May 8, 2019 at 7:05 am #5104AthelstoneModerator
What would be ideal is an option to indent and insert replies following an entry so that they were clustered after the entry to which they refer. I haven’t seen enough of WordPress or BBpress etc. to be certain, but I think that reply threading only introduces indentation to nest replies, in the same way that replies are handled for “updates”. All posts would still appear in the order posted. I think it’s the idea that the main thread will always be one topic with replies. Reply threading allows replies that are linked to be picked out to some extent. What we need is a thread with multiple topics. The Cloud had the same limitation which, I suppose, is why the rule was introduced there, and why for short story comps we have a separate topic for each entry.May 8, 2019 at 10:33 am #5106RaineParticipant
Sorry for absence … Yes, I like the idea of (positive) commenting within the comp thread, and if sub-threading isn’t an option then tagging people is a fair second best, I guess. So yes please do jump into the current comp if you wish to comment. It will be a nice way for people to get a bit of feedback regardless of the comp results. As @daedalus says somewhere, I think we’re all capable of making judgements without being influenced by prior comments/chat, and anyway, the Cloud system of only commenting on the main wall didn’t stop you (the judge) seeing those comments, did it!?May 8, 2019 at 4:14 pm #5111JonathanParticipant
I know it’s always a tricky one, but what is the definition of positive commentary? Is constructive crit within that purview? What do we want to allow? I ask because in some instances it could be useful to see where a piece went wrong, though of course then again some entrants might not be seeking any kind of feedback. Going back to the point about how we’re probably not going to be swayed by others’ comments here, by the same token do we assume a reasonable degree of robustness when it comes to accepting suggestions from others here, and ditto with there being an assumed level of sensitivity when writing such responses. Personally I regard highly the knowledge, the experience, and the sensibility of people here and feel it could be really useful (no obligations of course!) if someone said, for eg., “this piece is well-written, though you take a little while to get to the inciting incident” or what-have-you. It seems kind of a shame not to use that considerable body of skill. Just a thought anyway, and I totally understand if people would rather not. Maybe there can be a little optional sub-caveat down the bottom that says “will accept any comment” or something.May 8, 2019 at 6:58 pm #5113JaneShuffParticipant
It is a tricky one, Jonathan, and I don’t have all the answers, but the monthly competition is IMO intended to be an encouraging place where writers at all stages of learning the craft can enjoy a challenge, try things out and so on. Or at least I think that’s what it should be. I’m not sure it’s the right place for full on criticism especially as there’s nothing stopping anybody setting up a separate thread for just that purpose. That’s not to say that comments have to nothing but positive but I think they should be more about feeding back what you, as a reader got from the piece, which bits worked for you and which maybe didn’t, but let’s keep discussing it.May 8, 2019 at 7:19 pm #5114KnicksParticipant
Compliments are what comes to mind when I consider the definition of positive commentary. Stating what you liked about a piece to encourage its writer. If someone specifically wants a critique they can ask for it plainly when posting their entry. But I think the general consensus is that this won’t really be the forum in which to offer unsolicited critiques, no matter how constructive, because it’s really just about the word flow and the uncomplicated fun of participating (without pressure).May 9, 2019 at 3:54 am #5122SandraParticipant
Entirely agree with Knicks and Jane. If critique is wanted it should be specifically asked for; where someone believes it would be helpful, a pm is the best place to start. For myself, comp entries are often little more than the flexing of writing muscles.May 9, 2019 at 8:42 am #5123JaneShuffParticipant
I think this discussion is clarifying things. We want the monthly/bi-monthly/whatever frequency competition to be somewhere where people can post unfinished/half-finished/incomplete/never going to be finished/trying-things-out bits of writing as well as more finished and considered things. As such the tone of comments should be positive. If a writer wants a critique they should start a separate thread. Are we happy for people to ask specific questions about their entries within the framework of the competition?
Have I got this right?May 9, 2019 at 8:55 am #5124SandraParticipant
‘Specific questions’? – yes indeed, particularly in the light of the current one – Raine’s saying “It’ll be judged purely on ‘how much do I want to read on’” (which strikes me as a genius note to strike when setting a competition.) Of those posted so far I would say there are those which I am unlikely to pursue, simply because they are not the genre I choose. Nothing whatsoever to do with quality. Others I would read on, without a doubt, and one or two I would ask a question of about ‘where next (for example..May 9, 2019 at 10:49 am #5126RaineParticipant
Yeah, I’d agree, i think the comp works best as a pressure-free place for people to dip their toes in the water or play around a bit. Nice, encouraging comments are a great way of supporting that, but more critiquey comments, although a wonderful thing would perhaps be more useful in the critiquey Forum, or direct posting/messaging, and of course only ever if asked for. If someone wanted to put a note with their comp entry that they’d love some critique, then thats splendid, but I’d like the default to be honest but nice only.May 9, 2019 at 1:23 pm #5127JonathanParticipant
OK yep that all sounds good 🙂
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