How to Survive Survivor: Tracking ScoresbySunrockSin©
The Survivor Contest is one of the more controversial aspects of Literotica with many writers vehemently opposing the contest, many others simply oblivious to it, many interested enough to give it a try and some so vested in the competition they will spend hours arguing over it in the forums. Of the many positive and negative aspects of the game, one of the most controversial has to do with the scorecards.
As each contestant enters the contest, they are sent a link where they can copy a scorecard into the forum and then edit it to keep their score. While the rules clearly state that this public display of the scorecard is up to the discretion of the individual contestant, many writers have proclaimed that not keeping the scorecard up to date and accurate is unethical or cheating. Odd comparisons of this contest to baseball games or football games, where scores are typically displayed throughout the contest, are presented as some basis for requiring the display of a contestant's scores. Of course other odd comparisons might cite how in many card games, the score is not displayed until the end of the game.
Strangely, it seems even the most vocal about the ethics of displaying the scores have during the course of their competition either fell behind for several months on the upkeep of their own scorecard or had major errors in the card greatly misrepresenting the actual score. Of course these lapses can be easily classified as simply errors or a too busy work schedule. Either way, if a contestant is interested in how they stand in the contest they really need an easy way to determine the correct score of their opponents.
While a contestant can go through the new stories and poems every day and track the submissions made by contestants a much more efficient way is to simply go to the contestant's page where all submissions are listed. For those who argue that a contest must have scores, the contestant's page provides the most up to date score available. Of course all a contestant's submissions to their user name are posted here, covering many years and making sense of all this information seems difficult. With this article, I offer a simple means of sorting a contestant's submissions and then using that information to determine their Survivor score.
All you need to complete this operation is a spreadsheet program. I use Microsoft's Excel and my instructions will be based upon this program, but using the same tools in a different spreadsheet program will also work. The first step is moving the submission information from the contestant's page to your spreadsheet.
To move this information, you will want to highlight and copy every story and poem listed on the page, including all information on each item (ie title, description, category and date of submission). Don't worry if some headers or other information gets copied, we will sort all that out of the spreadsheet. Once you have copied the information, open your spreadsheet and paste the information onto the sheet.
Immediately you will see a very messy spreadsheet with extra lines between stories and oddly shaped cells. To correct this you will need to highlight everything you copied, if it is not already highlighted, and right click on your mouse. When a menu drops down you will select format cells and when the menu changes select Alignment. When the alignment menu appears you will need to uncheck the box to the left of Wrap text and uncheck the box to the left of Merge cells. Click on okay and you will see your with consistent size cells, but the space between each entry will still be there.
Keep the area highlighted and now go up to your menu and click on Data. When the menu drops down you will click on sort and then go to the box titled Sort by and select the column that the dates are displayed in. You will then click on the button titled Descending and then click OK. Your spreadsheet will sort out all that excess space and sort the list of submissions in chronological order starting from the most current submission.
You will need to scroll down the spreadsheet until you reach the last of the submissions in the current year. Highlight all the information below the last submission of the current year and then either delete the information or remove the rows. Once this is completed you will need to highlight the current year's submissions, then go to the menu and click on Data. Once again you will click on sort, but this time you will enter the column containing the story categories in the Sort by box and then select the Ascending button. After you click the OK button, the submissions will be sorted alphabetically by category.
Once you are sorted by category you can count the submissions in each category and work out the score for the contestant. The scoring would be simplified if you create a scoring spreadsheet which will let you fill in the amount of submissions per category and will calculate all the points and bonuses. I would offer a How to article on building a scoring spreadsheet, but unfortunately with the proposed rule changes, the spreadsheet would be outdated about the same time this article gets posted.
Anyway, with the category count completed and the score tabulated or entered on your scoring spreadsheet, the only thing you will need to do is check on the immunities. You need to scroll through the immunities thread and see if the contestant won any immunities.
Now all this may seem like a lot of work, but if you save the submission listing for the contestant, the next time you run a check all you need to do is sort to the categories and track the changes. This will give you a current look at a contestant's scores. Of course the big question is how many stories does the contestant have pending, awaiting posting? The score you check today could change drastically if a handful of submissions appear from the contestant on the next day.
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Editor's Note: The Annual Literotica Survivor Writing Contest is a year-long competition open to anyone who likes to write. To find out how to get involved, click here.