Ok, this is just eating me up alive. It kills me to know that at least two of the people I have been hanging out with on the FanLit boards are stabbing me in the back with their sock puppet accounts.
If any of them is reading this blog I have but one thing to say to you. Damn you! May you join me in this purgatory where so much that was once bright and beautiful becomes meaningless. May your successes turn on you like a snake in the hand. May you come to realize how puny and insignificant all your efforts are.
But it isn’t the cheaters that bother me the most. It’s the way the contest is set up.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m well aware that the fact it exists at all is a modern miracle. I get a major kick out of all the complements … um… I mean comments that people make on my stuff. I love the smoozing on the boards and checking out what wild and wonderful ideas my fellow entrants have come up with.
But you’ve got to admit the way it is set up at the moment is bound to bring out the worst in us. Every good score you give someone else is a potential outranking of your own work, so there’s a strong incentive to score low. There are hardly any people left who are only readers, so the politics of playing nice with the other writers becomes intense, which can lead to false compliments. And despite what FanLit says, there’s a strong tendency for entries posted earlier to rank better, because they have more chances to come up during times when more people are interested in reading.
So of course I’ve been imagining how I would do it if it were up to me. I’ll post my ideas tomorrow.