Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby oishisushi911 » Mon Dec 09, 2019 4:24 pm

Answers to Super Secret 39: Protect Your Voice

1.What is Voice?
It is the unique spirit of the writer expressed on the page, a signature that marks that writing as uniquely theirs.

2. Why is it so important for writers to protect it?
Because it makes your work stand out. It impresses readers with its strength.

3. Name a few of your favorite writers.
Kelly Link
Mary Robinette Kowal
Guy Gavriel Kay

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

Link: The strange and amusing ways in which magic or the unbelievable intermingles sensibly with the natural state of the story world and the deep issues of the characters.

Kowal: How the emotions of the characters are laid bare so vibrantly and yet the story isn‘t dragged down into petty sadness.

Kay: The viewpoints of characters possess such truth and their relationships seem so sharp and poignant that I want to be close to these lives the stories paint, I want to step in and lend them a hand.

5. How can a writer get their writing style homogenized?
By listening to too many opinions on their work and adjusting their writing to fit the common crowd. Cutting out their voice to match the bland stylistic expectations of others.

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

7. What happened to some movies that sought too much input from focus groups?
Their endings were vomit-worthy. As important scenes or elements were cut, they lost their power since the voice was cut out or wounded.

8. What type of stories did focus groups fail the most at?
Quirky or edgy. The ones with all the voice.

9. What happened when some writers and directors stood their ground?
The creative work was a shocking success. Shocking!

10. How do we get more of our individuality onto the page? What can happen if we succeed?
Writing more. Putting in the hard work to develop our unique writing. Getting a limited amount of critiques and support, and being careful to safeguard your own style.
R.J.K. Lee
2015-2019: 4 HMs, 9 Rs

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby Retropianoplayer » Mon Dec 09, 2019 4:52 pm

CRLISLE, I think I found something in The Screenwriter's Bible which might address what you wrote about opening scenes in cinema.

"Somewhere in the first 10 or 15 pages of your script (or earlier), something should happen to give your central character a goal, a desire, a mission, a need, or a problem. I like to call this event the Catalyst, although it's referred to by others as the Inciting Incident. Yes, it is a turning point. No, it's not usually the same as the Big Event, although it can be. This term and many other terms are used in a variety of ways by industry people. One person's Catalyst is another person's First Major Turning Point. For example, many writers and writing gurus think of the Big Event as the Inciting Incident. Defining the terms is less important than understanding the principle. I use terms that I believe will be the most helpful and least confusing to understand.

"Here's the principle: When a story begins, life is in b balance. Yes, your hero may have a problem, but it's a problem he's always had – his status quo. Then the Catalyst kicks things out of balance and gives the central character a new problem, need, goal, desire or mission. The central character spends the rest of the movie trying to get things back into balance."

"A good Catalyst and/or Big Event, besides giving the central character a new problem or desire, will often reveal something of the main conflict or story premise. It may raise the central dramatic question (or obligatory question) for that film."

"Because Act 1 is primarily devoted to setting up the story situation, foreshadowing becomes a vital tool......Here's a partial list of foreshadowing elements in Titanic. Most are introduced early in the story....The sunken ship, rooms, fireplace, safe, Rose's comb, the nude drawing; The automobile where they later make love; how the Titanic would sink; Heart of the Ocean necklace; How freezing the water is (Jack points this out in the 'suicide' scene); Spitting lessons pay off later when Rose hocks one up on her fiancé; The number of lifeboats; The gun; Jack: 'You jump, I jump'; Jack 'You'll die warm in your bed.' This foreshadowing comes late; The whistle. This is also introduced appropriately late, and its payoff is powerful."

Whenever I take my family to a movie at the local theater, I have to visibly restrain myself from staring at my watch at the 10 minutes mark, and saying, "Such and such is going to happen now," again a half hour into the feature; another at Plot Point 2, 45 minutes in; as the tension ratchets up at Midpoint an hour into the feature, lol.

We recently saw The Good Liar. Excellent movie. Unfortunately, I predicted every plot twist, the climax, and the ending.

Wulf, I play the love theme from The Thorn Birds on piano sans music sheets. I saw it when it came out about 1985 with Richard Chamberlain and Rachel Ward.

Best,

Retro

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby Wulf Moon » Mon Dec 09, 2019 6:22 pm

Thanks for the post above, Retro. Fiction writers use the term "inciting incident" but I like your screenwriters' term "catalyst" even better, as it more accurately describes what takes place at this point in a story. Good term.

As to piano, cool you can play from memory like that!

RJK Lee, while here, like everyone else's comments, I enjoyed your insights to the questions. Especially this: "Writing more. Putting in the hard work to develop our unique writing. Getting a limited amount of critiques and support, and being careful to safeguard your own style."

Exactly. We do benefit from competent help. The question is how much, and how much influence we allow them to have over our work. We have to safeguard our unique style, our Voice, or in the end, we will have little to offer the world.

Keep writing, all! You should be working on finishing your second fresh story for the quarter, and then choosing the pick of the litter to send to WotF!

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

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby CCrawford » Mon Dec 09, 2019 8:05 pm

Retropianoplayer wrote: P.S. I still think the ending to LOST was a huge disappointment.

Yes! I still haven't quite gotten over it. Lol

Wulf Moon wrote:A shout out to Chuckt for his first sale and publication in the anthology CLASSICS REMIXED II. Chuck is a challenge beastie from our Volume 36 challenge. Well done, Chuck! I am certain there are more to come!

Cheers!

Beastmaster Moon


Congrats, Chuck!

Wulf Moon wrote:1. What is Voice?
2. Why is it so important for writers to protect it?
3. Name a few of your favorite writers.
4. Now ask yourself: What makes their storytelling style unique? What do you admire that makes you keep going back to the well for more?
5. How can a writer get their writing style homogenized?
6. If our writing sounds like everyone else’s, or simply mimics that of another famous writer, we might sell, but what happens to our chances of breaking out ahead of the pack?
7. What happened to some movies that sought too much input from focus groups?
8. What type of stories did focus groups fail the most at?
9. What happened when some writers and directors stood their ground?
10. How do we get more of our individuality onto the page? What can happen if we succeed?


Thank you for this, Super Secret, Wulf! It was both helpful and encouraging. Here are my responses (I haven't read everyone else's answers, yet, so sorry if I repeat things already said!):

1. Voice is the unique essence of YOU which comes through in your writing.
2. Your voice is the one thing truly exclusive to YOU, what will set your writing apart from all others'.
3. This is always such a hard question for me, because I love writers for different reasons. Stylistically, I was really impressed with Patrick Rothfuss when I read Name of the Wind. Something about his writing is just so poetic! There are plenty of others but it's hard to think through and make a list. I have been enjoying Brandon Sanderson's books, lately, as well. Apparently I like writers who have been associated with this contest! Among others, of course.
4. Like I said above, Rothfuss' prose is really poetic. Sanderson's, on the other hand, has sort of a... clean feel? It's hard to describe. But his YA stuff, especially, feels crisp and efficient (to me, at least) while still carrying an emotional impact.
5. By trying to adapt to feedback from a collection of readers, who may or may not understand the writer's vision for the story or "get" the writer's voice.
6. We lose the one thing that could have made us stand out, so... the chances aren't great.
7. They lost the essence of the writer's/director's vision by trying to incorporate feedback from too many outside voices, and ended up weaker for it.
8. Unique or quirky stories which didn't fit traditional expectations.
9. The movies which focus groups indicated would flop, ended up being hugely successful instead.
10. Minimize feedback from outside voices (limited to a few wise readers, rather than feedback by committee), and write the story true to our own vision for it and true to our own unique worldview, perspectives, and passions, rather than trying to adapt to what's popular or what's expected.


Also, thank you to everyone for giving me encouraging, helpful things to read here in the forum while I'm holding the baby at all hours of the day and night. :) I'm trying to stay caught up on posts... there always seem to be plenty of new ones to read when I get a chance!

My big achievement of the week was that I actually got the first draft of one of my fresh stories for this quarter written! I'm way behind schedule for where I hoped I'd be at this point, but I do have one story ready to edit and polish before the end of this month! I'm still hoping I can get the second one written, as well, so that I'll have something to submit to another market. This challenge and all the forumite posts are super motivating, so thank you all for that! It felt good to write something again after how chaotic life has been lately with a newborn!
v35: Q4 - HM
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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby officer » Mon Dec 09, 2019 9:08 pm

CCrawford wrote:My big achievement of the week was that I actually got the first draft of one of my fresh stories for this quarter written! I'm way behind schedule for where I hoped I'd be at this point, but I do have one story ready to edit and polish before the end of this month! I'm still hoping I can get the second one written, as well, so that I'll have something to submit to another market. This challenge and all the forumite posts are super motivating, so thank you all for that! It felt good to write something again after how chaotic life has been lately with a newborn!

Way to go! That's huge. It's motivating for us to see you juggle all that responsibility and still crank out a story.
HM, ?

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby Wulf Moon » Tue Dec 10, 2019 12:43 am

CCrawford wrote: Also, thank you to everyone for giving me encouraging, helpful things to read here in the forum while I'm holding the baby at all hours of the day and night. :) I'm trying to stay caught up on posts... there always seem to be plenty of new ones to read when I get a chance!

My big achievement of the week was that I actually got the first draft of one of my fresh stories for this quarter written! I'm way behind schedule for where I hoped I'd be at this point, but I do have one story ready to edit and polish before the end of this month! I'm still hoping I can get the second one written, as well, so that I'll have something to submit to another market. This challenge and all the forumite posts are super motivating, so thank you all for that! It felt good to write something again after how chaotic life has been lately with a newborn!
__________________________________

Well done! Don't sweat the second story this quarter--you've just had a baby and family comes first. Getting your WotF entry together is the key right now. You want to send them your best, and to never miss a quarter. So that's my recommendation. Focus on that one.

Glad everyone's posts have been motivating. That's what a group like this is, your tribe. Or, as some have dubbed us, your Wulf Pack. It's good to associate with people that have similar interests and are here, not just to help themselves succeed, but the rest of the members as well.

Keep up the good work!

All the beast,

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

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby Retropianoplayer » Tue Dec 10, 2019 11:21 am

I found strong corroboration of what Wulf has been stating with regard to Voice on Page 27 of The Screenwriter's Bible.

Under FORMULAIC WRITING, in sum and substance, David Trottier says, "The same holds for this book. I present guidelines rather than rules. Please don't internalize the above guidelines as a formula. This book is not intended as a write by the numbers text. It is your handy guide for a successful writing journey. In reality, you can do anything you want . . . as long as it works."

"Almost every guru and teacher has her or her model or paradigm for structuring and outlining a screenplay. Among them are the following (in no particular order): Michael Hauge's 'Six Stage Plot Structure,' Robert McKee's 'The Quest', Linda Seder's 'Story Spine; John Truby's 'Twenty-Two Building Blocks,' S;;yd Field's Paradigm; Blake Snyder's 'Beat Sheet,' Christopher Vogler's 'The Hero's Journey,' and my own 'Magnificent 7 Plot Points.' All of the 'great eight' paradigms named above are loosely compatible and present different ways to look at the same thing – basic story structure."

"They are provided by master teachers and are all worthwhile . . . as guidelines, but not as jackhammered-into-granite rules. Precisely imitating someone's surefire model without a strong application of creativity may result in a formulaic screenplay. And you can name a few classic and successful movies that do not exactly follow anyone's paradigm."

"Movies such as Shrek, Napoleon Dynamite, Gravity, Being John Malkovich, Spy Kids, Sleepless In Seattle, and O Brother, Where Art Thou? are fun to watch partly because they are so fresh and original. They use classic dramatic structure in inventive ways, in a few cases bending the framework."

"In the case of Joseph Stefano's Psycho (directed by Alfred Hitchcock), the framework is broken when the protagonist is killed before we are halfway into the movie. The tactic shocks the audience so forcefully that tremendous amount of suspense is created, enough to carry us through the second act."

I think all this bears on what everyone has answered about VOICE and CREATIVITY.

Best,

Retro

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby Wulf Moon » Tue Dec 10, 2019 12:05 pm

Great post, Retro. I agree with all of it. Which is interesting--the only influence I've had from any of the writing sources listed above was Vogler's THE HERO'S JOURNEY. And he did not talk about Voice, but about structure, the elements that make up a successful story.

A reminder to all. To write the breakout story, you must combine GREAT VOICE with MIND BENDING ORIGINAL IDEA with A PROTAGONIST READERS CAN EMOTIONALLY ATTACH TO with ENGAGING PLOT with PROFESSIONAL STORYTELLING SKILLS.

It's that simple. And that hard.

Best on your Q1s. The clock is ticking. I set up this challenge to help you win.

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

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby Wulf Moon » Wed Dec 11, 2019 10:39 am

I'll throw you one other tip for your Q1. Your protagonist can only grow as big as the protagonist they are forced to fight. So if you want to up the stakes, and up your character growth, up the power of your protagonist.

Who is next in our group to stand on the WotF stage? Pay close attention to the Super Secrets. Ask Leah (SwiftPotato). They are designed first and foremost to help you win this contest.

Fortune favor the brave...and the studious!

All the beast,

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

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby officer » Wed Dec 11, 2019 3:53 pm

A reminder for those in this year's Wulf Pack: If you send me your submission story in two weeks, on Dec 25, I will copy-edit it on Dec 26-27. Please PM me this week for my e-mail address if you don't already have it. I won't have time before Dec 26, so there's no benefit to sending your story early. I'll probably edit shortest to longest.

I'll return the piece to you in a shared Google doc with embedded comments since some of my suggestions will change your voice - and you need to protect your voice! I'll focus on sentence-level style. I can't claim to have any expertise beyond that... I've only been paid for writing non-fiction. Feel free to ignore everything, but some should help.

Thank you to Leah for reducing my potential work by winning already. Congrats, again!

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

Postby RSchibler » Wed Dec 11, 2019 5:57 pm

officer wrote:A reminder for those in this year's Wulf Pack: If you send me your submission story in two weeks, on Dec 25, I will copy-edit it on Dec 26-27.

Happy writing!


Heckuva Christmas present you're giving yourself! Thanks for your willingness to help out! It's that attitude I love about the forum and writers in general. wotf009
V34: R, HM, R
V35: HM, R, R, HM
V36: R, HM, HM, SHM
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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby thegirlintheglasses » Thu Dec 12, 2019 11:19 am

Guys, I've had some unforeseen health issues crop up. I'm going to have to pull myself from the challenge. I'll still be around. I'll be cheering. But I have to focus on my health for a bit. Wish you all the best, and I'll try to keep up...but at this point, I'm admitting to myself it probably won't be possible.
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!
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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby officer » Thu Dec 12, 2019 12:37 pm

thegirlintheglasses wrote:Guys, I've had some unforeseen health issues crop up. I'm going to have to pull myself from the challenge. I'll still be around. I'll be cheering. But I have to focus on my health for a bit. Wish you all the best, and I'll try to keep up...but at this point, I'm admitting to myself it probably won't be possible.

Health comes first. We all wish you well in your recovery!

Let us know if you want fresh eyes on any of your existing stories, or if we can help in any other way (I'm sure everyone would agree). Even if you don't "keep up" on the two new stories per quarter, we're all trying to catch up to you! Your finalists are pro-level. Continuing to market those and your other stories would be in the spirit of this challenge.
HM, ?

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby SwiftPotato » Thu Dec 12, 2019 12:48 pm

thegirlintheglasses wrote:Guys, I've had some unforeseen health issues crop up. I'm going to have to pull myself from the challenge. I'll still be around. I'll be cheering. But I have to focus on my health for a bit. Wish you all the best, and I'll try to keep up...but at this point, I'm admitting to myself it probably won't be possible.


Agreed with officer - health comes first. Take care of yourself, and let us know if we can help!
R, 3rd place Q4 v36!!!

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby CCrawford » Thu Dec 12, 2019 1:02 pm

thegirlintheglasses wrote:Guys, I've had some unforeseen health issues crop up. I'm going to have to pull myself from the challenge. I'll still be around. I'll be cheering. But I have to focus on my health for a bit. Wish you all the best, and I'll try to keep up...but at this point, I'm admitting to myself it probably won't be possible.


I'm so sorry to hear that! But I totally understand needing to focus on your health. I hope things improve for you very soon!
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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby disgruntledpeony » Thu Dec 12, 2019 1:51 pm

thegirlintheglasses wrote:Guys, I've had some unforeseen health issues crop up. I'm going to have to pull myself from the challenge. I'll still be around. I'll be cheering. But I have to focus on my health for a bit. Wish you all the best, and I'll try to keep up...but at this point, I'm admitting to myself it probably won't be possible.

*big hugs* No worries. Take care of yourself. Write if/when you feel up to it, but don't pressure yourself into anything that could prove detrimental. We care about you, and we want you to be well (or as well as possible under the circumstances).
If a person offend you, and you are in doubt as to whether it was intentional or not, do not resort to extreme measures; simply watch your chance and hit him with a brick. ~ Mark Twain

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby RSchibler » Thu Dec 12, 2019 3:47 pm

thegirlintheglasses wrote:Guys, I've had some unforeseen health issues crop up. I'm going to have to pull myself from the challenge. I'll still be around. I'll be cheering. But I have to focus on my health for a bit. Wish you all the best, and I'll try to keep up...but at this point, I'm admitting to myself it probably won't be possible.


I tried to send you a PM but it didn't take - yes, anything we can do I'm sure we're all there for you. I'm so sorry to hear you're having a hard time. I hope you heal quickly and have all the help you need!
V34: R, HM, R
V35: HM, R, R, HM
V36: R, HM, HM, SHM
V37: P

ALWAYS available for critique. PM me.

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby Henckel » Thu Dec 12, 2019 7:47 pm

1. What is Voice?
It’s the author’s unique way of telling their story. It’s their personal stamp.

2. Why is it so important for writers to protect it?
Maintaining a consistent and compelling voice can draw readers back to read more works by the same author.

3. Name a few of your favorite writers.
I don’t have favorite authors. I have favorite stories. But I appreciate that many authors of stories I enjoy (such as Cormac McCarthy’s) maintain stunning consistent voices through all their work.

4. Now ask yourself: What makes their storytelling style unique? What do you admire
Cormac McCarthy’s writing stands out for lack of punctuation, the most vibrant prose, elaborate description, showing the dark side of humanity, often not naming his characters, etc… His prose are so enchanting that readers (such as myself) excuse the vulgar subject manner and irredeemable characters. Seriously impressive stuff.

5. How can a writer get their writing style homogenized?
An author’s voice may become homogenized "if" they accept all recommendations from peer reviews.

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

7. What happened to some movies that sought too much input from focus groups?
From the examples given, they flip flopped so much that the movies lost its luster.

8. What type of stories did focus groups fail the most at?
Those that tried something new.

9. What happened when some writers and directors stood their ground?
Many writers have benefited from standing their ground.

10. How do we get more of our individuality onto the page? What can happen if we succeed?
Many authors will benefit from tempering the amount of peer review.
(2014) V31 Q1 – R
(2018) V35 Q3 – HM
(2019) V36 Q3 – HM (published @ Sci-fi Lampoon)
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(2020) V37 Q1 – ?

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby Retropianoplayer » Thu Dec 12, 2019 9:54 pm

The Girl In The Glasses, I wish you only good results on any medical testing and/or procedures should you need to undergo them. The biggest asset anyone has is their health; without it, all else is irrelevant.

Take care of yourself, everyone here in the Wulf Pac sends our best to you for a miraculous and speedy recovery. Never underestimate the power of prayer.

And without sounding like Forrest Gump, miracles do happen.

In earlier posts, I said I'm betting on you. Nothing's changed – this is only a temporary setback. Alas, this is the human condition.

Best,

Retro

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby Wulf Moon » Thu Dec 12, 2019 11:01 pm

thegirlintheglasses wrote:Guys, I've had some unforeseen health issues crop up. I'm going to have to pull myself from the challenge. I'll still be around. I'll be cheering. But I have to focus on my health for a bit. Wish you all the best, and I'll try to keep up...but at this point, I'm admitting to myself it probably won't be possible.


Life is full of challenges, some more challenging than others. Brittany and I talked tonight, and as I've always said, health and family come first, and this is one of those times. But this is something that she cannot help and could not foresee, and so I've asked her if she'd like to remain in the challenge, without the production requirements. She'd still be a challenge beastie, sharing in the discussions and continuing to run with the Wulf Pack however she sees fit and feels fit to do so. She said she'd like that very much.

So let us all keep cheering Brittany (thegirlintheglasses) on. When one of us stumbles, we lift our fellow pack member up and keep helping them in word and deed. Brittany, you are a valued member of our group, and we are proud to have you run with us.

Much warmth, love, and respect,

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

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby Henckel » Fri Dec 13, 2019 2:56 am

Sending love your way, Brittany. I hope all goes well with whatever obstical you're facing. You e been a great inspiration to many of us.
(2014) V31 Q1 – R
(2018) V35 Q3 – HM
(2019) V36 Q3 – HM (published @ Sci-fi Lampoon)
(2019) V36 Q4 – SHM
(2020) V37 Q1 – ?

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby crlisle » Fri Dec 13, 2019 2:59 am

thegirlintheglasses wrote:Guys, I've had some unforeseen health issues crop up. I'm going to have to pull myself from the challenge. I'll still be around. I'll be cheering. But I have to focus on my health for a bit. Wish you all the best, and I'll try to keep up...but at this point, I'm admitting to myself it probably won't be possible.


I am praying for your speedy recovery. I am so sorry you are going through difficulties.
Q4 36 R
Q1 37 pending
Q2 37 working on it...
Sci Fi Lampoon, "My Ten Cents"

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

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

Postby zeeteebeez » Fri Dec 13, 2019 7:51 am

thegirlintheglasses wrote:Guys, I've had some unforeseen health issues crop up. I'm going to have to pull myself from the challenge. I'll still be around. I'll be cheering. But I have to focus on my health for a bit. Wish you all the best, and I'll try to keep up...but at this point, I'm admitting to myself it probably won't be possible.


Sorry to hear this. Best of luck with everything.
Z.T.

5x HM

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

Postby AjZach » Fri Dec 13, 2019 9:40 am

Wishing the best for you and your family!

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

Postby Wulf Moon » Fri Dec 13, 2019 12:06 pm

ASSIGNMENT:

Before the next SUPER SECRET, it's time to study another writer's path to success in HOW I GOT PUBLISHED AND WHAT I LEARNED ALONG THE WAY. You might have heard of him, his name is David Farland. His essay is "Going Pro."

1. What lesson did David learn about the path to success?

2. What advice--and you might have heard this before somewhere :)--did he give about researching your markets?

3. How can you apply that advice to the WotF contest?

4. How did Dave struggle for excellence in his writing? (Please ignore the paper and cologne stuff--that world is gone.)

5. What advice did he give about seizing opportunities? How does this relate to a change I did in this year's challenge?

6. How does our subconscious speak to us? Also, while not in the essay, how can we get our subconscious to speak to us without sleeping?

7. Why is it good to dream big, but not spend all our time dreaming?

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

9. When we write a novel, do we desperately send it to anyone who handed us their card? Just like with our short stories, what do we want to do?

10. How can you target a good agent? In sales, my objective was always to get a face to face with the decision maker, never take no from their gatekeepers. With big agents, face to face is just as important. How can you make that happen? (Again, don't look for this in the essay.)

11. How can you become a "proven author" so that publishers will take your career and novel seriously?

12. Why is winning Writers of the Future such an important step in this process if you achieve it?

13. How else can you make yourself into a "proven author"?

14. Why is it really important to have some noteworthy credits before you pursue an agent or publishing house with your novel?

15. What writing goals did David set for his first novel? What did he do with each scene?

16. What does every writer have? Why is it good to have a wise reader?

17. What are readers and publishers always looking for? How should you capitalize on this with your very first novel?

18. True or False. To have a successful writing career, all you need to do is write. Explain.

19. Which of David Farland's "Lessons Learned" hit home for you?
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.


AjZach
Posts: 42
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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby AjZach » Sat Dec 14, 2019 9:24 am

ASSIGNMENT:

Before the next SUPER SECRET, it's time to study another writer's path to success in HOW I GOT PUBLISHED AND WHAT I LEARNED ALONG THE WAY. You might have heard of him, his name is David Farland. His essay is "Going Pro."

1. What lesson did David learn about the path to success?
You have to make your own path to success, that might be different from how others gained success.

2. What advice--and you might have heard this before somewhere :)--did he give about researching your markets?
Research your markets. You must learn what judges prefer by studying their writing and the writing they publish.

3. How can you apply that advice to the WotF contest?
You can read work by David Farland and Kary English, as well as the WOTF anthologies.

4. How did Dave struggle for excellence in his writing? (Please ignore the paper and cologne stuff--that world is gone.)
He tried to make his manuscript error-free. He also focused on skills in writing he hoped to develop, and made sure they were represented in his manuscript as well as he could.

5. What advice did he give about seizing opportunities? How does this relate to a change I did in this year's challenge?
To seize opportunities, he entered many contests. He did this to write more, and give himself more chances to win. To relate to this years challenge, we are entering not only WOTF, but other markets as well.

6. How does our subconscious speak to us? Also, while not in the essay, how can we get our subconscious to speak to us without sleeping?
In our dreams. Anything you find relaxing is helpful, you need to zone out. Meditating, walking. Agatha Christie said the best time to plot a novel was while doing the dishes.

7. Why is it good to dream big, but not spend all our time dreaming?
You need to take action.

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

9. When we write a novel, do we desperately send it to anyone who handed us their card? Just like with our short stories, what do we want to do?
You want to research the best options (Editors, publishers) for it.

10. How can you target a good agent? In sales, my objective was always to get a face to face with the decision maker, never take no from their gatekeepers. With big agents, face to face is just as important. How can you make that happen? (Again, don't look for this in the essay.)
By attending workshops and other events where agents will be present.

11. How can you become a "proven author" so that publishers will take your career and novel seriously?
By winning contests and publishing short stories and novels.

12. Why is winning Writers of the Future such an important step in this process if you achieve it?
You would now be a published author, and the workshop throws you in the way of many people in the publishing industry.

13. How else can you make yourself into a "proven author"?
By entering contests, and sending your stories to markets consistently.

14. Why is it really important to have some noteworthy credits before you pursue an agent or publishing house with your novel?
They want to see that you can keep going. You can write something more than once.

15. What writing goals did David set for his first novel? What did he do with each scene?
He wanted each scene to be deep and powerful. He made goals for his novel and made a review of how he hoped his novel could be described. He then wrote with that in mind.

16. What does every writer have? Why is it good to have a wise reader?
Every writer has blind spots. These are aspects that you overlook due to your experience. A wise reader should have a different experience, and should be able to point your blind spots out for you, since something was missing for them.

17. What are readers and publishers always looking for? How should you capitalize on this with your very first novel?
They are always looking for new author. You have to make them want to see more of your work.

18. True or False. To have a successful writing career, all you need to do is write. Explain.
False, you also have to know how to navigate the business side of writing.

19. Which of David Farland's "Lessons Learned" hit home for you?
That all writers feel imposter syndrome.

SwiftPotato
Posts: 252
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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby SwiftPotato » Sat Dec 14, 2019 12:19 pm

1. What lesson did David learn about the path to success?
Every writer's path to success is different.

2. What advice--and you might have heard this before somewhere :)--did he give about researching your markets?
Know thy judge.

3. How can you apply that advice to the WotF contest?
Read work written by Kary English and Dave Farland. If they write blogs or give interviews about things they really like or really dislike, take notes and make sure your submissions meet those criteria.

4. How did Dave struggle for excellence in his writing? (Please ignore the paper and cologne stuff--that world is gone.)
He wrote a list of things that he wanted his stories to knock out of the park and then did his best to ensure he was hitting the bullseye on every single one of them.

5. What advice did he give about seizing opportunities? How does this relate to a change I did in this year's challenge?
Seize all the ones around you. Just because you have one goal you want to achieve doesn't mean there aren't other important goals to achieve. This relates to the challenge because this year we are submitting to both WotF AND other markets.

6. How does our subconscious speak to us? Also, while not in the essay, how can we get our subconscious to speak to us without sleeping?
In dreams. Letting your mind wander somehow allows your subconscious to speak to you as well - so if you're doing some kind of busywork with your hands, or driving down the road, or showering, just let your mind wander. That's how I came up with the first line of my winner. It just popped into my head while I was showering and letting my brain explore a few different ideas.

7. Why is it good to dream big, but not spend all our time dreaming?
Dreaming big is good because it helps you set goals. But if you're only dreaming, you're never doing.

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

9. When we write a novel, do we desperately send it to anyone who handed us their card? Just like with our short stories, what do we want to do?
No. You need to research them and make sure they are the best person to represent your novel.

10. How can you target a good agent? In sales, my objective was always to get a face to face with the decision maker, never take no from their gatekeepers. With big agents, face to face is just as important. How can you make that happen? (Again, don't look for this in the essay.)
Don't be afraid to just give it a shot. As long as you're polite and don't make a fool of yourself, the worst they can do is say no. Get into pitch sessions at seminars and workshops so you can talk with them.

11. How can you become a "proven author" so that publishers will take your career and novel seriously?
Win some reputable contests, get published with some reputable markets.

12. Why is winning Writers of the Future such an important step in this process if you achieve it?
It's one of those major reputable contests that can make publishers and agents take a second look at you.

13. How else can you make yourself into a "proven author"?
Win more contests and get published - both short stories and novels.

14. Why is it really important to have some noteworthy credits before you pursue an agent or publishing house with your novel?
They're more likely to take a chance on someone proven, and to push marketing for you.

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

16. What does every writer have? Why is it good to have a wise reader?
Blind spots. A wise reader can help locate those blind spots.

17. What are readers and publishers always looking for? How should you capitalize on this with your very first novel?
Someone new to discover. You can capitalize by writing a novel that's better than anyone expects it to be. They'll want to see more.

18. True or False. To have a successful writing career, all you need to do is write. Explain.
False. Without gathering loyal readers and advertising yourself well, you'll never be successful.

19. Which of David Farland's "Lessons Learned" hit home for you?
Make time to succeed. You'll never "find the time", you have to make it.
R, 3rd place Q4 v36!!!

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

Postby Wulf Moon » Sat Dec 14, 2019 12:52 pm

Nice answers, AjZach and Swift! I find question 19 the most interesting, because we all tend to take away something different, and it adds other angles for us to think on in your take on the same thing we just read.

Why all the questions? Questions make us meditate to formulate our answers. Our synapses and neurons develop stronger pathways the more time we spend thinking on the application of knowledge gained. It not only sticks with us, if it creates a stronger pathway through use, it actually becomes a part of us. Getting David Farland's life lessons as a successful writer and teacher working in our minds, becoming part of our thought process, can lead to similar success.

Keep up the good work! The reward of a master class? Becoming a master of the craft being taught. We have already seen tremendous first year results from application of the Super Secrets. Try hard not to fall behind on the exercises and assignments, make application of the knowledge shared in your own writing and habits, and you'll get the full benefit from Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge. May it lead you to better writing, and ultimately, to winning this contest and getting published in respectable markets!

Cheers!

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

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Retropianoplayer
Posts: 114
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Location: Peoria, Arizona

Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby Retropianoplayer » Sat Dec 14, 2019 1:13 pm

ASSIGNMENT:

Before the next SUPER SECRET, it's time to study another writer's path to success in HOW I GOT PUBLISHED AND WHAT I LEARNED ALONG THE WAY. You might have heard of him, his name is David Farland. His essay is "Going Pro."

1. What lesson did David learn about the path to success?

2. What advice--and you might have heard this before somewhere :)--did he give about researching your markets?

3. How can you apply that advice to the WotF contest?

4. How did Dave struggle for excellence in his writing? (Please ignore the paper and cologne stuff--that world is gone.)

5. What advice did he give about seizing opportunities? How does this relate to a change I did in this year's challenge?

6. How does our subconscious speak to us? Also, while not in the essay, how can we get our subconscious to speak to us without sleeping?

7. Why is it good to dream big, but not spend all our time dreaming?

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

9. When we write a novel, do we desperately send it to anyone who handed us their card? Just like with our short stories, what do we want to do?

10. How can you target a good agent? In sales, my objective was always to get a face to face with the decision maker, never take no from their gatekeepers. With big agents, face to face is just as important. How can you make that happen? (Again, don't look for this in the essay.)

11. How can you become a "proven author" so that publishers will take your career and novel seriously?

12. Why is winning Writers of the Future such an important step in this process if you achieve it?

13. How else can you make yourself into a "proven author"?

14. Why is it really important to have some noteworthy credits before you pursue an agent or publishing house with your novel?

15. What writing goals did David set for his first novel? What did he do with each scene?

16. What does every writer have? Why is it good to have a wise reader?

17. What are readers and publishers always looking for? How should you capitalize on this with your very first novel?

18. True or False. To have a successful writing career, all you need to do is write. Explain.

19. Which of David Farland's "Lessons Learned" hit home for you?



1. There are different paths to success. Each one is unique.

2. He found out who the Judges were; read their works; concluded their personal values in literature; the age and sex of protagonists; their style (humor, romance, drama); thematic element, hooks, and metaphors.

3. Ascertain who the current Judges are; read their works to determine all of the above.

4. It was impossible to always know who the editors were; he determined it's best to please everyone. Since he was unaware of his competition, he planned on being beaten in one or two categories, and realized he needed to be excellent. The areas he focused on were/are 1)Characterization, 2) Plot, 3) Pacing, 4) Strong metaphors, 5) Opening Hook, 6) Intellectual depth, 7) The Conclusion. He wrote stories which scored tens across the board.

5. He didn't submit once and game over. Even after he won, he kept submitting (rinse and repeat), studying deadlines. Even after he won, he submitted. Each win demonstrated 'proven author', increased his total word limit, magnified his skills and earning potential. Wulf added an extra story per WOTF Quarter and each Monday gives a FLASH CHALLENGE PROMPT.

6. After he outlined a book based on his prize-winning story, he experienced vivid dreams set in the world of his sci-fi story. These dreams were his subconscious informing him how life on this imaginary world was, how the characters would interact, and formed the basis of a story arc which would inevitably give birth to a novel. Wisely, he chose to follow his subconscious and act on his dreams, rather than continuing on a different story unrelated to his inner voice.

7. Dreaming big puts your writing on steroids, but it can also distract and take away time urgently needed to perfect basic writing skills, initiate new ideas, and polish your work.

8. Every dollar you earn should be reinvested into your writing; books, a new computer, writing courses, seminars, conventions. In turn, this investment into YOU will exponentially magnify – your knowledge will increase, you'll enter into more contests, meet more contacts.

9. No. Agents and editors should be researched. The ideal combination for Mr. Farland was someone with a powerful client list AND someone who had a few lesser-known writers as clients.

10. After winning contests through multiple submissions, you should research an agent or editor. When you attend a convention or a conference, you bring sample cards with you (your relevant credits on the back side of card). Even without a huge publishing portfolio, you become a 'proven author' by publishing short stories in different markets, winning awards, or publishing novels. A good place to encounter these people is at the watering hole of the hotel at the conference venue.

11. Previously answered in Number 10.

12. Winning WOTF proves you have the requisite skills to create future product for editors, agents, and publishers. You're now on their radar. They don't want a one-time Charlie; they're in a business, you're in a business, and they want you to produce with a realization that each successive novel needs to be better than the last.

13. Entering your short stories into creditable markets.

14. The noteworthy credits demonstrate you're a 'proven author' who they can feel comfortable taking a chance on.

15. He wanted each scene to be 'deep' and 'powerful.' Written to the best of his ability. He wrote a list of goals, ways in which he hoped to excel. He trusted his instincts, made each scene work for him instead of worrying about what anyone else thought. He wrote a review of his novel to outline what he hoped to accomplish.

16. Every writer has a unique VOICE. A wise reader (preferably someone with industry credits) will give valuable advice how to bring out the best song for this VOICE.

17. They are searching for a mind-bending original idea (as Wulf has frequently pointed out), creativity, VOICE, an empathetic protagonist who captures the minds and hearts of readers, and the story-telling skills to craft this work of fiction.

18. False. There are people who write stories, novels, memoirs. If they shelve it, never submit it to beta readers, and think I'll show my story next time, nothing ever gets done. On the other hand, the more one writes, the better one gets, and stories should be submitted to magazines.

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

Best,

Retro


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