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Thread: Quicksilver Quills Category Suggestions

  1. #11
    Seventh Year Gryffindor
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    I agree with narrowing down the awards given for romance to just 'Best Romance' and 'Best Same Sex Romance'. Four just seems like too many to me for just one category.

    However, I don't agree with the idea of adding an award for characterisation. Surely that is an area judged for 'Best ___ Story'? And as Rachel says, what about other aspects of a story? If you give out an award for characterisation, why not for other aspects of the stories? If a story has a great plot, but the characterisation isn't that brilliant, should it get an award? I also think it would be hard to judge; people's interpretation of characters vary and what one person may thing is brilliant another could think OOC. Plus, what about minor characters like Padma Patil or Michael Corner? How do you judge characterisation on characters we know so little about?

    I think that with regards to beat-readers, if this category was to be continued then the judging style needs to be a bit different. I think that you can't really get a feel for how good a beta is just by looking at their thread and finished stories. What if a beta worked really hard on a story that wasn't written by the most wonderful author and the finished result was of a lower standard than that of another story nominated? If the better story won, but was all ready pretty good to begin with, then surely that's defeating the idea? The other beta reader would have put in a lot more work to get the standard of the fic up so high from when it was first written.

    I also agree with the idea of combining the OC categories, as Nikki says, there seems to be a lot more female OCs than male, and I think that combining the 'Best Artist' and 'Best Bannermaker' would be an idea as well.

    I hope all that made sense, I'm freezing and my brain isn't engaged well

    Sarah x


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  2. #12
    Fifth Year Ravenclaw
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    About best beta reader - I've always thought that the judging in this category has to be at least somewhat unfair, because, as others have said, a brilliant beta can make 200+ corrections on a poor piece of writing and still miss a few errors, while a sub-par beta can make 3 corrections on a nearly flawless piece of writing.

    So, suggestion: How about, when nominating a person for 'best beta', the person nominating can send a copy of the corrections the beta made to the head of the committee? That way the best beta committee can evaluate the betas without having to guess at the original quality of the fic.

    Maybe it's not foolproof, but I think this is definitely a better alternative to eliminating the category altogether. In theory, recognising the work that betas do is a brilliant idea.






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  3. #13
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    I've always thought the Best History/Mystery category was a bit odd, since you're comparing apples with oranges there. Shouldn't histories be measured and against other histories, and mysteries likewise? I say the History/Mystery category should either be omitted, or split in two.

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  4. #14
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    I'm completel against combining the Artist and Bannermaker categories.

    First of all, the two are very different things. Bannermaking is about finding the right images on the web, using the right effects in the graphics program of your choice and making it all fit your requester's wishes.

    Fanart Drawings are about a whole other area of arts, much more like illustrations... And when you look at it, not that many artists from Dean's Corner make banners... Both fields require completely different talents, and putting them together would be much like the Mystery/History category (like Tim, I find this very odd.).

    Then, I would be sad to see the Artists QSQ go. The wonderful people in Dean's Corner get little enough recognition as it is... I mean think about it. The top reviewers have SPEW. The top Beta Readers have the Beta Guild. The top bannermakers have the BA. But there is no such "elite" group for fanartists. True, there aren't as many of them, but if you take away the QSQ too, you might drive even more people away. It's the one award/badge/whatever that you can get as someone who enjoys drawing...

    And lastly, as I said before, few people actually have Dean's Corner threads and submit drawings regularly. If you'd ask people to list ten bannermakers, they wouldn't have a problem, but ask them to list ten active artists on MNFF.. uhm... (I'm not saying they aren't there, I'm just saying people don't know they are)

    So if you have one combined category for Bannermaking and Fanart, it would probably end up with 9 suggestions for Bannermakers and one for an Artist. And then how do you compare the two? How can you say if a banner is better or a drawing? I really don't think it's a good idea. And as for the argument that they are both fields of art - frankly, so is writing.



    What I do agree with you on is that four Romance categories seems a bit much. But then again I'm a bit wary there too, because an OC romance can be a very different thing from a non-canon romance. Imagine a Severus/Lily that makes even the toughest canon lover swoon and cry... and then try to compare it to a story with wonderfully detailed and believable OCs that has no canon characters in it, but a probable and enchanting romance plotline that could have happened in the years before Harry arrived at Hogwarts.

    I don't even see OC stories as Non-Canon. Of course non-canon means everythign that we don't definitely know, but it also has a sort of AU ring to it, which to me wouldn't apply for the OC stories...

    But I guess if you do feel the need to combine two categories, I'd start there. Although I would like to add that I don't see how combining categories would lessen the work for the judging committees. There would still be roughly the same amount of submissions, only all in one category, and harder to compare because you're trying to cover a broader spectrum. But yes, it would decrease the chances of stories getting nominated in tons of categories.



    BUT! Since this thread here is for new category suggestions too, I have one that I've had in mind for a while now... How about a Minor Character award? Minor Character as in - one that we know little about from canon, but that is one of the main characters in this story, and the authors gives them an absolutely believable background. There are some stories out there that take characters like Umbridge or Quirrel or Charlie Weasley and give them a background story that is so good it makes you wonder afterwards whether it was actually canon or invented. I'd like to see a category that values that rather than splitting those amazing stories up into other categories that they might possibly fit in...


    EDIT: Oh, I just remember: I'm also very much against not having a Best Reviewer category. Outstanding reviews should be honoured... And not everyone has the time for joining SPEW, for example, but I still love the people who write page long reviews.. and I think they should get credit for the time and energy and thought they put into reviewing your stories. Who doesn't like long quality reviews? I know that a handful of reviews have actually helped me as an author in the past. And in addition to that (I'm sure that's something fg_weasley adressed too), reading a story carefully and putting thought into wording a review makes you a better critic of your own work and through that a better author.


    I don't really see where the need to cut categories comes from. Does anyone who received a QSQ feel like it's not worth enough? o.o


    EDIT2 (in reply to Inverarity's post below): I'm not implying that anyone is making the suggestions to have fewer categories in the next round of QSQs because they don't like their award right now and would like it to be more exclusive. I was merely asking for a kind of winner's feedback here, because if no one feels like their award should be more exclusive, then there is no need to make it so.
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  5. #15
    Inverarity
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karaley Dargen
    I don't really see where the need to cut categories comes from. Does anyone who received a QSQ feel like it's not worth enough? o.o

    I think this discussion will be much more productive if petty motives aren't ascribed to people making suggestions.

  6. #16
    Fifth Year Hufflepuff
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kara
    What I do agree with you on is that four Romance categories seems a bit much. But then again I'm a bit wary there too, because an OC romance can be a very different thing from a non-canon romance. Imagine a Severus/Lily that makes even the toughest canon lover swoon and cry... and then try to compare it to a story with wonderfully detailed and believable OCs that has no canon characters in it, but a probable and enchanting romance plotline that could have happened in the years before Harry arrived at Hogwarts.

    I don't even see OC stories as Non-Canon. Of course non-canon means everythign that we don't definitely know, but it also has a sort of AU ring to it, which to me wouldn't apply for the OC stories...
    I don't really see your argument here. I'm imagining a Sev/Lily, and I'm imagining an OC story, and both, in my mind, would take a good deal of skill to make believable. It makes perfect sense to me to combine them, because they're both, essentially, not canon.

    Also ... OC stories can very much have an AU ring to them. For instance, a Harry/OC could pretty much at any time in his life be considered AU [except the nineteen years we don't know about before the epilogue, but even then you assume he was always with Ginny].

    So, yeah, I still really think that Non-Canon and OC should be combined.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kara
    I don't really see where the need to cut categories comes from. Does anyone who received a QSQ feel like it's not worth enough? o.o


    EDIT2 (in reply to Inverarity's post below): I'm not implying that anyone is making the suggestions to have fewer categories in the next round of QSQs because they don't like their award right now and would like it to be more exclusive. I was merely asking for a kind of winner's feedback here, because if no one feels like their award should be more exclusive, then there is no need to make it so.
    It's not that we feel it isn't worth enough, it's more that ... awards, in general, tend to lose their glory when everyone and their mom can win one. I mean, I could not even explain my gratitude for my own awards - one of which, mind, is for Best OC Romance - but condensing doesn't have to be a bad thing. I mean, don't think you that an award would feel that much better if you really were one of a few picked? [shrugs]
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  7. #17
    Inverarity
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    A romance story is a romance story. The skill involved in writing a believable romance is the same regardless of the characters. The distinction between a Harry/Ginny romance (canon) and Draco/Ginny (non-canon) and Gary/Mary (OC) is arbitrary. In some cases, separating AU/OC stories from canon stories may make sense, but I don't see the point in giving separate awards for romance writing based on whether the ships are canon or not. Especially since right now, the romance category has four awards. Why not give separate awards for "Best General Canon Story" and "Best General OC Story," "Best Historical Canon Story" and "Best Historical AU Story," etc.?

    EDIT2 (in reply to Inverarity's post below): I'm not implying that anyone is making the suggestions to have fewer categories in the next round of QSQs because they don't like their award right now and would like it to be more exclusive. I was merely asking for a kind of winner's feedback here, because if no one feels like their award should be more exclusive, then there is no need to make it so.
    I don't think the decision as to whether or not categories should be condensed should be based on whether current winners feel their award is exclusive enough.

    The point of condensing categories is that some are redundant. I also outlined my reasons for believing that there are too many QSQs in the previous thread. It's not because I don't feel sufficiently "special."

  8. #18
    weasleywannabe47
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    I agree with Tim that having a best History/Mystery category combined does seem a bit like comparing apples and oranges. I understand it's because there are so few stories in each category, but I believe they should be separated.

    I don't think there should be a category for best characterization- it should go without saying that if you win, you had the best overall in all, or the vast majority of, the requrements.

  9. #19
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    I think what is perhaps not making the QSQ exclusive enough are the runner-up awards. Naming one should be reconsidered. A winner is a winner. Ever since the first QSQ, the awards have been made more targeted in a way, specifically distinguishing between chaptrered and one-shot (which I think is okay) and winner and runner-up.

    And also on the review award, I think SPEW rewards it's good candidates well enough. Adding this just invites more work. I'm all for cutting out some current categories and allowing the mods to focus more quality time on judging fanfiction alone.


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  10. #20
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    I am for cutting down the Romance categories, and for separating History and Mystery (which, I have always felt, was an awkward combination). But I am against taking out the Best Review Award. Reviewers contribute a lot to the writers, and I speak from personal experience. Sometimes, there are errors that even the betas fail to catch, and the reviewers point out. Also, some reviewers do give suggestions on how you can improve your writing and characterization.

    And also on the review award, I think SPEW rewards it's good candidates well enough.
    But how many members of the forum are on SPEW? There are reviewers out there who are not in SPEW, but leave good reviews and should be recognized for their contribution.
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