Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRETS Workshop & Challenge!

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

Postby Dragonchef » Thu Jan 09, 2020 1:28 pm

Wulf Moon wrote:This is where Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET online workshop all began . . .
Are you in?

~Moon~

Wulfy - Your list reminds me of Jethro Gibbs's list of rules for his NCIS subordinates.
R = 5
HM = (Q4v36)
SHM = (Q3v32)
SF = Zip
F = Zero
WINs = Zilcho
wotf013

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby Wulf Moon » Thu Jan 09, 2020 2:18 pm

Great answers, guys. Keep 'em coming. Brad's interview is reinforcing that what we've been doing here is actually a real path to success in professional writing--if you didn't gather that already from this group's first year's results.

Much of becoming a professional writer is actually unlearning what you've learned, and giving up bad habits. We all have them. The sooner we can cast off the weight of false knowledge and ineffective systems and habits and implement the true, the sooner we can soar. Change is not comfortable. But without change, we will never grow.

Crystal (CCrawford) quoted a bit in Brad's interview that bears repeating (others did too!). Crystal's answer said: "Have to have economy of words, brevity, the ability to snag readers and bring them into the story quickly -- this can even translate into an ability to write strong blurbs for longer works."

"Economy of words." Where else have you heard that term? How about in the "Kill Your Darlings" exercises? I'm teaching two things in that exercises: 1. Writing with economy of words, and 2. Getting to the true heart of your story. If you are doing even one prompt a month and doing the full KYD exercise on it, you are learning economy of words. You will improve. Your stories will become lean and mean.

And if you're telling good stories, that have a vibrant and meaningful beating heart, you'll start selling.

Doing the work is hard. But the rewards, over time, are great.

It becomes obvious who is doing the work over time. The ones doing the work will get results.

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.
Wulf Master Class SOLD OUT! Two new ones filling! https://bit.ly/2ZWkuyu

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby oishisushi911 » Thu Jan 09, 2020 4:54 pm

Assignment: Brad Torgersen Discussion

1. At eighteen years old Brad decided to be a writer. Yippee! How many years did it take to make his first pro sale? How many rejections did he deal with?

It took Brad 17 years, and many, many, many rejections.

2. As all seemed lost for our hero, what question did his wife ask him that’s a good one for each of us to ask ourselves?

“What more could you do that you haven’t tried yet or you haven’t done?“

3. When Brad discovered Writers of the Future (he finds a magic sword!), what homework did he do before he entered the contest?

He read the anthologies. He’d also entered the judge Dean Wesley Smith’s Star Trek anthologies Strange New Worlds and received positive feedback.

4. Brad said he entered for two years or more getting HMs before his first Finalist. Did he win? Did Brad let that stop him? What did his wife say?

He didn’t win and he moped around for a day. His wife said he had to keep trying, and so he entered again.

5. Because he didn’t give up, what happened?

His entry later that year was finalist and won.

6. And what happened with his rejected Finalist?
His rejected finalist was published by Analog Magazine and won the Reader’s Choice award.

7. And ten years later, what award did he win? (Hint: He’s holding it in the podcast picture.)

The Dragon Award.

8. How did the WotF Contest prepare Brad for the next step in his career--writing novels?

It trained him to work under a deadline and produce new work.

9. What is Brad’s opinion on writing new stories vs. “endlessly polishing the same old piece?”

He believes writers can learn more from producing new work rather than reworking old work.

10. What trap did he say many aspiring writers fall into?

They get stuck reworking old stories.

11. Have you heard anyone else say this?
Wulf Moon?

12. At the 10:15 mark in the podcast, what other problem did he say aspiring writers have?

Stage fright. Not sending work out.

13. When it comes to becoming a successful writer, what wins?

Persistence and courage wins.

14. Before writing a novel, why might mastering the craft of short stories benefit you?

It will teach you how to entice your reader and pull them in for the entire novel.

15. Where did Brad say his novel career and winning prestigious awards all start from?

The proving ground of the Writers of the Future: winning WotF in 2009.

16. He gives great tips for aspiring writers, but what’s the key thing for success? And how many words does he say one likely needs to write before seeing steady success?

Write a lot. Most will need around one million words.

17. What pitfall does Brad see all the time in aspiring writers? What do they need to do to climb out of this trap?

Polishing the same manuscript and not progressing. Instead, aspiring writers need to start writing new work to progress. His approach of 3 passes then done is one way to keep from constantly reworking the old.

18. What kind of workshops and conventions can help aspiring writers? What is the best workshop Brad discovered? Have you heard this anywhere before?

Ones where you can engage with professionals and gain awareness of the professional world. The best one was Superstars as was said here.

19. At 25:35 into the podcast, what can hold a writer back from advancing? If you read my last Super Secret, ahem. : )

Not talking to professionals to gain real insight into how to find success, and instead wallowing in your own head.

20. Brad speaks of learning two skillsets: 1. learning to write, 2. being able to tell a story. What system did Brad implement to teach himself how to write winning stories?

Read the stories that really work for you several times, think about what works for you about them, and let them percolate in the back of your mind. Let them influence your new stuff.

21. After listening to his interview, do you think you’re on the right path here? What one idea do you plan to take from Brad’s program and implement in your own? (May I suggest the one you are bucking most against?)

I like the last idea of re-reading the stories that stick out for you and letting them guide you. But I think the one I really want to work on more is reaching out of my head more to engage with professionals to get a better feel of what could work. I think becoming a first reader was one such step that helped. I’m taking others. If I can fix my financial situation soon, I’ll definitely save up for a flight home (Oregon) and schedule in some US writing conferences when I visit.
R.J.K. Lee
2015-2017: 4 HMs, 5 Rs; 2019-2020: 6 Rs, 1 pending
Progress on Goal of 100 rejections in 2020: 69 rejections, 21 pending, 90 total submissions
Keep writing, revising, submitting! Don't break the circle!

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby Wulf Moon » Thu Jan 09, 2020 6:24 pm

I can't comment on all--gotta unclutter this thread as much as I can--but good answers, RJK Lee. I'm glad you quoted this, Brad's wife:

“What more could you do that you haven’t tried yet or you haven’t done?"

Such a great question. She kept asking it of him whenever he hit a roadblock. Might be one of those to tape to our monitor when we write.

Then there's this one:

3. When Brad discovered Writers of the Future (he finds a magic sword!), what homework did he do before he entered the contest?

He read the anthologies. He’d also entered the judge Dean Wesley Smith’s Star Trek anthologies Strange New Worlds and received positive feedback.


Now you know why Brad and I, having never met, say similar things. We both had as a mentor bestselling author Dean Wesley Smith, now a Writers of the Future judge. I lived in Eugene, Oregon, for many years. Dean took me under his wing when I went to the Nebula Awards when they came to Eugene, introducing me to every pro there. "Have you met Moon? He's a published writer!" Dean and his wife Kris were members of Wordos, the Eugene Professional Writing Workshop, and they'd invite my wife and I to stay at their place on the coast each year. And that Strange New Worlds contest Brad talks about? The contest Dean ran for Pocket Books and Star Trek? I was a winner in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds 2 with my story "Seventh Heaven," under a different Moon. :)

At the end of the Writers of the Future gala, when they had us sit at the long tables for the mass signing for Volume 35, guess who signed copies next to me? Dean Wesley Smith. Like any good story, my writing life had come full circle.

Keep at this, challenge beasties! There's a method to my madness. And there's rich rewards for your hard work!

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.
Wulf Master Class SOLD OUT! Two new ones filling! https://bit.ly/2ZWkuyu

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby RSchibler » Thu Jan 09, 2020 7:26 pm

I deleted the questions to save space.

1. 17 years, many many many rejection slips. He called it "standard teething."

2. What can you do that you've never tried? Important. I spent all of 2018 writing stories I didn't really think would win, but to exercise my writing muscles. I wrote in genres and with characters and themes I wasn't comfortable with, to grow my writing. I'd written two YA fantasy novels, so I switched it up to historical fiction. I think that's important in helping us grow. I hope to keep challenging myself.

3. Read the anthologies.

4. Crushed him. His wife said keep trying.

5. He won later.

6. Analog bought the story, and it won the Reader's Choice Award.

7. The Dragon Award.

8. Quarterly deadline, forces you to not sit on the same story forever, kind of trains you in the professional mold - a deadline with new work.

9. You learn more that way.

10. Trying to make the same story better and better.

11. Have you heard anyone else say this? NOPE ;)

12. They don't send their work out to markets - focusing only on Writers of the Future as a benchmark series. Stay on it and produce something new, and hey, a shoutout for our favorite writing teacher :)

13. Persistence wins. It's not just about talent, everyone has talent, but not everyone has work ethic and persistence and courage.

14. Skillset: economy of words and brevity, snag your reader and bring them into the story.

15. His Writers of the Future win. It served as a "calling card"

16. Don't give up, write a lot. And there's that million words benchmark again. I'm halfway there!

17. Don't be a polisher. Project of diminishing returns. Set it aside, and work on something new.

18. With some of the contest judges, go to cons and meet pro writers and TALK to them. (The introvert in me squirms). The Superstars con comes up, but I think he's partial to the WotF workshop :)

19. Not talking to professionals, staying locked inside their heads.

20. Practice, practice, practice. Writing is an overlapping skillset - story is different. Read the anthologies and your favorite stories over and over, and let it settle in your mind. Why did it work? How did it work for you?

21. Yes I do think I'm on the right path. I just have to keep learning, keep growing, and never ever ever give up. I'm doing everything I can to become a professional writer. If there's anything I should do more, it's read more short fiction. I'm partial to novels. I read the anthologies when they come out, and F&SF, but not a lot else. Oh, DSF occasionally too.
V34: R, HM, R
V35: HM, R, R, HM
V36: R, HM, HM, SHM
V37: HM, SF, P, P

ALWAYS available for critique. PM me.

Stories in:
A Dying Planet, 2020
Hold Your Fire, 2021
Upon A Once Time, 2021
2020 Writers of the Future Superstars Scholarship

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby Peter Glen » Fri Jan 10, 2020 12:18 am

Edit: My 7 pack of WotF arrived today. Including v26. I get to read Brad Torgersen's story tonight wotf013

ASSIGNMENT:
1. At eighteen years old Brad decided to be a writer. Yippee! How many years did it take to make his first pro sale? How many rejections did he deal with? 18 years. Many rejections, including WotF finalist.

2. As all seemed lost for our hero, what question did his wife ask him that’s a good one for each of us to ask ourselves? "why don't you try something new?"

3. When Brad discovered Writers of the Future (he finds a magic sword!), what homework did he do before he entered the contest? reading the books.

4. Brad said he entered for two years or more getting HMs before his first Finalist. Did he win? Did Brad let that stop him? What did his wife say? No, he didn't win. "Well, try again."

5. Because he didn’t give up, what happened? He won with his next finalist.

6. And what happened with his rejected Finalist? It was published by and won reader's choice at analog.

7. And ten years later, what award did he win? (Hint: He’s holding it in the podcast picture.) Dragon, best Science Fiction Novel.

8. How did the WotF Contest prepare Brad for the next step in his career--writing novels? Writing regularly and meeting deadlines.

9. What is Brad’s opinion on writing new stories vs. “endlessly polishing the same old piece?” Move on. Move forward writing new work.

10. What trap did he say many aspiring writers fall into? Stage fright. Not good enough to send it out.

11. Have you heard anyone else say this? Wulf Moon ;)

12. At the 10:15 mark in the podcast, what other problem did he say aspiring writers have? Becoming discouraged.

13. When it comes to becoming a successful writer, what wins? Work ethic and persistence.

14. Before writing a novel, why might mastering the craft of short stories benefit you? Have to have an economy of words and bring them into the story quickly.

15. Where did Brad say his novel career and winning prestigious awards all start from? WotF.

16. He gives great tips for aspiring writers, but what’s the key thing for success? And how many words does he say one likely needs to write before seeing steady success? Pay attention to the writers that you like the most. "Write lots" 800,000 (for him)

17. What pitfall does Brad see all the time in aspiring writers? What do they need to do to climb out of this trap? Don't be a polisher.

18. What kind of workshops and conventions can help aspiring writers? What is the best workshop Brad discovered? Have you heard this anywhere before? Do a workshop with contest judges. Kevin J Anderson. (Superstars).

19. At 25:35 into the podcast, what can hold a writer back from advancing? If you read my last Super Secret, ahem. : ) Writers get locked in their heads without looking to pros for advice.

20. Brad speaks of learning two skillsets: 1. learning to write, 2. being able to tell a story. What system did Brad implement to teach himself how to write winning stories? Study stories and writers that you admire.

21. After listening to his interview, do you think you’re on the right path here? What one idea do you plan to take from Brad’s program and implement in your own? (May I suggest the one you are bucking most against?) "Storytelling and good writing are not the same things, but rather complementary skillsets." This quarter I'll focus on delivering good stories (using the relevant Super Secrets).
HM, R, R, R, R, HM, R, R, ?

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby Retropianoplayer » Fri Jan 10, 2020 9:14 am

Good morning, Swift Potato. Hope you're having a good year and preparing yourself for April's festivities.

I finished my FLASH PROMPT KYD EXERCISE for January, 2020 to the prompt 'WOLF MOON.'

I believe that makes my flash prompt score 5/12.

Best,

Retro
"Judge your success by the degree that you're enjoying peace, health, and love" - Rule 306
"Never compromise your integrity." LIFE'S LITTLE INSTRUCTION BOOK by H.J. Browne, Jr.

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby storysinger » Fri Jan 10, 2020 11:29 am

Hi Leah,
I had a very productive morning. I wrote a 1,080 word story to the Wolf Moon prompt, reduced it to exactly 500 and submitted that to a pro-paying ezine as flash. Then I reduced it to 250.
Are the results of these exercises considered 1 or 3 stories since they are different? wotf017
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HM-V36/Q4
Today's science fiction is tomorrow's reality.
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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby SwiftPotato » Fri Jan 10, 2020 12:02 pm

Thanks, Retro, got you down!

storysinger, I believe they are counted as one, and that's how I've been counting others in the flash challenge so far. Will defer to Moon if he feels differently, as always. :)
R, 3rd place Q4 v36!!!

Stories in Apocalyptic and Cossmass Infinities

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby SwiftPotato » Fri Jan 10, 2020 12:08 pm

On the subject of rostering: I believe my last comment on this subject got buried by responses to the most recent assignment (which I promise I'll respond to this weekend!), so I'll post one last time.

There are still a few who aren't shown on the roster as having completed and submitted their non-WotF story for Q1 of the challenge. If you haven't checked already, please see the most recent version of the roster HERE and let me know if I've missed your post telling me you've submitted your second story. If I've missed you, please accept my apologies in advance!
R, 3rd place Q4 v36!!!

Stories in Apocalyptic and Cossmass Infinities

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby Wulf Moon » Fri Jan 10, 2020 12:18 pm

storysinger wrote:Hi Leah,
I had a very productive morning. I wrote a 1,080 word story to the Wolf Moon prompt, reduced it to exactly 500 and submitted that to a pro-paying ezine as flash. Then I reduced it to 250.
Are the results of these exercises considered 1 or 3 stories since they are different? wotf017


Thanks for keeping up with the challenge requirements for members, Leah! Help her out gang, please message SwiftPotato PRIVATELY. Keeps this thread from getting buried. Thank you.

You did one flash exercise, Peter. And did some KYD on it, which I highly recommend.

Remember all, the Kill Your Darlings Exercise is:

1. Write one flash story based on the weekly prompt, around 1000 words.

2. Economy of Words Training: reduce to 500 words and STOP. Now think about the angles, where the emotional payoff is, and how you can best amplify that.

3. Storytelling Training: Write the 250 word vignette, focusing on the poignant moment you discovered.

4. Let it sit for a bit. When it speaks to you (or when you need to write a new fresh story!) return to the 250 and expand. You can expand it into a flash story, or into a short story or larger. Build it around the story's BEATING HEART.

I hope that helps. In other news, I just saw the WotF Newsletter, did you? (Are you signed up for it? Do!) Wow! Joni is watching the Critters Best of 2019 Readers' Choice Awards! Your chance to vote is almost over--it ends in just four days! If Writers of the Future Vol. 35 was your favorite anthology in 2019, show your pride! Our WotF Forum is still #1, but that can change as people push in the last few days. "Super-Duper Moongirl..." is still #1 for Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Short Story--thanks to LOCUS magazine for the wonderful review, and thanks to any here that voted and said those wonderful comments! There's some Author at #3 for favorite for 2019, which is kind of shocking, but thanks for that shout out, Brittany. For Other Short Stories, "Weep No More for the Willow" is tied at #2, I think thanks to DEEP MAGIC magazine naming it in their newsletter. Finally, under Nonfiction Articles, "Never Let Go" from HOW I GOT PUBLISHED is ranked #2. But best of all, our little workshop is ranked #1 for BEST WRITING WORKSHOP! I've already gotten several requests from outsiders to join. Happy to have them cheer you on and learn from the Super Secrets until admission opens again.

Well done guys! I posted about you challenge beasties and your success on my FB wall. Had lots of likes and comments! You are KNOWN! wotf010

https://critters.org/predpoll/

Keep writing, keep sending!

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.
Wulf Master Class SOLD OUT! Two new ones filling! https://bit.ly/2ZWkuyu

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby StarReacher » Fri Jan 10, 2020 6:00 pm

Hi All, this is a baby kraken question.

After I sent out three new submissions for my darling little baby krakens, I happened on a submission guideline that addressed an editor's pet peeves about cover letters. https://alexshvartsman.com/2016/05/09/h ... er-letter/

One of his points was that cover letters are usually submitted in online format and should exclude a standard return address. He advises starting out with "Dear Editor:" Have others seen this advice as well? I'm feeling terrible that I've been doing it wrong all along . . .
2017 - R (Q4)
2018 - R (Q1), HM (Q2), R (Q4)
2019 - SHM (Q1), R (Q2), SHM (Q3), HM (Q4)
2020 - HM (Q1), HM (Q2)

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby Wulf Moon » Fri Jan 10, 2020 11:48 pm

StarReacher wrote:Hi All, this is a baby kraken question.

After I sent out three new submissions for my darling little baby krakens, I happened on a submission guideline that addressed an editor's pet peeves about cover letters. https://alexshvartsman.com/2016/05/09/h ... er-letter/

One of his points was that cover letters are usually submitted in online format and should exclude a standard return address. He advises starting out with "Dear Editor:" Have others seen this advice as well? I'm feeling terrible that I've been doing it wrong all along . . .


StarReacher, I know Alex well, I work with him at Future SF. That article is excellent and it's a good guideline to follow. But no one is going to think you a fool if you put your address in the cover letter in a portal slot for it. Well, Alex will smirk a little : ) He's actually the first editor I've heard say this, but it makes sense. They don't like wading through redundant information, even for one second.

Easy fix. Don't do it in your next. But no one will shoot you if you do. Except Alex. : )

When I've done private invites to authors for Future SF, some have even sent me their manuscripts without anything more than their names and emails. I was surprised to see that, these are well established pros. But everything is done through the internet now, even payment via PayPal. Still, it looked strange, and I want all my contact info on the manuscript.

Best,

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.
Wulf Master Class SOLD OUT! Two new ones filling! https://bit.ly/2ZWkuyu

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby StarReacher » Sat Jan 11, 2020 8:19 am

Wulf Moon wrote:StarReacher, I know Alex well, I work with him at Future SF. That article is excellent and it's a good guideline to follow. But no one is going to think you a fool if you put your address in the cover letter in a portal slot for it. Well, Alex will smirk a little : ) He's actually the first editor I've heard say this, but it makes sense. They don't like wading through redundant information, even for one second.

Easy fix. Don't do it in your next. But no one will shoot you if you do. Except Alex. : )

When I've done private invites to authors for Future SF, some have even sent me their manuscripts without anything more than their names and emails. I was surprised to see that, these are well established pros. But everything is done through the internet now, even payment via PayPal. Still, it looked strange, and I want all my contact info on the manuscript.

Best,

Moon


Thanks, Moon! When he referenced 1995, I felt a little "ancient" LOL. I agree that it makes sense to keep editors from having to read anything they don't need to. I feel better now and definitely won't be making the same mistake twice.
2017 - R (Q4)
2018 - R (Q1), HM (Q2), R (Q4)
2019 - SHM (Q1), R (Q2), SHM (Q3), HM (Q4)
2020 - HM (Q1), HM (Q2)

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby Retropianoplayer » Sat Jan 11, 2020 11:59 am

Always like to post tidbits of information I find interesting and never heard before.

I've seen my share of movies where planes crash in the wilderness, a few survivors try to fend off a pack of wolves.

Came across this post on Facebook about wolves and found it intriguing. I already knew they're intelligent, but get this:

"A wolf pack: the first 3 are the old or sick, they give the pace to the entire pack. If it was the other way round, they would be left behind, losing contact with the pack. In case of an ambush they would be sacrificed. Then come 5 strong ones, the front line. In the center are the rest of the pack members, then the 5 strongest following. Last is alone, the alpha. He controls everything from the rear. In that position he can see everything, decide the direction. He sees all of the pack. The pack moves according to the elders pace and help each other, watch each other."

Best,

Retro wotf022
"Judge your success by the degree that you're enjoying peace, health, and love" - Rule 306
"Never compromise your integrity." LIFE'S LITTLE INSTRUCTION BOOK by H.J. Browne, Jr.

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby StarReacher » Sat Jan 11, 2020 1:08 pm

Retropianoplayer wrote:Always like to post tidbits of information I find interesting and never heard before.

I've seen my share of movies where planes crash in the wilderness, a few survivors try to fend off a pack of wolves.

Came across this post on Facebook about wolves and found it intriguing. I already knew they're intelligent, but get this:

"A wolf pack: the first 3 are the old or sick, they give the pace to the entire pack. If it was the other way round, they would be left behind, losing contact with the pack. In case of an ambush they would be sacrificed. Then come 5 strong ones, the front line. In the center are the rest of the pack members, then the 5 strongest following. Last is alone, the alpha. He controls everything from the rear. In that position he can see everything, decide the direction. He sees all of the pack. The pack moves according to the elders pace and help each other, watch each other."

Best,

Retro wotf022


Retro, I found this so cool! And . . . um . . . anybody else see Wulf Moon watching us with sagely wisdom from the rear? wotf001
2017 - R (Q4)
2018 - R (Q1), HM (Q2), R (Q4)
2019 - SHM (Q1), R (Q2), SHM (Q3), HM (Q4)
2020 - HM (Q1), HM (Q2)

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby CCrawford » Sat Jan 11, 2020 1:50 pm

StarReacher wrote:Retro, I found this so cool! And . . . um . . . anybody else see Wulf Moon watching us with sagely wisdom from the rear? wotf001


I thought it was really cool, too! And yes... I can totally imagine it that way, now that you mentioned it. It fits!
v35: Q4 - HM
V36: R, R, R, R
V37: SHM, HM, ??

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby einstein36 » Sat Jan 11, 2020 3:20 pm

Assignment: Brad Torgersen Discussion

1. At eighteen years old Brad decided to be a writer. Yippee! How many years did it take to make his first pro sale? How many rejections did he deal with?

17 years..I think it's good people don't fear away from rejections. I think it should give them more determination to prove themselves.

2. As all seemed lost for our hero, what question did his wife ask him that’s a good one for each of us to ask ourselves?

What more could you do that you haven’t tried yet or you haven’t done?

3. When Brad discovered Writers of the Future (he finds a magic sword!), what homework did he do before he entered the contest?

He read the anthologies and studied their styles and know what the editors were looking for.

4. Brad said he entered for two years or more getting HMs before his first Finalist. Did he win? Did Brad let that stop him? What did his wife say?

He didn’t win but his wife persuaded him to keep trying.

5. Because he didn’t give up, what happened?

His entry later that year was finalist and won.

6. And what happened with his rejected Finalist?
His rejected finalist was published by Analog Magazine and won the Reader’s Choice award.

7. And ten years later, what award did he win? (Hint: He’s holding it in the podcast picture.)

The Dragon Award.

8. How did the WotF Contest prepare Brad for the next step in his career--writing novels?

it made him work harder and try new stories.

9. What is Brad’s opinion on writing new stories vs. “endlessly polishing the same old piece?”

It's like the saying goes, keep practicing on your craft of writing and one will get better instead of trying to polish something.

10. What trap did he say many aspiring writers fall into?

keep editing the same stories over and over again.

11. Have you heard anyone else say this?

Our leader Wolf Pack, Wulf...

12. At the 10:15 mark in the podcast, what other problem did he say aspiring writers have?

being afraid of sending stories out and that constant rejection fear.

13. When it comes to becoming a successful writer, what wins?

Being persistent.

14. Before writing a novel, why might mastering the craft of short stories benefit you?

To write the heart of one's story and know it's beating heart, so when one does go write that novel, one can expand on the heart and make it grow.

15. Where did Brad say his novel career and winning prestigious awards all start from?

Writer's of the future contest.

16. He gives great tips for aspiring writers, but what’s the key thing for success? And how many words does he say one likely needs to write before seeing steady success?

keep on writing and writing, and eventually one will hit that million words and make it as a writer.

17. What pitfall does Brad see all the time in aspiring writers? What do they need to do to climb out of this trap?

keep working on the same story over and over again and to write new stories to become a better writer.

18. What kind of workshops and conventions can help aspiring writers? What is the best workshop Brad discovered? Have you heard this anywhere before?

Any workshops or conventions where one can connect with other editors, writers, publishers in the business helps a new writer. Superstars. As Wulf and others who have gone to Superstars here in the forums and from other published writers who have made it.

19. At 25:35 into the podcast, what can hold a writer back from advancing? If you read my last Super Secret, ahem. : )

Not understanding the business side of publishing and always having pity on yourself.

20. Brad speaks of learning two skillsets: 1. learning to write, 2. being able to tell a story. What system did Brad implement to teach himself how to write winning stories?

read stories that may influence you and help you find your own voice.

21. After listening to his interview, do you think you’re on the right path here? What one idea do you plan to take from Brad’s program and implement in your own? (May I suggest the one you are bucking most against?)
Would love to connect to publishers, other writers, editors to help me feel more connected to a larger world than my computer screen :)
Vol.36(Q3)-R
Vol.36(Q4)-R

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

Postby Retropianoplayer » Sat Jan 11, 2020 5:56 pm

A few weeks ago, I saw (supposedly) the last chapter of Star Wars.

I know I'm going to catch flack for this, lol, but I have to say: Meh! It's so scripted, so blatantly obvious, everything from Flaw; Catalyst; Big Event; Midpoint; Crisis; Showdown; Realization – MEH! ON STEROIDS! When Lucas did the first three, it was genius, I waited 3 and a half hours on line in 1977.(I WOULD NEVER DO THAT AGAIN FOR ANY MOVIE). Best will always be THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK.

Without giving away spoilers, they make a big deal Palpatine's Ghost wants Rey to cut him down and turn Dark; in the end, they cut him down anyway, but she doesn't turn Dark.

Any rate, I hope they put this on permanent back burner.

Best,

Retro wotf022
"Judge your success by the degree that you're enjoying peace, health, and love" - Rule 306
"Never compromise your integrity." LIFE'S LITTLE INSTRUCTION BOOK by H.J. Browne, Jr.

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby Peter Glen » Sat Jan 11, 2020 6:27 pm

lol Retro, you're on fire (not like that movie, but in a good way).
HM, R, R, R, R, HM, R, R, ?

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby Retropianoplayer » Sat Jan 11, 2020 7:46 pm

Thanks, Peter.
Have to get back to flying under the radar, lol.
As Bilbo would say, "Too much Adventure. Back to Bag End I go."

Best,
Retro
"Judge your success by the degree that you're enjoying peace, health, and love" - Rule 306
"Never compromise your integrity." LIFE'S LITTLE INSTRUCTION BOOK by H.J. Browne, Jr.

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby kizernix » Sun Jan 12, 2020 7:48 pm

Wulf, Thanks for the heads up on Apex about your Super Secret Challenge, I'm only a few pages through and am already learning a lot. GREAT ADVICE
Uncertainty is the only fear that cannot be conquered - it must be accepted

V37 Q2: HM
V37 Q3: ?

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby Wulf Moon » Mon Jan 13, 2020 1:47 am

kizernix wrote:Wulf, Thanks for the heads up on Apex about your Super Secret Challenge, I'm only a few pages through and am already learning a lot. GREAT ADVICE


Kizernix, Glad it's helping. Our challenge beasties have upped their game applying the advice, earning higher honors, earning Finalists, earning their first pro sale, and have even won the contest. And that's just in the first year. I can't wait to see what happens in this Volume 37 year!

Retro, cool stuff about wolves. That's fine, you can take the front. If you're not the lead dog, the view never changes. wotf001 But no spoilers, Retro? Come on, that post was filled with spoilers. wotf001

Good answers, Einstein and all. I trust you enjoyed Brad's interview. It was like hearing echoes of the Super Secrets for me.

Back to writing! Last call on the Critters Polls for the Best of the Year Readers' Choice Awards. Only two days left to vote! If you love the WotF Vol. 35 Anthology, it could use the love. Currently in 2nd place for Best Anthology. https://critters.org/predpoll/antho.shtml

And our WotF Forum was in 1st place, but just dropped to 2nd today. Whaaaaa? If this place is your favorite Writers Forum, and you haven't voted yet, you can fix that. https://critters.org/predpoll/writerforum.shtml

And our SUPER SECRET writing workshop here is still in 1st place for best online writers workshop! Well done!

Thanks for all that you challenge beasties have done! More to come!

BEASTMODE!
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.
Wulf Master Class SOLD OUT! Two new ones filling! https://bit.ly/2ZWkuyu

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby Dustin Adams » Mon Jan 13, 2020 3:50 am

I like ice cream.
Last edited by Dustin Adams on Tue Aug 11, 2020 2:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
2x Finalist
1x Semi
4x Silver
9x HM
Eight EDF stories. DSF: Short Story. My Semi-F My Finalist #1

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby RSchibler » Mon Jan 13, 2020 4:59 am

Dustin Adams wrote:Wow. I totally missed this entire thread during my 2-3 year hiatus. I mean, I saw it, but usually only long enough to know there was a new message and click the "mark all threads as read" button. <sadface>.

With another glance, I looked at the original post.
Damn. wotf015

I will get all caught up, but wonder if you (Moon) or anyone else has compiled the secrets into a PDF file? Or any other?
I'm willing to cut & paste while I read, if that is something the copyright (R) (TM) holder is interested in.


I’ve got them in a list - I’ll send them to you later today.
V34: R, HM, R
V35: HM, R, R, HM
V36: R, HM, HM, SHM
V37: HM, SF, P, P

ALWAYS available for critique. PM me.

Stories in:
A Dying Planet, 2020
Hold Your Fire, 2021
Upon A Once Time, 2021
2020 Writers of the Future Superstars Scholarship

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby einstein36 » Mon Jan 13, 2020 6:05 am

Most definitely, we appreciate all the advice that you give us and the research from other people...
Like you said, it's upping our game to be the best...


Wulf Moon wrote:
kizernix wrote:Wulf, Thanks for the heads up on Apex about your Super Secret Challenge, I'm only a few pages through and am already learning a lot. GREAT ADVICE


Kizernix, Glad it's helping. Our challenge beasties have upped their game applying the advice, earning higher honors, earning Finalists, earning their first pro sale, and have even won the contest. And that's just in the first year. I can't wait to see what happens in this Volume 37 year!

Retro, cool stuff about wolves. That's fine, you can take the front. If you're not the lead dog, the view never changes. wotf001 But no spoilers, Retro? Come on, that post was filled with spoilers. wotf001

Good answers, Einstein and all. I trust you enjoyed Brad's interview. It was like hearing echoes of the Super Secrets for me.

Back to writing! Last call on the Critters Polls for the Best of the Year Readers' Choice Awards. Only two days left to vote! If you love the WotF Vol. 35 Anthology, it could use the love. Currently in 2nd place for Best Anthology. https://critters.org/predpoll/antho.shtml

And our WotF Forum was in 1st place, but just dropped to 2nd today. Whaaaaa? If this place is your favorite Writers Forum, and you haven't voted yet, you can fix that. https://critters.org/predpoll/writerforum.shtml

And our SUPER SECRET writing workshop here is still in 1st place for best online writers workshop! Well done!

Thanks for all that you challenge beasties have done! More to come!

BEASTMODE!
Vol.36(Q3)-R
Vol.36(Q4)-R

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby Retropianoplayer » Mon Jan 13, 2020 10:35 am

Dustin, a quick word about copyright. (having done so previously with the Library of Congress).

Even without the copyright symbol, Wulf OWNS all intellectual property rights in all forms the moment he tapped out the first word on his computer keyboard. It automatically becomes his work. He doesn't have to register this with the Library of Congress, although he can choose to do so; it's HIS in perpetuity. By placing the copyright symbol, he is indirectly registering his work for now and all time.

Therefore, ergo, or whatever you want to say, anyone who wishes to USE or BORROW his Super Secrets to write or mention them for their own purposes must obtain WULF'S DIRECT PERMISSION to do so.

Best,

Retro wotf022
"Judge your success by the degree that you're enjoying peace, health, and love" - Rule 306
"Never compromise your integrity." LIFE'S LITTLE INSTRUCTION BOOK by H.J. Browne, Jr.

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby zeeteebeez » Mon Jan 13, 2020 12:35 pm

BRAD TORGERSEN ASSIGNMENT (trying to condense to keep the thread from bloating).

1. How many years did it take to make his first pro sale?
-Somewhere around 17-18 years. Sobering.

2. What question did his wife ask him?
- What else, what more, can be done?

3. What homework did he do before he entered the contest?
-Reading the anthologies

4. Brad said he entered for two years or more getting HMs before his first Finalist. Did he win?
- Not at first

5. Because he didn’t give up, what happened?
- Finalist, then winner.

6. And what happened with his rejected Finalist?
- It became a published and award-winning story.

7. And ten years later, what award did he win? (Hint: He’s holding it in the podcast picture.)
- Dragon

8. How did the WotF Contest prepare Brad for the next step in his career--writing novels?
- Consistent writing, meeting deadlines.

9. What is Brad’s opinion on writing new stories vs. “endlessly polishing the same old piece?”
- Learn more from writing new.

10. What trap did he say many aspiring writers fall into?
- endlessly polishing

11. Have you heard anyone else say this?
- I have indeed. Wulf, Scott Card, others in the WotF contest and beyond.

12. At the 10:15 mark in the podcast, what other problem did he say aspiring writers have?
- Not submitting.

13. When it comes to becoming a successful writer, what wins?
- Keep writing (and all the things that come with that, like submitting and learning more).

14. Before writing a novel, why might mastering the craft of short stories benefit you?
-There's an art to being able to get down what a story is really about without all the extra.

15. Where did Brad say his novel career and winning prestigious awards all start from?
- All he learned from the WotF.

16. He gives great tips for aspiring writers, but what’s the key thing for success? And how many words does he say one likely needs to write before seeing steady success?
- Write, write, write. Quotes the standard million words advice.

17. What pitfall does Brad see all the time in aspiring writers? What do they need to do to climb out of this trap?
- too much polishing, not enough submitting.

18. What kind of workshops and conventions can help aspiring writers? What is the best workshop Brad discovered? Have you heard this anywhere before?
- Those that have professionals to help identify things holding you back.

19. At 25:35 into the podcast, what can hold a writer back from advancing? If you read my last Super Secret, ahem. : )
- Not finding a mentor, essentially.

20. Brad speaks of learning two skillsets: 1. learning to write, 2. being able to tell a story. What system did Brad implement to teach himself how to write winning stories?
- Study the work of your favorite authors.

21. After listening to his interview, do you think you’re on the right path here? What one idea do you plan to take from Brad’s program and implement in your own? (May I suggest the one you are bucking most against?)
- I think for me it's workshops/mentor. I do hope to remedy this soon.
Z.T.

5x HM

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

Postby Wulf Moon » Mon Jan 13, 2020 1:24 pm

Retropianoplayer wrote:Dustin, a quick word about copyright. (having done so previously with the Library of Congress).

Even without the copyright symbol, Wulf OWNS all intellectual property rights in all forms the moment he tapped out the first word on his computer keyboard. It automatically becomes his work. He doesn't have to register this with the Library of Congress, although he can choose to do so; it's HIS in perpetuity. By placing the copyright symbol, he is indirectly registering his work for now and all time.

Therefore, ergo, or whatever you want to say, anyone who wishes to USE or BORROW his Super Secrets to write or mention them for their own purposes must obtain WULF'S DIRECT PERMISSION to do so.

Best,

Retro wotf022


Retro is right, and I thank you for bringing it up. You own copyright on your intellectual property the moment you create it--in writing's case, the moment you type it out. However, when you place copyright notice on your intellectual property, you also get automatic damages should you go to court over copyright infringement. To be clear, by placing that copyright notice on Wulf Moon's Super Secrets, I am saying you can read them here in this semi-public forum, but you can't print them out, you can't share them, and you certainly can't teach a class with them, turn them in as a school assignment, or call them your own. Unless you get the author's permission to use the material for some purpose and he or she approves it. Retro knows this, because he has previously told us he has legal experience, and he spoke up because he saw an inadvertent violation of copyright.

We're all friends here. I am sharing these Super Secrets to help all of you out, whether you're in the challenge or not. To be clear, I HAVE NOT given permission to send one another my Super Secrets in pdf or any other form. I have spent a great deal of my personal time on this, my writing time, and because of what it's grown into, this will likely become my first indie nonfiction book. So if you want it outside of here, buy the book when it comes out. Otherwise, please enjoy them in the form they've been provided. Leah (SwiftPotato) even did extra work for you, making a fast table of contents you can use, linking you quickly to each Super Secret. I added this to the front of the thread to make it easier to read, and we generally post it at the start of each month. Enjoy.

Finally, I am not upset with anyone. Retro and I are just teaching you a bit about copyright. Glad you enjoy the Super Secrets, and as always, I wrote them to help you out. More to come, but right now, I have someone's story from here to critique.

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.
Wulf Master Class SOLD OUT! Two new ones filling! https://bit.ly/2ZWkuyu

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Postby Wulf Moon » Mon Jan 13, 2020 1:29 pm

Looks like we're missing the Monday prompt. Okay, I've got a good one, and if you write a flash to this prompt, you could receive a wonderful reward. I'll let that be the teaser. You'll just have to trust me.

Your Monday writing prompt is: BLOOD SUCKER.

Have at it! More on this to come.

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.
Wulf Master Class SOLD OUT! Two new ones filling! https://bit.ly/2ZWkuyu


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