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Old 02-05-2009, 10:45 PM View Post #21 (Link)
Rafael Domination (Offline)
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Well, since we all have this new determination, I guess its safe to close this thread. I mean, the situations going to resolve. Everyone 's promised to write a little better, Dio has been deemed an asset, and so on and so forth.

(All the same, though...busy schedules aren't something to laugh at.)
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Old 02-05-2009, 11:23 PM View Post #22 (Link)
Nyx (Offline)
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Don't any of you have school?! How the hell did all that get posted while I was at school...O.o
Okay So it's good to see that we all still care & that we do have some determination left.
The thing is, we've spotted the problem, but it's a pretty vague problem right now, so we should have a simple solution to follow. It's easy to forget about resolutions (guilty as hell, yes I am) and to forget about goals and to fall off track. We will need constant reminders and a straightforward solution.
When I skimmed the posts this stood out to me:

Originally Posted by Tsuki View Post
but I do have a personal life too. I can't sit at my computer and do critiques all day, especially when they take 15-30 minutes to do. I like to do one at a time, and yeah, I should to more, but I physically can't without killing my brain.
/rant
Right. We all have personal lives (or most of us do), and we're busy. As Tsukes stated, it does take a good amount of time to do a solid critique BUT...here's the problem:
MOST of us, like 98%, will spend atleast 15minutes if not more (which is usually more) spamming anyways. We will spend a good 15-20 minutes on the games, common room, newbie, etc threads. So the solution is really clear: When you (& I) have a busy day/week, and you can only spend 20minutes on the site, then CRIT first. If you (&I) have spare time after, then go on non-lit threads. But let's all make it a goal to CRIT or POST LIT before anything else on the site. Infact, how about , atleast for a while to get ourselves back on track:
When we long in, we go straight to the "care to critique?" link, we make one good critique before anything else.
How does that sound?
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Old 02-05-2009, 11:31 PM View Post #23 (Link)
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Originally Posted by Rafael Domination View Post
Well, since we all have this new determination, I guess its safe to close this thread. I mean, the situations going to resolve. Everyone 's promised to write a little better, Dio has been deemed an asset, and so on and so forth.

(All the same, though...busy schedules aren't something to laugh at.)
I didn't say thay were, I'm just stating a fact. There's no point in whining about how busy we are, we should just attack the problem head-on with no complaints, and the problem is that we're not doing our part.
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Old 02-05-2009, 11:33 PM View Post #24 (Link)
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I do try and critique (and as some people have said, it’s sometimes hard to find things to crit) although I have to admit I don’t post anything in the literature section. I write at least 1000 words of my new novel every day, so my reason isn’t because I’ve stopped writing. Maybe it’s the opposite, since I don’t want the first draft of my novel online—I want to edit it before I show it to anyone, and that means first writing it, which is only about halfway done. I’ve often tried short stories for the magazine and just for something else to write (and post for people to read/crit), but novels are definitely more my thing, in which case, I can’t post anything yet.
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Old 02-05-2009, 11:53 PM View Post #25 (Link)
Alex (Offline)
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Originally Posted by Diocletian View Post
So I took some of YWO's esteemed and high-post-count members (sorry if I missed anyone), did some number crunching, and this is what I found.

Spoiler:
Andy - 5 literary topics posted, meaning 1/416 of his posts contributed a piece to YWO.

Shaun - 3 literary topics posted, meaning 1/1086 of his posts contributed a piece to YWO.

Imelda - 1 literary topic posted, meaning 1/1383 of her posts contributed a piece to YWO.

Shadow - 28 literary topics posted, meaning 1/155 of his posts contributed a piece to YWO.

Rafael Domination - 13 literary topics posted, meaning 1/333 of his posts contributed a piece to YWO.

Tsuki - 13 literary topics posted, meaning 1/146 of her posts contributed a piece to YWO.

Nyx - 16 literary topics posted, meaning 1/265 of her posts contributed a piece to YWO.

GeorgeMichael- 14 literary topics posted, meaning 1/97 of his posts contributed a piece to YWO.

Carraka- 4 literary topics posted, meaning 1/474 of her posts contributed a piece to YWO.

Ichigo- 5 literary topics posted, meaning 1/400 of her posts contributed a piece to YWO.


These numbers, with perhaps the exception of GeorgeMichael, are pathetic. I would also excuse Carraka because one of her whopping 4 pieces submitted on YWO is a giganto novel, and maybe Shaun and Andy because I'm assuming they're doing a lot of work behind the scenes keeping YWO afloat. But for the rest of you...where is your resolve to churning the waters in the Writing section? When there are members like Shadow, who spend half of their posts dissing ninjas or pirates, then you've got a serious problem at the top of the hierarchy. Forget the lower echelon members like me, Apple, Lizzie, etc. If you can't submit more than 10 pieces in your entire stay at YWO and have racked up thousands of posts, then it is my opinion that should think about why one is here spending bandwidth in the first place.

Debates, fine. Goo-gooing over one another's pictures in the Pictures Thread, fine. Even your completely inane ninja vs. pirates idiocy that spams up half the threads here (it's gotten a little better over the years), fine. But these should all be secondary. The Writing section of YWO is failing badly, and that's because not enough people care enough about either writing in general - like Zombified, who was at least brave enough to admit it at the end - or don't expect to improve your craft here.

Which brings me to my second point.

Most people here cannot give good critiques. There are certain gem members on YWO whom I have been astoundingly impressed with because of their critiquing, but the rest of you just take a quick look at a story, point out some textual errors, say "LOL great job can't wait for more!" and leave. First of all, why are you acting as copy-editors? If someone has a large number of spelling and grammar mistakes, mention that at the end or something and suggest they go to someone else to fix something as trivial as that. True and proper critiquing has as much to do with ideas and plot and flow as which sentence goes before which sentence and when to use commas. Most critiques on here are dedicated to fixing mundane aspects of pieces instead of the underlying themes, motifs, storyline, etc.

I'm not going to mention names because some of these people are ones I am on amicable terms with, but this problem is especially rampant among those who have higher post counts and/or are established members of the community. I highly suggest the administration get together all of these super-posters and ask them what they're doing here. Implore them to commit to in-depth, thoughtful critiques - after all, they have thousands of posts, so they must have some vested interest in the site.

A third problem is advertising. I haven't seen any. Word-of-mouth always works best when trying to recruit people to forums. It worked splendidly with places like Writer's Beat and Young Writers Society. It even worked to an extent to expand TeenageWriter's membership. But right now, this site has nothing special to it that other sites don't, except the magazine. And even that is neglected; I applaud Shaun for tirelessly promoting the magazine on these forums, but apparently not many have been submitting to it as of late. Start submitting if you care at all about this site. (By the way, it was the same case for the first YWO-sponsored competition back in October, in which a grand total of 4 people submitted pieces to be graded).

Bottom line to the moderators: get your longtime members back in the routine of submitting many pieces and giving many critiques. Start persuading these members to actually go out and do something besides devoting four pages to "Happy Birthday!" and who knows how many pages to "Let's have a secret ninja hideout thread, because ninjas are random and being random makes me feel cool!". And moderators, you need to start submitting things as well, because right now I don't see much of a role model in the moderating team in the way of actually posting pieces to be critiqued. Start acting out the name of this website, or else it's going to degenerate into a social utility site and nothing more.

That would be my two cents on the subject. Of course, I'm still a newbie, so what do I know.
Getting members to submit more pieces is too forced. As an example I'll use myself. I don't write much because my ideas on when and how I should write dictate that, but at the same time, for the periods of time when I am active I always critiqued the hell out of other peoples works. Literary works is fine, but these numbers may be skewed by a few things the long time members were around in the olden days of late 2007 and early 2008 when it was about 12 of us (I wrote a poem about YWO once upon a time and I included everyone, all dozen of us or so). Fewer works, fewer opportunities to critique, and alot of discussion on how to carry the site. Criticizing the older members is no way to go about doing this. We are a collective, quite frankly, and it is all of our faults. Do I think that the socializing has gotten a bit out of hand? Also, Andy and Shaun run the site, its what they do, all the little perks here and there should be acredited to them. Nyx, for the longest time, was one of the most active and prolific critiquers before, like me, her life swept her partially away.

The circumstances were different when many of these thousands of posts were made, and aren't a good barometer of the situation right now.

I lost my train of though a few times through that, I'm sorry, I hope you get my point.
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Old 02-06-2009, 01:23 AM View Post #26 (Link)
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Although I'm not a particularly active poster, I do attempt to critique whenever possible. As of late, my eyes hurt when I stare at the screen too long, making it difficult for me to read much of anything online. However, I have been keeping up with my writing to some degree. I do not write everyday, but I do track my stories and develop them - formulating plots and characters so when I do write, I have a general idea of what I would like to accomplish. In addition, I have attended a writing symposium and this weekend, I'm participating in a writing competition. So, even if I have not been bettering the site by critiquing, I've been busy. ;
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Old 02-06-2009, 02:08 AM View Post #27 (Link)
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Originally Posted by Nyx View Post
Right. We all have personal lives (or most of us do), and we're busy. As Tsukes stated, it does take a good amount of time to do a solid critique BUT...here's the problem:
MOST of us, like 98%, will spend atleast 15minutes if not more (which is usually more) spamming anyways. We will spend a good 15-20 minutes on the games, common room, newbie, etc threads. So the solution is really clear: When you (& I) have a busy day/week, and you can only spend 20minutes on the site, then CRIT first. If you (&I) have spare time after, then go on non-lit threads. But let's all make it a goal to CRIT or POST LIT before anything else on the site. Infact, how about , atleast for a while to get ourselves back on track:
When we long in, we go straight to the "care to critique?" link, we make one good critique before anything else.
How does that sound?
Sounds good to me. I'll try to start doing that this weekend.

Originally Posted by Zaphkiel View Post
I didn't say thay were, I'm just stating a fact. There's no point in whining about how busy we are, we should just attack the problem head-on with no complaints, and the problem is that we're not doing our part.
How about we not get into an argument in the thread?
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Old 02-06-2009, 02:41 AM View Post #28 (Link)
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I think Nyx has a very valid idea. We should all do one critique before we do anything else. just doing that would help others so much... and I think I'll make a One-Month-After-New-Year's-Resolution to write more because as nice as Dio's "With perhaps the exception of GeorgeMichael" statement I've done nothing but try to work on HSW a little... (very bad results have come from that... but it's been from lack of trying really) in around two months... I've done close to nothing of writing stories, just essays and such. So I think I'm going to get back into a schedule of actually setting a daily quota for myself to start writing more, and I'll set a goal of at least one good critique a day. Hopefully I'll keep up with it since I'm still going strong on my two original resolutions (No coke or fast food for a month and still going strong!!! )

So yeah, I agree that our writings have faltered on this site but we're still doing great, and now I'm going to try to do my own little share to help the site again.
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Old 02-06-2009, 02:45 AM View Post #29 (Link)
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Not to say we should instate a communist stranglehold on the forums, but it is possible to encourage literary participation in the forum. Start threads to talk about goals, like a certain amount words/day for writers to strive for, or to try and push people into critiquing at least one work every day.

As for improving the quality of critiques, instructional threads can help as well as MASSIVE BOLD BLOOD RED STICKY MARQUEES AT THE TOP OF THE PAGE SAYING READ ME RIGHT NOW GODDAMMIT BEFORE YOU CRITIQUE ANYTHING. If we want to be even more :SovietRussia: the mods could implement penalties against haphazard critiques. Arguably, the base of the issue is that we, being young writers--kids even--are just figuring out that writing is a strenuous activity. It's tough, it's brutal, and it is rarely fun. Rewarding? Yes, but it largely the result of hard work.



No need to make a dramatic thread of my leaving, I just want them all to know what happened.
Irony approaches at an alarming rate.
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Old 02-06-2009, 03:00 AM View Post #30 (Link)
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Thanks Tsukes & Georgie. What does everyone else think of my idea? Should I make a thread for it? THat way we can discuss maybe once a week how everyone is doing etc, to make the track easier for us all.

@ DefJam101: The drama in this situation is not Zomb leaving but the reason he left which affect us all. So no, no irony here.
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