Enchant Us: fantasy
I like the idea of a mystery theme though.
Enchant Us: Harry Potter Fan Fiction Erotica
I can't wait for the next one, whatever it is.
The list is out! Well done to all those on it. Some very good stories missed out.
Humor mixed with ethnic cleansing.
Humor mixed with ethnic cleansing.
@SamaLamaWama - are you already writing this story? This could be amazing or horrifying, depending on the angle.
@Sean of the dead--No, definitely not writing that story. My god that would be a challenge. I could see someone like Christopher Moore taking it on and actually making it funny as hell, but I don't have Christopher Moore skills. He's kinda brilliant. Me, I'm only brilliant on the third Tuesday of the month if Jupiter is in retrograde.
@Adam Jenkins-- thanks for the heads up. I was wondering when they would get the list out. Congrats to you for winning!!
Congratulations to everyone!
Congrats everyone! And a thanks to everyone who participated! This has been an intense rollercoaster of a competition from start to finish. Without a very brave, and perhaps more than a little crazy, collection of writers this wouldn't have been much fun! Thanks everyone!
@SeanOfTheDead , @SamaLamaWama - by accident I managed to mix humour with genetic clensing in Xenophobe - Though I'll admit the clensing was a long time over by the time of the story!
Cool - winners announced! Which gives me ten stories to read that I didn't get to originally, should be fun! Expect my comments, those of you who snuck under my radar, and congrats to ALL winners!
On the topic of Call Me Tim, the Oculus Rift VR headset was kind of the model for the Visors in my story, and a few days ago, this video popped up. Kind of resonates with the theme of my story. Heed my words, pensioners will spend their days in VR before too long.
...and pardon me, I'm new here, but does this conclude everything or is there a one winner to be announced, or a top three, or something like that coming up?
Oh well. Teaches me to submit a day or so before the deadline.
Congrats to winners on both sides of the challenge! I'm sorry that I dropped the ball on the review side-- my creative productivity really took a hit during this endless winter.
I'm grateful to all of my reviewers and readers. I think I will be back for the next challenge, this time with a clear mind and a goal of complete self-containment. I'm also really interested in the regular workshops, which I hope to join after my offline life settles down a bit. See you all again soon!
Thanks Litreactor! A large sack of congratulations to all. And perhaps a box of high fives. :)
Congratulations to all the winners! Big congrats to my bud Adam who managed to pick up the double! Nicely done Sir! All the best to everyone that had a go and happy writing!
And the first review is up!
And that makes two :)
Thanks for the update ArlaneEnalra- It's great to see the feedback. ~Sam
I think Dana Fredsti has been busy as well!
And one more: http://litreactor.com/events/teleport-us/bugs-day-at-the-office
And I think that's the last of Dana's http://litreactor.com/events/teleport-us/the-memory-remains
Well that was nice to wake up to!
And two more are up:
http://litreactor.com/events/teleport-us/implant Woo Hoo! (I'll be sure to get a reply into that one shortly!)
And we more reviews! :)
And one more:
And another :)
Adding this here rather than another post ;)
and one more!
and one more:
and a couple more on Monday:
And one more:
Unless I missed my guess, that's three more:
And a some more on Monday:
It appears that professional reviewers tend to have one of the two approaches - comment on the story as a standalone piece, or dissect how well it suits the competition prompts. Personally, I'm much more partial to the first one. By this point, no one's looking for a winner anymore, and wasn't the point of the competition to have a good story at the end of it? Wherever we take them next won't care what prompts we wrote to - only how well the story works, in and of itself. I think that reviews that focus on the story outside of the competition framework are generally more helpful.
I think a middle ground between the two is warranted, otherwise your rubric is too wide to be meaningful. What made the event useful and fun, other than having a massive number of good stories to read, was seeing how well I could fit a story within the constraints. Plus, it gives the reviewers something to write about that isn't purely subjective or purely technical. On the other hand, evaluating stories from the basis of the challenge criteria alone is not going to be overly helpful except as a measure of how well the author can write to a prompt, or perhaps, a particular market. There should be a sweet spot somewhere in the middle that effectively covers both.
(Being relatively new to this game, is it usually better to write for a market or to write a story and find a market?)
My best experience in selling a story so far was when I stumbled across a theme that fit an idea that I'd had in my head for a while. That was the first time I had a story accepted at the first go. When such lucky coincidences don't happen, I have trouble writing for a market. In my writing process, stories take place in whatever universe a part of my brain is plugged into at the time, and they normally don't care whether anyone wants them to happen. Of course, having a number of ideas on the backburner helps get those coincidences more often (with Teleport Us, for instance, I had a half-formed idea that got fleshed out thanks to the challenge, but even then didn't suit the criteria perfectly - in all honesty, I thought I was going to be turned down right off the bat).
HA! There's definitely a fantasy bent to 'A Song for My Borther', but it works all the same. :)
Not to be a sore winner, but my reviewer simply acknowledged that she had been tasked to look at my story, pointed out who she were, and that she had seen the story. Five paragraphs. I guess i should be star struck that someone of her lofty stature had read my story, but frankly I'd preferred either having my story picked apart from a standpoint of wether or not I'd followed the prompts or an actual review of the story than what I'd got.
Hell, I'll come right out and say it, I wanted Alastair Reynolds. There, I said it.
Klahol, I got a 'prompt police' type of review, which is more than what you got, but trust me when I say - I feel your pain. I'd much rather be told that my story sucks because One, Two and Three, than to be commented on how well or not I fit the mould of the competition.
P.S. I'm still just as much in love with your story, and I think that if you're interested in publishing it, the right kind of market will love it to pieces.
P.P.S. And I wanted Chuck Wendig. So. :p
I felt very sorry for a couple of winners who got barely more than a few lines. I'd have preferred something more in depth, but I did get a couple of pointers at least. I wonder if anyone was completely happy/satisfied with their review. I have been jealous of some of the critiques.
In the end, a review is a review. Some people will like the story, some people will hate the story, and some people will give you something useful. Listen to them, consider their opinions, and then do whatever the heck you think is true to the story! ;)
I still feel for you, klahol, weeks later. I was kind of hoping someone behind the scenes had acknowledged your concerns. Doesn't sound like it.
You're not a sore winner when the event outcome set by the event coordinators falls woefully short.
Had I received that review in the workshop I would have scored it as Not Helpful, only because "Completely useless, you should be embarrassed by your lack of effort" isn't one of the scoring options.
Same goes for anyone else who received similar feedback from their guest reviewer.
I'm too empathetic for my own good.
Oh, and in hindsight I would have wanted Alastair, too. I've read almost all of his work. In fact, I liked his work so much, when I saw that Goodreads' naming system for his various series was lacking, I told them to fix it, and they did.
I had to check. The plural of series is... series.
I agree that the review klahol got was pretty lacking.
Tell you what, I'm going to forward this concern on to the powers that be. Not sure they'll do anything about this in particular, but maybe in the future they can be more specific about what we want from our guest reviewers?
Wow, seeing the lack of caring on behalf of SOME of the "special guest" reviewers is definitely disheartening. I tried and tried to get a story together for this, but in the end it just wasn't meant to be. However, while I firmly believe that in the end the good to come out of something like this is the story itself (which can be reworked, edited, and submitted somewhere of your choice), it is very disappointing when you are told you win a reward review for your hard work and it turns out to be less helpful than many of the reviews your peers have given you.
At the bottom of the page is a "Contact LitReactor" button. I highly recommend it's use, as they are the ones who put together this little contest. I'm not sure if they ever check the messages, but if nothing else it'll release some steam, right?
On a side note, good luck everybody. I participated in the Scare Us challenge, and was lucky enough to have been awarded a "celebrity review" by famous and published author Lydia Yuknavich. You can imagine my excitement.
You can imagine my pissed-off-ed-ness at the fact that months and months later, I have received jack shit. I have contacted LitReactor with my problem twice, and have received no response. I originally had heard she was "busy," then that they were "looking into it," and now just silence. I'm not the only one who didn't get their reward, but I think I'm the only one who stuck around. Maybe I'm the fool, eh?
So anyway, take out of this contest everything you put in to it. You've made new friends, new writer colleagues, you got a story out, maybe made some connections in the 'biz. These are all good things, right?
My review was from Chuck Wendig and I was pleased with the level of detail. In conjunction with all the other great critiques I got from all of you guys, those comments will help me tighten the piece up and make it ready for submission. That said, the absolute best review I've seen so far (and I haven't seen all of them, so keep that in mind) was Alastair Reynolds' for "The Gorund." Very...thorough.
Awesome! It's good to hear that some of you got a lot out of your reviews!!!
I did notice some reviews were on the brief side, but klahol's straw is definitely the shortest so far.
I was quite happy with my review, there is certainly things I can take away from it and keep in mind while revising, as well as some general pointers.
Avery, good on you.
And, what Sean said. And, what a steaming pile of crap served by the unserving of critical expertise heartily served via one writer known as Lidya Yuknivyitch. Well, I won't be buying her books, although some stealth negative reviews on Amazon could be in order.
PS You may have mis-spelled her name accidentally-on-purpose. As have I.
There has been a wide range in how useful the reviews have been, that's for sure. Reynolds and Wendig have (not surprisingly) stood out as being particularly good.
I'm still, a bit nervously, waiting for mine to show up.
I'll be very disappointed if it doesn't, but I'm still interested in the process.
I WISH I'd gotten a halfhearted review and I'll leave it at that.
If I may, and bearing in mind feedback from my own piece, (http://litreactor.com/events/teleport-us/xenophobe)
1) The reviews which are not by contestants, may be more critical than those that are, simply because those people are not angling after a quid pro quo return review.
2) The idea that a published author might be better qualified to comment than a rounded reader, is suspect.
3) Asking someone to review something, is in itself, not enough to guarantee a careful, considered review. It should, certainly, but point 2) comes into this point as well - they may not be any better placed to give useful feedback than anyone picked entirely at random!
As ever, a review has to be taken in the spirit in which it was given, and you as an author, has to take what is useful from it. That I disagree with the dissection of whether mine met the remit, is not that important, as that remit (as pointed out by Maria) does not come into it if you are going to try and sent it elsewhere. That my reviewer didn't particularly like my story, is something I can do nothing about, and being somewhat contrary, may actually revel in, as at least it makes the whole thing oddly easier to discuss with friends/other writers. (They love the fact that I won a review by someone who didn't like my story!)
I do think LitReactor have missed a trick, with offering so many reviews, but no higher status (if each reviewer picked one favourite story, and that story was in someway rewarded especially...). And ultimately, a winner could have been announced. But it would not, alas, have been mine. I will find a new home for it, soon...
So. Who will be doing this again? Whatever the next challenge is? is it - ultimately - worth the effort?