Royal Road: to accept or not to accept


  1. unice5656 (Moderator)

    Posted 2 years ago

    Woah. I didn't know there were normal people here.

    But yeah, maybe update the About page? It doesn't even state that WFG doesn't list stories from large sites until the "long version" of the submission guidelines, so even if you implement the rule, you'll still have huge waves of applications to reject. (Also, I think Authonomy was shut down, so no need to specifically exclude them anymore.)

    @Revfitz: Aww. I think you're a positive influence, too :)

  2. mooderino (Member)

    Posted 2 years ago

    @Naeddyr I think one of the problems with original English webfiction is that there isn't a central place or hub other than this one. The reddit subs are very poor and the most useful one is actually dedicated to translated webfiction from China and Korea (which are so big that English novels benefit from the run off).

    WFG being somewhere you can get info on a lot of different types of quality stories makes it unique, I think, and a target destination for anyone who's interested in reading online. Personally I think it would be a shame to shut out writers on bigger sites but of course that's Chris' decision and I can see why he's considering it. Possibly it might help if he took on a couple of people to help him sift through the submissions. It's never been about personal taste or judging stories so it might not affect the process too much. Or perhaps a filtering system using this forum. Maybe a thread where people from bigger sites can pitch their stories and if people like it and check out the story and think it's decent they nominate it for Chris to look at (2 or 3 noms maybe) and so reduce the overflow that way. No idea if either idea is viable (or desirable) but just options to consider.

    I would say though that the bigger sites (including RRL and Wattpad) don't have very good rating system or ways to highlight their better stories. It's a bit of a mess you have to trawl through which is one of the things this place is so good at circumventing.

  3. mathtans (Member)

    Posted 2 years ago

    Disclaimer: Aside from giving the occasional star ranking, I don't use WFG as a repository much - I'm always, ALWAYS drowning in backlogged reading and am never looking for anything new. (I suspect I'm one of the slower readers. It's why I participate in serial shares, it forces me to insert extra time into my schedule to check things out.) So maybe I'm off base here, but...

    What about a cap? Like, you never know when some new site out there is going to survive versus go belly up, meaning you never know what the next "big site" is going to be. (Seems like RRL is the current one to not only "survive" but "thrive", hence the problem of not wanting to become a mirror, but maybe in two years it'll be somewhere else.) So, if a serial is being hosted on a second-hand site, impose a limitation.

    I'm thinking "per host" (RRL, Wattpad, whatever), since it's not hard to notice based on the web address, but even that could be implemented overall ("We already have 50 submissions from that host"), or could be a per month thing ("We already have 5 approved submissions from there for the month, you'll remain in the queue until next month"), but seems like that would also solve the problem of what to do about approvals which have already occurred. I don't think you'd even have to set up another independent queue for the site necessarily, as long as it's clear at the outset.

    That might also encourage people to submit using their own independent site? I mean, for all we know, people are simply submitting using RRL because that's where they feel their audience is. My personal website scraped together about a dozen T&T readers over two years. Now I'm mirroring on RRL, and I've managed to claw my way up to 25 followers there after nearly 150 consecutive days of daily posts. (Is that even good? Only 4 have it as a "favourite". Feels better, at any rate.) It's a thought, anyway.

    Incidentally, I hesitate about the "minimum number of parts" thing. Most of my stand-alone Epsilon stories are only 16 parts long in total. Granted, they're not popular, and maybe that's why.

    Writing a Time Travel serial:
    Writer of the personification of math serial:
  4. Dary (Member)

    Posted 2 years ago

    One thing I've wondered is how much places like RRL have contributed to the overall rise in impenetrable jargon that keeps cropping up, especially in reviews.

    I mean, from the most recent batch we have "a western xianxia-lite with medium grimdark"? The average person isn't going to have a clue what that means. People I know who work in publishing and journalism, who write reviews for a living, don't have a clue what that means.

    If WFG gets bogged down in stuff like this, it's going to drive visitors away, until the only people left are an insular clique of a crowd who speak only to themselves.

  5. Naeddyr (Member)

    Posted 2 years ago

    Oh hey, I wrote that, Dary. If you don't like it, you can always downvote it, I guess.

    It's not Royal Road jargon, really.

  6. unice5656 (Moderator)

    Posted 2 years ago

    I really don't think someone is going to go on the site, see a couple of reviews with terms they don't know, and run away. If they're curious, they can look it up. If they're not interested, they can just look at other fictions.

  7. ubersoft (Member)

    Posted 2 years ago

    a western xianxia-lite with medium grimdark

    That's not RR jargon, that's basic fanspeak. I had to look up "xianxia" on TVTropes, but "grimdark" has been around since my UseNet days. And you're going to get that anywhere you have people enthusiastic about specific genres.

    Curveball (Updating)
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  8. mooderino (Member)

    Posted 2 years ago

    @Dary - I think you've got it backwards. RRL isn't responsible for that kind of 'jargon', rather the popularity of RRL is due to the same source that has led to the widespread use of those terms from fans who read those sorts of stories. If you or your friends aren't familiar with those terms then that's because you aren't keeping up to date with what's happening in online fiction at the moment, in particular in the fantasy genre. Xianxia is by far the biggest genre and translated stories get over ten million views a month. It's also heavily monetised to the point people make a full time living off it. If people see those unfamiliar words and look them up, they're being done a favour so they can be more aware of what's going on. That's not to say they'll like those sorts of stories, but if you read or write online fiction (or review it) you should really educate yourself on what is currently the biggest market.

  9. LadyAnder (Member)

    Posted 2 years ago

    I don't think you should.

    I mean, the argument would be well if you let in stuff from RoyalRoad, then why not every place else like Wattpad and FictionPress.

    A cross-genre slice=of-life, some adventure fluff fantasy stories about elves-->
  10. Chris Poirier (Moderator)

    Posted 2 years ago

    To answer some questions, I listed a FictionPress story about a month ago, as a one-off exception. I had already made the occasional exception for Wattpad listings, usually for people who contribute to these forums.

    The current method of a moderated submission process cannot scale to handle the volume of Wattpad or other major sites. I just don't have that kind of time. It's been a problem for several years, but my attempts to redesign the process have, to date, all been failures. I still don't know what to do about it.

  11. mooderino (Member)

    Posted 2 years ago

    @Chris Is it not possible to have a couple of volunteers assist you? I would imagine if online fiction continues to grow (as I suspect it will) you will eventually be overwhelmed by even smaller sites wishing to be listed.

  12. Chrysalis (Member)

    Posted 2 years ago

    There were volunteers a couple years ago, but people tend to not have time / interest in volunteering for long.

    Anathema, a web serial about the effect superpowers would have on our world.
  13. unice5656 (Moderator)

    Posted 2 years ago

    I don't know if this is true for other sites, but about 50% of fictions on RRL get dropped before they reach 4 chapters. This figure climbs to around 80% if you go to 10 chapters. It should be reasonably easy to raise the cut-off for minimum submission until the submissions are manageable (while at the same time keeping the quality of this index high by eliminating dropped fictions).

    Yes, I'm aware that number of chapters is poorly correlated with length of writing. It is, however, a reasonable measure of likelihood to continue writing. Most likely, a combination of minimum number of updates, minimum duration of time writing, and minimum length of writing (with AND and not OR) - possibly with exceptions for completed short stories and the like - would be the best rule for keeping the volume down. You could also make exceptions for new stories by authors already known to keep writing.

    I think a moderated submission process is what differentiates WFG from the big sites with automated submissions. Make your unique features strengths, not weaknesses. Ok, WFG can't handle huge volumes. Tighten up the rules so that it becomes known as the place to go to find the gems, or at least an index where people can expect to be able to read fictions to their natural conclusions rather than being stuck with unfinished stories.

  14. Raven Secrets (Member)

    Posted 2 years ago

    Damn, 80% after only ten chapters? That's quite the attrition rate.

  15. Blaise Corvin (Member)

    Posted 2 years ago

    I don't have a dog in this fight, but I would vote to exclude RRL fictions.

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