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> Elder Scrolls Community competition
kementari
post May 27 2008, 08:06 AM
Post #141


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Joined: 26-May 08



QUOTE(Alexander @ May 26 2008, 11:49 PM) *

Boy, I hope the (judges) who haven't posted here won't read this thread, I don't think I'd ever be able to convince them to sacrifice their precious time again to judge a competition when the entrants appear so demanding and yes, ungrateful.


For emphasis.

Seriously, kids. Take a step back. This kind of overreaction is the sort of thing that will guarantee no future competitions.

For the sake of those of us who didn't get to participate and may wish to in the future, I ask any judges reading here to disregard the comments of those who clearly don't understand what it is they're saying.

This post has been edited by kementari: May 27 2008, 08:08 AM


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stargelman
post May 27 2008, 08:16 AM
Post #142


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QUOTE(paragenic @ May 27 2008, 12:57 AM) *

I have honest, legitimate concerns about the ability of the judges to make their conclusions.

You know, if I weren't such a nice guy.... huh.gif


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0rimus
post May 27 2008, 08:18 AM
Post #143


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From: Reno, NV



QUOTE(kementari @ May 27 2008, 12:06 AM) *

QUOTE(Alexander @ May 26 2008, 11:49 PM) *

Boy, I hope the (judges) who haven't posted here won't read this thread, I don't think I'd ever be able to convince them to sacrifice their precious time again to judge a competition when the entrants appear so demanding and yes, ungrateful.


For emphasis.

Seriously, kids. Take a step back. This kind of overreaction is the sort of thing that will guarantee no future competitions.

For the sake of those of us who didn't get to participate and may wish to in the future, I ask any judges reading here to disregard the comments of those who clearly don't understand what it is they're saying.


*PAH-CHOW!*
*Looks down at bullet-hole wound incredulously, then at Umbra in hand*
"How... could.. I..."
"Where's your nine now?"

Lol, SO glad I played middle of the road now, dodged the "bullet" there. Never demand which isn't yours by right. The verdict of these judges is the sole opinion of the judge, owned by that judge, and only by that judge. I'll admit to a little initial ingratitude, but never demanded anything, and the ingratitude wasn't very severe anyway.

*Pulls bullet out of chest, heals wound, points to the side*
"It was him!"
*Runs into the woods while Kementari pulls the slide of thier nine back-*
"I pity da foo who ain't 'spectin' the judges"
*PAH-CHOW!* smile.gif

This post has been edited by 0rimus: May 27 2008, 08:21 AM
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raggidman
post May 27 2008, 09:53 AM
Post #144


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Joined: 21-April 08



QUOTE
paragenic sez: Consider, if you please, the Michelin Guide for restaurants. The criterion there is not "did the critic enjoy the meal" which is such a subjective criterion it is laughable to even consider since some people like Coquilles St.-Jaques, for instance, and others don't. Even the notion of having a single criterion is ridiculous. Instead, what you get in a Michelin guide is single score that is the result of a combination of subscores. I would recommend that, for future instalments, Chorrol would do something similar. Examples of CONCRETE criteria could be: (one) originality (two) coherence of plot (three) meaningfulness to the world of TES (four) imaginative power (five) believability of the characters etc. etc. etc... This would have benefits for the submitters of the stories and also for the judges, and it would make the process a bit more transparent. If a clear set of criteria existed from the beginning, I am sure that this thread would be many pages shorter.
Rules? Though I do not like 'regimentation' I kinda like these categories - as guides to judging and scrutinising ... not as rules - because again we get back to the subjective.

As for Dagothlivion I have to agree with paragenic there in spades - it was excellently written, inventive and most entertaining all the way through - more so than most of the others in the category on any set of standards and I cannot see how it was missed. It employed some techniques that I used in my short story about spies like us - and I wish that I had written Dagothlivion.- I would be honored if the author pops up and says he was inspired by my work, but not surprised if he got his inspiration through other reading or stuff! It totally took me by surprise when I read it, and I felt that I was almost playing the game and discovering new stuff. It's quality as an entertaining piece and cunning penmanship is so obvious the kindest construction I can put on this result was that none of the judges actually read it.

Since I have not yet discovered the list of all the positions of all the entries I have no idea how far down this it was, but I have no doubt that a great disservice was done to this fine piece. It seems that it has been unjustly consigned to Dagothlivion. :nods:



Mr Orimus since you have changed your mind I shall apply your own analogy: if an uncut diamond is presented in a competition for jewellers vs a selection of highly polished and well-cut gems, no matter the potential quality of the uncut gem it aint gonna win ... and should not do so. Forget the spelling Nazi thing - it seems that spelling was not such an important consideration - but if you present an uncompleted work you have to expect to lose points for that as it is a competition for the best, not the best but we are going to give bonus points to people for not completing their work for whatever reason.

What you might have done if it was not finished to your satisfaction, as was pointed out, is wait for the next competition or simple post it as a story on the Forums. Who knows what might have happened.

I have found Alexander's post now. Wish all that had been in a separarte pinned and locked thread as it has sorta been buried. And it would be nice to include the list of the judges names in such a new thread as they arre all public domain.

This post has been edited by raggidman: May 27 2008, 10:01 AM
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Burnt Sierra
post May 27 2008, 11:24 AM
Post #145


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QUOTE(raggidman @ May 27 2008, 09:53 AM) *

It's quality as an entertaining piece and cunning penmanship is so obvious the kindest construction I can put on this result was that none of the judges actually read it.


That is out of order. I'm getting really bloody annoyed that people are casting aspersions on the character of the judges simply because our choices don't match theirs.

QUOTE(paragenic @ May 27 2008, 05:33 AM) *

Things like coherence of plot, consistency and believability of characters, or originality, if taken into account, would certainly not give the same results. But, as I've learned, this doesn't seem to be the point and that is my second concern


What the hell do you think we judged them on? Let me give you a clue:

Plot
Characterisation
Dialogue
Writing Style
Language
Pacing
and finally Personal Enjoyment.

Wouldn't give the same results indeed. Yet again you mean that we are unsuited to judge, whilst you are. Your opinion being clearly more important than ours.

QUOTE(paragenic @ May 27 2008, 05:33 AM) *

If these changes are not made, this will stay a mom & pop forum with competitions involving amateur writers and amateur judges.


As compared to what? Professional writers being marked by professional judges? Excuse me, I'll just get on the phone and see if Philip Roth wants to write a fanfiction for an online competition, and get Michael Chabon to come and judge it. Perhaps your expectations are totally unrealistic.

This is a fansite - by fans, for fans. Perhaps you need to remember who the audience is for the games. That same audience are those who are both writing and judging. If you want to write a sci-fi piece that's judged by professional writers of the standard you demand, perhaps you'd be better off at a website designed for that purpose, like Critters. Be warned though, they won't accept fanfiction.


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raggidman
post May 27 2008, 02:04 PM
Post #146


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Joined: 21-April 08



BSD-IES - THAT WAS NOT INTENDED AS PERSONAL CRITICISM. Nor as casting aspersions on anyone's character. What it is is criticism of a result. Now I had thought that was legitimate. and if you wish to criticise my judgement on this matter that is fine with me = judge not lest ye be judged. So that means I believe I have to take your criticism to heart also because I have been judging the judges' decisions. :shrugs: And I have done. I was shocked that you felt that way. sad.gif

Natch I believe that what I said was correct wink.gif But I feel for you in the hard task that you have bravely undertaken - and that is :uh ohh: not over yet. I can imagine that some of the judges actually felt sorry that they felt they could not give more 'points' to some of the wonderful stories. But I also did not see any story in the category that could compare with Dagothlivion. That is what my (admittedly hurried as I was on the way to hospital for more tests) comment meant.

I also believe that you should all be willing to deal with the criticism that is going to come your way, not least because everyone's a critic, and save outrage for when people are intentionally going over the line to cause harm to you, rather than imagining they are against you. I know I am not, and I do not believe for a moment that paragenic is either. Hell, I cannot tell you how many times I have felt angered by things people have said to and about me that I felt were unjustified - only to learn later that they saw their statements in an entirely different light :shrugs: - we really need a :shrugs: button on this board wink.gif - ooops, another criticism. blink.gif

my 10cents - now ban me if you still think I was being deliberately damaging - because if it was not a mistake I deserve to be banned.
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Burnt Sierra
post May 27 2008, 02:35 PM
Post #147


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"the kindest construction I can put on this result was that none of the judges actually read it."

Those were your words, and that's what I took umbrage to. Sorry, but how else could I possibly read that? Of course we read it, we read all the entries, and several times each. Most of the comments you've made have been fine, hell some have been very useful. You've encouraged people to give each other feedback in the other thread, which I think is a terrific idea. You're not the first person to suggest (look back a couple of pages if you don't believe me) that the judges didn't read the stories. Do you honestly think that any judge who has spent time carefully reading each and every story, weighing up the pro's and con's of each isn't going to take offence at that?


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raggidman
post May 27 2008, 07:38 PM
Post #148


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Joined: 21-April 08



You have to look at the difference between a statement of fact and reaching out for words to describe bafflement. Far better in my opinion that you make a mistake than that you don't have a clue if you see what I mean? This is not saying that you made that mistake, but rather that it would be preferable.

Thing is you accepted the job of referee - so you knew people would say you were blind. Just as you have effectively told everone who did not get first place overall or your vote as first place that their stories were not as good as another story. So they kick up a bit. In this case I was totally turned off by the name Dagothlivion. And Dagoths? I felt I had enough of them. I thought it was going to be another re-iteration of the same old tale that so many other writers are repeating over and over. But wow! Reading this story blew away all my preconceptions and I saw paragenic was taking stick for being too critical in support of this highly talented writer, so I felt I had to support what he was saying on the matter of his assessment of the story which is so true that I feel the ref was blind. It does not mean that I or they are your enemy or wish you ill.

Maybe you missed the parody and irony and satirical elements in the story? De gustibus non disputandem? Someone suggested to me that the ending totally left him unmoved and that it is not possible to argue about taste, but that seems to be the only basis we have left to look at this on. What about was it really ES? Well it is really as much or more ES than almost all the other tales I have read here because it accepts the conventions of ES and yet presents something totally new. As if the characters do not have to prove they are ES-like. This was a story so totally immersed in ES that no reader could claim that it was from anything else for sure. After all, if the actors in Mournhold in the open air theatre had to put on on, what could a comedy about the Dagoth's be like? Bloody brilliant.

One thing that I have felt about this judging system - which is comparable to Olympic judging re Ice Skating and Diving - is that you can end up with an unfortunate winner who is no one's first choice. Oops, it happened. Also what can happen in such a small community is that the judges have read a writer's work so often that they become innured to its charms. Hell, there are so many problems with this kind of thing ...

Since you push it, unfortunately, I will not dispute that each individual judge did his or her best. .... think about that. If I were a judge I would have preferred to look at it the other way. But also please accept that such competitions are never truly fair. So I think it is better for the judges to take the time now to explain what they were thinking in some detail, if they can, simply because there are writers out there who are bound to feel bad as a result of the decisions when they actually were not necessarily inferior an dcan benefit from the judges feedback. I cannot force them to do so.

That is one reason that, if I can, I will continue to work on the 'your views' thread (remember I have been trying to read them all and I'm now trying to give feedback too) to give my views of each piece that I can, in the hopes that all those people whose stories I can empathise with will not feel left out, or that their work is less than it is. And please forgive me, but that is more important to me than the judges (however fair they tried to be) now.

Face it, I respect you more for your story 'A Beautiful Duel', and you guys (judges) generally more for the writing , modding, administrating etc that you do, than as judges. Now I can refrain from saying that, but then am I then doing both you and the author of that tale a disservice if I do not give you the same feedback that I give the writers. And who would believe what I say in future? Who will crit the critics smile.gif This may be unfortunate if you intend to take up careers as professional judges tongue.gif But on the basis of that one story it is what I feel. :shrug: My approach is better that you, I and others get the chance to vent and explain ourselves - even if we make mistakes in doing so - than that we refuse criticism entirely and fail to improve our skills.

All this is the reason that unpaid judges are hard to find for this kind of competition.

The one thing I would change about all this is that all the info that came out bit by bit about the judging and results would have better been made available with the top placings. And there should have been more back up arranged so that people other than the judges were able to say: 'this is what happened'.

This post has been edited by raggidman: May 27 2008, 08:01 PM
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Burnt Sierra
post May 27 2008, 07:59 PM
Post #149


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Like I said, the only comment I had a problem with was the one I previously quoted. I really like the fact you're trying to get people's opinions in the story thread, I think that's a really positive thing. I also have no problem with you or Paragenic thinking we made a mistake in overlooking a story you both feel was the best. I had a problem with the way it was being stated. Let me explain, then let's move on. This is what you wrote above:

"it was excellently written, inventive and most entertaining all the way through - more so than most of the others in the category on any set of standards and I cannot see how it was missed. It employed some techniques that I used in my short story about spies like us - and I wish that I had written Dagothlivion.- I would be honored if the author pops up and says he was inspired by my work, but not surprised if he got his inspiration through other reading or stuff! It totally took me by surprise when I read it, and I felt that I was almost playing the game and discovering new stuff. It's quality as an entertaining piece and cunning penmanship is"

If I stop it there, we have a nicely reasoned argument, disagreeing with the judges decision. We had our opinion, you have yours. Absolutely fine. I'm also sure that if the author reads it, they'd be delighted to see their story has had such an impact on you and Paragenic. Now Paragenic also employed a similar approach, praising the story (great), explaining why he thought it was a great story (wonderful). If he'd stopped there, nobody would have minded even a little bit. A conflict of opinions maybe, but nobody would object to that. We did object to the addition of this:

"I have honest, legitimate concerns about the ability of the judges to make their conclusions."

Comments like that, and suggesting the only reason a story was overlooked was that we couldn't be bothered to read it cross a line. The line between disagreeing with a decision, and explaining why (which you both did), to just insulting and calling into question the character and competance of people you don't know. Purely on the basis of the fact the story wasn't as well received by the judges as by the two of you. That's going too far. Disagree with our decisions all you want, but there is no need to make rude comments about the people who made the decisions.



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raggidman
post May 27 2008, 08:18 PM
Post #150


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I did not say: the judges did not read that story. To suggest such a thing is like saying 'this is' is the same as 'this is not'.

Also you are forgetting that there are many senses in which the phrase 'did not read' can be taken.

Thus it can be said: You can read a piece hundreds of times and still miss the sense of it = you did not read it. [edit: and please do not take offense at the wording. It is impersonal.]

It could be that this is a piece that for you is 'before your time' or something you are not yet prepared to understand or appreciate.

In Soho Square, London, England this weekend there was a TV show presentation. They hired a promo company to put up a Huge White Board, and had someone write in the Top Left in huge letters: 'Culture is ... '

They set up a camera pointing at the board, and encouraged passers-by to add something

Guess how many interpretations of that 2 word phrase there were at the end of two days?

Besides, I am not unhappy with the result of this exchange. Because I pushed the line you have given a far more personal view into what you were thinking, and doing - the whole process comes over as a more human ond personal one, and I am sure that will be appreciated by many of the writers. It's sound journalistic technique laugh.gif

This post has been edited by raggidman: May 27 2008, 08:20 PM
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Burnt Sierra
post May 27 2008, 08:42 PM
Post #151


Two Headed cat
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QUOTE(raggidman @ May 27 2008, 08:18 PM) *

Besides, I am not unhappy with the result of this exchange. Because I pushed the line you have given a far more personal view into what you were thinking, and doing - the whole process comes over as a more human ond personal one, and I am sure that will be appreciated by many of the writers. It's sound journalistic technique laugh.gif


So it doesn't matter who you upset, just as long as you get what you want? You know, that sound journalistic technique. You really are something. We don't do that at this forum. If you'd taken the time to discover that before upsetting people, and acting like you owned the place, you would know that. You received a pm from Alex earlier, which you've ignored. I think it's time I tried a little moderating technique.


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Alexander
post May 27 2008, 09:18 PM
Post #152


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QUOTE(raggidman @ May 27 2008, 09:18 PM) *

It could be that this is a piece that for you is 'before your time' or something you are not yet prepared to understand or appreciate.

Besides, I am not unhappy with the result of this exchange. Because I pushed the line you have given a far more personal view into what you were thinking, and doing - the whole process comes over as a more human ond personal one, and I am sure that will be appreciated by many of the writers. It's sound journalistic technique laugh.gif


Hm, even after all I and Stargelman have said in this thread, and after the time I took to explain it further in the pm's we exchanged you would post a thing such as this.

Unfortunately some people can't take a hint very good, not even when it's right there for everyone to see. Just so everyone knows, Raggidman has been suspended for a short period of time for failing to comply with what was made very clear in here. There is a line, and you do not cross the line without repercussions.

I hope this will serve as an example for others. Look up my earlier posts, that's the line, please don't cross it.
Thank you.


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minque
post May 28 2008, 11:55 AM
Post #153


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First of all; Congrats to all the winners! And trey, I didn't know you were in! But of course when Trey enters a competition....times will be hard for all the others! wink.gif



Now I know why I'm generally not so very fond of discussions! why is it that every time there is some kind of competition, there also just has to be a lot of discussions, all of them not entirely nice..

Gah....I'm so tired of it, and I must say I'm almost glad I didn't perticipate!

The meaning of this should be to have fun! So please do not put so much prestige in it, just write, compete and accept the results, how hard can it be? kvleft.gif


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Jordy
post May 28 2008, 10:08 PM
Post #154


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While I understand some of the concerns people have expressed over the competition (though note I don't support the personal digs at the judges) it's a great shame this thread had to kick off so much. I hope there are future competitions, and that they're less controversial.

This post has been edited by Jordy: May 28 2008, 10:11 PM
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0rimus
post May 29 2008, 03:59 AM
Post #155


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Alex was kind enough to send me some feedback, and said I could share it if I wanted to. Well I do. And to my pleasure, Alex presented alot of his critique as questions. Question that I could answer. I probably should put up a spoiler warning, but to be honest, I'd rather have someone read this before my story, for preemptive clarification. Also, I'll give away as little as possible in my answers:

- Why did Nathaniel wait until the very end to show his true colors when he had far better moments for it before, like in the minotaur attack?

I decided to do this story in limited third person naration, and it seems I took the "limited" part too seriously. I didn't want the reader to know things that Sturm himself didn't know, or be more aware than he was. In retrospect I should've done it from first person, but I'm not fond of that form of writing, and I'm not very good at it (I always end up subconsiously switching back to third smile.gif

- What's the connection between the Dark Brotherhood and lord Rajah? If any?

This one pains me the most. It seems I got so far into my own made up world, and was so used to relying on the fact that everyone here (mostly) have played Oblivion. There is no connection, though I didn't specifically say that, and I did compare the two, so I see how people got lost. Shameful...

- Early in the story it's mentioned Sturm doesn't want to join factions, and then the thing with the Dark Brotherhood is mentioned.

Sturm just didn't want to be tied to one class, like warrior or thief. This is the affiliation he hopes to avoid, and he'll stop his travel to join any group (such as with the infiltration group) if they pay well enough smile.gif

- Why did they travel around from city to city after Cheydinhall and not pick up any new recruits until Bruma? Gives me the impression the travel was just to fill some time.

Time constraint. I planned on having the travel more detailed (including Fred being abducted by goblins, and Sturm leading the rescue, thereby earning his respect). Also, I wanted the travel to be more realistic (I increased the size of Cyrodiil drastically) and again with the (severely) limited third person thing: Sturm travels alot, and since I made Cyrodiil bigger, there was less interference along the way (I also made animals more docile). I kinda thought of it like when survivorman travels: A occasional shot of a bird or the sky, but otherwise nothing unless he runs into an animal. Kinda like a time lapse, or going in fast-forward. Also, some of the cities Erin and Stan already tried, and they acctually did stop to recruit like Chorrol, but were unsuccessful.

- What's the story with the daughter of Ocato and how she got at Rajah's place?

For the third time: I didn't want people to know about things Sturm himself didn't (so the surprise would be, you know, a surprise). And to answer: She was somewhat willingly abducted, Ocato doesn't pay much attention to her.

- Why the burning or even theft of the Elder Scroll?

As a display of being more powerful/capable than the Empire, and to piss them off, kinda like a Martyr, if the legion storms down there and kills the Heretics (deluded citizens of the IL, but citizens none the less) people wouldn't be too happy about it, and the Empire would lose even more support. They also wanted to bring the legion down there, for home-field advantage, hence the infiltrators mapping and gathering of info.

- Why is Sturm mistaken for a Teenager, even though he looks "deceptively young"?

I never outrightly tell how old Sturm is, cuz' again, he doesn't know himself. I acctually set him as about 19, but he's only around 5' 7-9" and has a kinda rounder, younger face. Due to the variety of races present, and the amount and variations of half-breeds, height isn't usually used to gauge age, instead facial features (scars, worry lines) are used, at least in my version of TES.

While I'm at it; back when I was saying it seemed like people weren't reading my story, it was because of the lack of varied feedback (or feedback in general). I had more proof that someone had read my story when they mentioned something they could only glean form reading it themselves. So when everyone else kept bringing my grammar errors into the fray (really annoying) they could get that by just looking back a few posts; without ever reading my story. I am an extreme internet skeptic: If you give me no proof, I can only logically assume that you're lying. Anyone can look back and see that I spelt Daedra wrong the five or six times I used it. So when people keep bringing up a pretty moot point, without addressing any of the more important and obvious points (like Alex's post shows) it shows either that A.) They didn't read my stroy. Or B.) They care more about grammar than a good story or any other part of the story, so if I'd gone through and and wrote:
"I will not spell Daedra wrong." a few thousand times, people would have liked it better than what I submitted.

"If you only tell me things that don't help me; I can only assume you don't want to help me."

Given; you could've thought that bringing up the grammar thing was helpful, but when someone (I forget who) said: "It'd have been better with a little polish" That was sufficient. Maybe you didn't see the many preceeding posts about my very small grammar problem, which again, I was aware of in the first place. But I also believe you should read the entire thread before posting. Which is kinda alot, but if you really don't care enough, then why are you here? You wouldn't jump into a conversation midway with absolutely no clue of what's going on, would you?

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Pheonicia
post May 29 2008, 05:35 AM
Post #156


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I just wanted to take the opportunity to congratulate the winners, as well as all those who entered. Great job everyone!

A big thank you to the judges for taking the time to run this competition. I'm impressed y'all managed to read through so many entries so quickly! biggrin.gif

If there's anything I'd like to see in future competitions, it would be an automated email or two. One to notify receipt of the submission(s), and one to alert those who entered the results had been announced. wink.gif
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kementari
post May 29 2008, 10:03 AM
Post #157


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Some particular criticisms:

QUOTE(0rimus @ May 28 2008, 07:59 PM) *

- Why did Nathaniel wait until the very end to show his true colors when he had far better moments for it before, like in the minotaur attack?

I decided to do this story in limited third person naration, and it seems I took the "limited" part too seriously. I didn't want the reader to know things that Sturm himself didn't know, or be more aware than he was. In retrospect I should've done it from first person, but I'm not fond of that form of writing, and I'm not very good at it (I always end up subconsiously switching back to third smile.gif


If it's unclear enough that the reader doesn't realize that Sturm himself doesn't know something (especially if the reader has already become aware of whatever that something is), then you need to either obscure the fact more (so that it's a surprise to the reader, too) or go more into detail with the character's journey to self-realization (so that the reader understands that it's a surprise to the character, too).

QUOTE
- Early in the story it's mentioned Sturm doesn't want to join factions, and then the thing with the Dark Brotherhood is mentioned.

Sturm just didn't want to be tied to one class, like warrior or thief. This is the affiliation he hopes to avoid, and he'll stop his travel to join any group (such as with the infiltration group) if they pay well enough smile.gif


This may be my single greatest pet peeve in fantasy fiction. In real life, there are no such things as "classes". You can have someone identify himself as an archer or swordsman by what weapon he prefers, or have someone repulsed by the idea of being labeled a thief due to his innate sense of right and wrong, and in Tamriel, like many other worlds, "mage" is a full-time profession, too, but storytelling focus on character "class" archetypes is wince-worthy in fic.

QUOTE
- Why did they travel around from city to city after Cheydinhall and not pick up any new recruits until Bruma? Gives me the impression the travel was just to fill some time.

Time constraint. I planned on having the travel more detailed (including Fred being abducted by goblins, and Sturm leading the rescue, thereby earning his respect). Also, I wanted the travel to be more realistic (I increased the size of Cyrodiil drastically) and again with the (severely) limited third person thing: Sturm travels alot, and since I made Cyrodiil bigger, there was less interference along the way (I also made animals more docile). I kinda thought of it like when survivorman travels: A occasional shot of a bird or the sky, but otherwise nothing unless he runs into an animal. Kinda like a time lapse, or going in fast-forward. Also, some of the cities Erin and Stan already tried, and they acctually did stop to recruit like Chorrol, but were unsuccessful.


If time constraints didn't permit you to pursue a plot thread, you should have cut them out. The story would probably have had much more cohesive pacing without these rather obvious loose ends.


QUOTE
- What's the story with the daughter of Ocato and how she got at Rajah's place?

For the third time: I didn't want people to know about things Sturm himself didn't (so the surprise would be, you know, a surprise). And to answer: She was somewhat willingly abducted, Ocato doesn't pay much attention to her.


Right, but if readers are still wondering after they've finished reading, you didn't do a good enough job explaining it. There's a difference between keeping limited third person believable and simply not fleshing out characters' backgrounds.

QUOTE
- Why the burning or even theft of the Elder Scroll?

As a display of being more powerful/capable than the Empire, and to piss them off, kinda like a Martyr, if the legion storms down there and kills the Heretics (deluded citizens of the IL, but citizens none the less) people wouldn't be too happy about it, and the Empire would lose even more support. They also wanted to bring the legion down there, for home-field advantage, hence the infiltrators mapping and gathering of info.


Not to speak for Alex here, but I think the question (mine, anyway) was more pointed at the relative sanctity of the Scrolls themselves in TES lore. As a fanfiction author, it's often a little... hm, what's the right word? Presumptuous? to step on an area of lore that the official writers clearly consider sacred.

More to the point, it's off-putting to the fans, some of whom were your judges. Something to consider for next time.


QUOTE
So when everyone else kept bringing my grammar errors into the fray (really annoying) they could get that by just looking back a few posts; without ever reading my story. I am an extreme internet skeptic: If you give me no proof, I can only logically assume that you're lying. Anyone can look back and see that I spelt Daedra wrong the five or six times I used it. So when people keep bringing up a pretty moot point, without addressing any of the more important and obvious points (like Alex's post shows) it shows either that A.) They didn't read my stroy. Or B.) They care more about grammar than a good story or any other part of the story, so if I'd gone through and and wrote:
"I will not spell Daedra wrong." a few thousand times, people would have liked it better than what I submitted.


Okay, I've been quiet on this so far. However, enough is enough:

Mechanical errors (spelling, capitalization, punctuation, and grammar) are the single worst part about reading fanfiction. Seriously, you don't even have to be good at English anymore to have a flawless paper. How hard is it to use a spell-checker? Find+Replace "Deadra" with "Daedra", Microsoft Word has searched the document and made 17 replacements, bada-bing-bada-boom. At the absolute least, beg/cajole/pay someone with a better grasp of grammar to proofread it for you. Refusing to do this is like telling your judge, "[censored] you, I don't care enough about my work to bother cleaning it up for you.

Alex and the other judges were magnanimous enough to discount spelling and grammar errors completely (probably more for the sake of our international friends than people who just can't be arsed), but I guarantee you: it has an impact on what people think of your writing, and of you. It's like showing up to a job interview wearing ripped jeans or a stained shirt - it turns people off immediately, and causes the reader to make an instantaneous (negative) personal judgment call.

Just to make sure this hits home: You think people bringing up your mechanical errors is "really annoying"? I've been writing and critiquing fanfiction in various fandoms for almost ten years, now, and (internationals aside) I haven't found one yet where "This sucks, I'm five paragraphs in and the author has already made five spelling errors, I'm not going to read this" is considered an inappropriate response. I've seen fanfics - good fanfics, with great plots and believable characters - straight-up disqualified from competitions due to sloppy mechanical problems.

Count your lucky stars that the judges were kind enough to bother, and maybe consider an apology and/or a thank-you to those who actually did trudge through the whole thing, errors and all, and who were kind enough to point out your biggest problem so that you could correct it.

The sooner you get off this "it's JUST SPELLING, people, gooosh" cloud of misguided martyrdom, the better for you, and the better for us all.




I do hope (against all reason and evidence) that you'll take these firm words and learn from them, rather than just turn around and complain in your next post. Someone just stood up and told you straight about what you're doing wrong - be thankful; it may be the biggest favor anyone gives you for a long time.

This post has been edited by kementari: May 29 2008, 10:16 AM


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stargelman
post May 29 2008, 11:17 AM
Post #158


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Wow... chill, people. Take it easy. Stay cool. mellow.gif


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kementari
post May 29 2008, 11:22 AM
Post #159


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QUOTE(stargelman @ May 29 2008, 03:17 AM) *

Wow... chill, people. Take it easy. Stay cool. mellow.gif


Peace. The above is not an attack; it is criticism.

Firm, yes, but not unduly harsh. This fellow has spent the last three pages of this thread begging for honest, open criticism, and here he has it. If criticism is truly what he wanted (as opposed to simply a higher score), there shouldn't be any problem.


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Alexander
post May 29 2008, 12:05 PM
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QUOTE(0rimus @ May 29 2008, 04:59 AM) *

- Why did Nathaniel wait until the very end to show his true colors when he had far better moments for it before, like in the minotaur attack?

I decided to do this story in limited third person naration, and it seems I took the "limited" part too seriously. I didn't want the reader to know things that Sturm himself didn't know, or be more aware than he was. In retrospect I should've done it from first person, but I'm not fond of that form of writing, and I'm not very good at it (I always end up subconsiously switching back to third smile.gif


Perhaps you misunderstood me at this point. It wasn't aimed at this being in third person, or at the reader not knowing about it, it was aimed at timing.

Please allow me to explain further;
you're Nathaniel, some fairly powerful mage, joined up in a party of adventurers for the sole, unbeknownst to anyone else, reason to kill Sturm. Suddenly you're attacked by a party of Minotaurs, confusion all around, everyone running everywhere, no one knows where to attack first because danger is all around them.
Had I been Nathaniel, I'd have used a simply levitate spell to get into a tree, night eye (can't remember if it was night or day during the attack) to locate Sturm, and kill him by shooting a lightning bolt into his back while a Minotaur is attacking his front.

That's what I meant with "better moments for it" Perhaps I should have said better opportunity's for it. smile.gif



QUOTE(kementari @ May 29 2008, 11:03 AM) *

QUOTE
- Why the burning or even theft of the Elder Scroll?

As a display of being more powerful/capable than the Empire, and to piss them off, kinda like a Martyr, if the legion storms down there and kills the Heretics (deluded citizens of the IL, but citizens none the less) people wouldn't be too happy about it, and the Empire would lose even more support. They also wanted to bring the legion down there, for home-field advantage, hence the infiltrators mapping and gathering of info.


Not to speak for Alex here, but I think the question (mine, anyway) was more pointed at the relative sanctity of the Scrolls themselves in TES lore. As a fanfiction author, it's often a little... hm, what's the right word? Presumptuous? to step on an area of lore that the official writers clearly consider sacred.

More to the point, it's off-putting to the fans, some of whom were your judges. Something to consider for next time.


It's actually not so much the idea of going into them, I wouldn't have any problem with it itself. I just thought there was so little meaning behind it, so little value. I mean if you're going to steal an Elder Scroll to read what is going to happen in the future (as I believe that's what they're supposed to hold) then ok. Taking an Elder scroll and changing the text on it to change the future, or some such plot, I'd probably have "digged" that. But stealing it and then burning it, only in a show for your own followers, seems to be underusing it a bit.

I guess that's what my question boiled down to, a feeling that such an important and hollowed artifact was underused. smile.gif


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