Eka's Portal Writer's Group - General Discussion

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Eka's Portal Writer's Group - General Discussion

Postby 4ofSwords » Sun Mar 22, 2009 9:33 am

First off, let me apologize to anyone who's thrown off by the name change. Used to be 'ohida'. Now it's '4ofSwords'. There you go!

I've had a great time participating in the VorExchange art exchange these last few months - I guess even when the subject isn't my first choice, having a deadline and a built-in audience makes drawing a bit more fun for me.

I think something similar for writing - at least in terms of the deadlines and interaction - would be fun, and I know there are a lot of writers here on Eka's. What I had in mind was something more like the old writing groups I used to belong to: A one month rotation, where everyone who wants to participate submits a short piece of writing (say 1500 words or less), along with a brief description of content (eg: F/m, Power Rangers' themed, soft vore, scat), they tick off as many of the three types of critique they want to receive (general reaction, character/setting/theme development, grammar/spelling), and their preferences (eg: hooray unbirthing! no thanks to scat or FSM-based vore (I have an irrational fear of pasta and/or pirates)). Once the deadline for submission has been reached, I (or whoever is moderating) will do my best to match up writing preferences to critiquing preferences - for the most part, as the latitude for matches depends greatly on how many people participate and how detailed your preferences. Also, I'd try to make an effort to rotate people to prevent cliquing. Everyone who writes reads three other pieces, to make sure everyone gets a chance at a balanced critique and doesn't get stiffed by a flake. Critiques are due three weeks after writing, to give people a chance to absorb the feedback before posting their next piece. For those of you keeping track, that gives you a week each to write your piece and read the ones assigned to you. :)

The upshot would be: This could be a good opportunity to interact more with other writers, to improve your writing and get feedback, to build an audience or be exposed to stories you may not otherwise read. The downside would be that you would be expected to read and critique up to 4500 words in a three-week period; anyone who fails to live up to their part wouldn't be able to participate again until they finished their critique.

Of course, there would have to be some fine print to keep the harmony: authors can't argue with critique in the thread (though they can ask elucidating questions), and they're expected not to harass the critiquers by PM; disagreements over grammar are settled by Strunk & White, and spelling by dictionary.com; English would be the 'lingua franca' unless we got enough people who wanted to participate in German or French, etc..

So what do y'all think? If there's enough interest I'd love to get something like this started; theoretically, we could start with as few as 4, but 12-16 would be much groovier. Do you have any suggestions for format or structure? Has anyone tried this before and garnered any wisdom from the experience? For those of you who like to write longer stories than 1500 words, I don't see any problem with submitting in pieces or just portions of the story that you want help with. I'll probably be submitting portions of "The Many Deaths of Samish" that I'm working on or re-working. I also don't see any problem with submitting previously completed works or non-vore writing, as long as you honestly want critique.
Last edited by 4ofSwords on Fri Jul 27, 2012 7:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: An Eka's Portal Writer's Group?

Postby Tai223236 » Sun Mar 22, 2009 12:17 pm

I'd participate as a writer, but I haven't written anything in a freaking year. (Yes people I'm the same Tai that made those three stories rotting away in my archive...)

I feel like I've been relegated to a lurker. : ' (

And college...

I'd have to think about it.
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Re: An Eka's Portal Writer's Group?

Postby JQVore » Sun Mar 22, 2009 12:23 pm

I'd be up for it, who know's it may kick my ass into gear to start writing regularly again. As opposed to the one story every three months schedule I've had for a while
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Re: An Eka's Portal Writer's Group?

Postby Tobedumped » Sun Mar 22, 2009 1:17 pm

I'd love to take place in a monthly short story exchange. I always want to write short vore stories but frequently don't finish or keep them because I don't really have an outlet to share them. I tend to stick to occasional interactive updates instead.

That being said, here's the obstacles for me...
1) I have a niche (F/M, human, same size, heavy heavy focus on digestion and elimination) and that's not for everyone.
2) I don't really care for anything outside of my niche... while I'd read and evaluate other stuff, I don't enjoy most of the works outside of my own preference.
3) I'm harsh. If someone's story (or grammar) sucks, I tell it like it is.

If these aren't too big of obstacles for a fledgling group, I'd be game.
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Re: An Eka's Portal Writer's Group?

Postby prisoner » Sun Mar 22, 2009 1:21 pm

The problem with submitting past works is that it defeats the purpose of using the Writer's Group as a motivation to write.

The group itself doesn't sound like a bad idea. I think it could jumpstart a writer or two in this community and familiarize the whole 'critiquing' idea. My main concern is that people may become lazy with proofreading because 'it would be easier' to fall back on the person whose job it is to proof for that month instead of investing time and effort before submitting each month's entry.

It seems that this group is, in essence, requiring critique as a method of payment in order to receive critique on one's own work. If that's all you want out of a Writer's Group then why not get permission to create a thread/sub-forum and ask writers to post there? Add a rule to the OP that you must provide feedback for a minimum of two works for each of your own pieces that you wish to submit. In that way, it's possible to gain all benefits of a Writer's Group without the possibility of discouraging people with a deadline.

It's hard to make a perfect system. The original idea would force workload onto people, but not everyone works better with a deadline. On the other hand, an informal system, like my suggestion, would not guarantee that all authors/works receive feedback. Even still, this does seem like a workable idea if it could ever get off the ground.

I'm open for discussion if you would like to try and work this out.
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Re: An Eka's Portal Writer's Group?

Postby Noctivagus » Sun Mar 22, 2009 1:36 pm

I quite like the concept, but I seem to have the same problem many others have, as I can't quite seem to kick myself into gear hard enough to actually finish a decent story. However I certainly feel that the concept as a whole would benefit the community greatly.
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Re: An Eka's Portal Writer's Group?

Postby Grick » Sun Mar 22, 2009 1:54 pm

An Eka's Portal Writing Group, I would most certainly play a part in it. I'd be able to write up some out-of-the-main-storyline shorts while at the same time comparing my work to that of some of the better writers here at Eka's. If this group takes flight, it would be a pleasure for me to participate.
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Re: An Eka's Portal Writer's Group?

Postby 4ofSwords » Sun Mar 22, 2009 5:45 pm

Hoorah! That's a lot more response than I expected in half a day, and certainly plenty to set something up. Let me talk to the site admins to see what their preferences are for the format, and I'll get the ball rolling.

How would it sound if the first deadline for writing submissions is April 5? That's two weeks away, so hopefully people are able to polish up something they already have in progress, or get started on something new. Keep in mind that it's up to 1500 words, not at least.

Tai223236 wrote:I'd participate as a writer, but I haven't written anything in a freaking year.

Well, to my mind that's just the kind of reason to join! I don't know about you, but having a deadline and writing to a quality for someone else to critique is just the kind of motivation I need to get me going.

pyroboarder69 wrote:I'd be up for it

Cool!

tobedumped wrote:That being said, here's the obstacles for me...
1) I have a niche (F/M, human, same size, heavy heavy focus on digestion and elimination) and that's not for everyone.
2) I don't really care for anything outside of my niche... while I'd read and evaluate other stuff, I don't enjoy most of the works outside of my own preference.
3) I'm harsh. If someone's story (or grammar) sucks, I tell it like it is.

1 & 2 - I expect this will be a pretty common problem. There are so many different niches and interests in vore that it's almost as if everyone has their own. While I'm hoping there will be enough people participating that everyone can get at least one or two things to read that fit their interests, I expect we'll have to rely on people being willing to read something that doesn't fit their interests, at least with an eye to critique if not enjoy. If there is anything someone absolutely won't read (for example, I won't read anything underaged and with sex involved, since the US can get a little wacky sometimes and I don't want to do anything patently illegal that would risk me losing my son), hopefully we'll be able to steer them around it.
3 - I tend to be the same way, though I make an effort to be gentle when requested. Hopefully we'll all be able to respect the author's wishes regarding critiques, and hopefully those of us who are harsh will be well-researched and correct!

prisoner wrote:The problem with submitting past works is that it defeats the purpose of using the Writer's Group as a motivation to write.

It certainly could! However, if a person is just looking to participate, or truly wants some input into something they've completed, I don't think it can hurt. I'm all for letting people choosing their own motivations for participation!

prisoner wrote:My main concern is that people may become lazy with proofreading because 'it would be easier' to fall back on the person whose job it is to proof for that month

I completely agree with that. I didn't want to burden the initial post with fine print, but the submission request will note that people are expected to thoroughly proofread and spellcheck their posts. Occasional mistakes and learning curves are fine, but continual refusal to pre-fix basic mistakes might result in an individual being asked to work on their own submission and resubmit the following month.

prisoner wrote:It seems that this group is, in essence, requiring critique as a method of payment in order to receive critique on one's own work

That's one way of looking at it. Sort of a "Pay to Play" mentality. For me, the deadline is integral to the concept - without a deadline I don't produce. Do you think it would be equally reasonable for folks who are more deadline-phobic (at least on the writing end of things) just to participate infrequently - submitting when they have something they feel is ready? The less structured method, as you suggest, would not only result in some people's writing not receiving critiques, but also require more overhead in terms of administrative maintenance to confirm and "clear" people who have submitted the necessary critiques.

Noctivagus wrote:I seem to have the same problem many others have, as I can't quite seem to kick myself into gear hard enough to actually finish a decent story.

I can understand that! But the whole purpose of this concept is to give people that gear-shifting kick.

Grick wrote:If this group takes flight, it would be a pleasure for me to participate

I love the thematic pun!
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Re: An Eka's Portal Writer's Group?

Postby JQVore » Sun Mar 22, 2009 8:36 pm

Heh, two weeks, might as well start now. Now, just to clarify, anything we write for the group could also be put up in our respective galleries, correct?
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Re: An Eka's Portal Writer's Group?

Postby Jacquelope » Sun Mar 22, 2009 8:46 pm

Tobedumped wrote:I'd love to take place in a monthly short story exchange. I always want to write short vore stories but frequently don't finish or keep them because I don't really have an outlet to share them. I tend to stick to occasional interactive updates instead.

That being said, here's the obstacles for me...
1) I have a niche (F/M, human, same size, heavy heavy focus on digestion and elimination) and that's not for everyone.
2) I don't really care for anything outside of my niche... while I'd read and evaluate other stuff, I don't enjoy most of the works outside of my own preference.
3) I'm harsh. If someone's story (or grammar) sucks, I tell it like it is.

If these aren't too big of obstacles for a fledgling group, I'd be game.

I would take this and propose an amendment...

Establishing genres in the writer's groups is a good way to go. One writer may in fact cross several genres.
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Re: An Eka's Portal Writer's Group?

Postby prisoner » Sun Mar 22, 2009 10:07 pm

4ofSwords wrote:For me, the deadline is integral to the concept - without a deadline I don't produce. Do you think it would be equally reasonable for folks who are more deadline-phobic (at least on the writing end of things) just to participate infrequently - submitting when they have something they feel is ready?


Aah...well I certainly produce under a deadline, but I've never once submitted quality work under a deadline. If I'm looking to produce a great story then it's best that I take my sweet, sweet time.

I was not suggesting that a "permissions" function be added, just that people have some respect and use the honors system to uphold the critiquing rule.

Yes, that would be equally reasonable. Given the Writer's Group method, I'm not sure how one would go about keeping track of the responsibilities of infrequent posters. However, I do know that it'd be discouraging for a "deadline-phobic" individual, like myself, to review stories each month while only submitting on alternating months (or perhaps less frequently).
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Re: An Eka's Portal Writer's Group?

Postby Mirukani » Sun Mar 22, 2009 10:34 pm

I need some inspiration and could use some work on style, specifically, so I would be very interested in a project that makes me produce on a deadline, even if I only submit every other month, with critique as mandatory.

I wouldn't even see a problem with having to critique, as I enjoy reading over and telling people what they could be doing better.
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Re: An Eka's Portal Writer's Group?

Postby Jacquelope » Mon Mar 23, 2009 1:18 am

prisoner wrote:Aah...well I certainly produce under a deadline, but I've never once submitted quality work under a deadline. If I'm looking to produce a great story then it's best that I take my sweet, sweet time.

I have to halfway agree with that part. My last story that I produced took a LOT longer than it should have taken - about a week instead of a day or two - but it became the most popular of all my stuff.

I was once part of an Amateur Press Association (APA). You either contributed (tribbed) or commented on others. Plus there was a lot of banter, too. Back then we printed stuff out and mailed it to the main editor who collated and distributed it to everyone. Man, those were the days.

Deadlines don't do well for producing good works, but at some point no deadlines also cause laziness. Where's the balance, is my question.
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Re: An Eka's Portal Writer's Group?

Postby Star_Sage » Mon Mar 23, 2009 2:30 am

Hmm, this actually sounds pretty interesting. I myself get frustrated with a lack of feedback on my stories, which is one of the reasons why I stopped submitting to Eka's a while back. All the problems listed are indeed part of this, but in the end, I think it would be a good motivation for everyone to participate in the writing process, and give feedback to others. As someone else stated, I do have the problem with having a specific like, that being unaware micro/macro vore, usually involving a sandwich or burger, but I'm not opposed to other works and would try to do my part.
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Re: An Eka's Portal Writer's Group?

Postby 4ofSwords » Mon Mar 23, 2009 8:10 am

pyroboarder69 wrote:Now, just to clarify, anything we write for the group could also be put up in our respective galleries, correct?

Absolutely! Whatever you write remains your property to do with as you please!

Jacquelope wrote:Establishing genres in the writer's groups is a good way to go. One writer may in fact cross several genres.

I'm all for something like that - possibly the same genre divisions as we see in the Work to be Submitted forums here on the site. That said, I think we have a way to go before getting there - we'd need to build a pretty large field of authors to support subdivisions.

prisoner wrote:However, I do know that it'd be discouraging for a "deadline-phobic" individual, like myself, to review stories each month while only submitting on alternating months (or perhaps less frequently).

My thought is that there is not ongoing membership requirement. You only need to critique in the months that you choose to post. I.e. - Take as long as you want to write, if you don't like deadlines. After you write (and post), you have 3 weeks to critique 3 other writings or you get the hand-slap of doom.

Mirukani wrote:I wouldn't even see a problem with having to critique, as I enjoy reading over and telling people what they could be doing better.

Welcome aboard!

Jacquelope wrote:Where's the balance, is my question.

Hopefully there's some balance in a production limit of 5-6 pages per month period. And the fact that if you miss the deadline (in posting new work, not in critiquing), no one's going to hunt you down and give you a swirlie.

Star_Sage wrote:I'm not opposed to other works and would try to do my part/

Great! Welcome to the group!
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Re: An Eka's Portal Writer's Group?

Postby JQVore » Mon Mar 23, 2009 9:00 am

Cool, just tell me when we and I'll have somehting in the works.
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Re: An Eka's Portal Writer's Group?

Postby Entity » Mon Mar 23, 2009 10:04 am

I'll gladly join but I have problems with writing under pressure and in a short space of time. My good work is always done over a month or two months, maybe longer. I'd probably not be such a good asset to the group :?
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Re: An Eka's Portal Writer's Group?

Postby 4ofSwords » Mon Mar 23, 2009 4:58 pm

Alrighty! I spent some time today drafting the rules and guidelines, and my proposal is here: http://aryion.com/g3/showitem.php?id=169781.

Some of it I'm pretty certain needs to stay as-is (e.g. no arguing with critiques) based on past experience, and some of it I'm not married to (e.g. The 1500 word count. The number could be higher, or lower, or non-existent. Another option might be to say you're only responsible for reading and responding to the first 1500 words of a particular reading assignment.)

I'll post the first call for submissions in a few minutes and link y'all, but I'd love to hear your thoughts about the guidelines.
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Re: An Eka's Portal Writer's Group?

Postby Pegadygor » Mon Mar 23, 2009 5:21 pm

Sounds fun, I might join in when/if I find the time to write up a short.
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Re: An Eka's Portal Writer's Group?

Postby 4ofSwords » Mon Mar 23, 2009 5:48 pm

And the April round is up here: viewtopic.php?f=38&t=16920&start=0
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