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Welcome to Authonomy...
1. Ability to send our P2F submissions to others to be rated
One problem I see with P2F is that I will submit something to P2F and wait literally months for it to get more than one or two ratings. One way to solve this problem would be to have the ability to send other people the direct link to view and rate our specific P2F submissions, or when you click on someone's username, the ability to see their P2F submissions. And I do realize that one aspect of P2F is about anonymity, but that could be solved by simply providing an option for authors to turn on privacy settings so that other people can't see their P2F submissions, if that's what they want.
2. Cleaning out old P2F stuff from people who never log in anymore
Another aspect of P2F that needs a desperate overhaul is the fact that so many submissions in the database are from authors who haven't logged in to the site since they submitted it. So on the one hand, we have submissions from inactive authors being raised through the ranks, while others who log in weekly or daily have to wait months in between ratings. Delete all submissions from authors who haven't logged on in the past six or more months so that the rest of us can actually have a chance, and add an automatic filter on the database that reads the author's last login date and filters out anything from inactive users.
3. Rewards for rating lots of submissions
This would also increase the chances of our submissions being rated more frequently, as some people don't actually submit P2F entries and therefore have no reason to rate, as the only reward currently is the slight chance that if you submit enough ratings, your own work will eventually be seen (which is absolute crap; I've submitted almost seventy ratings just this week with no change in the number of ratings my own submissions have received). If we had an extra reward of some sort for submitting lots of ratings in a short period of time, more people would be tempted to rate P2F and submissions would have a better chance of moving up through the ranks, rather than just sitting in limbo for years on end.
4. Extended word count for P2F Page One submissions
The current word count for Page One of P2F is 250, and frankly, it's not enough. Not only is an average page between 500-600 words, 250 words doesn't allow our writing to shine, especially in the fantasy/science fiction genre, where things might need a bit of explanation. For example, if your story was set in 21st century Seattle, the "tall gray tower that seemed to watch over the entire city" would obviously be the Seattle Space Needle. But if it was set in the fantasy kingdom of Rothenia, the "tall gray tower that seemed to watch over the entire city" might be the tower of Rak'lora, the evil wizard who has complete control of the entire city, which explains the "dark aura that seemed to surround the entire complex" and the "turbulent black waters that thrashed here and there in the surrounding moat." Plots in fantasy stories generally tend to require a bit more set-up, which is why 500 words should be the word count for Round One rather than 250.
5. More space available in the "Something else" textbox
When you rate something on P2F, you have the option of selecting "something else" and entering your own text in the textbox. Usually, when I rate something, I want to give a detailed explanation of why I gave it a certain rating, but the textbox is so small that I can't fit anything worthwhile into the textbox. For example, earlier today, I rated a story about a girl who falls in love with an alien, and the main character read like a Mary Sue character (minus the descriptions of clothes and makeup), so I wanted to say "The premise of "mysterious transfer student who is an alien/vampire/wizard/etc. and they fall in love" has been done quite a bit already. Your MC should be different from Twilight's Bella Swan or Grace Brisbane from Wolves of Mercy Falls, for example." but the textbox wasn't even big enough for that. In order to give any specific, constructive criticism, we need to have more space for the "something else" option.
6. Redo the options for "What didn't you love about this submission?"
Most of the options for these textboxes are completely ridiculous, as follows:
"Not original enough" - Well, this one just depends on the reader's individual taste. In order to be effective, it should be reworded to something along the lines of "Too similar to other stories with the same premise" or something like that, or even just deleted entirely.
"Writing needs work" - This one is relatively more helpful, but again, too general to be worth it. The story could be J.K. Rowling submitting her Harry Potter books and someone who doesn't like Harry Potter would still say that J.K Rowling's "writing needs work." Give us an option that gets a bit more specific, like "Uses too many cliches" or "Sentences don't flow naturally," etc.
"Grammar and spelling" - This seems like a good one to have, but since I've had people give this reason for rating on a piece that is technically grammatically perfect, it's generally a cop-out rather than an actual helpful comment. I wouldn't say get rid of this one entirely, because occasionally I do see P2F submissions with so many typos that it's impossible to read them, but still...
"Don't like the idea" - Again, this will depend on the tastes of the reader rather than the author's talent. Pokemon is one of the highest-grossing video game franchises of all time and yet religious people "don't like the idea" because it promotes evolution. Harry Potter is a book that transcends age, ethnicity, socioeconomic background, and gender, yet some people still say they "don't like the idea." To the person who thought that having this as an option in P2F was a good idea, I say I don't like YOUR idea!
"Something else" - Inevitably, I always end up choosing this so I can enter my own reason, but again, the textbox is too small for me to write anything actually meaningful. See my comments above for the textbox complaints.
7. The ability to select which submission we want to rate
Rather than the system randomly giving us a random submission, we should instead be able to search P2F submissions by keyword or title, so that if we want to read specifically a story about vampires, we could search "vampire" as a keyword and see all the submissions about vampires. If we were writing a piece about postapocalyptic societies, we could search "postapocalyptic society" or some other similar keyword and see other submissions to see what other people are doing with the topic. Or if we knew the title of a specific submission, we could search the title and pull it up.
8. Separation of sci-fi and fantasy
This might sound like I'm totally nitpicking, especially after everything else I've suggested, but it's a rather small change compared to the other things I've suggested in this post. Us purists know that there is a specific difference between "sci-fi" and "fantasy." Science fiction is different from fantasy in that the "fantastical" elements that happen have a scientific or otherwise logical reason for existing, while fantasy presents its own rules. So for example, fantasy would simply say "Here there be dragons" and no one would bat an eye that they exist, whereas a science fiction story would present that dragons have evolved from predatory birds over thousands of years. Science fiction also tends to take place either in outer space or in postapocalyptic worlds, whereas fantasy is usually in a made-up world or in a prehistoric society. There are other minute differences between the two, but in the end, a separate genre for fantasy and one for sci-fi would be well worthwhile.