Jibber Jabber - Q1 - Volume 30

Open topics on the Contest itself, to include results-watch threads and other items of note.

Re: Jibber Jabber - Q1 - Volume 30

Postby LDWriter2 » Fri Mar 01, 2013 10:24 pm

bobsandiego wrote:
s_c_baker wrote:Right, folks.

Commence panicking. wotf007

Panic drive mounted.....
Panic app loaded....
initate panic? Press any key to panic.



No, no not yet.

Wait---wait....
Working on turning Lead into Gold.

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The latest was Q1'12
One HM for another contest
published in Strange New Worlds Ten.
Another HM http://onthepremises.com/minis/mini_18.html
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Re: Jibber Jabber - Q1 - Volume 30

Postby LDWriter2 » Fri Mar 01, 2013 10:26 pm

Imagination Vortex wrote:I already hit my panic button 2 weeks ago, when it was estimated he'd be done reading stories right around now. At least now I can relax again every time I hear the phone ring!



Sort of, kinda of too.

especially when we got a couple of phone calls with strange IDs a couple of days ago.

At first I thought just another telemarketer but yesterday I recall that he was suppose to be done about now--originally--that made me wonder. No messages though.
Working on turning Lead into Gold.

Four HMs From WotF
The latest was Q1'12
One HM for another contest
published in Strange New Worlds Ten.
Another HM http://onthepremises.com/minis/mini_18.html
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Re: Jibber Jabber - Q1 - Volume 30

Postby Kary English » Sat Mar 02, 2013 6:46 am

FYI - no finalists have been selected yet. So we're not in imminent phone call territory. Not for at least another week, probably two. Maybe three.
WOTF: 1 HM, 1 Semi, 2 Finalists
Q2,V31 - Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!
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Re: Jibber Jabber - Q1 - Volume 30

Postby gower21 » Sat Mar 02, 2013 8:06 am

Kary English wrote:FYI - no finalists have been selected yet. So we're not in imminent phone call territory. Not for at least another week, probably two. Maybe three.


Also to reiterate what Kary said before to take into account what they're doing right now.

Imagine you're planning a wedding, a very large wedding with a thousand guests or so and then someone comes along and says "hey deliver these 1000 or so pamphlets when you get a chance." You're probably going to wait until after the wedding to do the next important job.

Worst case scenario, assume the results will come out after the gala.
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Re: Jibber Jabber - Q1 - Volume 30

Postby Rebecca Birch » Sat Mar 02, 2013 8:12 am

gower21 wrote:
Kary English wrote:FYI - no finalists have been selected yet. So we're not in imminent phone call territory. Not for at least another week, probably two. Maybe three.


Also to reiterate what Kary said before to take into account what they're doing right now.

Imagine you're planning a wedding, a very large wedding with a thousand guests or so and then someone comes along and says "hey deliver these 1000 or so pamphlets when you get a chance." You're probably going to wait until after the wedding to do the next important job.

Worst case scenario, assume the results will come out after the gala.


This has been my assumption all along. Have to say, it's been doing a good job of keeping me from obsess-o-mania. That and the fact that I am also assuming my story is not quite finalist material this quarter. I love the story, but from my anthology readings, I get the feeling it's not a match to the market. So I'll put on my NNiNN shades ( wotf013 ) and enjoy waiting to watch the awards ceremony and then cheering on all my awesome friends who have made it to the big stage.

wotf010
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Re: Jibber Jabber - Q1 - Volume 30

Postby Jackie B. » Sat Mar 02, 2013 9:22 am

From what Joni said last time I spoke with her, I certainly got the feeling that no results would come out before the gala. But if DF is done with them in a few weeks, it will probably be a flood of all results at once at the end of April/beginning of May.
Finalist: Q3 V29
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Re: Jibber Jabber - Q1 - Volume 30

Postby Strycher » Sat Mar 02, 2013 2:02 pm

bobsandiego wrote:
s_c_baker wrote:Right, folks.

Commence panicking. wotf007

Panic drive mounted.....
Panic app loaded....
initate panic? Press any key to panic.



THERE IS NO "ANY" KEY!

Image

As an aside, I don't think it's DF we're really waiting on for results. Ultimately Joni's schedule determines when results come out.
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Re: Jibber Jabber - Q1 - Volume 30

Postby s_c_baker » Sat Mar 02, 2013 8:34 pm

We apologise for the nature of the previous message. Those responsible for writing it have been sacked. The remainder of these forum messages will be written in a new and more reassuring style:

Image

(Mynd you, møøse bites Kan be pretty nasti... )
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Re: Jibber Jabber - Q1 - Volume 30

Postby LDWriter2 » Sat Mar 02, 2013 10:11 pm

Kary English wrote:FYI - no finalists have been selected yet. So we're not in imminent phone call territory. Not for at least another week, probably two. Maybe three.



yeah, I know that is why I said originally and why it took me so long to wonder abut those calls.
Working on turning Lead into Gold.

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The latest was Q1'12
One HM for another contest
published in Strange New Worlds Ten.
Another HM http://onthepremises.com/minis/mini_18.html
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Re: Jibber Jabber - Q1 - Volume 30

Postby LDWriter2 » Sat Mar 02, 2013 10:14 pm

gower21 wrote:
Also to reiterate what Kary said before to take into account what they're doing right now.

Imagine you're planning a wedding, a very large wedding with a thousand guests or so and then someone comes along and says "hey deliver these 1000 or so pamphlets when you get a chance." You're probably going to wait until after the wedding to do the next important job.

Worst case scenario, assume the results will come out after the gala.



I think it's closer to catalogs having to be mailed out to paying customers in the middle of planning the wedding.
Working on turning Lead into Gold.

Four HMs From WotF
The latest was Q1'12
One HM for another contest
published in Strange New Worlds Ten.
Another HM http://onthepremises.com/minis/mini_18.html
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Re: Jibber Jabber - Q1 - Volume 30

Postby s_c_baker » Sun Mar 03, 2013 8:28 am

LDWriter2 wrote:
gower21 wrote:
Also to reiterate what Kary said before to take into account what they're doing right now.

Imagine you're planning a wedding, a very large wedding with a thousand guests or so and then someone comes along and says "hey deliver these 1000 or so pamphlets when you get a chance." You're probably going to wait until after the wedding to do the next important job.

Worst case scenario, assume the results will come out after the gala.



I think it's closer to catalogs having to be mailed out to potentially paying customers in the middle of planning the wedding.

Writers are not necessarily purchasing the book. wotf011
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The Abbot's Garden (historical fantasy novelette) - now on Amazon
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Re: Jibber Jabber - Q1 - Volume 30

Postby LDWriter2 » Mon Mar 04, 2013 10:09 pm

baker no argument from me there. wotf007



But I came back here to say that speaking of forgetting the contest and writing more stuff. I did.

Not the contest but my story. For some reason toward the end of work today I realized I couldn't remember the story or even if it was SF or Fantasy. Thought it more likely by SF. I had a minute to get online when I got home so I checked. If it's the one I think it is I was wrong it's fantasy.
Working on turning Lead into Gold.

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The latest was Q1'12
One HM for another contest
published in Strange New Worlds Ten.
Another HM http://onthepremises.com/minis/mini_18.html
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Re: Jibber Jabber - Q1 - Volume 30

Postby Strycher » Wed Mar 06, 2013 11:45 am

wotf019

First Brad posts in the results thread. Then I get a missed call/voice mail. Then WotF e-mails more invitations.

I wonder if it's that these things are always happening and I only jump when I know the Judging is close to over or if the Universe is messing with me today.
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Re: Jibber Jabber - Q1 - Volume 30

Postby Kary English » Wed Mar 06, 2013 12:03 pm

You guys got invitations?

I didn't.

*cries in the corner*
WOTF: 1 HM, 1 Semi, 2 Finalists
Q2,V31 - Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!
Flight of the Kikayon at the Grantville Gazette
Totaled (revised HM) in issue #9 of Mike Resnick's Galaxy's Edge
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Re: Jibber Jabber - Q1 - Volume 30

Postby Strycher » Wed Mar 06, 2013 12:22 pm

Kary English wrote:You guys got invitations?

I didn't.

*cries in the corner*


::Sends Kary invitation, though this amounts to forwarding spam . . . ::
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Re: Jibber Jabber - Q1 - Volume 30

Postby Imagination Vortex » Wed Mar 06, 2013 12:23 pm

The universe seems to be messing with me today too. I was still asleep in bed when a family member comes in my room telling me someone was on the phone and wanted to talk to me. My heart skipped a beat - I never get calls! Well it turned out to be my aunt - she was at work and the computer there was having problems, and she wanted to know if I knew how to fix it.

I did see Brad's posting in the results thread, but only for a brief second did I believe results had come out. I knew he had already won, so I assumed he was making new threads for vol. 31, lol.

I'm with Kary - I never got any invitation emails either. wotf014

And anyways, all this panicking I feel is for nothing. I read DF's latest writing tip, and I'm back to thinking my story is going to get rejected. While his tips are helpful, I feel they are the leading cause of my constant worrying. I'll see a tip and go - oh no I did that in my story, I'm going to rejected. Next day there is another tip with something postive that I did include in my story, so I'm back to feeling hopeful. I think - maybe he's talking about my story!

Well I can't worry too much, I've got a Q2 story I need to focus on. I have to get it done, the deadline is fast approaching! Ok back to writing now.
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Re: Jibber Jabber - Q1 - Volume 30

Postby Kary English » Wed Mar 06, 2013 12:28 pm

Strycher wrote:
Kary English wrote:You guys got invitations?

I didn't.

*cries in the corner*


::Sends Kary invitation, though this amounts to forwarding spam . . . ::

LOL!! Thank you.

I can't remember if I ever got one in my email last year. Eventually, somebody called me just a few days before the event, and I went.

I'm leaning toward going. Anyone else (female) going and want to share a room?
WOTF: 1 HM, 1 Semi, 2 Finalists
Q2,V31 - Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!
Flight of the Kikayon at the Grantville Gazette
Totaled (revised HM) in issue #9 of Mike Resnick's Galaxy's Edge
Departure Gate 34B at DSF
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Re: Jibber Jabber - Q1 - Volume 30

Postby s_c_baker » Wed Mar 06, 2013 1:23 pm

I've received like 26,000* invitations so far. Maybe you just have a better spam filter than most

(* Okay, five. But still. Five, three of which were received after I RSVPed. wotf019 )

Strycher wrote:First Brad posts in the results thread.

Glad to know I wasn't the only one who had a minor freak-out about that. wotf019
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Re: Jibber Jabber - Q1 - Volume 30

Postby jkenton » Wed Mar 06, 2013 4:01 pm

Perversely, I found myself hoping to get a rejection as soon as possible so I can fix some things I decided I wasn't happy with. "Art is never finished, only abandoned" and all that jazz. Then I think "but if it takes longer for the rejection, it might at least be one with a critique!" But then I think "But it can't possibly be good enough with the flaws I spotted!"

This is the part where everyone says "It took you this long to figure out that's what being a writer feels like?" isn't it?
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Re: Jibber Jabber - Q1 - Volume 30

Postby austinDm » Wed Mar 06, 2013 4:31 pm

I got two invitations in two days. They must *REALLY* want me to fly across the country again! wotf001
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Re: Jibber Jabber - Q1 - Volume 30

Postby s_c_baker » Wed Mar 06, 2013 7:41 pm

jkenton wrote:Perversely, I found myself hoping to get a rejection as soon as possible so I can fix some things I decided I wasn't happy with. "Art is never finished, only abandoned" and all that jazz. Then I think "but if it takes longer for the rejection, it might at least be one with a critique!" But then I think "But it can't possibly be good enough with the flaws I spotted!"

This is the part where everyone says "It took you this long to figure out that's what being a writer feels like?" isn't it?

Sounds about right. wotf001
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Re: Jibber Jabber - Q1 - Volume 30

Postby gower21 » Wed Mar 06, 2013 7:55 pm

s_c_baker wrote:I've received like 26,000* invitations so far. Maybe you just have a better spam filter than most

(* Okay, five. But still. Five, three of which were received after I RSVPed. wotf019 )

Strycher wrote:First Brad posts in the results thread.

Glad to know I wasn't the only one who had a minor freak-out about that. wotf019


Five? I think so far I got two and I won the damn thing :(

(JK, got more than that, if I count all the invitations between the lines, like the booking me a room...and the plane ticket was a HUGE hint).
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Re: Jibber Jabber - Q1 - Volume 30

Postby jkenton » Wed Mar 06, 2013 8:08 pm

I wish they'd title those emails "This isn't your rejection!" wotf011
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Re: Jibber Jabber - Q1 - Volume 30

Postby LDWriter2 » Wed Mar 06, 2013 10:12 pm

So far have received three I believe. Two for sure.



The first year I received any I got an E-mail, snail mail and a phone call invite. I figured they really wanted me there. And that year it was closer to us than even usual. Almost could have gone. But I believe it was during our anniversary weekend. It was the next two years anyway. We go to the mountains that weekend.


But maybe one year we will have to skip the mountains.
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The latest was Q1'12
One HM for another contest
published in Strange New Worlds Ten.
Another HM http://onthepremises.com/minis/mini_18.html
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Re: Jibber Jabber - Q1 - Volume 30

Postby Tamlyn » Wed Mar 06, 2013 11:27 pm

I will gladly share my 26,000* invitations around, especially as there is 12,000** kilometres of ocean between the venue and me.

I only discovered the contest this year, but apparently it likes me, as it wants my company so badly ;)

(*a similar 26,000 to s_c_baker)
(**this one is accurate)
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Re: Jibber Jabber - Q1 - Volume 30

Postby Ember » Thu Mar 07, 2013 12:03 am

Kary English wrote:Update from DF. He has made his first pass and he's got a bunch of stories that need a second look. These will be sifted for HMs, semis, finalists and probably some rejections, too.


So if there are a batch of stories that are having further sorting, that means the ones NOT in this pile are judged, right? There is a big fat pile o' rejections just waiting to come avalanching down. So... potentially, those rejections could come out at any time, sounds like they're ready to go (from the DF side at least.)

Not that I think this would happen (Joni, gala etc), and it sounds like people have reason to expect all the results to come together. (Did DF state this outright? Or is it just implied?) But still....
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Re: Jibber Jabber - Q1 - Volume 30

Postby Kary English » Thu Mar 07, 2013 8:26 am

Hi, Ember,

Yes, there's a huge batch of rejections ready to go. He didn't say so explicitly, but my take-away was that he was going to give the results to Joni all in one batch once he'd finished re-reading the stories that needed a second (third, fourth, etc) look.

The hitch in the timeline is when Joni will be able to get the results to us.

This next bit is a synthesis of several things he said, none of which he said precisely word for word, but here goes.

I think he judges like so:

He reads every story until he knows it's either a rejection or a second look story. A whole lot of the time, that means he's rejecting by the end of the first page, sometimes even on the first line. How can you reject on the first line? Well, people submit things like recipe books, school papers, memoirs, etc. Sometimes the first line makes it obvious that the story is fan fic, and sometimes I guess the first line is just that bad. (Dave mentioned one where the first line compared something to the splatting sound diarrhea makes - in great detail. Tip: Don't open with a major gross-out.)

If he makes it past the first page, he reads three or four pages, which is far enough for him to either reject for sure, or to put you aside for a second look where he reads the whole story.

Then he winnows down the second look stories. Sometimes the writer had a pretty good 4 pages, but then the story goes nowhere, gets lost, gets into slasher violence or explicit sex, or goes down some other path that leads to a rejection despite a promising opening. So sometimes stories that make the second look pile end up getting rejected. Those that don't, however, become HMs, semis and finalists.

When Dave is looking for finalists, he often has a group of two or three stories, usually in the same sub-genre, that he's trying to decide between. He reads them a couple of times, then lets them sit. Which one does he remember the most after sleeping on it? Which one made him feel the strongest emotion? That one gets the finalist spot and the other one gets a semi or maybe even an HM.

Note: Dave is really hard about semis. Getting a semi means you were *this close* to finalist. It means you were probably under consideration for finalist to the point where it was you vs. one other story. Getting an HM can mean you were pretty darn close, too. If there were three stories vying for a finalist spot and he decides that two were really close but the ending on the third one didn't work for him even though the rest was good, that third one might get an HM instead of a semi. Let me repeat - HMs are a big deal.

Now let me drive another point home - your first page has to be stellar. We already knew that hooks and openings were big, but something about this last workshop made me understand how big on a whole 'nother level. You can't take three pages describing set-up or backstory before you get to the meat of the story. You need to open with a good hook, preferably several of them. This doesn't mean you have to start in the middle of a car chase, but you have to carefully plant intriguing words that promise your reader a certain type of story - and then you have to deliver on that promise.

I'll see if I can go through my notes later today to dig out some stuff on hooks and openings. For me, the hooks and openings part of the workshop was where I learned the most.
WOTF: 1 HM, 1 Semi, 2 Finalists
Q2,V31 - Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!
Flight of the Kikayon at the Grantville Gazette
Totaled (revised HM) in issue #9 of Mike Resnick's Galaxy's Edge
Departure Gate 34B at DSF
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Re: Jibber Jabber - Q1 - Volume 30

Postby Imagination Vortex » Thu Mar 07, 2013 10:18 am

Kary this is really helpful information!

So if I'm understanding this correctly, does this mean that all HM's at one point were being considered as finalists? I know you said he has a group of 2 or 3 in each sub-genre, but usally there are over 100 HM's (then again, I don't really know how many sub-genres there are).

And if he was able to get past the first page, and then the fourth page, does this mean the problem always lies with the ending itself? If so it might make it a lot easier to try to re-work an HM into something more. I know I remember reading once that KD read the endings first, so it would be more difficult to pinpoint exactly where you went wrong. But if DF makes it to the end and only gives it an HM, are there other reasons it could get an HM, even if he liked the ending as well?

Sorry if I'm not understanding it right, but what you said has made me feel a whole lot better about my HM. Thanks Kary!
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Re: Jibber Jabber - Q1 - Volume 30

Postby Kary English » Thu Mar 07, 2013 10:42 am

I wouldn't say every HM was in consideration for finalist, but I'm pretty sure some of them were. And, alas, it's not always the ending that takes a story out of contention. It could be anything between p.4 and the end. Four is a rough estimate, of course.

Ok, more guessing - and a warning, too - nothing I'm about to say was said directly or even indirectly by Dave. I'm just putting pieces together.

So let's say he has 150 "second look" stories after the first cut. He'll reject some of these for going astray after whatever point it was that got the story moved to 'second look status.' Let's say he rejects 20% of them (a totally made up number, maybe it's closer to 200 second look stories and he rejects half - I have no real clue), leaving him with 120 stories. As he goes through those 120, he puts aside maybe 25 or 30 of them as possible finalists, keeping in mind that he wants a variety of sub-genres.

That means 95 to 100 of the 120 didn't make possible finalist. I'd guess those are the HMs, or most of the HMs. Then, out of the 20 to 30 possible finalists, he divides them up by sub-genre (remember, this is GUESSING). When he does that, he sees that he has four sparkly unicorn vampire stories, so he eliminates the weakest one off the bat. HM for that one. Then maybe he has three flying monkey stories, but he knows one of them was right on the border. HM for that one, too. By the time he does this for all of the sub-genres he's still got 18 stories left. He goes through those 18, one sub-genre at a time, until he knows which story will be the finalist for each sub-genre. The ones he doesn't pick get mostly semis, with the occasional HM, so out of 18 *possible* finalists, we get 8 finalists and 10 semis, or 8 finalists, 9 semis and 1 HM, etc.

See, I know there was at least one story that was in the possible finalist pile but ended up with an HM after Dave read and re-read it. I don't know the details of why. Maybe it was too long, maybe the conflict went sideways at some point. Maybe the ending went screwy somehow. Maybe he realized that despite some super-cool thing the author was doing that he really liked, the characterization wandered and the super-cool thing couldn't overcome it.

Note that the second look pile isn't the same thing as the possible finalist pile. Either way, tho, HM is a worthy result and if you get one, ya done good. :)
WOTF: 1 HM, 1 Semi, 2 Finalists
Q2,V31 - Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!
Flight of the Kikayon at the Grantville Gazette
Totaled (revised HM) in issue #9 of Mike Resnick's Galaxy's Edge
Departure Gate 34B at DSF
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Re: Jibber Jabber - Q1 - Volume 30

Postby MJNL » Thu Mar 07, 2013 10:56 am

This is only indirectly related to the above.

You know, I think it might be a good idea for all the forumites if there were a thread for going over vol. 29 with a fine-tooth comb. Since Dave's been very forthcoming about his methods and what he looks for, it might be nice to take that information and compare it directly to the resulting product. That way we can debate whether or not he clearly follows his methods, whether his ''cyclical" structure is evident and/or if it causes rigid storylines or not, etc.

I think without having some examples it's easy to get caught up in the semantics of his terminology. I, for one, would be perfectly fine with having my story ripped appart for educational purposes. And nobody has to worry about hurting my feelings. If your conclusion after analyzing the story is that his methods lead to a selection of sucky manuscripts, feel free to say so.

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WotF Winner Q1 2012 (Vol. 29)

WotF Finalist Q2 2010 (Vol. 27)
WotF Finalist Q4 2011 (Vol. 28)
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