How to Ethically Compete: SurvivorbyZrnko_Pisku©
As the year closes the air is filled with jingling bells, Christmas music and the incessant drone of whining. Much like the commercial where after losing a video game on his phone a competitor says, "I like to win," to which an older lady sitting nearby replies, "You like to whine," the Survivor Forum is filled with whining. Echoing through the great halls of Literotica you hear the words, "Sneaky," and "Unethical," as if some grand misdeed is afoot.
Of course the whiners do concede the so called "sneaky" or "unethical" behavior is completely legal, yet they go on with the whining as if there exists some odd subset of the rules that apparently they get to define. You see, there are several competitors who apparently believe that whoever is leading the contest in June, or September or even November should be the winner and that everyone else should simply concede. To support themselves in this belief these competitors hit the Contest Forum with declarations of sneaky behavior, unfounded claims of outright cheating and elaborate fairy tales of evil past winners.
In response to the recent, almost tear jerking onslaught of whining, I wanted to help competitors, especially the new competitors facing this propaganda for the first time, to keep from falling for the strategies I describe above. Yes, the complaints, falsehoods, and moaning are simply just another strategy in what is at its core a simple competition. To accomplish this I will outline some recommendations, outlooks and strategies on how to ethically and effectively compete in Survivor at Literotica.
Survivor is simply a competition where points are awarded for stories written and posted on Literotica within the time period described by the rules (basically one calendar year). To compete a contestant must, before the October 31st deadline, indicate they wish to take part in the contest that year and by a specific cutoff date defined in the rules (shortly after the start of the new year) complete and post their scorecard. It is as simple as that to compete in Survivor.
Of course if you want a chance at winning some of the prizes or even winning the competition you will need to familiarize yourself with the intricate, often confusing rules and scoring system. Because the basic premise of Literotica's Survivor Competition is to encourage writing a lot of stories in a lot of different categories and to encourage writers to enter stories in the special contests the scoring system has been designed support that goal.
First of all, if you want to have a hope of winning Survivor you must enter all of the six Literotica special contests. Since the establishment of the current scoring system no one has won Survivor without participating in all the special contests. This is because of the amount of points available here, you get five points for simply entering a contest (the most points you can earn for submitting any single story) and if you submit stories in all six contests you earn an additional thirty point bonus. That is sixty points for writing only six stories.
Secondly, you will want to write in as many different categories as possible. Once again this is because of the scoring where you will earn three points (six points for the Novel and Novella category) for your first submission in each different category. Also you can earn bonus points for writing in many different categories (5 addition points for 10 different categories, 10 additional points for 20 different categories, 15 additional points for 30 different categories and 30 additional points for all 35 categories). That is another sixty points in bonuses for writing in every category, all in addition to the points you earn for each story.
If there are categories you may have difficulty, for whatever reason, writing in you can claim immunity but this requires a bit of luck to obtain the immunity. While the immunity may help you achieve those important bonus points be aware that the rules here are complex so read up and if you have questions ask questions on the Forum. Make note that for each immunity you claim you must fill the first tier of another category (three submissions) or the immunity will not count. Also, make sure you are aware that there is only a short period of time after you win the immunity to claim it.
The stories you write must fit within Literotica's guidelines for submission but basically, if the story is accepted by Literotica it is eligible for the contest unless it is submitted as a chapter of a longer work (chapters are allowed in the Novel and Novella and the Chain Story). Additionally, for a story to be eligible for Survivor in the Novel and Novella Category it must be a minimum of 7,500 words (the scoring is increased to 6 points for the first story and two points for each subsequent story posted for this category). Additionally, while stories shorter than 750 words can be submitted for the Text with Audio category they must be at least 750 words for the text portion and the audio must present at least all the words in the text.
Now, you might hear (or read) the whining about story length. When you do, simply ignore it. The length of a story is simply what the author determines is needed to tell the story. Now Literotica requires a story to be 750 words before it will accept the submission (no limit on poetry) so you will need at least that to enter the story in Survivor, but beyond that it is up to you (and only you) to determine what it takes to tell your story. If you have the skill and expertise to tell your story in 750 words then do it. Don't let others try and convince you it is unethical or cheating to concisely present your work. Those who do that are simply using a strategy to undermine you in competing.
Sandbagging is a term you may read in the Survivor Forum. It is used to describe either the act of delaying the submission of stories until the last minute or also to describe not entering your submissions on the scorecard immediately after they are published. It is intended to be a derisive term as if there is something inherently wrong in doing this. Once again, the rules are clear: stories must be submitted and accepted during the time period outlined and the scorecard must be completed and posted before the deadline prescribed by the rules.
Ethically, if you choose to feverously write forty stories on the last day of the contest and they are submitted and published on time you have accomplished something wonderful. Once again, IGNORE anyone who will tell you otherwise. They may call it sandbagging and infer you are cheating but you must recognize they are simply trying to convince you not to do this so they can hold on to their lead.
With regard to the scorecards it is simply a personal choice, nothing more. Some people will use the scorecard as an incentive and by updating it as they post each new story they can drive themselves to continue. Seeing some other scores in comparison to their scores can also be an excellent motivator, however if you feel that you can better compete by not updating your scorecard you don't need to. The rules are very clear.
Actually, in spite of what the whiners say about hiding scores being sneaky behavior, any writer's score can easily be determined (as long as you aren't too lazy) by looking at the author's page on Literotica which lists every story published by them. There was even a "How To" article submitted either last year or the year before on how to easily and quickly calculate a competitor's score. So even if someone wanted to be sneaky about their score it would be very difficult (not impossible) to do so.
There are many more rules, strategies and methods to the game of Survivor that I have not touched upon here. I leave it up to you to read, understand and follow the rules in a manner that best supports your writing and competition. Hopefully the above information will help you avoid falling into some of the traps and strategies the whiners will subject you to as you compete.