Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Open topics on the Contest itself, to include results-watch threads and other items of note.
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Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge! Vol. 36

Postby jficke13 » Mon Mar 11, 2019 6:08 am

Wulf Moon wrote:
[...] Finalists (usually eight) do know they are in the running--the contest administrator calls them, but they're under strict orders not to tell anyone. [...]



If finalists are ordered not to reveal that they're finalists during the time period between when they're notified they are a finalist and when they hear whether or not they placed, that's new. That was certainly not the case in my quarter, and if you go back through the quarterly threads on the board you'll see many, many instances of people talking about the wait to hear if F becomes 1/2/3.

Heck, telling people is the *only* valuable part of the "you're a finalist, now wait" procedure. Getting to find a foxhole with other people under the same crazy circumstances leads to great friendships/writing-relationships. Without that benefit there's absolutely no upshot to the contest creating the added anxiety (unless the contest does it just so that winners will all have dramatic shared experiences that end in joy and thus to create good PR fodder).

The only thing that was close to a "sworn to secrecy" thing was that when I got the "you won" call, Joni initially said "don't tell anyone for a few minutes... actually, no you're the last person I needed to reach so go ahead. I just don't want someone to find out they didn't win because 1, 2, and 3 all posted about it without me getting a chance to tell them myself."
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Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge! Vol. 36

Postby Wulf Moon » Mon Mar 11, 2019 3:50 pm

Well, Jon, I can't speak for your quarter. I can, however, speak for mine. Which was the latest.
Wulf Moon http://driftweave.com
Q4 Vol 35 "Super-Duper Moongirl..."
Critters Readers Award: #1, "War Dog," Best SF&F Short Story of 2018
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Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge! Vol. 36

Postby thegirlintheglasses » Mon Mar 11, 2019 4:59 pm

Wulf Moon wrote:Well, Jon, I can't speak for your quarter. I can, however, speak for mine. Which was the latest.

I was also a finalist last quarter and also told to remain quiet until the second call (as I didn't win, I immediately posted my results after call two. I was still pretty stoked). Shrug.
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Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge! Vol. 36

Postby jficke13 » Mon Mar 11, 2019 5:21 pm

Interesting. I wonder why the change?
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Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge! Vol. 36

Postby DoctorJest » Mon Mar 11, 2019 10:00 pm

And I'm falling back to the position of using a largely elaborated flash story I wrote before -- it's not at all what I'd planned to do, but work schedule just yanked the wheels off my carefully-planned trolley of the month, and this is something I can definitely complete and get out in time for the contest deadline, even with my spare time being run ragged for the next few weeks.
WotF: R:0 / HM:5 / sHM:2 / SF:0 / F:0
Pending entries: Q4.v36 is in!

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Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge! Vol. 36

Postby Wulf Moon » Tue Mar 12, 2019 1:41 am

DoctorJest wrote:And I'm falling back to the position of using a largely elaborated flash story I wrote before -- it's not at all what I'd planned to do, but work schedule just yanked the wheels off my carefully-planned trolley of the month, and this is something I can definitely complete and get out in time for the contest deadline, even with my spare time being run ragged for the next few weeks.


Stuff happens, Doctor Jest. Good you are getting something in, in spite of life issues!

Cheers!
Wulf Moon http://driftweave.com
Q4 Vol 35 "Super-Duper Moongirl..."
Critters Readers Award: #1, "War Dog," Best SF&F Short Story of 2018
NEW! "Weep No More..." DEEP MAGIC Fall 2019 http://amazon.com/author/wulfmoon

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Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge! Vol. 36

Postby storysinger » Tue Mar 12, 2019 6:18 am

I've spent the last couple of weeks reading Orson Scott Card's Homecoming Series(5 volumes).
Very unique style. I guess that's why he is such a successful author.
Now it's time to get down to some serious writing. wotf042
HM-1
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Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge! Vol. 36

Postby michaeljwyantjr » Tue Mar 12, 2019 9:08 am

Hey folks. It looks like I'll be dropping out of this specific challenge (still in for 4 in 36!). I have an old HM that's recently gone through heavy revision and I think has a chance at winning. So... I'm going to pitch that in for Q2 especially since the story I was writing for Q2 won't be quite ready. It's complicated and requires a LOT of hooking and internal resonance checking before I send it in. Alas.

Best of luck to everyone else!
WotF Results:
  • R:5
  • HM:6
  • sHM:0
  • SF:1
  • F:0
  • Last: Pending, Q4 v36

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Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge! Vol. 36

Postby KD Julicher » Tue Mar 12, 2019 9:36 am

jficke13 wrote:Interesting. I wonder why the change?



There was a twitter thing about a year ago where some folks with grievances against the contest were getting pretty pushy. I suspect the contest administrators are trying to protect finalists from having well-meaning busybodies harass them to "warn" about all the dire things that could happen if they win the contest - like having their story published, going to Hollywood, undertaking a workshop with some of the best teachers in the industry.
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Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge! Vol. 36

Postby Wulf Moon » Tue Mar 12, 2019 11:11 am

KD Julicher wrote:
jficke13 wrote:Interesting. I wonder why the change?



There was a twitter thing about a year ago where some folks with grievances against the contest were getting pretty pushy. I suspect the contest administrators are trying to protect finalists from having well-meaning busybodies harass them to "warn" about all the dire things that could happen if they win the contest - like having their story published, going to Hollywood, undertaking a workshop with some of the best teachers in the industry.


That is exactly what I believe as well, KD. Thanks. And for another reason that occurred then, but let's all go back to the topic--how to win this contest by writing fresh stories! Sorry to those that have to bow out--life does get in the way of best intentions sometimes. You tried. I would still say you can write a fresh story in about a day and still pull off a win, but as Obiwan said to Luke: "You must do what you feel is right, of course." wotf007

Any last thoughts on THINGS GET WORSE? Great comments so far, but I know there's more of you in this challenge! Weigh in, challenge beasts!

~Beastmaster Moon~
Wulf Moon http://driftweave.com
Q4 Vol 35 "Super-Duper Moongirl..."
Critters Readers Award: #1, "War Dog," Best SF&F Short Story of 2018
NEW! "Weep No More..." DEEP MAGIC Fall 2019 http://amazon.com/author/wulfmoon

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Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge! Vol. 36

Postby disgruntledpeony » Tue Mar 12, 2019 11:48 am

Wulf Moon wrote:I would still say you can write a fresh story in about a day and still pull off a win, but as Obiwan said to Luke: "You must do what you feel is right, of course." wotf007

I would argue that I couldn't, simply because babies, but give me a week and I might be able to make something work. wotf019 (Extenuating circumstances, essentially.)
If a person offend you, and you are in doubt as to whether it was intentional or not, do not resort to extreme measures; simply watch your chance and hit him with a brick. ~ Mark Twain

R, SF, SHM, SHM, SHM, F, R, HM, SHM, R, HM, R, ?

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Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge! Vol. 36

Postby RSchibler » Tue Mar 12, 2019 12:05 pm

I am not a conflict-lover by nature, and that's often reflected in my writing. I want everything to be happy, peaceful, and so I fix things for my protagonists too early, too often, and too easily. That's boring, though, and it's not going to drive the reader to find out what happens next. If everything is okay, well then, who cares what happens next? I like to remind myself of the commercial breaks in television. Just before each commercial break, great shows will leave the characters in a bind, a conflict, a problem. Otherwise you might go get your popcorn and never return to the show! But if you leave the viewer (reader, in our case) on the edge of their seat, they're not going to miss the next segment. When I edit my stories, I try to look for those moments and build them up. "BUT WHAT HAPPENED THEN?" is the question we want our readers asking after every scene.

(unrelated thought, I wonder how writing for television has changed with the shift toward streaming? No more commercial breaks to build the plot structure around, so does the tension rise more slowly? Do they keep those same breaks in, but without the viewer loss to advertising? Inquiring minds are curious.)
Trying to refute entropy with words.

Vol34: R, HM, R
Vol35: HM, R, R, HM
Vol36: R, HM, HM, pending

ALWAYS available for critiques. PM me.


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Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge! Vol. 36

Postby TimE » Tue Mar 12, 2019 12:09 pm

Succeeding first time wouldn't be much of a challenge. But failure is an opportunity to see how the prot. reacts when things get worse. Second and third attempts demonstrate more of the prot. character - maybe he has to be cleverer or find allies he wouldn't normally, he has to be creative. He/she gets more of our support if we admire his tries and how he deals with defeat. And failure again is likely to result in a damaging response by the bad guy. Can/should the prot try again when he's seen what can happen if he fails? Friends punished or whatever? So the third try is the biggest risk, the highest tension, shows the characters at their bravest.

My Q2 story doesn't fit the 3 try/fail attempts - though there's a sort of ongoing try for something.
My Q1 story has 3 try/fail attempts, and things are definitely worse for the 3rd, but I have gone about it differently.
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Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge! Vol. 36

Postby Dragonchef » Tue Mar 12, 2019 12:32 pm

There are no "real" commercial breaks in literature, save for the quick run to the outhouse, the refrigerator, or the seldom seen night out on the town. And, of course, when your eyes close in the middle of the page only to reopen when your dog is sticking his or her nose in your face to let you know it's breakfast time.

Streams don't need commercials as most are paid for by the streamers (streamees?) --Netflix, Amazon Prime. Not to mention that commercial breaks don't always, or usually, return to the last scene which left you hanging and dashing for the popcorn.

As readers, if the book is that good, we sometimes need to sit the book down for a moment while we catch our breath since the last few pages removed it from us. THAT is what we shoot for as writers--to give our readers that ever increasing, chapter to chapter, orgasm of fear or hatred or excitement, enough to make our readers put that book down and breathe. Lectio interruptus.
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Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge! Vol. 36

Postby RSchibler » Tue Mar 12, 2019 3:04 pm

That's kind of what I was getting at, the need to keep the tension and interest rising, the emotional investment of the reader climbing throughout the book. Compared to the way tv shows often end the scene before commercial break with a kind of "DUH DUH DUUUUUUUUUUUUH" moment, to keep their viewers glued to the couch.
Trying to refute entropy with words.

Vol34: R, HM, R
Vol35: HM, R, R, HM
Vol36: R, HM, HM, pending

ALWAYS available for critiques. PM me.


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Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge! Vol. 36

Postby Wulf Moon » Tue Mar 12, 2019 4:49 pm

disgruntledpeony wrote:
Wulf Moon wrote:I would still say you can write a fresh story in about a day and still pull off a win, but as Obiwan said to Luke: "You must do what you feel is right, of course." wotf007

I would argue that I couldn't, simply because babies, but give me a week and I might be able to make something work. wotf019 (Extenuating circumstances, essentially.)


With twins, you get a time extension, disgruntledpeony. And a DeLorean with a flux capacitor. wotf001

That said, the WotF workshop has a 24 hour story session. Most of us know about it, so I won't discuss it now. It's to teach us we are often capable of much more than we believe. Pushing limits can reveal new potential.

You might be surprised. (This is the plural you. I'm talking to all of our challenge beasts here.)

~Moon~
Wulf Moon http://driftweave.com
Q4 Vol 35 "Super-Duper Moongirl..."
Critters Readers Award: #1, "War Dog," Best SF&F Short Story of 2018
NEW! "Weep No More..." DEEP MAGIC Fall 2019 http://amazon.com/author/wulfmoon

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Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge! Vol. 36

Postby RSchibler » Tue Mar 12, 2019 4:54 pm

I’m not exaggerating when I say I’ve had multiple nightmares about that 24 hour story. Not the writing, the first bit.

Talking to a STRANGER? On purpose?!

We all have our fears, I suppose.
Trying to refute entropy with words.

Vol34: R, HM, R
Vol35: HM, R, R, HM
Vol36: R, HM, HM, pending

ALWAYS available for critiques. PM me.


https://www.flametreepublishing.com/A-Dying-Planet-Short-Stories-ISBN-9781787557819.html

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Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge! Vol. 36

Postby AnikeKirsten » Tue Mar 12, 2019 10:14 pm

Ha. Yeah, that's the biggest hurdle for me if I win. Talking to people, even familiar ones, is a challenge. I reckon the 24-hour story isn't quite as daunting as we may initially think. I've been using the SF London 48-hour challenge for a few years now, not subbing, just as a personal motivator to push myself, and it's quite something else. Not easy, mind you, but doable when you get to the moment you need to start. Funny how the muse awakens when put on an extreme deadline. I also think the herd factor comes into play in making it a tad easier, in knowing your fellow writers are doing it right there with you and the camaraderie of that can be some potent fuel.
- V.35: Q4 - SHM
- V.36: Q1 - HM | V.36: Q2 - R (thanks OpenOffice) | V.36: Q4 - Pending
- V.37: Q1 - Pending


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Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge! Vol. 36

Postby SCAFontaine » Tue Mar 12, 2019 10:25 pm

Do things really have to get 'worse' or can the stakes simply be raised? Conflict comes in different packages.
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Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge! Vol. 36

Postby disgruntledpeony » Wed Mar 13, 2019 1:42 am

SCAFontaine wrote:Do things really have to get 'worse' or can the stakes simply be raised? Conflict comes in different packages.

Stakes getting raised = things getting worse, essentially, in my opinion. More needs to be on the line after every plot point. Tension should ratchet higher with every choice. Then again, these are Wulf's tips, not mine, and he may have a different opinion.
If a person offend you, and you are in doubt as to whether it was intentional or not, do not resort to extreme measures; simply watch your chance and hit him with a brick. ~ Mark Twain

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Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge! Vol. 36

Postby Wulf Moon » Wed Mar 13, 2019 12:04 pm

disgruntledpeony wrote:
SCAFontaine wrote:Do things really have to get 'worse' or can the stakes simply be raised? Conflict comes in different packages.

Stakes getting raised = things getting worse, essentially, in my opinion. More needs to be on the line after every plot point. Tension should ratchet higher with every choice. Then again, these are Wulf's tips, not mine, and he may have a different opinion.


Nope. Same opinion, Liz. Because it's right! wotf007

I'll do my comments soon, but I've got two podcasts I'm wrapping up for Future Science Fiction Digest, and one of those goes live at 12:01 am this Friday, and I didn't get the galleys until a few days ago. Nobody knows how much time goes into these things. I have over thirty hours into the one I did for Lawrence Schoen's "The Rule of Three" that Future SF Digest published in its first issue. We were hoping it would get nominated for a Nebula, so I did a *lot* of extra work on it. And all our work paid off! Anyhow, I will post soon on the latest SUPER SECRET, but all of you are right on! In the meantime, I hope you'll check us out on Friday's release of Issue #2 at future-sf.com. This first story I narrated is a fun one, and it's free to enjoy!

Cheers!
Wulf Moon http://driftweave.com
Q4 Vol 35 "Super-Duper Moongirl..."
Critters Readers Award: #1, "War Dog," Best SF&F Short Story of 2018
NEW! "Weep No More..." DEEP MAGIC Fall 2019 http://amazon.com/author/wulfmoon

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Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge! Vol. 36

Postby AnikeKirsten » Wed Mar 13, 2019 10:24 pm

The Rule of Three was a brilliant story! I still think about it whenever I buy groceries. How dark am I? I do some craft and sewing, making my own stuff but is it enough to offset some of the dark?

It's a story I think everyone should read.
- V.35: Q4 - SHM
- V.36: Q1 - HM | V.36: Q2 - R (thanks OpenOffice) | V.36: Q4 - Pending
- V.37: Q1 - Pending


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Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge! Vol. 36

Postby Wulf Moon » Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:47 am

AnikeKirsten wrote:The Rule of Three was a brilliant story! I still think about it whenever I buy groceries. How dark am I? I do some craft and sewing, making my own stuff but is it enough to offset some of the dark?

It's a story I think everyone should read.


Or listen to! wotf001 May it win the Nebula!

http://future-sf.com/podcasts/the-rule- ... e-podcast/

Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts, Anike!

As mentioned, my next is up at midnight tonight, 12:01 am Pacific Time. This one comes from Holland. Truly international SF!
Wulf Moon http://driftweave.com
Q4 Vol 35 "Super-Duper Moongirl..."
Critters Readers Award: #1, "War Dog," Best SF&F Short Story of 2018
NEW! "Weep No More..." DEEP MAGIC Fall 2019 http://amazon.com/author/wulfmoon

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Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge! Vol. 36

Postby chuckt » Sat Mar 16, 2019 1:00 pm

Okay Wulf and Brittany. Got first draft finished on my Q3 entry! I don't even have an inkling of an idea for Q4 but that's months away.

Wulf-listening to the podcast now. You do a great job!
Last edited by chuckt on Sat Mar 16, 2019 4:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
36 R,R,R, Pending

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Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge! Vol. 36

Postby disgruntledpeony » Sat Mar 16, 2019 2:59 pm

chuckt wrote:Okay Wulf and Brittany. Got first draft finished on my Q3 entry!

Chuck--you should edit your post to remove specific details of your entry. This contest is anonymous, and we wouldn't want your story to get disqualified because you said something on the forum that could be traced back to you.
If a person offend you, and you are in doubt as to whether it was intentional or not, do not resort to extreme measures; simply watch your chance and hit him with a brick. ~ Mark Twain

R, SF, SHM, SHM, SHM, F, R, HM, SHM, R, HM, R, ?

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Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge! Vol. 36

Postby chuckt » Sat Mar 16, 2019 4:09 pm

disgruntledpeony wrote:
chuckt wrote:Okay Wulf and Brittany. Got first draft finished on my Q3 entry!

Chuck--you should edit your post to remove specific details of your entry. This contest is anonymous, and we wouldn't want your story to get disqualified because you said something on the forum that could be traced back to you.


Doah!
36 R,R,R, Pending

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Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge! Vol. 36

Postby JVAshley » Sat Mar 16, 2019 4:45 pm

wotf005 I am Only Almost finished with my 1st Draft of Q2.
But I am still half a month ahead of last quarter. wotf011
1x SF
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2x R

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Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge! Vol. 36

Postby disgruntledpeony » Sun Mar 17, 2019 7:03 am

chuckt wrote:
disgruntledpeony wrote:
chuckt wrote:Okay Wulf and Brittany. Got first draft finished on my Q3 entry!

Chuck--you should edit your post to remove specific details of your entry. This contest is anonymous, and we wouldn't want your story to get disqualified because you said something on the forum that could be traced back to you.


Doah!

No worries, it happens every so often. wotf007 I always try to help out with that kind of thing.

I've finished my first draft. Waiting on a couple of critiques and letting it breathe until after the weekend. (Wondering if I have time to take a crack at a story for the Flame Tree call. Very sorely tempted to make the attempt in case my qualifying stories don't come back from their respective markets.)
If a person offend you, and you are in doubt as to whether it was intentional or not, do not resort to extreme measures; simply watch your chance and hit him with a brick. ~ Mark Twain

R, SF, SHM, SHM, SHM, F, R, HM, SHM, R, HM, R, ?

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Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge! Vol. 36

Postby Wulf Moon » Sun Mar 17, 2019 11:31 am

chuckt wrote:Okay Wulf and Brittany. Got first draft finished on my Q3 entry! I don't even have an inkling of an idea for Q4 but that's months away.

Wulf-listening to the podcast now. You do a great job!


Thanks for listening, chuckt! I hope you'll leave a comment in the box on that podcast page at Future Science Fiction Digest. It's so lonely... wotf007

All the beast,

Moon
Wulf Moon http://driftweave.com
Q4 Vol 35 "Super-Duper Moongirl..."
Critters Readers Award: #1, "War Dog," Best SF&F Short Story of 2018
NEW! "Weep No More..." DEEP MAGIC Fall 2019 http://amazon.com/author/wulfmoon

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Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge! Vol. 36

Postby DoctorJest » Sun Mar 17, 2019 3:27 pm

I've got that Q2 entry in now, with today's final read-through complete. I have a sense of when my revisions mean I'm starting to get pedantic, which is generally speaking my stopping point -- I reached that today.

And thanks to being pushed aside, I already have my second draft for Q3 ready -- all that remains is to finalise it, which I am blessed with time to do, and then roll onto my Q4.

I've been rethinking my decision for which story I'll be putting together for Q4, though. My quarters are all jumbled from my initial plan -- my Q2 entry was, in the end, what I'd provisionally intended to work up for Q4 if I had no better ideas (it was good to have it in hand, so I feel fortunate that I thought ahead enough to have something I could pull out last minute). But my intended Q3, which would now possibly become my Q4 entry for the year, is a comic piece -- and I have a more serious alternative competing with it, which is a story that I'm also very keen to write. Once, some years ago, I wrote maybe the first five hundred words of it, then set it aside because I didn't know where to take it from there. I think it's a story I'd love to explore further, though, and might be a good fit for the contest if I did.

So I have a little thinking to do -- but plenty of time to do the thinking, which is a nice luxury to have for a change.
WotF: R:0 / HM:5 / sHM:2 / SF:0 / F:0
Pending entries: Q4.v36 is in!


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