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Green Room - Week 17 - Day 2

One of the most difficult things for me to learn over the years has been "people have different tastes, and that's OK". Sure, I had enough experience even back in high school on a literary magazine and was exposed to the idea, on a regular basis, that my tastes didn't always mesh with other folks.

But I knew they were wrong. ;)

I still know they are wrong, but I'm more accepting of it.

That comes up quite a bit in Idol. "Gary only voting" would look as different, with different results, as "anyone else only" voting would look like.

Because, even if people "tend to agree" on something or have "similar tastes" - when push comes to shove, there are areas where one person might like something more than another.

I actually took that power out of my own hands by voting for everyone - so that when it came down to 1 vote making a decision about who stays and who goes, that vote wasn't mine!

Which isn't easy to sit back and watch other people make the decisions about how things will play out in something so close to me - but that's the power I gave *you*, and I hope you use it responsibly.

(and yes, I will often think you are wrong! But that's OK!)

Given how close this entire mini-season has been, results-wise, and the fact that we are down to the Top 21, I can only predict that it's going to continue to be that way - with every week being a stunning loss of someone that folks have been enjoying all season long, folks that many of us thought were going all the way (or close to it - and let's face it, we are all "close to it" right now!)

So, if everyone's tastes are different - what exactly is *Gary* looking for? Because we know his vote doesn't matter, so who really cares what he thinks!

- "Have I read this before?" Idol's rapidly approaching it's 10 anniversary. Story-telling has been around forever. But give me something original!

- I want to walk away from reading your entry feeling like I've learned something about you, or that we've connected. Regardless of the format.

- I want each season/mini-season to play out in it's own way. If it was the same final 10 in each season, that would be extremely dull. Fortunately, we always seem to have new blood each season and even if there are people who frequently do well, Real Life has a ability to have a huge impact on our proceedings!

- I want a compelling finale! Closely matched competitors, writing their fingers to the bone all the way to the end! I want the type of spectacle that people can't help but want to watch, but that, when the dust settles, most folks would be happy with any of them being the ultimate victor!

What are some things *you* look for to determine how you would like the "end game" to play out?


Topic: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/916255.html
Work Room: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/916621.html
Home Game: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/916769.html


( 21 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 6th, 2016 02:04 pm (UTC)
...and here I thought that Gary gave everyone a vote because he loves us that much and doesn't want to hurt anyone's feelings!

Apr. 6th, 2016 02:07 pm (UTC)
It's true that part of it doesn't want anyone staring at the poll and seeing a "0 votes" next to their name. There's always a guaranteed 1.
Apr. 6th, 2016 05:18 pm (UTC)
That is painful.
Apr. 6th, 2016 05:38 pm (UTC)
*nods* That's why I vote immediately after I post the poll.

I try to get through the clicks as quickly as possible, so no one has to see that.
Apr. 6th, 2016 05:52 pm (UTC)
Actually, I thought it was because the poll's creator can't see poll results until he/she votes in the poll. But yours is a nicer reason. :)
Apr. 6th, 2016 05:56 pm (UTC)
You can click submit without checking anything though.
Apr. 6th, 2016 06:02 pm (UTC)
Yep, and I can click through and see the actual votes. So that's not a concern.

I just want there to be a vote for everyone ASAP when the poll goes up. (Which is always rough at the start of every season/when there are a lot of polls!)

Apr. 6th, 2016 05:38 pm (UTC)
*listens to crickets*

Is everyone at a Bernie Sanders rally?
Apr. 7th, 2016 12:11 am (UTC)
If we were, you'd have to get on social media to hear about it!
Apr. 7th, 2016 01:09 am (UTC)
LJ is old school social media! :)
Apr. 6th, 2016 05:50 pm (UTC)
I want to read a good story-- the genre doesn't matter. Fiction, non-fiction. I just want it to be told well.

I want it to feel like it "ends." Not a fan of cliffhangers in serials, or a sense that the author decided to "be done" rather than conclusively end the story. (this last thing is something that even professionals may struggle with in short-story format)

I want it to be well-written. I'm more forgiving about grammar, spelling, coherency in the early part of the season, but by the end... the story needs to demonstrate competence in actual writing.

It needs to be clear that you've made an effort in actually writing the entry. Slapping something together to meet the deadline? Not good enough. If writing is easy for you, and you've whipped out a good, coherent entry? Hey, I can't tell that it was hardly work for you. I'll vote for it. :)

Use.The.Prompt. If you're barely nodding at it or ignoring it completely, I won't vote for your story. The rest of us have to struggle with these things (sometimes a lot, especially if none of them inspires us!), so just dodging the prompt? Doesn't seem fair to me.

I have no requirements to feel like I've learned something about or connected with the writer. Because... I just want a good story! Even if it's not a "fun" story (like, it's dark or sad), is it good? Fiction especially is often about writing stuff that totally is not you, so I'm not sure whether Gary means that literally, but it's not my criteria. :O
Apr. 6th, 2016 06:03 pm (UTC)
There's still a part of "you" in fiction. I remember the arguments well when people took up that cause. :)
Apr. 6th, 2016 06:07 pm (UTC)
! My fiction varies a lot in style and voice and genre, so you're either more adept at finding "me" in it than I would be, or I'd be 'outta there' in the first few weeks of a Gary-only vote. :O
Apr. 6th, 2016 07:39 pm (UTC)
I think you can. Maybe not literal things about their life, although reoccurring themes do emerge. But, over time, you definitely can see someone about their the writer's thought-process.
Apr. 6th, 2016 07:44 pm (UTC)
Hmmm, so is crack the most revealing or least revealing fiction genre? \o?
Apr. 6th, 2016 06:17 pm (UTC)
Thank you for typing all that out, because, ditto. :)

Well conceived, well written (which means going through and re-reading and tweaking and clearing out redundancies and checking word choices, etc).

I'm of the opinion that you don't learn much about the writer from a piece of fiction. Maybe a season full of fiction from the same person, but not one story. (I'm not looking to argue that point with anyone. We have that conversation every year.) Because there are so many of us, I never can remember from week to week who wrote what, so the learning-about-people-through-cumulative-fiction thing doesn't click in for me until we get to the top [insert relatively small number].

I do need to learn something about the character. I'm cool with an Idol entry being a chapter in a larger world, as long as something has happened. I'm not cool with it being a "scene," as in the part of a tv program between commercial breaks, where a conversation occurs, but nothing. actually. happens.

Also, if I have to have read a previous piece to understand what happens, I'm not going back to catch up on something I've missed.

So, an interesting or well-conceived, well-written story, in which something happens that causes me to think or feel or learn something, and that obviously relates to the prompt in some way.
Apr. 6th, 2016 06:43 pm (UTC)
Hahaha! I feel like I say the same things every time this comes up, too. Except the "learning about you" part was a whole new concept to me, and left me going, "Huh?" when the writing is fiction.

I'm not cool with it being a "scene," as in the part of a tv program between commercial breaks, where a conversation occurs, but nothing. actually. happens.
I actually AM okay with that. At least, I like vignettes and if they feel rich and complete, those are good. If it's unfocused blather, then no. Usually, vignettes still have a "micro-arc" in the storytelling, which may or may not be enough for some readers? Probably a risk I run, since I do write them.

I agree that the story needs to stand alone. I might enjoy the richness an additional installment provides, but if I can't place the characters/plot/setting without revisiting earlier stuff, that just annoys me. Some people are really good about "reestablishing" with each story, and that includes referring in the narrative to previous character/events in a way that both recalls them and also redemonstrates what is being talked about. I.e., if you remember this, yay, and if not... I just told you. ;)

The "conclusive ending" thing in a short story... Ray Bradbury was a master of the form, and I've never felt dissatisfied with the flow of his short stories. But I've read shorts by Ursula K. LeGuin and Patricia McKillip (for instance) who write novels well, and yet about half or more of the short stories leave me feeling, "Wait, is that IT?" The arc might have concluded, but the phrasing and flow of the story did not appropriately end. It's more like a guillotine fell on the word stream or something.

I might not be explaining that very well, but when a short story does this badly, you tend to notice. :O
Apr. 6th, 2016 10:44 pm (UTC)
I just want a good story!

Yes. Yes. Yes. A million times yes. All I'm looking for when I read anything is a good story. Even the news! I don't care about soapboxes or stream-of-consciousness or everyone learning a little more about themselves and others, I just want a story.
Apr. 6th, 2016 11:43 pm (UTC)
This is where I come down, squarely. I want to take something away from the entry. A thought, a line, a metaphor, a turn of phrase, a perspective which is part of the larger whole, the complete telling of a story. Fiction, non-fiction, a poem, a song; all should project a complete piece in the human converse of storytelling.

Apr. 6th, 2016 10:41 pm (UTC)
I am a pretty simple guy and tend to vote for whatever pieces strike my fancy from week to week. I've been working hard to roll with gut reaction instead of voting with some sort of strict (or even loose) criteria in mind. I find that in any given week I tend to vote for pieces that stand out for some reason - like most people write fiction and one person puts together a song or a Monster dating chart. I mean, novelty alone doesn't get my vote, but novelty gets my attention (which, in turn, makes it more likely that I'll give it a vote because, hey, trying something new is often hard and frequently interesting).
Apr. 7th, 2016 03:41 am (UTC)
Like! :-)
( 21 comments — Leave a comment )


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