A/B Test with Story Critique

For discussions relating to critique.org workshops in general, not for any specific workshop.
Forum rules
This forum is for questions that don't fit into a more specific workshop's forum. (If there's a more specific forum that's appropriate, please post there.) For example, a post about writing science fiction belongs in the SF writing forum, but a post about writing that applies to all writers could go here. Questions about the general nature of the critique.org workshops could go here, but not about a specific workshop.

Also see the forum rules at: http://critique.org/c/forums.ht
  • Ads

A/B Test with Story Critique

Postby crit30021 » Tue Jul 18, 2017 7:37 pm

I am wondering if it is possible to do A/B testing with a story submitted for critique. In other words, one half of critiquers would receive one version (version A) and the other half would receive a different version of the same story (version B). Then the writer receiving the critiques can compare how people reacted to the different versions. I have been curious about conducting this kind of test for some time, but most groups I have been a part of were simply to small (2-4 people) to get a interesting results.
crit30021
Name: Laurynn Lowe
Sprout
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Jul 18, 2017 7:06 pm

Re: A/B Test with Story Critique

Postby crit33321 » Wed Jul 19, 2017 5:57 pm

Hi Laurynn,

I guess there are a few ways I can see doing something like what you're proposing. The first would be to put both versions in the same submission document -- one long document with version A at the top (titled "Version A") and version B below it (titled "Version B"). You could place a comment at the top of your submission to let readers know what you're looking for and request that some read A and others read B, noting which version they read in their critique submission.

Another way would be to submit with a Request for Dedicated Readers and instruct critters to email you for a copy of the manuscript. Then you can send version A to some, and version B to others. I've never submitted a story via RFDR before myself, so I'm not sure exactly how that would work.

A third way would be to submit both versions through the queue separately. Of course, that would require a longer waiting period to get feedback for both stories.

I have to wonder why you'd want to submit different versions of the same story at all. Perhaps you're not sure which one you like better yourself? You may decide you like A best, but then your readers decide they like B more. That'd be enough to drive any writer crazy. Ha! I suggest writing and submitting whichever version you like best, regardless of what anyone else thinks, and avoid all the hassles in the first place. lol

Hope that helps,
Morgan
crit33321
Name: Morgan Broadhead
Sapling
 
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed May 10, 2017 5:56 pm

Re: A/B Test with Story Critique

Postby crit30021 » Thu Jul 20, 2017 1:06 am

thanks Morgan! I like your suggestions and appreciate you helping to think through how to do it.

I really hear your last point (why do this!?). The simple answer: in order to tell better stories. I know what I like about my stories, but often reader feedback baffles me. I am interested in an experiment not so much because I want to actually change a particular story but because I want to break down and gain a better understanding of how readers are experiencing specific elements.
crit30021
Name: Laurynn Lowe
Sprout
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Jul 18, 2017 7:06 pm

  • Ads

Return to General Workshop Forum

cron