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  2. Penguinball

    Recent Updates (and related wonkiness)

    That is a very good point! It makes it hard to quantify if that counts or not, and just makes more work for the admins. On the other hand though, even if they halfass or fake the review, do you lose anything? Sounds like an opportunity to gain to me. Regarding deleting old members... What do we gain from deleting them? Just having a cleaner list? What happens to old posts they would have made? Personally, I delete old stuff all the time, so I get the urge to want things to be tidy and orderly, but is it worth the effort?
  3. Amblygon

    Recent Updates (and related wonkiness)

    Do you think it would be good to delete the accounts of people who haven't logged in for over 100 days/posted for over 200 days? I think it's better not to delete, but to keep an inactive group. I joined a graphics forum a long time ago and then forgot about it for a few years and then went back to it and it was nice to see that my account still existed. I don't think there's necessarily anything wrong with deleting, but might come across as a bit passive-aggressive? There's no member list on this software; would you be curious to see our active Members vs Newbies vs Inactive and Purge members now that they've been sorted based on activity? Sure - could be interesting! But I wouldn't be upset if there wasn't a member list. Currently Newbies cannot see inside the Brainstorming subforum and can't post their own topics (but can reply to topics) in the Feedback subforum until they're auto-promoted at 15 content items posted. Currently they can see anything posted in the Library, but we could change that. This is to provide a little buffer where new members have to participate in the community a little before they can access members' personal story ideas and before they can request specific feedback on their work. [And sub-questions] I like the idea that new members need to post at least 15 posts to be able to post their own work in the Library or request Feedback. When we were on the previous forum, I saw at least one person go directly to requesting feedback and thought to myself how did they ever think they were going to be noticed if they didn't give back to the community? It just seems a bit arrogant to me to join a forum for discussion fantasy and the first thing you do is go and post your own work and request feedback without participating in anything else or offering feedback to other people. I think Newbie Friendly Library is a bit overkill as you mentioned. Ideally people won't stay in that group for very long and it's not that difficult to post 15 posts. I think my preference would be to allow a guest view/replying to existing topics/Library submissions for Newbies. I think the forum would come across as more open and inviting if people are at least allowed to look around when they sign up. Maybe when the forum gets really popular and there's a reputation and people feel like it's worth waiting to post 15 things to be able to see the Library, it could be worth considering. However, at the moment I feel like the downsides (turning off people, making it too difficult to see what's happening, etc) outweigh the positives (protecting people's ideas, etc). I quite like the idea of people having to review something before they can post their own content in the Library. It's not a big ask - you don't need to write a thesis on someone's work. However, I do get that some people would find it annoying and that it be frustrating to have to wait to be promoted and could potentially put people off. But it really encourages people to think about giving feedback in addition to getting feedback. If people don't give feedback, then nobody gets feedback. Is there a way to make it so that the promotion happens automatically when people post a reply in the feedback forum and/or library? Also as a counter-argument, can someone really be that desperate to post your work that you can't wait until the next day to be promoted? How do the new Feedback / Beta Reading forms and guidelines look? Anything you would recommend changing or adding? They look good to me. Although maybe it's just me, but I don't understand why the Seeking Beta is the main text for the Forms topic and then there are links to offering to be a beta, seeking writing buddy and seeking feedback - they're quite easy to miss (I almost missed them). (Also it took me a while to figure out what it means to click through the pages...still so many things to learn about the new forum!) Purge of the Feedback forum at the first of the year, archiving old threads and essentially re-surveying members to see who's actively willing to be a beta reader/provide feedback. This is what we have at the moment as our best means of determining our beta reader population. I think a purge sounds like a good idea and a survey also sounds like a good idea. Do you think it would be possible to add some more options to the beta reader survey? E.g. I could probably volunteer to be a high-level beta reader who shares general thoughts on characters/plot/flow, but I don't have time to read proofread or do extensive consistency checks. Or maybe we could have "depends on length", "depends on sub-genre" as options? I know it won't be good to have too many options and people should cover these off in their beta reading profile anyway, but just throwing out some ideas.
  4. Today
  5. Manu

    Recent Updates (and related wonkiness)

    Yay to the limitation to making new topics in the feedback section, thanks a lot! I'm torn about being able to see the brainstorming subforum and the library content - both of those are excellent opportunities to help others out and earn member status by posting valuable input/feedback, but on the other hand I can perfectly understand if members are a bit iffy about sharing their ideas or submissions with just about anyone who just signed up. An additional newby-friendly library section is not necessary, I think, we have a public one. I'm also torn about making it a requirement to review something - we all want genuine feedback that the reviewer has put some thought into, right? Making reviewing a requirement could encourage reviews that don't help because someone just randomly posts "Yeah, I liked this" in order to fulfill a requirement. Archiving the threads in the beta reader forum every now and then sounds reasonable. Can we access the archive, though? 'coz I wouldn't change anything about mine, so I'd love to be able to just copy and paste it - otherwise maybe threads that haven't had any replies for X months could be archived, and we could just reply to our own beta reader profiles with "up to date" every now and then to keep them in the actrive section? About inactive member groups: Not logging in for 100+ days and not posting for 200+ days is not that long - a longer stay at the hospital (I've been in hospital for 3 months myself once) or going offroad for a year and being too busy to write can easily get you there, so I think for deleting accounts the members should be even more inactive than that. Something like not logging in for a year, and then they'd get an automated email that their account is about to be deleted due to inactivity? Oh, and yes, I'd be curious about member stats, too, if you find an easy way to make them available πŸ™‚
  6. kherezae

    Recent Updates (and related wonkiness)

    Like an idiot I missed this in permissions! Thanks @Manu for the catch, should be working now!
  7. kherezae

    Recent Updates (and related wonkiness)

    Partly based on recent member suggestions and partly because it's something that has been floating in the back of my mind for a while, I shuffled the member groups around a bit today, creating a Newbies group for members who have contributed fewer than 15 items of content (topics, comments, stories, articles, etc) that automatically promotes to Member once you hit 15 content. I also had the site shuffle members into two inactive groups if they haven't been around. Members who haven't logged in for 60+ days and haven't posted content for 100+ days were put in the Inactive member group. Members who haven't logged in for 100+ days and haven't posted content for 200+ days were put in the Prune member group. We'll be discussing what to do with these differentiated groups as Staff. There's the potential that those in the Prune member group might be deleted permanently, but we haven't had time to discuss that and decide yet, so we'll see. If you have any input on the matter, please let us know in a comment! Anyway, the shuffling led to some permissions gaps for a little bit, so if you couldn't access part of the forum temporarily, my bad! Should be fixed, but let me know if you run into any problems. Additionally, I added new guidelines and forms in the Feedback / Beta Reading forum (originally the Find a Beta forum) and archived the Submissions & Review forum. So here are some questions up for discussion that we could use input on. Do you think it would be good to delete the accounts of people who haven't logged in for over 100 days/posted for over 200 days? There's no member list on this software; would you be curious to see our active Members vs Newbies vs Inactive and Purge members now that they've been sorted based on activity? (I ask because I'd be curious lol) Currently Newbies cannot see inside the Brainstorming subforum and can't post their own topics (but can reply to topics) in the Feedback subforum until they're auto-promoted at 15 content items posted. Currently they can see anything posted in the Library, but we could change that. This is to provide a little buffer where new members have to participate in the community a little before they can access members' personal story ideas and before they can request specific feedback on their work. What do you think about these limitations? Would you suggest keeping them in a sort of "Guest View" of the Library until they promote to full membership? Alternatively we could add a Newbie Friendly Library category, but that might be overkill...? @Penguinball suggested that in addition to the 15 content minimum requirement, Newbies need to review something in the Library in order to gain full membership. Something like this is doable, but has downsides too; if there's no admin online for a few hours around the time a member fulfills that requirement, they'll have to wait until an admin notices to receive their promotion. What do we think? Worth it? Should there be some other requirement(s) or alternative options, such as posting a writing resource, posting an introduction, etc? If we limit Newbie access to the Library, how would this be impacted? How do the new Feedback / Beta Reading forms and guidelines look? Anything you would recommend changing or adding? @Penguinball also suggested a sort of purge of the Feedback forum at the first of the year, archiving old threads and essentially re-surveying members to see who's actively willing to be a beta reader/provide feedback. This is what we have at the moment as our best means of determining our beta reader population. What do you think? Any suggestions? As a note I'm going to try to find a way to make a page that essentially shows those search results plus a snippet of the member's Beta Reading tab on their profile, but I'm not sure yet whether I'll be able to. Any other thoughts or feedback you have are more than welcome! I was more long-winded than I intended to be; apologies!
  8. Yes, the review thing would be difficult; we'd have to manually promote members in that scenario once we see them post a review. Now, we could set up a system like that, but it might suck for them if an admin isn't around for a while to promote them once they hit that milestone. At the moment I have it set so members auto-promote from Newbie to Member once they have 15 content (which includes posts, stories, comments, and articles). Newbies can see and post in almost everything, but they can't read topics in the Brainstorming forum and they can't make new topics (only reply to current topics) in the Feedback / Beta Reading forum. We might consider limiting whether Newbies can read stories in the Library, too, if members feel that makes more of a buffer between their work and just anyone reading it. To read it you have to participate in the community and earn your Member promotion first. What do you (and others) think about that? For now I'll leave it so that they can see it, but we could discuss the idea. I was thinking along similar lines to you when I updated the Feedback / Beta Reading forum and added guidelines and revamped forms, so why don't you take a look and see if I covered some of the bases you were mulling over? Here are the forms. I also think it's important to share a sample of your work when looking for a beta reader, and often when you're looking to offer yourself up as a beta reader as well, so you'll see that to some extent in the form. I didn't specify posting in the Library because I think some people won't be comfortable with that, depending on what they're looking for feedback on. I like the idea of wiping the beta forum for the new year too. For now I edited @Jedi Knight Muse's list of beta readers with the most complete list we have of beta readers right now, which is a search of active members who selected "Yes" or "Depends/other" for the beta reading option in the profile. But I like the idea of doing a more thorough survey around the beginning of the year and making sure beta reading options are up to date in profiles, etc. This is what I did for now.
  9. I agree that some more structure would be helpful. Maybe a minimum post amount, and having reviewed a story in the library? The reviewing would be more of an honour system thing though, hard to police. But it would show some...spirit of reciprocity? I also think suggesting (but not having it as a hard rule) that people could post Chapter One (or their favourite chapter) in the library instead of a quick excerpt, so potential beta readers would have a better idea if they are a fit. Though it is generally a good guideline to send the first three chapters to a potential beta reader, to see if you are a fit. Going in blind leads to people realizing too late they aren't the right person for the job, and peacing out. Maybe we have that as a suggestion instead. Or suggest both. IDK man, I haven't had enough caffeine yet. I'm totally just spitballing ideas here, refinement of these is definitely welcome. I also think doing a wipe of the beta read forum for 2019 is a good idea. People can repost if they are looking for work, or update their beta reader profile/status, we can have a clean slate.
  10. Late response is late, but your concerns are totally valid and understandable, Manu. I think part of the issue is that we really don't have any rules in place when it comes to beta reading - i.e. if you ask for a beta reader, you need to offer to be a beta reader. I don't know if anything like that would even realistically be enforceable (and it would probably discourage people from doing so, because not everyone can commit right then to being a beta reader if they ask for one, especially for projects with large word counts), honestly. We can certainly discuss rules that DO make sense and are fair enough to begin enforcing starting in the new year, though. One of the things I want to do is revamp the beta reading section and encourage people to use it more and come up with some rules to start enforcing going forward in the new year. As @kherezae said, the member you are referring to is an active member on the Discord server, but their display name is different from their forum username. I also encouraged this member to go ahead and post on the forum, because that's the easiest way to get anyone's attention in this community when it comes to this kind of thing and I honestly didn't even think anything of it by telling them to go ahead and post on the forum. If anything, this post was good because it reminded me that we need to revamp things with the beta reading section, which means getting feedback about it from members. πŸ˜„ I made a post at some point asking for feedback on the beta readers section, I think, but it's been a while and since there's more members who might hopefully use it more often, it seems like a good time for another one.
  11. Oh no, you were clear in your post that it was inspired by a string of similar occurrences, I get that! πŸ™‚ I'll definitely work on getting something set up for that. While we're at it, are there any other forums we'd like to see limited until someone has posted a certain number of times to show they're participating actively in the community?
  12. That's true, I found that out only after I made this thread. It was rather a general suggestion, though, not aimed at a specific member - the most recent request was just what made me finally voice this suggestion, but it has happened before and it has bothered me before. I'm sorry if it came across as if I was attacking someone specifically, that was not intended!
  13. I haven't played with the settings yet but I'm like 99% confident that's something I can do. I'm also going to look into making it so people's Discord usernames show up on/by their forum posts, but that one might be harder... I'll see what I can do. My understanding in this situation is that the member who requested feedback has been quite active on Discord recently (I've seen her around myself and I'm not even on there as much as I should be), but at a glance that's hard to tell because her username is different here.
  14. Sounds like a good idea for a club! I'll probably have more time to join something like this in February, 'coz I'll hopefully be working in my new home office job by then πŸ™‚
  15. That sounds like a good idea to me πŸ™‚ I dont know if the settings allow it, but @kherezae can confirm that. If it is of interest Manu, I am planning starting a club for those wanting more faster and deeper crits, like what was happening over the summer (mainly talked about in discord). So it will be pieces for submission which need lots of edits and things like that. I'll be starting it in the new year which is when I'll be needing my feedback again and I am sure others will be wanting to get back into it.
  16. Hi guys, I might be overreacting a bit, but I find it incredibly annoying to read those "Want a beta reader" threads by members who just registered and have not posted anything else. Admitted, there's only a new one every couple of months, but they are still annoying. I don't appreciate people coming here, asking for favors but obviously not willing to give anything back or become part of this community. So here's my suggestion: How about adding a minimum amount of posts required before you're able to post there? It could be something as low as 15 or 20, just make it so that the beta reader section is just for members of this community with a reasonable activity. Thanks for reading and (hopefully) considering!
  17. Penguinball

    Overused tropes that you're totally using anyway

    GAH I freaking love this one. That's why Reylo is my shame pairing (I know it doesn't entirely make sense in story but MAN I love it for the fanfic)
  18. kherezae

    Advent Day 17: Faith Character

    Oops, thanks! Fixed now.
  19. Yesterday
  20. Jedi Knight Muse

    Overused tropes that you're totally using anyway

    Ooh, this is another one! I've had WIPs where I've planned on this kind of scene (like, where the MC has magic and goes up against the bad guy/villain/whatever and they have this epic duel with magic (a la Harry Potter or Star Wars) and then there's a big explosion (but it's not really an explosion where it blows them to bits, it's just made to look that way somehow) and the MC's companions see the explosion from afar and assume that she's dead but she eventually comes back. (I know this is another thing that people prefer not seeing- characters who are brought back to life, i.e. through resurrection, but there's a difference between them actually being dead VS being alive and being unable to go back to their friends for some reason, like being captured by said villain.) Hopefully this is one that I can eventually actually write out. I can't remember offhand but I THINK I had it planned for my Mageborn story, so I'll have to try and make sure I can work it in somehow when I eventually rewrite that story.
  21. Penguinball

    Advent Day 17: Faith Character

    Yup not working for me either
  22. Mynoris

    Advent Day 17: Faith Character

    The image(?) link seems to ne broken.
  23. SecretRock

    Advent Day 11: Joy Tradition

    In Solis, the various villages around Atlia all celebrate harvest in different but equally important ways. Some of them get the entire village into the field to help with the last part, some have days where they pray to and sacrifice some crops to deities they believe in. Some of them light up Sleeping Rock with lanterns that burn for days until all the food is gone. It's not always a fun time, with the bandits and such, but most years people manage to have at least a peaceful day. In Deepmore, the 'capital' of Atlia, the celebrations are even better. Brightly coloured banners are strung up from buildings, tables are laid out in the streets, and everyone cooks something to share with everyone they can. The dinner begins when the lamps light. Some people play music as well, but everyone joins in to share with their neighbours and eat some good food. It lasts a long time, well past midnight. At the end, everyone helps to clean up and life continues as normal the next day. The time for the harvest celebrations can change. Some celebrate when the harvest is complete, but for bigger towns and cities like Deepmore with lots of farms that they work or trade with, the celebrations normally take place on the full moon of the harvest month.
  24. bdcharles

    Subverting Fantasy Tropes

    I quite enjoy conventional fantasy tropes but with a little twist; eg I have an asthmatic knight who doesn’t like to ride horses but who slays a dragon using explosives.
  25. Xanxa

    Subverting Fantasy Tropes

    I try not to have too many ridiculously attractive characters in my novels. It's a trope I've come to loathe. I make many of my characters have scars and other imperfections. I also like to include different body shapes. Not everyone is slim and graceful. One novel that's not yet written and only in the planning stages will feature the farmboy trope with a twist. A young trainee sorcerer will run away from a sorcerers' enclave and for a while, he will work as a farmboy under a false identity and hide his abilities. Some of my families are actually happy, for the most part. My young characters aren't all orphans. In fact I've only used the orphan trope a couple of times, that I can recall.
  26. Xanxa

    Overused tropes that you're totally using anyway

    I have a lot of prophecies in my novels. I don't care that they're over-used in the fantasy genre. I love prophecies, especially the tricky ones that come from ancient times and are difficult to interpret in the current era. Racial tension - yes, plenty of that. No need to go into details. Arranged marriages - tons of them. In several of my cultures, it's an ancient tradition for the usual reasons, cementing alliances and sometimes keeping enemies closer. People of low social status finding out that they're actually of higher birth than they've always been led to believe. The idiot-savant - one of my favourite tropes. People from opposing factions falling in love. Quests, journeys and similar challenges. Ancient artefact of power that has been lost for centuries turning up unexpectedly. (In one novel, such an artefact could have saved an important character's life, but it didn't turn up until a later novel). Sorcery duels. Characters finding out that the person they distrusted was on their side all along. Takes a tragedy to realise that.
  27. Last week
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