure, publishers have editors who will fix your mistakes, but if you aren't sending things out in as polished of a state that you can, they won't even look at them.

Very good point. A lesson hard to learn for some people. When I first started, I thought writers wrote and editors edit. I learned how important a second or third set of eyes can be, very quickly.

C.W. LaSart
06-09-2011, 08:14 PM
Don't worry we'll most certainly be having the final entries proof read!

Of course you will, wasn't implying differently ;) Draven stated my point a little more succinctly than I did!

RJHubbard53
06-09-2011, 08:16 PM
Very good point. A lesson hard to learn for some people. When I first started, I thought writers wrote and editors edit. I learned how important a second or third set of eyes can be, very quickly.

i dont have anyone to proof my stuff - my circle friends is either reading the Wall Street Journal or Sean Hannity's latest book... :/

mlouisdixon
06-09-2011, 08:18 PM
I’ve got lots of experience reading slush for Dark Recesses and I’ve developed little tolerance for obvious grammar and spelling errors. I did read every single of the stories posted here though and took each into consideration. What I looked for first was “story”. If it was too clichéd—forget about it. (Serial killers, vampires, werewolves—yech!) These stories are very short so it needed to hook me right away. (I still kept going but that only proved that most never got any better. At DR I’d just send it back with a form rejection if I wasn’t caught up in the first couple of paragraphs.) Watch out for your twist endings. Twists can be a pitfall, but nice if you can pull it off. When doing twists you need to be careful not to telegraph the ending. If I can tell how it’s going to end right away, I may want to skip it. It’s an art getting endings right, but a good ending can make a story sing.

MLD

Draven Ames
06-09-2011, 08:21 PM
i dont have anyone to proof my stuff - my circle friends is either reading the Wall Street Journal or Sean Hannity's latest book... :/

That is exactly why making friends with writers helps. Often times we can help beta read one another. But you have to get to know them first, you know? That's where networking comes in. Once you make friends with a few writers, you will be surprised at how giving they are (as long as you're prepared to be giving with your time as well).

Dan Hocker
06-09-2011, 08:23 PM
I’ve got lots of experience reading slush for Dark Recesses and I’ve developed little tolerance for obvious grammar and spelling errors. I did read every single of the stories posted here though and took each into consideration. What I looked for first was “story”. If it was too clichéd—forget about it. (Serial killers, vampires, werewolves—yech!) These stories are very short so it needed to hook me right away. (I still kept going but that only proved that most never got any better. At DR I’d just send it back with a form rejection if I wasn’t caught up in the first couple of paragraphs.) Watch out for your twist endings. Twists can be a pitfall, but nice if you can pull it off. When doing twists you need to be careful not to telegraph the ending. If I can tell how it’s going to end right away, I may want to skip it. It’s an art getting endings right, but a good ending can make a story sing.

MLD

So true about the "Twists", after I guessed the ending of "The Village" in the first 5 min, I couldn't finish watching the movie. I also guessed the ending of "9 Pounds" (I think that's the title) in the first 15 min.

Eldritch
06-09-2011, 08:26 PM
my first question for the more serious writers amongst us: Is it ok that I HATE writing? lol. I usually try to take the zen approach of "Its the journey that matters, not the destination" but in writing, I DESPISE the journey! I love my stories when I finish them, but I'm getting ulcers trying to get them right...does it ever get easier to drag your butt to the keyboard when you just don't feel like it?

Hi there spernst,
I'm wondering if maybe you're setting your self-expectations too high, that you're expecting yourself to produce a polished piece on the first attempt. If that's the case, here's my advice:
1. Lock your internal editor away.
2. Accept that what you're about to write is a first draft, and that it will without a doubt be crap.
3. Then, start downloading all the wonderful, wild, creative words and images from your brain to the screen (or paper).
4. When you're done, begin the process of cleaning, editing, rewriting, rewriting, rewriting and then rewriting the piece some more. :)

Draven Ames
06-09-2011, 08:26 PM
So true about the "Twists", after I guessed the ending of "The Village" in the first 5 min, I couldn't finish watching the movie. I also guessed the ending of "9 Pounds" (I think that's the title) in the first 15 min.

Very good point. I thought that Shutter Island was telegraphed, too.

mlouisdixon
06-09-2011, 08:27 PM
When I guessed the ending of "The Illusionist" it pissed me off. The give away was so obvious. I felt like someone just told me the end and spoiled it for me. I was watching it on DVD with my family and nobody else got it. I had to keep my mouth shut so they wouldn't have it spoiled for them as well.

MLD

Draven Ames
06-09-2011, 08:33 PM
When I guessed the ending of "The Illusionist" it pissed me off. The give away was so obvious. I felt like someone just told me the end and spoiled it for me. I was watching it on DVD with my family and nobody else got it. I had to keep my mouth shut so they wouldn't have it spoiled for them as well.

MLD

I love when I think I know the ending, write it down, and I am wrong. Stories can be born that way.

spernst
06-09-2011, 08:42 PM
off topic-how many posts until we all cease to be "junior" members of the forum?

TerryE
06-09-2011, 08:45 PM
In response to the voting criteria, I'm definitely taking both into account. And in most of these tales, the better stories do have the better English skills. I think I have an editor's eye, even as a reader, because the mistakes, even little ones, leap out and smack me in the forehead. Like most of you, I haven't stopped a story because of poor grammar, but I haven't enjoyed them. But I think the critiques will help those writers the most, and hope no one takes it personally when they read our forthcoming reviews. I'm still among the rank amatuers, mostly because I don't make the time to write on a regular basis. But I attended a workshop several years ago and it was the best experience I've had with writing. The feedback was invaluable.

mlouisdixon
06-09-2011, 08:45 PM
This can also go the extreme opposite direction: when an end is so far out of left field that it undermines everything. It's almost like the writer, or director, wants to give you a nice kick in the face before leaving you. One film that comes to mind is High Tension.

MLD

the_last_gunslinger
06-09-2011, 08:54 PM
I doubt there are too many on here who don't have atleast one person who came just to vote for them-

I haven't campaigned at all, and maybe that's to my detriment. But I'm a firm believer that if my story isn't good enough to be published, then I don't want it out there.

Plus, it's hard to get the word out when you have made a firm commitment to completely abstain from any and all forms of social networking sites.

C.W. LaSart
06-09-2011, 09:01 PM
Plus, it's hard to get the word out when you have made a firm commitment to completely abstain from any and all forms of social networking sites.

I sincerely hope you are talking in regards to this contest only. Social networking is ESSENTIAL for writers in this day and age, as publishers no longer do much marketing at all. Some agents won't even look at writers without a social platform.