Dave Wolverton's 10 reasons why he rejects a story

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Kary English
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Re: Dave Wolverton's 10 reasons why he rejects a story

Postby Kary English » Fri Jun 13, 2014 8:07 pm

The contest is a proxy for what it's like to submit to a pro level short fiction market. The editors there aren't looking for stories that are really good, except for some missing description, or some grammar stuff, or a slightly flat character arc, etc. They're looking for top-notch stories that are publishable as-is, with a once-over from a proofreader.

Dave isn't looking for pages upon pages of description down to every last detail. He's looking for description that transports the reader into the setting, a character the reader can care about, an engaging initial conflict, and stellar writing.

One typo on a page won't kill your chances, but three or four will. Same for too many grammar errors or too much passive voice, or any of a number of things that would get your story rejected at any other pro market. You'll run into editorial taste at pro markets, too. An Analog story is not a Beneath Ceaseless Skies story. Rejection stings, but it's tough love. HM stories in this contest are darn good stories, and semis are even better, but they're the top 10% of well over a thousand entries each quarter.

In reality, I think winning this contest is *harder* than selling to a pro market. There are plenty of us on this board who have pro sales, sometimes more than one, who haven't won yet. Some of us will sell so many stories to pro markets that we'll pro out, which means we're not allowed to enter anymore because we're no longer considered amateurs.That alone says that winning is harder than selling to pro mags.

That said, there are only three possibilities with this contest. You enter until:

1) You win.
2) You pro out.
3) You quit.

Number three is completely under your control, so don't quit. Keep writing and keep entering. But realize that this isn't an easy win.
WOTF: 1 HM, 1 Semi, 2 Finalists, 1 Winner
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Re: Dave Wolverton's 10 reasons why he rejects a story

Postby glenn84 » Fri Jun 13, 2014 8:12 pm

Kary English wrote:The contest is a proxy for what it's like to submit to a pro level short fiction market. The editors there aren't looking for stories that are really good, except for some missing description, or some grammar stuff, or a slightly flat character arc, etc. They're looking for top-notch stories that are publishable as-is, with a once-over from a proofreader.

Dave isn't looking for pages upon pages of description down to every last detail. He's looking for description that transports the reader into the setting, a character the reader can care about, an engaging initial conflict, and stellar writing.

One typo on a page won't kill your chances, but three or four will. Same for too many grammar errors or too much passive voice, or any of a number of things that would get your story rejected at any other pro market. You'll run into editorial taste at pro markets, too. An Analog story is not a Beneath Ceaseless Skies story. Rejection stings, but it's tough love. HM stories in this contest are darn good stories, and semis are even better, but they're the top 10% of well over a thousand entries each quarter.

In reality, I think winning this contest is *harder* than selling to a pro market. There are plenty of us on this board who have pro sales, sometimes more than one, who haven't won yet. Some of us will sell so many stories to pro markets that we'll pro out, which means we're not allowed to enter anymore because we're no longer considered amateurs.That alone says that winning is harder than selling to pro mags.

That said, there are only three possibilities with this contest. You enter until:

1) You win.
2) You pro out.
3) You quit.

Number three is completely under your control, so don't quit. Keep writing and keep entering. But realize that this isn't an easy win.



Thanks Kary. You gave me some perspective on the whole thing. I guess maybe I'm starting to get into that anxiety phase you guys have been talking about. This part's not fun. wotf012
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Re: Dave Wolverton's 10 reasons why he rejects a story

Postby Kary English » Fri Jun 13, 2014 8:15 pm

glenn84 wrote:

Thanks Kary. You gave me some perspective on the whole thing. I guess maybe I'm starting to get into that anxiety phase you guys have been talking about. This part's not fun. wotf012



Hang in there, man. :) The best part of this contest is the support you get right here on these forums. We've got brownies, tequila, marshmallows, and we've got your back. And yeah, being on tenterhooks gets old, so that's why we get so zany in the Jibber Jabber threads.
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Re: Dave Wolverton's 10 reasons why he rejects a story

Postby preston » Fri Jun 13, 2014 8:26 pm

Kary English wrote:The contest is a proxy for what it's like to submit to a pro level short fiction market. The editors there aren't looking for stories that are really good, except for some missing description, or some grammar stuff, or a slightly flat character arc, etc. They're looking for top-notch stories that are publishable as-is, with a once-over from a proofreader.

Dave isn't looking for pages upon pages of description down to every last detail. He's looking for description that transports the reader into the setting, a character the reader can care about, an engaging initial conflict, and stellar writing.

One typo on a page won't kill your chances, but three or four will. Same for too many grammar errors or too much passive voice, or any of a number of things that would get your story rejected at any other pro market. You'll run into editorial taste at pro markets, too. An Analog story is not a Beneath Ceaseless Skies story. Rejection stings, but it's tough love. HM stories in this contest are darn good stories, and semis are even better, but they're the top 10% of well over a thousand entries each quarter.

In reality, I think winning this contest is *harder* than selling to a pro market. There are plenty of us on this board who have pro sales, sometimes more than one, who haven't won yet. Some of us will sell so many stories to pro markets that we'll pro out, which means we're not allowed to enter anymore because we're no longer considered amateurs.That alone says that winning is harder than selling to pro mags.

That said, there are only three possibilities with this contest. You enter until:

1) You win.
2) You pro out.
3) You quit.

Number three is completely under your control, so don't quit. Keep writing and keep entering. But realize that this isn't an easy win.


I'm in! I haven't achieved option one or two yet. I tried option three, but it didn't work out. wotf011

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Re: Dave Wolverton's 10 reasons why he rejects a story

Postby LDWriter2 » Fri Jun 13, 2014 8:55 pm

preston wrote:
Kary English wrote:The contest is a proxy for what it's like to submit to a pro level short fiction market. The editors there aren't looking for stories that are really good, except for some missing description, or some grammar stuff, or a slightly flat character arc, etc. They're looking for top-notch stories that are publishable as-is, with a once-over from a proofreader.

Dave isn't looking for pages upon pages of description down to every last detail. He's looking for description that transports the reader into the setting, a character the reader can care about, an engaging initial conflict, and stellar writing.

One typo on a page won't kill your chances, but three or four will. Same for too many grammar errors or too much passive voice, or any of a number of things that would get your story rejected at any other pro market. You'll run into editorial taste at pro markets, too. An Analog story is not a Beneath Ceaseless Skies story. Rejection stings, but it's tough love. HM stories in this contest are darn good stories, and semis are even better, but they're the top 10% of well over a thousand entries each quarter.

In reality, I think winning this contest is *harder* than selling to a pro market. There are plenty of us on this board who have pro sales, sometimes more than one, who haven't won yet. Some of us will sell so many stories to pro markets that we'll pro out, which means we're not allowed to enter anymore because we're no longer considered amateurs.That alone says that winning is harder than selling to pro mags.

That said, there are only three possibilities with this contest. You enter until:

1) You win.
2) You pro out.
3) You quit.

Number three is completely under your control, so don't quit. Keep writing and keep entering. But realize that this isn't an easy win.


I'm in! I haven't achieved option one or two yet. I tried option three, but it didn't work out. wotf011


I would have to say the same. I quit once too, but before I had one new story written for myself I had to quit the quit. wotf007
Working on turning Lead into Gold.

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The latest was Q1'12
HM-quarter 4 Volume 32
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published in Strange New Worlds Ten.
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Re: Dave Wolverton's 10 reasons why he rejects a story

Postby Ishmael » Sat Jun 14, 2014 1:18 am

glenn84 wrote:I wonder if the story is really really good and one or two things could have been improved (like more description of the drink that the MC was drinking in the bar, or more thoughts on what he thinks of the color dress that a random girl on the street has on) would that make it an instant HM or rejection?


I cannot be considered an authority here, but as a reader I don't want irrelevant description thrown in arbitrarily. The description that I need is what helps me understand the action by providing it with context.

Thus, in a bar filled with dangerous types my protagonist is on edge, so I need to know why the people around him look dangerous to him. In a street full of grey people he notices the girl in the red dress and, since he is a spy, he wonders if he stands out too.

I have remarked before on what I call the Jules Verne tendency to describe everything in sight whether relevant or not. I think the same stricture applies to irrelevant data from the other senses. The context however is vital to an understanding of what happens; exactly the same behaviour will change in character by virtue of the situation. For example it's not hard to march boldly forward across a parade ground but rather more tricky when under fire.

When folk on the forum say 'I went through it again and added the sense data' I sometimes wonder if what happened was they decided it had to be there every other page and in this mechanistic way made the story worse. Of course if there was little or no context there in the first draft then they may be making it better.

Our words don't always describe what we see in our mind's eye, but we are inclined to think that they do. This is because we know what we see but the reader doesn't. Hence the great value of an experienced and honest critique.
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Re: Dave Wolverton's 10 reasons why he rejects a story

Postby Isto » Sat Jun 14, 2014 5:01 am

Kary English wrote:The contest is a proxy for what it's like to submit to a pro level short fiction market. The editors there aren't looking for stories that are really good, except for some missing description, or some grammar stuff, or a slightly flat character arc, etc. They're looking for top-notch stories that are publishable as-is, with a once-over from a proofreader.

Dave isn't looking for pages upon pages of description down to every last detail. He's looking for description that transports the reader into the setting, a character the reader can care about, an engaging initial conflict, and stellar writing.

One typo on a page won't kill your chances, but three or four will. Same for too many grammar errors or too much passive voice, or any of a number of things that would get your story rejected at any other pro market. You'll run into editorial taste at pro markets, too. An Analog story is not a Beneath Ceaseless Skies story. Rejection stings, but it's tough love. HM stories in this contest are darn good stories, and semis are even better, but they're the top 10% of well over a thousand entries each quarter.

In reality, I think winning this contest is *harder* than selling to a pro market. There are plenty of us on this board who have pro sales, sometimes more than one, who haven't won yet. Some of us will sell so many stories to pro markets that we'll pro out, which means we're not allowed to enter anymore because we're no longer considered amateurs.That alone says that winning is harder than selling to pro mags.

That said, there are only three possibilities with this contest. You enter until:

1) You win.
2) You pro out.
3) You quit.

Number three is completely under your control, so don't quit. Keep writing and keep entering. But realize that this isn't an easy win.



4) Or you die.

On the reread, that sounded more morbid than funny. Sorry.
Last edited by Isto on Sat Jun 14, 2014 5:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Dave Wolverton's 10 reasons why he rejects a story

Postby Isto » Sat Jun 14, 2014 5:27 am

Ishmael wrote:
glenn84 wrote:I wonder if the story is really really good and one or two things could have been improved (like more description of the drink that the MC was drinking in the bar, or more thoughts on what he thinks of the color dress that a random girl on the street has on) would that make it an instant HM or rejection?


I cannot be considered an authority here, but as a reader I don't want irrelevant description thrown in arbitrarily. The description that I need is what helps me understand the action by providing it with context.

Thus, in a bar filled with dangerous types my protagonist is on edge, so I need to know why the people around him look dangerous to him. In a street full of grey people he notices the girl in the red dress and, since he is a spy, he wonders if he stands out too.

I have remarked before on what I call the Jules Verne tendency to describe everything in sight whether relevant or not. I think the same stricture applies to irrelevant data from the other senses. The context however is vital to an understanding of what happens; exactly the same behaviour will change in character by virtue of the situation. For example it's not hard to march boldly forward across a parade ground but rather more tricky when under fire.

When folk on the forum say 'I went through it again and added the sense data' I sometimes wonder if what happened was they decided it had to be there every other page and in this mechanistic way made the story worse. Of course if there was little or no context there in the first draft then they may be making it better.

Our words don't always describe what we see in our mind's eye, but we are inclined to think that they do. This is because we know what we see but the reader doesn't. Hence the great value of an experienced and honest critique.


One of my largest problems is knowing how much description to put in and how much will restrict the imagination of the reader. I have a tendency to think the reader has the same desire to shape their characters that I do. Though, I've been told, I'm wrong... that it's for the writer to imagine and the reader to, well, read. I forget that not everyone has the capacity/desire to 'see' a forest or smell a lilac. They have to be reminded. But I also think that it is just as true that, in life, we ignore that stuff when we are distracted by the events around us. How many of us "take time to smell the roses" when we're rushing to work? On the other side, isn't there a tendency to wring every sense when we are leaving a beloved place for the last time? I hope, someday, to take a workshop that will address the when to and when not to. In the meantime .... wotf017
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Re: Dave Wolverton's 10 reasons why he rejects a story

Postby Ishmael » Sat Jun 14, 2014 6:18 am

It used to be supposed that traumatic events imprinted on our minds the whole context in which we experienced them. We now know that this is not so. When we remember, we reconstruct from pieces and our brains fill in the contextual blanks from our knowledge of what 'must have been there.'

It has been compared to an archaeologist reconstructing an ancient pot from shards. Some fragments are missing. Maybe if he really wants to show the complete artefact he will manufacture new pieces to fill the holes.

The problem is that the next time he wants to look at it, it has fallen to pieces again. Some pieces are missing again. Sadly he now cannot tell the difference between the original shards and the fakes that he made the previous time. In this way a remembered event gradually becomes a myth that may have only a marginal affinity with the original.

Our perception of circumstance as writers is omniscient in the sense that if a ghost is lurking in the graveyard we know about it whereas the protagonist doesn't. I'm not persuaded that we necessarily are able to distinguish hydrangea petiolaris from hydrangea arborescens on the graveyard wall, or even that we are obliged to notice the hydrangea at all if it has no relevance to the plot.
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Re: Dave Wolverton's 10 reasons why he rejects a story

Postby bobsandiego » Sat Jun 14, 2014 8:11 am

There is no doubt a sweet spot in prose description. Complicating matters is that this sweet spot will vary from person to person and editor to editor. (Yes I know I just implied editors aren't people. wotf019 ) This is an aspect that bedevils aspiring works and classic ones as well. (I get terribly bored by Tolkien's details of trees, or Lovecraft's fascination with architecture.)
To me description in prose is something that needs to create an impression of an image, enough so that the readers, without thinking about it, fill in the rest and come away with the illusion of a fully realized setting. Give too little and people are head scratching, lost in white-space, give too much and the pacing dies and the readers become bored.
From the daily kicks and such I would guess that Dave, as a reader and an editor, wants a few more details that some other require, but I don't think he's asking for an inventory of descriptors.
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Re: Dave Wolverton's 10 reasons why he rejects a story

Postby george nik. » Sat Jun 14, 2014 2:14 pm

Isto wrote:
Kary English wrote:The contest is a proxy for what it's like to submit to a pro level short fiction market. The editors there aren't looking for stories that are really good, except for some missing description, or some grammar stuff, or a slightly flat character arc, etc. They're looking for top-notch stories that are publishable as-is, with a once-over from a proofreader.

Dave isn't looking for pages upon pages of description down to every last detail. He's looking for description that transports the reader into the setting, a character the reader can care about, an engaging initial conflict, and stellar writing.

One typo on a page won't kill your chances, but three or four will. Same for too many grammar errors or too much passive voice, or any of a number of things that would get your story rejected at any other pro market. You'll run into editorial taste at pro markets, too. An Analog story is not a Beneath Ceaseless Skies story. Rejection stings, but it's tough love. HM stories in this contest are darn good stories, and semis are even better, but they're the top 10% of well over a thousand entries each quarter.

In reality, I think winning this contest is *harder* than selling to a pro market. There are plenty of us on this board who have pro sales, sometimes more than one, who haven't won yet. Some of us will sell so many stories to pro markets that we'll pro out, which means we're not allowed to enter anymore because we're no longer considered amateurs.That alone says that winning is harder than selling to pro mags.

That said, there are only three possibilities with this contest. You enter until:

1) You win.
2) You pro out.
3) You quit.

Number three is completely under your control, so don't quit. Keep writing and keep entering. But realize that this isn't an easy win.



4) Or you die.

On the reread, that sounded more morbid than funny. Sorry.


It's neither morbid nor funny. It's reality. wotf014

Anyway, I can't control 4) but 3) is not an option. Until very recently I would bet good money that I'd pro out before I'd win the contest. Now that I've been semi-finalist and I've been told I was a hair's breadth away from being a finalist--while I still haven't got one pro sale--I'm beginning to think I should reconsider the odds.
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Re: Dave Wolverton's 10 reasons why he rejects a story

Postby Martin L. Shoemaker » Sat Jun 14, 2014 2:22 pm

george nik. wrote:Until very recently I would bet good money that I'd pro out before I'd win the contest. Now that I've been semi-finalist and I've been told I was a hair's breadth away from being a finalist--while I still haven't got one pro sale--I'm beginning to think I should reconsider the odds.


I never bet money, only fine meals. That way even if I lose, I enjoy a fine meal with a friend. So considering you've made Semi-Finalist not even in your native language (have I mentioned lately how much that impresses me?), I bet a fine meal that you'll see a win before pro'ing out. My hope is I'll be able to collect on that bet at the V31 workshop.
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WRITE! WRITE! WRITE! WRITE! WRITE!
SUBMIT! SUBMIT! SUBMIT! SUBMIT! SUBMIT!
REPEAT! REPEAT! REPEAT! REPEAT! REPEAT!
Patience. Patience. Patience. Patience. Patience.
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Re: Dave Wolverton's 10 reasons why he rejects a story

Postby george nik. » Sun Jun 15, 2014 6:59 am

Martin L. Shoemaker wrote:
george nik. wrote:Until very recently I would bet good money that I'd pro out before I'd win the contest. Now that I've been semi-finalist and I've been told I was a hair's breadth away from being a finalist--while I still haven't got one pro sale--I'm beginning to think I should reconsider the odds.


I never bet money, only fine meals. That way even if I lose, I enjoy a fine meal with a friend. So considering you've made Semi-Finalist not even in your native language (have I mentioned lately how much that impresses me?), I bet a fine meal that you'll see a win before pro'ing out. My hope is I'll be able to collect on that bet at the V31 workshop.

Martin, I'm definitely willing to accept that bet wotf007
And I'll be cheering you on wotf024
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Re: Dave Wolverton's 10 reasons why he rejects a story

Postby MickeyHunt » Sun Jun 15, 2014 10:12 am

Interesting discussions here. What appeals to me about the contest is the community. It's smart of the creators to give honors in degrees, even if most are non-cash. Contests that only award Finalists and Winners are discouraging. An HM or SF keeps your going. Even if you receive an R, the higher place could be just around the corner with the next entry.

On detail, of course, you need what's necessary. The rest is "season to taste." I prefer to not describe characters at all, unless it's important to the story. Age and gender is enough, plus what can be shown through their words and decisions. As for setting, it depends upon its role. More exotic settings require more description. Also, I'm thinking of the novels of Thomas Hardy where the setting is almost a character.

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Re: Dave Wolverton's 10 reasons why he rejects a story

Postby daches » Wed Oct 22, 2014 1:04 pm

I didn't want to requote Dave's entire article, but I had a question about the follow up article that he mentioned at the bottom. He said he was going to talk about problems writers run into they won't get a story rejected but might keep them from climbing above HM.

I'm super interested in reading this, anyone have a link?

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Re: Dave Wolverton's 10 reasons why he rejects a story

Postby Martin L. Shoemaker » Wed Oct 22, 2014 1:17 pm

daches wrote:I didn't want to requote Dave's entire article, but I had a question about the follow up article that he mentioned at the bottom. He said he was going to talk about problems writers run into they won't get a story rejected but might keep them from climbing above HM.

I'm super interested in reading this, anyone have a link?


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(Well, funny.)

(Well, amusing.)

(Well... wotf013 )
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WRITE! WRITE! WRITE! WRITE! WRITE!
SUBMIT! SUBMIT! SUBMIT! SUBMIT! SUBMIT!
REPEAT! REPEAT! REPEAT! REPEAT! REPEAT!
Patience. Patience. Patience. Patience. Patience.
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Re: Dave Wolverton's 10 reasons why he rejects a story

Postby daches » Wed Oct 22, 2014 1:19 pm

Martin L. Shoemaker wrote:
daches wrote:I didn't want to requote Dave's entire article, but I had a question about the follow up article that he mentioned at the bottom. He said he was going to talk about problems writers run into they won't get a story rejected but might keep them from climbing above HM.

I'm super interested in reading this, anyone have a link?


I am... The Link Commander!

(Really, if you worked where I do, that would be hilarious.)

(Well, funny.)

(Well, amusing.)

(Well... wotf013 )


Yes! Martin Shoemaker, you the real mvp. wotf010

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Re: Dave Wolverton's 10 reasons why he rejects a story

Postby LDWriter2 » Tue Jan 06, 2015 10:11 pm

This may not be listed in his ten reasons, but earlier tonight I was reading one of Dave's Kicks dealing with twists. I'm a bit behind on my reading of his kicks, so this might not be new to some of you. Anyway, the Kick dealt with not only plot twists, but setting, character and action.


I used to put in little twists when I started writing seriously. I found it natural for me to do that. When I realized that I thought, yeah, that could be a good way for someone would know my writing. But I believe I stopped doing that somewhere along the way. I've tried to start it up again, but I'm not sure how I'm doing with it. The last few stories have had some twists, with characters, settings and such, but they don't seem to be the same type I used to put in. Still good I think, but not quite the same.


I will keep putting in twists. That is why I stopped work on a SF story I started. I wanted does type of twist to the usual type of SF tale I was working on, but couldn't come up with anything. It wouldn't have to be big, but noticeable.
Working on turning Lead into Gold.

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The latest was Q1'12
HM-quarter 4 Volume 32
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: Dave Wolverton's 10 reasons why he rejects a story

Postby E.CaimanSands » Wed Jan 07, 2015 5:41 am

Isto wrote:
Kary English wrote:The contest is a proxy for what it's like to submit to a pro level short fiction market. The editors there aren't looking for stories that are really good, except for some missing description, or some grammar stuff, or a slightly flat character arc, etc. They're looking for top-notch stories that are publishable as-is, with a once-over from a proofreader.

Dave isn't looking for pages upon pages of description down to every last detail. He's looking for description that transports the reader into the setting, a character the reader can care about, an engaging initial conflict, and stellar writing.

One typo on a page won't kill your chances, but three or four will. Same for too many grammar errors or too much passive voice, or any of a number of things that would get your story rejected at any other pro market. You'll run into editorial taste at pro markets, too. An Analog story is not a Beneath Ceaseless Skies story. Rejection stings, but it's tough love. HM stories in this contest are darn good stories, and semis are even better, but they're the top 10% of well over a thousand entries each quarter.

In reality, I think winning this contest is *harder* than selling to a pro market. There are plenty of us on this board who have pro sales, sometimes more than one, who haven't won yet. Some of us will sell so many stories to pro markets that we'll pro out, which means we're not allowed to enter anymore because we're no longer considered amateurs.That alone says that winning is harder than selling to pro mags.

That said, there are only three possibilities with this contest. You enter until:

1) You win.
2) You pro out.
3) You quit.

Number three is completely under your control, so don't quit. Keep writing and keep entering. But realize that this isn't an easy win.



4) Or you die.

On the reread, that sounded more morbid than funny. Sorry.


Reading through the old threads, I was about to add that #4 -- You die -- Isto, but you beat me to it.

Don't forget #5 -- You get eaten by alligators. wotf007

I think that comes under #4, Gator...

Oh yes, I suppose it does! wotf006
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Re: Dave Wolverton's 10 reasons why he rejects a story

Postby amoskalik » Wed Jan 07, 2015 6:13 am

How about
5) Get transported to another dimension where WOTF doesn't exist (although the Jibber jabber Q1 29 thread would still be there.)
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Re: Dave Wolverton's 10 reasons why he rejects a story

Postby Kary English » Wed Jan 07, 2015 7:11 am

amoskalik wrote:How about
5) Get transported to another dimension where WOTF doesn't exist (although the Jibber jabber Q1 29 thread would still be there.)


6) It's just a jump to the left...
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Re: Dave Wolverton's 10 reasons why he rejects a story

Postby E.CaimanSands » Wed Jan 07, 2015 12:20 pm

amoskalik wrote:How about
5) Get transported to another dimension where WOTF doesn't exist (although the Jibber jabber Q1 29 thread would still be there.)


Yes, that would be a legitimate 5th option I reckon.
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Re: Dave Wolverton's 10 reasons why he rejects a story

Postby Isto » Wed Jan 07, 2015 8:49 pm

For a little while, I thought I was going to achieve number 4. The flu has hit hard in our area.
And, yeah, this is the version not covered by my flu shot. Holy Toledo. (I'm sure they have it there, too.)
Number 5 sounds a lot more fun.
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Re: Dave Wolverton's 10 reasons why he rejects a story

Postby Ishmael » Tue Jan 27, 2015 3:29 am

Kary English wrote:
amoskalik wrote:How about
5) Get transported to another dimension where WOTF doesn't exist (although the Jibber jabber Q1 29 thread would still be there.)


6) It's just a jump to the left...


It's just a jump to the left
Not a grey hair in sight,
You should throw in some quips,
Just to show you can write,
You know the way time slips
Away it drives you insayayayayane!
Le'ts all do 29 again!

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Re: Dave Wolverton's 10 reasons why he rejects a story

Postby ThomasKCarpenter » Tue Jan 27, 2015 3:45 am

Kary English wrote:
amoskalik wrote:How about
5) Get transported to another dimension where WOTF doesn't exist (although the Jibber jabber Q1 29 thread would still be there.)


6) It's just a jump to the left...


7) And then a step to the riiiight
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Re: Dave Wolverton's 10 reasons why he rejects a story

Postby amoskalik » Tue Jan 27, 2015 6:30 am

ThomasKCarpenter wrote:
Kary English wrote:
amoskalik wrote:How about
5) Get transported to another dimension where WOTF doesn't exist (although the Jibber jabber Q1 29 thread would still be there.)


6) It's just a jump to the left...


7) And then a step to the riiiight


Ha ha, I didn't pick up on that one at first.

8) but it's the pelvic thrust ...
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Re: Dave Wolverton's 10 reasons why he rejects a story

Postby Isto » Tue Jan 27, 2015 2:01 pm

Holds a fired up charcoal lighter high and sings softly, "I see a light."

Please let it be the end of my current rewrite. By the way, do many R rewrites do any better the second time around? I've done a major rewrite of a story with a very flat ending. I've correct font and beefed up the front somewhat. But it is, in essence, the same basic story with a very different ending. Worth a try ? Or is it better to finish the other story I've been working on that I'm not in love with but is more obviously futuristic? Decisions, decisions. I suppose it would help not to work on four stories at the same time.
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Re: Dave Wolverton's 10 reasons why he rejects a story

Postby amoskalik » Tue Jan 27, 2015 5:11 pm

Isto wrote:Holds a fired up charcoal lighter high and sings softly, "I see a light."

Please let it be the end of my current rewrite. By the way, do many R rewrites do any better the second time around? I've done a major rewrite of a story with a very flat ending. I've correct font and beefed up the front somewhat. But it is, in essence, the same basic story with a very different ending. Worth a try ? Or is it better to finish the other story I've been working on that I'm not in love with but is more obviously futuristic? Decisions, decisions. I suppose it would help not to work on four stories at the same time.


When did you receive your R, early in the quarter or near the end? If the later then the stronger ending would make a difference I'd guess, but if you R'd out early, then chances are Dave never read the previous ending anyway.
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Re: Dave Wolverton's 10 reasons why he rejects a story

Postby Isto » Tue Jan 27, 2015 8:36 pm

amoskalik wrote:
Isto wrote:Holds a fired up charcoal lighter high and sings softly, "I see a light."

Please let it be the end of my current rewrite. By the way, do many R rewrites do any better the second time around? I've done a major rewrite of a story with a very flat ending. I've correct font and beefed up the front somewhat. But it is, in essence, the same basic story with a very different ending. Worth a try ? Or is it better to finish the other story I've been working on that I'm not in love with but is more obviously futuristic? Decisions, decisions. I suppose it would help not to work on four stories at the same time.


When did you receive your R, early in the quarter or near the end? If the later then the stronger ending would make a difference I'd guess, but if you R'd out early, then chances are Dave never read the previous ending anyway.


It was very early. So, I'll forget about the reentry and send it elsewhere. It is definitely not sci-fi and not really fantasy. I wouldn't classify it as horror either, though it deals with legendary characters of Death. So, I'm not really sure what it is, but I may try the more speculative or mainstream journals. It begins quite 'normally' and gets weird later. Thanks for the input.
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Re: Dave Wolverton's 10 reasons why he rejects a story

Postby Ishmael » Wed Jan 28, 2015 4:01 am

Isto wrote: It begins quite 'normally' and gets weird later. Thanks for the input.


You see, some people like the slow burner, but Dave does not appear to be one. They do tell me it's a European writing trait and makes it harder for Europeans to sell in the US until they learn not to do it. This being the case, you might want to try something like Black Static.

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