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We really are dead here, aren't we? Who's up for a challenge?

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  • We really are dead here, aren't we? Who's up for a challenge?

    I was looking at some of the infinite stories, and it is depressing how many badly-written, poorly constructed ones there are. We used to be a good site! What happened to us?!

    With this in mind, I want to submit a challenge. I think everyone should write something they consider to be a really good work; something that we can use to draw more people into the site and make it great again. We have a lot of great writers here, and I think I would really like to see more work done on the stories here.

    You can work on (and finish) a story you've already started - but it might be better to produce something no one else has seen before (a private one, perhaps?) And I think that, at various stages, people should beta-read the stories being worked on and make helpful suggestions. Not necessarily in ratings, but PMs to the authors themselves.

    I am working on something now, which would be better if I could embed the pictures; but if all else fails, I can provide links to the images. So I'm not letting that stop me.

    So? Who's up for a challenge?

  • #2
    We were never a good site, Cat. The only difference between the then and the now is that the people who DO write worthwhile stuff used to be more productive.

    Maybe people need bigger incentives? Perhaps we should start having a $5 buy-in for our tournaments with winner-take-all...


    • #3
      Originally posted by Ryan_DuBois View Post
      Maybe people need bigger incentives? Perhaps we should start having a $5 buy-in for our tournaments with winner-take-all...
      Right, because having to pay money is always such a good incentive to get people to be active.
      Dragavan: Dragavan Games - Lootin' Wizards - The Land of Karn - Central U (adult) - Dragavan's Adult Stories


      • #4

        But being able to get money is. Look at casinos.


        • #5
          Looking at past tournaments, if we all payed $5 the winner could take home $15!!! How awesome is that?!
          The organ is grinding but the monkey won't dance.


          • #6
            Haha, I know right? That's three trips to McDonald's or fifteen trips to the dollar store. But it gets better: you're only counting the people who finished... if the entry fee was $5, the winner would be scooping up a grand $20 at the very least.

            That's a lot of penny candies.

            A lot.

            I'm not actually suggesting we do this -- maybe if we had a bunch of entrants and some way to guarantee the winner his or her cash, it would work, but we don't. I'm just saying that I don't think getting constructive criticism and a pat on the back is enough for most people.


            • #7
              Ryan: Money wouldn't necessarily work anyway, they had contests at CYS where you could win cash money and basically they didn't have any more participants than usual, and the people that won would usually be the same ones. (Sort of like what you mentioned, the people who write well just were more active)

              Paying out money to win the "jackpot", isn't very appealing either. They have a system like that at Worth1000, and true you do get a few "free credits", but once you run out, you basically either have to (A) Pay real money to the site to get more so you can participate in more contests or (B) Beg someone else to sponsor you where upon if you actually manage to win the contest you're in, you have to give half of those winnings to the person who sponsored you.

              Cat2000:Well there is technically an IWT 6 contest still going on. Deadline is New Year's Eve, so there's that.

              Assuming I manage to finish it, I'll post it. I doubt if it would be my "best work" though.

              The problem is there are ideas I do have, but no long stretches time to really work on them anymore and when I do get the chance to work on them, I find ways to improve stuff and I have to reread other passages that I've already written to make sure it makes sense still as well as refreshing my memory. That all sets me back a lot.

              At this point I'm going to say any story I'm working on or thinking about: "when its done", however, assuming this place isn't going to go offline anytime soon I still have these ideas in mind...


              2012 or bust!
              Last edited by End Master; 11-23-2009, 07:09 PM.
              Writing: It's more fun than a barrel of Ebola ridden monkeys!


              • #8
                Originally posted by End Master View Post
                (Sort of like what you mentioned, the people who write well just were more active)
                Hey, that'd be good enough for me. Perfect, in fact. I've read more than my share of stories from the "you wake up" genre, as of late.

                I'm still up in the air on the contest, too. I might enter one of two short horror/survival stories I'm working on right now, just since the whole looping thing would make more sense in them.

                You should enter the contest, Cat. The more, the merrier.


                • #9
                  Oh, I wasn't thinking of a contest. More like, 'let's finally get some new stories finished - or at least a long way into the storyline'. And something to get more people into the site. *Shrug*. Something to think about, maybe? I still remember how excited I first was when I found the original website.

                  So what are the details of the latest contest?


                  • #10
                    Isn't there something preventing new members from getting on the forums or something like that? I see new members making accounts like two or three times a week, they just don't seem to want to join the community.

                    As for the contest, you can dig up the original thread if you're curious about the details, but in a nutshell the goal is to create an "infinite story"; in other words, your story can have no dead ends in order to be eligible. A lot people aren't over-enthused about the theme, but I guess it'll force us to use the looping utility more. The current deadline is before January 1st.

                    So far as I know, nobody is certain that they're entering yet.


                    By the way, thanks, Cat. You have breathed life back into this site.
                    Last edited by Ryan_DuBois; 11-24-2009, 10:45 AM.


                    • #11
                      Sev has to authorize all accounts to prevent spamming. They can send PMs, but they can't actually post in the forum proper. Most of them are spam accounts, but there are a few people, like urnam0, who are legitimately unable to post. But that's just the forums. I'm pretty sure site messaging still works.

                      Cat, if you're curious about the contest, any thread with IWT6 in the title will have info of some sort- but Yazz has got it right. There is no theme or genre requirement- you can write about whatever you want, as long as every room loops to some other room. You don't have to loop back to the beginning, but you do have to make sure every room leads somewhere else.

                      I am intrigued by Cat's concept- I am indeed a feedback whore, and that would be the easiest way to get me writing CYOA again. Worth 1000 was okay, but the good topics are just too rare for me to bother caring about the site. Maybe something where a group of us form a pact, and by doing so agree to critique the work of the others each time they add 10 rooms, 10,000 words, or finish a work? And they can't get a critique on theirs until they've critiqued the other's first?
                      Originally posted by Ryan_DuBois
                      Usoki, you're the crankiest asshole we know. Not that it's a bad thing, it just means that you smell funny and are best left hidden in darkness.
                      And it's embarrassing when you make any noise at all.


                      • #12
                        Having just started the one I'm working on, I'm very reluctant to pick up any more plot bunnies. If I can make any major headway with this, I might join in with the contest... or I may make an entry for the next one.

                        And, yeah, Usoki - something like that would be really great to do. An alternative would be to try co-writing. Usernames are put together randomly, and the two have to work together to come up with a story.

                        Or something like that. I'm not good at explaining


                        • #13
                          Well... it's better than nothing, I guess.

                          "I hereby swear to give feedback, in some shape or form, on any new works posted by any regular forum members (except Megaman), as long as I'm aware that the work exists... Unless I leave the site again or Sev comes back and we get like 500 forum members or something."

                          Let's hope this works.


                          • #14

                            Btw... Where's your work?

                            Ryan, I mean. Or am I just totally not with it and have already read your work?
                            Last edited by Cat2000; 11-24-2009, 06:23 PM.


                            • #15
                              Though I've historically contributed little in the way of actual material to IS, it would be great to see the site come back from this long hibernation. The absolute best way to do that involves Sev, or someone, finishing the new Infinite Story site and getting us some hits from the search engines. That may be wishful thinking at this point, but I see it as a completely necessary part of the solution; when's the last time we had someone involved and active join the community? We've run off a couple of newbies, true, but with MRH as a possible exception, none of them were willing or capable of contributing much, anyway. Look at CYS, Fictionpress, or any other writing site out there. They have just as many bad and unfinished stories as we do - more - but with a better online presence and more visitors, simple odds and statistics eventually turn up the good writers that form the cornerstones of those communities.

                              Once we start getting more hits on the site, particularly at the beginning, we do bear some responsibility as core members for keeping them here with actual decent writing, but the real problem is one of inertia. Simply put, nobody at IS believes anyone else cares. That's probably as true of Sev as of the rest of us; he likely sees little to gain from finishing up the site, considering the size and current activity level of the community. It's a cycle of complete apathy, and we are perpetuating it, but the most important aspects of any attempt to break out of this rut and get some positive inertia going are, at least for the moment, out of our hands.

                              We have a number of really good pieces here at IS; though none of us likes the ratio of these to the bad, pointless and unfinished ones, there have always been enough to keep the site respectable. I think comparatively few people actually see them right now, though. The main site has been pretty much permanently broken for over a year. As a writer (if, as previously mentioned, a historically noncontributing one), I find I have even less motivation to try anything here when I feel like it won't get read. "Ninja Lengend" (yes, that is how the author spelled it) has as many hits as "Country from Hell" because it happened to be on the front page when everything froze. If you still have questions about the quality of that story, here's a link:

                              Sev, we've kept the candle burning for quite awhile; through last year, the fact that others here on the forums cared about one another's work kept us moving and writing, in part because we were all convinced that, while the site had issues, there was still someone at the helm legitimately trying to solve them. I don't think anyone actually believes that anymore, and that lack of faith and motivation has been necessarily self-reinforcing among the core members, to the point that, as I said near the beginning of this post, nobody cares because nobody else cares.

                              We can all promise to do more and try to write the CYOA version of War and Peace. We've tried to rally before around that sort of thing, and continue to do so with the annual contest, at least, though I'm sure many of you feel, as I do, that even that's about to go. At best, those attempts only caused a momentary uptick in our own output, before things died down again. I still care, and I'm willing to pledge my part in the solution, but if any of you want to break the cycle and make IS good again, I think the website itself has to improve for any of our efforts to have a sustainable effect.
                              Last edited by Locke; 06-27-2014 at 12:16 AM.


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