Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

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

Postby Wulf Moon » Thu Nov 28, 2019 11:04 am

Thanks for that, Leah! Wonderful review, should prove very helpful to the Pack!

So those are the Super Secrets that helped Leah produce a WotF Winner. Now you know. You heard it here first.

And now YOU have your next Assignment:

1. Locate each of those Super Secrets in the Table of Contents

2. Review each, but this time with the knowledge something within these helped one of your challenge beasties WIN this contest.

3. Share a couple of points from these with the group that you might wish to apply to your next story. If it's good for the goose....

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

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Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby SwiftPotato » Thu Nov 28, 2019 11:11 am

Wulf Moon wrote:1. Locate each of those Super Secrets in the Table of Contents


Ref: TOC is on page 58 ascending.
R, 3rd place Q4 v36!!!

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Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby disgruntledpeony » Thu Nov 28, 2019 11:14 am

SwiftPotato wrote:
Wulf Moon wrote:1. Locate each of those Super Secrets in the Table of Contents


Ref: TOC is on page 58 ascending.


Something I've been meaning to bring up as a suggestion--might it be possible for Wulf to edit his initial post on page one and copy/paste the TOC there? That way newcomers can navigate the thread from their first click.
If a person offend you, and you are in doubt as to whether it was intentional or not, do not resort to extreme measures; simply watch your chance and hit him with a brick. ~ Mark Twain

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

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Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby Retropianoplayer » Thu Nov 28, 2019 1:06 pm

Got back from Thanksgiving Dinner and caught up on the thread.

Congratulations, Leah, on winning Third Place. An unsolicited suggestion (yes, I'm prone to those, lol): Please mention Wulf in your acceptance speech if you feel this unselfish man has helped you secure this victory. I'm well aware he would say it's not necessary, but there is the Law of Karma to consider.

Your victory is magnified a thousandfold by the fact you just began on WOTF Forum.

Enjoy all the events of this pageant. Tinkle the ivories of the piano in the Theater Room if you can.

You have two titles – KEEPER OF THE RECORDS and THIRD PLACE WINNER, FOURTH QUARTER.

All the best,

Retro wotf010

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Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby SwiftPotato » Thu Nov 28, 2019 1:11 pm

Retropianoplayer wrote:Got back from Thanksgiving Dinner and caught up on the thread.

Congratulations, Leah, on winning Third Place. An unsolicited suggestion (yes, I'm prone to those, lol): Please mention Wulf in your acceptance speech if you feel this unselfish man has helped you secure this victory. I'm well aware he would say it's not necessary, but there is the Law of Karma to consider.

Your victory is magnified a thousandfold by the fact you just began on WOTF Forum.

Enjoy all the events of this pageant. Tinkle the ivories of the piano in the Theater Room if you can.

You have two titles – KEEPER OF THE RECORDS and THIRD PLACE WINNER, FOURTH QUARTER.

All the best,

Retro wotf010


Thanks, Retro!

Yes, no worries, I've planned to have Moon (and, of course, my fellow forumites) in my speech since I learned I needed to write one. :) I hope I can play that piano, and if I do (and I'm allowed), I'll get pictures and/or video for you! I hope you get to play those same keys soon.
R, 3rd place Q4 v36!!!

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Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby officer » Thu Nov 28, 2019 1:19 pm

SwiftPotato wrote:I believe that advice came from Donald Maass's THE EMOTIONAL CRAFT OF FICTION. If you haven't read it yet, read it. The advice and exercises in there really took my ability to make people feel things to a different level.

I went to amazon to buy this, and apparently I already did! Back before I even knew about this contest. I know what to read next. Thanks for all the advice! There's no one better among us to attend the workshop than our very own KEEPER OF THE RECORDS! We all stand to benefit from your notes and perspective after wotf009

Moon - could you make the "private message" Super Secrets available to the current group?

The most useful Super Secret for me has been "SUPER SECRET #15: Open your short story with 1. A CHARACTER, 2. in a SETTING, 3. with a PROBLEM." This forces you to open the story in the right place, by immediately introducing a character's conflict.

I'm working on "SUPER SECRET #31: Not too long, not too short. Your story needs to be jusssst right." My HM was 14k words, so now I have limited options for it. I knew before I even started that it would come close to the upper limit of the contest! I can't cut it further without compromising the story. Instead, I'm formulating my new stories stories with salable length in mind.

Back to cooking I go. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

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Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby CCrawford » Thu Nov 28, 2019 2:22 pm

SwiftPotato wrote:So, I got my result, and...

wotf059

Third place! I just got the call from Joni and she told me I could "scream it to the hilltops"!



This is so awesome! Yay!!!!!! Congratulations!!
v35: Q4 - HM
V36: R, R, R, R

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Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby Wulf Moon » Thu Nov 28, 2019 2:42 pm

disgruntledpeony wrote:
SwiftPotato wrote:
Wulf Moon wrote:1. Locate each of those Super Secrets in the Table of Contents


Ref: TOC is on page 58 ascending.


Something I've been meaning to bring up as a suggestion--might it be possible for Wulf to edit his initial post on page one and copy/paste the TOC there? That way newcomers can navigate the thread from their first click.


Great idea, Liz! That puts the TOC at the start of the "book." Thanks for the suggestion!

Officer asked if I could make the "Hidden SUPER SECRETS" available to the new members. That's a fair request--you committed as well to a challenging challenge (I call these redundant redundancies--I have a story of same title filled with them!). They are for members only, one of the rewards of committing instead of lurking (but we love you lurkers--our very own SwiftPotato used to be one!). But now that we have new members, how to reveal without overloading my bursting mailbox with requests? Since we have a KEEPER OF RECORDS, let's make her earn her keep. : ) FOR CHALLENGE MEMBERS ONLY: Please send to Leah's mailbox your email, and I'll send you the missing links, knuckle dragging hairy things that they are. These are for your eyes only--don't share them with others--they were hard won by your prior challenge beasties, and they are a members only benefit for signing up. You have one week to send your email to SwiftPotato to collect them up, and she'll provide me with the list.

There you go, Officer!

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

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Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby SwiftPotato » Thu Nov 28, 2019 3:23 pm

Wulf Moon wrote:
disgruntledpeony wrote:
SwiftPotato wrote:
Ref: TOC is on page 58 ascending.


Something I've been meaning to bring up as a suggestion--might it be possible for Wulf to edit his initial post on page one and copy/paste the TOC there? That way newcomers can navigate the thread from their first click.


Great idea, Liz! That puts the TOC at the start of the "book." Thanks for the suggestion!

Officer asked if I could make the "Hidden SUPER SECRETS" available to the new members. That's a fair request--you committed as well to a challenging challenge (I call these redundant redundancies--I have a story of same title filled with them!). They are for members only, one of the rewards of committing instead of lurking (but we love you lurkers--our very own SwiftPotato used to be one!). But now that we have new members, how to reveal without overloading my bursting mailbox with requests? Since we have a KEEPER OF RECORDS, let's make her earn her keep. : ) FOR CHALLENGE MEMBERS ONLY: Please send to Leah's mailbox your email, and I'll send you the missing links, knuckle dragging hairy things that they are. These are for your eyes only--don't share them with others--they were hard won by your prior challenge beasties, and they are a members only benefit for signing up. You have one week to send your email to SwiftPotato to collect them up, and she'll provide me with the list.

There you go, Officer!

Cheers!


Sweet. Thanks Moon! I'd love to see the TOC at the beginning too, for what it's worth. Let me know if you need the pure forum format for it and I can send it along.

For the PMs, to be totally clear: I'll plan to send Moon the list of people who PMed me on Friday morning (the 6th) when I wake up (I'll be in central time that day) since I don't really know everyone's time zone.
R, 3rd place Q4 v36!!!

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Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby disgruntledpeony » Thu Nov 28, 2019 3:38 pm

Wulf Moon wrote:Great idea, Liz! That puts the TOC at the start of the "book." Thanks for the suggestion.

Glad to help. wotf009
If a person offend you, and you are in doubt as to whether it was intentional or not, do not resort to extreme measures; simply watch your chance and hit him with a brick. ~ Mark Twain

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

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Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby Wulf Moon » Thu Nov 28, 2019 5:54 pm

disgruntledpeony wrote:
Wulf Moon wrote:Great idea, Liz! That puts the TOC at the start of the "book." Thanks for the suggestion.

Glad to help. wotf009


You have a story to tell as well, Liz. A different set of judges, and we would have likely seen a different set of results. Joni told me the judges NEVER agree on who the winners should be. She said, "No, you don't understand. That NEVER happens." So your being fourth is just as valid, at least from our perspective. We'd like to hear about your story, length, genre, and how you came up with it. When you're ready. When it's comfy.

You also are a challenge beastie that made top FOUR in the world last quarter. Four out of thousands. RESPECT.

All the beast!

Beastmaster Moon....Who is going to tell each and every one of you to go into beastmode as soon as that turkey and company are gone. THIS is the best quarter to enter, because writers tend to miss on this quarter with all the holiday frivolities. Don't be frivolous...until your Q1 for Vol. 37 is in, and don't send it in too early. You never know what you might learn letting it sit for a bit, or who might offer to help you. Cheers!
Wulf Moon http://driftweave.com
Q4 Vol 35 "Super-Duper Moongirl..."
Critters Readers Award: #1, "War Dog," Best SF&F Short Story of 2018
NEW! "Weep No More..." DEEP MAGIC Fall 2019 http://amazon.com/author/wulfmoon

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Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby Wulf Moon » Thu Nov 28, 2019 5:56 pm

Swift wrote: Sweet. Thanks Moon! I'd love to see the TOC at the beginning too, for what it's worth. Let me know if you need the pure forum format for it and I can send it along.


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

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Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby chuckt » Thu Nov 28, 2019 6:40 pm

Wulf Moon wrote: So your being fourth is just as valid, at least from our perspective. We'd like to hear about your story, length, genre, and how you came up with it.


Well. Damn it. I didn't see where you said anything Liz. Shoot. You're obviously writing at winner-level. I'm sure Wulf is right. When you get that high, it's just what most strikes the fancy of that particular set of judges.
36 R,R,R, SHM

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Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby crlisle » Thu Nov 28, 2019 7:37 pm

I sent my 1st quarter entry in way too soon -- before I met this fine company. So I am starting on my 2nd quarter entry.

I am going to use hooks, my voice, write in 3rd person, and have a tear jerker of an emotional response. It will be a fresh piece with a new idea. My voice is fun, playful, and joyful, so this will be very challenging.
Q4 36 R
Q1 37 pending

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Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby Wulf Moon » Thu Nov 28, 2019 9:34 pm

crlisle wrote:I sent my 1st quarter entry in way too soon -- before I met this fine company. So I am starting on my 2nd quarter entry.

I am going to use hooks, my voice, write in 3rd person, and have a tear jerker of an emotional response. It will be a fresh piece with a new idea. My voice is fun, playful, and joyful, so this will be very challenging.


That's the spirit, crlisle! Never surrender! We learn with every new story we write. And with WotF, there's always another quarter.

Keep writing fresh!

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

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Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby disgruntledpeony » Thu Nov 28, 2019 9:50 pm

crlisle wrote:My voice is fun, playful, and joyful, so this will be very challenging.

Fun, playful, and joyful can work too. My finalist was primarily a wild romp (although I will grant, there was a dark undercurrent to it as well).

Don't worry, Wulf, I'll be dishing out the details soon. wotf007 Possibly after sleeping, but certainly within a few days' time.
If a person offend you, and you are in doubt as to whether it was intentional or not, do not resort to extreme measures; simply watch your chance and hit him with a brick. ~ Mark Twain

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

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Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby Henckel » Thu Nov 28, 2019 11:43 pm

ASSIGNMENT

Three stand-out Super Secrets for me are:

#3: Set the hook

My focus for my next story is to hook readers (judges) with the first sentence and not let them go. I’m going to always have a compelling question to pull readers along. And if my MC finds the answer to his/her questions midway through the story, I will ensure they already have two more questions even more compelling. ALSO, I want my hooks to be specifically rooted in Sci fi or fantasy; rather than having a normal hook in a scifi or fantasy realm.

#18: Start your hero’s quest! We’re on the clock!

This was my single greatest failing with My Q4 sub. It was a solid story that read way too slowly. It had subtle conflict as early as the first paragraph, but the story didn’t really take off until page 5. Lesson learned. It won’t happen again.

#33: Kill your darlings

This little gem is going to save my chiseled jaw line. It represents one awesome tool I’ll used to get the story rolling more quickly.
(2014) V31 Q1 – R
(2018) V35 Q3 – HM
(2019) V36 Q3 – HM
(2019) V36 Q4 – SHM
(2020) V37 Q1 – ?

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Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby thegirlintheglasses » Fri Nov 29, 2019 12:49 am

SwiftPotato wrote:So, I got my result, and...

wotf059

Third place! I just got the call from Joni and she told me I could "scream it to the hilltops"!



wotf010 wotf010 wotf010 wotf010
wotf009

AHHHHHHHH! Congratulations!

WE GOT A BEASTIE ON THAT STAGE!!!! WOOOHOOOO!

When I heard this news I screamed. Congratulations! Congratulations! CONGRATULATIONS!
We'll all be watching you take that stage and live vicariously through your win. Make us proud!
AHHHHHH!
I may have just screamed again ;)
Brittany Rainsdon
R-SHM-HM-R-HM-R-F-F-HM-HM-HM

John Goodwin asked me to type up a blog post about writing my wotf entry around giving birth. Here it is!
https://www.writersofthefuture.com/birt ... -rainsdon/

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Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby chuckt » Fri Nov 29, 2019 4:36 am

disgruntledpeony wrote:Wulf, I'll be dishing out the details soon. wotf007 Possibly after sleeping, but certainly within a few days' time.


Did you get a critique already?
36 R,R,R, SHM

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Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby SwiftPotato » Fri Nov 29, 2019 5:06 am

thegirlintheglasses wrote:
SwiftPotato wrote:So, I got my result, and...

wotf059

Third place! I just got the call from Joni and she told me I could "scream it to the hilltops"!



wotf010 wotf010 wotf010 wotf010
wotf009

AHHHHHHHH! Congratulations!

WE GOT A BEASTIE ON THAT STAGE!!!! WOOOHOOOO!

When I heard this news I screamed. Congratulations! Congratulations! CONGRATULATIONS!
We'll all be watching you take that stage and live vicariously through your win. Make us proud!
AHHHHHH!
I may have just screamed again ;)


Thank you!!! No worries, I may have screamed a few times too after I got off the phone with Joni ;)
R, 3rd place Q4 v36!!!

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Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby disgruntledpeony » Fri Nov 29, 2019 5:29 am

chuckt wrote:
disgruntledpeony wrote:Wulf, I'll be dishing out the details soon. wotf007 Possibly after sleeping, but certainly within a few days' time.


Did you get a critique already?

I don't get one as a finalist--only semi-finalists get critiques. Finalists are considered good enough for publication; it's just a matter of judges' preferences at that point.
If a person offend you, and you are in doubt as to whether it was intentional or not, do not resort to extreme measures; simply watch your chance and hit him with a brick. ~ Mark Twain

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

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Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby WillShadbolt » Fri Nov 29, 2019 6:55 am

SwiftPotato wrote:So, I got my result, and...

wotf059

Third place! I just got the call from Joni and she told me I could "scream it to the hilltops"!


Congrats! That's awesome!
R, R, R, HM

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Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby zeeteebeez » Fri Nov 29, 2019 8:15 am

Congrats to both Potato and Peony!

Thank you for sharing your wisdom with the rest of us.
Z.T.

Alternating HM's and R's

“It’s gonna seem so far. It’s gonna feel so hard. Until you want the work more than the reward. Do you want the work more than the reward?” - Jimmy Eat World

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Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby SwiftPotato » Fri Nov 29, 2019 9:31 am

Thanks, all! I'm not sure if what I have is wisdom, but I will do my best to share what I have. :)
R, 3rd place Q4 v36!!!

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Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby storysinger » Fri Nov 29, 2019 9:56 am

What an awesome week this has been. So much success for the Wulf Pack wotf010. Congrats to all.
Now it's back to the challenge for me.
SwiftPotato, I have done my first two flash stories. The Beast Within and Insatiable Greed.
If I need to write another please let me know.
My Q4 story was written with the write it and use minimal editing along with the ones above.
I like the Fatal Error prompt and will write a flash piece for it today.
HM-V32/Q3
HM-V36/Q4
Today's science fiction is tomorrow's reality.
D.R.Sweeney

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Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby SwiftPotato » Fri Nov 29, 2019 10:13 am

storysinger wrote:What an awesome week this has been. So much success for the Wulf Pack wotf010. Congrats to all.
Now it's back to the challenge for me.
SwiftPotato, I have done my first two flash stories. The Beast Within and Insatiable Greed.
If I need to write another please let me know.
My Q4 story was written with the write it and use minimal editing along with the ones above.
I like the Fatal Error prompt and will write a flash piece for it today.


Nope, you're all set for this month, storysinger. I've got you down for them on the roster.

This is an excellent reminder: the end of November draws nigh! If you're part of the bonus flash challenge and have written your November flash, please post here so I can put it on the cave wall, I mean, roster!
R, 3rd place Q4 v36!!!

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Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby disgruntledpeony » Fri Nov 29, 2019 10:35 am

Okay, here's the deal with my finalist: When I was waiting for results, I said that I knew this challenge had directly contributed to my success. That's because I literally might not have written the story otherwise. My 4th place finalist was a 3.7k weird western, 'Old Man Coyote Meets Mother Torment'.

If that title sounds familiar to some of you, that's because it was an expanded version of the flash, 'Coyote Meets Mother Torment,' that I wrote for the KYD exercise toward the end of Q3. When that challenge first came up, I snatched a paragraph or two of description that had been languishing away in Google Docs for years, spun that into my 1k flash, and cut that down when instructed. (The reason I had so much trouble with the 250 is because I couldn't bring myself to let go of the setting description that had led me to the idea in the first place.)

After the exercise, Wulf and I had a couple of conversations via PM. He suggested that I either submit something similar to Daily SF or expand 'Coyote Meets Mother Torment' into something a longer for WotF. "Okay," I thought, "I might do that at some point. Maybe."

Q4 came around and I got stuck. I tried to write three different short stories--good ideas that I was just missing a few pieces for--but I couldn't get past my mental block with any of them. Eventually, I realized that I really, really, really wanted to expand on 'Coyote Meets Mother Torment' and I wouldn't be able to write anything else until I finished it. I'd initially decided against writing it, because I'd already sent Dave a couple of previous stories with those characters that never made it past SHM. Plus, Dave had commented a couple of years ago in his blog about being inundated with weird westerns. All of that made me wary… but the story just wouldn't let go. So I wrote it, I sent it, and I came just shy of winning with it.

I'm not going to lie, I wish I'd placed, but I'm still proud of how close I came. You can bet I'm going to submit "Old Man Coyote Meets Mother Torment" to every pro market I can in hopes it sells.
If a person offend you, and you are in doubt as to whether it was intentional or not, do not resort to extreme measures; simply watch your chance and hit him with a brick. ~ Mark Twain

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

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Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby zeeteebeez » Fri Nov 29, 2019 10:51 am

Good stuff, Peony.

Obviously placing would have been great, but I’d still consider this a victory. May this long be the wind in your sails.

Congrats again.
Z.T.

Alternating HM's and R's

“It’s gonna seem so far. It’s gonna feel so hard. Until you want the work more than the reward. Do you want the work more than the reward?” - Jimmy Eat World

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Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby Wulf Moon » Fri Nov 29, 2019 12:08 pm

disgruntledpeony wrote:Okay, here's the deal with my finalist: When I was waiting for results, I said that I knew this challenge had directly contributed to my success. That's because I literally might not have written the story otherwise. My 4th place finalist was a 3.7k weird western, 'Old Man Coyote Meets Mother Torment'.

If that title sounds familiar to some of you, that's because it was an expanded version of the flash, 'Coyote Meets Mother Torment,' that I wrote for the KYD exercise toward the end of Q3. When that challenge first came up, I snatched a paragraph or two of description that had been languishing away in Google Docs for years, spun that into my 1k flash, and cut that down when instructed. (The reason I had so much trouble with the 250 is because I couldn't bring myself to let go of the setting description that had led me to the idea in the first place.)

After the exercise, Wulf and I had a couple of conversations via PM. He suggested that I either submit something similar to Daily SF or expand 'Coyote Meets Mother Torment' into something a longer for WotF. "Okay," I thought, "I might do that at some point. Maybe."

Q4 came around and I got stuck. I tried to write three different short stories--good ideas that I was just missing a few pieces for--but I couldn't get past my mental block with any of them. Eventually, I realized that I really, really, really wanted to expand on 'Coyote Meets Mother Torment' and I wouldn't be able to write anything else until I finished it. I'd initially decided against writing it, because I'd already sent Dave a couple of previous stories with those characters that never made it past SHM. Plus, Dave had commented a couple of years ago in his blog about being inundated with weird westerns. All of that made me wary… but the story just wouldn't let go. So I wrote it, I sent it, and I came just shy of winning with it.

I'm not going to lie, I wish I'd placed, but I'm still proud of how close I came. You can bet I'm going to submit "Old Man Coyote Meets Mother Torment" to every pro market I can in hopes it sells.


Wonderful! Thanks for sharing this, Liz! I'm not going to lie, I was really hoping this story would win WotF, it's excellent, and we got to watch the seeds of its creation in here. It's still a great story of how it came about, and it's good to remember with a different set of judges, you could just as easily have been a winner. Be proud of what you accomplished. We are.

You are also living proof of what proper application of the Kill Your Darlings exercise can accomplish. You followed the system:

1. Take an idea and develop it into a flash story of around 1000 words.

2. Cut it to 500 words and stop.

3. Rethink what the story is about and focus on the poignant vignette within.

4. Write that vignette in 250 words or less. This is not another cut-out-words edit. This is a new creation, based on something powerful you found as you melted down your flash. You should discover the beating heart of your story at this point, and write a scene focusing on that heart.

5. With this new focus and knowledge, build back up again FROM THE 250, every scene and word you write reverbrating with this beating heartbeat.

THAT makes powerful stories. THAT makes winners. That's how I won that year long international flash contest with some 35,000 entries. And that's how Liz almost won this contest.

I didn't prompt Liz to write this. She messaged me recently out of the blue and told me she was going to write it, after she found out her results. I am really happy she shared it, however, because it proves what I've been telling you all along...the system works.

Those weekly prompts we do? Do you know why I provide them? That's what the big contest I won used to do, every week for one year. I developed and did my KYD exercise on their prompt almost every week, and entered the contest most weeks. I usually took first, second, or third each week, out of 500-700 entries for the week. If you do this exercise right, you will not only train yourself to write lean and mean stories, you'll have dozens of potent seeds for stories. Some of them will have so much power compressed into them, your subconscious won't allow you to let go of them. They will unfold into beautiful stories that resonate with judges, editors, and readers. Because you took the time to build a tiny mockup of your story...and looked within the construct and discovered the hidden heart beating within.

It worked for Liz. Look what she accomplished with her KYD seed!

Well done, Liz! Thank you for sharing this story with your challenge beasties! May it encourage them as they apply the knowledge to their own writing.

All the beast!

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

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chuckt
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Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby chuckt » Fri Nov 29, 2019 12:46 pm

I remember Liz's story. It was very inventive so it wasn't just a weird Western. I'd love to read the final product sometime.
36 R,R,R, SHM


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