SSX

  1. Phyrebrat

    Phyrebrat ba-Ba-ba-brat

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    To any new participants, can we please start requesting less ‘hilariously zany’ stories; I’ve just had a fourth person drop out.

    pH
     
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  2. Joshua Jones

    Joshua Jones Well-Known Member

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    I apologise if my request caused someone or multiple someones to drop out. Would we be able to do a "hilariously zany" pool and a more serious pool so that those who don't want to write something at least partially absurd don't have to? I don't mind knowing that I will be taking something zany (I am working on a Hard SF novel, so it is a nice break) to even out the load. I am also willing to change my request if it would bring more people in the challenge. I just don't want my request (which is actually based on something I was working on for a 75 word challenge) to be what takes people out of the challenge.
     
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  3. TheDustyZebra

    TheDustyZebra Inspired. Or possibly insane. Could go either way. Staff Member

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    It might not be a bad idea to group the requests by pool and let people opt in to the zany pool. Just say if they would be willing to write anything or only the mundane.
     
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  4. Phyrebrat

    Phyrebrat ba-Ba-ba-brat

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    It’s the balance of serious versus zany requests.

    The problem is this; SS has always been a simple affair without these ridiculously prescriptive stimuli. Moreover people know it as a random draw so even if we did start two pools, that may not be common knowledge. Four of the messages I’ve had have said I’d like to participate but if I got xyz’s request I wouldn’t.

    I don’t have the right to vet requests but if you consider this thread is in the workshop forum and not the lounge, I think it’s self explanatory that some use it to hone their craft. If all that effort goes to cobbling together a lot of disparate elements there’s very little learning of the craft.

    Possibly I’m in the minority but that’s how I feel.

    pH
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017
  5. TheDustyZebra

    TheDustyZebra Inspired. Or possibly insane. Could go either way. Staff Member

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    Or possibly have anyone requesting zany things separate their request into sections, so the zany is optional and anyone who gets it can choose to include that part or not. That way nobody would feel like they might get something too ridiculous to attempt.
     
  6. Joshua Jones

    Joshua Jones Well-Known Member

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    Fair enough. I do feel like mine could be played relatively straight if you replace "War Kitties" with "A feline warrior race", and I would be happy either way. The impetus for asking was a preliminary story I wrote and discarded for a 75 word challenge, and I wanted to see how someone else could expand this idea, as it is outside my usual work. So, I would be happy to have this done either as a straight piece or a zany one, and I will happily take a zany one if selected. As I said before, it is a nice break from my usual work.
     
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  7. DragonAether

    DragonAether A penguin undercover

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    I really like the request of Joshua, would love to write something silly on it.
     
  8. Phyrebrat

    Phyrebrat ba-Ba-ba-brat

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    I totally understand your point but from another perspective: We’ve recently been discussing on Chrons how to get more people to vote and to participate in the challenges. It therefore seems obvious to me that we should make this challenge as ‘user friendly’ as possibly too.

    Apart from that, this is a special SS as it is the tenth one - hence the poster. It’s difficult not to feel peeved when there are so many facetious requests that - quite frankly - seem like they’re just there to outdo each other in terms of wackiness.

    Anyway. I feel like I’m being a right grump so I won’t labour the point anymore.

    FWIW, I’d have been happy to have received Starbeast’s request this time or last time, so I’ve not had a total humour-lobotomy (honest!)

    pH
     
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  9. Kerrybuchanan

    Kerrybuchanan Delusions of Grammar

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    One of my previous SS entries was almost exactly this....

    I understand the foks who prefer not to receive zany requests, despite the fact that I personally enjoy them. Some of the solutions suggested above sound perfectly reasonable, though.
     
  10. DragonAether

    DragonAether A penguin undercover

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    Why replace kitties? Wouldn't you like to see a tiny puffy cat giving orders and piloting a space freighter shaped like Nyan Cat?
     
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  11. Abernovo

    Abernovo Well-Known Member

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    @Joshua Jones - the reason I liked your was that, although it could be written with a bit of zaniness (not by me - had a humour bypass in childhood), it had the potential to be a good space opera romp, with kzin-like creatures, perhaps. Plus, a bit of romance - romance fan here. May even have written something like it in the past.

    Personal view is that humour can be injected into most stories, but stories cannot always be pushed into wacky requests. There you go: my half pen'orth of non-wisdom.
     
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  12. Joshua Jones

    Joshua Jones Well-Known Member

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    Thank you; that is exactly what I was hoping people would take from my request. You could even go full on Monty Python with it if you wanted.

    I would love to see that, just like I would love to see someone explore the advantages a sentient feline would have over a hapless crew of space pirates, or the cruel nature of humanity contrasted with noble warriors of Kittiania (or whatever the home world is named). My bigger thing is I want as much participation as possible, so I wanted to make sure that everyone knew I would be happy with serious, humorous, absurd, or satirical, or whatever else someone comes with.

    And @Phyrebrat, I don't think you are being a grump. You are voicing an opinion that you certainly aren't holding alone. And, as one who requested something which could certainly go zany, I thank you for your perspective (especially seeing as you made the poster and all...).
     
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  13. DragonAether

    DragonAether A penguin undercover

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    Can I still change my request? I would like to replace it with something more serious.
     
  14. Joshua Jones

    Joshua Jones Well-Known Member

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    Ok, this I have to see...
     
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  15. Cathbad

    Cathbad Level 30 Geek Master

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    If you do separate this into two pools (Zany/Mundane), I will probably enter. No offense to the requests herein, but I'm just not capable of writing the more off-the-wall stories requested here. I'm no good at "silly". :D
     
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  16. TheDustyZebra

    TheDustyZebra Inspired. Or possibly insane. Could go either way. Staff Member

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    I'm not the person in charge, but I can tell you that people have been known to change their request up until the deadline. If you'd like, you can PM me and I'll put it with your original post so it's not so hard for the boss to sort through the changes. :)
     
  17. sinister42

    sinister42 The sinister resister.

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    Ok, since there's a lot of complaining about "holy sh*t I have to stretch my brain to write something based on a request that's twelve percent weirder than I'd like it to be"

    Here's an alternate prompt from me:

    Write me a sci-fi noir murder mystery.

    That's it.

    In return, I would like to specifically request that I be assigned the weirdest, most impossible, most unique and quirky prompt available, always, in perpetuity, amen. Because I personally think that the best kind of writing is stuff that challenges me. I DO NOT understand writers who see a weird prompt and go "Nah peace out." I see a weird prompt and go "Yeah, what can I do with that?" Do you know how far outside my comfort zone I've gone with NYC Midnight? And I've literally written the best short stories I've ever written because I refused to back down from the challenge. "Drama/An Exterminator/New Year's Resolutions." Bam. Never written straight drama before. Awesome story. Second place in my group. "Romantic comedy/a physical trainer/a case of mistaken identity." Done. Third place. "Suspense/funeral/lawnmower?" Yep. Fourth out of 31. "Action adventure/a fish market/a remote control." Yes. That one probably won't get me very far, but I ****ing wrote it. That's the point.

    I'm not being an asshole by giving you bizarre and arcane prompts with weirdly specific elements. I'm doing what my favorite high school creative writing teacher did - stretching our collective brains. I wouldn't be the writer I am today without tackling the kinds of bizarre prompts that I have over the years. I want to see what you do with my curveballs. Ok, that sounded ...wrong, but you get my point.

    Are we cool?
     
  18. Cathbad

    Cathbad Level 30 Geek Master

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    I had no problem with the quirky ones - just don't have the skill/confidence to try them. Yet.
     
  19. sinister42

    sinister42 The sinister resister.

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    Yes you do. Just go for it.
     
  20. chrispenycate

    chrispenycate resident pedantissimo Staff Member

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    Actually, I've written a series of 'treecat' stories (for Parson) set in Weber's Honorverse. The hexapedal treecats cad definitely be classed as 'warkitties' and the Solarian League wanting to take the battle to their enemies by commerce raiding - which gives privateers rather than pirates, but close enough for rock and roll. So I had that particular story effectively written, given my own particularly warped interpretation of the demands. Though I would have rewritten it - what's the use of a challenge if it's only reprinting what you've already done?
     
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