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  • Category: Competition Entries

    E-book creative writing Team challenge - a learning experience

    The e-book team challenge contest was not really successful, had a lot of problems arising, and, unfortunately, there are no winners due to the rules not being followed. Nevertheless, I feel it was a good learning experience. I would like to take a positive approach towards it and conduct it again, with some changes.

    Why were there no winners? Here are the reasons-
    1. Team of Neelam-Sun: Change made to the character and a chapter exceed the max. word limit.
    2. Team of Umesh-Dr. Deepali Gangwar: While this team had the best coordination, unfortunately, the last chapter was not submitted within the time frame (it should have been submitted by 11.12 of 23rd Oct.)
    3. Team Dr. N.V. Srinivasa Rao and Ryyu: One team member failed to participate.
    4. Team Saji Ganesh and Radha Muralidhar: Due to unforeseen circumstances, the entry could not be submitted.
    5. Team Shampa Sadhya and Dr. Sanchita Ranjan: An entire chapter was changed.

    Note, though, that points and cash credits will be given, as announced, to individual deserving chapters.

    Please give your feedback and suggestions for the next team challenge. My suggestion is to have a draw to decide the team members (I will write names on paper chits). Secondly, there need not be a captain. Each team member simply submits alternate chapters, with who writes first decided by whose name is drawn first. Thirdly, I will provide the theme, which will be either a photo or a topic.
  • #745342
    Very bad, I must say. Poor planning and very poor execution. The e-book was not a good e-book with too many responses in a book. The story book should look neat and clean with no additional information(responses). It should contain only the chapters.

    Yes. The team members should be selected through a draw.

    The word limit should have minimum and maximum with a gap of 50 words.

    Only serious changes made in a chapter should be condemned and rejected.

    A team should have a minimum of 3 members.

    I don't understand what was the character change Neelam-Sun story. (probably the great grandpa and grandpa, I think)

    No life without Sun

  • #745347
    I really enjoyed participating in the competition, though I couldn't coordinate with the other member of the team as I have no idea how to mail my team member and did not ask as well.
    I always like story writing competitions no matter what kind of competition it is and whenever I come to ISC l look forward to such competitions. Even though there are no winners in the competition I still liked it and got to know how and what kind of coordination is required if two writers are writing since we can assume what the other writer might be thinking and how different it is from our thinking. Thank you Vandana mam for organising such a competition and I hope I will see more interesting story writing competition on ISC which unique themes as well.

    "It is hardest thing in the world to be good thinker without being a good self examiner"

  • #745355
    We had a successful E-book contest held earlier. The same pattern could have been followed.
    When there are too many conditions and stipulations the compliance will be difficult. The earlier pattern of continuous writing up of additional chapters taking the story ahead by each member in the serial order of registration was more practical and easy to follow and comply.

    Experiments may sometimes fail too. So need not feel disappointed. I suggest some extra points of cc may be awarded to the participants for their participation. Otherwise, they will feel discouraged and feel their efforts were spoiled.

  • #745358
    Vandana ma'am,

    I have submitted the last Chapter of the E-book well within time. It was to be submitted by 11: 12 of 23rd Oct. But I submitted it at 01:13 of 23rd Oct (midnight). I think you are thinking the afternoon of 23rd. Please check once again.

  • #745360
    Why the members are not allowed to comment on the contest posts and that would have given the author to correct themselves and brace up for next challenges.
    K Mohan @ Moga
    'Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum "
    Even this challenging situation would ease

  • #745361
    Dr Deepali - I am confused. As you said, it should have been submitted by 11.12 am. of 23rd October, so the 01.13 late night submission is late surely. Somebody, please clear my confusion.

    Regarding the feedback, I will wait for more input from others and discuss all together later.

    When you make a commitment, you create hope. When you keep a commitment you create trust! ~ John C. Maxwell

  • #745362
    Dr Deepali had submitted the last chapter within about 14 hours in the night of 22nd October itself. Please take a note of that.

    This was a very interesting contest and though it was more and less like an experiment, it has paved way for future group ebook contests. The initiative taken by ME in this regard for organising such a contest for the first time is praiseworthy.

    Knowledge is power.

  • #745363
    All the members should give their names only if they can spare time. Of course, sometimes unexpected things may happen. Even now also I don't know why Ryyu has not responded to the contest after giving his name.
    Earlier ebook contests were only one book with more chapters and each participant will be writing one chapter. I think there if one fails to participate also the contest, will go normal. So in this format, all the members should be serious about the competition.
    It is good to decide the team based on a draw. The first name in the team will write the first chapter. As suggested by SUN in a team if more than 2 members are there. if any one of them fails to participate also, the remaining two can complete the book. That can be given a thought by the Managing Editor. Theme can be provided by the organiser as suggested by Managing Editor.

    always confident

  • #745366
    Just to make it more clear the time 01:13 in the night of 22nd is actually 01:13 AM of 23rd.
    Please crosscheck that at your end.

    Knowledge is power.

  • #745374
    Yes, give me some time to consult, and will also re-check if the entry fulfills all the rules to be eligible for a prize. My sincere apologies.
    When you make a commitment, you create hope. When you keep a commitment you create trust! ~ John C. Maxwell

  • #745383
    About Neelam-Sun story.
    Non award of prize for exceeding the word limit just by a few words is discouraging. The character change did not affect the story at all. It was brought out clearly by the team captain without hiding it.

    The team took very less time to complete the story. It should have been appreciated and prize awarded. Feeling highly disappointed. At least a consolation prize could have been considered for our participation.

    No life without Sun

  • #745385
    Vandana ma'am,

    I submitted my entry in the late mid night of 22nd when the date got changed to 23rd October after 12:00 O'Clock. In afternoon submission, the time will be 13:13. And after 23rd midnight the date will be 24th October.

  • #745398
    Dr Deepali,

    As I mentioned, I am consulting the other editors. Please wait for the final decision.

    When you make a commitment, you create hope. When you keep a commitment you create trust! ~ John C. Maxwell

  • #745400
    Sun - It is not a question of not hiding it. it was made clear that no changes should be made other than basic ones. I had read the chapter as soon as it was submitted and even if not mentioned later through the response, I would have known of the change. It rests on the participants to take the story forward, smartly considering how to do so, adapting to some sudden unwarranted change, bringing the story back on track, etc. We have mentioned this many times in our regular e-book contests. In your team's e-book, for example, there can be two sets of grandparents.

    Venkiteswaran- I have already mentioned that extra points and cc will be given to a few deserving chapters.

    As per the feedback that has come in, I think the communication between team members could be done away with. Let every team member submit their respective chapters in turn and if they don't, the next chapter can be submitted by the next team member.

    When you make a commitment, you create hope. When you keep a commitment you create trust! ~ John C. Maxwell

  • #745411
    I have mixed feelings regarding the contest. A team contest becomes successful when the teammates have a clear cut picture of what another teammate is thinking about and how the person would like to go ahead. Though I felt happy about how I wrote both the chapters and kept the mystery alive, my teammate surrendered at the very beginning through an honest confession that she was not comfortable writing a mystery story.

    Communication between us was also a bit problematic. Firstly, I requested my teammate for rewriting the second chapter because she had written it almost like the first chapter written by me. Later I pleaded with her not to rewrite because that would go against the rule. The same thing happened in the third chapter too. We failed to communicate with each other correctly.

    I am upset because I could not do justice to the batik saree, with which I have an emotional attachment. Thus, I would prefer an ebook in an earlier pattern.


  • #745478

    I agree that communication is the key to any teamwork, and it was not entirely successful for this contest. However, the team of Umesh and Dr Deepali showed that it is possible to have a team challenge like this. It basically works on the same principle as a single e-book, with each team member picking up the story from the previous chapter's ending and continuing with it.

    I think we could try this again next month (not right away, though, as Diwali is coming up). We could have each member submit three chapters instead of just two so that the story could evolve with more depth and not be an abrupt one. How about the genre also being picked up by a draw of lots? At the end of each chapter, the author can mention one element to be included in the next chapter so the team member generally understands the thought process behind the story and takes it forward smoothly, as we've had for previous e-book contests.

    When you make a commitment, you create hope. When you keep a commitment you create trust! ~ John C. Maxwell

  • #745529
    ME Vandana,

    There is no harm in trying a team challenge once again. Well, I have a minor reservation that is luck plays a massive role in selecting a teammate. If the wavelength and creativity of the teammates are not at par, then the e-book will suffer. The e-book of my team suffered just because my partner was not comfortable writing a mystery story. The way a team member thinks to carry forward a story that goes for a toss when another teammate views absolutely from a different angle. In the last e-book, my teammate gave an unwanted twist to the plot by bringing in the resignation episode and making of an entrepreneur. The particular theme of the e-book matched to an extent with the storyline of Neelam and Sun Sir's plot, which was not in the scheme of my thinking.

    I would suggest that if stories don't get presented the way we conceive, then it becomes a meaningless presentation. It's always good to learn, but when a good idea gets shelved due to a whole lot of confusion and lack of wavelength, then creativity suffers. I believe in creative satisfaction, and if that gets ruined, then it leaves a bad taste. Well, the final decision is yours.


  • #745572
    I just now remembered something important. We do not necessarily get an alert in our email inbox when the messaging system is used. I also recall raising a thread requesting members to provide the email at their profile account that they check on a daily basis. So these two factors may create communication problems between team members. Hence, as I suggested, we could do away with this altogether. Let a member just suggest one element to be included in the subsequent chapter and the story will continue smoothly.

    Shampa - as I said, if a team member perceives the story from a different angle from one's own, it makes it more challenging. That's the whole point of attempting to present a story as a team. Let's try it at least one more time. We need more members to sign up, though, to make it exciting.

    Just one last input I would like - would you prefer one genre as well or different ones? On the one hand, if we restrict to one genre, we will be assessing all e-books along that one line, but, on the other hand, the possibility of picking up ideas from the other teams can arise. If we give a different genre to each team, then it will be interesting how the same theme (topic or photo) is used in a varied manner. What do you all think?

    When you make a commitment, you create hope. When you keep a commitment you create trust! ~ John C. Maxwell

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