Chronicle Guidelines

  • Yes, yet another chronicle topic

    Sorry for so much about chronicles, but they've helped take a giant leap in the step of determining what the chronicles should become based on the new changes boards bring.

    First off, a restatement of stuff I'd said before, just to clarify:
    The new boards, due to the way they are set up, will likely involve people posting their own chronicles. This means the old system of Slayer approving them before they go up will be discontinued. Why? Well, I see two ways to continue his system.

    #1 involves people tracking down the pending chronicles forum and submitting directly there, with a tag mentioning it belongs to Cythera. Sort of like the old way, except with a much more complex way for someone to submit. This is bad for two reasons: the first, and probably most important, is its rather inconvenient for members to upload stories. The second is that its a burden on me, I have to juggle two moderator accounts (of which I can only log in to one at a time) across multiple boards that are sorted by last reply date, so if four stories are submitted in one week, the three that are released later can get buried really easily - both on pending chronicles and on the Cythera chronicles board.

    #2 involves people submitting their chronicles, but imposing the one public story a week - meaning as soon as more stories are uploaded I'd make them invisible (ie, pending 'approval'). This is easier for users as they can just submit on the chronicles page as normal, but then I'd need to get there as soon as possible to hide it. That doesn't work out if there's a multi-hour delay, because some people will undoubtedly read it before it gets hidden, and then there's not much point in hiding it - is there?

    So, as people post their stories, I'll just leave them there. That also means I can't be pre-screening them for spelling and grammar, or even coherency, authors need to do that themselves or the community could point out rather severe mistakes - both are preferable. This will likely result in the abolishment of the one story per week rule, meaning chronicles are uploaded as people post them, so expect lots of populated times and lots of lulls between stories.

    Onto the new stuff:
    Since there's no longer any moderator pre-screening going on, I think it would be useful to have a pinned topic detailing guidelines/helpful information for chronicles, or even about posting on the chronicle forum. I'd like your suggestions on what should be this, you've got a better feel for the chronicles than I do. Do we even need a guidelines topic?

    Next up: given the new format, there's no traditional half-screen "spotlight" section as there was before. However, I can pin topics to make them easily accessible. Should there be pinned chronicles for a period of time, and if so, what should be the conditions? IE, "all new stories get a slot for a week" or "high-quality stories" (chronicle of the month material?) or something?

    Third, I've said this before, but in order to really work, the chronicles could use some peer review. If someone's story sucks, tell them what their major weaknesses are and how future submissions can be made better. If someone's story is mindblowing-awesome, let them know and give them positive feedback so they know what went well.

  • Is there no chance of getting Andrew to make that board moderated? That way, posts wouldn't show up until you approved them. Mind you, that would probably apply to people's comments on specific chrons, too, so it might not be worth it.

  • I personally like the idea of being able to post straight to the chronicles. So long as peers pointed out errors in grammar and the author fixed them, it'd work pretty well and a guidelines topic might not be necessary. As for guidelines, I think that a topic for it should perhaps give a general idea of what chronicle should be (maybe an example of an already existing story) and ask authors to fix mistakes and peers to point them out. If this system is put into effect, what would be its probable start day? (I believe asked on IRC, but it'd be helpful to have something so that everybody on the web board would know and the time may have changed.)

  • Start date: Sometime after I figure out how I want everything to run, and after Half Truth's two chrons saved from pending chronicles are released (should be this weekend for the latter)

    cache: I don't know, it might be too much effort to bother, and its probably not very high on his to-do list, still ironing out problems and moving into the new office are higher up. Is it necessary to do it that way? Would people prefer hidden topics until one is released a week-ish?

  • I like the idea of pinnning new or notable topics. Some guidelines might be: Don't Do This (And Now I Point to Grappers Return). Quite seriously, a good starter guideline might be length, at least 300 words per story. It's not that much to ask.

  • I agree, there should be a min word length requirement, short stories with big plots don't mix.

  • Personally, I would be for a higher word limit (maybe 500?), but my one issue with any word limit is that the chrons were originally for things other than stories, like poems or songs, which often get their point across in fewer than 300 words. Maybe chrons don't need to include poems or stories anymore, but I just wanted to bring it up.

  • Well, it can be a requirement for stories. Poems, obviously, wouldn't have one. Songs probably shouldn't either, though it depends on the song.

    It shouldn't be too difficult to tell if one is attempting to write a story or a it?

  • I don't know if there's much of a point to a flat word limit. If it's short but well-written, I'm willing to read it; if it's long and badly-written, I'm not. It's probably true that a person who doesn't pay enough attention to write well won't pay enough attention to write long. But I think a better guideline would be "clear English with evidence of thought." Now, this isn't something that a writer can as easily quantify. But these rules can't really be enforced anyway, except in retrospect; you will get short, badly-written chrons, no matter what rules you set up.

  • Keep in mind, if you're calling it chronicle -guidelines-, that does not make them -rules-. It's advice and useful tips on writing a chronicle. A minimum word limit doesn't have to be followed; it's just recommended.

    Give people a general idea on what's expected and what's kosher around here, but give them creative license. That's what they need.

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