Tag Archives: Poll

The day I ask what you’d like to know.

Question MarkI write many topics here on the blog; personal, professional. Reviews, gaming, roleplaying, game design, writing and more.

I know what brings my Google traffic: SWTOR, Wheel of Time, D&D and managing OCPD. I don’t know how much of that traffic returns to read other things, or how much my regular readers are interested in those topics.

To a large degree, it doesn’t matter what I write; the challenge is to make any topic both interesting and accessible to any visitor.

However, in the wake of personal stories leading up to our anniversary, I’m curious what you, my daily or weekly visitors (especially lurkers) find interesting. What were your favorite posts? What would you like to know more about?

I’m deliberately not attaching a poll or links to specific articles, leaving the question open-ended.

 

The day Megan proved four of you wrong.

On Friday, I explained Megan’s Surprise Dilemma, a gambit wherein Megan had the option to unravel various surprises.

As a bonus, I included a poll to predict both Megan’s reaction and Jason’s plans. Only five people voted (despite >30 reading the article) but there were still interesting “trends.” (Can you say “trend” of a tiny sample size?)

  • Nobody voted either “surprise” was a lie. Everyone expected both surprises to exist.
  • Four readers predicted that Megan would not want to know and would abstain from checking the laptop bag.
  • One reader predicted that Megan would check, deliberating spoiling both surprises.

Neither Megan nor I voted.

Read More →

The other poll and a quick update

airmailSecond thing first:

I’ve changed the progress bars on the right to reflect the new priority of current projects.

First thing second:

Of the three people who voted whether to resubmit Woman’s Best Friend immediately or to first edit it some more, 2 voted it good enough to immediately send to another magazine.

My ego wanted to assume the third vote was made by someone who hadn’t read the full story. (“Well, obviously if they think it needs work, they just haven’t experienced it to know how good it is.”) That’s the arrogance of a writer about his latest and [possibly] greatest.

Well, today I spoke to the one dissenter (so far), and guess what? It was someone who hasn’t read the full story.

/insert maniacal laughter

Tonight I will e-submit Woman’s Best Friend to the Intergalactic Medicine Show, which is a bit less painful than the full printed manuscript deal. In the past, it’s taken them a good three months to respond to me, so hopefully this time my plan (to have more stories done long before I hear back) will work.

I find the results intriguing

statisticsI don’t think I’m likely to get many more votes, although if you want, you can still vote here for my next project. Let’s tally the current results, though:

2 votes to rewrite Perfect Justice.
2 votes to write The Dragon Thief.

::blink:: Okay, I’ll come back to that.

1 vote apiece for Manifest Destniy and Second Chances.

The coolest thing about these results is that each story appeals to at least one person, even among a small group of people. Had one story monumentally dominated the poll, I’d fear that the other ideas were stale.

I honestly had expected Second Chances to win, for no other reason than that’s the story I’m the most excited about at the moment, but only for two reasons: 1. It’s the freshest idea, and 2. I’ve recently begun work on it. The others have either been sitting idle awhile or else not yet begun. You can see how circumstances colors a writer’s perception; just because a story is freshest in my mind doesn’t make it the most appealing to audiences in general.

So of the two which pulled ahead, both surprised me. The Dragon Thief, unlike some of the other titles, has no overt philosophical, religious, or political implications. You can see how the other stories play with themes like justice, fairness, religion, good & evil, memory, experimentation, and so forth. The Dragon Thief is nothing more than a straight-up fantasy story.

But that’s what appeals to some people, which is a Really Good Thing. Excitement begets excitement, and seeing that two people wanted to read that story first has made me much more excited about writing it than I was before.

What about Perfect Justice? That story fills an odd place in my heart; that girl you almost dated in college, still love deeply but no longer romantically and aren’t in touch with anymore — something like that. There’s a lot of baggage associated with rewriting it, yet it had so much potential I can’t ignore it. For one thing, it’s the only submission so far to win me a “send more” reply. For another, many of the problems with it were obvious to me shortly after writing it.

I’m dragging my feet on rewriting it because — flawed or not — I already wrote it. And it’s easier (to me) to write a story from scratch than to rewrite one that’s already on paper. It’s like completely remodelling a house vs. building a new one; changing where the walls are placed is actually a bit more complex than just building brand new ones on a new foundation. (Or so I imagine.)

There are a lot of decisions to make, too. Do I begin with the text I already have and just mass edit, cutting whole portions to make room for new scenes? Or do I begin like a brand new story, starting from the first page, referencing the other version only for the best ideas, lines, and descriptions? A mix of both?

Either way, I’ll be constantly checking for continuity and cohision, and it’s likely I will still miss some things. Just imagining doing this begins to make my head spin as from a complex chess problem.

So which of the two winners shall I write first?

The Dragon Thief. Mostly because I want to see how it turns out. When I need a break from it, I’ll plug away at a new version of Perfect Justice, and vice versa. You’ve gotta give the people what they want.