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Discussion: The Future Of The Collaborative Fiction Forum

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posted on Jun, 11 2005 @ 05:21 PM
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Hi!


As your newly-elected DISC Councilor, I am responsible for serving the needs of the Collaborative Fiction forum, among other things.

As a Councilor, I don't have any real direct power to do anything myself, but rather am tasked with representing you in meetings with the senior staff and bringing answers, comments and questions from them to you.

The purpose of this thread is to solicit your opinions regarding what you would like to see happen with the Collaborative Fiction forum in the future.

To get the ball rolling, here's my take on things.

In my opinion, CF is doing pretty well as-is. In terms of improvements, the main thing I would like to see is a reorganization of the forum to divide the threads into more distinctive classifications.

For example, we now have a Short Stories subforum. At the very least, I think a Poetry subforum makes sense as well.

Additionally, to better represent what this forum is really about and broaden its appeal, I think that it makes sense to move true collaborative fiction stories -- stories cumulatively written by multiple authors -- into a dedicated subforum of their own, and rename the main forum to something more general and inclusive, such as “Creative Writing”, or something like that (something proactive, like “Poochie”?
).

While I encourage any sort of discussion my fellow writers may see fit to bring up here, I offer the following questions as a rough guide -- or “inspiration”, if you will:

Questions For ATS Writers

1. How do you like the Collaborative Fiction forum as it currently exists?

2. What would you like to see change in the Collaborative Fiction forum?

3. Would you like to see new subforums created for specific categories of writing, such as Poetry?

4. What categories would you like to see designated for new subforums?

5. If we rename the Collaborative Fiction forum, what would you like it to be called?

I'm sure I missed something, so please don't consider these questions all-inclusive or limiting in any way.

After all, anything which stifles your creativity would be a step in the wrong direction.


At your service,

Majic
ATS DISC Councilor

Edit: Nagging typo.


[edit on 25-6-2005 by John bull 1]

[edit on 7/8/2005 by Majic]




posted on Jun, 11 2005 @ 05:34 PM
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Maybe broke down into diffrent styles.



posted on Jun, 12 2005 @ 06:33 PM
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Majic, seperating poetry from short stories is a good idea. Also a voting system where writers could vote on others writers work and see who can get a real fan following would be cool, kinda like the Way Above award but different, limit it to the fiction forum only and allow only writers to vote. My writer staus is new and I haven't used it much yet but I plan to take some time and put finger to keyboard soon and ATS is a great place to do it. The last contest was great and having seperate contests for poetry and short stories on a regular basis would rock, I know it's hard though. If the C.F. forum is renamed then I think Member's Musings or Silence Denied would be cool names. Thanks for taking time to listen Majic.



posted on Jun, 12 2005 @ 06:43 PM
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I agree that a sub forum for poetry should be created. Poetry has a special place in creative writing that is uniquely its own. It deserves its own place.

I agree with Looking4truth that a monthly award should be given. I'm not saying it has to be voted on by all the writers, that would take allot of work to set up, but the best story submitted should receive some recognition.

I'm not sure what to do to increase collaboration. Writers are by their very nature solitary beasts and getting them to work together is like trying to herd cats. It would take genius to make it actually work. I honestly have sympathy for WW in that regard.

Thats my thoughts on the matter. Hope it helps.

Wupy



posted on Jun, 15 2005 @ 07:05 PM
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Well done, Majic!

Here are my responses to your questions:

1. How do you like the Collaborative Fiction forum as it currently exists?

I don't. It's disorganized, and it implies that everyne should share in the task of writing a piece.

2. What would you like to see change in the Collaborative Fiction forum?

A place where people can submit their fiction, of course; but with sub-areas for prose and poetry, and maybe even lyrics of songs (including the music).

But I'd also like to see workshops where authors can discuss things like plot, character development, transitions, dialogue, and bounce these ideas and concepts off of their fellow writers. Structured? Perhaps. But a way for people to improve themselves as well as feed their egos (and, of course, as writers we all have hungry egos!

3. Would you like to see new subforums created for specific categories of writing, such as Poetry?

Yes. See above.

4. What categories would you like to see designated for new subforums?

Well, prose and poetry are the two categories that come to mind. If you mean genres, then perhaps fantasy, romance, gothic horror, satire, etc. would be the way to look at submissions.

5. If we rename the Collaborative Fiction forum, what would you like it to be called?

Just "ATS Fiction" would be okay, in my opinion.



posted on Jun, 15 2005 @ 10:03 PM
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1. How do you like the Collaborative Fiction forum as it currently exists?

Damn no! This is , by far, the most neglected, unused, misused forum on the board.

2. What would you like to see change in the Collaborative Fiction forum?

Structure. We need a poetry section, and we need to build a writing community on here. As it is, we have NO feedback system, no editing system, no quality control system.

3. Would you like to see new subforums created for specific categories of writing, such as Poetry?

Yes. Find a template, some sort of structure, for the love of Caine and all things holy/unholy!

4. What categories would you like to see designated for new subforums?

Poetry, for one thing. After that, contests -which should be run regularly- and maybe a 'mature' section. It's hard to let your creativity fly with the kid gloves on.

5. If we rename the Collaborative Fiction forum, what would you like it to be called?

The writing forum. Collaborative fiction, as it is, is all but dead.

DE



posted on Jun, 16 2005 @ 09:08 AM
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Podcasts could really be used here in the collaborative fiction section...

Think of weekly chapters read by the author - Other members eagerly awaiting the next installment....Poetry readings...

The possibilities are endless....

[edit on 6/16/2005 by EnronOutrunHomerun]



posted on Jun, 16 2005 @ 09:27 AM
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Podcasts would be awesome! It would be like a 1950's radio show like "The Shadow."

Majic,
Yes like the others say, a separation into sub categories would be a most welcome addition.



posted on Jun, 24 2005 @ 06:51 PM
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I think there should be a special forum where people can give criticisms/advice on your stories, also it would be cool if in that forum you could ask people if they would want to join you in a future story you were planning. And only writers could access it!



posted on Jun, 24 2005 @ 07:11 PM
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Actually, yes. I want to elaborate on my previous statement of community.

As it is, this forum is FFA. You can slap a bunch of words together, call it fiction, and throw it up on the board. That's the first major problem with the writing community on ATS- there is no golden standard. There are very few rules. There is an overall lack of structure, which prevents a forward-moving action.

Secondly, there is no real incentive to write on ATS. There is very little in way of providing feedback, or even proper constructive criticism. It sure does suck to know that after all the blood, sweat and tears you put into a story, no one's going to say anything about it. So, why post on ATS? You could spend the ten minutes and hop over to any number of free boards like Fictionpress or Zoetrope and actually become part of a community that'll help you improve your work. Here, you're lucky to get thirty VIEWS when it's not contest time before your story starts collecting dust.

ATS should, as the expression goes, '**** or get off the pot'. Either put forward the time and commitment neccessary to foster a permenant writing community, or scrap the forum entirely and let writers find a proper place to put up their work.

DE



posted on Jun, 24 2005 @ 08:03 PM
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You have voted DeusEx for the Way Above Top Secret award. You have two more votes this month.


I could not have said it better. If ATS wants a writing community it should take atleast some small steps to foster one. The lack of structure, ideas and incentive make this a writers bane.

I love being a part of ATS. I honestly hope someday it gets a writing community with purpose and reason. Until then i'll still post the occasional story just for the heck of it and do the majority of my writing on the boards.

Love and light,

Wupy



posted on Jun, 24 2005 @ 08:39 PM
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You young pup!

You have voted DeusEx for the Way Above Top Secret award. You have used all of your votes for this month.



posted on Jun, 25 2005 @ 01:21 AM
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I've been discussing this in chat for a little while, and here are some of my suggestions:

1. STANDARDS! Geez, people. Basic punctuation, things of that nature. A typo or spelling mistake here and there is okay, because no spellchecker is perfect, but at least make an effort. Capitalization is your friend.

2. No Kid Gloves. Writing is about freedom of expression. I'm sure most people can keep things in good taste, but we need to option to cure, use violence, sex, etc. There is a fine line not to be crossed, yes, but there's also a fine line between propriety and and quashing the ability to express yourself. If you can't spare a mod or two to police to forum, scrap it.

3. Divisions. Seperate the poetry from the prose, the collaborations from everything else. If it makes you feel happy, set up a special section for 'mature content'. Having a big ball of everything is really only adding to the confusing.

4. Feedback. We need a method of feedback that can be displayed, but doesn't fool with the continuity of the story. Hell, we need an easy method for feedback at all. We need to encourage it, make sure that it's also suitable. What I consider constructive criticism, other might consider a flame.

5. Community. We need community- building exercises on a regular basis, such as challenges, contests, etc. The closer knit the ATS writing community becomes, the more open to speaking up they'll become, which means improvement of work and more willingness to post.

6. More Member Control. It's the member's story, he's chosing to share it, so it should be under HIS control. That means the ability to edit at ANY TIME, control who can and cannot post to collaberations. I've watched too many decent collaberations fall apart because people just jumped in. Today I is a classic example of how something can start off great, and get ruined in a hurry.

7. Rewards. What incentive is there for writers to put up their dreams? None, really. As it stand, no feedbacks, no bonus, no acclaim, nothing. Nothing to make their work stand out, or to help them improve it. So why post?

That's all I can think of right now. I'd liek to thank my supporters, like Old Man of the Desert, TRG, and Connie. Oh, and Wupy. Feel free to pitch in, everyone.

DE



posted on Jun, 25 2005 @ 12:58 PM
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Great idea's DeusEx! To sum up what I want, here is a list.


1. A poetry/lyrics forum
2. A story planning forum writers only
3. A story discussion/fan forum
4. and a monthy award, for poetry, colalbritive fiction stories, and solo stories.


And the rest of the stuff, DeusEx mentioned I also agree with!



posted on Jun, 25 2005 @ 02:50 PM
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BUMP.......................for relevence, so I can find this thread..........so I can link it into the Council area to be taken seriously.......
I was looking for it and HERE it is!

Excellant ideas DeusEx......you may be assured this is going to be seen by the powers that be.

YEY!


[edit on 25-6-2005 by theRiverGoddess]



posted on Jun, 27 2005 @ 07:01 PM
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Goddess, could you also mention to them that we no longer seem to have a moderator? It's been three weeks since WW has posted here and like Johnbull1 before her, she appears to have wanted the title, but not the job.

Any help in this area would also be greatly appreciated.

Love and light,

Wupy



posted on Jun, 27 2005 @ 07:05 PM
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Muthked thometimethe feelth that he ith in limbo, until he ith reminded of hith eldetht thon and that thon'th twenty-thikth thiblingth.



posted on Jun, 27 2005 @ 07:58 PM
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The matter is not WW's abscence- I know her, she's a great person and a great mod. She ran that contest awhile back, tried to breathe new life into the forum. Her competence is not the question.

What is, however, is the significant neglect given to this forum. We have ONE mod. One. This mod has a family to take care of, and a roof to keep over her head. I believe those things take a little prescedence over an internet community.

Our ONE mod is busy, just like all mods have busy periods. The issue is that we have ONE mod, no contingencies, no backups, no one to fill the gap. That's part of the reasons the writing forum is in such bad shape- one person cannot possibly keep the quality controls in place, deal with (occasionally belligerent) people wanting writer's status...twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.

DE



posted on Jun, 27 2005 @ 09:31 PM
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So maybe its up to us. Instead of asking for leadership perhaps we should lead instead. Be the change you hope to see in the world. (That was by Ghandi)

When you get down to it a community isn't about rallying around a leader, it's about community. We don't have that here, How can we build one? How can we involve the members in a way that a Mod becomes someone to simply watch and makes sure everyone is playing fair, and the rest is up to us?

I have 40 some odd thousand points and I would gladly give them up in a contest to award those that participate in building a better fiction section.

We need to start a new thread. Call it something like. "This is YOUR community. What are you willing to do to make it grow?"

If we're not willing to contribute to ideas that will make this community grow, we have no business being here.

My idea of community is that your not just waiting to show off what little talent you have, You're active in promoting the talent of others that share your passion.

Now, how do we do this? I'm onboard with my own ideas and hopes, share yours and we'll see where this goes.

Love and light,

Wupy



posted on Jun, 27 2005 @ 11:47 PM
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You're right, Wupy. You're absolutely right. The site has failed us. The lack fo support has left us out in the cold. Here's how it breaks down:

1. We NEED more mods, just to police the forum and keep a sort of quality control. Almost every writing community I have been a part of has a strong but subtle admin prescence, but a large part of the sense of community is based on actions of the members.

2. Said sense of community is based in respect. To be honest, it seems like 90% of ATS just doesn't give a f*** about us writers. In addition, the writing community is a mess. We have people interupting each other, doing whatever, with no set standard as to what it takes to be a part of the community.

3. There is no functional format to respond to a person's writing without breaking the tempo, or to review the person's work unobtusively. There is no means to edit your posts. The functions require for the community to survive and prosper are lacking, and there is little we can do about it. There is little way to really start, monitor, or really go about such common community functions such as challenges.

4. To be frank, a lot of the writers here would have trouble dealing with most writing communities. They don't review each other's works, they don't properly collaborate (or, if they do, some asshat comes along and ruins it), and they don't support each other. This is partly function, but manners might help.

Four major problems. Two of them, we can't do anything about. Now, what about the other two? What can we do to solve them? What could be considered the internal standard of writing?

DE




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