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Old 12-19-2006, 10:57 AM   #1
Lauren Hynde
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Lightbulb 2007 Survivor Literotica: Planning & Plotting

It's that time of the year again! The 2006 edition of the Survivor Literotica Contest is nearly over, once again breaking records of participation and overall number of submissions. Laurel has green-lighted the 2007 edition a few minutes ago, so this is when we ask the usual question:

For those of you who are participating in the 2006 Survivor Literotica Contest, for those who did in previous editions, or are planning to enter in 2007, what do you think was positive and negative about the contest? Any ideas for improving any aspect of it? Any adjustments to the rules that you think ought to be made? Any comments or questions at all?
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Old 12-19-2006, 06:01 PM   #2
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I think things ran pretty smoothly this year. The only thing I can really think of is this:

In all other Literotica contests, there's a time span where previous winners are not eligible to win again. This is the only contest that doesn't have that rule. It might be something worth thinking about. Either the person who wins or the top three (as in monthly contests). Maybe just they can't participate the following year. I don't know if it's feasible or not. Just a suggestion, but it could give other writers the opportunity to place in the top places.

I can say I'm happy that every one seemed to play fair this year.

I also want to thank the mods (especially Lauren) for all the work they've done this year. Things wouldn't run as smoothly without the two of you to take care of things.
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Old 12-19-2006, 09:54 PM   #3
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This is something that I posted on December 12, 2005 and I agree with Vix.

I sent this to Laurel twice concerning the contest. Here's my two cents.


Hi, Laurel!

My daughter (16 and a brain!) made a suggestion that made a lot of sense to me and I thought I'd pass it along to you. Her suggestion was that winners of the Survivor contest should NOT be allowed to compete in future Survivor contests and that a Survivor Hall of Fame is set up so that each year's winner can be added.

I agree with her for several reasons:

1) I did a little research and the 2003 winner won with 212 points and the 2004 winner won with 730 points. As it stands, I have 801 points.

The point I make is this. I am lucky to have the time to be able to write this many stories and I know that there are many who don't have this luxury. If I competed again next year, I might win or at least take second or third and this would preclude others from having a chance to win.

2) jthserra has taken this year off. What's to say that he hasn't been writing all year and at the start of the 2006 contest, will flood Lit with submissions? Any one entering wouldn't have a chance.

3) I think it's important to hear the voices of others who aren't as prolific, but who write consistently good stories.

4) In the TV contest, the winner of Survivor is not allowed to win again.

So, this is my (my daughter's) suggestion in a nutshell once again: The winner of the Survivor contest should be ineligible to compete in subsequent Survivor contests. The person can enter the other regular contests (Earth Day, Nude Day, etc.) only.

The Hall of Fame would contain (as far as my research goes) ...

2002 - Chicklet (171 points)
2003 - Master Vassago (212 points)
2004 - jthserra (730 points)

I couldn't find any information before 2002. You'll have to supply that!

I think in the long run, this will be more beneficial for Literotica and will give newcomers as well as oldtimers a chance to win.

If you have any questions or would like to pick my brain a bit more, please let me know.

As always, thanks a bunch!

Velvet and daughter, Boat

P.S. I would not be able to serve as a Mod but you might consider using the past year's winners as judges in some special contest, such as an Honorable or Special Judges' award, given to an entrant that is not in the money-winner's circle and who wrote a great story. Maybe it could be a long the same lines as the Annual Awards with recognition but no monetary awards.


Also, in response to Vix's suggestion, Laurel changed a few of my chapters that had no erotic content to non-erotic. I think that would be a better option. What do you guys think?
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Old 12-20-2006, 07:18 AM   #4
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I'm a little reluctant to introduce a participation limitation on past winners of the Survivor contest. Let me try to explain why.

a) All other Literotica contests have a limitation like that, but Survivor is viscerally different from all other Literotica contests. Winners of Monthly and Special contests are decided by readers' vote only, so they are, in effect, popularity contests. In theory, a widely popular author could win every single one of those contests without much effort, simply relying on his or her fan base. That's why the limitation of participation for winners makes sense, so that it isn't always the same person or people winning. In Survivor, however, popularity doesn't mean a thing. It all comes down to the author's resistance and resilience. If someone is forbidden from kept from entering Survivor, there is no reason why that person wouldn't simply enter under a different name. There would be no way to control it, and that person wouldn't lose an ounce of his or her capacity to write and compete; it's only in the other contests that if you have to compete under a different name, you lose the edge your popularity would give you.

b) Survivor is a marathon! In all other contests, a winner can't win again in the following 6 months. That means that anyone, no matter what, can win 3 times in a little over a year. Introducing a limit to winner participation in Survivor, even if for the minimum time span of one year, means that he or she won't be able to win again for 2 whole years. It just seems way too much to me, especially considering what I said above: there's nothing to stop a winner from simply using a different username.

c) Let's face it: so far, has any winner come back the following year to win anything? Did anyone win twice? No. In fact, what happened most of the times so far was that the winner at the end of the year was so exhausted from the mental effort that he or she didn't even participate the following year, or did it in a much more modest way.
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Old 12-20-2006, 08:15 AM   #5
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I had a blast writing in Survivor this year. I won't be coming back next year to write in it, simply because it is a mental chore. I have had fun though and loved the experience it gave me as a writer. I wrote in categories I never thought I would and that was what I wanted to do; win or lose in the end it was just a blast.

Thanks to the Mods for there hard work. I know Lauren helped a lot with a few issues I had creep up on me and I so appreciate it, it made the experience more enjoyable, knowing they were there to answer questions and provide support when and if it was needed.

2007 - - - I think the way this was done this year was excellent and good luck to those that participate in 2007.
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Old 12-20-2006, 10:39 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lauren Hynde
You know, I agree and really wish there was some way to do it, but how? So far this year, there have been close to 2200 stories submitted by Survivor contestants, and the only way for me or any moderator to verify their length would be to copy-paste each of them into a Word file. The enormity of such a task is scary! The only thing we can do is go with Lit's established minimum...
Well we know 1 full Lit page is 3500-ish words...

SO... what about rewarding 2-page stories? Or for every page, you get more points or something? That way, you'd just have to verify it was more than one page, rather than cutting and pasting...

just a thought...


ETA: You could also require that participants LINK their stories when they do their scoring (like on my page) and that would cut your work considerably when verifying how many pages a story is...
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Old 12-21-2006, 04:33 PM   #7
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Being a person of habit, I will probably enter the 2007 contest. I have done reasonably well, finishing fourth in 2003, eighth in 2004 and sixth last year. I expect to finish in the top ten this year, as well. I have never finished in the money, except for the consolation prize last year, and probably again this year. Even so, it's fun to compete, although I will never let the contest dictate what I do. I did so in 2004 and found myself submitting things I didn't really like. That won't happen again.

I would certainly benefit from awarding extra points for longer stories. Most of mine are between 4,000 and 5,000 words. I remember seeing hundreds of stories in the contest that were the bare minimum.

If this were adopted, it would not change the bonus for ten stories or poems in one category. They would still have to be ten separate items, not a single ten page story.
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Old 12-21-2006, 05:01 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxlicker101
If this were adopted, it would not change the bonus for ten stories or poems in one category. They would still have to be ten separate items, not a single ten page story.

Right... it would just reward those who wrote longer pieces, too, and give them a fair shot with those who crank out those 750 word chapters...
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Old 12-21-2006, 05:07 PM   #9
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I think that is a good idea. I know my stories vary from 2 - 4 pages. I have some that are a full one page, and surpass the 750 mark. But I agree longer pages would be a great thing to reward in future Survivor Contests.
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Old 12-21-2006, 06:53 PM   #10
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In theory, it could work, but it would still be a lot of extra work for the moderators, more than what I would think is feasible. And it would complicate a pretty straight-forward scoring system, which I think is one of the things that really work well in Survivor.

There was one thing that crossed my mind, though, in connection to a suggestion that had been put forth by lindiana last year concerning Novels and Novellas. What if a submission in this category had to consist of at least two full Literotica pages (approximately 7000 words) and bleed into a third for it to be eligible for Survivor, and immunities couldn't be used for Novels and Novellas? Being the category that most fully embodies that Literary component of Literotica, the exception would be justifiable, I think, while keeping things simple enough for everyone. Could that be enough of a compensation for those authors that put more care and work* into their stories?


*although it could also be argued that bigger is not always better...
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Old 12-21-2006, 07:48 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lauren Hynde
In theory, it could work, but it would still be a lot of extra work for the moderators, more than what I would think is feasible. And it would complicate a pretty straight-forward scoring system, which I think is one of the things that really work well in Survivor.

There was one thing that crossed my mind, though, in connection to a suggestion that had been put forth by lindiana last year concerning Novels and Novellas. What if a submission in this category had to consist of at least two full Literotica pages (approximately 7000 words) and bleed into a third for it to be eligible for Survivor, and immunities couldn't be used for Novels and Novellas? Being the category that most fully embodies that Literary component of Literotica, the exception would be justifiable, I think, while keeping things simple enough for everyone. Could that be enough of a compensation for those authors that put more care and work* into their stories?


*although it could also be argued that bigger is not always better...
I believe that to be considered even a novella, a story needs to be at least 20,000 words, or some such thing. Usually they are broken into chapters, with each chapter posted as a separate item. I think there should be some kind of limitation on the size of the chapters, but 8,000 words seems to be too high a minimum. At the same time, entering a 50,000 word novel, broken down into 70 chapters of 750 words doesn't seem right either. Maybe one full page and a fraction of another for each chapter.
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Old 12-21-2006, 07:57 PM   #12
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I think the word-counts for the various categories of writing (online) are close to this:

Novel: 60,000+
Novella: 17,500 - 60,000
Novelette: 7,500 - 17,500
Short story: 750 - 7,500

If we include Novelettes with Novels & Novellas, it would pretty much make the 2 pages. Just FYI.
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Old 12-21-2006, 08:13 PM   #13
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I'm too lazy to sign in as Vix, so I'm just going to post under this name.

I don't agree with not being able to use an immunity for Novels and Novellas. You only get 2 points for an immunity. You can get up to 17 points for posting 10 chapters. You're giving the advantage to those who "can" write a longer story if you take away the immunity. Anyone can write a 750 word story, but not everyone can come up with an idea good enough to last for 8,000. Some of us can only come up with an extremely long story once in a blue moon. That's why we have immunities. So people can still fill a category they might not be able to fill otherwise. Taking away the chance at immunity is not fair in my opinion.

I totally agree that stories in that particular category should be longer since the definition of a novella is a work from around 12,000 on (depending on your source.) If you want to put the page requirement on that one particular category, that's fine, but don't take away the immunity.
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Old 12-21-2006, 08:28 PM   #14
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Well, the reason why I thought of not allowing immunities in that category was so that people would HAVE to write longer stories at least in that one category if they wanted to get all the bonuses... I though the intention being expressed was to give that compensation to those who can and do write longer stories.
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Old 12-21-2006, 09:33 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lauren Hynde
Well, the reason why I thought of not allowing immunities in that category was so that people would HAVE to write longer stories at least in that one category if they wanted to get all the bonuses... I though the intention being expressed was to give that compensation to those who can and do write longer stories.
Why? I mean seriously. Do you honestly think it's fair to compensate the ones who can when there are those who seriously can't? (and I'm not necessarily talking about myself. I *can* if I really put my mind to it, but there are some people who really might not have that ability.)

The whole point of the Survivor Contest is quantity.

If you really want to start down the slippery slope of "compensating" for what sounds to be like the "more quality" argument, then try and make a compromise that doesn't punish those who just don't have the ability to write a longer story (and by longer, I mean the 8,000 or so that would be required for that category). I honestly don't see anything wrong with making a word/page requirement for that category so the story would actually meet the definition of "Novella". So this is what I propose to make it fair for everyone. Make that particular category worth more points. This "compensates" those who can write a longer story but still leaves the 2 points immunity intact for those who honestly can't.
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Old 12-21-2006, 10:32 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrimsonMaiden
Why? I mean seriously. Do you honestly think it's fair to compensate the ones who can when there are those who seriously can't? (and I'm not necessarily talking about myself. I *can* if I really put my mind to it, but there are some people who really might not have that ability.)

The whole point of the Survivor Contest is quantity.

If you really want to start down the slippery slope of "compensating" for what sounds to be like the "more quality" argument, then try and make a compromise that doesn't punish those who just don't have the ability to write a longer story (and by longer, I mean the 8,000 or so that would be required for that category). I honestly don't see anything wrong with making a word/page requirement for that category so the story would actually meet the definition of "Novella". So this is what I propose to make it fair for everyone. Make that particular category worth more points. This "compensates" those who can write a longer story but still leaves the 2 points immunity intact for those who honestly can't.
One thing to remember is that most novels or novellas are entered as chapters. I somehow can't imagine anybody competing in this contest and posting a 50,000 word entry as ONE item. It would probably be broken down into ten or more chapters. That would mean the person would get at least 17 points for it, which is okay. Personally, I have been laboring over a novel for several years. It has about 36,000 words and is about half done. I have hopes of posting it next year as a novel broken down into at least ten chapters.

What I am saying is that the people who write very long stories do get extra points for them, if they want.
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Old 12-21-2006, 10:47 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxlicker101
One thing to remember is that most novels or novellas are entered as chapters. I somehow can't imagine anybody competing in this contest and posting a 50,000 word entry as ONE item. It would probably be broken down into ten or more chapters. That would mean the person would get at least 17 points for it, which is okay. Personally, I have been laboring over a novel for several years. It has about 36,000 words and is about half done. I have hopes of posting it next year as a novel broken down into at least ten chapters.

What I am saying is that the people who write very long stories do get extra points for them, if they want.
Not necessarily Box. The way things are set up right now, you can write 10 chapters of 750 word stories and have them count for points in the Novellas category. So the people who write longer stories aren't necessarily getting the more points. With what I propose, they will get more points for writing the longer story for Novellas, and there will still be a word/page requirement insuring there aren't any 750 word chapters in that particular category. The writers of longer stories get compensated with higher points for that cat and the ones who can't/won't can get the 2 point immunity.

In my opinion, the higher points for that category would give those who can write 8,000 word stories an extra incentive to do so while not punishing those who can't.
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Old 12-21-2006, 11:04 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrimsonMaiden
Not necessarily Box. The way things are set up right now, you can write 10 chapters of 750 word stories and have them count for points in the Novellas category. So the people who write longer stories aren't necessarily getting the more points. With what I propose, they will get more points for writing the longer story for Novellas, and there will still be a word/page requirement insuring there aren't any 750 word chapters in that particular category. The writers of longer stories get compensated with higher points for that cat and the ones who can't/won't can get the 2 point immunity.

In my opinion, the higher points for that category would give those who can write 8,000 word stories an extra incentive to do so while not punishing those who can't.
Can you actually get credit for a novella with only 7,500 words? I have one novella, and it is 22,657 words, broken into six chapters. I have three other stories between 15,000 and 20,000 words. Two are Romances, which also tend to run long, and one is a group sex story. Each of the three was a single entry, and were included in the Survivors' Contest for previous years. Two of them were contest entries in seasonal contests.
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Old 12-21-2006, 11:23 PM   #19
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Quote:
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Can you actually get credit for a novella with only 7,500 words? I have one novella, and it is 22,657 words, broken into six chapters. I have three other stories between 15,000 and 20,000 words. Two are Romances, which also tend to run long, and one is a group sex story. Each of the three was a single entry, and were included in the Survivors' Contest for previous years. Two of them were contest entries in seasonal contests.

Yes, you can. At this moment, one of the participants listed in the top surivors has the novellas cat filled and of the ones I checked, they hovered around 1,000 words each. If the new rule was implemented, a story of that length would have to be submitted in the entirety to meet the requirement and would only receive the minimum number of points for that category instead of the 17 for splitting it into 10 chapters.
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Old 12-22-2006, 12:05 AM   #20
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Quote:
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Yes, you can. At this moment, one of the participants listed in the top surivors has the novellas cat filled and of the ones I checked, they hovered around 1,000 words each. If the new rule was implemented, a story of that length would have to be submitted in the entirety to meet the requirement and would only receive the minimum number of points for that category instead of the 17 for splitting it into 10 chapters.
That certainly doesn't seem right. That would seem to me to be like writing a story about sex betwen a man and a woman and submitting it to the lesbian category. It would nor be accepted there, of course, and rightly so. If a story has to be of a certain length to be classified as a novella, the one you mention should not be so classified either. If, after the contest ends, that story were to be reclassified as something else, EC or Lesbian or whatever else it might be, the author would lose a lot of points - the 35? for filling every category and 17 points from the Novella category. They would, however, get 10 points from the new category.

That rather points out something I noted in 2004. In 2003, the winner was Master Vassago, with 208 points. I finished a rather poor fourth, but thought I would be a strong contender the following year. I was surprised to see some people piling up hundreds of points very early. I saw why when I looked at the stories. They were all barely the minimum length, and even that was too long because they were dull. However, each of them counted the same as a 5,000 word stroke masterpiece or 15,000 word romance I might produce.

I am not referring to Selena Kittyn, by the way, who is an outstanding author, and deserves to win this year.

I could probably do something like that - churn out a thousand inane essays, all on the same dumb subject. It wouldn't be much fun, and nobody would ever read them, but it might win me the first prize.

I would never do such a thing, of course. First, I write for my own fun, and that would not be any fun. Second, I would regard such a thing as being - ethically challenged? I would not want to accuse anybody of being unethical.
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Old 12-22-2006, 12:26 AM   #21
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The "quantity" vs "quality" argument comes up every year. The fact of the matter is... as long as Lit's minimum word count is 750, you're going to see stories that are short. And "short" doesn't necessarily mean bad. You can have a good stroke story and it only be 750-1,000 words long... and you can have 10,000 words stories that are a pile of crap.

It's a participant's choice as to how long of a story they write. I do some series that have multiple chapters where each one is short. The thing is, I don't write the entire thing and then split it into however many chapters. I write it chapter by chapter (and some chapters can be months apart) and it ends where it ends, whether it be at 900 words or 2,000.

Like I said earlier, the whole point behind the contest is "quantity." I'm guessing it was created in order to add many stories to the website. If you start making a difference in points between short and long stories, then you're going to end up with very few participants and not a lot of stories. I totally understand for the novellas category because of the definition of the category itself, but not for the other categories.

And btw, for at least 2 of the top 3 finishers last year, there was a long string of H's behind their stories, even the short ones.

Oh, and another btw... my short stories DO get read, they are still fun to write, and I don't consider them inane nor do I think it's un-ethical when it's entirely within the rules of the contest.
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Old 12-22-2006, 01:57 AM   #22
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I don't mean to step on anybody's toes, Crim, least of all yours. I didn't look up the index of the winners in 2005, only 2004, and not all of them for that year.

I didn't mean to suggest that you were unethical either. What I did suggest was that I could write a thousand essays, churn them out by the dozens in some days, and post them all. That would be unethical, although it would be within the rules. I won't, of course, because it would also be no fun.
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Old 12-22-2006, 06:41 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrimsonMaiden
So this is what I propose to make it fair for everyone. Make that particular category worth more points. This "compensates" those who can write a longer story but still leaves the 2 points immunity intact for those who honestly can't.
OK, this makes more sense. I do agree that longer doesn't mean better, by the way.

So, what if:
- For the Novels and Novellas category only, there will be a required minimum of 8,000 words for submissions to be eligible for Survivor. This means that Novelettes (7500-17500) can be submitted all at once as a single submission, or in two chapters at the most; Novellas (17500-60000) can be still submitted in two to seven chapters at the most; and Novels can still be submitted in seven or more chapters.
- The first ten submissions made to the Novels and Novellas category are worth double points (6 for the first submission, 2 for each subsequent submission until the 10th, 1 for each submission after the 10th).
- Immunities used in the Novels and Novellas category are scored the same way as in all other categories (2 points).

Would everyone agree with this?

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Old 12-22-2006, 01:45 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lauren Hynde
OK, this makes more sense. I do agree that longer doesn't mean better, by the way.

So, what if:
- For the Novels and Novellas category only, there will be a required minimum of 8,000 words for submissions to be eligible for Survivor. This means that Novelettes (7500-17500) can be submitted all at once as a single submission, or in two chapters at the most; Novellas (17500-60000) can be still submitted in two to seven chapters at the most; and Novels can still be submitted in seven or more chapters.
- The first ten submissions made to the Novels and Novellas category are worth double points (6 for the first submission, 2 for each subsequent submission until the 10th, 1 for each submission after the 10th).
- Immunities used in the Novels and Novellas category are scored the same way as in all other categories (2 points).

Would everyone agree with this?

That sounds good and fair to everyone (except you might want to change the wording in the Novellettes to 8000-17500... or change the minimum requirement to 7500 to avoid confusion.)
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Old 12-22-2006, 03:36 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lauren Hynde
OK, this makes more sense. I do agree that longer doesn't mean better, by the way.

So, what if:
- For the Novels and Novellas category only, there will be a required minimum of 8,000 words for submissions to be eligible for Survivor. This means that Novelettes (7500-17500) can be submitted all at once as a single submission, or in two chapters at the most; Novellas (17500-60000) can be still submitted in two to seven chapters at the most; and Novels can still be submitted in seven or more chapters.
- The first ten submissions made to the Novels and Novellas category are worth double points (6 for the first submission, 2 for each subsequent submission until the 10th, 1 for each submission after the 10th).
- Immunities used in the Novels and Novellas category are scored the same way as in all other categories (2 points).

Would everyone agree with this?
Does this mean you would be adding two new categories, "Novelettes" and "Novellas" and changing one of the current ones to "Novels"?

Sometimes a long story, such as 12,000 words will be broken into two or more parts. and listed as Chapter 1, Chapter 2, etc. These parts might or might not be all listed in the same category. For instance, I recently posted a story that was broken into three parts. "Jim's Girl Friend, Chapter 1" was posted as a Mature story and Parts 2 and 3 were posted as Group Sex. The whole story was between 12,000 and 13,000 words. By the way, the "Mature" category was not my idea.

Sometimes I write a series of stories and list them as "Marian and Ryan, Chapter 1" and "Marian and Ryan, Chapter 2" etc. These are stand alone stories but involve the same characters and similar plots, such as they are. I list them like that in order to avoid having to re-establish the characters and doing other things that get in the way of the smut. The individual stories tend to be about 4,000 words, but they may be less.
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