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Showcase Forum Split?

Discussion in 'Ask the Staff' started by BWFoster78, Apr 2, 2014.

  1. BWFoster78

    BWFoster78 Myth Weaver

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    There seem to be two uses for the Showcase.

    1. The most common use appears to be putting works up for the purpose of having it critiqued.

    2. A lesser use is to show off ones work to the community.

    Would it make any sense at all to divide the Showcase into two sub-forums, one for each purpose?

    Just a thought...

    Brian
     
  2. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

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    I don't personally see a need for more forums. I've always felt that too many can start to spread the community thin. But maybe we could find a way for people to label their more complete works as such in the thread title?
     
  3. BWFoster78

    BWFoster78 Myth Weaver

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    Devor,

    Your suggestion, should a way to implement it be determined, would resolve the main issue.

    Thanks.

    Brian
     
  4. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    Maybe a change in the name of the forum? "Showcase" makes it sound more like a place to showoff work, and less like a place to receive critiques. That said, however, I think anyone who posts work there should be prepared to receive a critique on it, whether they want one or not :)
     
    BWFoster78 likes this.
  5. T.Allen.Smith

    T.Allen.Smith Staff Moderator

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    If posters would read the "How to Use the Showcase" sticky, there wouldn't be much need for change:

     
  6. Caged Maiden

    Caged Maiden Staff Article Team

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    What about just having an icon or a different color? I agree that in the showcase, people usually put it up there to show, and then they ask for what kind of feedback they're looking for. Most of the people who use it frequently have little or no experience doing or receiving crits. Most haven't shown their work a lot, either. I've put up a couple things there asking for crits, but nothing in the past year. I think often, the titles tell me who wants comments and who wants readers to just see it and give general comments like, "ooh... cool world!"

    I think if we could use anything, maybe it's a sticky in the showcase or elsewhere, where people can post "ads" for crit partners or groups.
     
  7. BWFoster78

    BWFoster78 Myth Weaver

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    That would be useful, but, if wishes were fishes...
     
  8. T.Allen.Smith

    T.Allen.Smith Staff Moderator

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    Yes. But the directions are there nonetheless. Any member should feel free to direct posters to the Forum stickies. (/hint) ;)
     
  9. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

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    BWF, can I ask what you would hope to achieve by separating the forum?

    There are some reasons that I would see as a good argument for considering it. It would be nice to encourage people to post works they consider more complete and finished, and to be able to spot those all at a glance. Or to know how much feedback somebody is looking for before you click on the title (maybe the title has stars, where the more stars means they want tougher feedback).

    But, I kind of think the result would be more along the lines of, "Hey, we're here to give you a critique, if you don't want one here's a dump forum for you to post in." I don't see a point in that.

    Like T.Allen pointed out, the forum guidelines ask you to specify the kind of feedback you're looking for. If that for some reason needs to be changed, that's one thing. But if people aren't following those guidelines, that's just a simple matter of pointing it out and asking them to specify what they're looking for before you post your critique. Eventually people will catch on.
     
  10. BWFoster78

    BWFoster78 Myth Weaver

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    Devor,

    Two reasons:

    1. It's easier to give critiques if you know the person wants a critique, and most new posters don't include the information.

    2. It just seems like the two purposes are completely different. It would be like having the publishing and marketing subforums be combined. Yes, there's some overlap, but each has its own purposes and rules. Right now, the Showcase forum is primarily a critique forum. Maybe splitting it would spur the use of an actual Showcase forum.

    Again, this isn't a huge issue or anything. Just a thought...
     
  11. Zero Angel

    Zero Angel Auror

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    I agree with Brian.

    (Aside: I seem to be saying that more and more, and it still feels incongruous EVERY TIME.)

    Although having the posts clearly labeled in the title would help A LOT.
     
    BWFoster78 likes this.
  12. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

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    Thanks for answering that, BW.

    I would personally love to see people posting their best stuff just to show off. But I don't think a new forum would make it happen. I think you'd see a lot of stories posted in the new critiques-free Showcase that still aren't ready for prime time, while someone who is confident in their work, or working to get it published, would still be willing to see critiques. Add in piracy issues, and "Hey, your Showcase story is missing a comma" comments, and I don't see it working out.

    If you want to see people show off their work, encourage everyone to submit to the ezine, although I'm not up to date with where that stands.

    I think there are issues with the Showcase, and one of them is that people aren't clear about what they're looking for or what kind of advice they should be giving. But I don't think pulling out the handful of stories that don't want much feedback is going to fix it.

    I think there might be some kind of format we could try using in the thread titles. But if people aren't being clear about what they want, I still think asking them is the best way to set the standard.
     
  13. Svrtnsse

    Svrtnsse Staff Article Team

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    What about the Self-Promotion forum? Is it meant exclusively for when you have things already published or can I post things there just to show off something cool I've done and that I'm happy with?

    I'm regularly posting about my updates for my WIP there, without asking for feedback, it's far from ready and feedback IS needed, but my posts in Self-Promotion are mainly just to show off that I'm doing something.
     
  14. T.Allen.Smith

    T.Allen.Smith Staff Moderator

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    This means that you may post your unpublished work for promotional purposes. You may also promote published works and other promotion types events/materials.
     
  15. Caged Maiden

    Caged Maiden Staff Article Team

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    I'm agreeing with Devor here. I posted a question recently about one single thing. Should I paint a sword onto my book cover. Well, I didnt include a photo for good reason, because the painting isn't finished and until it is, it isn't going to be cropped, formatted, titled, or even photoshopped for maximum effect. Well... I posted the photo and did get some good comments back on the original questions, but more of the comments revolved around cropping and font. I'm all for sharing, even when it's me with my pants down, but if I posted a finished, professional-quality (according to me) piece, I just KNOW I'm gonna get some comments like, "I'm not sure I like the word 'ghost'. Could you change it to spirit?" AND "I'm not understanding why you didn't describe the setting before you show the assassin on the window ledge. What kind of city is it?"

    While I always try to be polite, it's discouraging to see that sort of stuff and it just makes me not post. In fact, it's the reason I post so few things in the showcase. Now I'm fortunate enough to have valuable crit partners from this forum and other sites (corresponding in email), but some people don't have that. This Showcase is the only thing they have and they want feedback. Unfortunately, it discourages people like me from entering anything (not because I consider myself "better" in any way).
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2014
  16. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

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    Thanks . . . . and sorry about that. :oops:
     
  17. Caged Maiden

    Caged Maiden Staff Article Team

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    I didn't name names. ;) and you're the best either way. I just wished people had limited their crits to the original question and it appeared several people didn't even read the posts where I explained why I didn't want to post a pic originally--namely that it was unfinished and not formatted because it was unfinished. I still found the bonus crits helpful, like Ers's (or whatever, sorry) and Ruby's, where they actually gave me impressions based on the colors (something I hadn't really considered as it's going to get edited digitally). So overall, a good experience. But I've spent 12 hours on that. If I get that level of crit for a book it took me 7 months to edit and another 6 months to write... I might feel a touch miffed that people didn't read the beginning blurb or whatever and saw that it was something I'm 95% happy with, but tore into it like they would any first draft that's in need of major overhauls. The thing is, we all read different types of books. The style in which I wrote this one is similar to some I've seen and read, and I'm happy with the text, narration, dialogues, etc. Not that I'm not willing to hear real concerns. But to have it nit-picked apart rather than, ("I really didn't get the intro scene, thought it could use a little more detail in who the characters are, but the ending of chapter one left me begging for more--especially when I realized I couldn't simply turn the page!) would sort of irritate me, and I'm sure, others. The point that we would still see weak writing entered as "just about ready for publication" is hands-down a fact. Let's be real, we see it self-pubbed all the time, stuff we wouldn't ever sign our names to. And for those of us who are really THAT ready...there is little incentive to post just to be nit-picked because we have crit partners and beta readers we respect and have rapport with. Why would we ever throw it out there so carelessly?

    I do apologize if I'm coming off as ... I dont know...too good. I'm not, I'm sick with a fever and not entirely as right with vocabulary as I usually am. I just had this exact experience once with Critters, where I traded novels with someone (who had a very good chapter 25 posted) and she found almost 50 words of things to say in my first ten chapters of my novel, and I had over 5k words to say about her first five (not least of which was to cut the first two chapters where nothing happened). So disappointing. It's the only time I've ever resented a crit. Also the only crit partner I've broken up with.

    BUt one thing happens when I trade with my crit partners with which I have rapport. They already understand my style and can immediately pick out what isn't "Anita-ish" rather than what isn't "them-ish". If I posted something ready to query, I would feel bogged down by comments like, "I don't like this guy's name." I'd expect readers to trust me a bit and not try to find fault in everything.
    sorry if i sound like a bitch. just been burned an don't wanna get close to the fire again.
     
    JRFLynn likes this.
  18. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

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    That's not how you come across at all. I think anyone who has something close enough to make them think seriously about publishing would agree with this. The Showcase, as it stands, doesn't get you very far. It can be very helpful if you're new to the experience and want to get a feel for what things are like. But ultimately it's limited. It's something you mostly move past as you develop. And I'm sure we can make it better, but it can't replace the feedback you can get with steady writing partners.
     
  19. Caged Maiden

    Caged Maiden Staff Article Team

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    Thank you Devor, for taking the time for my limited writing skills today. I wanted to convey it in a positive way the limitations but cite clear examples. I was afraid I just came off as snooty or something, which I am not. I try to be as humble today as I was three years ago. I just know a lot more now. But I share it willingly with anyone who wants to listen, and epsecially those who ask. And I always say the same things in crits..."This is only my opinion and I don't want you to feel there is a right way or wrong way. I'm focused on showing you ways I think your manuscript could be STRONGER. Help connect more with the scene, the setting, characters, etc. OMG I'm so sick. Se you all later. Im going to bed at 7
     
  20. The Blue Lotus

    The Blue Lotus Auror

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    BWFoster has a valid point to some extent.

    The showcase is a jumbled mess.
    However, there is a really simple solution.

    When one goes to start a new thread if they would LOOK at the bottom there are these really cool icons they can tag the post with.
    A light bulb, question mark etc.
    If you are tossing out a rough draft and just looking to see what people think of the concept tag it with a light bulb, If you want a crit tag it with the question mark. There is even one that looks like a newspaper that could designate something that is as polished as it is going to be and is just for "Showing Off." It works for normal replies too! Just hit "advanced" which is how I got the cool circular arrow next to this post here. :)

    Making a whole new section for the site, in my opinion is not necessary. First for the reasons pointed out below me, that most of us have a small trusted group we have built a relationship with, for the detailed nitty gritty editing. And secondly a lot of us tend to not post final drafts of things because they/we want to entertain the idea of being published, or because they are unable to pull it down without going through a mod.

    Caged, you don't sound like a "bitch" I was upset to see some of the comments you received myself. Not just because I consider you a valued friend, but because the first post was so very clear in what you were seeking, followed by many more, just as detailed postings, about why you did x, y or z. And yet half the posters did not bother to read any of them, or so it seemed.

    I've had similar experiences where I ask for an apple and get a whole fruit basket, and so I just stopped doing it. Not just here, but on other similar forums as well. It seems to be a sort of thread reading ADD or something??

    I'll stick to my small group and call it a day. It is not worth the hassle in my opinion.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2014
    Zero Angel likes this.
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