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Work Room - Week 6

Google is your friend this week. Unless you happen to already know what the phrase means. https://therealljidol.livejournal.com/1080863.html

If you do, then you can be the friend to everyone else instead of a search engine!

***

What didn't seem to be anyone's friend over the past couple of weeks was the meta commentary of mentioning the competition itself in the entry. That's always been a tough sell. I've seen it done well, with a corresponding result. But I've also seem a backlash against it, especially early on when a lot of people may be skimming entries to see if it's worth it to keep reading.

What have you seen that takes YOU out of the reading experience?

What helps draw your attention?

Comments

( 41 comments — Leave a comment )
jake67jake
Nov. 9th, 2019 04:04 am (UTC)

I liked what you did with your intro to the topic... lol

jake67jake
Nov. 9th, 2019 04:06 am (UTC)

I personally do not like the meta, and I was extremely guilty of it during my brief run.  I don't need a story or a subject explained to me, I just want to read the story.

roina_arwen
Nov. 9th, 2019 04:56 am (UTC)
Meta - unless it’s reallllllly well done - or “I wasn’t sure what to write about when I saw this topic...” will ALWAYS take me out of the piece and unless the writer recovers quickly, will often lose them my vote.

I get drawn in by an interesting/intriguing opening / great first paragraph. If I’ve read several paragraphs and still can’t get into the piece, then they’ve also lost my vote.

I’m honestly not quite as fussy as that probably makes me sound. I think I vote for about 70-75% of the pieces that I read. *shrug*
pixiebelle
Nov. 9th, 2019 05:12 am (UTC)
Meta usually takes me out of the piece, like you said. And I was guilty of it my first season - and was almost eliminated in week 5 of my first season because of it (but it was a non-elimination week). Now I say that, but I sometimes like satirical or cheeky meta - or where the writer breaks the fourth wall. If it’s hilarious, I can usually get into it.

What else turns me away: this may come as a surprise, but seeing a really short piece. I’ll still skim it, but if I feel like there’s not really enough to get drawn into it, I’m less likely to get invested in it.

Purple prose is a turn-off for me. I have ADHD, so if it takes you two paragraphs to describe a leaf of it feels like you’re addicted to your thesaurus, it can be hard to get into it for me. Pretentious language, where it feels unnatural and like you’re just showing off your very large vocabulary, also turns me a way. Of course these are personal choices, so not saying it’s always bad if you can’t hold my attention (It can be difficult and I know my brain is a jerk sometimes, so I usually force myself to read an entry in entirety unless I really, really struggle).
rayaso
Nov. 9th, 2019 03:45 pm (UTC)
This is interesting -- my entries tend to run long (about 1,500 words) and I always worry that this is too long, especially in the early stages when we all have so many pieces to read.
(no subject) - roina_arwen - Nov. 9th, 2019 03:51 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - rayaso - Nov. 9th, 2019 03:55 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - roina_arwen - Nov. 11th, 2019 04:55 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - rayaso - Nov. 11th, 2019 04:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - tonithegreat - Nov. 11th, 2019 01:50 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - roina_arwen - Nov. 11th, 2019 04:52 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - pixiebelle - Nov. 9th, 2019 05:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - rayaso - Nov. 9th, 2019 07:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - serpentpixie - Nov. 10th, 2019 05:18 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - pixiebelle - Nov. 10th, 2019 07:12 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - serpentpixie - Nov. 16th, 2019 09:06 am (UTC) - Expand
xo_kizzy_xo
Nov. 9th, 2019 01:37 pm (UTC)
I love meta that's done well: 1) Grab my attention, 2) Keep my attention; 3) Evoke some kind of emotion in me, whether it's amusement, anger, etc. I've written some meta over the years but IMHO it's not my strong suit. There have been others who've had more of a knack for it.

To expand further, those are the same requirements I have for reading in general, whether it's online or a book. I've always been a rather picky reader in that there are a lot of genres I've never cottoned to, but there have been exceptions here and there solely because of the writing.
roina_arwen
Nov. 9th, 2019 03:53 pm (UTC)
Yes, this. Good writing will always pull me in, regardless of genre.
(no subject) - jake67jake - Nov. 11th, 2019 04:55 am (UTC) - Expand
ryl
Nov. 9th, 2019 02:24 pm (UTC)
Resorting to the dictionary or Wikipedia to explain the topic to your readers is the quickest way for me to close your tab and move on to the next entry.
sweeny_todd
Nov. 10th, 2019 11:34 am (UTC)
yes, I don't enjoy that.
kittenboo
Nov. 9th, 2019 03:43 pm (UTC)
A confusing story, where I have to keep track of multiple different people, can cause me to lose interest. At the same time a confusing story that feels like it’s confusing on purpose and is leading to a surprise resolution can hold my attention.

That being said, anything that annoys me early on may not annoy me when there’s less entries to read. Reading 70 plus entries you just have to draw the line somewhere.

I do like meta, and there have been some this season that I’ve voted for. However using it just to say you didn’t know what to write, comes across as “forgive me, this isn’t my best entry”. And you never want to say that to a reader, even if it’s true.
roina_arwen
Nov. 9th, 2019 03:58 pm (UTC)
Multiple characters with similar names - Schmo, Schmoo, Schmee,, and Schmidt, for example - will also confuse me and unless it’s very well done or purposefully tongue in cheek - is also unlikely to get my vote!
sweeny_todd
Nov. 10th, 2019 11:35 am (UTC)
I love humour, and I just don't see enough of it.

It often feels like everything is tragic, and it sucks if you are my 50th tragic story, because I am just in overload.

I like short and pithy, but not too short.

There is so much poetry this season, and even when I like it, I struggle to know what to say to it. So I kinda go 'oh no' when I see poetry.
xo_kizzy_xo
Nov. 10th, 2019 12:53 pm (UTC)
I'm on the fence about poetry. If it's done well, that's one thing. But there's also the danger of overusing it as a time saving technique.
(no subject) - serpentpixie - Nov. 10th, 2019 05:23 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - xo_kizzy_xo - Nov. 11th, 2019 05:25 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - serpentpixie - Nov. 16th, 2019 09:02 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - roina_arwen - Nov. 11th, 2019 04:59 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - xo_kizzy_xo - Nov. 10th, 2019 01:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sweeny_todd - Nov. 11th, 2019 12:44 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ryl - Nov. 10th, 2019 02:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - unmowngrass - Nov. 10th, 2019 03:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sweeny_todd - Nov. 11th, 2019 12:49 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - unmowngrass - Nov. 11th, 2019 02:06 pm (UTC) - Expand
unmowngrass
Nov. 10th, 2019 11:37 pm (UTC)
Back on topic
The topic is in Latin. I realise writing our entries in Latin is probably a stretch too far for most of us, but does it's being written in a foreign/ancient language have an impact on the entries we do produce? Should it?
sweeny_todd
Nov. 11th, 2019 12:46 am (UTC)
Re: Back on topic
once, years and years and years ago, there must have been a latin style prompt, so I wrote a fic set in rome, and just peppered with latin phrases (which were all translated down the bottom). Now, I thought it was hilarious, but it's not always easy, especially on a phone, to jump between a phrase and a translation.
(no subject) - unmowngrass - Nov. 11th, 2019 01:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - xo_kizzy_xo - Nov. 11th, 2019 05:28 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - unmowngrass - Nov. 11th, 2019 01:52 pm (UTC) - Expand
sorchawench
Nov. 12th, 2019 09:39 pm (UTC)
( 41 comments — Leave a comment )

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