It's a time-consuming and exhausting process. Each vote is a battle. It takes hours to accumulate any significant amount of votes on entries. The success at seeing oneself slowly rise to a winning position is glorious and relieving because of how much time and effort was put into it.
Recently, I've noticed two contestants rising in the ranks . . . because they're asking for something Figment users would deem a 'heart-swap.' It basically goes: "Hey, can you heart my story in return for a heart on one of yours?" Seeing this, after working so many hours on trying to honestly accrue votes and struggling to win this battle--it can make one a little more than irritated.
One of these contestants posted thrice on my wall; the first two times, I ignored her heart-swap request and simply deleted it. The third time, I decided to take a look at her story simply so I could get her to stop bothering me, and also to tell her that I feel heart-swaps are unethical--basically cheating. I will relay the comments to you.
Miss Camacho's swap request:
Could you please heart my story? (it's only 750 words)http://figment.com/books/862657-No-Title I will comment and heart any story of yours up to 2,000 words! Please help me by hearting it!
Me (in the comments of No Title):
Miss Camacho's response (on my profile):
I just said if you heart mine I would heart yours and give you a comment. Either way YOU had the better deal. YOU ARE THE RUDE ONE. WHAT DID I DO THAT WAS SOOOOO AWFUL TO YOU?????? if you didn't want to you could have said no thanks on my profile. Only rude people do that on someones story that they worked hard on.Miss Camacho's responses (on my story):
I just said if you heart mine I would heart yours [... ((see the rest of 'Miss Camacho's response (on my profile)'))]and (as a second comment):
And yes I am being rude since you attacked me on my story first.My reply (on Miss Camacho's profile):
Miss Camacho's reply (on my profile):
uh huh, You meant to be rude otherwise you would not have written it on my story. How would I not have felt attacked????? If you wrote that on anyone elses story I guarantee that they would have been upset and felt attacked because that is exactly what you did.My response (on Miss Camacho's profile)
Dear Melanie Camacho,
Attacking your story would not have been leaving potentially helpful feedback. You feel attacked because you don't like that I called you out, and therefore do not want to listen to anything I have to say.
Example of attacking a story or person: "This story was awful! There were so many mistakes I spotted that there's just no hope. You have no chance of winning. Loser!"
I did not state that. I stated that, currently, it is inconsistent and I would suggest revising it, along with the fact that I fervently do not approve of heart-swaps. Perhaps the comment 'because then everything changed when the Fire Nation attacked' could be taken in a condescending manner, but it was meant to be a light-hearted jest about the similarity of the line 'but all of that changed when my brother was born' to a recurring line of a popular show.
The other parts of my comments were exactly what I would have left on "No Title" if it were written by someone else; they are something I would have said even if I agreed to swap with you, for they are concept issues and points that I feel need to be addressed. Perhaps I could have presented them in a less brusque manner, but they are the feedback I would give, nevertheless. I sincerely did not like the entry because of its inconsistency; I would have not voted for it even had it been presented by a different author in a different manner.
I believe it can be made into a contest-winning entry, but it needs work. What you have currently appears to me as only a beginning of potential.
I also mentioned that you could ignore my feedback if you'd like, since I didn't know if you would be inclined to care about anything I had to say after you learned I do not approve of heart-swaps.
If I meant to be rude, I would have gone about it in a different way. I would have left a comment on your story with no relevance to the story whatsoever with an attacking statement about you being an awful, rude person.
I did not do either of those things, although you seem to have interpreted it as such. Since I was not asking for a return to your swap request, I did not post on your wall with my thoughts; at the time, I believed I could leave a single post with honest opinions without being retaliated upon and therefore relieve you of the inconvenience of having a thousand emails in your inbox from me about something you clearly do not care to hear.
I regret that you took it in an unintended manner, but I will not apologize for wanting to be fair: Heart-swaps are not fair to your competition, and I do not believe informing you of this merits hate-spam on my wall or stories.
MarsMiss Camacho's response (on my profile):
You cry that you didn't mean mean to be rude BUT the fact remains that you were. Also saying that you were biased because of the heart thing doesn't help either. Spoilsport just because I was catching up. Most of you had weeks more than I did. I wrote mine five days ago. You were just mad because I was almost beating you.
Also have I mentioned ANYTHING about the review part??? Nope. Sorry. I've only mentioned your rant at the beginning which you could have easily put on my wall but no you chose to try to make me look bad instead.My most recent reply (on her profile):
It was not my intention for her to blow up at me like that, though I may have known it was coming. However, I do not feel I am in the wrong, nor do I feel I am a rude person for not voting for an entry that I do not think should win over mine. I have voted for some of the other entries, but Miss Camacho's story was not up to par. I am of the belief that all she wanted to hear was, "Ohmigosh this is so good I hope you keep writing and you totally have the contest in the bag," accompanied by a heart.
Apparently, she values lying or ignorance more than honesty. Would she rather she end up like Spongetta Parrish on American Idol with "I'll be in my Studio?" I firmly believe Sanderson will not be impressed with her entry at the level it is currently written.
I am currently holding 6th place in the contest, and I have worked for over a month to get there. There are other people who have less time than me and possibly better entries than me that are struggling to get into the top ten before the deadline cuts them off--which is exactly one week from now.
It is unethical to approve of or participate in heart-swaps; this is the greatest downside to any writing site I have ever been on, but it's ever that much more prevalent on Figment.
I'm thinking of starting another blog specifically for these sorts of things and name it Summer Glau Letters. I suppose arguing with someone foolish makes me foolish, though, doesn't it.