Title Writing Prompt Challenge — Round 2: Vote for your favorite title

The Title Writing Prompt Challenge is evolving.

Meaning, I’m taking a page from WordPress and changing the rules on the fly.

I originally described in THIS post that we’d have readers suggest ten titles, then have a three-day voting period, and then we’ll each write a story with our interpretation of the title that receives the most votes.

One of the things I should have foreseen — but didn’t — is that readers voted for their suggestions (or the suggestions of their friends). Having readers suggest titles was meant to encourage participation, but the voting round saw an example of how objectivity can be difficult to practice.

Understand, I’m not faulting anyone. After all, I’m the first to admit I like my stuff more than other people’s stuff. But, while me liking what I write affects no one, when people have a stake — even a small stake — in the proceedings, it skews the voting process.

I used to see it in photo and writing contests that relied on popular votes as opposed to judges (not that judges are all that objective). While I used to encourage people to vote for what they liked best, I saw other contestants ask their readers and followers to vote for their offerings. Nothing wrong with that, but then it’s no longer merit; it’s a popularity contest (how we got the Kardashians).

Truthfully, I see a bit of that when people vote for stories for our challenges. Meaning, objectivity is difficult because our preferences are a combination of what we like, what we are familiar with, and perceived connections with what is offered.

For example, if asked to vote between Yellowstone NP and Glacier NP, I’m going with Yellowstone because I’ve never been to Glacier. If asked to vote between Yellowstone NP and Bryce Canyon NP, I’m still going with Yellowstone because, while I like red rocks, I like seeing animals more than I like red rocks. And so it goes.

What do all this mean? Well, let me tell you.

. . . but first . . . a photo.

What the heck is that?

I’ll tell you in a moment, but first, the brank-spanking-new rules for this challenge as they pertain to title selections and voting.

  • I’m going to pull titles from one of three sources that provide random titles.
  • I’m going to chose ten titles.
  • Readers will have five days to vote for their favorite title.

Readers might assume I have an advantage over Gary and Perry because I’m choosing the titles.

Fair point . . . except I’m pulling random titles. Plus, Gary and Perry will see the title shortly after I do.

One other benefit is that I pull titles for five genre categories plus a generic category (meaning, no genre specified). The genres are Crime, Fantasy, Mystery, Romance, Sci-fi.

Realistically, most titles are interchangeable between genres and it’s up to the writer to choose the genre. So, if they want to write a Sci-fi story using the title The Bodice of Love, or write a Romance story using the title The Rings of Saturn War, it’s up to them. (Note: those are not any of the titles you’ll be voting on … at least, I don’t think so.)

“Enough with the blabber! Give us the titles!”

OK, OK . . . The titles from Round 2 of the challenge come from THIS site and are broken down thus:

-The Killer in the Glass
-Faceless Noon

-The Crystal in the Sea
-The Storm Prophecy

-Night Peril
-Hidden Angel

-Something Gained

-Crimson Sanctuary
-2132: Rebirth

Again, the genres are just a suggestion and show where I pulled them from. Once a title wins, the writers can write just about anything they want. Even Literary stories; you know, stories that don’t necessarily have a genre other than onto themselves.

So, here’s the poll. Note that the titles will be presented in random order. Meaning, each time you visit the post, the titles might be in a different order. My suggestion is to vote for something that strikes your curiosity chord.

Voting ends at Noon, Thursday, March 24th

So, about the above photo . . . it’s a wood relief on a marker at a Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge observation area. The wood carving is pretty worn, and lichen is growing around it.

Here are a couple of processed versions of the original . . .

Anyway, that’s that . . . and, if you’re not bored to tears, remember to vote for your title preference.

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.


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