Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRETS Workshop & Challenge!

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

Postby Pumpkin » Wed Jun 03, 2020 1:08 am

Oh that sounds interesting, retro. I’ve never seen doctor who before, might give it a go!
Q3 V37: submitted after some time of staring at an unchanged word doc

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

Postby Retropianoplayer » Wed Jun 03, 2020 7:35 am

Pumpkin, hard to believe you live in the United Kingdom and haven't heard of the Dr. Who series which has run from November 1963. If you give Dr. Who a go, I suggest you start with either the Ninth or the Tenth Doctor. The stories during those seasons are mostly POV from the companion, as if you live vicariously through the companion. Start out with FATHER'S DAY, then THE EMPTY CHILD. And you might want to check out the American English to British English paperback I referenced for you a while ago.

Best,

Retro
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"Never compromise your integrity." LIFE'S LITTLE INSTRUCTION BOOK by H.J. Browne, Jr.

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

Postby Pumpkin » Wed Jun 03, 2020 8:29 am

Retro, I have heard of it of course, I just never seen it. I want to say the best part of the show was a bit before my time, but honestly I just wasn’t a tv watching child and I haven’t heard many good things about it recently. Thank you for the recommendation, I’ll check it out
Q3 V37: submitted after some time of staring at an unchanged word doc

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

Postby Wulf Moon » Wed Jun 03, 2020 1:10 pm

Peter Glen wrote:DIALOGUE ASSIGNMENT - Thanks Wulf! Love this secret!! My current story is very heavy with dialogue so am able to apply your wise advice into practice straight away and it will be a great tool to focus on for my next pass. Here's my assignment attempt:

Code: Select all

   The writer flipped shut the lid on his notebook, dazed by the brilliance conferred by the screen, "Marg! I just read the most amazing write. It was about dialogue."
   "What was that? I had to run all the way from the other end of the house. Some of us have things to do, unlike you, lazy ass.
   "Think you can turn that TV down some. I don't know how you can concentrate with all that noise."
   "It's just that I learned a new writing super secret skill, a Wulf Moon super secret. It's awesome."
   "If it's so good, then why are you crying?"
   "To illustrate a point, dear. To illustrate a point."
   "Lazy ass. You know, the lawn needs mowing for over a week now."
   No thanks, dear, you can do it, he almost said.


Edit: first try didn't read the question properly :o


Smart man, Peter Glen. You saw the error and fixed it before I got here for the crits today. Well done! You were also the first to post, taking the plunge before having the benefit of observing what others wrote. For that, I award you a first two pages (450 words or so) edit by the Beastmaster on your Q3 story!

Now, for a few thoughts:

The writer flipped shut the lid on his notebook, dazed by the brilliance conferred by the screen, "Marg! I just read the most amazing write. It was about dialogue."

That comma at the end of "screen"? It needs to be a period.

"Think you can turn that TV down some. I don't know how you can concentrate with all that noise."

When a question is asked, you need to indicate it with proper punctuation, in this case, a question mark.

On the last line, there's several ways to do this, and we could get into a debate about internal quotes. But I'd italicize: No thanks, dear, you can do it, he almost said.

I do like your "almost said" ending, even though it's a bit of a cheat for the assignment instructions, which were to open establishing the players, and then indicating who was speaking purely by quotes, no tags or beats. But it was a good ending, and made a humorous conclusion to your exercise. Kudos for that!

Nice work on the banter back and forth. We get an idea of the relationship between these two, and the last line nails it!

Beastmaster Moon

P.S.: Always remember just a couple of quotation errors and punctuation errors like this can demote you from finalist to semi or silver in WotF. It's that close at the top! Which means a pro publisher could also reject it, even though it's a good story. Neatness counts more than ever in a contest where you are competing against thousands of writers every quarter. Just saying this as a friend that wants you to win!
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Critter Awards: Wulf Moon BEST AUTHOR 2019; "Super-Duper Moongirl" BEST SF&F STORY of 2019.
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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Workshop & Challenge!

Postby Wulf Moon » Wed Jun 03, 2020 1:26 pm

Retropianoplayer wrote:THE COIN OF THE WOLF MOON



“Hello? Anyone here?” A musty odor pervaded the antique shop on Arcturus Prime. I tossed the gold coin upon the polished display case.
“A moment, please. I’m not getting any younger.” An old man scampered to the counter. Beady eyes appraised my artifact. “Where’d you get this?”
“Let’s agree not to ask each other questions.” I paused. “Colonel Maltose.”
His left eye twitched. “A long time ago.”
The artifact with howling wolf on obverse and wolf moon on reverse had enormous value. His eyes were pleading. “Name a price so I never see you again.”
I laughed. “Sixty-five thousand pentares. I swear you’ll never see me again.”
He counted out banknotes. In the adjacent alleyway, I took my Book of Shadows out. “Blessed Be God and Goddess, on this Night of the Wolf Moon, return my coin to original form.” Five similar coins clinked inside my trouser. “For your war crimes and five others under your command, for the death of my wife and children, Colonel Maltose, you will pay the highest sum.”
I peeked inside the closed shop as moonlight streamed in. The golden coin on the countertop morphed into original form – a twenty-foot howling male wolf with terrifying fangs. Somewhere during the worst of the man’s screams, I hailed a cab to my next five destinations.


Retro, this has all the makings of a unique and intriguing story. I like it, and would definitely read on! And of course you get bonus points for working the wolf moon into the exercise. : )

However, as to the exercise, you were to establish at the opening with a beat or a dialogue tag as to who was speaking, and then do the rest of the conversation strictly through quoted dialogue, no tags, no beats. So you did create a more complex story, but missed the tool I was trying to get you to employ, what I call ping pong dialogue.

This doesn't mean you will create a stronger piece than this. I was, after all, just trying to teach what ping pong dialogue is. To do the exercise properly, you needed to figure out how to say something like this in back and forth spoken reparte.

But this was a cool story with some good dialogue within it, and I hope you will write it, saving the Colonel for last in the story. Or having him overcome the coin conversion spell in the beginning, and then hunting your protagonist. It's a cool magic trick, and cool ideas deserve cool stories. I wish you the best with this if you choose to expand it, and I think you should!

Beastmaster Moon

P.S.: Loved the play on him swearing they'd never see each other again. : )
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Author page: http://amazon.com/author/wulfmoon
Critter Awards: Wulf Moon BEST AUTHOR 2019; "Super-Duper Moongirl" BEST SF&F STORY of 2019.
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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET Workshop & Challenge!

Postby Wulf Moon » Wed Jun 03, 2020 1:53 pm

CCrawford wrote:DIALOGUE ASSIGNMENT:

Rianne's small dragon flicked its tongue at the man in scarlet robes as she nestled it onto her shoulder. “My answer is no.”
“I can give you a palace by the sea. Mountains of jewels.”
“Still no.”
“Gold? Velvet dresses? Fine chocolates and gourmet cheese? Isn’t there anything to change your mind?”
“N—Mariel, stop that, we have plenty of cheese here—No. Well, perhaps...”
“Yes?”
“Dragons.”
“Dragons?”
“Dragons.”
“Where in Scarfallow would I get dragons?! Only the craziest fool--or the bravest!--would attempt to capture a dragon!”
“Exactly.”
“Oh.”


So Crystal gives us a picture perfect twelve lines. She opens with a beat that establishes her players, and then she runs with it, using a question/response pattern to avoid further beats or dialogue tags. We know when Rianne is talking, and when the man in scarlet is talking. And she even gives us a connect-the-dots ending. As the answer dawns on the man in scarlet, we chuckle. We took the ride with him, and got played by Rianne along with the man in scarlet. Impressive for such a short piece. Some of these exercises are actually vignette stories. Well done!

The N-Mariel hyphenation (and the entire line) is confusing. In attempting to make the natural starts and stops that happen in conversation, it becomes unnatural. Here's a fix: "Um, no. Mariel, stop that, we have plenty of cheese here. Just no. Unless ..." Still reveals a bit of indecisiveness as we see the idea forming up as she contemplates how to take advantage of Mariel's need, whatever it may be. (Actually, I wish I knew what he was asking her for, it would make the piece stronger.) I did think it funny that cheese could be a bargaining chip. How valued good cheese must be in some lands! Oui!

The piece definitely has the energy of ping pong dialogue, which is what this exercise was all about. Well done! It's a little light with so many single word sentences, so you sacrifice depth of story for speed of dialogue. But it's a good exchange, a good example of how this works, and I loved the epiphany on the last line, Crystal. It's obvious you understand the lesson.

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

Postby Wulf Moon » Wed Jun 03, 2020 2:09 pm

For those looking in, the challenge beasties are working on Moon's SUPER SECRET #43: Write Smart Dialogue (p.96 in the thread). Each member was asked to create twelve lines using only a beat or a dialogue tag in the opening to set up who the characters are that are speaking. The rest is implied through the dialogue pattern itself and the mannerisms of their speech, no tags.

I need to stop for today, but leave you with a perfect example of ping pong dialogue (and Heart's Desire!, but that's a different Super Secret), in this poem by Harold Munro. Just add quotation marks and you'll see what I mean. A story told completely in dialogue, no tags or beats, establishing characters in the opening lines that are so identifiable in their speech patterns, you are never lost as to who is saying what. This is what you need to do when using this tool. Brilliant!

Overheard on a Saltmarsh
by Harold Munro

Nymph, nymph, what are your beads?
Green glass, goblin. Why do you stare at them?
Give them me.
No.
Give them me. Give them me.
No.
Then I will howl all night in the reeds,
Lie in the mud and howl for them.

Goblin, why do you love them so?

They are better than stars or water,
Better than voices of winds that sing,
Better than any man's fair daughter,
Your green glass beads on a silver ring.

Hush, I stole them out of the moon.
Give me your beads, I want them.
No.

I will howl in the deep lagoon
For your green glass beads, I love them so.
Give them me. Give them.
No.
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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRETS Workshop & Challenge!

Postby CCrawford » Wed Jun 03, 2020 3:09 pm

Thank you for the feedback, Wulf! And I liked Harold Munro's poem! I had never read it before.
v35: Q4 - HM
V36: R, R, R, R
V37: SHM, ??, ??

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

Postby Wulf Moon » Wed Jun 03, 2020 4:57 pm

CCrawford wrote:Thank you for the feedback, Wulf! And I liked Harold Munro's poem! I had never read it before.


You're welcome, Cristy. And I'm glad you enjoyed, it's one of my favorite poems. I make glass beads, so it has special meaning to me. When we opened our gallery on Lopez Island, at the open house my wife and I read this poem to the group. I read the goblin's lines, of course. : )

After the grand opening, I fixed the poem on a special block of Lucite and stood it by my beads for sale. Alas, we no longer have the studio gallery, but I have this momento in my office. I picked it up the other day while cleaning and thought, Duh! Perfect example of what I'm trying to teach!

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

Postby Retropianoplayer » Wed Jun 03, 2020 5:23 pm

Wulf, I enjoyed your comments and feedback. Making glass beads as a hobby – you are a man of many talents! In addition to writing! I couldn't draw a stick diagram if I tried, lol. My least favorite class during elementary and middle school was ART. I think one marking period in elementary, I got a D, if that's possible. In high school, it was SHOP (MECHANICAL, WOODWORKING, AND ELECTRICAL) which I abhorred.

We can't all be good at everything, lol.

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 Workshop & Challenge!

Postby Peter Glen » Wed Jun 03, 2020 7:00 pm

Wulf Moon wrote:Smart man, Peter Glen. You saw the error and fixed it before I got here for the crits today. Well done! You were also the first to post, taking the plunge before having the benefit of observing what others wrote. For that, I award you a first two pages (450 words or so) edit by the Beastmaster on your Q3 story!


Wowzers! Thank you, Beastmaster. You are as kind as you are wise :D

Wulf Moon wrote:P.S.: Always remember just a couple of quotation errors and punctuation errors like this can demote you from finalist to semi or silver in WotF. It's that close at the top! Which means a pro publisher could also reject it, even though it's a good story. Neatness counts more than ever in a contest where you are competing against thousands of writers every quarter. Just saying this as a friend that wants you to win!


Thank you for taking the time to provide this feedback. I fear grammar is my weakness, and even though I knew the rules you pointed out, didn't see them in the text that I'd written :( But knowing my weakness is a big step in fixing the problem and your advice on the importance of neat writing has given me the resolve to take extra care.

Wulf Moon wrote:Overheard on a Saltmarsh
by Harold Munro


ARH-WOOOOO!
HM, R, R, R, R, HM, R

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

Postby Wulf Moon » Thu Jun 04, 2020 12:21 pm

Retro: glad the comments helped. You have the beginnings of a powerful revenge story there. As for gifts and talents, we all have our especially gifted areas, and our deficient. Fortunately, there is always someone else out there to balance out our lack, which I am thankful for every time I bring my car to the shop. : )

Cristy: Glad you like the poem by Harold Munro. It says so much in such small space, creating a tragic tale for the greedy goblin. Heart's desire cannot be fulfilled. The nymph will not part with her treasure. Goblin is left to wallow in the agony of his desire. Try/fails in there, too. All told through dialogue. Well worth studying. It's a gem.

Peter: Glad to help. Please get me your opening in the next week or so. I've got five edits to do for people right now, some in my freelance business, and some as part of this workshop's offering for those that meet the challenge reqs. As to grammar weakness, running a simple spellcheck and grammar check will help with a lot of that. Having a strong writing partner will also help. And if you can't find that, there are good proofreaders for hire for a penny a word or less. Professional is the sum of every part in a manuscript. I repeat this for all: Professional is the sum of every part in a manuscript. If you discover you are weak in some area, you must find a way to fix it before you can win contests or sell to professional markets. Good that you recognize, Peter. Find your solution. : )

All the beast!

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

Postby RSchibler » Thu Jun 04, 2020 12:56 pm

I’ll echo what Wulf said as we head into submission period for Q3. Hands down the most common things I comment on when critiquing manuscripts are grammar, formatting, and punctuation. Make sure your manuscript is as clean as you can get it. I almost never read bad stories. Most people have creative ideas and wouldn’t be telling stories if they didn’t have something to say. But if you can’t get the look right, make sure it’s in our shared language in a transparent way, it doesn’t matter how good the story is. Proofread extensively!
V34: R, HM, R
V35: HM, R, R, HM
V36: R, HM, HM, SHM
V37: HM, P, P

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

Postby Wulf Moon » Thu Jun 04, 2020 1:05 pm

storysinger wrote:D'hani stood in the door shaking snow from his cape, the north wind whipping by threatened to extinguish the hearth fire, "Who is the owner of this wretched excuse for refuge from this weather?" He roared.
A stoop shouldered old man, ever alert for signs of conflict with customers approached on shuffling feet and said, "I am Ajai, the current owner of this hole in the wall abode, How may I be of assistance?"
"I would rent your place and everyone in attendance for the evening. I am the manager for a travelling menagerie and we need a place to practice our craft before we play for the King and his court next week."
"The King himself eh? If I may ask would you be able to produce a document to validate your claim?"
"Well, as to that, the replacements always travel by foot due to expenses and all and the papers are with me mate."
"Hmm, so if I agree to your terms you will provide entertainment fit for a King?"
"Guaranteed my good man, without a doubt."
"I will spread the word that will fill the establishment, usually it's standing room only. We have an agreement so feel free to proceed with your preparations."

It never ceased to amaze D'hani how easy it was to assemble a herd of human-cattle for the annual Virgin Vampire Validation ceremonies where the new bloodsuckers were introduced to the colony in a no holds barred bloodfest.


Storysinger tells us a story as well in his set of lines for our dialogue exercise. He sets the stage in the opening, so we get a sense of location and season as well, which is nice. He also gives us someone to hang our hat on, a stoop-shouldered innkeeper, nervous about conflict. I wish more stories opened with a sense of characters in a setting, and we also have the threat of conflict by the intimidating words spoken. Well done!

Now for things to work on. Be careful with names like D'hani. This one is not so bad, but some writers love virtually unpronounceable names for their characters, and the reader must stumble over them the entire reading! Just making a point here, D'hani is foreign, but phonetically simple to figure out. I'm just going to call him Donny in my mind, Don. : )

Same counsel for you as I gave to Peter. You can't make one mistake in punctuation, it jumps out, especially in a small piece like this. You ESPECIALLY can't make a mistake in your opening line, and you've got a couple here. Let's see:

D'hani stood in the door shaking snow from his cape, the north wind whipping by threatened to extinguish the hearth fire, "Who is the owner of this wretched excuse for refuge from this weather?" He roared.


Your narrative opening needs to end with a period, not a comma. For the purposes of this exercise, it's a beat used to tell us who is speaking. Also, I believe you are trying to tell us D'hani roared this line as he entered, but what you gave us in this text was a solitary roar after he spoke the words. I see no reason for D'hani to make a bellowing roar based on the circumstances. Plus, the very structure of the dialogue implies loud and bombastic. You don't need to follow this up with the authorial intrusion, "He roared," which is what this is. Resist the urge to explain. I say this again for the benefit of all: Resist the urge to explain. Readers are smart, they read between the lines. They get very annoyed when an author doesn't trust them.

Now for this line: A stoop shouldered old man, ever alert for signs of conflict with customers approached on shuffling feet and said, "I am Ajai, the current owner of this hole in the wall abode, How may I be of assistance?"


Stoop shouldered should be stoop-shouldered. The beat leading into the old man's dialogue (who should be old innkeeper) is a compound sentence, which slows the narrative down and clouds the imagery. Here is how I would write it. See if it improves.

The stoop-shouldered innkeeper shuffled around the bar, face set like flint as he tapped a battered cudgel against his palm. "I am Ajai, and this wretched excuse for refuge just happens to be my tavern. Speak peace or begone!"

We still have a descriptive, lengthy beat, but it flows. We can tell from "stoop-shouldered" and "shuffled around the bar" that the man is old, but used to breaking up fights in the way he easily handles a cudgel. We don't need to explain. His actions tell all.

The rest is ping-pong dialogue, which is the lesson we are working on. Good on ya', mate. Some of structure is a bit lengthy and sounds a bit unnatural. Read it aloud and you'll see what I mean. And King is not capitalized in this case.

You do have a cheat at the end. You gave us narrative to finish out the piece. You were supposed to open with beats or dialogue tags to ID your characters, then do the rest with dialogue alone. But other than that, you have the structure down. Remember to keep the ping-pong moving fast and furious through shorter, more natural sentence structure.

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

Postby Wulf Moon » Thu Jun 04, 2020 1:55 pm

RSchibler wrote:Dialogue Assignment: (Great assignment, Wulf!)

Lou turned to his lover. “You don’t understand. I need to be the one to do it.”
“Why does it matter?”
“Because. I want Mother to know it was me.”
“There are thousands of Men. Dozens of radio jerks. She doesn’t care about you.”
“Exactly! If she knew it was me, if I was the one… she might remember me.”
“I’m not sure I’d want Mother to know my name.”
“You think I haven’t thought of that? You... you just don’t understand.”
“Ambitious, aren’t you?”
“It’s not that! Well, okay, maybe I don’t want to be a radio jerk forever. Who would? Pushing buttons all day, listening to traders moan about their schedules and scratchy signals from dead radio stations on Earth?”
“I like being a rado jerk. Jerk.”
“I’m sorry. That’s not what I meant. Come back to bed.”
“No. I have to get ready for work, you know, pushing buttons all day.”


Nicely done, Becky! Neat and tidy ping-pong dialogue. Simplest lead-in beat. Lou turned to his lover.
We get the lead's name, we get the secondary as a lover, and we have immediate conflict, which drives this piece. It utilized some Q&A, but wasn't so constant it stood out and became a gimmick. That's professional.

Comments? I'm lost as to who Mother is. And the work sounds interesting, "dead radio stations on Earth," is a cool concept idea worthy of a bigger story. I would ride along if I was reading this in a bigger work, but I'd want some explanation pretty quick as to what it is they do.

You uses ellipses to trail off thoughts, which is correct. A copy editor would have to change your application as typed. Each publishing house has their own way they want you to do it in submitted manuscripts. It's called, "house style." Just curious where you got yours.

AP Style says to treat an ellipse as one word by using 3 periods (dots) with a space on each side.
This sentence ... with an ellipsis.


This is a little thing, something I dance around with myself. I'm curious to find out why you don't use a space after the preceding word, but use a space before the next. Key thing is to always do your ellipses the same, so the copyeditor doesn't have a fit trying to correct them all.

Typo: rado should be radio. :)

Good closing line that sums the mood between them. Nothing is settled, tension is still there, which makes you read on.

Good work, Becky! We can follow the entire banter without beats or tags.

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

Postby Wulf Moon » Thu Jun 04, 2020 2:11 pm

AjZach wrote:Dialogue Assignment:

Hecate gave the potion a final stir. “There! Come bring the vial, child!”
“Oh! But which one? How big?”
“That one! Next to the rat’s whiskers. It’s empty isn’t it?”
“Yes it is! Oh no. Whoops.”
“Clumsy child. Your father said you were a good worker when he traded you!”
“I brought another one. Can I ladle the potion?”
“And spill it all over yourself? That’s what I would need, a fish for an assistant.”
“Why does the blacksmith want a fish potion?”
“Who am I to ask why? He paid! There might be some effects around town to amuse us, as well.”
“Can I brew the next one?”
“You, child, want to brew the next one? You have extensive knowledge on love potions then?”
“Yes?”


AjZach, we have here another clean example of ping-pong dialogue. Great beat lead-in, identifying both speakers in this scene. A nice mix of short and longer sentences. It's still a fast read, and we never lose our tracking on who is speaking. I also like the timorous final word of the child: "Yes?" Very cute. Says it all. You didn't do something annoying like this:

"Yes," the child said timorously.

Or, worse: "Yes?" the child asked nervously, wondering if Hecate thought he was ready.

The simple "Yes?" is beautiful. We hear a young child's hopefulness, mixed with fear of being shot down at being so bold as to ask his master to to brew the next potion. And it all happens inside of us, we connect the dots, which is most satisfying. Perfect ending to this.

To avoid an echo, I would have the child say, "Can I brew the next?" Not, "Can I brew the next one?" Other than that, this is a delightful example of what I was looking for. In fact, it's so delightful, you too win a first two pages analysis from me (450 words or so) for your Q3. Well done!

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 of 2019.
Wulf Moon Master Class ONE SPOT LEFT! https://bit.ly/2ZWkuyu

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

Postby AjZach » Thu Jun 04, 2020 6:26 pm

Thanks for the crit Wulf! And thanks for the offer to look over my first couple of pages! I have to get my wise reader to give them another look over so I can send them to you.

Really enjoying reading everyone's work!
R, R, R, R, HM, R, HM, HM, ?, ?

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

Postby guthington » Fri Jun 05, 2020 7:32 am

Wulf Moon wrote:Dear Amy (Guthington):

Of course I know you...as soon as you said you were Amy Wethington. :) Please accept my condolences about your father, and about the additional stress of dealing with COVID-19 on top of that. I hope you and your sister can figure out a good plan to manage the care of your mother.

Here's the thing about writing stories. Use the WotF Online Course to finish a story--it's designed to help you do so. Then, review the Super Secrets--they're designed to help you avoid typical beginner mistakes, and to craft your story into something professional. Unless you are Leah Ning :), you probably won't create your winner on your second try. However, like Leah Ning, if you study them religiously and make accurate application, you will significantly speed up your progress. Don't forget there is a critique swap area on the main topics. I highly recommend you share in that, and look for those that have higher certificate honors in their signatures. Those certificates are an indication of the level a writer is at. The higher the level they've reached in WotF, and the more pro sales they have had, the more likely the advice they give will be accurate.

Finally, apply the edits, but don't spend your time rewriting. Move on to your next. Dedicating yourself to a fresh story every quarter means you will be pushing your writing skills. You will get better, because practice does make perfect.

And don't forget I want that professor's blurb for my Super Secrets book. :) I'll be doing a Kickstarter this year, and solid recommendations really help.

Stay healthy, stay safe.

Wulf Moon


Thanks for the kind words and helpful suggestions, Wulf. I'll do my best! And I won't forget about a blurb for your Super Secrets book. When I have it ready and polished I'll PM you with it.

Amy [Guthington]

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

Postby guthington » Fri Jun 05, 2020 7:37 am

Retropianoplayer wrote:Hi Guthington:

Welcome to our group. I just wanted to say your curriculum vitae is MOST impressive. Most likely, you're a modest person, but when anyone holds TWO
Master's Degrees - a Master of Arts, and a Master of Science, AND A DOCTORAL DEGREE, wow!

I have no doubt your expertise in biology when applied to your future stories, or works in progress, will win this contest one day. Of course, in conjunction with Wulf Moon's Super Secrets.

I wish you the best.

Sincerely,

Retro



Thanks Retro! I honestly don't spend much time thinking about my education. Mostly it was an extension of childhood that was mostly pleasant and involved some pretty wild snail collecting adventures. I appreciate the encouragement and expect you'll get a win before I will considering the content you've shared with us on this forum. Best wishes, Amy [Guthington]

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

Postby SwiftPotato » Fri Jun 05, 2020 11:49 am

A small victory that Moon asked me to share with y'all! I didn't before for fear of cluttering up the thread.

About a week and a half ago, I sent a story off to Clarkesworld that I really loved. And holy crap, it got to second round. And it lasted eight days there! I don't think it was more stressful than waiting for WotF results the quarter I won, but man, it was close. Still got the R, but this time it said "your story was close" instead of just "isn't quite what we're looking for."

If you remember, when the workshop and gala first got postponed, Moon offered to crit a new story of mine as a very kind gift. Well, he put that story through the wringer (in the best way possible) and when he was finished slicing and dicing, I sent it out to market. It got a nice personal from Charlie, then off to Clarkesworld it went a few days ago. Well, in the five minutes it took me to go from the office to the kitchen and chat with my husband about dinner, its status went from "Received" straight to "Under Review (Second Round)." Again. Luckily (unluckily?) it was only a three day wait this time before I got hit with "your story was close, but," but man, if that wasn't unexpected! Two in a row! Don't know if I'll ever beat that one.

Tl;dr: both of these stories got critiqued by a few very good critters. Those few trusted people gave me some advice that elevated those stories to hit top 3% at Clarkesworld, which still doesn't sound real to me. So: find your wise readers! Apply their advice! Get big gainz! (And apply their advice to subsequent stories!)
R, 3rd place Q4 v36!!!

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

Postby CCrawford » Fri Jun 05, 2020 12:11 pm

SwiftPotato wrote:A small victory that Moon asked me to share with y'all! I didn't before for fear of cluttering up the thread.

About a week and a half ago, I sent a story off to Clarkesworld that I really loved. And holy crap, it got to second round. And it lasted eight days there! I don't think it was more stressful than waiting for WotF results the quarter I won, but man, it was close. Still got the R, but this time it said "your story was close" instead of just "isn't quite what we're looking for."

If you remember, when the workshop and gala first got postponed, Moon offered to crit a new story of mine as a very kind gift. Well, he put that story through the wringer (in the best way possible) and when he was finished slicing and dicing, I sent it out to market. It got a nice personal from Charlie, then off to Clarkesworld it went a few days ago. Well, in the five minutes it took me to go from the office to the kitchen and chat with my husband about dinner, its status went from "Received" straight to "Under Review (Second Round)." Again. Luckily (unluckily?) it was only a three day wait this time before I got hit with "your story was close, but," but man, if that wasn't unexpected! Two in a row! Don't know if I'll ever beat that one.

Tl;dr: both of these stories got critiqued by a few very good critters. Those few trusted people gave me some advice that elevated those stories to hit top 3% at Clarkesworld, which still doesn't sound real to me. So: find your wise readers! Apply their advice! Get big gainz! (And apply their advice to subsequent stories!)


Congrats, Leah! It's very exciting and encouraging to see the progress you're making. I'm sure you'll be reporting sales soon! :)
v35: Q4 - HM
V36: R, R, R, R
V37: SHM, ??, ??

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

Postby SwiftPotato » Fri Jun 05, 2020 12:14 pm

CCrawford wrote:
Congrats, Leah! It's very exciting and encouraging to see the progress you're making. I'm sure you'll be reporting sales soon! :)


Thanks, Crystal! :) Fingers crossed!
R, 3rd place Q4 v36!!!

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

Postby Henckel » Fri Jun 05, 2020 12:57 pm

That's really exciting Leah! Feels like you're right on the cusp of great success.
(2014) V31 Q1 – R
(2018) V35 Q3 – HM
(2019) V36 Q3 – HM (published @ Sci-fi Lampoon)
(2019) V36 Q4 – SHM
(2020) V37 Q1 – R
(2020) V37 Q2 – ?
(2020) V37 Q3 – ?

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

Postby storysinger » Fri Jun 05, 2020 1:12 pm

wotf010 That's very good news Leah. You're headed in the right direction.
HM-V32/Q3
HM-V36/Q4
Today's science fiction is tomorrow's reality.
D.R.Sweeney

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

Postby zeeteebeez » Fri Jun 05, 2020 1:39 pm

Congrats Leah,

Not that you needed any validation after winning WotF, but you’re clearly a pro level writer!
Z.T.

5x HM

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

Postby SwiftPotato » Fri Jun 05, 2020 1:43 pm

Thanks, guys! :)
R, 3rd place Q4 v36!!!

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

Postby Retropianoplayer » Fri Jun 05, 2020 2:51 pm

Excellent news, Swift Potato!

Your starship, the U.S.S. AUTHOR/WOTF WINNER, just went into Warp 9. Always remember – I don't have the official WOTF records for the past 36 years, but I'm certain you're one (if not the only one) of a select few who WON ON YOUR SECOND ENTRY.

Now, as to my question: I've never been a computer savant. On the plus side, I have mastered the art of employing emojis – after staring at the smiley and saluting faces next to the subject box. But . . . how does everybody insert that solid, unbroken line below their post and add a motivational quote from an author below their past WOTF results?

I don't have a clue. Oh, and I learned how to change the FONT COLOR.

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 Workshop & Challenge!

Postby Wulf Moon » Fri Jun 05, 2020 2:59 pm

zeeteebeez wrote:Elias looked up at his grandmother who sat in the saddle of their stone-mule. “Grandmother, why are we going this way? We need to be moving south.”
“What I tell you about calling me that, boy?”
“Sorry, Mozie. Just trying to show some respect, like they taught me in school.”
“Respect! Respect would be doing as I say. You can call me Mozie, or Mozie Moon, or you can call me nothing at all.”
“Yes, Mozie. But we really do need to be heading south. You seen that poster? There’s a bounty out for a moon whisperer.”
“You trying to say that nasty old sketch on that poster looked like me?”
“Well, it was an old lady on a stone-mule.”
“You calling me old, boy?”
“Lying would be disrespectful, Mozie.”
“Ha! You all right, boy. You all right. But we go this way until the moon tell us different. You’ll have plenty of time to go south when I’m dead.”


Zeet, this is pretty darn perfect! You set up your characters in a setting with a problem at the opening. Not that these are stories, but I'm impressed by how many of you utilized the basics of storytelling to make these dialogue exercises seem like stories. And while you utilize Q&A to avoid beats and dialogue tags, what really IDs each line is the distinct style each speak in: Elias in deferential speech to an elder, Grandmother in an elder's authoritative tones speaking to a youth. Do we need tags to follow? Not a one. Their speaking styles set each apart. Very well done!

Also note how the ending comes full circle. Zeet leads back to the opening. We need to go south is how it opened. And it closes on Grandmother's defiance on going south until she's good and ready. Youth and logic meets unmovable grandma force. :)

The only thing I can find a problem with in this piece is the term stone-mule. I haven't a clue what that is, but these aren't stories, so I can't ding you much for that. In a short story, you'd need to identify what a stone-mule is right away. I see the word "mule," so my mind defaults to that, but not with certainty, and the term comes up again later, so it's important to know what it looks like for the reader. Again, this is just an exercise, so I'm just making a point about defining the term when you introduce a new word or creature in a story.

Kudos on the "nasty old sketch" line. We identify with these characters, and like them right away. Many of us have had grandmothers talk to us like this. Both characters are human and likable.

Great work, Zeet!
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 of 2019.
Wulf Moon Master Class ONE SPOT LEFT! https://bit.ly/2ZWkuyu

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

Postby Wulf Moon » Fri Jun 05, 2020 3:05 pm

Retropianoplayer wrote:Excellent news, Swift Potato!

Your starship, the U.S.S. AUTHOR/WOTF WINNER, just went into Warp 9. Always remember – I don't have the official WOTF records for the past 36 years, but I'm certain you're one (if not the only one) of a select few who WON ON YOUR SECOND ENTRY.

Now, as to my question: I've never been a computer savant. On the plus side, I have mastered the art of employing emojis – after staring at the smiley and saluting faces next to the subject box. But . . . how does everybody insert that solid, unbroken line below their post and add a motivational quote from an author below their past WOTF results?

I don't have a clue. Oh, and I learned how to change the FONT COLOR.

Best,

Retro


Retro, go to your User Control Panel, go to Profile, and go to Edit Signature. It's your signature line, and once entered, it will post to every comment you enter. And all you've made in the past.
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 of 2019.
Wulf Moon Master Class ONE SPOT LEFT! https://bit.ly/2ZWkuyu

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

Postby Wulf Moon » Fri Jun 05, 2020 3:37 pm

Henckel wrote:Assignment for Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET #43: "Write smart dialogue!" Moon exclaimed emphatically.

Everett bailed his twerp-brother up in the corner of the train yard. A week had passed since the shooting and Cole hadn’t come clean.
“I wasn’t even there,” Cole said.
“Don’t lie to me.”
“I was in the house taking a wiz.”
“But, you were at his house.”
“It was an accident.”
“Bullshit! Accidents like that don't happen unless you're playing with guns. Normal people don't do that. Only idiots play with guns—and criminals. You're lucky Seth isn't dead and you're not in jail.”
“I know… I’m sorry.”
“Whatever. Just keep your nose clean.”
“You going to rat me out?”
“No. Come on, you can buy me a burger.”


Henckel sets his exercise up proper. We have the lead speaker named in the first line of narrative. We figure he's the older brother, and we've got a problem: Cole hasn't come clean about shooting someone. One dialogue tag is used to show who leads the serve, and then SERVICE!, we're off to the tennis match! I only see one Q&A, so kudos for that--Q&A ping-pong dialogue is the easiest way to do this, and you didn't take the easy route. Instead, you used a lie vs. fact approach, like an attorney might use grilling someone lying on the witness stand. It has tension, because Cole tries to throw road blocks up to the truth, but his brother sees right through them and bashes them down. Well done on a unique way of employing ping-pong dialogue, Henckel! I'd call this Perry Mason dialogue, but then I'd be dating myself. (Man, that theme song scared me as a little kid when grandma would put us to bed and I'd hear it playing in the living room!)

It's a good exchange, so my main comment is on setting. By using a name like Everett, I'm thinking old West. We don't hear that name in our modern world. It's amplified by a train yard. Sure, we have modern train yards, but combined with Everett, I'm thinking Old West. Add to that a shooting, and I'm thinking gunslinger times. So my mind seeks to establish time and place, and uses the clues given to do so. Alas, when we get to the last line, I have to throw out my framework. This must be a more modern time, because these brothers can go out for burgers. Doesn't sound like Old West to me anymore.

This didn't have to happen, and it wouldn't with just a touch more detail giving us a time reference. (The term "twerp-brother" didn't work for me, either, although I did get what you were trying to do with this compound modifier.) Period referencing is good to keep in mind in your regular stories. Again, this was just an exercise on ping-pong dialogue, which you executed with unique style.

Well done!
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 of 2019.
Wulf Moon Master Class ONE SPOT LEFT! https://bit.ly/2ZWkuyu


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