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Ursa Major Awards
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ChrisFoxx
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 9:46 am    Post subject: Ursa Major Awards Reply with quote

Hard for me to understand ... I've been putting my heart and soul into The Story since 1997 ... how come I've never been so much as nominated?
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racky raccoon
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 5:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

15 people have looked at this no one replied man

LOL your loved!

But don't worry I'm sure someone has done something about it for you

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lionO
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 7:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you were nominated we'd all vote for you, in unprecedented numbers lol!

I have no idea how it all works but hey somefur will, but if you did get an award which you undoubtedly would, you'd be under a lot more pressure to come out with new chapters lol

i personally don't like the idea of putting you and Racky, since he writes a lot of it too Very Happy under that much pressure but i'm all for getting you some kind of award/appreciation Very Happy
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AmigaDragon
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 11:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't bother following awards in any field, be it writing, movies, music, sports or what have you. Sorry, but that's just me. Greatness doesn't depend on awards nominated or won.
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TGIF007
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2008 1:19 am    Post subject: Re: Ursa Major Awards Reply with quote

ChrisFoxx wrote:
Hard for me to understand ... I've been putting my heart and soul into The Story since 1997 ... how come I've never been so much as nominated?

Maybe because the story hasn't been finished yet? Very Happy

I don't believe that works in progress can be nominated! Idea

Best regards,

Simcha-Yitzchak Lerner
"TGIF"
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Rabbit
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2008 8:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've learned several things from writing so long and so prolifically in the furry fandom. One, the fans are image, not word-oriented. You're more likely to sell your stuff/get nominated if you have good artwork on the cover than a properly-written story inside. Two, it's rare for anyone to do an author a favor. (Exceptions of course happen, and are twice as welcome when they do beause they _are_ so rare.) The Internet, to most people, is a place to get free entertainment and contribute nothing. That nothing includes nominating or even writing to deserving contributors. Three, for most of our readers (young males) it's all about the spooge, baby! If you want voluminous feedback write something with lots of intense mucous-membrane action, and post it to the appropriate site. THEN they'll beat down the doors not so much to thank you as to beg for more. (Or so others tell me...) =;)

So... Your book is judged by its cover. The people who read it don't much care about your wants or needs. And, most of them were after one-handed reading and found your story by mistake. This is the world that we live in.

Me, I _live_ for that tiny handful of people who are still interested in _literature_ as opposed to spooge, who write to thank me and to comment on my stories when they're done, and who once in a great while even _buy_ one of my books. In fact, I'm grateful as hell to them. I continue to believe in my art no matter what the Ursa people or the rest of the fandom thinks, and I'll keep on writing so long as I have a single reader. But I'm not gonna kid myself, either. I've been on the Ursa "Reccommended" list many times, but was only nominated once (last year, IIRC, for a short story). I didn't win. In fact, I'd be surprised to find that I got more than one vote. And I bet five votes would've won it in that category, hands down. (My sneaking suspicion is that _they_ don't get much reader-participation, either. When I attended their annual award ceremony one year, I constituted about 20% of the audience.)

Some of us folks associated with the TSA and "Anthro" magazine discussed the possibility a couple years back of founding an organization similar to the SFWA, admitting only the higher-level (as opposed to those unable to properly construct a sentence) furry writers, and creating our equivalent of the "Hugo", which is based on the opinions of other _writers_ rather than votes from the fandom. (This discussion was provoked after what many of us considered to be a pron novel won the top award. The event offended many of us.) Unlike the Ursas, such an award system would be based on votes from fellow _authors_, not fans, and would be dedicated to rewarding excellence in our craft rather than popularity. Me, I still support such an alternative, and would pay dues to support it. However, what I can't spare is the _time_ to write a constitution, promote it, maintain a mailing list, etc., and apparently neither can anyone else. If someone were to make a credible attempt at such a thing, I'm still interested and would, for what it's worth, lend my support and _some_ time to help coordinate it. I'm sure several folks my the TSA neck of the fandom would make the leap, as well. "Anthro" magazine would likely want to get involved too, based on these old discussions, though I can't and don't speak for them.
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Frazikar
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2008 8:50 am    Post subject: Listing? Reply with quote

Does anyone have a listing of previous winners or nominees?
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tobi3B
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2008 9:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The winner and the nominated of each year are listed on the ursa Webside
down on the left site

http://www.ursamajorawards.org/

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Cirrel
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2008 10:21 pm    Post subject: Re: Ursa Major Awards Reply with quote

TGIF007 wrote:

Maybe because the story hasn't been finished yet? Very Happy

I don't believe that works in progress can be nominated! Idea

Best regards,

Simcha-Yitzchak Lerner
"TGIF"


I believe you're right. I got on the Ursa reading list several times and one of my novels got nominated for best anthro novel, but this happened AFTER they were completed. The completion date is the year in which you can be nominated.

So hurry up and finish the story and it'll get nominated, Pronto! Razz

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TGIF007
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2008 12:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rabbit wrote:
Three, for most of our readers (young males) it's all about the spooge, baby!

I'm afraid I have to strongly disagree with this.

First and foremost, I feel that those who are mainly interested in pornographic content are the minority. It is only their behavior and tendency to being quite vocal and demonstrative that makes them seem to be the majority of furry fandom.

Second, I think that classifying the majority of readers of SOTS as young males is also inaccurate. There are a good number of middle-aged readers out there. Not even the author can be classified as a "young male"! (Sorry about that Chris.)

Maybe it's because I only hang out in the "right" circles, but my experience is that what most readers want is a good story. Some prefer romance, some prefer action, some prefer sci-fi, some prefer a mixture. But most would prefer something that they wouldn't die of embarrassment if someone found out they were reading it.

As far as which type of fans are more likely to be supportive of the creators of their entertainment, I think the only difference is that the fans of pornography are more willing to pay for viewing content, since that is the norm for that type of material in the non-furry world too. But in terms of writing, nominating or caring about the people who sweat and toil to provide our entertainment, I doubt that there is much difference between the different sectors.

Human nature is pretty much a constant, and regretfully part of that is that most take for granted that the are "entitled" to quality, free entertainment. How many people write to thank the author of a book they've read or the creators of a movie they've watched thanking them for a particularly enjoyable piece of entertainment? Given this, why do you expect readers of furry fiction to be any better?

If anything, I would say that the niche nature of anthro stories does make for a more active and supportive fan than mass market entertainment enjoys.

If Chris has noticed a dropping off of interest in his stories, it isn't in any way related to a lack of quality in the story or in the writing. If this has happened it would only be due to the lack of regular updates having caused some readers to drift away.

(This seems to be a curse for good stories, since Zig Zag the Story has also pretty much stopped updating. Why is it that well written romantic stories in the Sabrinaverse never get finished?)

So my advice to Chris is to keep writing the way that he has been (but preferably more often!), and not to worry about the lack of nominations since incomplete works aren't eligible.

For that matter, would you want Chris to stop writing once Sabrina is finally married? I would love to get a chance to see their relationship grow through the years and seeing a happier long term fate for Sabrina than shown in Tabitha.

Maybe Chris can wrap up SOTS with the marriage in order to make it eligible for nominations, and start a new story picking up from there.
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ChrisFoxx
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2008 1:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you, Simcha.

Frankly, Rabbit's reply left me in a seriously pissed off mood. I hadn't replied to it yet because, frankly, I was ready to let him have it and needed time to cool down. After Anthrocon I got too busy to properly reply.

And as it stands, I did get a nomination this year. When they contacted me for more information, it's apparently going into some kind of garbage can category for unfinished stories, or something, I'd have to reread the email they sent me. And frankly, right now, I'm too dead tired.
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Rabbit
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2008 1:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chris, I'm sorry that I pissed you off- such was not my intent. I'd much rather be friends. But...

...I stand by every word in my earlier post; after the experiences I've had as a (99%) non-spoogey furry writer, I simply _have_ to.

That said... I have a _wonderful_ audience for my stories on a mailing list that I've written on for ten years, and being part of said list has probably been the chief highlight of my life. I've been blessed with _many_ wonderful readers, who have been very, very kind to me for many years, and I'm grateful to every one. But I also know, partly from personal experiences and partly from conversations with other authors, what makes the hit counts climb and the comments (and dollars, and nominations) come rolling in. Two major furry publishers, I'll add, have informed me that their "adult" products subsidize the "mainstream" stuff, financially speaking-- that they couldn't break even, in other words, without spooge. And, as I type this up, a friend just gave me more confirming hit-count numbers from a TF/Furry website he's heavily involved in.

I'm not passing judgment on anyone-- hell, I read spooge myself sometimes, and no eater of hamburger can ever look down on the butcher. And again-- I can't say this enough times!-- I'm grateful as can be for the wonderful readers I have. But, I also am a realist, and believe that I have a firm grasp of the nature of the fandom I'm part of.
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TGIF007
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2008 3:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rabbit wrote:
Two major furry publishers, I'll add, have informed me that their "adult" products subsidize the "mainstream" stuff

As I noted in my original post, " fans of pornography are more willing to pay for viewing content..."

That doesn't mean that porn has a larger readership online, just that their readership is more willing to pay for content.

It is indeed a shame that non-porn isn't able to hold its own financially (assuming that this is true across the board, I really don't know one way or the other). But as we can see from the huge piracy problem, not only are many people unwilling to pay for online content, they often aren't willing to pay for normal content if they have any way of getting it free, even when that involves breaking the law.

So the ability to get people to pay for something is not a useful measure of the value or quality of the product, often it is only a measure of how hard it is to steal.

There are three issues that I see. First, would making SOTS explicit really make it more popular and actually bring in award nominations? Second, even if this were true, would the current readership be turned on or turned off by such a change? And finally, is Chris the type of person who would want to write such, even if he was assured of increased popularity and minimal fallout from current readers?

I appreciate your point of view and the experience of the publishers you mentioned. But I am not convinced that crossing the line would make SOTS more popular. I strongly suspect that it would have a lot of negative reaction from current readers if it did change. And most importantly, I don't think that Chris would be happy writing such, which is the most important factor of all.

If writing SOTS were to become an unpleasant chore, even if it became a profitable one, I strongly suspect we would never see another update again.

So let's not upset the goose that lays the golden eggs by trying to change it to a new diet. Rather than telling an author what he should be writing, we should be supporting his efforts and encouraging him, while trying to bring in new readers who may not be aware of this wonderful story in progress.

Personally, my feelings are that a story is the writer's world to play with and to tell over as they please, and that readers should never try and get them to change things. Case in point is the flap on the Kevin & Kell mailing list when Danielle was first killed off, and the even bigger flap by some when her doppelgänger appeared. Bill Holbrook knew where he was going and ignored the noise and wrote what he had already planned. IMHO, while it was heartbreaking when the original Danielle died, in the end Bill created several great story arcs based on the particulars of the doppelgänger that replaced her. And even if I hadn't liked the end result, still it is Bill's world, not mine, and it would be unmeasured chutzpa for me to tell him what he should be writing.

There are many types of readers and many types of stories. Chris deserves to be recognized and rewarded for the great story that he has written as it is, rather than being told he should be writing in another genre. Just think, what would have happened in the early days of SF if people told Heinlein and Asimov that if they wanted recognition and awards, they should give up on SF and write mysteries instead!

There is more to writing than can ever be put into any type of raw numbers, whether they be readership, profit, awards, etc. As fans, we have the right to "vote with our feet". If we don't like a story, we're not required to finish it. And if we enjoy a story, we are entitled to spread the word. But one right we fans don't ever have, is to tell an author what he should be writing.
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Rabbit
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2008 10:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I fear that I've been severely misunderstood here. I'd _never_ suggest that an author add spooge to their stuff to make it sell better, or in _any_ way not follow their muse. Certainly _I_ don't do this! All I was doing was arguing that spoogey stuff tends to garner a disproportionately large share of attention and tends to be more financially successful. When I ask myself why my stuff isn't more popular, one answer I usually come up with is that it's not spooge. All I was doing was extending the same logic to another "clean" author. I was _not_ suggesting and _would not suggest_ that any author alter the nature of their work to cater to the desires of others. Again, I don't do this myself; why would I suggest it to someone else?

An artist _must_ follow his soul, _wherever_ it leads him, or else he's no longer an artist. I do this even though I'd sell a lot more stuff, be better known (and maybe win Ursa Majors) if I were more willing to cater to the baser tastes of the masses. On the other hand, I have no illusions of gaining a truly massive following or achieving commercial success by remaining true to my muse, either.

I can only _applaud_ others who take the same stand. It's a lonely one, but in my opinion the only one that has any integrity.


Last edited by Rabbit on Sun Aug 03, 2008 10:35 pm; edited 1 time in total
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TGIF007
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2008 10:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry for the misunderstanding.

I had mistakenly thought you were encouraging Chris to "cater to the masses" - hence my responses above.

Having seen some other artists/authors drop out after getting hassled by so-called fans over content, story direction, etc., I have been sensitized to this issue.

As for remaining true to one's self and not catering to baser tastes being a lonely stand, I'm afraid that I must disagree. It may be a less profitable one, but one certainly is not lacking in quality company on this particular road.
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