Search found 297 matches

by MattDovey
Fri Oct 20, 2017 2:45 am
Forum: Writing: Craft, Talent, Technique
Topic: Filter words
Replies: 2
Views: 43

Re: Filter words

Anna is an absolute marvel. You'll not go far wrong listening to her :D

I suspect this is a habit we all have to wean ourselves off. One of those things you only recognise subconsciously as a reader, and have to have pointed out to you as a writer. There's so many of those things!
by MattDovey
Thu Oct 19, 2017 11:35 pm
Forum: Writing: Craft, Talent, Technique
Topic: Filter words
Replies: 2
Views: 43

Filter words

Saw this excellent thread on Twitter earlier and thought I'd share here, because this is something I'm constantly working on, and it's had a huge impact on the quality of my work. If you can follow this then everything you write will, IMHO, have more impact, be more engaging, will grab your readers ...
by MattDovey
Wed Oct 18, 2017 5:31 am
Forum: Publishing: The Business Of
Topic: Success!
Replies: 3838
Views: 697707

Re: Success!

There's a few things to respond to in here, Amy :) I always enjoy keeping up with this thread because it's so encouraging. You'd think that seeing other people's successes and not having one to report myself would be a bummer, but somehow it's not. It is a truth universally acknolwedged that their j...
by MattDovey
Tue Oct 10, 2017 12:04 am
Forum: The Contest - Quarterly Topics, and Other Items
Topic: What's a Silver Honorable Mention as opposed to a regular HM?
Replies: 18
Views: 370

Re: What's a Silver Honorable Mention as opposed to a regular HM?

Huh. Now I think about it, not a one of my other WotF entries has sold. One of my (heavily revised) HMs got onto the James White Award shortlist in 2016, but is still circulating. Two are now trunked, two are still going, and one got thrown up on my site as my first story, because it felt like it ne...
by MattDovey
Fri Oct 06, 2017 12:09 am
Forum: The Contest - Quarterly Topics, and Other Items
Topic: Questions: Scene breaks
Replies: 28
Views: 1006

Re: Questions: Scene breaks

Chris, I believe he said an extra $108. So maybe $1000 plus $108 because of word count. Then the grand prize. Matt pretty much cleaned up. And he has a cool accent... You, sir, are too kind wotf011 though hilariously a commenter on StarShipSofa 503 * complained that they couldn't understand my acce...
by MattDovey
Thu Oct 05, 2017 11:55 pm
Forum: The Contest - Quarterly Topics, and Other Items
Topic: Questions: Scene breaks
Replies: 28
Views: 1006

Re: Questions: Scene breaks

A note on word counts and the contest... Dave sometimes says that he counts by the old fashioned method that produces counts up to 20% higher, but unfortunately (for us) the contest pays the per-word rate by the word processor count. If and when they ever get in touch to send me an extra $108 I wil...
by MattDovey
Thu Oct 05, 2017 11:50 pm
Forum: The Contest - Quarterly Topics, and Other Items
Topic: What does "win" mean?
Replies: 15
Views: 176

Re: What does "win" mean?

Winning is placing. It means Joni asks you if you're sitting down. Words I have yet to hear. However, published finalist is not a win, but grants almost all the benefits of a win, plus you can keep entering. I love Eric James Stone's method. His Q4 was the published finalist, and around the time he...
by MattDovey
Thu Oct 05, 2017 5:20 am
Forum: The Contest - Quarterly Topics, and Other Items
Topic: Age Limit?
Replies: 4
Views: 114

Re: Age Limit?

I think there have been winners under 18 (particularly on the illustration side), but the key matter is "if they win, can they travel to Hollywood alone?" Joni will allow you to postpone your workshop for one year but no more, so perhaps best not to waste a shot if you can't take advantage...
by MattDovey
Thu Oct 05, 2017 2:18 am
Forum: The Contest - Quarterly Topics, and Other Items
Topic: Questions: Scene breaks
Replies: 28
Views: 1006

Re: Questions: Scene breaks

A note on word counts and the contest... Dave sometimes says that he counts by the old fashioned method that produces counts up to 20% higher, but unfortunately (for us) the contest pays the per-word rate by the word processor count. If and when they ever get in touch to send me an extra $108 I will...
by MattDovey
Thu Oct 05, 2017 2:06 am
Forum: The Contest - Quarterly Topics, and Other Items
Topic: What does "win" mean?
Replies: 15
Views: 176

Re: What does "win" mean?

Wow! Congrats on the win!! I think the story I'm working on for Q2 will be better than the one I'm submitting for Q1, but guess if I should be so lucky I'll just have to find another place for the second story. That would be a very nice problem to have. Thanks -- (Oh - and win will you know if you ...
by MattDovey
Mon Oct 02, 2017 1:42 am
Forum: Publishing: The Business Of
Topic: Angry Robot Open Sub Period Nov 1st - Dec 31st
Replies: 9
Views: 163

Re: Angry Robot Open Sub Period Nov 1st - Dec 31st

As a relative newcomer to the writing world, I thought it was better to have an agent first? I’m confused by this whole thing, like where they say they wouldn’t mind if, after acceptance, you went looking for an agent. Doesn’t the agent finding process take months, at best? Would this be a smart mo...
by MattDovey
Sun Oct 01, 2017 10:51 am
Forum: The Contest - Quarterly Topics, and Other Items
Topic: Four in Thirty-Five (4 in 35!)
Replies: 39
Views: 785

Re: Four in Thirty-Five (4 in 35!)

I learned about critters (thank you Matt!) My pleasure :) may it serve you as well as it served me! FWIW I completely agree that critiquing other people's work is far more useful than getting critiques on your own; the latter helps you fix *that* story, but the former helps you fix your craft. It f...
by MattDovey
Fri Sep 29, 2017 6:23 am
Forum: Publishing: The Business Of
Topic: Almost Success - The "Mixed Feelings" Thread
Replies: 705
Views: 178536

Re: Almost Success - The "Mixed Feelings" Thread

If your stories keep showing up during final reviews again and again, an editor's going to look at them and say, "This guy's consistently good enough and he's got more than one story in him. Let's publish him." At least, in my own mind that's how it's going to happen; I'm not published an...
by MattDovey
Tue Sep 26, 2017 12:54 am
Forum: Publishing: The Business Of
Topic: Almost Success - The "Mixed Feelings" Thread
Replies: 705
Views: 178536

Re: Almost Success - The "Mixed Feelings" Thread

For those of you getting final rounds, "so close!", etc., this Twitter thread from Apex's Lesley Connor is important reading . Once you're at that level, it's not a lack of skill or competence; it's just taste and magazine style. You are good enough: the magazines aren't big enough. You're...
by MattDovey
Mon Sep 25, 2017 12:42 am
Forum: The Contest - Quarterly Topics, and Other Items
Topic: Jeff Carlson has passed away
Replies: 4
Views: 192

Re: Jeff Carlson has passed away

Very sorry to hear it, Corbin. Sounds like a loss to us all.
by MattDovey
Thu Sep 14, 2017 1:35 am
Forum: The Contest - Quarterly Topics, and Other Items
Topic: Jibber Jabber - Q3 - Volume 34
Replies: 312
Views: 12901

Re: Jibber Jabber - Q3 - Volume 34

Winners announced! And the first place winner represents something of a first AFAIK--she's married to a former winner, Eric James Stone. We're usually joking when we say WotF is like a family...
by MattDovey
Mon Sep 11, 2017 11:31 pm
Forum: The Contest - Quarterly Topics, and Other Items
Topic: Jibber Jabber - Q3 - Volume 34
Replies: 312
Views: 12901

Re: Jibber Jabber - Q3 - Volume 34

Just heard back from Joni. I'm not a winner, but they did ask to hold my story for potential inclusion in the anthology. Also, Tim Powers apparently loved it, so I'm pretty darn geeked about that. wotf007 Blimey, that was quick. Commiserations on not placing, but you never know with PF; it's worth ...
by MattDovey
Mon Sep 11, 2017 1:34 am
Forum: Science Fiction & Fantasy
Topic: RIP Dr Pournelle
Replies: 3
Views: 173

RIP Dr Pournelle

News broke over the weekend that Dr Jerry Pournelle, long time collaborator of Larry Niven and a WotF judge since (I believe) the very beginning, passed away in his sleep at age 84. Meeting him was certainly an experience, and I'm saddened that many of you will never have the chance now. There's few...
by MattDovey
Sun Sep 03, 2017 11:28 pm
Forum: The Contest - Quarterly Topics, and Other Items
Topic: Jibber Jabber - Q3 - Volume 34
Replies: 312
Views: 12901

Re: Jibber Jabber - Q3 - Volume 34

Congratulations Peony, Kristy and especially Kate, who clearly benefitted from sitting next to me at the v32 workshop ;) (just kidding, her and Dan are awesomesauce all on their ownsome, and if anything the transfer went the other way) Good luck with the next phone call, and with getting anything do...
by MattDovey
Wed Aug 09, 2017 1:38 am
Forum: The Contest - Quarterly Topics, and Other Items
Topic: Jibber Jabber - Q1 - 29
Replies: 4892
Views: 875458

Re: Jibber Jabber - Q1 - 29

amoskalik wrote:
storysinger wrote:
Even flabby birds squawked at the spooky snake under our woodshed.


Forever flabby birds squawked at the spooky snake under our woodshed.


Forever flabby birds lectured at the spooky snake under our woodshed.
by MattDovey
Wed Aug 02, 2017 4:41 am
Forum: The Contest - Quarterly Topics, and Other Items
Topic: Jibber Jabber - Q2 - Volume 34
Replies: 425
Views: 20218

Re: Jibber Jabber - Q2 - Volume 34

And the results? Joni giggled. I got SECOND PLACE! *happy dance* If I understand correctly, that removes me as a contender for the Golden Pen, which means I can officially stop twitching and kick back until April. Woot! Congratulations :D It does indeed remove you from the running, and means you ha...
by MattDovey
Wed Aug 02, 2017 3:20 am
Forum: The Contest - Quarterly Topics, and Other Items
Topic: Jibber Jabber - Q1 - 29
Replies: 4892
Views: 875458

Re: Jibber Jabber - Q1 - 29

Rebecca Birch wrote:A tabby cat slapped at the speckled donut on the dock.


A flabby cat slapped at the speckled donut on the dock.
by MattDovey
Mon Jul 17, 2017 12:55 am
Forum: Writing: Craft, Talent, Technique
Topic: Surprise Endings
Replies: 4
Views: 314

Re: Surprise Endings

If I had an easy answer to this, I'd be making thousands from running workshops wotf001 That said, from experience, I would say layer in more foreshadowing than you think you need. You'll think you're making it screamingly obvious, but that's because you already know; readers won't pick up on all yo...
by MattDovey
Mon Jul 17, 2017 12:51 am
Forum: Publishing: The Business Of
Topic: Submitting Honorable Mentions To Magazines
Replies: 5
Views: 402

Re: Submitting Honorable Mentions To Magazines

Only insofar as a story with an HM must have something going for it, and has lifted itself above the noise somewhat. General advice is not to mention it in the cover letter, though; whilst an HM *is* an achievement, it's also (sorry) just a fancy rejection, and it's not good to mention other markets...
by MattDovey
Mon Jul 17, 2017 12:49 am
Forum: The Contest - Quarterly Topics, and Other Items
Topic: "We regret that we cannot accept children's stories." Define "children!"
Replies: 10
Views: 468

Re: "We regret that we cannot accept children's stories." Define "children!"

sounds like yours is YA, rather than a Children's Story. Yes, it probably is. So is WotF an appropriate publication for a YA story? Offhand, I can't recall reading any winning stories that were targeted for a predominantly YA audience. The target audience is teenagers, though. It's hard to say. Jus...
by MattDovey
Mon Jul 17, 2017 12:47 am
Forum: The Contest - Quarterly Topics, and Other Items
Topic: How Short Is Too Short?
Replies: 15
Views: 639

Re: How Short Is Too Short?

Daniel Davis' v31 story was short, only 2-3k, and RM Graves' Freebot in v32 was 2.5k, for more recent examples. I don't think you could get away with shorter than that, because Dave is a plot structure nerd, and flash is too short to really work with that.
by MattDovey
Thu Jul 13, 2017 6:40 am
Forum: Writing: Craft, Talent, Technique
Topic: Finishing Stories
Replies: 18
Views: 450

Re: Finishing Stories

The only things of mine that have sold with no revision work have been <500 words (e.g. DSF, June 1 ), because they're small enough to hold the whole thing in my head and just blurt it out on paper. Revision is everything: and again, that may not be true for you, and I certainly know people whose fi...
by MattDovey
Wed Jul 12, 2017 4:22 am
Forum: The Contest - Quarterly Topics, and Other Items
Topic: Jibber Jabber - Q2 - Volume 34
Replies: 425
Views: 20218

Re: Jibber Jabber - Q2 - Volume 34

Congrats to everyone getting certificates, especially amyhg on levelling up to the ultra-twitch and Rebecca on getting the full house of responses wotf007 has anyone else ever managed that before?
by MattDovey
Wed Jul 12, 2017 4:20 am
Forum: Writing: Craft, Talent, Technique
Topic: Finishing Stories
Replies: 18
Views: 450

Re: Finishing Stories

Am I setting myself up for failure for aborting so many potential stories instead of getting in the habit of completing one before moving on to the next? Sorry, but... yes. Endings are a huge, huge part of whether a story works or not. For every story I bump from slush at PodCastle, there's another...
by MattDovey
Mon Jun 26, 2017 1:42 pm
Forum: Writing: Craft, Talent, Technique
Topic: Mixed Viewpoint Styles Across Characters
Replies: 8
Views: 225

Re: Mixed Viewpoint Styles Across Characters

My opinion: you can do it if it's a small portion of the work (I'm thinking of China Miéville and Perdido Street Station, where each section opens with a brief 1st person segment). If it's 1 chapter in 4, though, I think it would get annoying to switch so often. All this is, of course, opinion.

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