Author Topic: Writer Arena Direction  (Read 3805 times)

Writer Arena

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Writer Arena Direction
« on: May 10, 2013, 10:57:19 AM »
Since you are all charter members I figured I'd let you in on my status and plans.

At the moment I'm fairly pleased with the site.  There is one more thing I'm likely to add and that's a search for unproduced scripts on the web (much like the one for produced scripts and on the same page as that search).

Other than that I would like to be able to have some challenges here (like the OWCs but we have to come up with our own name for them).  I would also like to play some writing games - like Killer.  This is an arena, after all.   

Unfortunately, this requires enough members to make it worthwhile.   So, your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to try to get people to join the boards.  You can be sure I'm doing my utmost to do this myself.

And if you have any other suggestions - my ears are clean and unblocked.   

Mr. Blonde

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Re: Writer Arena Direction
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2013, 12:17:17 PM »
When you say Unproduced Scripts, are you talking scripts that people on SS would write, or specs from other people? Or, just an all-around "yes"?

If I may, Michael, I have a couple of suggestions myself, and they also require more people. One is a contest and the other is a "March Madness" kind of thing. I'm not too clever, but on my old writing site, we created a couple games to play.

The first one was called "Thunderdome". Two people compete in a contest by being given random actors to characters, movies, etc and have to give five reasons why their chosen person is better. Then, everyone else votes on who put up the better argument.

The second was a "Best Of" list created by someone, in that particular case, it was created by Tailbest and I, to vote on the best Movie Villains of all time. We compiled a list of 68 villains and seeded them in order of quality. Then, like Thunderdome, everyone voted and whomever got the most votes moved on and so forth until there was only one left.

The third is a very straightforward one and can be adapted in many ways. It's called simply "The Movie Game". Somebody names a movie. Then, the next person names a movie starting with the last letter of the movie before it. It's basically just a game that runs over and over. It can be adapted to "No Sequels", "One-Word Titles Only", specific genres. Basically anything.

As for bringing over some SS stuff, you could call it the "7 Day Contest". Lol. Killer games would be nice, but it'd be hard to really get enough people to pull that off. I couldn't even fill the one I wanted to do on SS so I postponed it. Could always do an RPG, though. Just a continuous running writing game of anywhere from a few paragraphs to five pages worth. At least that allows for new people to jump in at any time.

I wish I had heard that before. Lol. For some reason, I got it in my head that this was going to be temporarily "exclusive" so that it could be fully brought into fruition before being opened. Now, I know and I'll see if I can spread the word quietly. I'm not a loud person. Lol. =)
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Daniel Botha

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Re: Writer Arena Direction
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2013, 03:50:31 PM »
I've mentioned the forum to a few people, so far. One was from a writer I met through wordpress and twitter. She hasn't showed up on the forums just yet, but I'm reasonably confident she will. I've also thrown the site out to Coops to see if he was interested. Not sure if he's read my message, yet.

I'm wanting to invite some non-SS members to this site as well. It would be nice to offer people the chance of expanding their network, rather than having one network on two sites.

Dan

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Re: Writer Arena Direction
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2013, 09:01:29 PM »
Michael,

Best of luck with this and where I can help, I will.

The failure, IMO, of circalit based in London is a worthy example to consider. It still exists but has little following and has pretty much been dumped by the owners who are focusing elsewhere.

It almost worked, although I came to it late in the day. Indeed, Caroline coxon from Movie Poet was trying hard to get them to work it. Since she has left MP I wonder whether you might want to 'reach out' to her for this site.

Ideas

1) make the recent posts section on the front page, if posisle, and much larger and like SS portal. IMO this really drives the site as you can see what's active at a glance. Helps form a community which stems from activity and reaction.

2) competitions

Circalit did this quite well, and also quite badly! They opened it up, brought in producers and competitions with prizes, eg have your short produced. This generated a lot of traffic but they had no way of keeping it, or making it a community. There was no central forum so they all walked away afterwards.

Any competition should be designed to encourage participation beyond, in an ideal world.

I also feel this site will benefit if it works around the others such as MP. So when MP has its feature competition why not a short script competition etc

No place has a two page script competition but the success of the fifty kisses competition and the accessibility to producers should make this an option.

Logline and title and synopsis comp - say once a month, give people say 72 hrs before weekend, to come up with the basis of a feature on a topic released. Eg witch craft the 21 st century.

We then have to post on or before a Friday and can discuss the merits of the ideas over the weekend and beyond. It may not be writing but it's creative, worthwhile and easy to take part - something useful in attracting people to take part. Blind voting after? I do like the MP approach where we can vote without recourse and feel this site should encourage that type of thing. Avoids bad feelings, attitudes, drives quality etc

SS doesn't seem to much on the OWC these days so something similar could work.

As a last point, I am not very computer literate etc forums to me are a relatively new thing. From my perspective I like clarity and ease. If you go into DVX user it is so big and complicated I find it difficult to find things, so it is immediately off putting. I don't know what control you have on the design but bear that in mind.

If I come up with other ideas I will dip back in

Cheers

tailbest

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Re: Writer Arena Direction
« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2013, 02:03:59 AM »
I really agree with a lot of the ideas thrown out there. I would like to see the site try to work in conjunction with other ones out there (SS, MP, etc.) and not to try to segregate itself.

Encouraging participation I think would be the biggest key to success for the site. Having different contests and chances for writers to show off their work but also having them enter into contests with other writers might bring out the best ideas amongst everyone.

I have hope for this site and I think if we start off on the right foot, this can be a great combination of all the other sites out there while still maintaining its own individual identity.
Why don't we just...wait here for a little while...see what happens?
Why don't we just...wait here for a little while...see what happens?

tailbest

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Re: Writer Arena Direction
« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2013, 02:47:12 AM »
Would there be any way to open up the trailers section to all members on the site to post trailers and discuss upcoming films or would you prefer to leave that as is? Just curious, as Alfonso Cuaron's trailer for Gravity just hit and wanted to post the trailer and get people's thoughts on it.
Why don't we just...wait here for a little while...see what happens?
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Pia

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Re: Writer Arena Direction
« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2013, 03:57:00 AM »
Done Deal used to have little writing comps all the time where people could vote on the best script. They were usually related to a holiday or season. Each comp was started by whoever felt like having one. Let's say, someone starts a comp that has to do with Mothers Day. Quick! Write a 5 page or less script about Mother's Day in 48 hours. Any genre. Those were always fun and I remember even writing one for Canada Day one time.

Also, don't most writers want to get produced? Make it so that producers/directors/actors that are looking for script can easily search for them here. SS does a pretty good job at this, but it has a LOT of scripts for people to sift through. If you could have a script library for shorts and features, but similar to MP in that people can search for them by cast size and budget and things like that. A little bit the way InkTip does it too.

tailbest

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Re: Writer Arena Direction
« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2013, 04:18:16 AM »
I like the idea of quick contests. A 24, 48 or 72 hour contest on occasion just to see what writers can come up with on the fly. A quick, but challenging idea that can produce some scripts. Definitely like that one.
Why don't we just...wait here for a little while...see what happens?
Why don't we just...wait here for a little while...see what happens?

Pia

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Re: Writer Arena Direction
« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2013, 04:25:24 AM »
Thanks to Tailbest, I just had an idea. Make every post have a Like button like FB.

tailbest

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Re: Writer Arena Direction
« Reply #9 on: May 11, 2013, 04:26:48 AM »
Thanks to Tailbest, I just had an idea. Make every post have a Like button like FB.

I would "like" that comment, but alas, there is no like button. Irony...
Why don't we just...wait here for a little while...see what happens?
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Writer Arena

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Re: Writer Arena Direction
« Reply #10 on: May 11, 2013, 10:26:17 AM »
The first one was called "Thunderdome". Two people compete in a contest by being given random actors to characters, movies, etc and have to give five reasons why their chosen person is better. Then, everyone else votes on who put up the better argument.

The second was a "Best Of" list created by someone, in that particular case, it was created by Tailbest and I, to vote on the best Movie Villains of all time. We compiled a list of 68 villains and seeded them in order of quality. Then, like Thunderdome, everyone voted and whomever got the most votes moved on and so forth until there was only one left.

The third is a very straightforward one and can be adapted in many ways. It's called simply "The Movie Game". Somebody names a movie. Then, the next person names a movie starting with the last letter of the movie before it. It's basically just a game that runs over and over. It can be adapted to "No Sequels", "One-Word Titles Only", specific genres. Basically anything.

As for bringing over some SS stuff, you could call it the "7 Day Contest". Lol. Killer games would be nice, but it'd be hard to really get enough people to pull that off. I couldn't even fill the one I wanted to do on SS so I postponed it. Could always do an RPG, though. Just a continuous running writing game of anywhere from a few paragraphs to five pages worth. At least that allows for new people to jump in at any time.


I can create a top level board called "Play"  as a way to provide room for whatever type of impromptu games that want to be started.  I'll either allow polls or semi-allow polls.    Or did you just want to use that board to get together the choices for the polls?


1) make the recent posts section on the front page, if posisle, and much larger and like SS portal. IMO this really drives the site as you can see what's active at a glance. Helps form a community which stems from activity and reaction.

2) competitions

Circalit did this quite well, and also quite badly! They opened it up, brought in producers and competitions with prizes, eg have your short produced. This generated a lot of traffic but they had no way of keeping it, or making it a community. There was no central forum so they all walked away afterwards.

Any competition should be designed to encourage participation beyond, in an ideal world.

I also feel this site will benefit if it works around the others such as MP. So when MP has its feature competition why not a short script competition etc

No place has a two page script competition but the success of the fifty kisses competition and the accessibility to producers should make this an option.

Logline and title and synopsis comp - say once a month, give people say 72 hrs before weekend, to come up with the basis of a feature on a topic released. Eg witch craft the 21 st century.

We then have to post on or before a Friday and can discuss the merits of the ideas over the weekend and beyond. It may not be writing but it's creative, worthwhile and easy to take part - something useful in attracting people to take part. Blind voting after? I do like the MP approach where we can vote without recourse and feel this site should encourage that type of thing. Avoids bad feelings, attitudes, drives quality etc

SS doesn't seem to much on the OWC these days so something similar could work.

As a last point, I am not very computer literate etc forums to me are a relatively new thing. From my perspective I like clarity and ease. If you go into DVX user it is so big and complicated I find it difficult to find things, so it is immediately off putting. I don't know what control you have on the design but bear that in mind.
1) The recent posts section is larger but everyone needs to make posts to fill it.  The posts drop off after a couple of days.   It's not me dropping them off either - it's the software and there's no way to change it without trying to write my own version (and at the moment - I don't want to have to go there).

2) I think your suggestion about having a short contest when MP is having a logline contest is a good one.  Trying to play off of other web contests and offering an alternative is a good approach.  Again, though, this is going to have to start small because that's the way it is with growing sites.  Most of the early OWCs had very few entries.  Movie Poet had the advantage that there was an IRL screenwriting group behind it but there weren't a huge number of entries in the early contests.

Given a little bit of time and after I figure out the unproduced web search (which is turning into a bit of a labour because there's no way to do it with Google).  I should be able to write something that will allow anonymous posts to boards.  That should allow for things like a logline or title contest.   I can expand that to include file uploads and that should cover any type of challenge.  I don't intend to be posting scripts for you like on SS and think all that stuff should be as automated as possible.

I'm trying to keep things pretty simple.  But if you see ways to make it even more so - speak up.   Basically, I'm trying to have very few top level boards.  And those can be divided into child boards as needed.  The top level/child setup can be seen in the Point/New Feed boards.

All great suggestions. Thanks.

I really agree with a lot of the ideas thrown out there. I would like to see the site try to work in conjunction with other ones out there (SS, MP, etc.) and not to try to segregate itself.

Encouraging participation I think would be the biggest key to success for the site. Having different contests and chances for writers to show off their work but also having them enter into contests with other writers might bring out the best ideas amongst everyone.

I have hope for this site and I think if we start off on the right foot, this can be a great combination of all the other sites out there while still maintaining its own individual identity.

Would there be any way to open up the trailers section to all members on the site to post trailers and discuss upcoming films or would you prefer to leave that as is? Just curious, as Alfonso Cuaron's trailer for Gravity just hit and wanted to post the trailer and get people's thoughts on it.


Hey tailbest, Welcome and thanks for the words of encouragement and suggestions.  I don't intend to segregate us and at the same time I do want us to have a distinct identity.   The reason I named this site Writer Arena was to center it on contests but it will take a bit of effort to build up to that point.

I can divide the "Participate" board into two child boards "Screenwriting" and "Movies".  Member posted trailers and reviews can be posted on the Movies board.  This way they don't get lost in the news.   How's that sound?

Done Deal used to have little writing comps all the time where people could vote on the best script. They were usually related to a holiday or season. Each comp was started by whoever felt like having one. Let's say, someone starts a comp that has to do with Mothers Day. Quick! Write a 5 page or less script about Mother's Day in 48 hours. Any genre. Those were always fun and I remember even writing one for Canada Day one time.

Also, don't most writers want to get produced? Make it so that producers/directors/actors that are looking for script can easily search for them here. SS does a pretty good job at this, but it has a LOT of scripts for people to sift through. If you could have a script library for shorts and features, but similar to MP in that people can search for them by cast size and budget and things like that. A little bit the way InkTip does it too.

Thanks to Tailbest, I just had an idea. Make every post have a Like button like FB.
           

I remember the Done Deal comps.  One of my scripts won one of them (Computer Girl).   I think we can incorporate this idea into a "Play" board.

I'm working on an Unproduced scripts on the web search which will provide a reason for producers/directors/agents to visit the site.   However, we need to build up to the point where we have the ability and the content available to provide those scripts directly from this site.  It's coming in the future - hopefully the near future - but it's not going to be tomorrow.  :)

I have the ability to put a like on each post but I don't really like that.  I already provide ample opportunity for people to share/like the site or topic(thread) elsewhere if they want to.  The share slide out on the left side of the page works for each page separately - using that slide out on the home page is different than using it in a topic(thread).

There are features I can add which allow you to provide Karma  (Karma is they way you like or dislike on these boards) for each post rather than each member.  It's one or the other.  And I don't really like the graphics the feature uses so I would have to modify it.  I'm willing to do it but I thought it was nicer to like or dislike a person rather than their posts - but after I just read that I think maybe the post is better.   There is also a feature available that will allow you to rank posts - like you do with youtube comments. The short answer is that I haven't found the exact right feature to include to allow you to "Like" posts but I'll increase my efforts on searching for a solution to this issue.

Thanks for the excellent comments all.     
« Last Edit: May 11, 2013, 10:29:28 AM by Writer Arena »

Writer Arena

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Re: Writer Arena Direction
« Reply #11 on: May 11, 2013, 02:04:47 PM »
Ok, new boards are up.  You can now Play, or Participate in Screenwriting discussions or Participate in Movie discussions.

Mr. Blonde

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Re: Writer Arena Direction
« Reply #12 on: May 12, 2013, 07:35:38 AM »
I can create a top level board called "Play"  as a way to provide room for whatever type of impromptu games that want to be started.  I'll either allow polls or semi-allow polls.    Or did you just want to use that board to get together the choices for the polls?

I think leaving everything as open as possible makes it feel more welcoming. I do like the new sections, Michael. Now, we just need some more people to make proper use out of them. I've put some feelers out and had some interest, so now it's just the waiting game. =)
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Pia

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Re: Writer Arena Direction
« Reply #13 on: May 12, 2013, 08:11:29 AM »
Is this place official yet or are we just beta testing?

Mr. Blonde

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Re: Writer Arena Direction
« Reply #14 on: May 12, 2013, 08:13:45 AM »
I'm going to venture a guess and say it's officially open while, at the same time, being perfected.
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