Story Challenge 3?

Just wondering if there was going to be a story challenge 3. With Halloween coming up kind of soon, thanksgiving right after it or Christmas, I was just wondering which one you were thinking about focusing on. We just did supernatural but I think there’s still room for Horror, ‘a heart warming story’, or stories that a focus on Naughty or Nice. Just throwing it out there.

On Discord I’ve already made a poll for the next theme. Ny plan is to start it in early September.

A challenge for Halloween and Christmas is something I’d like to do extra, maybe even yearly. If people like to see that…


Sooo am I the only one super annoyed that the one story for this new challenge has taken up the whole freaken comment page with the idiotic thing about the virus? Its made even worse as pretty much none (well minus like two or three) of the comments are actually useful or helpful or informative or even from names of people I recognize as having commented much before.


So, you’re saying you don’t live to serve the virus? :stuck_out_tongue:

Is it me or are there way fewer stories in this challenge so far, compared to the first two? It has been over a week, hasn’t it? And only one entry?

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I don’t think it’s just you, @Swizzington.

I know I saw some people in the discord that were talking about how they weren’t happy with the challenge. Maybe people just aren’t too keen on the theme? Or maybe it feels too soon from the supernatural challenge? Some writers on discord were saying that they couldn’t find inspiration in the theme. Maybe with COVID around, it’s leaving a bad taste in people’s mouths. I don’t know. Then again, around the end is when the entries usually start piling on.

This theme is right up my alley, so I’ll probably post something by the deadline (unless I get too swamped with work). But it would be unlikely to get the kind of reader engagement and likes that “Don’t Read This Story” is getting (and actively soliciting within the narrative). I do wonder if we’ll get fewer entries in the contest, just because some writers will feel there’s no way to compete with that.

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Number of comments doesn’t factor in to the final standings. And that story doesn’t seem to me to be getting crazy high ratings. Only has the icon for high scores in two categories.

I wouldn’t be scared off by that. I just can’t think of a super great way to tie my specific interests (preppy) and a pandemic together :stuck_out_tongue:

And I think a lot of authors are probably in that same boat.

I hope it doesn’t scare people away as the story is ridiculous, and so are the comments. That said, yeah, I can see someone going ‘looking at that I don’t even want to bother’ and such.

Personally though I already wrote a virus story, called Contagion actually lol, and so I kind of got that out of my skin. That and a story that I wrote with another who doesn’t use this site anymore. So yeah, not feeling it.

Look, I might be the old man sitting on the porch yelling for them kids to get off his lawn but I really do hate the way the way the story created feedback. Actually, no, what I hate is how there is no way to read the comments page to see actually useful comments due to the spam of those posts. And that is what it is, spam.

This is somewhat tangential but you’ve got me curious now. What are you typically using the comments page for?

I never go on there and now I’m wondering if I might be missing something.

I often go there to see if there are any interesting comments that might make me want to read a story that I might otherwise miss or ignore due to synopsis or tags. This happens somewhat often as descriptions are some of the hardest things to write I find.

I also use the comment page at least one a day to browse all new comments. First of all, as it’s my duty to catch spam, but also to see if there’s any interesting discussion going on.

Something that I might have to moderate, but mostly cause I might have missed an interesting story. If a story gets loads of interesting comments, that story warrants a closer look. Your stories, Swizz, are among those who tend to make a huge fuzz on the comments page.

I know for a fact that this page is one of the most frequently used on the site. Not only from my own stats, but also when I moved the page into a submenu once, I received loads of complaints for doing this.

As for the “Virus” story: It’s unique. It’s kinda an experiment. It stands out. So it’s more than welcome here. The huge amount of comments by infected readers will subside eventually. I think it’s fun and a great idea and execution.

And yes, I’m personally not too happy with the challenge theme. But it’s the result of the public poll, so I’m not going to stand against that.

Do you think I wait longer before starting new challenges? Other people have been pushing me.

I was planning to start a seasonal Halloween challenge mid of October and I want to repeat that each year. Would you welcome that or do you think this is too much?

@Martin I think it would be a good idea to do the Halloween theme. That’s the one people have been looking forward to, I suspect. I imagine that people are also looking forward to a Christmas related challenge… Maybe after that there could be a break, if people want. I like the challenges, but I’m of the mind that too many is a bit overwhelming.

@Heru_Kane I get you, haha, though I have found this Virus story amusing more than anything else, though it is not to my taste, and is a bit corny. My biggest problem with it is that it’s tagged ‘1st person’ when it’s actually second person. :roll_eyes: :joy:

@Swizzington I’m actually confused about it’s ratings. If you do some digging, you’ll see how many it actually has… Yes, I admit I ruined it for me, but I didn’t vote, so… :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:. But it was for research! Don’t go looking if you don’t want to ruin the surprise. What makes me a little sad is that many registered readers have favorite lists, yet ALOT of them have only that virus story rated, as it instructed them to give it 5/5, which, apparently, it’s hypnotic power was so great that they did so. :rofl: Anyway, I’m confused about how its ratings are presently.

I don’t normally do that, but this is an exception, so I’ll share some details about the ratings for “The Virus” story:

In general, it has good, but not stellar ratings. And as you can see in the chart, it does polarize as no other story I’ve seen. Obviously, there are loads of slaves to the Virus puppets who votes 5/5 (which is fine by me btw!). And a comparatively big number of people who gave it a 0.5.

The overall number of ratings is absolutely outstanding, though. More that 100 votes in less than a week is absolutely unheard of.

I would be very surprised if that story would win the challenge though.

BTW, a little known fact: You can actually vote 0/5 (0.5 is not the lowest rating, 0.0 is), but you won’t see a difference in the controls between not having voted. :slight_smile:

Its not the story itself I have issue with, its the comment spam.

Ah. It must be the 0.5’s dragging it down. Because after all my digging, I was thinking, “how does this not have gold icons for everything?!” Pretty much every ‘slave’ to the virus gave it 5/5 in all categories. And it said that he had like 6 ratings, which obviously wasn’t right. Funnily enough, I wonder if it would have had more likes, if in the ‘story’ (calling it a story doesn’t really feel right lmao, though I agree to it’s validity.) they had been told to also add it as a favorite, along with giving it full ratings. Only some of the thralls have been proactive, it seems.

As a side note, its ‘real name’ makes all of this very hilarious, though I wouldn’t say there was much resistance.

Honestly, I can personally attest to having lost any morale for joining in the challenge after seeing how many comments that one got. I’m not complaining the story is there or anything but like, almost no story gets over 25 comments in its lifespan, let alone the 100 it has gotten in just a couple of days. Very high on user engagement there.

Well, since 95% of the comments are exactly the same line, it just can’t be compared really.

Don’t be discouraged! In general a story gets a 1000+ hits but only like 2-6 comments on average. And maybe 20-40 ratings. That’s just how it is.

I’m considering to place a spiral at the end of each story, inducing the irresistible urge to rate it…

You got me curious, @BrainControl, because I didn’t understand how you found out that stuff. But now I do. :slight_smile:

But yeah the user profiles only update their numbers once a day so it’s not gonna be accurate, especially early on

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