Reconsidering Giraffe Incentives and Time Crunching

As I struggle to finish January‘s Giraffe Call, I am coming to the conclusion that I have overextended myself on, at the very least, the higher reaches of the call incentive levels and need to rethink them.

So, my question to you, oh my readers:

* What incentives do you really like, that encourage you to participate/donate?
* Which don’t motivate you at all/do you really not care about?
* Would you rather have less in a more timely fashion, or more stretched out over 2-3 months?

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0 thoughts on “Reconsidering Giraffe Incentives and Time Crunching

  1. I like being able to have all my prompts written and I like being able to ask for extensions so I donate (usually enough for an extension of each of my prompts.) On the other hand, to be fair I limit my number of prompts to the top number you say you will write for people in the incentive levels. I propmpt because I like your writing and your worlds.

    • The top-number thing is throwing me, *nods* Because sometimes people donate and leave ~~7 prompts. Which is a bit much. I’ve been thinking of limiting the “I will write all your prompts” to “I will write up to 4 of your prompts.” (or 3)

          • When I put up prompts, I’m mostly throwing out ideas pretty randomly. I’m happy if you use any of them, and I often find that combined prompts can lead to interesting results.

            • Yep, most of my prompts aren’t “I want to see more of this” but “those are ideas that occurred to me when I saw the call theme”. And when I ask for prompts myself… I’ve had cases where I had no clear idea what to write for someone until someone else left another prompt that by pure chance clicked with one from the first list. The last prompt call also had two people sending nearly the same prompt, and I’d feel silly not taking the opportunity to combine. (Might be different if my head was overflowing with ideas for their other prompts, but it’s not.)

              • That’s how I prompt, too, and I like to have lots to choose from, but then – well, I left you a comment on the last one, ’cause you donated, and I was a bit burnt out.

                • I’m the same way. I read the stuff everyone writes, and I love it when a prompt that I give inspires a lovely story (like the dried rose petals one, where I opened the comment box but all my mind could think of was “Awwwwwwwwwwwwww”), but really, the prompts are for the author(/artist if applicable). I usually just spit out everything I can think of – and sometimes that means more than will be needed. I will not ever be offended if a prompt I leave goes unwritten.

          • The way I see it… I leave a prompt. I get a story. If someone else’s prompt was also used in the story, it’s still a story based on my prompt, just like when you pull ideas out of your own head to combine with the prompt. Why would someone feel cheated if you combine several prompts?

              • Assuming all stories are that length, each participant still gets the same number of words for their prompt. If you write for one of my prompts, I get 250-500 words, and that’s still 250-500 words for that prompt if other pople’s prompts were used. What I wouldn’t do is if someone had tipped and would get two stories is picking two prompts they left, doing a not-double-wordcount story and calling it done. Are we talking past each other because I think of each prompter separately, and you think of us as one beast with many heads? 🙂

                  • This seems to be a relatively easy question to make a poll about, if you’d like to know what yoour followers think.

                    • Good point! Other things I am thinking about: The continuation story. The poll takes me almost as long, if not longer, than the story. And the linkback story. It’s just such a pain… :-/

                    • Yeah, the bookkeeping taking more time than writing is annoying. Maybe you could only tally up the links while the Call is open, to determine the total length of the bonus story, and write and post it in one go, rather than posting it with little update-chunks? I may be biased; I don’t like cliffhangers, and I find checking stories like that as they get updated inconvenient, anyway. I always have to look for the place where the last “end” of the story was, or wherever I was reading. So I tend to read those stories only at the end, anyway. Continuation story, hm. I don’t think I’ve been paying that much attention to those, so, again, be aware of my bias there (Checking which story is which is work, too ^^°), but I would not begrudge you picking a story to continue yourself. It’s how I’d handle it, anyway. Not making a hard and fast rule like “story with most comments wins” that causes more bookkeeping, but trying to keep the audience reactions in mind. Or you could drop it. If donators can already tell you what they want to see more of, you have “asking for continuations” covered. 🙂

                    • Linkback: ask people to list and/or link to their linkbacks in the linkback story post, so that you don’t have to round them up? ( does linkbacks with an already-written piece, and has someone else handling the posting during her fishbowls, but she keeps unsponsored/unsold pieces for potential publication elsewhere rather than releasing everything written, so she is likely to have some unpublished pieces available for that.) Would you get less input on continuation stories if you asked people to nominate stories or settings in comments rather than rounding them all up into a poll? Could someone else round them up into a poll for you?

                    • I asked people to nominate this time, and it seemed to get ~~ okay responses, not great. I do ask people to list their linkbacks. Hrrm. (Ueah, I don’t have many already-written pieces)

          • I’ll toss out a blanket: feel free to combine any of my prompts with others of mine or anyone else’s if that’s striking your muse. It can be fun seeing how things mix.

      • As someone who has been known to leave many prompts, I would agree it’s absolutely fair to say 3 or 4 rather than all. I’m not going to complain if told, “Here’s the three I picked, if you want the others you know the commission rates.”

  2. Stories! Cake! Gardening! Postcards! [redacted] If I were doing this, I would prefer smaller calls more often, but that is about my style of getting things done, not yours. I would prefer that Madame the Author not stress herself out and find writing unfun.

    • [wanna know what you redacted] 🙂 I am pondering something like making some months (every 3rd)? a mini-call, a one-setting call.

  3. I don’t expect that every prompt I leave get used (I tend to only leave one or two, but if they don’t suit they don’t suit and you can’t force things). I certainly don’t mind them getting combined with someone else’s prompt. I’m not a huge fan of linkback stories, because I keep forgetting to see if it ever got finished.

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