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Geekseven's year in stories

01 Jan 2013 17:17 - 01 Jan 2013 17:18 #29911 by inactive
Geekseven's year in stories was created by inactive
Happy new year to all. Warning: Long post ahead...

As 2012 winds down, I thought I would do a summary of my contributions to the library over the past year and how they were received. I submitted a total of 9 stories this year (10 if you include “February Girl” which was an old story that had not been in the library before). Starting in March, my goal was to publish a story each month. I didn’t quite meet that goal, but I wasn’t too far off.

“The Pitch” 4th March 2012
This was thrown together in about an hour as a response to the idea of a story based on all of the previous workshops in one. It was quick to write and made absolutely no sense. Seemed to be pretty well received for the throwaway that it was.

“Reunion Tour” (Spring Workshop)
A sequel to “The Groupie” was something that had been floating around my mind for a while, and the workshop gave me a perfect opportunity to do it. This story was received with indifference for the most part, and placed poorly in the poll. It’s clear that ersatz conceptfan stories by me are definitely not wanted. A failed experiment, but I’m glad to have gotten it out of my system.

“The Neutral Ground” 26 May 2012
This is my favorite story (of mine) of the year. When Argonaut first floated the idea of “A supergirl walks into a bar” as a workshop theme, I had no idea that I would end up with three stories based on it. The bar is an amalgam of two bars in two very different neighborhoods of New Orleans. Overall, I was pleased with how the story turned out and very pleased at the reception. I commissioned an illustration from an artist on fiverr called jtmammoth, which came out pretty well, especially when it had been colored by Lfan.

“The Accidental Amazon, Part Two” 24th June
The first part of the Accidental Amazon was the first of my supergirl stories that I showed to my wife, so it has a special place in my heart. It took almost a year to finish the second chapter. After all of that, I was disappointed that it passed without much note on the site. I commissioned another illustration from jtmammoth on fiverr, with mixed results.

“Flight of the Magpie, Part One” 21st July
This one really hurt. “Flight of the Magpie” took more than a year to write, from beginning to end. It was a story I was proud of. It was one of the first stories I showed to my wife. To have it appear on the site and make zero impression was very hard for me. At the very least, John Becaro’s excellent illustration deserves more attention than it received.

“Fly the Deadly Skies” (Summer Workshop)
This was a nasty little story that came to me in a flash. It went through a brutal editing process to get it down to thousand words. Placed second in the poll and provoked some discussion, which was good. I commissioned an illustration from a different artist on fiverr which was so bad, it will never leave my hard drive. I ended up putting together a quick photo-manipulation using stock images.

“Firecracker” 30th September
The idea for this story came from a comment on the workshop discussion about the girl not necessarily being super when she walks into the bar. I played around with this idea near the end of the writing period for the workshop, but it didn’t quite fall into place until my wife read the second draft and gave me some good ideas. Got a moderately favorable reception on the site.

“February Girl” 15th October
This was the last ‘Stupendous Girl’ story that I wrote before I (first) quit writing for SWM a couple of years back. Somehow it never made it into the old storybank, so when I reseeded it, along with the excellent illustration by TGK, it appeared as a new story. There were a couple of nice comments, which surprised me, since I had always assumed that ‘Stupendous Girl’ was as popular as herpes. I’m not exactly fired up to write a new chapter, but unlike two years ago, I’m not ruling it out.

“Flight of the Magpie, Part Two” 26th November
Clearly Magpie/Paragon is not a favored character on SWM. I put a lot of effort into wrapping up this story and was repaid with almost zero interest. Again, I commissioned an excellent illustration from John Becaro. Again, I might as well have not bothered.

“A Christmas Tale”
Many thanks to Argonaut for inspiring me to write a Christmas story while I was feeling pretty burned out on writing. As I had some credits on fiverr, I commissioned a couple of pieces from two different artists, neither of which were satisfactory. I then commissioned a picture of “Supergirl-Past” from Eric Matos, via an ebay auction, which turned out so well that I commissioned “Present” and “Future” Supergirl from him as well.

Since drmuttonchops3 and argonaut both posted Christmas themed stories around the same time, I was given the rare opportunity to do an objective comparison of how my stories are received. Argonaut has been contributing stories to the site for longer than I have, and drmuttonchops3 has been contributing stories for less than I have, so we have a good spread of experience in the sample set.

As of 11AM CST 1/1/2013, the statistics for the three stories are as follows:
“A Christmas Tale” - GeekSeven : 543 views, 3 votes for a 5 star rating, no favorites, 2 comments.
“Christmas in Metropolis’ - drmuttonchops3 : 498 views, 5 votes for a 5 star rating, no favorites, 8 comments.
“Lois Lane’s Super Christmas’ - Argonaut : 852 views, 8 votes for a 5 star rating, 1 favorite, 8 comments.

What does that tell us? That Argonaut’s stories, with a well-deserved following, are somewhat more likely to be read, and that those who read are moved to vote and comment. Statistically, drmuttonchops3 and I are tied on the number of people who clicked through to read the story, but drmuttonchops3’s readers are more likely to vote and comment, implying that his stories make more of an impact.


In conclusion: a year of ups and downs. A lot of my writing seems to inspire indifference, which is the worst possible reception for any story. A few pieces were well-enough received to keep me going, however. Without any useful feedback on why my stories are not making an impact, it’s hard for me to adjust my writing style.

As far as commissioning illustrations is concerned... My experiments with fiverr are probably over. Although jtmammoth was great to work with, and produces good art, his style doesn’t quite gel with what I want. Every other artist I tried on fiverr has been unsatisfactory. I’ve had better luck with ebay and contacting artists directly on deviantart. John Becaro does very good work and is a great to work with. I also received great work from Eric Matos and Ben Dunn via ebay.

What do we have on deck for 2013? I’ve completed a draft of the third chapter of “Accidental Amazon”. The future direction of the story is up in the air, so I don’t want to publish it until I’ve had a chance to plot a little farther ahead. “Magpie” will probably not continue. I plan on contributing to the Fall 2012 workshop, although that story is getting a little out of hand at the moment.

There are a still a few older stories that need to be reseeded, or which were never in the storybank to begin with. Overall, I intend to scale back on submissions to SWM in 2013, although I would still like to take part in workshops. My plan for the year is to write a short novel, so that’s where I will concentrate. If ideas for shorter stories come to me, I’m sure I’ll throw them out there.

- GeekSeven
Last edit: 01 Jan 2013 17:18 by inactive.
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01 Jan 2013 18:23 #29913 by supian
Replied by supian on topic Geekseven's year in stories
Thanks G7 -personally, I really like your stupendous girl work. I think your perception of her stories may be off the mark and would love to see more stories with her. Keep up the good work!

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01 Jan 2013 18:28 #29914 by Woodclaw
Replied by Woodclaw on topic Geekseven's year in stories
Well this was quite a year for you, G7.

I'm really disappointed that "Flight of the Magpie" won't continue, since I think that it's a hell of a story.

Also I wish you the best of luck with your novel, although I would love to see more of your stories here.

(formerly Anon, still Librarian)

"What is the point of having free will if one cannot occasionally spit in the eye of destiny?" ("Gentleman" John Marcone)

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01 Jan 2013 21:30 #29916 by JKIJ
Replied by JKIJ on topic Geekseven's year in stories
I too am sorry that there won't be more of Magpie. I liked that she was slowly and reluctantly reforming and I'd have liked to see how she got out of her seemingly impossible situation of being forced to murder an innocent man. I do understand why the lack of response was disheartening after so much effort though.

I wish that I was able to come up with the ideas and write half as much as you have done this past year and I wish you luck with what you do write in the coming year.

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02 Jan 2013 04:28 #29926 by ace191
Replied by ace191 on topic Geekseven's year in stories
At times I know how you feel. When I posted Turnabout is Fair Play Chapters 13-14, I got 984 hits, 2 votes and one very much appreciated comment. As we did not have the hit meter at the time, I wondered if even 20 or 30 people had read it, so I set it aside to work on other projects. I was stunned, but pleasantly surprised to see that so many folks had read it, but that there were only 2 votes and one comment. I knew because of the necessary plot twist it would not be a popular set of chapters, but it was nice to see that at least one reader had taken the bait.

Chapters 15-16 are doing much better with 600 hits in 8 days along with 6 votes but only one comment by I think the same individual who commented on chapters 13-14. It all gets back to why you write in the first place.

I got started 7 years ago because I really enjoyed reading Marknew's and DKC's stories along with several others and I wanted to maybe give them some "payback" by writing stories that they might enjoy. It also gave me a nice break from the mental trials and tribulations of my regular job. I got some good help from Argo at the start (whose Lois Lane's Super XMAS is currently kicking Turnabout's butt on the hit meter)and ironically, it has really improved my writing which has helped me quite a bit at work.

I very much enjoy reading the types of stories that are written here at SWM. These types of stories are very hard to find. I have found a few at Fictionmania, Brawna, Superstories, DTV and the Lois and Clark Fan sites, but none really compare to the ones found here. Compared to the sites I just mentioned, we have a very small output of stories. Ours is truly a tiny cottage industry.

I really like the Magpie as it is very different from the usual fair. Instead of a good person being corrupted by power, this gal is reluctantly trying to live up the Spiderman Slogan of "With Great Power comes Great Responsibility," and I for one would like to see more.

If folks didn't enjoy the stories here, they would not keep coming back to read more. You have several that have more than 2000 hits so clearly you are making several people's day with your output, even if you don't get the kind of feedback that you would like.

I can't draw worth shit, so there is no way I could produce any decent artwork for this site other than hire someone like TGK to do it for me. I suspect that many individuals would like to write stories but either don't have the tools to do it, or are afraid too. Either way, the task of producing new content has fallen to a few. Except maybe for the Battle of Britain, "Never have so many, owed so much to so few." I doubt I will ever in my lifetime down an ME 109 with a Spitfire in defense of her Majesty's Kingdom, but I can continue to knock out stories for this site regardless of the feedback or lack of it.

Ace

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02 Jan 2013 07:15 #29927 by d_k_c
Replied by d_k_c on topic Geekseven's year in stories
I’m both a fan of the fiction here and a writer of some of the fiction here. As a writer I can understand to a certain degree the need for a response. Did people like it? did they not like it? I’d really like to know

As a reader…The truth is, you are not getting a response. These stories are not thought provoking masterpieces. And if someone actually wrote one, I don’t believe it would be received well…even here. These are smash ups of good fun, and good imagination and great entertainment.

I don’t know how you check how many people have read your story but, IMO, if it’s over a couple of hundred consider it a huge compliment, asking the reader to leave feedback in this genre is simply too much to ask. But for those who do, gotta love you

Write because you like to write. Write for yourself, and if even a couple of people publicly like it, consider it a huge success……IMO

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02 Jan 2013 09:24 #29928 by Lastleaf
Replied by Lastleaf on topic Geekseven's year in stories
G-7, well I agree about indifference but would authors really appreciate negative feedback? Frankly, I'm not really enjoying a lot of the stories, they just don't grab you. I don't if its the genre or what but when a story is just about a nigh invincible superwoman just doing what she pleases; its just no different from other stories. There is just no tension, no consequence, no challenge, the story is a dead end. There are those that enjoy them though, so out of respect the negative comments don't get said.

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02 Jan 2013 10:59 #29929 by brantley
Replied by brantley on topic Geekseven's year in stories
It's not just SWM. There's very little feedback these days at the Aurora Universe Readers Group for my Bright Empire stories. And yet my stats indicate that lots of people are reading them. I don't know why that is. Speaking more generally, it's easy for superheroine fiction, like any genre, to get into a rut. I try to avoid that by mixing it with sf scenarios, and making the heroines more than just comic book types. Works for me.

--Brantley

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02 Jan 2013 11:53 #29930 by Woodclaw
Replied by Woodclaw on topic Geekseven's year in stories

brantley wrote: It's not just SWM. There's very little feedback these days at the Aurora Universe Readers Group for my Bright Empire stories. And yet my stats indicate that lots of people are reading them. I don't know why that is. Speaking more generally, it's easy for superheroine fiction, like any genre, to get into a rut. I try to avoid that by mixing it with sf scenarios, and making the heroines more than just comic book types. Works for me.

--Brantley


I agree with Brantley, right now the community seem to be slowing down (even more tha usual between Christmas and New Year's Eve). Matter of fact there are no more than two dozens people that post regularly on this forum. While it's pretty typical for forums to have more lurkers than posters, I think that this is getting out of control.


Personally, I'm guilty of not providing enough feedback as much as anyone else.

(formerly Anon, still Librarian)

"What is the point of having free will if one cannot occasionally spit in the eye of destiny?" ("Gentleman" John Marcone)

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02 Jan 2013 14:48 #29931 by pansardum
Replied by pansardum on topic Geekseven's year in stories

Lastleaf wrote: G-7, well I agree about indifference but would authors really appreciate negative feedback? Frankly, I'm not really enjoying a lot of the stories, they just don't grab you.


I think almost all authors appreciate constructive feedback. But that is also the hardest to give. How to improve a story is far from an easy subject. If the author then don't like your feedback it could be considered their loss. Cause I hope that everybody that write here have a genuine interest in improving their storytelling.

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02 Jan 2013 15:20 #29934 by brantley
Replied by brantley on topic Geekseven's year in stories
G7, I'm starting to go backwards through your stories and belatedly comment on them.

--Brantley
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02 Jan 2013 16:26 #29936 by The Highlander
Replied by The Highlander on topic Geekseven's year in stories
Sorry to hear some of your stories haven't had a good reception, I think I might be partly to blame for that. I loved quite a few of your stories like 'The Pitch', 'Flight of the Magpie' and 'Firecracker' but in each case it took me a long time to comment (if at all). I also tend to post responses in the relevant library thread rather than in the story itself (which wouldn't show up on your figures).

It can be very disheartening not to get any response to something that you have worked on (just look at all the threads where the last post is one of my morphs), but I'm not sure if I would directly link that with the popularity of the story. Again from my own experience there are plenty of stories that I love to read which for one reason or another I never get round to commenting on. Maybe the solution is to post your stories on some other sites (like deviantART or Brawna), I think there is a little bit more of a response culture on those sites.

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02 Jan 2013 20:33 #29938 by njae
Replied by njae on topic Geekseven's year in stories
Looking at this thread I wonder if the "Classic Sort by Popularity" (=hits) was a good idea after all. It's hard to try to measure popularity with this alone. For example I noticed that several of the workshop winners after/including Spring 2011 have less views than other stories of their respective workshops (The Bachelorette being the only exception). Also, workshop stories generally have more hits than other stories and a catchy name seems to matter a lot as well.
On the other hand, the amount of votes and favorites isn't too helpful either, since both suffered from the virus attack last August and a big amount of stories have been reseeded later.

But I think that the comments ticker has increased the amount of comments made, meaning more feedback for everyone.

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02 Jan 2013 23:09 #29939 by Woodclaw
Replied by Woodclaw on topic Geekseven's year in stories

njae wrote: Looking at this thread I wonder if the "Classic Sort by Popularity" (=hits) was a good idea after all. It's hard to try to measure popularity with this alone. For example I noticed that several of the workshop winners after/including Spring 2011 have less views than other stories of their respective workshops (The Bachelorette being the only exception). Also, workshop stories generally have more hits than other stories and a catchy name seems to matter a lot as well.
On the other hand, the amount of votes and favorites isn't too helpful either, since both suffered from the virus attack last August and a big amount of stories have been reseeded later.

But I think that the comments ticker has increased the amount of comments made, meaning more feedback for everyone.


I agree with Njae on this. Popularity is really tricky and between the virus attack and the still in progress reseeding evalutaing the real number of hits a story gets is next to impossible.
In my mind a lot of view doesn't necessarily equates to popularity, personally I often re-read stories because I'm looking for a very specific bit of narrative to examine (and sometimes reuse), not because I enjoyed them.

(formerly Anon, still Librarian)

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03 Jan 2013 06:33 #29942 by ace191
Replied by ace191 on topic Geekseven's year in stories

d_k_c wrote:
I don’t know how you check how many people have read your story but, IMO, if it’s over a couple of hundred consider it a huge compliment, asking the reader to leave feedback in this genre is simply too much to ask. But for those who do, gotta love you

……IMO


Go to the library and look under stories by popularity. GO to the very last page at the bottom and you will see the #2 hit leader, Milani in DC with 9099 hits (second all time) 15 favs (the most by far) and all of THREE VOTES!

Everyone generally likes compliments, but it is hard to hit a home run every time. Gene Autry refused to do Rudolf the Red nosed Reindeer several times until he finally gave in. It turned out to be the second best seller of all time with 25 million copies sold until the 1980's when stuff like Thriller came along.

Just knowing that folks are reading my stuff is enough for me. If I get an occasional nice word now and then, I consider it a huge bonus,
so please don't take away the hit meter.

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03 Jan 2013 10:50 #29945 by njae
Replied by njae on topic Geekseven's year in stories

ace191 wrote:

d_k_c wrote:
I don’t know how you check how many people have read your story but, IMO, if it’s over a couple of hundred consider it a huge compliment, asking the reader to leave feedback in this genre is simply too much to ask. But for those who do, gotta love you

……IMO


Go to the library and look under stories by popularity. GO to the very last page at the bottom and you will see the #2 hit leader, Milani in DC with 9099 hits (second all time) 15 favs (the most by far) and all of THREE VOTES!


I'm pretty sure this is because of the virus attack since it deleted all the votes while the favs were left intact. There are several stories that didn't regain the amount of votes from before that incident.

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03 Jan 2013 13:22 #29947 by brantley
Replied by brantley on topic Geekseven's year in stories
By the way, G-7, are you already aware of this:

julievelor.tripod.com/UAR/uar00.html

I gather website where you posted the Liberty Belle stories is no longer active; at least the contact address there isn't.

--Brantley

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03 Jan 2013 14:51 #29948 by brantley
Replied by brantley on topic Geekseven's year in stories
"February Girl" has a lot of backstory, so I guess I can't complain about the Good (?) vs. Evil superwoman scenario and the mystery about who done the latter left hanging. But it starts off as a romantic comedy, and I'd love to see more of that kind of thing in the genre, although I guess you'd have to start fresh with a different couple. Has anyone else come up with the "shock collar?" Neat solution to the common problem of how an ordinary man and a superwoman can have safe sex (Xtreme Strength generally ignored the problem.).

--Brantley

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03 Jan 2013 17:34 #29949 by SHTL
Replied by SHTL on topic Geekseven's year in stories
happy new year, i walways liked your stories, one more-one less; i have to say that WWII-Cold War scenarios are maybe my favourite and i miss your old website :(

Super human teen girl, super strong and unbreakable, with very bad attitude :)

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04 Jan 2013 02:20 #29953 by brantley
Replied by brantley on topic Geekseven's year in stories

Anon wrote:

brantley wrote: It's not just SWM. There's very little feedback these days at the Aurora Universe Readers Group for my Bright Empire stories. And yet my stats indicate that lots of people are reading them. I don't know why that is. Speaking more generally, it's easy for superheroine fiction, like any genre, to get into a rut. I try to avoid that by mixing it with sf scenarios, and making the heroines more than just comic book types. Works for me.

--Brantley


I agree with Brantley, right now the community seem to be slowing down (even more tha usual between Christmas and New Year's Eve). Matter of fact there are no more than two dozens people that post regularly on this forum. While it's pretty typical for forums to have more lurkers than posters, I think that this is getting out of control.


Personally, I'm guilty of not providing enough feedback as much as anyone else.


Here's an example. NO COMMENTS yet at the Aurora Universe Readers Group about the update I posted New Year's Day. BUT 170 people have accessed EMPRESS OF THE DAWN-2 since that update, and most of them must have found out about it there because only 30 people had accessed the WHAT's NEW page at the Bright Empire site.

--Brantley
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