Competition Regret

I submitted my latest story as part of the Pandemic competition, and now I’m wishing that I hadn’t. So far, it’s only gotten 1 half-hearted comment and fewer than 400 views. Pretty disappointing, considering that I’m swamped at work and spent time I don’t really have to complete the story.

If given the chance, I think I’d rather withdraw it from the competition–it’s too offbeat and wouldn’t win anyway–and repost it at the top of the page as a new Hypnothrill story so it would actually get some views and comments.

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Hi Hypnoithrill,

I wonder why you’d think that the story would get more readers if it were published outside of the challenge? Because your name wouldn’t be hidden then?

But of course this is up to you. I can remove it from the challenge, then your story would show up normally again. Let me know if you want me to do that.

Yes, I think it just got buried underneath a bunch of other competition stories that were published at the same time, and no one read it. There are still people who see my name and click, so I think it normally would have gotten at least a few more readers.

I honestly think I’d rather take it down entirely, then repost it later today or tomorrow with a new introduction (and maybe a more enticing description) in order to actually get some reader engagement.

That’s up to you. But I’d give it some more time, if I were you. The two week “read and rate time” just started for the challenge, and many people put all the stories entered into the competition on their list of “stories to read” in those two weeks.

I don’t think that being in the competition is a malus for attention, quite the opposite.

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Okay, Martin: I’ll take your advice and keep my story in the competition.


I always try to leave comments because I know how valuable they are to the writer. In this case, the theme of the competition was, and I’m speaking personally, something I did not want to delve into. I have many thoughts and issues regarding the covid pandemic, all negative. I did not want to read a fantasy story against that reality. Granted, I appreciate the stories could have been about any pandemic, factual or fictional, and that was a good move. However, I stayed away from them all. Perhaps if others were like me, they also did not delve into the stories which may have resulted in far less comments than usual. You have the numbers of how many read it, so you can verify in your case if my suspicion is correct or not.

Yeah, it’s gotten just under 700 views so far, which is less than a third of what my other recent stories have gotten. So I think people are staying away, perhaps because of the competition theme or perhaps because the title and description weren’t so appealing. (That’s what I get for writing a story inspired by a pun on the title of a modernist novella from the 1930s). I hope you’ll check it out eventually, PupScout, because it’s not COVID-themed, and it has some elements you might like.

I understand that the theme of the challenge could repel readers. I wouldn’t have chosen it myself, as you know.

Anyway, there are great, fun and very hot stories among them. And Covid-19 hardly has any relevance in the stories.

As for your story, @Hypnothrill, I guess it’s really a combination of your name not showing up as the author and a maybe not so appealing combination of the title, the summary or the tags.

The number of hits on the last 10 stories in the challenge are quite within the usual range:

1035, 1240, 1270, 2029, 1884, 700, 1905, 886, 2019

I’ll check it out. I love your stories. What is the title?

The stories are still anonymous at this point.

I can now reveal that this one, “Pale Whores, Pale Rider,” was my story:

I’m still a little sad that it never found its readership. Right now, it still only has 855 views, significantly fewer than all the others Martin mentioned in the competition. It’s a piece of historical fiction, set in the 1919 pandemic, and it might not be down everyone’s alley. But if people like my stories, then they’d probably enjoy it. I had some fun adapting a few of my typical tropes to that new setting.

I am really sorry that your story got so little attention. I really wonder why.

But as the number of clicks only depends on the title, the summary, the category and tags, and the word count, it must be one of these things.

If you want, you can do a rewrite or extension and post it again as a regular story!