Friday, July 30, 2010

Official Rules for CombatWords! Updated for July 30, 2010

Official Rules for CombatWords! Updated for July 30, 2010:

Critique & Scoring:
Scoring is based off critique. Each critique item is worth one point. Positive critiques are +1, and negative critiques are -1. One critique per reviewer, per composition—so get it right the first time. Simple “I liked it” (ILI for short) and “I didn’t like it” (IDLI) critiques are only worth +/-1. Critiques may be as general or as specific as the critic would like. However, anyone may critique a critique to adjust the score: this includes the author of the subject composition. However, only one critique per post per poster, to prevent vendettas from mucking up the game. Critiques may go into overtime, but only in the case of thread consensus.

The Clock:
Clock bonuses encourage speed of composition. The whole point of CombatWords is to demonstrate a writer’s ability to improvise in a high pressure situation. So the clock serves as a sliding deadline. Would-be participants may post their composition after the deadline, but only to a limit of -2; with the time increment rounded down. Clock bonuses are one-time and are added on after all critiques for a various piece have been tallied.

Tallying Score:

To get the final score for a composition, add the sum of all critiques (final, adjusted critiques). Then add/subtract the time bonus/penalty. The highest score is the winner for Best Composition. The player with the highest overall score is the Best Combatant.

Examples of scores from recent CombatWords threads:

“Good riff off 4th of July w/ Halloween. Also with light & knowledge from my poem. +1.”
“You never really tie up how the lost are blown to smithereens with their ashes on the wind. Because the poem never contains a resolution to this, nor directs the reader to the answer, I’m going to call this another error. -1.”
“Why for example, does the original highlight ‘juxtaposed’ as the one word line, when the whole intention of the stanza is to highlight ‘nothing’ with an actual juxtaposition of nothing, as the sentence suggests? It’s a bad choice and every stanza is filled with bad choices like the aforementioned ones. -1”
“Second stanza is the strongest. “the world needs fertilizer/It isn’t picky: +1”
“We are hearing from a voice who has been subjected to piss tests. These tests could be have been ordered by a guardian, court, or employer. The teeth being nearly gone leads me to believe this is a long time user who is being ordered to take piss tests by a court. This line is complete and fills my minds with thoughts. +1”
“The narrative is shattered here. One moment this poem is very clear, now it steps into quotations. It introduces an idea on the arbitrary nature of words. -1”
“The moon does follow me at night. That’s what angular perspective is.:) +1”
“Beautiful mix of heavy and light +1”
“Great use of a continuous metaphor +1”
“Use of “ought” and “shall” instead of “should” lending it an air of anachronism, -1”

Examples of “I liked it” (ILI)):

“nice final line, +1”
“I like your spirit in this. +1”

Examples of “I didn’t like it” (IDLI):

“trashing hipsters is too easy, -1”
“Boring, standard, monotonous lines and line breaks: -1”
“General use of over used “poetic language”: waterfalls, magenta, menacing, candle light, tattoo: -1”
“Is this a contest of cliches? Fall leaves: -1”
“crinkling cool stretches of silence: is it crinkling or is it silent?: -1”
“pebble in the shoe: -1”

Organize your scores like this please.
Pro: Bob Lablaw. +1

Con: Blob Leblaugh. -1

Misc: Needs more Blah.

Total: +1 + -1 = 0

It will make it easier for readers to track your score.

Yellow & Red Cards:
I’m adding another concept to the game this week: Yellow and Red Cards. These are for participants who willfully disrupt the game. A Yellow Card is a warning. It does nothing by itself. A Red Card zeroes out the scores of its holder and disqualifies any compositions the Red Carded player may have contributed. Any additional posts made by that player should be ignored. Players who interact with Red Carded players on the CombatWords thread will also get Yellow Cards and if the behavior persists, Red Cards.

ps: get ready for the 3pm PST Combatwords!

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  1. I relish the moment of my enemies' death. I don't need a necrology, liturgy, meth. What passes away is once begotten. There is noth ing to fear from the forgotten. The fear of fear is all that remains, and the Virgin's reflection in the windowpane.

  2. My huge, new mowed lawn reveals vermin. Their stock falls amongst the cats. Their dying is of no consequence to me. The land of the feline, the mice doth flee.