Category Archives: Bonus Points

A lil’ spit and shine…

So I’ve been touching up the Eikasia website here and there in the hopes of making it less of a headache, but more than that, to bring the focus onto the writing, and less on my pet projects and histrionics.  Current changes include:

  1. The removal of the drop-down menus.
  2. The removal of certain site directory badges and links.
  3. Placing email subscription and twitter updates in a more prominent spot.
  4. Made the “Get Up To Speed” category less obnoxious.
  5. Adding an anchor link to the table of contents in the sidebar.
  6. A more succinct author’s note on the “New Readers” page.
  7. And the removal of the navigation tips (rendered obsolete with the removal of the drop-down menus)
  8. New vote banner to replace the plain and ugly one I had
  9. Reintroducing the meta login.

I was hoping to tweak the CSS so that the color for the sidebar was separate from the posts, which would leave me free to change one without the other getting screwed.  My intention was to make the sidebar text softer to keep the primary focus on the story–thus hopefully making it less of a distraction for you beloved readers.  I’ve also been hoping to find a new way of working with Ninth Suture, a blog which was meant to be a lot more.  Right now, it’s confusing to navigate, and the older posts didn’t transfer over well from my blogger site.  I might end up finding a new theme for it, but it could just be a matter of fixing up tags and categories, so we’ll see.  An archive couldn’t hurt, either.

When I think about SEO (search engine optimization) I wince, because I know I’m not doing all that I can to increase my visibility on the web.  Upon first acquiring my domain, my only thought was in making my site function–not broadcasting it to the world.  As the website reaches its final stages of maturity, that has started to change, and I’m finding I have quite a bit of work to do in that regard.  Someday I’ll finally get into those web design and web administration classes I’ve been meaning to take.  Someday!

But aside from simplification, SEO, and muting my silly whimsies, another thing I’ve been trying to do was increase reader participation.  I’d like to hear from my readers.   I wanna know what you guys think, and I’d like you guys to see that you aren’t the only ones into Eikasia.  That was why I reintroduced the meta login–so that you can start making profiles on the website.  I’ve been tooling around with recent comments and top commentator widgets.  But the real doozy is that I’ve decided to start a new forum. For ages I held off, thinking that an empty forum cannot be any more unattractive to visitors.  Only how the hell else is a forum supposed to start?

To dangle the proverbial carrot in front of everyone’s faces, I decided I’d make a separate bonus point pool for the forum site.  100 points to the goal, a common effort, same as the original point pool, but think about it:  new forum, means lots of new users.  You think I’m not going to award you for signing up?  Here’s the breakdown so far:

  • Every new registered user earns +10 points
  • Every new forum topic earns +5 points
  • Every new reply earns +3 points

I’m new to forum management, so the forum will be pretty simple and straightforward.  I decided to go with SMF instead of phpBB.  There’ll be an Eikasia board, where I’ll make a new topic for every update, and you can post anything else story-related.  There’ll also be a general chat, as it seems obligatory.  If activity increases, or a lot interest is generated for a particular topic, I could make another one.  The above conditions may change, and I may even raise or lower the point cap depending on how things go.  But y’know, if you look at the point pool and the ways to earn points on the forum, you’ll see how quick this could net you guys another bonus update. (Not that I’m not swamped already!)  When the forum is available, I’ll announce it.

Oh hey, enough about boring administrative crap.  Now to discuss the more recent events of Eikasia (that being Chapter 22).

To my chagrin, I caught a continuity error. (not on the scale of the Graziano goof–which I still need to edit–but stupid all the same) The problem was with Nyx’s power, and whether or not Tristi could see her after she entered the Somnium.  My initial ruling?  No, Tristi could not see nor interact with Nyx.  What I ended up doing?  Tristi could not only see Nyx, but interact with her as well!  Doh!!  So I went back and changed that little detail.  I believe that is still okay, as I never went into detail about whether or not Argos could see Nyx in the Somnium–and no offense to the dear fellow, but he’s just a dog.  😛

The other thing I noticed only after doing it, was in the way I handled Elmiryn’s foray into the weird and wonderful world of La-La-Land.  Namely, her out of body experience at the dwarven settlement, and her ‘travels’ during that period.  I realized, to my horror, that it felt a great deal like telling and not showing–that damn mantra that haunts us writers in our sleep.  Show don’t fucking tell.  Ah god.  Well, I felt like putting myself through a wall, to be true.  But as I thought about it, I realized how this could become an exception.  I could, of course, lessen the offense by inserting some actual snippets of Elmiryn’s experience, but I think I’m going to leave her talk with Quincy alone.  The reason I feel I can kinda sorta get away with doing a little more “telling” then usual is to keep the air of mystery about Elmiryn’s true experience.  An attentive reader wouldn’t need Quincy to point out the issues in Elmiryn’s account, and I’d like to toy around with this more as their adventures in this strange Other World progresses.  If that truly seems like a failure, my slow but steady edits shall eventually correct this.

Speaking of edits, I’m currently going to start on Chapter 14.  Chapters 1-13 (including any bonus updates in between) are in their second draft!

And since we’re on the topic of progress, I’ve started the next bonus update, The Abaddonic.  Last poll, I had to play tiebreaker, one of the choices readers picked was this Tobias side story:

A vast and powerful evil has begun to spread across the Santian Kingdom, giving rise to a plague of ghouls and poltergeists. Three braves are the first to answer the call for help. How Earth, Wind, and Flame met.

Look forward to it soon!  Next, Eikasia 23.1 is at some 600 words.  I’ve gotta say, the ending to the last chapter got me pretty stoked.  🙂

Till next time!

EDIT: I’m announcing it!  😛  The forum is now online and available. I’m still tweaking it here and there, but the site is functional and ready for you guys to use.  That said, the Forum Point Pool has started!

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Eikasia Bonus Points

Everyone (meaning all of you readers) work towards a grand total of 100 points.  This goal does not include number of Facebook fans (until further notice) since bonus updates every 10 new fans seems to be working fine.  So here’s how it’ll go:

  1. Every unique reader who comments on a chapter earns 2 points.*
  2. Every unique reader who points out a new SPAG (Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar) mistake or continuity error earns 5 points.
  3. Every unique reader who links to Eikasia earns 3 points. You must contact me with the page where the link is located–or if you’re linking on Twitter, just reply with @cajeck and/or the #Eikasia hashtag and be sure to mention that you actually read the story (as now and again I’ll have a kind non-reader give me a shout out)
  4. Speaking of Twitter, every RT of #Eikasia OR #weblit tagged posts earns 1 point.
  5. Every unique review on Web Fiction Guide, Muse’s Success, or any other review site for that matter (at a minimum of at least 300 words, unless the site prevents that) earns 15 points.  Be sure to contact me and link to the review so that I know.**
  6. Every time someone donates 5 USD or more through paypal, they earn 8 points.  Donations of 20 USD or more automatically get a special chapter from me, your choice of subject.  You can choose to share this with others, or keep it for yourself.  You may instead request special artwork from me, depicting a scene from the story, or something nutty you thought up (i.e. Nyx cosplaying as Rukia from Bleach, or Elmiryn battling Wolverine from the X-men.)***
  7. Submit fan art by either emailing it to me or submitting artwork to the “fan art” album on Eikasia’s Facebook page. It gets a bit subjective here, but I think everyone can understand the reasoning behind how points are given after that: For “sketchy” simple artwork (i.e. no/minimalistic background, low detail, low contrast, no color, etc.–here’s an example) you earn 2 points. For works that look like you spent time on it (i.e. high detail, full background, good contrast, color, shading, etc.–here’s an example) you earn 8 points. If I use the work for advertising (i.e. banners, buttons, youtube, etc.) then you earn 15 points!****
  8. Every new registered user on Eikasia (through the WordPress dashboard) earns 5 points.
  9. Every vote on a public poll (meaning it isn’t exclusive to forum users or Facebook users) earns 1 point.

*Just to clarify, you get 2 points for every chapter you comment on–but you don’t get more points for commenting on a chapter more than once. Comments on Ninth Suture do not count, as this is neutral ground so to speak.

**The 300 word minimum is necessary, as the point of a review is to give a potential reader a well-articulated idea of what the story is about, and whether they would be interested in it.  These can’t be written as if they were directed at me–if you wish to critique, feel free to message me or leave a comment on a chapter.  These reviews should be geared towards readers. Any other rules set by the review site in question should also be followed.

***Monetary donations, though very much appreciated, do not earn as much as reviews because they do not have the potential to attract new readers.  However, every time the points are reset, you can donate to earn points again.  As for large donations ($20+), the minimum amount of words I’ll write you are 15,000 (no joke!)–and you can only expect this from me once a month per person. If I have multiple large donators in a month, I may have to spread your requests apart to keep sane.  My gratitude would be endless, but in consideration of other readers and my own personal obligations (work, school, family etc.) I can only do so much at once.  Regarding the option of special artwork from me, please note that I cannot send original work through the mail, all work would be sent digitally via email.  I guarantee not to send you a scribble, but you should be specific on whether you want/care if it’s in color or not.  Also, some ground rules:  I will not do nudity or anything outright sexual (subtext is fine); I’m not an art major and I don’t have all the time in the world, so I can’t really handle doing mechs, highly detailed outfits, or big crazy backgrounds–remember, you’re getting this for 20$, not 500$!;  I’m not a sadist, so let’s not put in weird requests for Elmiryn fucking someone with a knife, m’kay?;  I will not do anything even remotely racist, religious, or politically motivated;  lastly, you just donated to Eikasia–so therefor, the artwork you will receive shall be in some way relevant to Eikasia! Special work for large donations have a six month period. That doesn’t mean I’ll take all six months, but hey, I have a life too!

****I will always ask for permission to do this first. While the logic may stand that the art is based off of my work, I think it’d also be polite and justified to consider the feelings of the artist in question. If you think I might consider your work for advertisement use, simply let me know if you’d be okay with it or not. I can also attribute the work to you, and/or link to your website so that curious birdies can see more of your art.

If you think the end goal is too high, keep in mind that the 100 points is a common pool also contributed to by your fellow readers.  Also, please remember that these bonus updates are extra work that I’m willing to take on to show my gratitude.  In the instance that the points go over, they will roll over to the next update.

Thanks guys!

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