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Discussion: The Future Of The Collaborative Fiction Forum

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posted on Jul, 5 2005 @ 07:27 PM
DE wrote:
"I have written and posted approximately fifty thousand words of material on another writing site since the beginning of the month. On JUST that one site, over ONE HUNDRED reviews. Over FIVE THOUSAND views. All of it clear, concise, and neatly ordered. "

Hey, don't Bogart that joint my friend, what site are you talking about? I wouldn't mind checking it out.


posted on Jul, 5 2005 @ 07:41 PM
4.) You will not use profanity in our forums, and will neither post with language or content that is obscene, sexually oriented, or sexually suggestive nor link to sites that contain such content. Images of or links to gratuitous gore and/or mutilation are strictly forbidden. This applies to material posted to collaborative fiction and member short story forums. You will also not select usernames that contain profanity. view of this recent discovery, which I missed while researching the legality of a story I posted, I think it's best that I make a request.

Worldwatcher, would you please remove the story, "Drunken Master" before anyone actually reads it and I get banned for life from this forum?

Thank you,


posted on Jul, 5 2005 @ 07:50 PM
HA! I just edited a post on Collaborative Fiction. I made this request a long time ago and just thought it was dismissed. Somewhere along the way a lot of quotation marks in my submissions have been changed to question marks. It will be good to get those squared away.

[edit on 2005/7/5 by GradyPhilpott]

posted on Jul, 5 2005 @ 08:13 PM
Yeah, I know GP. I got Memories de-questionmarked today. I saw the work I have to do on the ATS story, and my heart just dropped into my boots. One step at a time, right?

Also, note to admin: Short Story section fics are uneditable. Which makes Baby Jesus cry.


posted on Jul, 6 2005 @ 08:22 AM
What's the issue with "question marks"?

posted on Jul, 6 2005 @ 12:58 PM
This thread contains a submission of mine that illustrates the problem that I think came up when we changed servers. I'm glad I didn't fix this one yet.

posted on Jul, 6 2005 @ 01:03 PM
Oh... "curly quotes" and other special character madness.

We've long said those are a no-no.

posted on Jul, 6 2005 @ 01:11 PM
I didn't even know I had curly quotes until now and I thought that was an ATSNN issue only. Well, that explains why some quotation marks survived.

posted on Jul, 6 2005 @ 01:40 PM
The Curly Shuffle

Originally posted by SkepticOverlord
Oh... "curly quotes" and other special character madness.

We've long said those are a no-no.

I use them all the time because I haven't found a way to disable them in (probably on line 3682 of some config file somewhere with a name like CurlQuotOptFlagBoolean= or something), and it insists on curly quotes and no others.

Since I use for pretty much everything, that's how it goes.

Curly quotes only seem to have been an issue during the last upgrade, and I have a lot of uneditable older posts that are “questionable” (as in studded with ????), but I guess we can assume that there will be future upgrades, and it may happen again -- although I would hope post content wouldn't need to be re-parsed like that in a future upgrade.

On the bright side, the curly single and double quotes don't get interpreted as quote delimiters in signature blocks (which can screw up color and alignment tags), and I use the curly single quote (or acute accent: ) in blocks of color-tagged text all the time without problems.

But for members who want to avoid having to search/replace question marks with double quotes later, and can configure their word processors accordingly, using the “straight” quotes is a good idea.

[edit on 7/6/2005 by Majic]

posted on Jul, 6 2005 @ 04:52 PM
SO and Majic, the dread curly quotes are no longer an issue. What IS an issue is the lack of editting powers in the Short Story subforum...which is sort of sitting all by it's lonesome.

Many people post longer works there, and once they spy a's usually too late to do anything about it. Plus, with the upgrade, most of the older work is now barely legible due to the question marks. COuld someone please address this issue?


posted on Jul, 6 2005 @ 07:07 PM
Anyone can post to short stories... so the edit function has never been altered from ATS standard.

The server upgrade only coincided with the issue by accident. At the same time, we also began earnest development of our XML feeds, which CANNOT have any special characters.

Deus, I sympathize with your frustration... but if I'm not aware of an issue, there's no way to address it. Have a thread or post about problems simply isn't going to get noticed, unless by accident (as was the case here). U2Uing me, WOS, Simon, Bob88, or Springer will always get much better results.

posted on Jul, 6 2005 @ 07:17 PM
Well, what are we to do?

We can put the edit function back into that one forum, no? Failing that, perhaps the Short Story forum should be restricted to writers only, and then the edit function restored.

Either way, we NEED the capacity to edit.


posted on Jul, 6 2005 @ 07:26 PM
Perhaps, since I have edit capability I can make the necessary edits you wish DE. Of course this would be request only and hopefully it's something small like a few typos and changing quotes or question marks or curly ques or whatever it is.

This is the only option I can think of at the time being.

In the meantime, as you had mentioned quality in submissions, perhaps writers and submitters to the short story forum could take the time to create a more perfect post and fix any errors during the one or two hour edit window that is currently available.

btw there is a new writing contest, as promised for July
see here

[edit on 7-6-2005 by worldwatcher]

posted on Jul, 6 2005 @ 07:57 PM
WW, the offer is appreciated, but unless you're willing to go through all the messed up stories, there's a lot of injustice being done to those writers. Hell, I'm not looking forwards to editting the beast that is My ATS Story. We need that edit function. AT least then, the writers have the onus on themselves.


posted on Jul, 6 2005 @ 08:03 PM
All Work And No Play

In case anyone is wondering, I'm taking some time to catch up on ATS in general, which may make it seem like I'm neglecting CF.

With Mirtfhful Me handling DISC and BlackJackal on debates, I'm taking direct responsibility for the Councilor-related matters of CF, so in a sense it's my “baby”.

What I've learned in Council, however, is that if I focus too much on Council business, I lose perspective, and it makes me less effective as a Councilor.

In particular, I just need to rub elbows with my fellow members in the forums to remind me why I'm here and help me from getting too out of touch with what's going on in the wide, wide world of ATS.

So if you feel like you're left hanging while I'm off contributing to the Three-Word Story in BTS or jumping into flame wars in WoT or whatever, I hope you can appreciate that, first and foremost, I'm a fellow ATSer.

And only a novice Councilor, for now.

If you think you've been forgotten, there's something you should know. I see a lot of what else SO does, and to say he's busy is the understatement of the century.

The fact that he has appeared in this thread as much as he has is very meaningful in light of all the things he has going on.

If you can hang in there, it will take a while, but things are headed in a very good direction.


FYI: My current thinking on CF is to take what I'm learning from SO, what I'm learning about the future ATS that's being hammered out behind the scenes, and working up a strategy for how the creative writing subcommunity will fit into all that. As I learn more, I will be sure to share it with you. -M

posted on Jul, 8 2005 @ 06:23 PM
Majic's Update, July 8, 2005

While there has been much to ponder in the other realms of ATS, I am still thinking about where to get started in CF.

Having poked around ATSNN a bit and considered SO's advice, I agree that subforums are not necessarily the answer to our prayers.

The important starting points for CF are, in my opinion, classifying the work and opening the “writers workshop” in some form.

I'm still not clear on implementation, but the basic idea seems to be using standardized thread tags (e.g., “Poem:”, “Short Story:”, “Workshop:”, etc.) to classify threads, then use interfaces to deal with them.

ATSNN offers an example of how this is done. When a member submits an article, the submission form handles the classification of the thread by offering a set of choices from a drop-down menu.

This same sort of system could be used to classify incoming art in this forum, and might also be used to manage collaborative efforts, perhaps.

On the other side of things, straight XMB listings of the forum would probably look a bit busy with all the tags, but right off the bat folks could access categories simply by sorting the forum alphabetically.

However, we could do better than that by offering a form-based front-end that can display the different work in a prettier format.

Doing this will require planning and admin/moderator time (which must be carefully budgeted), but having considered the matter, I am convinced this is a much better direction for CF than using subforums.

I'll keep you posted as this develops, but ask that writers be as patient as possible, because there's a lot going on behind the curtain.

For my part, I am committed to making sure CF and my fellow writers are well-represented throughout the upcoming changes.

posted on Jul, 12 2005 @ 09:26 PM
Majic's Update, July 12, 2005

I want to make sure you know I'm not leaving you hanging, hence a brief update.

I've solicited your input and have what I think is a good set of priorities for action, now I need to learn how to do the other side of things: negotiate with the site administrators to make things happen.

I'm new at this, so let's assume that I'm going to suck at it. However, I do try to learn as I go, and that's where CF comes in.

There's a lot going on behind the scenes, and it's big. CF will be a part of it, but only a part.

In an attempt to kill two birds with one stone, I am planning to use CF as my “training forum”, with an eye toward learning how to collaborate with the admins to modify, reorganize and create new forums in general.

The bad news is that this strategy makes CF my training forum, we can expect me to make mistakes, and this will tend to test your patience, not just the forum.

The good news is that, as a test bed, CF may well be one of the first forums to take on the new face of ATS.

None of this has been approved, and there may be problems with my approach that I haven't considered -- because I am, after all, new at this.

Oh hey, did I mention I'm a novice Councilor?

Novice or not, I want you to know where I am in the process, and that I plan to keep you informed as events unfold.


P.S. Nothing I am considering or proposing should be construed as being cavalier about the safety of the posts in CF. The integrity of the site's database is paramount, and special care must be taken when testing anything. I will not recommend anything which jeopardizes your data. The interface, on the other hand, will probably start off ugly and get prettier. Lettuce prey.

[edit on 7/12/2005 by Majic]

posted on Jul, 14 2005 @ 02:16 AM
This is my suggestion on how to make things rock. Some of this comes from being a coder. Some comes from having an incredible lack of patience.

First off I'd identify the top writers. I'd give them and staff access to reply to posts and to vote on new submissions and to vote on whether to revoke access to the CF forum.

By default users would have only read access to the forum. They would not be able to reply to any posts. They would however be able to submit a story where it would be able to be voted on much like news stories are voted on at ATSNN. Maybe vote the story up, down or out.

A vote up on a story would move it in the direction of CF Advanced. A vote down would move it in the direction of CF Intermediate. A vote out would be to have it removed completely. Lets say you set the limit to 10 votes but you only get 5 up and 5 down. The result would be down. You would need 10 up votes to get into advanced.

Once a story is approved the author gains access to voting on stories as well as the ability to reply to stories. Also once at this level the author would have the ability to vote out a CF member. Once a member is voted out he/she goes back to default read access until a new story gets approved.

This gives authors the ability to post works without having just anyone come along and trash their efforts. Having the two categories also allows an author to be recognized for a superb story. In the event that a good author happens to be abusive or rude other authors by vote would have the ability to revoke that users access. This of course will make it less likely but possible for the person to get back in to replying to stories.

The end result should be a free flow of creative works.

posted on Jul, 14 2005 @ 02:19 AM
Indy, I like your ideas. I like them a lot.

I support your plans. Does anyone disagree with this methodology? Mods, how hard would this be to code?


posted on Jul, 14 2005 @ 02:21 AM
Based on SO's previous work this should be easy. But I won't speak for him. I would be like "ugh.. more changes?" lol. But thats me.

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