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Old 2011-01-16, 06:16   Link #61
felix
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaintessHeart View Post
Is using small pieces of Latin and similar European languages allowed?
Given there's no real "advantage" I don't see why writing in non-english languages should be disallowed.
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Old 2011-01-16, 06:55   Link #62
TinyRedLeaf
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaintessHeart View Post
P.S If TRL is participating I am out. There is no way I am going up against a newspaper editor with a known AND certified lingua franca capability over 9000 - it is suicide.
No, I most likely won't be participating in the contest. The expectations would be too high, and my ego won't be able to take it if I lose.

But proofreading and other stuff, I don't mind volunteering if I can spare the time. That's my real forte. In contrast, I suck at creative fiction.
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Old 2011-01-16, 14:14   Link #63
felix
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BTW, since we're on the subject of word count, how about having it as character count instead? Out of fairness.

Word count can be iffy. For example "a" and "pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis " would have the same value. Addition it can be debatable what constitutes as a word. For example is "username" one word or two? Yes? oh ok then is "Somekindofwierdsentence." a word too? What if I am just linking words together: "Ho-ho-ho" is that one word or three?
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Old 2011-01-16, 16:53   Link #64
NightWish
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Out of curiosity: Why would character counting be fairer than word counting? Surely you're not suggesting that an entry should be should be differentiated by the length of the words used?

If it is just the ambiguities you're concerned about, most of them have standard resolutions if the author uses correct grammar. Presumably the count would not be so strict that a slight variance, in what is understood to constitute a word in some obscure cases, will cause problems?

It shouldn't matter in any case, from the point of fairness, provided the same counting method is used each time. With a thousand words to play with, trimming a few shouldn't be beyond the wit of the entrant.
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Old 2011-01-16, 17:17   Link #65
SaintessHeart
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Quote:
Originally Posted by felix View Post
Given there's no real "advantage" I don't see why writing in non-english languages should be disallowed.
Word count. Back in high school, writing like a weeaboo lawyer helps alot in comprehension summaries : those 10+ words make a huge lot of difference.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
No, I most likely won't be participating in the contest. The expectations would be too high, and my ego won't be able to take it if I lose.

But proofreading and other stuff, I don't mind volunteering if I can spare the time. That's my real forte. In contrast, I suck at creative fiction.
Creative fiction can be borne from two ways, either from accumulated knowledge mixed together (Seikon no Qwaser), or something entirely new and unheard of(Star Wars).

Ultimately, it is how one puts his/her idea across. Creating and holding information about the environment and characters, then letting it go bit-by-bit to create suspense, is a form of creative writing.

Or the piece of writing could be in ballad or poetry form (I forget what is it called) like the Canterbury Tales, that would be telling a story in less than 500 words. Ultimately there must be a general theme, or else the piece of work will just go around in circles without objectivity.

Quote:
Originally Posted by felix View Post
BTW, since we're on the subject of word count, how about having it as character count instead? Out of fairness.

Word count can be iffy. For example "a" and "pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis " would have the same value.
That is one word. That's fair. However, I don't think referents such as "a" or "the" at a beginning of a sentence are counted into the word limit. Needs TRL to doublecheck on this.

Quote:
Addition it can be debatable what constitutes as a word. For example is "username" one word or two?
One. It is a portmanteau.

Quote:
Yes? oh ok then is "Somekindofwierdsentence." a word too?
One.

Quote:
What if I am just linking words together: "Ho-ho-ho" is that one word or three?
One. Using dashes constitutes to it being a single word. Or it could be zero since it is a verbalised extra (what the heck is it called? My memory is failing me!).

Actually those techniques are used to get around word limits in formal writing. Content is still king. Iteration is nothing more than a way of expressing it.

Hence the saying : Words are useless! Listen to my song!
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Old 2011-01-16, 18:17   Link #66
felix
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NightWish View Post
Out of curiosity: Why would character counting be fairer than word counting?
Character count is easier to count, and indisputable. There's no "well that counts as one word" or "that doesn't count as a word". From your first visible character (ie. non-space, tab, etc) to your last visible character, you have 1000 characters (excluding line endings), that's that. Going by word count I could have a poem that spans more then novels just by abusing the rules of what counts as a word. To be more precise it should be possible to have a 1000 verse poem. The fairness comes into play when you consider that you have equivalent multi-word version that would be limited more even though it technically is the same content (and I'm not talking different words here).

If there was a catch in the middle, like for example with the limit and poetry: yes poetry has almost unlimited space, but it's harder to split poetry into pieces, whereas with prose (theme considerations aside) you can easily just continue a story from a previous contest (ie. write one chapter per contest as a way to work with the limits).

If you don't agree I formally request you remove (the annoying) bytes as the unit of measurement for signature size. j/k

Quote:
Originally Posted by SaintessHeart View Post
That is one word. That's fair. However, I don't think referents such as "a" or "the" at a beginning of a sentence are counted into the word limit. Needs TRL to doublecheck on this.
Actually "a", "the", etc are words. Albeit they aren't that meaningful in speech as they are in writing.

Here's another one for you: "Bose–Einstein condensate" (two or three?)
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Old 2011-01-16, 22:54   Link #67
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Good grief. It's a writing competition, not a programming contest where brevity is a top priority. While I can see where Felix is coming from, I'm hard put to think of any publication that gives writers character limits rather than word limits.

As for what counts as a word, I suggest we avoid going down to such technicalities. The reason is simple: It's not fun.

And I gather that this contest is for fun, right? I don't think I'd be enjoying myself very much if I had to constantly fire up my word processor to ensure that my character count stays within limit.

Long word, short word, compound word... use whatever you need to bring your characters and story to life. I daresay that readers can easily tell when someone is a blowhard who tries too hard to show off his extensive vocabulary. In which case, I highly doubt the story would be enjoyable, let alone draw sufficient votes to win.
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Old 2011-01-17, 01:44   Link #68
felix
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
I'm hard put to think of any publication that gives writers character limits rather than word limits.
Fair enough.
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Old 2011-01-17, 04:02   Link #69
SaintessHeart
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Quote:
Originally Posted by felix View Post
Here's another one for you: "Bose–Einstein condensate" (two or three?)
Two or one. It is a term by itself, but "Bose-Einstein" is joined by a dash so it is one word, thus adding it to "condensate" becomes two.

It is supposed to be considered a supersolid since the vacancies are filled by bosons, but if a state of matter made with bosons had empty spaces between each particle filled with bosons, does it have different properties from actual supersolids? If there is no difference, it is categorised as one, if it does, it isn't.

If it is a supersolid, we can use the surefire term. If not, we use the abbreviation BEC. But for simplicity's sake, it is still better to call it a "condensate".

Quote:
Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
Long word, short word, compound word... use whatever you need to bring your characters and story to life. I daresay that readers can easily tell when someone is a blowhard who tries too hard to show off his extensive vocabulary. In which case, I highly doubt the story would be enjoyable, let alone draw sufficient votes to win.
Walt Disney put that in perspective.

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious
Even the sound of it,
sound quite atrocious....


Yep, that is atrocious. Simplicity is still better.
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When three puppygirls named after pastries are on top of each other, it is called Eclair a'la menthe et Biscotti aux fraises avec beaucoup de Ricotta sur le dessus.
Most of all, you have to be disciplined and you have to save, even if you hate our current financial system. Because if you don't save, then you're guaranteed to end up with nothing.

Last edited by SaintessHeart; 2011-01-17 at 04:12.
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Old 2011-01-17, 06:52   Link #70
TinyRedLeaf
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaintessHeart View Post

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious
Even the sound of it,
sounds quite atrocious....
Subject-verb disagreement. Fixed.
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Old 2011-01-17, 14:58   Link #71
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I think the answer to the whole word or not a word issue is simple. If there is no space (username for instance) and it is commonly recognized as a word it should count. But it if it is not then it shouldn't be a word. For instance, say I'm writing an X-Men: Evolution fan fiction in which the character Quicksilver has a lot of dialog. Some people, myself included, will run all of the words he says together because his mutant power is super speed and he usually talks kind of fast in the show. Sobasicallyitwouldlooklikethis. But that isn't just one word. That's a seven word statement run together to stay true to the character. Personally I don't think a character count would be a good idea. For one, are we counting spaces? And what about judging? Would people have to count all of the characters themselves?
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Old 2011-01-17, 16:37   Link #72
felix
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What are you talking about? Counting characters is easy, just call the length of the string after a trim. Words are a little more complicated, but given the discussion so far it should be very easy; the complexity with words being in the rules of what counts as a word.

I believe the only loose end remaining is how many words does something like "can't" count as, given the apostrophe is merely there to mark a missing salable.
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Old 2011-01-17, 19:15   Link #73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by felix View Post
I believe the only loose end remaining is how many words does something like "can't" count as, given the apostrophe is merely there to mark a missing salable.
Can't is one word. Just like shouldn't, couldn't, wouldn't, doesn't, don't, won't, let's, they're, he's, she's, wasn't, weren't, and any other words that follow the same rule as they do. By saying they count as two words each means that you must also count words like sometimes, someone, something, daytime, nighttime, or neighborhood as multiple words each.
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Old 2011-01-17, 20:28   Link #74
felix
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While "can't" is a contraction of "cannot", isn't "shouldn't" a contraction of "should not"? Same for the others.
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Old 2011-01-17, 20:50   Link #75
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I'd be interested in participating. Though I do agree in that I think 1000 words is too low of a maximum. I'm not very well at concise stories, as they usually run 25-35k when I write them, but I don't think it's really feasible to get an sort of development at 1k. 2.5k would give much more room to play with.

For a first theme, how about entrapment? Like the situation a bird is when it is locked in a cage.
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Old 2011-01-18, 04:17   Link #76
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Some real good discussions going on here. I remind you to not take it so seriously; it's just for fun.

Now, what I'm actually wondering is the initiation process. Would I be able to have a mod confirm if I can just post the multiple threads involved, or if somebody else needs to get involved?
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Old 2011-01-18, 06:25   Link #77
NightWish
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Quote:
Originally Posted by papermario13689 View Post
...I can just post the multiple threads involved, ...?
Depends what you mean by multiple threads, but in principle I don't think you need to get anyone else involved specifically.
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Last edited by NightWish; 2011-01-18 at 10:57. Reason: missed a word :D
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Old 2011-01-18, 10:22   Link #78
SaintessHeart
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
Subject-verb disagreement. Fixed.
Because this nasty-nutty-grammar-natso is hired as a proofreader, I should just write in wingdings and swastikas.

Joking. It is good to have him around because sometimes grammatical errors can kill a perfectly good script : which will be like training a hyperactive puppygirl in pilates and yoga.

Anyway, with regards to Kristen's point, I'd say she made a good argument but bad suggestion. A long story keeps the suspense on by letting little information out at a time, but a theme of "entrapment" sounds closer to mystery, which requires extended writing because it'd be no surprise if the catgirl is let out of the bag so quickly.

On the other hand, how are we going to sustain the number of entrants for this competition over a long period of time? Encourage them not to give up despite having a writer's block?
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When three puppygirls named after pastries are on top of each other, it is called Eclair a'la menthe et Biscotti aux fraises avec beaucoup de Ricotta sur le dessus.
Most of all, you have to be disciplined and you have to save, even if you hate our current financial system. Because if you don't save, then you're guaranteed to end up with nothing.
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Old 2011-01-18, 14:54   Link #79
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NightWish View Post
Depends what you mean by multiple threads, but in principle I don't think you need to get anyone else involved specifically.
Actually, you know what, SOTM uses more than one thread for general discussion, voting and submissions, but I think I can combine it all into one. Apologies for the confusion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SaintessHeart View Post
Because this nasty-nutty-grammar-natso is hired as a proofreader, I should just write in wingdings and swastikas.

Joking. It is good to have him around because sometimes grammatical errors can kill a perfectly good script : which will be like training a hyperactive puppygirl in pilates and yoga.

Anyway, with regards to Kristen's point, I'd say she made a good argument but bad suggestion. A long story keeps the suspense on by letting little information out at a time, but a theme of "entrapment" sounds closer to mystery, which requires extended writing because it'd be no surprise if the catgirl is let out of the bag so quickly.

On the other hand, how are we going to sustain the number of entrants for this competition over a long period of time? Encourage them not to give up despite having a writer's block?
What would you think about a 1500 word limit? I would go no higher for the sake of the newer writers, but perhaps a small increase will allow for more suspenseful buildup. Just throwing it out there.
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Old 2011-01-18, 20:01   Link #80
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I think 1500 words is good.
I also think that with contractions, Word and such programs count them as one, as should we. or we could just have everyone copy paste their stuff into a word processing document and hit "word count" end of story.
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