Writing Challenge Statistics

Discussion in 'Writing Challenges' started by The Judge, Sep 4, 2013.

  1. Culhwch

    Culhwch Lost Boy Staff Member

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    Amazing work, TJ. And take heart - you probably still have me on averages!
     
  2. Dan Jones

    Dan Jones Partying like it's 1999 - I mean, 2000 - posts

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    Brilliant work, Your Honour. Let's get to it for another year!
     
  3. Perpetual Man

    Perpetual Man Tim James

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    Ooh, I'm getting dizzy just looking at all the charts.

    They make fascinating reading, but I can see how people changing their names makes things even more confusing. I don't know why anyone would do it.

    I seem to have stumbled off my game a bit in the last few months, but is it me not writing as well, or is the competitors getting better and better, or fresh blood diversifying the voting in different ways - fresh minds seeing things in different ways?

    Thanks to everyone for taking time to work all this out, with a big tip of the hat to TJ for taking the time to keep on top of things.
     
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  4. Luiglin

    Luiglin Dark Lord's biographer aka Stuart Orford

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    Great stats but personally quite depressing lol
     
  5. Parson

    Parson This world is not my home

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    Talk about depressing..... I had the highest number of entries last year of those who did not receive a single vote. --- In the first 2 years or so I was an occasional contender (I had a tie with 8 votes one month a very high total for a tie) and since then votes have been rare. I'm not sure how to parse that. Is the competition stiffer? Am I trying a little less hard? Something else?

    But thanks a lot for your work Your Honor and Venusian Broon.
     
  6. The Judge

    The Judge Truth. Order. Moderation. Staff Member

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    Oh dear, I didn't intend to depress anyone.


    I don't know it it's any consolation, but I've also gone through long spells when votes seemed harder to come by. I think we have had a good many new entrants over the last couple of years whose writing is of a very high quality, and perhaps some of our more established members have improved in technique and story-telling though sheer practice in that time, so I'm going with the increased/stiffer competition theory myself.
     
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  7. Parson

    Parson This world is not my home

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    Your Honor, Thanks for the kind words. I'm more inclined to think that the fault lies with me or perhaps the weird genres we've been playing with.
     
  8. Culhwch

    Culhwch Lost Boy Staff Member

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    Parson, I feel the same way about three hundred worder. No matter what I can never seem to get a toehold in that one. It seems seventy-five words is my limit - any more and the quality goes downhill!
     
  9. HareBrain

    HareBrain Bunny of Wonder Staff Member

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    Same. Several people seem to do well at both, but I'm not one of them. I never do the 300 these days, but (I like to think) that's more because I find it so difficult to come up with ideas, and so much work, than because I used to score so poorly.
     
  10. Jo Zebedee

    Jo Zebedee Come away, oh human child - Waters and the Wild

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    I'm the opposite. I do well in the 300 and not so much in the 75. I, too, am struggling with fresh ideas these days but wnjoy the 300 enough that I'll stretch myself.
     
  11. Phyrebrat

    Phyrebrat ba-Ba-ba-brat

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    Well I'm not depressed, Your Hon, I got a mention - and something in parentheses which I think probably means something good, but it was numbers so I haven't a clue what it means - so I'm happy with sneaking up. I may be drawing my pension by the time I match you or Cul or the raving rabbit, but still...

    Thanks for the stats

    pH
     
  12. The Judge

    The Judge Truth. Order. Moderation. Staff Member

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    And with exquisite timing after the discussion of the 300s, here are the 300 Word statistics! As last year, a combined table showing both the year's quarterly and total figures on the left, and the total figures from previous years leading up to the cumulative total on the right. To take them in turn:

    Year 5: 2015-16

    To a real statistician, I daresay the figures remain flat ( :p ) but to my untrained – and wanting to be optimistic – eye, the year has seen improvements on all the main areas from the 2014-5 figures, which is great news.

    The number taking part in the Challenges rose from 67 to 71 entrants, and they provided a welcome 164 entries, up from 147, with 23 newcomers joining – spookily the same figure for the last three years! We had equal best months for entries in July and January with 45, well up on the last two years’ 39; the worst was again April but with 35, better than last year’s 33.

    A total of 19 of us completed all 4 Challenges (up from the previous year’s 16), while 13 completed 3 Challenges (up from 10), 10 did 2, and some 29 members took part only once, though 11 of those were newbies in the January Challenge. Let’s hope we can keep a fair number of them with us going into 2016-17.

    Voting also brought good news. We had a total of 516 votes, well up on the previous year’s 467, from 175 voters, a marvellous improvement on last year’s 117! And also – as the sharp-eyed will have noticed – we had more voters than entries, which is excellent!

    Over the year we had some 12 missing votes, when members entered but were unable to vote in that Challenge (down from last year’s 19 missing votes, which is good news, and no one missed twice), though we had fewer “extra” votes, ie from members who hadn’t entered that particular Challenge, with 23 extras from 21 members, down from 30 extras from 18 members. Thanks to all of them, with special thanks to DEO and TDZ who twice voted in Challenges in which they didn’t take part.

    I managed to inveigle my way into leading the board over the year, just pipping Victoria who ran a close second with 33 votes. Juliana was 3rd once again, with 30 votes, but Phyrebrat performed a grand jeté, leaping from last year’s 10th place to land with twinkling toes in 4th, with 26 votes! In 5th place mosaix had 25 votes, Jo Z was 6th with 24, Ursa came in 7th with 19 votes, and Robert Mackay and Venusian Broon were joint 8th with 18, just ahead of Cat’s Cradle, Denise Tanaka and Remedy in joint 10th place with 17 votes.


    Years 2011-12 to 2015-16 inclusive

    So, looking at the five completed years of the 300 Worder we’ve had a wonderful 797 stories, from 194 entrants, receiving 2461 votes from 800 voters. Only 4 of us have completed all 20 Challenges (mosaix, Tim J (aka Perp), me, and Ursa), with another 4 having missed only two Challenges (Chris p, Jo, Starbeast, and TDZ). But the number of entrants who have only taken part in one Challenge is now 88.

    I’m still doing my best to bestride the 300 world, though less like a Colossus and more like a very dumpy... um... dumpy thing. In second place Jo not only hit her century but is making strides towards her double, and is now on 122 votes, and mosaix remains in 3rd place with 110, while alchemist has leap-frogged into 4th place with 92 votes, just ahead of Tim still in 5th place on 91. Teresa remains in the top 6 with her 84 votes, though she didn’t take part in any 300 Challenges this year, but Juliana and TDZ are snapping at her heels in joint 7th place with 82 votes each. Victoria continues her exhilarating climb up the leader board and is now 9th with 80 votes from only 13 Challenges, and Hex is 10th with 65. Then we have Cul at 11th with 63, Phyrebrat comes in at 12th with 59, and joint equal 13th are Boneman and Mouse though neither entered any 300 Challenges this year, and 15th is Chris p with 43 votes.


    Well, we didn’t get our 200th entrant this year as I’d hoped, though we should easily do by this time next year. As before, welcome and congrats to all newbies, and extra congrats to VB who got 5 votes in his very first 300 Challenge (and as noted above an excellent 18 in total for the year) and Shyrka who got 4. Well done both!
     

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  13. Shyrka

    Shyrka Friend of Ulysses

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    The pressure! How will I ever follow up my initial success?! So much to live up to!

    Seriously though, thank you. I was honoured and amazed to receive any votes with my first attempt.
     
  14. Venusian Broon

    Venusian Broon Defending the SF genre with terminal intensity

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    As promised, the sister graph for the 300:

    upload_2016-3-31_10-37-7.png

    And not flat! - Definite signs of upward momentum as we move into 2016/17 (ignoring 2012 again!) yay!!!

    Just for completeness here are the 75 and 300 entrants figures superimposed. It shows quite well how the 300 has been steadily catching up with the 75:

    upload_2016-3-31_11-29-16.png

    Edit - definitely something unusual happened in 2012 - a burst of enthusiasm for the competitions. I can't remember. I think I might have been on tour of duty in Venus at the time.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2016
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  15. Bowler1

    Bowler1 Senile Member

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    I've been lurking around this site for four years now!

    I don't do the 300 words all that often as time is against me and ideas have to be developed more to get anywhere. I do dip my toe in the 300 worder every so often, but it's the 75 worder that gets me excited. The short and sweet element of the 75 words means that an idea is usually enough and can be polished during lunch, which helps me a lot. It has to be a simple concept with a clear ending (not easy to manage) and I usually try and leave 'em laughing (even harder to manage). The taking part and trying and a simple stubborn refusal to let defeat get you down is the key in my view. So like writing in general, you got to keep knocking the 75 words out and improving all the time. Made harder as we're all getting better, so that bar keeps rising and the challenge gets harder with every passing month, but that is what keeps me coming back. Any vote gets me excited and Mrs Bowler has to suffer my childish blubbering when it happens, so I don't expect I'll stop anytime soon. More often than not I still fail to get any votes, but I never let that get me down (I get even and go out on random drive by shootings instead). So in summary, I think the taking part is what really counts and everything else is a bonus.
     
  16. Luiglin

    Luiglin Dark Lord's biographer aka Stuart Orford

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    Ok, maybe frustrating would have been better. I seem to have gone backwards :)

    I obviously need to write retro ;)
     
  17. Perpetual Man

    Perpetual Man Tim James

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    Funny thing is, for me at least - and the stats seem to back it up, I have felt off my game, and not really myself (Chronicles wise) since I changed my name.

    I know I had valid reasons for doing it, but I just haven't felt myself since it changed.

    I know a number of people really liked the Perp version of me, so if any Mod wants to change it back I would not be completely adverse. Or just Perp...
     
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  18. nixie

    nixie pixie druid Staff Member

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    You would need to ask Brian or Dave, I always went for the lazy version and used Pep:)
     
  19. Dan Jones

    Dan Jones Partying like it's 1999 - I mean, 2000 - posts

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    We want Perp! We want Perp!
     
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  20. Perpetual Man

    Perpetual Man Tim James

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    But that made it special, just you and Hoops called me that!
     
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