Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRETS Workshop & Challenge!

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

Postby storysinger » Mon Oct 07, 2019 3:16 am

Congratulations on the review Wulf. You're leveling up nearly every day.
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Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge! Vol. 36

Postby RSchibler » Mon Oct 07, 2019 8:28 am

Just got my story down to 246, after complaining to a writing buddy that it was impossible. Just keep looking for slices of your bigger tale that tell enough of the story to invite the reader to imagine the rest in their mind. Hopefully mine does that - we'll see when I post it. I tried a number of different cuts before finding one that satisfied a believable setting, characters, a snapshot of the problem, and some sort of ending. Good luck to everyone working the prompt!


Speaking of prompts, I've been using the Inktober prompts as writing prompts -- I did a 1400 word story yesterday on "Husky" -- and it's a good resource for inspiration if you're coming up dry. Before I looked at the prompt I decided I wanted a few things, like the setting and a specific kind of character, and then I just let my imagination run wild.
V34: R, HM, R
V35: HM, R, R, HM
V36: R, HM, HM, SHM
V37: HM, SF, SHM, P

ALWAYS available for critique. PM me.

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

Postby storysinger » Mon Oct 07, 2019 8:42 am

RSchibler wrote:Just got my story down to 246

You're way ahead of me. I just finished my 1000 word story.
I'll cut it to 500 later today or first thing in the morning.
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Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge! Vol. 36

Postby Wulf Moon » Mon Oct 07, 2019 10:04 am

Peter Glen wrote:re: #33 ... my first attempt is a fail ... just can't cut it (not even down from 1200 to 1000). The reason, I think, is that the story is split over four scenes and is 80% dialogue. I will try again in a few days with something more pliable. But still, have learned something here, even with a fail.


Sounds like you made it too complicated. Flash works best tightly focused, heading like a freight train for the precipice.
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Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge! Vol. 36

Postby Wulf Moon » Mon Oct 07, 2019 10:09 am

storysinger wrote:Congratulations on the review Wulf. You're leveling up nearly every day.


Thank you. Martin Shoemaker is really leveling up! He just hit #1 in Hard Science Fiction on Amazon! But he's had a little more time than me since his WotF win. I'm working on it, using that wind in my sails from WotF like Martin did. He is an excellent example of what you can do after winning Writers of the Future.

Cheers!
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Author page: http://amazon.com/author/wulfmoon
Critter Awards: Wulf Moon BEST AUTHOR 2019; "Super-Duper Moongirl" BEST SF&F STORY 2019.
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Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge! Vol. 36

Postby Peter Glen » Mon Oct 07, 2019 2:39 pm

Wulf Moon wrote:Sounds like you made it too complicated. Flash works best tightly focused, heading like a freight train for the precipice.


Yes, will do...am going to agonise over this until I nail it lol.

Btw, grats on the review!
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Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge! Vol. 36

Postby Wulf Moon » Mon Oct 07, 2019 7:27 pm

Peter Glen wrote:
Wulf Moon wrote:Sounds like you made it too complicated. Flash works best tightly focused, heading like a freight train for the precipice.


Yes, will do...am going to agonise over this until I nail it lol.

Btw, grats on the review!


Thank you, Peter! E

Either do this one, or start a fresh one. Here's an alternate prompt for a fresh one: BLACK WIDOW.

Have at it! I'm going to require just a 500 and a 250 from everyone within two weeks, part of your enrollment qualification. You can do it on either prompt. BLACK WIDOW or DECEPTION.

Cheers!

Beastmaster Moon
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Author page: http://amazon.com/author/wulfmoon
Critter Awards: Wulf Moon BEST AUTHOR 2019; "Super-Duper Moongirl" BEST SF&F STORY 2019.
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Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge! Vol. 36

Postby Wulf Moon » Mon Oct 07, 2019 7:37 pm

Today's Monday prompt: BLACK WIDOW.

Yeah, this is going to become a thing here. I'll explain tomorrow. I've had a busy day with an editing job and it's 8:30 pm and I must eat! So I apologize, I promised the new challenge details and enrollment up today, but it was one of those days. Tomorrow will be too, but I'll do my best to get it posted.

One requirement for enrollment. Did you see Joni's newsletter today? She asked people to watch Dr. Jerry Pournelle's video on how to become a professional writer. He talks a lot about Heinlein's Rules, and he's right on the money. So to join the new challenge, you do need to view the video and rather agree that Pournelle and Heinlein knew what they were talking about. I'm going to be saying more of the same, so if you join the challenge, you should like this melody. It's been a successful one for many professional writers.

Here's the link. Please watch it before signing up. It's short. https://www.writersofthefuture.com/jerr ... i=77104938

All the beast!

Beastmaster Moon
Wulf Moon http://driftweave.com
Author page: http://amazon.com/author/wulfmoon
Critter Awards: Wulf Moon BEST AUTHOR 2019; "Super-Duper Moongirl" BEST SF&F STORY 2019.
Learn the Secrets of a Howling Good Plot! https://bit.ly/37CYwpZ

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

Postby storysinger » Tue Oct 08, 2019 4:24 am

I did the cut to 499 on my story, Jenna's Deception. Now to pare it down to 250. After I watch the video.
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Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge! Vol. 36

Postby storysinger » Tue Oct 08, 2019 6:13 am

Dr. Jerry Pournelle's message is a good one. The idea of paying it forward keeps the information stream going.
I finished the 250 challenge on the number. The hardest part of the exercise is getting the 1000 word story written.
Cutting that to 499 didn't take that long and getting to 250 wasn't hard either. I can't believe it was so much fun.
Now for the Black Widow.
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Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge! Vol. 36

Postby SwiftPotato » Tue Oct 08, 2019 7:03 am

I like what Pournelle had to say about just writing the story. That after a certain point you won't be writing and thinking "I'm writing", you'll be writing the story and that's all. And after that you'll have a chance. It fits very well with "the manuscript isn't the story". To me it seems to mean that the closer you get to that state of just writing the story, the closer you get to writing a story instead of a manuscript about that story.
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Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge! Vol. 36

Postby RSchibler » Tue Oct 08, 2019 7:20 am

There's that million words idea again. For the interested, I'm at 442,884 words. The flash I wrote Sunday, based on the Inktober prompt, just fell from my fingers. I wasn't thinking about writing a story, I was writing the story. Don't know how good it is, of course, but it's certainly a lot better than what I was coming up with 440,000 words ago!
V34: R, HM, R
V35: HM, R, R, HM
V36: R, HM, HM, SHM
V37: HM, SF, SHM, P

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

Postby Wulf Moon » Tue Oct 08, 2019 9:19 am

storysinger wrote:I did the cut to 499 on my story, Jenna's Deception. Now to pare it down to 250. After I watch the video.


Great! Use the 250 to teach you more efficient coding and storytelling. Don't just use it as a cutting exercise. The compression is supposed to force you to rethink what's the essence of your story, and how to tell it with the most potent words. It should change at the 250 level. If it does, you did your job right, and you will grow from this.

Beast to all!

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

Postby Wulf Moon » Tue Oct 08, 2019 9:27 am

SwiftPotato wrote:I like what Pournelle had to say about just writing the story. That after a certain point you won't be writing and thinking "I'm writing", you'll be writing the story and that's all. And after that you'll have a chance. It fits very well with "the manuscript isn't the story". To me it seems to mean that the closer you get to that state of just writing the story, the closer you get to writing a story instead of a manuscript about that story.


That's the goal I have for all of you that take my challenges--to get to that place where the subconscious takes over and writes the story for you. And to develop the skills necessary so that when the subconscious takes over, it's got a near flawless machine to carve the block of marble into a David. You won't have to go back in and say, "Hm, lets cut the head off and put the feet on top. And how did those hands become its feet? Um, WHERE ARE THE FEET?" wotf001

It will come out right the first time. Because you've been training you conscious mind. All that mechanical stuff? Your goal is to get so good, it's going to run on autopilot while your subconscious takes over. And that's when the real fun and true genius happens.

All the beast!

Beastmaster Moon
Wulf Moon http://driftweave.com
Author page: http://amazon.com/author/wulfmoon
Critter Awards: Wulf Moon BEST AUTHOR 2019; "Super-Duper Moongirl" BEST SF&F STORY 2019.
Learn the Secrets of a Howling Good Plot! https://bit.ly/37CYwpZ

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

Postby SwiftPotato » Tue Oct 08, 2019 9:38 am

Wulf Moon wrote:
SwiftPotato wrote:I like what Pournelle had to say about just writing the story. That after a certain point you won't be writing and thinking "I'm writing", you'll be writing the story and that's all. And after that you'll have a chance. It fits very well with "the manuscript isn't the story". To me it seems to mean that the closer you get to that state of just writing the story, the closer you get to writing a story instead of a manuscript about that story.


That's the goal I have for all of you that take my challenges--to get to that place where the subconscious takes over and writes the story for you. And to develop the skills necessary so that when the subconscious takes over, it's got a near flawless machine to carve the block of marble into a David. You won't have to go back in and say, "Hm, lets cut the head off and put the feet on top. And how did those hands become its feet? Um, WHERE ARE THE FEET?" wotf001

It will come out right the first time. Because you've been training you conscious mind. All that mechanical stuff? Your goal is to get so good, it's going to run on autopilot while your subconscious takes over. And that's when the real fun and true genius happens.

All the beast!

Beastmaster Moon


Ahh. It all clicks into place. I was worried about the challenge because I know I'm not yet at that point, but the challenge is meant to eventually get us there and that is a MASSIVE RELIEF.
R, 3rd place Q4 v36!!!

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

Postby Wulf Moon » Tue Oct 08, 2019 9:45 am

RSchibler wrote:There's that million words idea again. For the interested, I'm at 442,884 words. The flash I wrote Sunday, based on the Inktober prompt, just fell from my fingers. I wasn't thinking about writing a story, I was writing the story. Don't know how good it is, of course, but it's certainly a lot better than what I was coming up with 440,000 words ago!


Wonderful, Becky. You are getting to the point in your writing where you've trained so much, the mechanical side of things is becoming second nature. As Pournelle said, that takes 500,000 to a million words of practice. And obviously, 500,000 to a million words of fresh stories, that is exactly what he is saying. It's where we practice WRITING, not EDITING. I am not speaking against editing, we do have to turn in our best, but we only learn writing by WRITING.

Pournelle is actually quoting Ted Sturgeon's Law: The first million words are crap. I know, other people claim someone else said that first, or said it differently. That's okay. The premise is true: to become a professional writer, you have to put in a massive amount of time WRITING. That's the secret handshake--it's called hard, dedicated work. But I like Pournelle's modification. Some can produce beautiful work around 500,000 on up, because of various factors. Talent for sure, but finding a good mentor, reading the right stories and books, taking professional seminars, these hasten your learning curve. So do exercises, like the one I developed for myself, that I've now shared with all of you.

You can't cheat on this exam. You can't pay a genius to sit in on your SATs and do it for you. You have to do the practice. A pianist plays a keyboard hours daily for years to get a solo performance at Carnegie Hall. As a writer, so must you.

All the beast!

Beastmaster Moon
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Author page: http://amazon.com/author/wulfmoon
Critter Awards: Wulf Moon BEST AUTHOR 2019; "Super-Duper Moongirl" BEST SF&F STORY 2019.
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Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge! Vol. 36

Postby Wulf Moon » Tue Oct 08, 2019 9:50 am

SwiftPotato wrote:
Wulf Moon wrote:
SwiftPotato wrote:I like what Pournelle had to say about just writing the story. That after a certain point you won't be writing and thinking "I'm writing", you'll be writing the story and that's all. And after that you'll have a chance. It fits very well with "the manuscript isn't the story". To me it seems to mean that the closer you get to that state of just writing the story, the closer you get to writing a story instead of a manuscript about that story.


That's the goal I have for all of you that take my challenges--to get to that place where the subconscious takes over and writes the story for you. And to develop the skills necessary so that when the subconscious takes over, it's got a near flawless machine to carve the block of marble into a David. You won't have to go back in and say, "Hm, lets cut the head off and put the feet on top. And how did those hands become its feet? Um, WHERE ARE THE FEET?" wotf001

It will come out right the first time. Because you've been training you conscious mind. All that mechanical stuff? Your goal is to get so good, it's going to run on autopilot while your subconscious takes over. And that's when the real fun and true genius happens.

All the beast!

Beastmaster Moon


Ahh. It all clicks into place. I was worried about the challenge because I know I'm not yet at that point, but the challenge is meant to eventually get us there and that is a MASSIVE RELIEF.


Thanks, Swift. Glad it makes sense. As you listen to Pournelle, you will find I'm not saying anything new. I'm just shining my "Moon light" on it. Perhaps it will help seeing it in a different light. As Tolkien showed, some doors are only seen by the light of the Moon. wotf007

While, here, please post the new TOC for Moon's SUPER SECRETS, with Book One and Book Two. I'm going to write up the challenge now...
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Critter Awards: Wulf Moon BEST AUTHOR 2019; "Super-Duper Moongirl" BEST SF&F STORY 2019.
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Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge! Vol. 36

Postby chuckt » Tue Oct 08, 2019 10:04 am

SwiftPotato wrote:
A complete list of the vol. 36 challenge's super secrets follows. Now that I realize how descending works and that it will cause page numbers to constantly change as more comments are added, I will likely take that part out in my next comment and simply indicate that the provided page number is for ascending order.




Wow! Thanks for doing that.
36: R, R, R, SHM
37: R, HM, R, ?

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

Postby SwiftPotato » Tue Oct 08, 2019 11:42 am

Wulf Moon wrote:
While, here, please post the new TOC for Moon's SUPER SECRETS, with Book One and Book Two. I'm going to write up the challenge now...


I posted it above right after your last secret for book one - did you want me to put it up again so it's closer to the challenge write-up?
R, 3rd place Q4 v36!!!

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

Postby Wulf Moon » Tue Oct 08, 2019 12:19 pm

SwiftPotato wrote:
Wulf Moon wrote:
While, here, please post the new TOC for Moon's SUPER SECRETS, with Book One and Book Two. I'm going to write up the challenge now...


I posted it above right after your last secret for book one - did you want me to put it up again so it's closer to the challenge write-up?


Yes, please. It's part of the new challenge and needs to be close to the announcement. Thank you.
Wulf Moon http://driftweave.com
Author page: http://amazon.com/author/wulfmoon
Critter Awards: Wulf Moon BEST AUTHOR 2019; "Super-Duper Moongirl" BEST SF&F STORY 2019.
Learn the Secrets of a Howling Good Plot! https://bit.ly/37CYwpZ

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

Postby SwiftPotato » Tue Oct 08, 2019 12:27 pm

Wulf Moon wrote:
SwiftPotato wrote:
Wulf Moon wrote:
While, here, please post the new TOC for Moon's SUPER SECRETS, with Book One and Book Two. I'm going to write up the challenge now...


I posted it above right after your last secret for book one - did you want me to put it up again so it's closer to the challenge write-up?


Yes, please. It's part of the new challenge and needs to be close to the announcement. Thank you.


Got it. Will have it up in a few minutes.
R, 3rd place Q4 v36!!!

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

Postby AlexH » Tue Oct 08, 2019 12:28 pm

How do you write a story of 1,000 words? That was my biggest struggle. I feel I'm cheating if I add 400 words to a 600-word story that reached its end. I'll know I've added 400 words of crap I can delete later!

Instead, I've edited an existing flash with deception. It was 1,080 words. I now have a 483-word version and a 249-word version. It's made me realise two scenes were doing the same job. A lot has been lost though, and I'm not sure the speculative element makes sense now, and the story wouldn't work without it. It was a flash I'd already heavily cut, or so I thought! So it was a useful exercise.
35: - R R R | 36: R HM R R | 37: HM HM HM ?

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

Postby Wulf Moon » Tue Oct 08, 2019 12:32 pm

Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge! Vol. 37 STARTS HERE!

A battle-scarred lycanthrope in his wolfish form rests upon his throne of skulls deep in the hallowed caverns of his lair. He lifts a gnarled staff crowned with a glowing orb; its silvered glow illuminates yellowed ivory fangs as his lips curl back and he opens his maw.

“Ah, it appears the decapitated bodies in the halls before this one did not deter you.” His eyes kindle. You feel stripped to your soul in its fire. “Perhaps you do have the ancient blood of conquerors flowing through your veins that will help you survive this challenge.” And then he smiles, a look shared only with prey about to be devoured. “You will, of course, have to prove yourself.”

He rises, shadows fleeing as he points the staff at a wall, the orb igniting in bright, silvery moonlight. Amber glyphs radiate in response, and you know the concepts each represent, because they glow the same within your heart.

The werebeast's voice rings out like a death knell. “BEHOLD! Moon’s SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge, Vol. 37. May you have what it takes to conquer.”

_________________________________

And here we are again, Challenge Beasties! We launch Moon’s SUPER SECRETS Bonus Challenge, Vol. 37! The foundation of this challenge? Repeat after me: WRITE FRESH ORIGINAL STORIES! I’m sorry, I can’t hear you. Again, and this time, with feeling. WRITE FRESH ORIGINAL STORIES! Ah, thank you, I heard you that time. Honestly, I wasn’t sure why you were here at first. Now, I know.

Actually, I didn’t know. The challenges take much time for me, time I should be writing. My wife reminds me of this most of all, and she’s right, except for one thing.

I am one of you. I came from here. And I don’t believe in leaving anyone behind, not if they are willing to do the work and are simply asking for a helping hand. I believe I can shorten your learning curve and save you some of the pain I experienced from the school of hard knocks. Maybe I can even save you a knock or two, because that’s what friends do. They help one another.

And you can help me. All of you can. I wasn’t sure if I should do this again. But many responded to my polling query at the end of the past challenge--many from behind the scenes as well--that had been reading all these posts and Secrets and said how much they had helped them, some saying they wouldn’t be writing and entering the contest again were it not for these Secrets. And then Joni Labaqi, the contest coordinator, wrote me a few days ago, and that clinched it. She said the Super Secrets are working, don’t change a thing! And so I go on....

I will change one thing. We are going to double our efforts. Four fresh stories in one year’s time is not enough (but it was a noble start!), you are not getting where you need to be fast enough. So this year, we are doubling the requirements. EIGHT FRESH ORIGINAL STORIES. Does that sound like a lot? Yes, for mere mortals. But you want to become a professional writer, don’t you? That’s a drop in the bucket for a professional writer--but again, it’s a noble start! Are you with me? Good. Then here we go!

The Challenge:

In the WotF Vol. 37 calendar year, you must write TWO FRESH ORIGINAL STORIES each quarter, each story 3000 words minimum. The objective is that you will have TWO original stories to choose your submission for that quarter from. You will send one story to WotF, and “kill the spare!” No, wait, that’s Voldemort. If you’ve done your work right, that spare may very well be Harry Potter. We need his lifeblood. Because we’re sending him out into the real world of publishing, and he’s going to have to stand on his own. So the alternate story? You send that one off to a respectable paying market. That’s the rule. And at the end of the quarter, you are a responsible member. We don’t have to hunt you down. You post that you submitted one story to WotF, and one of those fresh, original stories to a respectable paying market. I’ll have a list provided for suggestions on what “respectable” means to me. There’s more, I know. It’s just to help.

One caveat this year. You may have just gotten a Silver HM, or have a trunk story that you really feel if you touched it up a bit, it might have a chance winning the contest. This challenge won’t hold you back from that. But you do have to write TWO original stories regardless, and send at least one to market in that case.

If you have never sent a story to market, don’t worry, I’m going to help you figure it out. You see, this year, I figure you’re past the mechanics of trying to figure out HOW to write a good story; this year, I’m going to focus on teaching you how to SELL a good story.

The Requirements:

This is an advanced course. At college, in order to take advanced courses, you have to meet basic requirements so admissions understands that you are, shall we say, THE RIGHT STUFF. It is no different here. In order to take this challenge, you must:

1. Read the basics of the prior numbered SUPER SECRETS from the Volume 36 year. A hyperlinked table of contents has been provided. This is so you understand the basics of creating a professional story. Don’t worry, I don’t expect people to be at the same level. But I do expect you to do your homework and understand the basics before undertaking this challenge. And you do have to believe the overall approach is something compatible to your own beliefs, or why take a course where I’m going to be drilling down on these more? Make sense? Good.

2. You must watch Dr. Jerry Pournelle’s video and again agree with the basic premise: you need to write fresh, original stories. Lots of them. And stop endlessly reworking old stories. You are moving forward as a writer. You want to level up. You believe this is the next stage. Here is where Joni posted the video. It’s short. https://www.writersofthefuture.com/jerr ... i=77104938

3. You must study the SUPER SECRET: Kill Your Darlings exercise. And then you must do all three phases based on ONE of two prompts: either DECEPTION or BLACK WIDOW.

4. You must post here by midnight Pacific (contest time), October 20th, in one post, just your 500 and your 250. Begin with “I’m in.” And then, format your pieces like this: My 500 titled “Black Widow Night” or some such, and then make it readable, meaning you’ll have to add line spaces to separate out paragraphs and dialog in here. THEN, same post, you’ll write: My 250 titled “Black Widow Night” and more of the same. This is your entrance exam. This is your proof you are capable of doing the work and meeting deadlines. Fail to post by midnight Pacific by October 20th, and we know you aren’t interested, move along, these aren’t the droids we’re looking for. : )

5. You agree to have a share in commentary, and to responsibly post your having met the requirements each quarter. You want accountability, and you want to share in positive discussion about how we can apply and learn from ideas shared. You want to be a valuable member, helping cheer other members on in this goal of getting professionally published, whether through Writers of the Future, or through other esteemed venues. It does no one any good to have members we don’t hear from until the end of the year. Additionally, we don’t mind hearing from outsiders from time to time (I’m happy you’re here), but if you do comment, please make sure commentary is meant to encourage these runners in this sprint they have challenged themselves with. And, I might add, the coach leading them—this challenge is challenging for me to run as well. Comments should put wind in one another’s sails, not shred their sails. We want to help all reach the horizon this challenge has set for them.

6. We will have homework and discussion. Our workbook for this will be HOW I GOT PUBLISHED AND WHAT I LEARNED ALONG THE WAY by Camden Park Press. You’ll see why we’re using it as we go along if you can’t tell from the title. Most courses at college require you to obtain a textbook, and then pay a lot of money for the class. This class is free. The textbook we’re using is only $4.99 on Kindle. Our first assignment is to read David Farland’s essay—he is the WotF contest coordinator after all. Here’s the link: http://www.Books2Read.com/howigotpublished.

You might wish to get the book in Kevin J. Anderson’s NANOWRIMO STORYBUNDLE. For a few dollars more (bundle purchase by donation so you choose your price), you get this book, plus the latest writing books from around five WotF judges. It’s an excellent deal, and a great bundle for building your knowledge (wasn’t that one of my Secrets? Study your judges?). Here’s the link for The 2019 Nanowrimo Tools Storybundle: https://storybundle.com/nano


Finally, it goes without saying you must have the time to take on the added requirements. This is double what we did for Volume 36. It’s not meant to stress you out; it’s meant to challenge your abilities. If this goal seems within reach, reach for it. If not, don’t put unnecessary stress on yourself, you can still read long and cheer the runners in the race on to the finish line!

I look forward to seeing what our challenge beasties accomplish this year. Last year, we saw much good from the challenge. Many said the challenge was the reason they are writing again and submitting to the contest. Members said they learned things they had never understood about writing before. While the verdict is still out for Q4, we had two finalists come from our group, as well as many other honor levels. This year, I believe, will prove even better, because we are seeking results both from the Writers of the Future Contest, and from other markets as well.

So think hard about ALL the requirements. If you believe this is for you, you know what to do. You have until October 20th, and then THE DOOR IS SHUT!

So get in. Now’s the time.

All the beast!

Beastmaster Moon **** SUPER DUPER BONUS CHALLENGE: In addition to the above, commit to ONE fresh, original flash story PER MONTH that you put through the KILL YOUR DARLINGS exercise (Super Secret #33) using one of my weekly Monday prompts. This means at the end of the year you'll have EIGHT fresh original short stories, and TWELVE fresh Flash stories, TWENTY new stories in all! You don't have to show these on the topic, we trust you. You just have to commit this month to the Super Duper Bonus and report your progress on this bonus flash challenge each month or each quarter, whatever works for you. These take time, just like short stories, but I believe they will help you advance if you do them regularly. You can post like this: Flash Challenge: 1/12. Have at it if you feel you have the writing time. ****
Wulf Moon http://driftweave.com
Author page: http://amazon.com/author/wulfmoon
Critter Awards: Wulf Moon BEST AUTHOR 2019; "Super-Duper Moongirl" BEST SF&F STORY 2019.
Learn the Secrets of a Howling Good Plot! https://bit.ly/37CYwpZ

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

Postby SwiftPotato » Tue Oct 08, 2019 12:33 pm

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

Moon's SUPER SECRETS copyright 2019 by Wulf Moon.


Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge, Vol. 36

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

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


BOOK TWO
Moon's SUPER SECRETS: How to Get Professionally Published

Coming soon!
R, 3rd place Q4 v36!!!

Stories in Apocalyptic and Cossmass Infinities

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

Postby Wulf Moon » Tue Oct 08, 2019 12:54 pm

Thanks for posting the Secrets list, Swift! To all: the new Volume 37 Challenge is just above it. It should be an exciting year!

Hope to see some of you meet the deadline for the start of this! You have until October 20th.

Cheers!
Wulf Moon http://driftweave.com
Author page: http://amazon.com/author/wulfmoon
Critter Awards: Wulf Moon BEST AUTHOR 2019; "Super-Duper Moongirl" BEST SF&F STORY 2019.
Learn the Secrets of a Howling Good Plot! https://bit.ly/37CYwpZ

officer
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Location: Chicago

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

Postby officer » Tue Oct 08, 2019 2:06 pm

Well, I was hoping to simply observe the exercises, but here I am starting on "deception" because I don't want to be left out... way to peer pressure me into learning something! I'm well into my first short story of the quarter, with the intent of submitting it for publication rather than WotF. I thought too much about the judges' preferences last quarter, as I did not want to give any overt reason for rejection. So it's been refreshing to write to sell (where an editor can ask for changes) instead of "to win". To be clear, I found David Farland's advice extremely valuable and learned a lot from most of my efforts.

Since I wrote about 6k words the past week, the two per quarter should be attainable. I expect to add another 2k to this story, then cut some in editing. I apparently like to write a scene-by-scene skeleton with notes to myself, then flesh it out non-linearly. I'm new to short stories, so that could certainly change! If this story turns out the objectively better of my two, and hasn't been accepted elsewhere (statistically likely), I'll "censor" it for the contest! It's hardly vulgar, but it touches on issues with which the judges might disagree.

Thanks for the motivation... hoping to post my "entrance exam" soon!
HM, R, HM, R, ?

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

Postby zeeteebeez » Tue Oct 08, 2019 3:27 pm

Thanks Wulf,

I'm truly excited to write, to learn, and to find some new friends with a shared passion. To be part of the Wulf Pack, I suppose.

Excited to cheer all of you on. I fully expect we will see some winners and pro sales this year!
Z.T.

6x HM

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

Postby CCrawford » Tue Oct 08, 2019 5:37 pm

SwiftPotato wrote:I like what Pournelle had to say about just writing the story. That after a certain point you won't be writing and thinking "I'm writing", you'll be writing the story and that's all. And after that you'll have a chance. It fits very well with "the manuscript isn't the story". To me it seems to mean that the closer you get to that state of just writing the story, the closer you get to writing a story instead of a manuscript about that story.


This part of the video hit me strongly as well. It can feel overwhelming to think of thinking of all the things at once, but once some of them start to become instinct/habit, it's a lot more manageable. That's the goal, right? ;)
v35: Q4 - HM
V36: R, R, R, R
V37: SHM, HM, HM, ??

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

Postby michaeljwyantjr » Tue Oct 08, 2019 5:56 pm

Wulf Moon wrote:Wow! You're right, MichaelJ! I just saw the blood on the wall ignite, outlining your name in golden light!

Congrats! One vial of Liquid Luck, er, I mean, Moon's Secret Ingredient, coming your way!

Use it wisely!

Cheers!


w00t!

*dances happy jig*

wotf011
WotF Results:
  • R:6
  • HM:9
  • sHM:0
  • SF:1
  • F:0
  • Last: HM, Q3 v37

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

Postby officer » Tue Oct 08, 2019 6:25 pm

I'm in.

My first flash piece won't win any awards, but editing was good practice. Hopefully many others jump on the bandwagon! Looking forward to all growing together.

Now back to longer-form writing,
Ari


499 words, "Conception and Deception" Draft 2

“You want to be a magician like your old man?” the spirit asked.

“With all my heart,” Arturo said. He needed to escape the dungeon. Only magic could help rescue his love. Confined too long, he was covered in grime, his once golden hair matted with tar. Extreme hunger consumed him. His body ached from sleeping on straw. Aromas of defecation made him want to vomit.

“Magic is first, conception; and second, deception. Conception is creating something in the physical realm.” The spirit held out his hand: an egg grew upon it. He handed it to Arturo. “It’s yours.”

Starving, Arturo ate it. “How did you conjure an egg in this dungeon?”

“Whereas deception is about appearances.” He held out his other hand, which burst into flames. “Go ahead and check it.”

Arturo felt nothing. The fire disappeared.

“But did you really create the egg?” Arturo peered into the spirit’s fiery eyes. “Or just transport it from somewhere else?”

“What is conception but moving matter from one place to another? To create life is to combine matter and nurture its growth.”

“And deception?”

The spirit laughed. “Deception involves moving light. Or sound. Or temperature. Any sense, really. It’s bending others’ perception of the world.”

“And conception is bending the world itself?”

“You’re getting it.”

Arturo smiled. “But how do I do it?”

“Let’s start with conception. Bending reality.” The spirit handed him a coin. “Place it on your palm and shut your fingers. When you open them, drop
the coin with a quick flick, so that I don’t notice.”

Arturo followed the directions, but the coin bounced loudly.

“I need to dampen the sound. Can I move some straw beneath me?”

“By all means. A magician can construct his own set. Now keep practicing.”

Arturo mastered the disappearance of the coin.

“But making it vanish isn’t enough. It would be better if it returned. Do you have another?”

“Check your pocket. On to deception. Repeat the trick with no straw.”

“It will be obvious I’m dropping it!”

“Immediately step on it with your foot.”

Arturo nodded. “And then show you the second coin?”

“Precisely! Act like it never left your hand.”

“Why can’t you save me? You’re a great magician, after all!”

“You conceived me, deceiving yourself. Remember: all good tricks have both elements of conception and deception. Magic lies in the complexity between them.” He vanished.

After deceiving himself, Arturo had to conceive of a plan with two coins, his clothes, and straw.

Arturo disrobed and stuffed his clothes with straw, placing his straw man against the back wall. Standing in the shadows, he yelled, “Guard! One of the prisoners died!”

The clank of the guard’s baton grew louder.

Arturo held his breath as the guard examined his cell. Conception! The guard sighed, unlocked it, and headed towards the straw man.

While the guard examined it, Arturo tossed the coins. Deception! Arturo pounced, seized the baton, and knocked him out.

Arturo disguised himself and sought his lost love.




250 words, "Conception and Deception" Draft 3

“You desire to master magic?” the spirit asked.

“Unquestionably.” Only then could Arturo escape the dungeon and rescue his love. Confined eternally, he was shrouded in grime, his once golden hair matted with tar. He ached from sleeping on straw.

“Magic is first, conception; second, deception. Conception is physical creation.” Its outstretched paw sprouted an egg. “Yours.”

Arturo devoured it.

“Whereas deception concerns appearance.” Another paw ignited. “Consider.” The blaze dissipated.

“Did you create the egg?” Arturo studied the spirit’s twinkling eyes. “Or transport it?”

“What is conception but moving matter? To create life is to combine matter and nurture its growth.”

“And deception?”

“Refracting light, sound… any sense… twisting perception.”

“And conception is bending nature.” Arturo smiled. “But how?”

“Consider.” The spirit offered a coin. “Clench your fingers. When you open them, nimbly release.”

A jangle.

“Can I dampen it with straw?”

“A magician constructs his own set.”

Arturo practiced. “Reappearance would enhance the illusion. Have another?”

“Check your pocket… Onto deception, without straw. Step on it.”

Arturo nodded. “And show the other?”

“Like it never left.”

“Aural deception… Why can’t you spring me?”

You conceived me, deceiving yourself. Remember these lessons.” The spirit vanished.

Hmm. Arturo disrobed, stuffing his clothes with straw. From the shadows he yelled, “Guard! Someone died!”

The clank of the guard’s baton crescendoed.

Conception. The guard sighed, unlocked Arturo’s cell, and examined the straw man.

Arturo flung the coins.

Deception. He pounced, seized the baton, and incapacitated the guard.

Time to seek his love.
HM, R, HM, R, ?


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