Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Workshop & Challenge!

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

Postby SwiftPotato » Wed Apr 01, 2020 3:59 am

You're rostered, zeeteebeez! Nice job!

It looks like most of you have met your challenge requirements for the quarter! WELL DONE!!! I know Moon will want to give you his own rousing speech, but your official keeper of records is proud of you. On to the next quarter, beasties! Don't stop writing now!
R, 3rd place Q4 v36!!!

SwiftPotato
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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Workshop & Challenge!

Postby SwiftPotato » Wed Apr 01, 2020 8:21 am

All right, folks, here is your freshly updated roster as of Q2 end! As with last quarter, if there is a submission of yours I missed in the shuffle, just let me know and I'll update this comment (and my own doc) to reflect it.

MEMBERSHIP ROSTER
Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge, Vol. 37 "How to Sell Your Stories"


To keep all ye beasties accountable, here is the list of who is in the challenge and whether they've submitted for each quarter. When the thread receives updates from you, so too shall the list. This is not going to track which markets you've submitted to. Just the fact that you've submitted.


officer

Q1: WotF submitted, other market submitted
Q2: WotF submitted, other market submitted
Q3:
Q4:


RSchibler

Q1: WotF submitted, other market submitted
Q2: WotF submitted, other market submitted
Q3:
Q4:


thegirlintheglasses

Q1: WotF submitted, other market submitted
Q2: WotF submitted
Q3:
Q4:
Extra credit flash challenge: 3/12


SwiftPotato

Q1: both markets submitted
Q2: both markets submitted
Q3:
Q4:
Extra credit flash challenge: 4/12


AjZach

Q1: WotF submitted, other market submitted
Q2: WotF submitted, other market submitted
Q3:
Q4:
Extra credit flash challenge: 6/12


CCrawford

Q1: WotF submitted, other market submitted
Q2: WotF submitted, other market submitted
Q3:
Q4:
Extra credit flash challenge: 6/12


Retropianoplayer

Q1: WotF submitted, other market submitted
Q2: WotF submitted, other market submitted
Q3:
Q4:
Extra credit flash challenge: 7/12


storysinger

Q1: WotF submitted, other market submitted
Q2: WotF submitted, other market submitted
Q3:
Q4:
Extra credit flash challenge: 11/12


Peter Glen

Q1: WotF submitted, other market submitted
Q2: WotF submitted, other market submitted
Q3:
Q4:


einstein36

Q1: WotF submitted
Q2:
Q3:
Q4:


AlexH

Q1: WotF submitted
Q2: WotF submitted, other market submitted
Q3:
Q4:
Extra credit flash challenge: 4/12


StarReacher

Q1: WotF submitted, other market submitted
Q2: WotF submitted, other market submitted
Q3:
Q4:


Henckel

Q1: WotF submitted, other market submitted
Q2: WotF submitted, other market submitted
Q3:
Q4:


JESchleicher

Q1: WotF submitted, other market submitted
Q2: WotF submitted, other market submitted
Q3:
Q4:


AVDutson

Q1: WotF submitted
Q2:
Q3:
Q4:


zeeteebeez

Q1: WotF submitted, other market submitted
Q2: WotF submitted, other market submitted
Q3:
Q4:


oishisushi911

Q1: WotF submitted, other market submitted
Q2: WotF submitted, other market submitted
Q3:
Q4:
Extra credit flash challenge: 6/12
Last edited by SwiftPotato on Thu Apr 02, 2020 4:20 pm, edited 2 times in total.
R, 3rd place Q4 v36!!!

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Wulf Moon
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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Workshop & Challenge!

Postby Wulf Moon » Wed Apr 01, 2020 1:13 pm

WOW! That roster looks SWEEEEET you challenge beasties! I set the bar high this year for the challenge requirements--double what I set for last year, plus an optional Flash bonus. I figured only serious writers would commit to it, and I was right. WELL DONE! We are half way into the challenge year, and its this kind of commitment to your writing and craft that will help you overtake your goals. BELIEF determines reality. Your FOCUS is how you will achieve it. Seeing this updated roster proves you are focused. The rest will follow.

Don't forget! Everyone fulfilling their oaths gets a line-by-line developmental critique from me before the end. I'm working my way through the list!

For the few that had life issues get in the way, life happens. Don't feel bad. Pick yourself up and continue with your commitment to the challenge. When I set the fresh goal of making sure I entered every quarter until I won, I had a quarter I missed in that four year period before I won. My wife was recovering from cancer surgery and nuclear treatment (it's while she was radioactive and I couldn't be near her for two weeks that I set this goal), we'd lost our business and our home to the recession, and sometimes you just don't have anything more in you. It happens. But writing finds a way. Don't get down on yourself. Just keep working within your circumstances and find your way, carving out time as you are able. Even if it's only on the last day of the quarter. : )

Okay, so you've written your stories and sent them out. Pat yourselves on the back! This was a tough month for the WORLD, and it could have been easy to get distracted from your goals. Take the day off, stay home. : ) Starting tomorrow, I want to see your assignments rolling in. I have a new exercise to spring on all of you and we can't have fun with it until you get those in! Andale'! Andale'!

Looking forward to hearing the results from your submissions! We will have another winner this year. As the Emperor in Star Wars said: "I have foreseen it."

All the beast!

Beastmaster Moon P.S.: All hail the Keeper of Records for updating our roster of fulfillment!
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.

storysinger
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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Workshop & Challenge!

Postby storysinger » Wed Apr 01, 2020 1:29 pm

Dear Don,

Thank you for giving me a chance to read "Solar Extortion." Unfortunately, this story didn't quite grab me and I'm going to pass on it for Fantasy & Science Fiction. But I wish you best of luck finding the right market for it and hope that you'll keep us in mind in the future.

In the meantime, we hope that you are doing well and staying healthy.

Best regards,

Charlie

That was a really fast rejection. I submitted the story yesterday.
HM-V32/Q3
HM-V36/Q4
Today's science fiction is tomorrow's reality.
D.R.Sweeney

SwiftPotato
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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Workshop & Challenge!

Postby SwiftPotato » Wed Apr 01, 2020 2:10 pm

Yep, Charlie's a speedy one! Sorry about the rejection, storysinger. I submitted mine to him late last night too. Expecting my R in the next day or so given that my queue position has dropped by 35 since then.
R, 3rd place Q4 v36!!!

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Henckel
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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Workshop & Challenge!

Postby Henckel » Wed Apr 01, 2020 2:23 pm

storysinger wrote:Dear Don,

Thank you for giving me a chance to read "Solar Extortion." Unfortunately, this story didn't quite grab me and I'm going to pass on it for Fantasy & Science Fiction. But I wish you best of luck finding the right market for it and hope that you'll keep us in mind in the future.

In the meantime, we hope that you are doing well and staying healthy.

Best regards,

Charlie

That was a really fast rejection. I submitted the story yesterday.


Hi Don, its a standard form rejection. I got the same when I woke this morning. I also has a 1 day response.


Dear Christopher,

Thank you for giving me a chance to read "Portal of a Lifetime." Unfortunately, this story didn't quite grab me and I'm going to pass on it for Fantasy & Science Fiction. But I wish you best of luck finding the right market for it and hope that you'll keep us in mind in the future.

In the meantime, we hope that you are doing well and staying healthy.

Best regards,

Charlie
(2014) V31 Q1 – R
(2018) V35 Q3 – HM
(2019) V36 Q3 – HM (published @ Sci-fi Lampoon)
(2019) V36 Q4 – SHM
(2020) V37 Q1 – R
(2020) V37 Q2 – ?

SwiftPotato
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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Workshop & Challenge!

Postby SwiftPotato » Wed Apr 01, 2020 2:31 pm

If it helps you both (and feel free to ignore me if you knew this already of course) that particular form means that your opening didn't work for him. Work on your hooks! :)
R, 3rd place Q4 v36!!!

officer
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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Workshop & Challenge!

Postby officer » Wed Apr 01, 2020 2:40 pm

Congrats, everyone, on finishing your stories last quarter! Good luck in the contest and everywhere else you submit!

ASSIGNMENT

1. How old was Martin when he submitted his first story to a pro magazine? What happened? What didn't he realize?
He was 14. He got rejected but didn't realize it was a personal rejection.
2. Did he quit writing? What is true of natural born writers?
He gave up on submitting, but not on writing. Writers will naturally write.
3. At 21 years of age, what did Martin do again? What happened? Why did he quit submitting again?
He submitted a story he felt would fit a particular publication, but it was again rejected. He was successful in his software development career, which encouraged him to focus his creative efforts there.
4. What does every writer starting out need to realize and come to grips with?
Everyone gets rejected.
5. Did Martin quit writing? At what age did he muster up his courage and send another story out? What happened?
He never quit writing. At 47, with his brother's encouragement, he sent it out. It was rejected.
6. At this point, Martin realized an important fact: If you want to get published, you have to plan for a lot of rejection and figure out how to deal with it. How many months was he able to endure the process?
He set an aggressive goal of six months.
7. What mentor helped Martin reevaluate his process? What rules changed everything for Martin? Instead of reworking stories after they were rejected, what did Martin do?
Dean Wesley Smith, who emphasized Heinlein's rules. Instead of reworking rejected stories, he kept submitting them.
8. After suffering rejection after rejection for six months, on the last day of his sixth month do or die personal challenge, where did he send his last submission before he quit writing forever? I might add, a story that had been rejected by a pro magazine.
Writers of the Future.
9. Did he win? How close did he come and what kind of energy did he absorb from being so close?
No, but he was a finalist (and Jerry Pournelle loved his story!).
10. In Martin's own words, what changed from that point on?
His fear of rejection was holding him back; he "gave up giving up." Also, he realized regret can hurt more and longer than rejection.
11. What happened within a month of that change in mentality?
He sold his first story to a pro-paying magazine.
12. A year later, what else happened? And what else? And a year after that, what else?
He sold a story to Analog, and then he placed second in the Jim Baen Memorial Writing Contest (traveling to read the winner's speech and meeting Buzz Aldrin). A year later, he sold two more stories. Before he could "pro out," he took third place in WotF.
13. Success didn't come instantly, it almost never does. But why do you feel Martin was slowly selling more and more and more to respectable markets?
He was writing more consistently at a pro level and keeping his krakens out there.
14. What was Martin still doing throughout this time, and how close did he come to "pro-ing out"?
He continued submitting to Writers of the Future. He just barely slipped in to win.
15. But what happened? Why do you feel this finally happened for him? Can you think of a few reasons?
He was clearly writing at a pro level, thanks to practicing his craft. He also gained confidence, which allowed him to focus and submit his best to WotF.
16. Because Martin almost gave up, but didn't, what has happened since he won Writers of the Future and was published in Vol. 35 with "Unrefined"?
He's sold 33+ stories and multiple novels.
17. What did John Greenleaf Whittier write?
For of all sad words of tongue or pen, The saddest are these: "It might have been!"
18. Which of Martin's bullet points under Lessons Learned hits home most for you?
That a personal rejection means something; that's as far as I've gotten!
19. Not so many years ago, Martin was just like you--aspiring to be a professional writer. After reading the account of his career path, what are you determined to do?
Keep writing and keep submitting.
HM, R, ?

storysinger
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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Workshop & Challenge!

Postby storysinger » Wed Apr 01, 2020 2:42 pm

SwiftPotato wrote:your opening didn't work for him

Thanks for the heads up on that, I'll make sure to address that issue.
I really like the speedy response from Charlie.
HM-V32/Q3
HM-V36/Q4
Today's science fiction is tomorrow's reality.
D.R.Sweeney

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Retropianoplayer
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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Workshop & Challenge!

Postby Retropianoplayer » Wed Apr 01, 2020 3:58 pm

Random thoughts. With over 2,200 views from, I believe, March 30th to March 31st, does this mean Wulf and all of us here at Super Secrets are now A-list actors and our fans out there are cheering us on from around the world in cyber space?

We're like movie stars?

Just kidding.

Best,

Retro wotf015

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Henckel
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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Workshop & Challenge!

Postby Henckel » Wed Apr 01, 2020 4:12 pm

SwiftPotato wrote:If it helps you both (and feel free to ignore me if you knew this already of course) that particular form means that your opening didn't work for him. Work on your hooks! :)


Dang. My opening was my best part.

Why! Why, cruel world!
(2014) V31 Q1 – R
(2018) V35 Q3 – HM
(2019) V36 Q3 – HM (published @ Sci-fi Lampoon)
(2019) V36 Q4 – SHM
(2020) V37 Q1 – R
(2020) V37 Q2 – ?

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Wulf Moon
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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Workshop & Challenge!

Postby Wulf Moon » Wed Apr 01, 2020 5:00 pm

Retropianoplayer wrote:Random thoughts. With over 2,200 views from, I believe, March 30th to March 31st, does this mean Wulf and all of us here at Super Secrets are now A-list actors and our fans out there are cheering us on from around the world in cyber space?

We're like movie stars?

Just kidding.

Best,

Retro wotf015


You're more like superstars, Retro. : ) The daily views have really been climbing. You challenge beasties must look purdy. I'm curious to see if it drops now that the quarter ended. In answer to your question:

"All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players."

All the beast,

Beastmaster Moon P.S.: Kudos to Retro for leading the Wulf Pack by being first to turn in his assignment. Catch up to him, gang. If you're not the lead dog, the view never changes!
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 Workshop & Challenge!

Postby StarReacher » Wed Apr 01, 2020 5:29 pm

Martin Shoemaker Assignment:

1. How old was Martin when he submitted his first story to a pro magazine? What happened? What didn't he realize? 14; He got a form postcard with a typed note from the editor. He didn’t realize that the additional note was a personal rejection.

2. Did he quit writing? What is true of natural born writers? Although he stopped submitting until he was 21, he kept writing.

3. At 21 years of age, what did Martin do again? What happened? Why did he quit submitting again?
He sent a manuscript to Amazing Stories and, ironically, got rejected by same editor who rejected him when he was 14. He stopped submitting again because of the hurt of the rejection and by then he had become a computer programmer.

4. What does every writer starting out need to realize and come to grips with? Rejection is a part of the natural process of writing. Nobody starts out writing perfect stories. The more you write, the better you will get if you study the craft and continue writing. Keep trying with fresh stories.

5. Did Martin quit writing? At what age did he muster up his courage and send another story out? What happened? Martin continued writing but would give up after rejections. At age 47 he submitted a short story to Asimov’s after encouragement from a family member. The story was rejected.

6. At this point, Martin realized an important fact: If you want to get published, you have to plan for a lot of rejection and figure out how to deal with it. How many months was he able to endure the process? 6 months

7. What mentor helped Martin reevaluate his process? What rules changed everything for Martin? Instead of reworking stories after they were rejected, what did Martin do?
Dean Wesley Smith introduced Martin to Heinlein’s business rules for writing. When his next story got rejected by Asimov’s, he immediately sent it out again.

8. After suffering rejection after rejection for six months, on the last day of his sixth month do or die personal challenge, where did he send his last submission before he quit writing forever? I might add, a story that had been rejected by a pro magazine.
Writer’s of the Future.

9. Did he win? How close did he come and what kind of energy did he absorb from being so close?
Although he did not win, he was a finalist. After finding out that Jerry Pournelle loved his story (and thought it should have won), Martin decided to "give up giving up".

10. In Martin's own words, what changed from that point on?
“I decided that maybe what was holding me back was simply my fear of rejection; and maybe if I didn’t let rejection stop me, I could get somewhere. I sent some of my old stories out to some new markets.”

11. What happened within a month of that change in mentality?
He sold two stories to a pro-paying magazine.

12. A year later, what else happened? And what else? And a year after that, what else?
He sold one story to Analog, then won 2nd place in a writing contest. When the 1st place winner couldn’t attend, Martin gave his speech for him and wound up meeting Buzz Aldrin and was inspired to write another story (Murder on the Adrin Express) that was also purchased by Analog. He sold two more stories the following year.

13. Success didn't come instantly, it almost never does. But why do you feel Martin was slowly selling more and more and more to respectable markets? Consistency. He kept writing and submitting on a regular basis.

14. What was Martin still doing throughout this time, and how close did he come to "pro-ing out"?
Martin was still submitting to Writer’s of the Future. His last entry was his last opportunity before having too many pro sales.

15. But what happened? Why do you feel this finally happened for him? Can you think of a few reasons?
He took 3rd place. Martin placed because he: 1) Wrote consistently, 2) Submitted Consistently, and 3) believed in himself.

16. Because Martin almost gave up, but didn't, what has happened since he won Writers of the Future and was published in Vol. 35 with "Unrefined"?
Martin has 33 short fiction sales and 1 poetry sale. He adds: “My short story Today I Am Paul was nominated for a Nebula Award, awarded the Washington Science Fiction Small Press Award, has been reprinted in four different year’s best collections, and translated into eight languages. I’ve turned that story into a novel, Today I Am Carey, from Baen Books, and my next novel, The Last Dance, will be out from 47North in November, 2019.”

17. What did John Greenleaf Whittier write?
“For of all sad words of tongue or pen, The saddest are these: ‘It might have been!’”

18. Which of Martin's bullet points under Lessons Learned hits home most for you?
Because I have had plenty of rejections along the way, what most resonated for me was:
1) Getting a personal rejection means a busy editor saw something special in your work;
2) Send story out to another market as soon as you get a rejection; and
3) Never give up.

19. Not so many years ago, Martin was just like you--aspiring to be a professional writer. After reading the account of his career path, what are you determined to do? I plan to keep plugging away, writing as much as humanly possible and then motivating myself to get those stories out to markets.
2017 - R (4Q)
2018 - R (1Q), HM (2Q), R (4Q)
2019 - SHM (1Q), R (2Q), SHM (3Q), HM (4Q)
2020 - HM (1Q), ? (2Q)

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zeeteebeez
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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Workshop & Challenge!

Postby zeeteebeez » Thu Apr 02, 2020 5:28 am

Got a “didn’t quite win me over” from Charlie.

No personal commentary, however. Just the form.
Z.T.

5x HM

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StarReacher
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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Workshop & Challenge!

Postby StarReacher » Thu Apr 02, 2020 10:07 am

Now that I am getting critiques and doing them for others, I wanted to throw out a suggestion for making a template, tailored to our group for WotF, to use as a checklist. In essence, I want to make sure that I am giving the strongest possible advice to each person to increase chances of wins. Could be done in the form of a rubric?

Also, perhaps we could have a special "notes" section where we indicate what we are most looking for in a particular critique. For example, I may have a piece that I know has plot problems versus a piece that I just want a final check for clarity, silly errors, etc. As the person doing the critique, I want to make sure that I am checking off things that I think that Dave will particularly like or that I think are missing in that particular draft.

In that same vein, I have noticed that some of the people in this group have amazing line by line edits, while others excel in spotting problems in logic or world building, for example. We all come with unique gifts. Does that make sense? Anyone have an idea of how we might include that info? Either here or in a separate document?

If there is enough interest, perhaps we can use google documents and share with all who are interested? That way everyone could add anything that I or someone else might have missed.

Whether thumbs up or thumbs down, please let me know. Open to ideas. I will be doing one for myself no matter what but thought it might be nice to share with everyone. wotf011
2017 - R (4Q)
2018 - R (1Q), HM (2Q), R (4Q)
2019 - SHM (1Q), R (2Q), SHM (3Q), HM (4Q)
2020 - HM (1Q), ? (2Q)

SwiftPotato
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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Workshop & Challenge!

Postby SwiftPotato » Thu Apr 02, 2020 11:16 am

As an aside: folks should take note of Dave Farland's newsletter today, especially if you're considering writing a story relating to the current pandemic. In short, his opinion is: "Don't do it, because a) I'll be flooded and b) Mara's Shadow will probably be better, so good luck." Give the judges something to help escape the world's problems this quarter and they will be happy!
R, 3rd place Q4 v36!!!

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Workshop & Challenge!

Postby Wulf Moon » Thu Apr 02, 2020 11:21 am

Creating a template, or what we used to call in debate a brief, is a good idea, StarReacher. You could also call it a Critique Reference Guide.

In reality, it would be pretty much everything I've included in the Super Secrets, all neatly outlined on one page. A boiled down Super Secrets, if you will. It could even be a checklist. For instance:

1. Opens with interesting, identifiable character, in a clearly defined setting, with a problem.

2. Magic or SF tech appearing by page 2.

3. Heart's desire of protagonist appearing by page 2.

4. Quest/mission to solve the problem presented in first five pages. Protagonist is heading on the quest by page 5.

And so on.

May I suggest you head this up since you presented it, StarReacher, and challenge beasties could send you ideas and discuss? Google docs might work great for this, but you should be the one to ultimately control what goes into the Critique Reference Guide. When it's firmed up, please send me a copy, and we'll talk about it before posting it here!

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 Workshop & Challenge!

Postby StarReacher » Thu Apr 02, 2020 11:33 am

Wulf Moon wrote:Creating a template, or what we used to call in debate a brief, is a good idea, StarReacher. You could also call it a Critique Reference Guide.

In reality, it would be pretty much everything I've included in the Super Secrets, all neatly outlined on one page. A boiled down Super Secrets, if you will. It could even be a checklist. For instance:

1. Opens with interesting, identifiable character, in a clearly defined setting, with a problem.

2. Magic or SF tech appearing by page 2.

3. Heart's desire of protagonist appearing by page 2.

4. Quest/mission to solve the problem presented in first five pages. Protagonist is heading on the quest by page 5.

And so on.

May I suggest you head this up since you presented it, StarReacher, and challenge beasties could send you ideas and discuss? Google docs might work great for this, but you should be the one to ultimately control what goes into the Critique Reference Guide. When it's firmed up, please send me a copy, and we'll talk about it before posting it here!

Cheers!


Mission accepted!

Anyone have preference for presentation? A table? List format? Feel free to pm me suggestions so we don't take up space here until I give Wulf the final draft.
2017 - R (4Q)
2018 - R (1Q), HM (2Q), R (4Q)
2019 - SHM (1Q), R (2Q), SHM (3Q), HM (4Q)
2020 - HM (1Q), ? (2Q)

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StarReacher
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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Workshop & Challenge!

Postby StarReacher » Thu Apr 02, 2020 11:42 am

For those of you who don't get Dave Farland's newlsetter (I'm thinking about all the people who drop into this forum that aren't part of the challenge), he mentioned specifically getting lots of questions about whether you should write about the pandemic. This is his response:

"The answer is, “Please, no!” It’s on everyone’s minds, and if you write a book about it, you’re going to sound derivative."

What should you be writing?

"People are locked at home, and reading makes a great past-time. But when people read a book or watch a movie, they don’t want to be reminded of their world and problems, they want to escape from it."

He continues . . . "Given this, you don’t want to write about a pandemic right now. Your protagonist probably shouldn’t even sneeze from allergies. Instead, take the reader someplace fascinating, someplace strange. Give us some characters that we can root for, and give them some conflicts that will engross your readers."

Happy Writing for Q3!
2017 - R (4Q)
2018 - R (1Q), HM (2Q), R (4Q)
2019 - SHM (1Q), R (2Q), SHM (3Q), HM (4Q)
2020 - HM (1Q), ? (2Q)

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Workshop & Challenge!

Postby AlexH » Thu Apr 02, 2020 2:03 pm

SwiftPotato, my Q2 was zero KYD flash completed and two fresh stories.

I submitted to WotF 15 minutes before the deadline after 24 hours without sleep, working overnight on my story after finishing work (as in my job), then an hour sleep before starting work (as in my job) again. The deadline was 7:59am UK time. I had a Californian clock open online to make sure I didn't miss it. I was especially paranoid given the clocks moved forward in the UK at the weekend.

I had a crazy quarter before coronavirus came along, so although I feel I could've done better with my story, I'm pleased I made it. I also feel like I made a breakthrough with my writing this quarter.

I'm now planning to take 2 weeks off from writing to recover, though I don't know if I'll be able to resist that long, as I have 3-4 stories that are almost ready for submission.

Good luck everyone. wotf008

As for a checklist, StarReacher, I think it's a great idea. However, to an extent I would be wary of people critiquing from a checklist like that. A long checklist (such as 30+ secrets) could be overwhelming to check from, and the emotional response from the critiquer could be lost. I'm so tired, I can't quite formulate my thoughts right now, but I'll PM any thoughts if my brian (intentional typo) recovers. I often use Dave's articles for reference, including https://mystorydoctor.com/why-you-only- ... e-mention/

Maybe a checklist to inform critiques would seem less overwhelming and I'm just taking it too literally?

For anyone who hasn't seen them, there are a couple of excellent threads on revisions and critiques here:
viewtopic.php?f=16&t=7901
viewtopic.php?f=16&t=7884
35: R R R | 36: R HM R R | 37: HM ?

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 Workshop & Challenge!

Postby StarReacher » Thu Apr 02, 2020 3:03 pm

Alex, first off great job on getting your entry done under those conditions! I hope you have some sleep time coming up.

Second, that's a great point about the list being really long. Thanks for the links as well.

Maybe I'm looking at 2 kinds of critique guidelines that people could choose from: 1) the full list for those that want that, with the understanding that both sides are agreeing to that much in depth attention, or 2) A "short" form using Dave's tips on "why you only got an HM".

Also, this checklist idea would be completely optional, obviously. I think it is great if folks have something worked out for you and your critique partner(s) already. For me, being fresh to the process, I want to have a consistent way to approach critiques.

Thoughts?

AlexH wrote:SwiftPotato, my Q2 was zero KYD flash completed and two fresh stories.

I submitted to WotF 15 minutes before the deadline after 24 hours without sleep, working overnight on my story after finishing work (as in my job), then an hour sleep before starting work (as in my job) again. The deadline was 7:59am UK time. I had a Californian clock open online to make sure I didn't miss it. I was especially paranoid given the clocks moved forward in the UK at the weekend.

I had a crazy quarter before coronavirus came along, so although I feel I could've done better with my story, I'm pleased I made it. I also feel like I made a breakthrough with my writing this quarter.

I'm now planning to take 2 weeks off from writing to recover, though I don't know if I'll be able to resist that long, as I have 3-4 stories that are almost ready for submission.

Good luck everyone. wotf008

As for a checklist, StarReacher, I think it's a great idea. However, to an extent I would be wary of people critiquing from a checklist like that. A long checklist (such as 30+ secrets) could be overwhelming to check from, and the emotional response from the critiquer could be lost. I'm so tired, I can't quite formulate my thoughts right now, but I'll PM any thoughts if my brian (intentional typo) recovers. I often use Dave's articles for reference, including https://mystorydoctor.com/why-you-only- ... e-mention/

Maybe a checklist to inform critiques would seem less overwhelming and I'm just taking it too literally?

For anyone who hasn't seen them, there are a couple of excellent threads on revisions and critiques here:
viewtopic.php?f=16&t=7901
viewtopic.php?f=16&t=7884
2017 - R (4Q)
2018 - R (1Q), HM (2Q), R (4Q)
2019 - SHM (1Q), R (2Q), SHM (3Q), HM (4Q)
2020 - HM (1Q), ? (2Q)

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Workshop & Challenge!

Postby SwiftPotato » Thu Apr 02, 2020 4:23 pm

Thanks for the update, AlexH, I got you down. :)

Perhaps the length of the checklist could be helped by paring it down to things that are actionable on specific stories? For example, the checklist wouldn't have to include "know thy judge" or "study thy judge", since both of those are actions to take outside of the writing of the story. Though I guess you could also argue that you should check whether Kary and Dave would like the story.
R, 3rd place Q4 v36!!!

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Workshop & Challenge!

Postby SwiftPotato » Thu Apr 02, 2020 4:34 pm

While we're on the subject of the super secrets, and since it's the 2nd of the month, here's your monthly TOC repost:

All pages are for ascending order in the forum. Links will take you directly to the comments explaining each secret.

Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge, Vol. 36

BOOK ONE
Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRETS: How to Write a Winning Story

Copyright 2018 by Wulf Moon. All Rights Reserved.

SUPER SECRET #0: Proper manuscript format for the win! Improper manuscript format for the lose! - p.8
SUPER SECRET #1: Enter EVERY quarter. - p.2
SUPER SECRET #2: DON'T drive to the story! - p.2
SUPER SECRET #3: Set the hook! - p.2
SUPER SECRET #4: Pick a major emotion and make your reader FEEL it down to their core! - p.2
SUPER SECRET #5: A story is a PROMISE. - p.3
SUPER SECRET #6: Hint in your opening the grand vista of your world. - p.3
SUPER SECRET #7: Private message for challenge members only. - p.3
SUPER SECRET #8: Kill "as you know, Bobs" in your story! - p.3
SUPER SECRET #9: Open your story with your protagonist. - p.3
SUPER SECRET #10: Private message for challenge members only. - p.3
SUPER SECRET #11: Triple check that your name is OFF your manuscript!!! - p.3
SUPER SECRET #12: MAGIC UP FRONT! - p.3
SUPER SECRET #13: DON’T OVEREDIT! - p.4
SUPER SECRET #14: Do not overthink your story! - p.4
SUPER SECRET #15: Open your short story with 1. A CHARACTER, 2. in a SETTING, 3. with a PROBLEM. - p.5
SUPER SECRET #16: Read your story out loud. - p.6
SUPER SECRET #17: Know thy judge! - p.7
SUPER SECRET #18: Start your #%$@#%!& hero’s quest! We’re on the clock! - p.7
SUPER SECRET #19: Mock-up your story! - p.8
SUPER SECRET #20: Employ the 7 Point Plot model. - p.9
SUPER SECRET #21: KISS. - p.10
SUPER-DUPER SECRET #1: Take your reader on a *deep* emotional journey. - p.11
SUPER SECRET #22: THINGS GET WORSE! - p.12 and p.14
SUPER SECRET #23: READ! - p.15
SUPER SECRET #24: Study your judge! - p.15
SUPER SECRET #25: For WotF, DON'T write a story in first person narrative! - p.17
SUPER SECRET #26: Find your wise reader! Preferably, someone with more pro sales than you! - p.18
SUPER SECRET #27: Private message for challenge members only. - p.18
SUPER SECRET #28: YOU MUST WRITE. - p.20
SUPER SECRET #29: Help your subconscious to ENGAGE. - p.21
SUPER SECRET #30: Experience life, don't just read about other people's experiences. - p.22
SUPER SECRET #31: Not too long, not too short. Your story needs to be jusssst right. - p.23
SUPER SECRET #32: Deploy your MAGIC SWORD. - p.30
SUPER SECRET #33: KILL YOUR DARLINGS: The Economy of Words Flash Exercise - p.33 for summary and tip; p.22-28 for exercise and critiques
SUPER SECRET #34: A Climax Goes Big Badda Boom - p.34
SUPER SECRET #35: "Who was that masked man?" - p.36


Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge, Vol. 37

BOOK TWO
Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRETS: RELEASE THE KRAKEN! How to Get Professionally Published

Copyright 2019 by Wulf Moon. All Rights Reserved.

SUPER SECRET #36: RELEASE THE KRAKEN! - p.47
SUPER SECRET #37: Aim Your Baby Kraken at a Ship it Can Take Down! - p.51
SUPER SECRET #38: Cover letters--how you dress to kill - p.54
SUPER SECRET #39: Protect your voice - p.63
SUPER SECRET #40: It takes two to make it out of sight! - p.80
SUPER SECRET #41: (unofficial, I think, but I believe it serves a link for now) The 8th Point in the Seven Point Plot - p.83
R, 3rd place Q4 v36!!!

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Workshop & Challenge!

Postby Wulf Moon » Thu Apr 02, 2020 5:22 pm

Alas, only 1,629 views on our Super Secrets today over yesterday. <sniff> Our moment in the sun is over. I will diminish...and go into the West...and remain 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 Workshop & Challenge!

Postby Peter Glen » Fri Apr 03, 2020 12:56 am

Sry for slow reply on this ... have gone through the week in bit of a daze coming to terms with all this covid stuff:

1. How old was Martin when he submitted his first story to a pro magazine? What happened? What didn't he realize?
14 yo. Was rejected and didn't realize that it was a personal rejection.

2. Did he quit writing? What is true of natural born writers?
No. Natural born writers have a background in role playing games.

3. At 21 years of age, what did Martin do again? What happened? Why did he quit submitting again?
Received a rejection for a new story and became sidetracked by a career

4. What does every writer starting out need to realize and come to grips with?
Rejection is part of the business of writing.

5. Did Martin quit writing? At what age did he muster up his courage and send another story out? What happened?
No, he was writing but not submitting. 47 yo. The story was rejected, but he persisted and began to learn the business.

6. At this point, Martin realized an important fact: If you want to get published, you have to plan for a lot of rejection and figure out how to deal with it. How many months was he able to endure the process?
six months.

7. What mentor helped Martin reevaluate his process? What rules changed everything for Martin? Instead of reworking stories after they were rejected, what did Martin do?
Dean Wesley Smith. Heinlein's rules for writing.

8. After suffering rejection after rejection for six months, on the last day of his sixth month do or die personal challenge, where did he send his last submission before he quit writing forever? I might add, a story that had been rejected by a pro magazine.
WotF!

9. Did he win? How close did he come and what kind of energy did he absorb from being so close?
No. He gained s sense of determination.

10. In Martin's own words, what changed from that point on?
He 'gave up giving up'

11. What happened within a month of that change in mentality?
He sold a story to a pro-paying magazine.

12. A year later, what else happened? And what else? And a year after that, what else?
He sold a story to Analog and won second blace in the Jim Baen Memorial Writing Contest.

13. Success didn't come instantly, it almost never does. But why do you feel Martin was slowly selling more and more and more to respectable markets?
Because he was submitting.

14. What was Martin still doing throughout this time, and how close did he come to "pro-ing out"?
Submitting to WotF and came about as close as you could come to pro-ing out before he had won.

15. But what happened? Why do you feel this finally happened for him? Can you think of a few reasons?
He won. Because he was experienced and had a professional writer's attitude towards the business of writing.

16. Because Martin almost gave up, but didn't, what has happened since he won Writers of the Future and was published in Vol. 35 with "Unrefined"?
Martin has 33 sales and other industry awards and nominations.


17. What did John Greenleaf Whittier write?
"The saddest [words] are these: 'It might have been'"

18. Which of Martin's bullet points under Lessons Learned hits home most for you?
"Rejections hurts. So does regret, and it lasts longer."

19. Not so many years ago, Martin was just like you--aspiring to be a professional writer. After reading the account of his career path, what are you determined to do?
Keep writing, and keep on sending those baby Krakens out!
HM, R, R, R, R, HM, R

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Workshop & Challenge!

Postby Henckel » Fri Apr 03, 2020 2:56 am

Hi StarReacher, I’m keen to offer suggestions on whatever platform you wish to use (so we don’t clog up Wulf’s Super-Secret page.
A few thoughts for now:

1. For my day job I’m a Senior Procurement Specialist, thus, I build evaluation structures all the time. About two years ago I built an one to score a group of stories to determine which would make it into an anthology. This probably isn’t suitable for us, but as long as I know the criteria and desired weightings, I can build pretty much anything.

2. I tend to crit stories differently depending on who the author is. If they are kung fu masters (like Liz) then I’m not going to hand-hold or hold back. But this approach would overwhelm newer writers. Thus, I take an entirely different approach. Normally this involves listing my top three suggestions for improving the story (plus I include in-line comments)

3. Lately I’ve tried to separate my comments into two categories: (1) stuff that will help the person grow as an author and (2) stuff that will improve the specific story. The difference is that some stories have structural flaws; and telling an author to fix them would be a waste of their time (because it would require a full re-write). Whereas other issues (unique to that specific story) can easily be fixed.
(2014) V31 Q1 – R
(2018) V35 Q3 – HM
(2019) V36 Q3 – HM (published @ Sci-fi Lampoon)
(2019) V36 Q4 – SHM
(2020) V37 Q1 – R
(2020) V37 Q2 – ?

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Workshop & Challenge!

Postby oishisushi911 » Fri Apr 03, 2020 9:06 am

ASSIGNMENT: Martin's "How I (Almost) Didn't Get Published."

1. How old was Martin when he submitted his first story to a pro magazine? What happened? What didn't he realize?
14 years old. He was rejected. He didn’t realize the extra comment on his story was a good sign, i.e. a personal rejection, rather than just a form rejection.

2. Did he quit writing? What is true of natural born writers?
He didn’t quit writing, though he did quit submitting. Natural born writers are cursed. They can’t stop writing, even if it’s not going to provide financial successful. Heh.

3. At 21 years of age, what did Martin do again? What happened? Why did he quit submitting again?
At 21, he submitted again. Got another rejection. And gave up, because it hurt again.

4. What does every writer starting out need to realize and come to grips with?
That rejection happens to all of us and that it shouldn’t be allowed to make us quit.

5. Did Martin quit writing? At what age did he muster up his courage and send another story out? What happened?
At 47, he sent another story out and got rejected. Life is cruel.

6. At this point, Martin realized an important fact: If you want to get published, you have to plan for a lot of rejection and figure out how to deal with it. How many months was he able to endure the process?
Six months.

7. What mentor helped Martin reevaluate his process? What rules changed everything for Martin? Instead of reworking stories after they were rejected, what did Martin do?
Dean Wesley Smith helped by pointing Martin to Heilein’s rules, in short: write, finish, don’t rewrite, submit to market, keep on market until sold. So, after his rejection, Martin sent it to Asimov’s, instead of revising it. He decided to send every story he had out on every Saturday night.

8. After suffering rejection after rejection for six months, on the last day of his sixth month do or die personal challenge, where did he send his last submission before he quit writing forever? I might add, a story that had been rejected by a pro magazine.
Writers of the Future. Then buh-bye writing. Time to make games and make money and not stress out!

9. Did he win? How close did he come and what kind of energy did he absorb from being so close?
He hit finalist for the quarter! Jerry Pournelle told Joni the story should’ve won, but it didn’t. Even so, by getting so close to a win, he finally stopped giving up on the writing and submitting thing.

10. In Martin's own words, what changed from that point on?
He said, “I gave up on giving up.” Furthermore, “if I didn’t let rejection stop me, I could get somewhere.” So old stories were sent out and history was made.

11. What happened within a month of that change in mentality?
A story was sold to Digital Science Fiction (pro-paying magazine), and followed by another sale the following month.

12. A year later, what else happened? And what else? And a year after that, what else?
Another story sold to Analog. Another story hit second place in the Jim Baen Contest, which led to reading a speech for the winner and finding more story writing inspiration. In the following year, another story sold, to Galaxy’s Edge this time.

13. Success didn't come instantly, it almost never does. But why do you feel Martin was slowly selling more and more and more to respectable markets?
I believe he was selling more because he was more confident and not letting doubt or fear creep in to drag him into failure.

14. What was Martin still doing throughout this time, and how close did he come to "pro-ing out"?
It was his last quarter before pro-ing out.

15. But what happened? Why do you feel this finally happened for him? Can you think of a few reasons?
Because he had stopped giving up. He’d been writing for a long time. He’d followed through on the advice of mentors. He had learned not to let rejections hold him back. He had gotten over the past issues with confidence, so his stories were shining through. He was mingling with other writers more and so finding more inspiration.

16. Because Martin almost gave up, but didn't, what has happened since he won Writers of the Future and was published in Vol. 35 with "Unrefined"?
He’s hit 33 short fiction sales, a poetry sale, was nominated for a Nebula, grabbed another award, reprinted in collections, and translated into eight languages. Also, has two novels out!

17. What did John Greenleaf Whittier write?
“For of all sad words of tongue or pen, The saddest are these: ‘It might have been!’”

18. Which of Martin's bullet points under Lessons Learned hits home most for you?
When you get a rejection, send that story out again to the next market immediately. And write your next story.

19. Not so many years ago, Martin was just like you--aspiring to be a professional writer. After reading the account of his career path, what are you determined to do?
Send all my stories out and get at least 100 rejections this year!!! Wooooo! Heh. And instead of getting feedback on those old stories, I’ll send them out, while I write more fresh stories and get better at producing refined stories from the get-go. Well...I might still revise a litttttlllleee bitttt after feedback, like that last personal rejection suggested...
R.J.K. Lee
2015-2017: 4 HMs, 5 Rs; 2019-2020: 5 Rs

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Workshop & Challenge!

Postby StarReacher » Fri Apr 03, 2020 10:02 am

Awesome, Henckel.

The points you bring up below are on point. We have a mix of both new and seasoned writers accessing this thread AND we want to give everyone the best shot at winning/publishing.

Let's switch this to a pm conversation (challenge members only, please). I'm also fine with members emailing me.

Henckel wrote:Hi StarReacher, I’m keen to offer suggestions on whatever platform you wish to use (so we don’t clog up Wulf’s Super-Secret page.
A few thoughts for now:

1. For my day job I’m a Senior Procurement Specialist, thus, I build evaluation structures all the time. About two years ago I built an one to score a group of stories to determine which would make it into an anthology. This probably isn’t suitable for us, but as long as I know the criteria and desired weightings, I can build pretty much anything.

2. I tend to crit stories differently depending on who the author is. If they are kung fu masters (like Liz) then I’m not going to hand-hold or hold back. But this approach would overwhelm newer writers. Thus, I take an entirely different approach. Normally this involves listing my top three suggestions for improving the story (plus I include in-line comments)

3. Lately I’ve tried to separate my comments into two categories: (1) stuff that will help the person grow as an author and (2) stuff that will improve the specific story. The difference is that some stories have structural flaws; and telling an author to fix them would be a waste of their time (because it would require a full re-write). Whereas other issues (unique to that specific story) can easily be fixed.
2017 - R (4Q)
2018 - R (1Q), HM (2Q), R (4Q)
2019 - SHM (1Q), R (2Q), SHM (3Q), HM (4Q)
2020 - HM (1Q), ? (2Q)

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Workshop & Challenge!

Postby Wulf Moon » Fri Apr 03, 2020 2:40 pm

Good to see the assignments rolling in. Keep 'em coming!

As to a critique, the most valuable feedback you can give the writer is what's happening to you as you read. Thrown out by a weird simile? Mark the spot. Had to back up to figure out who was speaking? Mark the spot. Feeling the story drag? Mark the spot. It's the most important info a writer can get because if this is happening to your wise reader, it's likely to happen to other readers as well.

I know very good writers that like to read it through first, then read it again, then offer comments. The problem is, I don't want your second pass thoughts. I want what happened when you read it the first time. Because you only get one shot.

In other news, I posted on Facebook a bunch of pictures from the Author Services' building today, and others from each day since I arrived last year. This is a new ASSIGNMENT. I want all you challenge beasties to go look at those posts, and the ones to come. Feel what it's like to be there as a winner. Tell yourself that you will be there. Taste the experience.

And then work out your plan to make it so. Jot it down. It won't take long. Put it somewhere that you will keep seeing it. Maybe even attach a picture of something in the event that moved you, that is your heart's desire.

And then go on your quest! May the Super Secrets prove to be your magic sword!

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 Workshop & Challenge!

Postby storysinger » Fri Apr 03, 2020 3:30 pm

1. How old was Martin when he submitted his first story to a pro magazine? What happened? What didn't he realize?
14, puns don't work, and being rejected hurt.

2. Did he quit writing? What is true of natural born writers?
Through it all he kept writing. They have to put thoughts into words and keep it entertaining.

3. At 21 years of age, what did Martin do again? What happened? Why did he quit submitting again?
Submitted a story. The same person that rejected him before did so again.
He was good at his other occupation so he rode that train for awhile..

4. What does every writer starting out need to realize and come to grips with? Being successful from the start is a rare occurrence, always do your absolute best.

5. Did Martin quit writing? At what age did he muster up his courage and send another story out? What happened? No he didn't, at 47 he sent another story out and was rejected again.

6. At this point, Martin realized an important fact: If you want to get published, you have to plan for a lot of rejection and figure out how to deal with it. How many months was he able to endure the process? 6 months.

7. What mentor helped Martin reevaluate his process? What rules changed everything for Martin? Instead of reworking stories after they were rejected, what did Martin do? Dean Wesley Smith. Heinlein's rules for writing. Send it out.

8. After suffering rejection after rejection for six months, on the last day of his sixth month do or die personal challenge, where did he send his last submission before he quit writing forever? I might add, a story that had been rejected by a pro magazine. Writer's of the Future.

9. Did he win? How close did he come and what kind of energy did he absorb from being so close? He didn't win. He decided to give up on giving up.

10. In Martin's own words, what changed from that point on? Fear of rejection was holding him back. He submitted more often.

11. What happened within a month of that change in mentality? He sold a story.

12. A year later, what else happened? And what else? And a year after that, what else? He sold a story to Analog Science Fiction & Fact. Second place in Jim Baen Memorial Contest. He sold two more stories.

13. Success didn't come instantly, it almost never does. But why do you feel Martin was slowly selling more and more and more to respectable markets? He had dispensed with his fear of rejection and was putting his stories in the marketplace.

14. What was Martin still doing throughout this time, and how close did he come to "pro-ing out"? He was still submitting to WotF. To the point he had to win or pro-out.

15. But what happened? Why do you feel this finally happened for him? Can you think of a few reasons? He won. It takes a ton of work and determination to succeed. Hard work and persistence are what it took for him to succeed, so he put the effort toward his career.

16. Because Martin almost gave up, but didn't, what has happened since he won Writers of the Future and was published in Vol. 35 with "Unrefined"? He has sold numerous stories and is published in different languages around the world. All because he gave up giving up.

17. What did John Greenleaf Whittier write? For all of sad words of tongue or pen, The saddest are these: 'It might have been!'"

18. Which of Martin's bullet points under Lessons Learned hits home most for you? Don't be like me, don't give up.

19. Not so many years ago, Martin was just like you--aspiring to be a professional writer. After reading the account of his career path, what are you determined to do? Write something every day, whether it's a long piece or short, it doesn't matter, just write.
HM-V32/Q3
HM-V36/Q4
Today's science fiction is tomorrow's reality.
D.R.Sweeney


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