I'll behave this time. **
I agree wholeheartedly with the submission rules thus far. I agree with points #2 and #3.
I believe some of the requirements for #2 are:
- There must be a Table of Contents page somewhere on the fiction.
- The link to the fiction must be to the first piece of writing of that project.
- There must at least be a link at the bottom of every chapter/section/upload to the next chapter/section/upload for readers.
- Chapters/sections/uploads must be actual writing content to do with the story. Not blog posts, author updates, promotions, art dumps, or whatever else (although those can be posted elsewhere on the site/project).
#3 makes perfect sense and provides a certain minimum bar of quality. The only thing I can think toward this is having a bit more clarified set of rules or at least a minimum set of 'red flags' to disqualify a project. This could curb some whining from authors later on, feeling they were rejected unfairly. A common thing I could see happening are authors whose primary language isn't English feeling like they're being ostracized for lack of ability with English. Also, what if we start getting more authors who don't write in English? I know it's not really a problem right now, but it's good to have a foundation to build off of if the site ever gets larger or a huge shift in web fiction happens.
#1 makes perfect sense. The only thing I have is some questions on what constitutes an 'abandoned project.' Is there a minimum date between uploads that an author must meet? Must the project have a sustained RSS feed to prove it's not abandoned? (Some people seem to have problems with RSS feeds for their projects due to the hosting service they use, or unfamiliarity with that system, just FYI.) Or, is it more black-and-white where someone will actually tell you it's over with, or the link goes dead, or the author completely deletes their work?
Some other ideas to narrow down the selection process so things don't get out of hand concerning submissions would be:
- A minimum number chapters uploaded to show that the author is committed and the project is alive.
- Focus on certain genres or exclusion of certain genres (Fantasy, Superhero, Sci-fi, Horror, LitRPG, etc.).
- A specific list of hosting sites that don't quite work with WFG listings (FictionPress, Wattpad, etc.).
There could be other aspects that narrow the selection process based off of what other people want or what you want to cater this community toward.
From what I see, having WFG and TWF together is a huge boon, both for authors of fictions listed here, but also for overall traffic. A concern would be that other authors who are hosting on already high-traffic sites (FictionPress, Wattpad, RRL, etc.) would be 'double banking' on the traffic from their sites, traffic from being listed on WFG (plus reviews), and traffic from TWF. I can understand some authors here having a concern towards the increased traffic.
I think the main thing is the difference between stories that are hosted independently (Wordpress, Blogger, their own site), but also having copies elsewhere (Wattpad, RRL, FictionPress, wherever) who are 'playing by the rules' here. Then there are people who only host their project at RRL/Wattpad/etc. but also gain the benefit of being listed here and having access to TWF, yet they've never made an outside site for themselves. Hopefully this comparison makes sense. I'm just trying to mention concerns that came up in other threads. Honestly, I don't really care, myself.
The last thing I'll mention is concerning TWF directly.
Currently, we have three central genres on TWF that encapsulate most of the fictions listed on WFG. Fantasy - Superhero - Science Fiction. Most listings focus on only one genre. So a Fantasy story will be listed under Fantasy, and All (tabs).
There is a concern as some stories are listed under multiple categories. Some stories are listed under Fantasy + Superhero. Some stories are listed under Superhero + Science Fiction. This allows those stories to get extra visibility under multiple genres, and can skew their exposure through votes. If they can be listed under a popular tag (say Fantasy) and a niche tag (say Superhero) they can get far more exposure than a story that is listed under only one genre. I understand some projects are hard to categorize, or change their genres over time (if they're long-running projects for instance).
Maybe, a way to allow other kinds of projects visibility, but stop the overwhelming submission process would be to expand the listed genres on TWF. Instead of just three broad-range genres, a few more could be added. Fantasy - LitRPG - Superhero - Science Fiction - Horror - Romance - Experimental/Comedy - Literary Fiction. This allows different stories to shine more. It also stops authors who are writing in a more traditional way from getting completely buried under stories that are in an entirely different genre, but got included in their tab. As an example, an author may be writing a traditional high fantasy story ala Tolkien, but gets buried under a lot of LitRPG stories that only use a basic setting of fantasy but otherwise would be science-fiction because of being in a virtual world. It also allows readers to find exactly what genre they're looking for rather than wading through a bunch in only an adjacent sort of genre.
With the above, if the genres on TWF are only to be a the three that are currently listed, then it might be good to limit an author's project to only one tab. An author has to choose what their primary genre is, so they aren't 'double-dipping.' If the genres are expanded, then maybe an Author can pick two genres and only those. If the tabs are extremely expanded to more than dozen, then maybe three categories max.
Another idea with the above is to have a separate sub-listing on TWF (and even WFG proper) for other types of hosted content. A tab for RRL-only projects. A tab for Wattpad-only projects. That way you can get the benefit of the boosted traffic, but you can keep everything separate so the traditional authors listed here on WFG who 'follow the old rules' don't get swamped under the RRL fictions.