Wulf 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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Wulf Moon
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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby Wulf Moon » Sat Dec 14, 2019 2:39 pm

Retro wrotnatuare:
"19. How to manage the business aspects of writing. I enjoy writing and love being in creative mode. The concept of author websites and Twitter and social media is daunting, as is audible books, podcasts, and the like. It's patently clear that today's author not only has to please his/her audience, he or she now have the added burden of being sales people, bookkeepers, accountants and P/R people and publicists."

Again, question #19 produces the most interesting in a set of interesting responses. If a writer wishes to have a successful career in today's world, they cannot ignore the business and social media side of writing, handing it off to someone else. They must tackles their "weak spot" and figure out how to make it their strength. Studying how other successful writers manage this, and going to seminars like Superstars where all the speakers are experienced at these things, can help you figure out how to incorporate some of their systems into your own. One step at a time, learning and adding to your skill set. Good you understand the playing field, Retro.
Wulf Moon http://driftweave.com
Q4 Vol 35 "Super-Duper Moongirl..."
Author page: http://amazon.com/author/wulfmoon
Critter Awards: Wulf Moon BEST AUTHOR 2019; "Super-Duper Moongirl" BEST SF&F STORY of 2019.

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby Wulf Moon » Sat Dec 14, 2019 2:50 pm

FREE BOOK FOR ALL OF YOU CHALLENGE BEASTIES AND CHALLENGE FOLLOWERS!

So last year, my historical fantasy "War Dog" won Critters Readers' Choice Award for Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Short Story of 2018. Well, Third Flatiron published the sequel this past October in INFINITE LIVES: SHORT TALES OF LONGEVITY. So if you'd like to read the continuing tale of the early history of the Spaniard Capricho, FOR FREE, run quick and get the entire double issue anthology right now on Amazon. These offers don't last long, so grab it for your Kindle while you can!

Enjoy! And don't miss Brian Trent's opening story--it's a good one, cross genre. Brian is a WotF winner as well! Five former winners in this antho!

Happy to offer you this free book! Don't forget to leave reviews on Amazon--it really helps with their algorithms for exposure.

Here's the free Kindle version, while it lasts: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07XVN23X6?ta ... mailwwm-20

Cheers!

Wulf Moon
Wulf Moon http://driftweave.com
Q4 Vol 35 "Super-Duper Moongirl..."
Author page: http://amazon.com/author/wulfmoon
Critter Awards: Wulf Moon BEST AUTHOR 2019; "Super-Duper Moongirl" BEST SF&F STORY of 2019.

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby WriterGirl0426 » Sat Dec 14, 2019 4:04 pm

Wulf Moon wrote:So if you'd like to read the continuing tale of the early history of the Spaniard Capricho, FOR FREE, run quick and get the entire double issue anthology right now on Amazon. These offers don't last long, so grab it for your Kindle while you can!


Grabbed my copy, Wulf. :)
I'll be sure to leave a review.
--Tracy
Tracy

V34 Q3: R
V34 Q4: R
V35 Q1: R
V36 Q1: SHM
V36 Q2: SF!!! wotf015
V36 Q3: HM
V36 Q4: SHM
V37 Q1: Pending

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby officer » Sat Dec 14, 2019 5:07 pm

I'm putting 10 first because I have a unique story:

10. How can you target a good agent? In sales, my objective was always to get a face to face with the decision maker, never take no from their gatekeepers. With big agents, face to face is just as important. How can you make that happen? (Again, don't look for this in the essay.)
While not face-to-face, I suggest calling an agent's office early in the morning. Dave says in here not to be afraid to cold-call, and I agree! Receptionists and assistants tend to get to the office at 9 AM. Try calling earlier, and you might connect with the actual agent.

This is how I started writing for TIME, and it previously worked for Rolling Stone (though they didn't ultimately publish my article). I called early enough and a managing editor picked up his own phone. I had already e-mailed in advance and spoken once to their assistants, with no response. I was living in California then, so I woke up at 4 AM specifically to make the calls to NYC. You obviously need to be respectful of their time if you do this, and you should never follow up with a rejection this way. But it worked for me (and they were very friendly). I had zero writing credits to my name at that point.


1. What lesson did David learn about the path to success?
Everyone finds her own path, and it is often not repeatable by others. This should be especially evident from how different every author's story is in the book.

2. What advice--and you might have heard this before somewhere :)--did he give about researching your markets?
Research the target audience - editors, agents, judges, or readers.

3. How can you apply that advice to the WotF contest?
Read Kary's and Dave's works, both fiction and blogs. Read WotF volumes, especially those judged by Dave. Across all those stories, try to discern what values Dave holds for literature.

4. How did Dave struggle for excellence in his writing? (Please ignore the paper and cologne stuff--that world is gone.)
I'd wager he sold in spite of the perfume... but that was in the spirit of trying to represent his work as professionally as possible. When it came to the actual writing, he made lists of various aspects of a good story. Then he would assess his stories against those characteristics and work on perfecting each one. He has such a list in one of his books, and I went through it before submitting last quarter.

5. What advice did he give about seizing opportunities? How does this relate to a change I did in this year's challenge?
Seize the opportunities around you before they go away. That's why we are writing more stories than we can submit to WotF - and trying to sell to other markets. Those sales, rather than placement in WotF, might lead to our long-term success. You never know what will work out, so it's best to keep swinging.

6. How does our subconscious speak to us? Also, while not in the essay, how can we get our subconscious to speak to us without sleeping?
Dave says in dreams, but I never remember my dreams... I've had my best ideas for my (non-writing) career while out and about, or even while talking to friends at bars - almost never at my office. I then implement and realize those ideas later, while formally working. In the same way, we can't just try to come up with story ideas in front of a computer. We need to always be ready to note an idea while we are doing other things.

7. Why is it good to dream big, but not spend all our time dreaming?
As long as we don't waste time, dreaming big means aiming ever higher.

8. When you start making money in writing, according to Dave (and Moon!) what do you want to do with it?
Invest it back in yourself.

9. When we write a novel, do we desperately send it to anyone who handed us their card? Just like with our short stories, what do we want to do?
No. Send it to whomever would best represent you and help further your career. You should care about a publisher's sales, as well. A large publisher can afford to market your book, and they'll have an established audience to whom they're directly advertising.

11. How can you become a "proven author" so that publishers will take your career and novel seriously?
Make sales (including contests).

12. Why is winning Writers of the Future such an important step in this process if you achieve it?
You get both a bestselling anthology sale and the benefits of a formal workshop.

13. How else can you make yourself into a "proven author"?
Sales. Industry reviews (e.g., Locus).

14. Why is it really important to have some noteworthy credits before you pursue an agent or publishing house with your novel?
You will get a much better agent with credits (and especially if you have a book deal already in hand for your first novel - the kind of agent who will accept you without an existing offer is probably not the best agent you can get).

Multiple credits means your work has appealed to various editors and audiences. It also means you are able to work well with others. Editing is a process, and editors have limited time. They'll be happy to know you have proven yourself in working with others.


15. What writing goals did David set for his first novel? What did he do with each scene?
He wanted it to be seen as deep and powerful. He made each scene as engrossing as he possibly could.

16. What does every writer have? Why is it good to have a wise reader?
Blind spots. You want that wise reader (who could be an agent or editor) to illuminate these areas.

17. What are readers and publishers always looking for? How should you capitalize on this with your very first novel?
New blood. If you can write something that critics or readers think is better than the work of established authors (through reviews or sales), then they'll be excited about your upcoming work.

18. True or False. To have a successful writing career, all you need to do is write. Explain.
False. Writing is a business. Great writers will fail to "make it"; others will only succeed after their own deaths. Which likely means they weren't able to invest as much time in their writing as they could had it been a career and paying the bills.

19. Which of David Farland's "Lessons Learned" hit home for you?
Blazing your own path to success. I already know this well from my primary career. Do something unique, and you won't compete against others in the conventional sense. This means emphasizing your strengths and building those up. Too often, we only focus on weaknesses - also important to address our blind spots, but strengths are how we distinguish ourselves from others. We sell on our strengths.
HM, ?

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby Wulf Moon » Sat Dec 14, 2019 5:31 pm

WriterGirl0426 wrote:
Wulf Moon wrote:So if you'd like to read the continuing tale of the early history of the Spaniard Capricho, FOR FREE, run quick and get the entire double issue anthology right now on Amazon. These offers don't last long, so grab it for your Kindle while you can!


Grabbed my copy, Wulf. :)
I'll be sure to leave a review.
--Tracy


Thanks, Tracy! Publishers never seem tell you when they do this--it's for promotion and increased visibility tactics. But it's nice when I can offer a free e-book to friends! I hope the offer sticks around for a bit so more get a chance to read these tales for free. It's already been up for a couple days.

Cheers!
Wulf Moon http://driftweave.com
Q4 Vol 35 "Super-Duper Moongirl..."
Author page: http://amazon.com/author/wulfmoon
Critter Awards: Wulf Moon BEST AUTHOR 2019; "Super-Duper Moongirl" BEST SF&F STORY of 2019.

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby SwiftPotato » Sat Dec 14, 2019 7:48 pm

Wulf Moon wrote:FREE BOOK FOR ALL OF YOU CHALLENGE BEASTIES AND CHALLENGE FOLLOWERS!


Thanks, Moon!! Nabbed a copy and I'll read it over my winter break!
R, 3rd place Q4 v36!!!

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby storysinger » Sun Dec 15, 2019 6:23 am

Hey Wulf, quick question. Is the freebie compatible with the nook? wotf017
HM-V32/Q3
HM-V36/Q4
Today's science fiction is tomorrow's reality.
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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby Wulf Moon » Sun Dec 15, 2019 1:32 pm

storysinger wrote:Hey Wulf, quick question. Is the freebie compatible with the nook? wotf017


I have no idea. And the free offer ended today I see. Sorry. Glad a couple of you were able to grab the book up!

As long as I'm here, rschibbler (Becky) asked me to do an AMA (Ask Me Anything) for Reddit's r/writing community. I'll certainly be talking about Writers of the Future and entering the contest. But right now, you can pre-post questions to the Q&A event that will be live tomorrow from 6pm to 8pm PST. You can also upvote the topic so more see it if you wish. Honestly, you guys know the good questions to ask that can help others, so please post some and I'll be happy to answer! Here's the link:

https://www.reddit.com/r/writing/commen ... _moon_ama/

Also, on Tuesday, December 17th at 1pm PST Chatting With Sherri is interviewing me again. Here's that link: https://www.blogtalkradio.com/rithebard ... -wulf-moon

Okay, that's my stuff. Back to your stuff. Two stories for Q1, which the deadline is fast approaching. Choose your best for WotF and get it in, and send the other to a respectable market. All by midnight, December 31st! Don't miss your deadlines! Your future awaits!

All the beast!

Beastmaster Moon
Wulf Moon http://driftweave.com
Q4 Vol 35 "Super-Duper Moongirl..."
Author page: http://amazon.com/author/wulfmoon
Critter Awards: Wulf Moon BEST AUTHOR 2019; "Super-Duper Moongirl" BEST SF&F STORY of 2019.

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby SwiftPotato » Sun Dec 15, 2019 2:14 pm

Wulf Moon wrote:
storysinger wrote:Hey Wulf, quick question. Is the freebie compatible with the nook? wotf017


I have no idea. And the free offer ended today I see. Sorry. Glad a couple of you were able to grab the book up!

As long as I'm here, rschibbler (Becky) asked me to do an AMA (Ask Me Anything) for Reddit's r/writing community. I'll certainly be talking about Writers of the Future and entering the contest. But right now, you can pre-post questions to the Q&A event that will be live tomorrow from 6pm to 8pm PST. You can also upvote the topic so more see it if you wish. Honestly, you guys know the good questions to ask that can help others, so please post some and I'll be happy to answer! Here's the link:

https://www.reddit.com/r/writing/commen ... _moon_ama/

Also, on Tuesday, December 17th at 1pm PST Chatting With Sherri is interviewing me again. Here's that link: https://www.blogtalkradio.com/rithebard ... -wulf-moon

Okay, that's my stuff. Back to your stuff. Two stories for Q1, which the deadline is fast approaching. Choose your best for WotF and get it in, and send the other to a respectable market. All by midnight, December 31st! Don't miss your deadlines! Your future awaits!

All the beast!

Beastmaster Moon


Sounds like it's a busy week for you! Good for you! I'll do my best to listen to the interview live this time.
R, 3rd place Q4 v36!!!

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby AlexH » Sun Dec 15, 2019 3:05 pm

Best wishes, thegirlintheglasses. I'm having a difficult time health-wise recently. I don't think I'll complete the challenge this quarter, but I hope to be all set for January, and I'll definitely have something to submit. I may have brought it on myself by working too hard, and I was thinking about starting a thread about self-care for writers. Don't worry, Wulf - you gave fair warning about the challenge and you're not killing us off! wotf008 There was a time last year when I wrote and edited much more than the requirement for this challenge, so maybe I'm feeling the delayed KO from that. I wasn't going to say anything as I'm quite a private person, but it's important not to keep burning that midnight oil too often...

I'm back home after a busy week away. On one train journey, I was watching a certain WotF judge give advice on video, when the train stopped here:

Image

I like those little coincidences. Another one the previous night: I went to a gig, and on the way out played a podcast I'd downloaded ages ago. It was recorded at the venue I'd just left. The hosts had never recorded there before, and there are over 100 music venues in London, never mind the number in the UK.

Anyway, onto my answers on voice...

1. What is Voice?
Voice is the writer's style of writing and makes stories their own, that nobody else could write.

2. Why is it so important for writers to protect it?
Our stories won't be our own.

3. Name a few of your favorite writers.
Like Henckel (I'm glad I'm not the only one), I have favourite stories.

4. Now ask yourself: What makes their storytelling style unique? What do you admire that makes you keep going back to the well for more?
I can think of a poet I like a lot of work by, Noel Connor. He's able to make ordinary moments seem beautiful, and say so much with so few words. They're both things we can apply to our writing - making ordinary moments seem beautiful (or seem anything) is about how a particular character would see something.

5. How can a writer get their writing style homogenized?
Too many critiques or not thinking about the impact of those critiques can remove personality and dilute voice. Also, trying to write too much like another author, rather than using them as inspiration and adding your own unique perspective.

6. If our writing sounds like everyone else’s, or simply mimics that of another famous writer, we might sell, but what happens to our chances of breaking out ahead of the pack?
We may be less successful as we have no voice. Readers may enjoy our stories, but if we have no voice, why would they look for more stories from the same writer?

7. What happened to some movies that sought too much input from focus groups?
They were ruined and/or the director's vision was lost.

8. What type of stories did focus groups fail the most at?
Films that went against the grain.

9. What happened when some writers and directors stood their ground?
Success!

10. How do we get more of our individuality onto the page? What can happen if we succeed?
Let off the shackles. Try free-writing. If you suddenly stop enjoying writing, is it because you're not writing in your voice?
35: R R R | 36: R HM R R | 37: ?

Probably free for critique swaps, but double-check in case I'm away.
If you're a new writer and concerned about giving a critique, you're welcome to send me something anyway. :)

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby AlexH » Sun Dec 15, 2019 3:13 pm

Wulf Moon wrote:As long as I'm here, rschibbler (Becky) asked me to do an AMA (Ask Me Anything) for Reddit's r/writing community. I'll certainly be talking about Writers of the Future and entering the contest. But right now, you can pre-post questions to the Q&A event that will be live tomorrow from 6pm to 8pm PST. You can also upvote the topic so more see it if you wish. Honestly, you guys know the good questions to ask that can help others, so please post some and I'll be happy to answer! Here's the link:

It's funny that I could answer some of those questions on your behalf, based on the advice you've given and info you've shared. I guess that may be some forum members responding to your request so the advice can be shared more widely. wotf008

I'm WanderWithMe on Reddit. And as no one's asked about your name yet...
35: R R R | 36: R HM R R | 37: ?

Probably free for critique swaps, but double-check in case I'm away.
If you're a new writer and concerned about giving a critique, you're welcome to send me something anyway. :)

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby WriterGirl0426 » Sun Dec 15, 2019 3:24 pm

Wulf Moon wrote:Thanks, Tracy! Publishers never seem tell you when they do this--it's for promotion and increased visibility tactics. But it's nice when I can offer a free e-book to friends! I hope the offer sticks around for a bit so more get a chance to read these tales for free. It's already been up for a couple days.

Cheers!


Definitely - and I'm looking forward to digging in. At the very least if more people don't get in on the deal, the word will have spread. Anything for marketing these days. :)
You'll find DM is pretty good about keeping you in the loop if they do something like this. I'm hoping they offer more print copies in the future.

--Tracy
Tracy

V34 Q3: R
V34 Q4: R
V35 Q1: R
V36 Q1: SHM
V36 Q2: SF!!! wotf015
V36 Q3: HM
V36 Q4: SHM
V37 Q1: Pending

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby Wulf Moon » Sun Dec 15, 2019 7:37 pm

AlexH wrote:
Wulf Moon wrote:As long as I'm here, rschibbler (Becky) asked me to do an AMA (Ask Me Anything) for Reddit's r/writing community. I'll certainly be talking about Writers of the Future and entering the contest. But right now, you can pre-post questions to the Q&A event that will be live tomorrow from 6pm to 8pm PST. You can also upvote the topic so more see it if you wish. Honestly, you guys know the good questions to ask that can help others, so please post some and I'll be happy to answer! Here's the link:

It's funny that I could answer some of those questions on your behalf, based on the advice you've given and info you've shared. I guess that may be some forum members responding to your request so the advice can be shared more widely. wotf008

I'm WanderWithMe on Reddit. And as no one's asked about your name yet...


Heh, saw your questions, didn't know it was you. I was going to ask WanderWithMe how he/she came up with that cool Reddit name, but knowing it's you, Alex, it all makes perfect sense! Thanks for posting the questions!

Will be answering live on Reddit's r/writing tomorrow, Monday December 16th at 6 pm PST!

Cool story on the Wolverton sign! Dave has said he had some historic Wolverton family figures in England.

All the beast!

Wulf Moon
Wulf Moon http://driftweave.com
Q4 Vol 35 "Super-Duper Moongirl..."
Author page: http://amazon.com/author/wulfmoon
Critter Awards: Wulf Moon BEST AUTHOR 2019; "Super-Duper Moongirl" BEST SF&F STORY of 2019.

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby AlexH » Mon Dec 16, 2019 2:03 am

Yeah, it makes sense! I took it from the title of this song, which is a cover of a song originally from The Twilight Zone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EwUrtZB16PY

That's interesting about Dave's name. I just looked up the origination of the town name, and the de Wolverton family lived there. "Wolverton" also comes from the Anglo-Saxon for "Wulfhere's estate."
35: R R R | 36: R HM R R | 37: ?

Probably free for critique swaps, but double-check in case I'm away.
If you're a new writer and concerned about giving a critique, you're welcome to send me something anyway. :)

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby JESchleicher » Mon Dec 16, 2019 3:41 am

My belated answers on Voice:

1. What is Voice?

How the story is told from the sentence level prose to 5000 feet up.

2. Why is it so important for writers to protect it?

It’s your authorial calling card for readers.

3. Name a few of your favorite writers.

Stephen King, Ursula K Le Guin, & Cormac McCarthy

4. Now ask yourself: What makes their storytelling style unique? What do you admire that makes you keep going back to the well for more?

King has a knack for making characters memorable and believable (often terrifyingly so). There’s also a wicked cadence to his prose that you can tap your foot to.

I’ve only read a couple of Le Guin books, most recently, Left Hand of Darkness. I plan to read much more. She’s a poet, her writing lyrical, her world building masterful.

McCarthy laughs at grammatical convention with self assurance and much bravado. His works are a desert of punctuation (besides the period) and full with run-on sentences that sometimes span half the page. But, man, oh, man, can the man sear an image into you, both brutal and beautiful.


5. How can a writer get their writing style homogenized?

Too many critiques (I’m guilty here with work past), particularly from writers yet proven.



6. If our writing sounds like everyone else’s, or simply mimics that of another famous writer, we might sell, but what happens to our chances of breaking out ahead of the pack?

If we simply write like everyone else, there’s no distinct incentive for anyone to grab your work first, if even at all.


7. What happened to some movies that sought too much input from focus groups?

While I enjoy watching movies, I’m not too aware of the behind the scenes, how the sausage is made etc… Though I can speculate that not much good happened, often much bad.

8. What type of stories did focus groups fail the most at?
See Question 7 w/ addendum to speculation: Innovative movies


9. What happened when some writers and directors stood their ground?
See Question 7 w/ addendum to speculation: much good happened.

10. How do we get more of our individuality onto the page?

Live fully. Think deeply. Read widely & deliberately. Write habitually.

What can happen if we succeed?
We party.
V36 Q4 - R

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby JESchleicher » Mon Dec 16, 2019 3:55 am

FREE BOOK FOR ALL OF YOU CHALLENGE BEASTIES AND CHALLENGE FOLLOWERS!


Thanks, Wulf! I'll dive into it come the Christmas holiday and be sure to leave a review.
V36 Q4 - R

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby SwiftPotato » Mon Dec 16, 2019 6:36 am

Happy Monday morning, all! Today's Monday prompt is: SILENT AFTERMATH. Get out there and kill those darlings!
R, 3rd place Q4 v36!!!

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby Wulf Moon » Mon Dec 16, 2019 10:10 am

JESchleicher wrote: "Live fully. Think deeply. Read widely & deliberately. Write habitually."

Excellent.
Wulf Moon http://driftweave.com
Q4 Vol 35 "Super-Duper Moongirl..."
Author page: http://amazon.com/author/wulfmoon
Critter Awards: Wulf Moon BEST AUTHOR 2019; "Super-Duper Moongirl" BEST SF&F STORY of 2019.

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby Wulf Moon » Mon Dec 16, 2019 10:45 am

Speaking of VOICE, check out this interview with WotF judge Jody Lynn Nye on "The Book Break."

https://www.facebook.com/TheBookBreak/v ... 939785914/

"Your Voice is unique. So we're all waiting to hear that. We don't want to hear the same old thing. As writers, we love to read. So please go ahead and write your things because I need things to read as well...Somebody's got to be writing things for me."--Jody Lynn Nye
Wulf Moon http://driftweave.com
Q4 Vol 35 "Super-Duper Moongirl..."
Author page: http://amazon.com/author/wulfmoon
Critter Awards: Wulf Moon BEST AUTHOR 2019; "Super-Duper Moongirl" BEST SF&F STORY of 2019.

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby AjZach » Mon Dec 16, 2019 12:25 pm

I'm relieved to announce that I have finished my requirements for this quarter. I am 3/12 for flash stories. I submitted one story to WOTF and have now just shipped off my second to The Dark.
Now to try to get started on my drafts for next quarter while enjoying some holiday time!
Best of luck to those who are working hard! You can do it!

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby SwiftPotato » Mon Dec 16, 2019 12:31 pm

Nicely done, AjZach! I've got you down on the roster. On to the next quarter!
R, 3rd place Q4 v36!!!

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby officer » Mon Dec 16, 2019 1:27 pm

AjZach wrote:I'm relieved to announce that I have finished my requirements for this quarter. I am 3/12 for flash stories. I submitted one story to WOTF and have now just shipped off my second to The Dark.
Now to try to get started on my drafts for next quarter while enjoying some holiday time!
Best of luck to those who are working hard! You can do it!

Nice work! Good luck at The Dark - and WotF, of course!

I consider my quarterly writing commitment fulfilled. I sent my second non-flash story to a beta reader and expect to wrap it up shortly (I wouldn't be embarrassed to submit it as-is). I intend to send it to WotF after F&SF and Asimov's. They've rejected me quickly on other stories, but I got semi-personal rejections on my first story of the quarter (versus form rejections on my Q4 HM - so, progress!). The new one is shorter, which may work in my favor at the zines.

However, I strongly prefer the longer story. It might have passed the first readers at one market (fingers crossed! My purple dot floats in a sea of red on the Grinder, but that could just be coincidence). If they reject before 12/31, it will become my WotF submission. I already have a version ready to go.

All told, I produced three pieces of varying lengths (7500, 5000, and 1000 words) across second-world fantasy, hard SF, and social SF (not respectively). All three story ideas were fresh to this quarter.

I wrote the flash story with a market in mind. Unfortunately, they rejected it. Because it was so specific to that market, I skipped the top flash markets and submitted to a few non-pro but respectable markets that allow simultaneous submissions (and said so in my cover letters).

Two weeks to the finish line. We got this! I'm proud of all our efforts and thankful to Moon for inspiring us!
HM, ?

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Henckel
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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby Henckel » Mon Dec 16, 2019 1:57 pm

Has anyone else read Dave’s update today re priorities?
This didn’t sit well with me. In fact, it bothers me a lot.


I bring this up as a matter of a healthy discussion. Here's the post:

One day twenty years ago I was working on a novel when my wife came in shouting, “The house is on fire!” Now, I had a rule: when I’m writing on my novel, I’m not to be disturbed except in rare situations. When the house is on fire, that’s one of the exceptions.

So, I ran up the stairs to find that indeed the garage was on fire. I opened the back door to the garage and a wall of flames greeted me, boiling high into the air. I could see just enough to realize that the fire was so large, I wouldn’t be able to fight it, so I slammed the door (to starve the fire of oxygen) and called the fire department, then searched the house to find my son Ben (who was five). He’d set the fire, then hidden in his bedroom closet.

We got the fire put out before it engulfed the rest of the house and no one was killed, but I felt amused at how my wife and kids all kept apologizing for disturbing me when I was writing. In my family, with the wife and kids it had become so ingrained that “you never disturb dad when he’s working,” that they couldn’t get over it.

For many reasons, this attitude is common with writers.

Writing has to be a #1 priority. Otherwise, your priorities “slip.” It’s easy to say, “Well, family is more important than writing,” so you take a week off for Christmas to visit relatives or take three months to take care of an ailing mother.

Or maybe you say, “My health is more important than writing,” so you begin working-out for four hours a day. Or you tell yourself, “I deserve a vacation,” and you quite literally take a permanent break. (One #1 New York Times Bestseller called to ask if I would consider ghost writing a novel for him. I could tell he was burnt out. A couple of days later he retired—and just never came back.)

Eventually, your writing can slip down your list of priorities until it’s not a priority at all. Doing your dishes, opening your email, and playing a videogame can seem like they’re more important than work. But when writing is #15 on your list of priorities, you can’t do anything at all.

You see, if writing isn’t a high priority, then your subconscious mind can’t focus on it. It will focus only on what it sees as a high priority—up in the #1 or #2 spot.

So if you want to be a writer, you have to set writing as your highest priority.

But you can’t do that, either. Trying to keep writing as your very highest priority leads to burn-out in just a few days. There are better ways to handle it.

I was at a major convention years ago and went down to have breakfast. At the restaurant, I found Poul Anderson (multiple Huge and Nebula Award Winner) sitting with his wife, waiting for the waiter to bring their food. I said “Hello,” and asked if I could join them. Poul was typing away, but his wife said, “He can’t answer you yet. He has to get his three pages in for the day.” So I sat and chatted with his wife until he finished his three pages. His rule was simple: you don’t communicate with others, even to say hello, until you finish your work in the morning.

He was right. As Dr. Jerry Pournelle once pointed out to me, “The desire to write is born out of the need to communicate. If you ever find yourself unable to write, just shut up: don’t read a paper, don’t talk to anyone, and wait for the voices of your characters to start speaking.”

So the cure for the inability to write is to shut up and write.

But you can’t write non-stop forever. You need time to recover, to recharge your creative batteries.

So you have to make writing your #1 priority but only for part of your day. You might say, “I’ll do it first thing in the morning.” Or when I was working full time, I made sure that I got two hours of writing in before I went to bed each night. In other words, I would set a writing schedule and make writing a habit.

I’ve found that if I say, “My writing day starts at 7:00 AM” and make sure that I’m sitting down, ready to write on time, my day goes smoothly. I usually have word-count goals linked to my writing goals. It’s not enough to just sit in my chair. I need to have something to show for it.

I also like to take writing retreats where I focus entirely on writing for several days. When I go on a retreat, I’ll say, “This next 10 days is just for writing my novel,” and that becomes my #1 priority. I don’t answer emails, don’t take phone calls, don’t read or go sightseeing, I just write, usually with some daily light exercise in the afternoons. I go out for one or two meals a day and eat light for the other meals.

However you do it, though, writing needs to become your #1 goal on occasion. So set that goal now: When are you going to make writing your #1 priority?
(2014) V31 Q1 – R
(2018) V35 Q3 – HM
(2019) V36 Q3 – HM (published @ Sci-fi Lampoon)
(2019) V36 Q4 – SHM
(2020) V37 Q1 – ?

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby SwiftPotato » Mon Dec 16, 2019 3:08 pm

I think the first bits bothered me, but when I got to the second part - where he talked about making writing your number one priority for part of the day - I was bothered less. If you're going to be a professional writing, that's your work, so you do have to make it your top priority for part of the day much like a day job. However, IMHO, it should be because there are things that are more important than your job and not just because your job would burn you out if you did your job and only your job 24/7. I don't think Dave was trying to advocate making writing more important than your family. Just showing what would happen if you did, and how to make it a priority in a healthy way.
R, 3rd place Q4 v36!!!

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby Retropianoplayer » Mon Dec 16, 2019 4:41 pm

I've read the post and don't see anything controversial about it – the one part which alarmed me was how close he came to being incinerated –fortunately, everyone was safe and out of harm's way.

This is how I read the subtext – It's crystal clear Dave LOVES writing, equally evident is his love for family, and once in writing mode doesn't like distractions or anything detracting from complete concentration. He's not antisocial – although I've never personally met him, he appears friendly and willing to help others succeed. They didn't draw a name out of a hat to pick WOTF's Coordinating Judge.

I think the solution to the writing conundrum (along with other life issues including diet) is MODERATION. Everyone has 24 hours in a day. If Helen Keller found a way to budget her time, everyone else can. Every writer is different and there must be a balance between biological requirements, family time, and crafting works of fiction.

When one writes, they are in creative mode. I know for a fact I often forget to eat lunch (sometimes dinner). I notice it's dusk outside, my shoulders hurt, and I say, "Oops!" Put me in front of a piano with a live audience, everyone singing retro songs, and I WON'T stop playing. Maybe two hours later, lol, with a gentle assist from my wife and family.

Best,

Retro

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby GlibWizard » Mon Dec 16, 2019 7:08 pm

Henckel wrote:Has anyone else read Dave’s update today re priorities?
This didn’t sit well with me. In fact, it bothers me a lot.


Some of the examples bothered me too; particularly caring for ailing relatives, since that's a choice I have personally lived through. I don't think that is a comparable distraction to video games at all. Since this is Wulf Moon's classroom and he has mentioned his wife's illness when telling us about how Dixie and her moon dawdler were born, I wonder if he has any wisdom to share about how to work around the big distractions.

Patricia Wrede wrote a blog post last month with nearly the exact same message about priorities, but a more nuanced delivery.

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Wulf Moon
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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby Wulf Moon » Tue Dec 17, 2019 12:00 am

I can see how some things in Dave's post would bother people, especially the comment about letting your writing priorities slip because you took three months off to care for an ailing mother. Family comes first, health and life comes first. Let's face it, if your health totally fails because you neglected to care for it, you're not going to be doing any writing anymore. We need balance in all things.

I think Dave was trying to make his point--a valid one that a writer needs to set writing as a priority--but he didn't phrase some of his examples properly. I personally know from a heavy conversation I had with Dave that he actually took time off to take care of his ailing mother, a lot of time. And the emotions taxed him so badly he wasn't able to write, for quite some time then and after, and then his editor treated him with a total lack of empathy and made everything worse. So I know Dave well enough to know he is not saying to skip taking care of your ailing mother so you can write. Dave is one of the kindest and most thoughtful people you will meet. And he's a very dedicated writer. This just shows we need to select our words and examples carefully, and that even the best of us can miss the mark at times in our communication.

Let's move on. Don't some of you have assignments to finish? Or do I need to give you more? : )

Congratulations to all those checking in with their challenge accomplishments. May the dedication bring you rich rewards.

And as an update: thanks to all of you that posted the wonderful questions on my live Reddit r/writing event ASK ME ANYTHING. Great questions! I hope the answers help, and they are there for posterity to read. If you wish for followups or additional questions, feel free to post comments to that thread on the r/writing Reddit platform. Thanks, Becky, for inviting me to do this. It was fun!

Today, the BlogTalk Radio program Chatting With Sherri has asked me back. I'll be talking about "Super-Duper Moongirl and the Amazing Moon Dawdler" and that it's on the Nebula Awards Recommended Reading List. It's recorded as well so you can catch it at your leisure. Usually 40,000 live listens or downloads of the program when I'm on. You'll be 40,001! Starts at 1 pm PST. See you there!

https://www.blogtalkradio.com/rithebard ... -wulf-moon

All the beast,

Wulf Moon
Wulf Moon http://driftweave.com
Q4 Vol 35 "Super-Duper Moongirl..."
Author page: http://amazon.com/author/wulfmoon
Critter Awards: Wulf Moon BEST AUTHOR 2019; "Super-Duper Moongirl" BEST SF&F STORY of 2019.

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby crlisle » Tue Dec 17, 2019 4:22 am

Wulf Moon wrote:Speaking of VOICE, check out this interview with WotF judge Jody Lynn Nye on "The Book Break."

https://www.facebook.com/TheBookBreak/v ... 939785914/

"Your Voice is unique. So we're all waiting to hear that. We don't want to hear the same old thing. As writers, we love to read. So please go ahead and write your things because I need things to read as well...Somebody's got to be writing things for me."--Jody Lynn Nye


Thank you so much for posting this. Jody Lynn Nye is another generous with her time and expertise author. I loved meeting her at FanX!
Q4 36 R
Q1 37 pending
Q2 37 working on it...
Sci Fi Lampoon, "My Ten Cents"

"Never give up. Never Surrender." - Galaxy Quest

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Henckel
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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby Henckel » Tue Dec 17, 2019 9:06 am

Thanks wulf
(2014) V31 Q1 – R
(2018) V35 Q3 – HM
(2019) V36 Q3 – HM (published @ Sci-fi Lampoon)
(2019) V36 Q4 – SHM
(2020) V37 Q1 – ?

SwiftPotato
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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby SwiftPotato » Tue Dec 17, 2019 12:03 pm

Holy crap, I got a personal rejection from F&SF! He said that it didn't win him over in part because he felt that the narrative lost momentum through the middle, but that he wished me best of luck finding the right market for it in the future. Not gonna lie, I'm freaking out a little bit, this is so cool.
R, 3rd place Q4 v36!!!


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