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Bad news for the Fanthology...


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25 replies to this topic

#1
JeffTibbetts

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I think I'v gotten to the point finally that I may need to put this on hold. To say that this is a disappointment is an understatement. Let me explain:

 

When the project began, the enthusiasm was palpable. I felt (and still do) that we were onto a great idea, and people were pretty jazzed to submit their work. However, this was during school holiday, and I'm pretty sure people thought this would be a quick job. In my desire to keep everyone on track and on the same page, there were many delays as some of us had real life play havoc on our schedules. Some work wasn't getting submitted, some responses weren't so prompt, etc. Basically, this is a side project hobby for our actual hobby, and I think it ended up on a lot of back burners. 

 

Believe me, I get it. We all get busy. 

 

Now that we're supposed to be in full swing, I think a lot of people are back in school and enthusiasm has really dropped off. I only have two groups (of two) that are actively working from what I can tell. 

 

I'm NOT lecturing or complaining. I promise I'm not bitter. But, I have to be realistic at some point and just say it's not working out right now. Maybe this is the sort of project that needs to be laid out with a timeline ahead of time, so we all know what we're getting into and what dates we need to hit. And I also think it needs to happen in the Summer as well. 

 

For now, I don't really see a choice other than to put it on hold until we can hammer out the details and maybe even start up again. We had several drop-offs, including the originator of the project, and it doesn't seem fair to keep holding up those who wish to continue on their own.

 

I would be happy to turn this into an open forum for feedback about the project, and how we can either revive it or do it differently. I would still love to be involved, obviously, as I've really enjoyed the work I've done on it. What I'll need (or whomever if someone else edits it next time 'round) is a commitment to involvement, as long as we have clear timelines set from the start. I didn't know how much time it might take, but I think I have a better idea now. 

 

Andurin Marvak, Brother Tyler, all the writers and peer editors, I'd like to thank you for the work you've put in already. I'm not saying it won't happen. I'm saying it just might not happen right now. Let's talk about what we need to do next. 


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#2
Son of Carnelian

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I'm working on mine! My edits are nearly done! I submitted feedback on another story and thought everything was proceeding well. But to know that many people dropped off would certainly put a damper on the project. 

 

Oh well, I suppose. The Crimson Lords aren't going anywhere. 



#3
JeffTibbetts

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I'm working on mine! My edits are nearly done! I submitted feedback on another story and thought everything was proceeding well. But to know that many people dropped off would certainly put a damper on the project. 
 
Oh well, I suppose. The Crimson Lords aren't going anywhere.


That's the tough part, knowing that many of us are plugging along and doing fine. In fact, I do believe most people will get the work in eventually, but I feel like we're all out of sync. I wonder if it would help to make some kind of rotating cycle of peer editing, aside from the project.

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#4
Brother Tyler

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Unfortunate, but not unexpected. Perhaps a less ambitious timeline and more relaxed process (i.e., submit a work when ready, publish something once there are enough completed submissions) would be a more achievable method.


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#5
JeffTibbetts

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Unfortunate, but not unexpected. Perhaps a less ambitious timeline and more relaxed process (i.e., submit a work when ready, publish something once there are enough completed submissions) would be a more achievable method.

 

I didn't think the timeline was ambitious enough, to be honest. Maybe we should run some polls or something to see how people want to do this. But yeah, maybe it's an ongoing collection instead? 


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#6
Andurin Marvak

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The hilarity of this is that I actually happened to sign in to let you know I could try and hammer out an introduction as you suggested.

 

Once November passes and I get stuff done and actually have a stable schedule, I should actually have this elusive time thing nailed down. So I'll probably be able to actively participate and maybe (a big maybe) do other tasks to assist you.


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#7
JeffTibbetts

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The hilarity of this is that I actually happened to sign in to let you know I could try and hammer out an introduction as you suggested.
 
Once November passes and I get stuff done and actually have a stable schedule, I should actually have this elusive time thing nailed down. So I'll probably be able to actively participate and maybe (a big maybe) do other tasks to assist you.


Right on. Yeah, I think we all need to just get our ducks in a row.

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#8
Green Knight

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I've read through 3 draft versions of Commodus' work (very good btw). I've yet to get any feedback on my own piece. So definitely still interested, but not a lot I can do ATM.



#9
Son of Barbarus

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I'm cool for you to hang onto my story. Let me know if you need me to do anything else.



#10
JeffTibbetts

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I've read through 3 draft versions of Commodus' work (very good btw). I've yet to get any feedback on my own piece. So definitely still interested, but not a lot I can do ATM.

 

I do have his comments if you'd like them. I was planning on holding onto them til we could all chat, but with everything going on I could just email them to you if you like. 


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#11
Green Knight

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I've read through 3 draft versions of Commodus' work (very good btw). I've yet to get any feedback on my own piece. So definitely still interested, but not a lot I can do ATM.

 

I do have his comments if you'd like them. I was planning on holding onto them til we could all chat, but with everything going on I could just email them to you if you like. 

 

 

Yes please. Feedback is always welcome!



#12
JeffTibbetts

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I'll try to remember to email them when I get home from work. Super busy this week. If you don't see them by tomorrow, PM or email me. :)

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#13
Dosjetka

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Ugh. Guilty as charged and no intention to deny.

 

I have a week of holidays in four week's time. I'll try and hammer something down then, but also get a few things done in the meantime for this. Fingers crossed.


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#14
NomadPainting

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Yeah, life kicked me in the nuts. 


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#15
JeffTibbetts

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Happened to quite a few, I'm afraid. I'm still totally open to suggestions/brain storms/quick ideas about ways in which we could get it started back up or stay on track. My most recent thought is we almost need someone who just keeps it organized and on schedule. I was concerned that it seemed like I was starting to sort of harass people, and there's no way to know if someone is just busy and isn't getting messages or if they're ignoring them because they don't have time to deal with it. It's a subtle-but important-distinction. Not whining or anything, I really want to know what would be the best way to keep us all rolling. 


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#16
Deus Imperator Vult

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 I've been thinking, mostly cause I missed the window to submit some stuff the BL and I'm irritated with myself for that, this was too much of a good idea to just drop. I know most of us haven't but I completely understand where Jeff's coming from I can only imagine the titanic weight of organising all of this. But my thought is this, why not just take one step back for a moment. Maybe it's just me but I really liked getting to read someone elses work and liked the idea of giving some pointers/tips and generally helping another writer. On a side note Brother Tyrax I still have notes on your piece sitting on my hardrive so message me and I'll be happy to send them over. So how about instead of focusing of building the fanthology for the moment why not build a peer review network? Each of us can volunteer as much or as little time as we like so life can't drag us down too much. This way we can all hone our literary/editing skills so when we do revisit the fanthology concept or the next BL open submission comes around we are all submitting a much higher quality of work. How does that sound to everyone? Jeff and anyone else who was higher up in planning the fanthology I'd love to hear your thoughts since you guys have a more experience, well, generally.

 

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#17
Green Knight

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 I've been thinking, mostly cause I missed the window to submit some stuff the BL and I'm irritated with myself for that, this was too much of a good idea to just drop. I know most of us haven't but I completely understand where Jeff's coming from I can only imagine the titanic weight of organising all of this. But my thought is this, why not just take one step back for a moment. Maybe it's just me but I really liked getting to read someone elses work and liked the idea of giving some pointers/tips and generally helping another writer. On a side note Brother Tyrax I still have notes on your piece sitting on my hardrive so message me and I'll be happy to send them over. So how about instead of focusing of building the fanthology for the moment why not build a peer review network? Each of us can volunteer as much or as little time as we like so life can't drag us down too much. This way we can all hone our literary/editing skills so when we do revisit the fanthology concept or the next BL open submission comes around we are all submitting a much higher quality of work. How does that sound to everyone? Jeff and anyone else who was higher up in planning the fanthology I'd love to hear your thoughts since you guys have a more experience, well, generally.

 

Ave Imperator.

 

A peer review network is a nice enough idea, but the Fantology project told me that I'll likely spend time reviewing other people's work and not hear much in return.



#18
JeffTibbetts

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I can see your point, both of you. The level of participation varied quite a bit and there's no clear way to enforce a standard. There's nothing stopping any of us from sharing work with each other, if both parties want to do it. I'm still not opposed to reviving the entire thing, but we've got to get some real commitment and I think we need a community organizer whose job it is to basically harass everyone to get them motivated.

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#19
Son of Carnelian

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I think waiting for summer was suggested and I believe that remains the best option. I think a lot of us will have more time then. I know I will. 



#20
JeffTibbetts

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Yeah, it's a start for sure. 


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#21
Green Knight

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I can see your point, both of you. The level of participation varied quite a bit and there's no clear way to enforce a standard. There's nothing stopping any of us from sharing work with each other, if both parties want to do it. I'm still not opposed to reviving the entire thing, but we've got to get some real commitment and I think we need a community organizer whose job it is to basically harass everyone to get them motivated.

 

You need some form of project management in place; with deadlines and stuff. Sound too much like my daytime job actually :'(



#22
Green Knight

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You'd need a project manager and a couple+ of 'chief editors' to help move things along (peer review is fine, but you also need someone to help the process along, or take over if someone lapse or is late etc.).

 

You also need a deadline. Nothing gets done w/o deadlines. 

 

Start with more stories than can realistically be fitted into the fanthology. Some people WILL lapse - pr fail to achieve the quality needed. It's the way of things.

 

You also need milesones:

 

1) date for handing in first draft

2) date for first feedback

3) date for second (revised) draft

4) date for second feedback

5) date for third (final) draft

6) date for third feedback

7) date for completed manuscript

8) editing

9) publishing

 

Something like that. While all these dates might seem draconian, they are the only way to go. It also helps writers identify with the project, get a sense of contributing to something bigger.



#23
JeffTibbetts

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Yeah, buddy. I'm in 100% agreement about pretty much everything you just said. That was a big part of the problem is that, for most folks, this project was a hobby project within their hobby project. Things like deadlines and project management were tough sells. Heck, even trying to edit it became a heck of a burden as I was also trying to coordinate everything else and I didn't want to come across as too demanding. Everyone got off on their own schedule and many became unresponsive. 

 

That's why I was thinking next time around we have a schedule in place from the beginning and, as you said, at least one project manager whose job it is to basically harass people. If we all know what we're getting into ahead of time, maybe some of us will be less likely to drop. Life tends to get in the way, though, for some. This should be expected and accounted for. 

 

All good lessons, and all good to keep in mind when we start back up. 


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#24
Green Knight

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Let me know if you start up again. I still write stories :-)

I thought the fanthology was a great idea. And the one story i reviewed was VERY solid - and got even better as the author worked on it.

Another question that should be answered: how good is good enough? People can't be expected to work forever and ever...

#25
Deus Imperator Vult

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A peer review network is a nice enough idea, but the Fantology project told me that I'll likely spend time reviewing other people's work and not hear much in return.

 

Oh I agree and the thing is just because someone agreed to edit didn't mean they nessesarily knew how to do it properly. Another thing is not everyone who participated really knew editing would be part of the process so were unprepared for the time commitment. That would be different in this case because everyone would know that was part of the deal going in, plus, the reviewer could negotiate their own deadline depending on their RL commitments, the pieces length etc. I mean I have a 257,000 word Black Templar novella on my hard drive but I would expect anyone willing to take that on would need a lot of time.

 

I think choice would come into it a lot like Jeff says this is a hobby within a hobby for most people on here if they want to dip a toe in then realise its too much thats fine. But when I was at University one of the things the tutors really hammered into us is that if you want to be a writer being able to edit is atleast half the job if not more. Any of us on here who have any sort of professional aspirations, whether its to join Black Library or just to get a piece published, could really make use of the feedback and training. After all we all know how much time Astartes spend in the practice cages (POTENTIAL TITLE OF THE NETWORK!)


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