The Writeoff Association 904 members · 587 stories
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CoffeeMinion
Group Contributor

Hi all! As you've doubtlessly noticed, there's a fairly significant gap between the Writeoff Minific max length of 750 words and the FimFiction minimum length of 1000 words. I'm not here today to laud the intrinsic merits of either length; I'm here because this creates natural complexity in porting Writeoff Minifics to FimFiction.

I'm not really sure how best to ask for this, so I'll just come out and ask directly: could we please expand the Minific limit to 1000 words?

If there isn't interest or willingness, I understand and will certainly keep participating regardless. However, I do think it'd be nice to sync these up a little better for the sake of making it easier to get Pony Minifics onto FimFiction. The Writeoff site is great fun as a contest and very useful for gathering feedback, but I think a common and reasonable goal is to help stories make the jump elsewhere after their time in the Writeoff. And in Minifics, those extra 250 words represent a very significant percentage of the current 750 word max; I.e., there naturally has to be a significant amount of change between the original Writeoff version and anything appearing as a standalone story on FimFiction.

Peace! :heart:

RBDash47
Site Blogger
Group Contributor

I don't have a pony in this race, but it occurs to me that bumping the Writeoff maximum to 1,000 isn't going to do you much good, because FIMFic's is a minimum -- i.e., you would have to manage to write a minific that was exactly at the Writeoff limit to be able to post it here unedited, and that's assuming FIMFic and the Writeoff count words the same way.

It seems like, especially with the addition of an Anthology tag here on FIMFic (if you don't expand a Writeoff minific to something that can be posted standalone here), the natural solution is to post your minifics in an anthology collection once you have two or three under your belt.

Chinchillax
Group Contributor

It really depends on what we want writeoff's goal to be. Is it to publish more stories to fimfiction? Or is it only a workshopping exercise?

Workshopping is crucial, but a 1000 word limit would definitely increase the odds that these minifics will actually be published to fimfiction. (I know I have several minifics I've lost the momentum on to ever publish.)

I also vote to increase the wordcount.

CoffeeMinion
Group Contributor

6301717
I don't think we really have to go deep with assessing/reassessing the Writeoff's goals here. I just think doing this would be akin to (for lack of a better metaphor) lubricating a natural and frequently-used point of interface between the two sites.

6301673
Doing an anthology is always an option, but solo releases probably give a better chance of drawing more eyeballs. And I get it that min=max=1000 can still require some finagling, but it's potentially much less finagling than trying to bolt 250 more words onto a 750 word story.

Axis of Rotation
Group Contributor

I've always been down for that.
Er, not that I really have a say here.

Trick Question
Group Contributor

I'm in favor.

Dubs Rewatcher
Group Contributor

+1 agreement

I wouldn't mind.

Super Trampoline
Group Contributor
Novel-Idea
Group Contributor

I would definitely be more into Minifics if this happened (or at least try. I'd probably still wildly overshoot the mark)

Pascoite
Group Contributor

Increasing the word count also makes it easier to meet the requirements, and as one of the main points of minifics is to deal with this forced economy of words, it kind of defeats the purpose. I've never had trouble expanding any minifics to 1000 words when I wanted to.

For that matter, the write-off site is available for anyone to host any contest they want. If you'd like a minific contest with 1000 or 1500 words or whatever, then go do one. There's no reason not to.

Cold in Gardez
Group Contributor

6302427

Increasing the word count also makes it easier to meet the requirements, and as one of the main points of minifics is to deal with this forced economy of words, it kind of defeats the purpose. I've never had trouble expanding any minifics to 1000 words when I wanted to.

For that matter, the write-off site is available for anyone to host any contest they want. If you'd like a minific contest with 1000 or 1500 words or whatever, then go do one. There's no reason not to.

Just gonna echo and agree with Pasco here. The point of the minific round is to force authors to make difficult choices and develop an economy of words, ideas and concepts. Yes, it's difficult to fit a full story in 750 words -- god knows I've failed plenty of times. Probably the number one critique I get on minifics is "seems like a good start to a story, but..."

But that's the intention. If you start allowing the word count to creep up, all you're doing is watering down the challenge that is the whole point of the round.

CoffeeMinion
Group Contributor

6302427

For that matter, the write-off site is available for anyone to host any contest they want. If you'd like a minific contest with 1000 or 1500 words or whatever, then go do one. There's no reason not to.

I can't recall ever seeing anyone but Roger host events, but I can inquire about that if it doesn't seem like there might be consensus and/or impetus for change. I'd be concerned about overtaxing the Writeoff site's already frequent event cadence, but maybe people would be willing to try it.

Also, I definitely get it that constraints help keep things interesting and challenging. I just think this specific constraint, for this specific community, might be found more annoying than beneficial by more than just myself.

I'm certainly not going to sit here and belabor the point, though. I appreciate hearing how people feel on either side of this, and I'd encourage others to post up about it.

Pascoite
Group Contributor

6302803
I don't know that it'd go into the regular rotation of events anyway but that's beside the point. Roger specifically designed the site so people could run their own events. He wishes more people would, and he's tried to get them to before. In fact, I've heard of such an upcoming event.

horizon
Group Admin

I've been an advocate of this for a long time, so an enthusiastic +1. And while porting-to-FIMFiction is an obvious benefit, I also consider it only a fringe benefit, and I'd like to talk a little about why.

But first, some statistics:

Half of all stories written were within three words of the upper limit.

What this tells me is that, in minific rounds, authors are struggling to tell meaningful stories within the limitations. The average story is overwritten and then cut.

Now, it's true, as CiG and Pasco note, that writing within limitations is a useful skill to learn. But I don't believe for a second that raising the upper cap will deprive authors of the chance to learn that.

Just look at the space that minifics expand to when you take off the corset. Simple example: I started writing Three Letters for a minific round and slept through the submission deadline; when I woke up in the morning and finished it for straight-to-FIMFic publication, it ended up at over 2300 words. I've seen plenty of comments on Writeoff threads during the writing period that lamented needing to cut the story down from 1250 words or more (and that's knowing beforehand that they were aiming for 750!). And it's certainly not like minifics are always stronger at 750. Some of the most archetypical minific classics, CiG's Lost Cities, went from the Writeoffs into an anthology — so they were able to be presented exactly as the author felt they worked best, without the requirement of artificially inflating or deflating them — and the shortest of the former Writeoff stories had grown to 1250. EDIT: bad example, see 6303839

Beyond that? I don't even think the Writeoffs are an especially good place to learn brevity — but rather, a sister skill often mistaken for it.

I too suffer from logorrhea. My first Writeoff minific submission, The Sun Birds, reads more like an outline than a story, because I started with what was probably a 3000+ word idea. What I learned from that round was that cutting a 3000-word idea down to its 750-word core doesn't work; you don't have the room to both develop that idea and the world around it. What I learned over the next few rounds was to choose less ambitious ideas. Within a few years I'd written a minific medalist (original fiction, no less!) in under 450 words, and over and over again I've had that round's lesson reinforced: I can do well when I write a story whose core idea can be summed up robustly in a single scene, or I can try to economize a longer narrative and it'll read like the no-frills shortcut it is.

Choosing ideas that fit the length you're trying to write in is a huge skill, super valuable. I highly recommend focusing on it, and I'm super grateful to the Writeoffs for it. It's also 100% orthogonal to the 750/1000 word distinction. (I've proved that repeatedly in the Short Story rounds by hitting the 8000-word cap and needing to rein short stories in. Granted, most people won't — but with expanded minifics, I'm confident in predicting we're still going to see a cluster of stories right at 1k.)

And that brings me around to my core point: the average author is still going to have to cut, and still will get to learn that lesson. But they'll have to cut less. And that will, on the whole, make for healthier, more enjoyable stories, because by the time an author has removed 40% of their 1250-word story they've long since trimmed the fat and are choosing which limbs to rip out. I'm not just a Writeoff author, I'm also a reader, and my longtime lament is that it's tiresome reading amputated story after amputated story.

So the biggest benefit of this is a better competition.

Calipony
Group Contributor

This is only relevant because of FimFic’s minimum word count?
What about original fiction rounds?

RogerDodger
Group Admin

I don't think fimfic's word count minimum should be considered in this discussion. It's simply too high. Maybe petition knighty to change it. :trixieshiftright:

Otherwise, the anthology approach works well-enough.

6302927

What this tells me is that, in minific rounds, authors are struggling to tell meaningful stories within the limitations. The average story is overwritten and then cut.

I'm not convinced by this, since it'd probably still be the case at 1,000 or even 1,250 words. Would you ask for continued raising of the word limit at these points if it were?

My main takeaway from this data is that the word limit is doing its job. If people weren't using all the words they're given, then it wouldn't be a meaningful restriction.

Actually, if the median word count were much below the maximum, I'd consider that evidence that the maximum should be lowered.

And that brings me around to my core point: the average author is still going to have to cut, and still will get to learn that lesson. But they'll have to cut less. And that will, on the whole, make for healthier, more enjoyable stories, because by the time an author has removed 40% of their 1250-word story they've long since trimmed the fat and are choosing which limbs to rip out. I'm not just a Writeoff author, I'm also a reader, and my longtime lament is that it's tiresome reading amputated story after amputated story.

This is pretty convincing though.

But I'm still bearish on a jump straight to 1,000 words. I mean, that's a jump of 250 words, or 33% more words. That's a lot. Originally I only allowed 600 words for minifics, but raised it to 750 when people complained that was too little, and that small change (150 words more) made a pretty big difference.

What about we try a 900 word maximum and see how it goes from there?

CoffeeMinion
Group Contributor

6303238
That sounds good to me, and I appreciate your consideration of the request. :twilightsmile:

CoffeeMinion
Group Contributor

6303210
I would have to defer to 6302927 or others who participate more often/more seriously in Original rounds than I do. That being said, I don't see anything inherently wrong with having different limits etc. for MLP vs. Original. Based on feedback from 6302427 and 6302755, maybe there's value in keeping those as-is for the sake of those who enjoy it?

horizon
Group Admin

6303238

My main takeaway from this data is that the word limit is doing its job. If people weren't using all the words they're given, then it wouldn't be a meaningful restriction.

I'd like to suggest that we've set out some testable hypotheses here, and since it sounds like you're willing to try a test round I look forward to getting some test results. If 6302427 and 6302755 are correct and a higher-than-750 word limit prevents authors from learning the lesson of brevity, we should see the median entry's wordcount drop significantly from the upper limit (and a larger spread of entries between 750 and 875). If I'm correct, the median wordcount should still be nestled up to the max.

I put forth a separate, second hypothesis that it will result in entries which are more enjoyable to read.

If neither of those is correct then we learn a valuable lesson about why it's currently 750 words. If one or both is correct, then we'll have a better round and can continue forward from there. (If the second hypothesis is right but not the first, then we should have a discussion about balancing those competing benefits.)

What about we try a 900 word maximum and see how it goes from there?

I'd be fine with that as a test.

It'd probably still be the case at 1,000 or even 1,250 words. Would you ask for continued raising of the word limit at these points if it were?

Well, given that it's already been raised once and authors are still dissatisfied… I don't know, maybe it is way too low? 🤷

But in all seriousness, there are a couple of inflection points which make natural lines. At the outer edge there's 2k, because it would cross into short story. 1k is also a very easy line to hold, not only because of the round-number effect but also because of the FIMFiction threshold. Speaking personally, I've approved a number of RCL features just barely past the 1k word threshold, so I'm pretty confident 1k has sufficient breathing room for quality, and I doubt I'd have any interest in pushing minifics beyond that.

6303210 6303389

What about original fiction rounds?

Briefly, my opinion is: Original fiction doesn't have the push-to-FIMFic incentive for a higher wordcount, but in terms of crafting an enjoyable story, it needs the extra words more. It's got much more to do.

In fanfic, you can start with "Celestia walked onto her balcony and stared at the face on the moon," and you've established a HUGE amount of additional information through shared context with the reader. (Celestia is a princess who has a sister she once banished; looking at the moon is emotionally significant to her; the story is set in the palace in Canterlot; the story is set before Luna's return; etc.) In original fiction, all of those things start at zero and you have to explicitly add in exposition for any of those facts which are important. Honestly, I suspect the average 750-word FIM story and 900-word OF story would probably be on roughly equal footing.

Cold in Gardez
Group Contributor

6302927

I agree with much of what you say, horizon, though I'm still reluctant to increase the wordcount on the minific rounds. However, as a minor point of order, Lost Cities was never part of the Writeoff. Other authors have written stories in the vein of Lost Cities in the Writeoff, but the originals were actually written as part of the 30 Minute Ponies challenge.

horizon
Group Admin

6301673 6301717 6301854 6302088 6302122 6302125 6302240 6302425
Tagging folks from earlier in the discussion to make sure you know Roger spoke up with a proposal: 6303238

horizon
Group Admin

6303839
… Huh. My bad.

I must have been remembering the significant and kinda-heated debate over whether works related to other-things-by-the-same-author were Writeoff-legal, in which Lost Cities became a giant football. :derpytongue2: I'm sorry.

Axis of Rotation
Group Contributor

6303921
Thanks horizon ^.^

6303238

What about we try a 900 word maximum and see how it goes from there?

Yes please!

Pascoite
Group Contributor

6303559
There's an awful lot you're presenting as fact that isn't. But the core of your argument is that people are already having to cut so much, the "trimming fat" necessarily proceeding to "ripping off limbs." I'd say that if a writer has reached the point they're having to remove vital things in order to meet word count, they've poorly scoped their story, and that's also a very important skill to learn. One that a lot of people, including me, still need to work on.

horizon
Group Admin

6303993
I think we're violently agreeing. I spent two paragraphs talking about the Writeoffs teaching "choosing ideas that fit the length you're trying to write in".

Chris
Group Contributor

Seeing as I am a rare participant in the writeoff, my opinion probably shouldn't be counted as heavily as more frequent authors who've already made their voices heard here. For what it's worth, though, I really value the limited wordcount of the minific rounds. Off the top of my head, I can think of one (1!) story that I wrote for a minific round which I felt suffered from the word limit... and that story, To Be Forgotten, ended up getting second place in its round, before I added back about 150 words and put it up in my minific collection, so even it didn't suffer all that much. Every other story I've written for a minific round has either been under the wordcount without dedicated editing-down, or has noticeably benefited from the fact that I edited it down--and it's no coincidence that my better-scoring minifics bumped up against the word limit, because those are the ones that I was forced to trim and focus, to their benefit. I can state, as a fact, that my minifics are collectively better because of the 750 wordcount than they would have been with a more relaxed one, which makes me wonder about horizon's hope for better fiction from a higher word limit. I don't assume that every author writes the same way as me, or that the benefits I described to my writing are universal--but I do think that most authors benefit from a need to trim some fat from their stories, and a 750 limit does that better than a 1000 limit. Heck, I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that most fics could stand to lose a few words, and that the tighter the word limit, the more beneficial.

If the problem is FiMFic publishibility, I'd propose we go the opposite direction: what if we made the limit 500 words? Then it'd be easier for authors to write two entries in the time limit, and and the end of the round you'd have a total of 1000 words, ready for publication as a new (start of an) anthology. That makes the publish people happy, and keeps/enhances the tight wordcount benefits that people like me are looking for.

If the problem is "authors should be able to write their best stories, regardless of how many words they do/should take," let's ditch word limits entirely, and say that if someone wants to/is capable of vomiting out 30,000 high-quality horsewords in 24 hours, then more power to them.

And if neither of those things are the problem... then what's wrong with 750?

Matthewl419
Group Contributor

I don't write for the writeoff very much. But on the rare occasions that I have, I've found the word minimum to be a bigger problem than the word limit. Of course, I am bad at writing long things... but voicing my opinion doesn't hurt much.

Southpaw
Group Contributor

So... there's a large gap between 750 word max and 2000 word minimum of the two story categories.

Why not introduce a medium length story category of 1000-2000, or 1000-2500 words? It would solve this issue and add a little variety to freshen up the current either/or category selection.

hazeyhooves
Group Contributor

As far as challenge goes, I'm accustomed to minifics. Raise the limit, lower the limit, I don't mind either way.

But for the workshop aspect of the WriteOff, I feel pretty similarly to 6302927 here. I know only a minority of users participate in commenting, but for me personally it's become less enjoyable during Minific rounds. Do I review an overambitious entry as the minific it was compromised into, or critique it as the potential 1.5k short story it'll become? For that matter, how do I know the author even intends the latter? Even for the "good start BUT..." examples, maybe that's all the author was really looking for, seeing if the idea was compelling before starting on chapter 2.

  • It's funny how often feedback will be like, "pretty good, but needs more development" and the author later replies that they had 400 more words of development planned but just couldn't fit them in. Of course, you can't read those 400 words at the time, so your feedback is already sorta obsolete, possibly redundant.
  • Alternatively, if I try to give suggestions for how it could've worked better within a 750 word limit, I get second thoughts if I'm really being helpful. It's not like you can publish them straight to FimFic. Unless you throw it into an anthology, which usually go overlooked, so there's not much reward for revision. (I have no idea if there's any market for original minifics)

The end result is I feel like I have to be a mind-reader to figure out what a minific is trying to do. Only if it's straining against the upper limit... which is most of them. It gets exhausting quickly, and then I drop out after a few reviews. At least in short story rounds you don't have to wonder if you're only seeing 75% of the picture. There's some that were too epic to be crammed into 8k, but they're very rare.

So that's just my own perspective. All that said, I don't know if raising the limit will fix any of this (and it doesn't matter anyway because it's already been decided), but I'm fine with getting experimental data to see if anything changes.

CoffeeMinion
Group Contributor

6304355
While there's a part of me that thinks a third contest length could be a best-of-both-worlds approach, my prevailing concern is that it would make Writeoff scheduling more complicated. The Writeoff's current every-3-week Pony/OF and Minific/Short pattern took a while to establish but now seems to be successful and orderly. Also, I don't think it would address the pain points of Pony Minific rounds that (e.g.) 6304423 detailed; it just might change the frequency with which they'd come up.

There's been a fair amount of discussion about the value of learning the skills it takes to write shorter stories. I started out not wanting to argue about the merits of one word count or another, and to be honest, I still don't really want to approach this on that basis. I think shorter and longer can both be fine in and of themselves. I think ongoing skills development is good. But I think 6304423 probably gives the best expression of how it feels like that's playing out in practice during Pony Minific rounds. Now granted, that's a feeling (in all of its unscientific glory). But in a community-driven contest of this nature, I think it's fair to ask if the community as a whole has a critical mass of skills and willingness to learn/teach them to make such a process achieve the ostensible goal.

I don't in any way question that we have some participants who are happy with how that's going right now. But I think there are plenty of others who could envision the whole thing being more enjoyable with a length bump. Not a huge bump that totally blurs the lines between mini and short; just enough of a bump to help people over the apparent hump.

(And yes, FF publishability was my initial position and I'm pivoting a little, but I think 6303559 and others are raising good related points.)

RogerDodger
Group Admin

Has anyone actually asked knighty about lowering fimfic's word count minimum?

I feel like there's plenty of good stories to be told in the 400-750 minific range, but the spectre of "it must be publishable on fimfiction" looms when people are thinking of what kind of story to write. So they end up picking a story idea that's supposed to be 1250 words and not 750.

I feel I can't fix this particular issue without raising the word limit an egregious amount.

Southpaw
Group Contributor

6304437
Just an opinion, but having a third option rotate around would make the minific option less of an issue. People would be able to publish 2/3 of their stories right away, instead of 1/2, and we'd still have a great creative distiller in the minific round.

6304565
Just my own thought again, but reducing that 1000 word limit can also reduce the minimum effort that writers are required to publish, despite the complaint, here. There are always significantly more minifics published than short stories, and I can see how that would affect the publishing process on FF...

I never did get around to joining a writeoff, but my main takeaway from this discussion is that the two groups have different aims and different purposes and therefore can't be expected to coordinate for those writers who wish to use both simultaneously; while it would be nice, changing the way that one of the two operates seems a little extreme from my point of view.

As you can see from that sentence, I'm no minific author. My response is mainly to the question of reducing Fimfiction's minimum word count. However, I can't see why the authors who participate in these writeoffs should expect the Writeoff Association to work around Fimfiction standards or the other way 'round—especially when every other contest is original fiction, if I understand correctly, and therefore unpublishable on Fimfiction.

CoffeeMinion
Group Contributor

6304565
Truth be told, I haven't asked Knighty, but I can do that. I am totally good with the proposed bump to 900 as well, and I think it'd be good to see the outcome of that if you're still willing to consider it.

Speaking more broadly, I agree that people sometimes try to pack too-long stories into the word limit, and I agree that you're going to get some of that anywhere that there's a limit. I think in the case of FIM Minifics, though, the push for a tweak comes from the Writeoff community being something that one might participate in first as a community tied (however loosely) to the broader FIM writing community, and second as an exercise in pursuing writing goals orthogonal to common modes and structures of writing stories within that broader community. It's why I feel there's probably more value in keeping the Original rounds as they are, or different; those represent (to some degree) a different community (even if there's considerable overlap), which might have different norms, modes, etc.

6304699
Welcome aboard. :pinkiesmile: I'd say more that my tl;dr is that the communities aren't entirely separate. Even (perhaps especially) if there isn't universal agreement around goals and ideal state, it's (IMO) positive to see willingness to consider tweaks.

6304827
While I agree with you on those points—I've been lurking silently in this group for almost two years, but have been too busy with the new family to get back to writing regularly—I still stand by my thoughts. After all, the Writeoff Association might be exclusively (or at least heavily) made up of Fimfiction members, but it exists to give its members something they don't find on Fimfiction. Willingness to change is a great thing, as long as no one loses sight of their original goals. If boosting the maximum word count in writeoffs helps the writeoffs flourish, or if Fimfiction really does need to allow minifics into its libraries, then more power to the moderators; I have no horse in either race. I simply hope neither change goes against what the sites and their standards were intended to be.

Trick Question
Group Contributor

6304565
I don't think 250 is an egregious amount.

CoffeeMinion
Group Contributor

6304565
6307883
I see understandable hesitation among those who are generally satisfied with the current state. It's with that in mind that I say 900 sounds great to try. It's a lot more than zero, even if it's less than I started by asking about.

I also did ask Knighty whether he'd consider reducing the minimum FimFiction word count, but haven't heard back yet. I'll post back if I do.

RogerDodger
Group Admin

6307883
If people are trying to write 1,250 word stories right now, they're still going to be crammed in at 1,000 words. So not even a 250 word limit increase (which is a lot) necessarily solves this problem.

A 500 word limit increase would be egregious.

Trick Question
Group Contributor

6309160
I didn't say a 500 word limit increase wasn't egregious.

RogerDodger
Group Admin

6309276
Ok, noted.

Do you think a 250 word limit increase solves the problem of people committing to 1,250 word stories (i.e., something that's definitely fimfic publishable)?

If that's the point of the word limit increase, then it's not enough. It'd have to be 1,100 at least.

Trick Question
Group Contributor

6309290
I think 1,000 words will make people happy because they'll be able to publish with little to no modification. I don't understand why you keep slippery sloping things to more than 1,000 when all we've ever asked for is 1,000.

Pascoite
Group Contributor

6309303
Because the only way 1000 helps is if everyone hits the max exactly. The only way to port stuff over without modification is to allow more than 1000.

Trick Question
Group Contributor

6313318
There's a difference between adding five words and adding two hundred fifty words. 1,000 is all I need.

Pascoite
Group Contributor

6313790
Well, that's one of the main points here, right? Not everyone is slammed up against the max (though that's a completely different topic). "What's so hard about adding 5 words?" you say. I also say if the limit is 950, what's so hard about adding 50 words? If it's 900, what's so hard about adding 100 words? If it's 750, what's so hard about adding 250? At some point, different people begin to disagree with different ones of those statements, but it's getting to be splitting hairs over the differences between being a little over 1000 (which is necessary for direct portability) or a little under (which is what Roger's offering a compromise to).

Though I would like to say that I completely disagree with horizon's assertion that if we increase the limit and the preponderance of entries are still up against it, that proves the limit isn't high enough. People will still be against the limit because they can. If you overshoot, and have to cut back to 900, what's your incentive to keep cutting back to 750 if you don't have to? People won't. They'll stop cutting once they get below the threshold. That doesn't mean they couldn't be told in a shorter word count. It just means that it's easier not to, and authors will stop. This doesn't happen much in the short story rounds, because plenty of people can't write a story within the time limit that hits the upper limit. Time's the limiting factor there. Bad Horse stopped participating because he found the time limit too stringent. Should we accommodate that and expand writing times? (Yes, I know that was tried in the past; I was there). My point is that why are we treating word count differently than time? I could make a similar assertion to horizon: if so few people are hitting the max word count during short story rounds, then we're clearly not allowing enough time. People can easily hit 750 words in a day, so they do. They're also consistently overestimating what story they can tell within that limit. That's not a weakness in the word count; it's a miscalculation for the author.

Trick Question
Group Contributor

6313845
I don't understand why wanting the limit to be 1,000 words so stories near the limit will be easier to publish to Fimfiction is just a hard thing to understand. I'm not asking for 14,000,000 words, and your slippery slope arguments are ridiculous. All I want is 1,000 words, and I think this sentiment is shared by a lot of users. But we'll never know, because we never take polls: we just let the most influential artists complain and then Roger does whatever he feels like doing, which is how things have gone for years.

I'm not making horizon's argument that people won't be up against a higher limit. I agree with you that people will always be up against the minific limit if it's under 2,000 words. But that's not what I said, so stop putting other people's words into my mouth.

RogerDodger
Group Admin

6313883
To reiterate what I said earlier: I don't think fimfic's word count minimum should be considered at all. People can (a) use the anthology approach or (b) ask knighty to change the word count minimum.

[As per horizon's argument,] fimfic's word count minimum is a problem because people try to fit 1,250 word ideas into 750 words, which is obviously going to fail. So we have a bunch of crippled stories that everyone has to read and review.

Now, the ideal solution here is for people to stop doing this, stop getting baited, and figure out how to actually write minifics. Even more ideally, knighty lowers the word count minimum. (I mean, with auto-publish and the website being far more mature than when that rule was actually needed, I'm pretty sure there isn't a good reason not to do this.)

But just telling people to do that probably won't work, because the people who are getting baited are mostly the same people who don't think posting under an anthology is a good enough solution. So me saying, "just use an anthology, or pray to knighty" isn't going to stop them.

So if I wanna fix this problem, the word limit probably has to be at least 1,100 words, maybe even 1,250.

I say probably, because maybe 900 is actually enough. I don't know. I'm inclined to think it won't, but not strongly enough that I'm not willing to try it first.

if 900 isn't enough, I'm sort of inclined to go in the other direction. If the word limit is 500 or 600, maybe that's a strong enough message to tell people "stop being stupid and trying to write a story with half as many words as you need". Rather, if it's not enough, I'll probably create a separate Microfics format for 300–500 words and make Minifics 750–1250 words and cycle between them.


I've done polls before but the problem is getting a quorum. The people who want things changed are always louder than the people who don't. So the current process sort of accepts that the squeaky wheel gets the grease, but you've gotta convince me at least.

Trick Question
Group Contributor

6314052
I know you don't care about Fimfiction's word count, but it's something we want. One of the reasons people are making unrelated arguments is because we want it for Fimfiction's word count and you won't consider that a valid reason. Saying "we can petition Knighty" is stupid because you can't get Knighty to do anything.

Convincing you is the entire thing. You do everything by fiat regardless as to what your users actually want. You started doing half of the Writeoffs as nonpony without any clear indication that a majority of users wanted to do nonpony rounds half the time, and involvement dropped off. We appreciate the service you provide, but I've come to accept the fact that you provide it for yourself, not for the people who use it or what we want.

I don't really have a personal stake in this fight because I can write well enough to increase word count on a story I want to publish, but I'd prefer the 1,000 word count. But the only reason most people are arguing for this is Fimfiction, not because they think 1,000 is a magic number where stories become good.

RogerDodger
Group Admin

6314139

Saying "we can petition Knighty" is stupid because you can't get Knighty to do anything.

I'm not saying your odds are good but have you even tried?

I've come to accept the fact that you provide it for yourself, not for the people who use it or what we want.

I'm... not really sure what to say to this.

What this would actually look like: Me not being in this thread discussing this.

You started doing half of the Writeoffs as nonpony without any clear indication that a majority of users wanted to do nonpony rounds half the time, and involvement dropped off.

There are people who only enter original writeoffs, because they've moved on from writing fimfics. Do these people not exist?

("Involvement dropped off" is not really consistent with the data.)

You do everything by fiat regardless as to what your users actually want.

There are people who don't want minifics to have the word limit raised in this very thread. 6304154 even proposed lowering it. Do these people not exist?

There's more going on here than me stubbornly refusing to go to 1,000 words because ... ???. I'm trying to take input from everyone, understand the situation, experiment a bit, and synthesise that into a solution that works.

CoffeeMinion
Group Contributor

6314765

I'm trying to take input from everyone, understand the situation, experiment a bit, and synthesise that into a solution that works.

This is, IMO, pretty much a best-case scenario, and I appreciate your willingness to go there. :twilightsmile:

6314139
I think what we're seeing here is Roger's openness to consider different stuff. I think it's worth trying the bump to 900 and seeing where things go from there. Don't get me wrong, I'd really like to see it be 1000. But no single solution is going to satisfy all of the competing perspectives and interests in play here, so I feel like even getting to 900 is pretty significant.

Or if the thoughts around rotating between 300–500 word and 750–1250 word formats take off, that might help to satisfy more people--just less frequently. :derpytongue2:

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