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

Postby Wulf Moon » Tue Jul 14, 2020 1:27 pm

Glad you're all benefiting from the critiques. It helps to see examples and what works, and what might improve them.

I'm going slow on the critiques because I've got the Fyrelite Online Master Class this Saturday, and I'm working hard on making it the BEST MASTER CLASS EVAH! I think around ten of you challenge beasties are attending, plus others from the Forum. THANK YOU! While I'm going to ask those attending from Super Secrets to share a point they enjoyed with those of you that can't attend, the materials and the class itself are proprietary. That means they are for the exclusive use of those that attended the workshop. I'm happy to say my first master class is almost sold out--only one spot left! If any of you feel like sharing it on your social media, I would be thankful--I'd love to fill that last spot.

I posted this elsewhere, but I need to say it here as well. Success to all that entered Q2! That takes courage and hard work, and I commend each and every one of you that stepped up to the plate. I am certain you'll be hearing results soon. :)

Remember: each quarter, thousands from around the world compete for three winners' spots in the contest and anthology. Only three. Obviously, there are more than three professionally crafted stories in that bunch--thus the need for ranking certificates. Cherish those certificates. The semifinalists get you critiques from an NYT bestselling author. That alone is a prize that can change your writing future. But the other certificates are prizes as well. They show you how close you came to the mark. As you collect more over the course of entering, you prove you can hit that professional mark consistently. That is something to celebrate, because it means you have honed your skills.

Each story is an arrow. Every quarter is a new round to discover the finalists for the competition.

Keep aiming precisely on that bullseye. Don't look at the competitors standing around you. Nock your arrow, shut the world out, sight down the spine to the bullseye...and pull off a clean release.

The certificates you've earned show you have it in you.

Make it so.

And when you get your results, be sure to post them here. Your challenge beasties want to cheer you on! Even if you don't place, every member of this group is your wolf pack. Every success is a success for your pack, and you are all part of a team on the hunt! Celebrate your victories together.

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 SECRETS Workshop & Challenge!

Postby zeeteebeez » Tue Jul 14, 2020 6:35 pm

Guess they’re coming in now. That’s 2 quarters in a row for me with an R.

Need to work on my openings I guess. Good luck to everyone else.
Z.T.

5x HM

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

Postby officer » Tue Jul 14, 2020 6:41 pm

HM for me. Let's go, team!
HM, R, HM, ?

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

Postby RSchibler » Tue Jul 14, 2020 6:47 pm

wotf057

Fingers crossed for everyone!
V34: R, HM, R
V35: HM, R, R, HM
V36: R, HM, HM, SHM
V37: HM, SF, P

ALWAYS available for critique. PM me.

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2020 Writers of the Future Superstars Scholarship

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

Postby CCrawford » Tue Jul 14, 2020 6:49 pm

RSchibler wrote:wotf057

Fingers crossed for everyone!


I'm so excited for you, Becky! Yay!

HM for me.
v35: Q4 - HM
V36: R, R, R, R
V37: SHM, HM, ??

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

Postby officer » Tue Jul 14, 2020 6:55 pm

Congrats, Becky! That's awesome! A few of us can attest to how much we loved your story, so I'm glad to see Dave agrees wotf013
HM, R, HM, ?

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

Postby oishisushi911 » Tue Jul 14, 2020 6:56 pm

Rejection for me. Expected, as I figured the dialogue went into dialect too much for a WotF submission. Man, WotF readers haven't enjoyed my stories since I got back to it from Q1 in Jan. 2019 and on. I did love my Q2 story though, so I'll be submitting it elsewhere, after revision to the dialogue.

Rejections do make me shrug and continue on these days, thanks in part to the support of the pack. In other news, I finished two flash stories I'll be submitting to Flame Tree by 7/17. And I expanded a flash built from one of our prompts provided here around the winter months but was never finished. It is now a polished short story ready for submission to Dreamforge tomorrow. Woohoo. Very productive months. Good luck with your writing everyone.

Good job on your HM, officer and CCrawford! I love my 4 HMs. They are a nice trick for motivation, if you ignore all the rankings above them. Heh.

And awesome RSchibler on semi-finalist! Amazing work.
R.J.K. Lee
2015-2017: 4 HMs, 5 Rs; 2019-2020: 6 Rs, 1 pending
Progress on Goal of 100 rejections in 2020: 44 rejections, 15 pending
Keep writing, revising, submitting! Don't break the circle!

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

Postby oishisushi911 » Tue Jul 14, 2020 6:57 pm

zeeteebeez wrote:Guess they’re coming in now. That’s 2 quarters in a row for me with an R.

Need to work on my openings I guess. Good luck to everyone else.


2 quarters in a row is better than my 6 quarters in a row. So keep going.
R.J.K. Lee
2015-2017: 4 HMs, 5 Rs; 2019-2020: 6 Rs, 1 pending
Progress on Goal of 100 rejections in 2020: 44 rejections, 15 pending
Keep writing, revising, submitting! Don't break the circle!

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

Postby zeeteebeez » Tue Jul 14, 2020 7:06 pm

oishisushi911 wrote:
zeeteebeez wrote:Guess they’re coming in now. That’s 2 quarters in a row for me with an R.

Need to work on my openings I guess. Good luck to everyone else.


2 quarters in a row is better than my 6 quarters in a row. So keep going.


Likewise.

Stings a bit to realize you’re not where you hoped to be. But we’ll get there. I’m pushing myself, trying new things, and getting better. And I think the R’s are in part a reflection of that, as I hone new skills. But yeah, still stings.

Congrats to the HM’s and Becky with the SF!
Z.T.

5x HM

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

Postby StarReacher » Tue Jul 14, 2020 7:15 pm

HM for me this time around. Congrats to the others with the same. And again special congrats to Becky!

For zeeteebeez and oishisushi911, hang in there. That was one story. Remember that there are thousands of submissions we have to compete with. Keep writing!

Part of this contest, is matching up with what Dave wants to see. Perhaps that will be Q3 :)
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 SECRETS Workshop & Challenge!

Postby Wulf Moon » Tue Jul 14, 2020 7:16 pm

zeeteebeez wrote:
oishisushi911 wrote:
zeeteebeez wrote:Guess they’re coming in now. That’s 2 quarters in a row for me with an R.

Need to work on my openings I guess. Good luck to everyone else.


2 quarters in a row is better than my 6 quarters in a row. So keep going.


Likewise.

Stings a bit to realize you’re not where you hoped to be. But we’ll get there. I’m pushing myself, trying new things, and getting better. And I think the R’s are in part a reflection of that, as I hone new skills. But yeah, still stings.

Congrats to the HM’s and Becky with the SF!


This is for Zeet and Oishi:

"If you don't come walking back to the pits every once in a while holding a steering wheel in your hands, you're not trying hard enough."--Mario Andretti

More to come...
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 SECRETS Workshop & Challenge!

Postby oishisushi911 » Tue Jul 14, 2020 7:20 pm

Wulf Moon wrote:
zeeteebeez wrote:
oishisushi911 wrote:
2 quarters in a row is better than my 6 quarters in a row. So keep going.


Likewise.

Stings a bit to realize you’re not where you hoped to be. But we’ll get there. I’m pushing myself, trying new things, and getting better. And I think the R’s are in part a reflection of that, as I hone new skills. But yeah, still stings.

Congrats to the HM’s and Becky with the SF!


This is for Zeet and Oishi:

"If you don't come walking back to the pits every once in a while holding a steering wheel in your hands, you're not trying hard enough."--Mario Andretti

More to come...


I found that quote hilarious. Perfect timing. I do feel like my car's zoomed off the cliff without me and I'm somehow floating through clouds with only a steering wheel. Gotta get back to revisions.
R.J.K. Lee
2015-2017: 4 HMs, 5 Rs; 2019-2020: 6 Rs, 1 pending
Progress on Goal of 100 rejections in 2020: 44 rejections, 15 pending
Keep writing, revising, submitting! Don't break the circle!

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

Postby zeeteebeez » Tue Jul 14, 2020 7:26 pm

Thanks Moon,

The spirit of that message is what I’m holding on to. Hopefully soon those risks will finely honed tools in my belt.
Z.T.

5x HM

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

Postby Wulf Moon » Tue Jul 14, 2020 7:31 pm

Still waiting for all the results to come in for all our challenge beasties, and we'll also do a special celebration for our amazing Becky Schibbler!!! (I AM THRILLED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

But I want to share something with all of you right now. crlisle missed the open enrollment of this workshop--she didn't know about it--at the start of the contest year. Rules are rules, and I had already accepted too many, but you all wanted the help and got your requests in during enrollment. Anyhow, she's been doing all the exercises and assignments outside the workshop and sends them to me. She keeps up with all of you, even though you don't know it. She sent me this message just now. I don't have permission to post it.

I'm doing it anyway. :)

Sent: Tue Jul 14, 2020 8:13 pm
From: crlisle
Recipient: Wulf Moon

The first time I used your Super Secrets to write a story, I got an Honorable Mention.
Super Secrets rock!

Thank you!

_______________________

Candice is an honorary Wulf Pack member. Like Leah Ning, she recognized the value of the Super Secrets and worked on the side until enrollment opened again. Candice is further proof the Secrets work.

CONGRATULATIONS, CANDICE! THREE CHEERS. WOOF! WOOF! WOOF!

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 SECRETS Workshop & Challenge!

Postby RSchibler » Tue Jul 14, 2020 7:35 pm

I did a lot of experimenting in my first year writing. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t. Rs are a hard medicine but if you learned something in writing the story, your craft grew and your next story will benefit. No word written in sincerity is wasted. I love Wulf’s quote. If we’re not failing occasionally, we’re not trying hard enough.

That being said my heart goes out to those who feel disappointed.

I’ll crit any stories people want eyes on, if you want.
V34: R, HM, R
V35: HM, R, R, HM
V36: R, HM, HM, SHM
V37: HM, SF, P

ALWAYS available for critique. PM me.

Stories in A Dying Planet, Flame Tree Publishing and Hold Your Fire, WordFire Press
2020 Writers of the Future Superstars Scholarship

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

Postby oishisushi911 » Tue Jul 14, 2020 7:45 pm

Wulf Moon wrote:Sent: Tue Jul 14, 2020 8:13 pm
From: crlisle
Recipient: Wulf Moon

The first time I used your Super Secrets to write a story, I got an Honorable Mention.
Super Secrets rock!

Thank you!

_______________________

Candice is an honorary Wulf Pack member. Like Leah Ning, she recognized the value of the Super Secrets and worked on the side until enrollment opened again. Candice is further proof the Secrets work.

CONGRATULATIONS, CANDICE! THREE CHEERS. WOOF! WOOF! WOOF!

Beastmaster Moon


Congrats, crlisle! Actually, I already congratulated her. I was happy to hear she snagged HM. I've been trying to provide harsh critiques when she shares her stories to push her to improve.

She's already got a full Q4 story that she's revising!
R.J.K. Lee
2015-2017: 4 HMs, 5 Rs; 2019-2020: 6 Rs, 1 pending
Progress on Goal of 100 rejections in 2020: 44 rejections, 15 pending
Keep writing, revising, submitting! Don't break the circle!

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

Postby AjZach » Wed Jul 15, 2020 7:32 am

R for me, I had hoped the story would do better, but oh well. Congrats to everyone who entered this quarter!
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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRETS Workshop & Challenge!

Postby Dustin Adams » Wed Jul 15, 2020 8:24 am

Sorry to hear. I liked that story...
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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRETS Workshop & Challenge!

Postby zeeteebeez » Wed Jul 15, 2020 8:26 am

Proposal to my fellow R’s:

Since the most likely explanation for an R was that Kary felt the opening failed in some respect (and I personally have had a much harder time getting through her than Dave as a first reader), perhaps we can form an “opening crit pack” where we can review the first couple pages or so between the handful of us, until we all feel confident that each of them are checking the right boxes.

Full crits are wonderful and appreciated, but if the story never makes it to Dave, 80%-plus of it never gets looked at.
Z.T.

5x HM

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

Postby AjZach » Wed Jul 15, 2020 8:38 am

Dustin Adams wrote:Sorry to hear. I liked that story...


Thanks again for the critique! If I remember right, I was missing some things from the beginning of the story that you were kind enough to point out to me. I'm guessing the way that I put in those details ended up making the story a bit slow to start.

wotf017 Live and you learn.

I would be interested in swapping first pages, zeeteebeez
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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRETS Workshop & Challenge!

Postby CCrawford » Wed Jul 15, 2020 8:52 am

I'm happy to crit openings for anyone, as well! I can do a couple of full reads/critiques this quarter, too, as long as I have some lead time. I don't have a story ready to swap right now but I'm glad to read/crit someone else's. :)
v35: Q4 - HM
V36: R, R, R, R
V37: SHM, HM, ??

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

Postby einstein36 » Wed Jul 15, 2020 9:14 am

zeeteebeez wrote:Proposal to my fellow R’s:

Since the most likely explanation for an R was that Kary felt the opening failed in some respect (and I personally have had a much harder time getting through her than Dave as a first reader), perhaps we can form an “opening crit pack” where we can review the first couple pages or so between the handful of us, until we all feel confident that each of them are checking the right boxes.

Full crits are wonderful and appreciated, but if the story never makes it to Dave, 80%-plus of it never gets looked at.


Hi there everyone,
speaking of Kary, Dave has mentioned what things in stories he would reject, but I am just wondering what type of things in stories that Kary would reject before handing them off to Dave??
Obviously, things that Dave has rejected in stories made it past Kary so I am just curious as to what those things in stories she might reject???
Maybe Wulf has a little insight into this?? :)
Vol.36(Q3)-R
Vol.36(Q4)-R

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

Postby zeeteebeez » Wed Jul 15, 2020 9:26 am

Einstein, I am not aware of anything Kary has said specifically. But it does seem clear she has different preferences, as most of my submissions to Dave were HM’s, while my submissions to Kary have been R’s more often than not.

Maybe I’m getting worse! But I don’t believe that’s the case :)
Z.T.

5x HM

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

Postby officer » Wed Jul 15, 2020 10:23 am

zeeteebeez wrote:Proposal to my fellow R’s:

Since the most likely explanation for an R was that Kary felt the opening failed in some respect (and I personally have had a much harder time getting through her than Dave as a first reader), perhaps we can form an “opening crit pack” where we can review the first couple pages or so between the handful of us, until we all feel confident that each of them are checking the right boxes.

Full crits are wonderful and appreciated, but if the story never makes it to Dave, 80%-plus of it never gets looked at.


This is a great idea! I still believe my R last quarter was by my best story--far better than my HMs. But I must have lost Kary on the opening. It was about a pandemic...written last October before the coronavirus...so now I'll never sell it!
HM, R, HM, ?

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

Postby zeeteebeez » Wed Jul 15, 2020 10:59 am

officer wrote:
zeeteebeez wrote:Proposal to my fellow R’s:

Since the most likely explanation for an R was that Kary felt the opening failed in some respect (and I personally have had a much harder time getting through her than Dave as a first reader), perhaps we can form an “opening crit pack” where we can review the first couple pages or so between the handful of us, until we all feel confident that each of them are checking the right boxes.

Full crits are wonderful and appreciated, but if the story never makes it to Dave, 80%-plus of it never gets looked at.


This is a great idea! I still believe my R last quarter was by my best story--far better than my HMs. But I must have lost Kary on the opening. It was about a pandemic...written last October before the coronavirus...so now I'll never sell it!


Yes, officer, I agree. I think my q1 and q2 are the best comprehensive stories I have written (up until maybe Q3), but if they aren’t getting past Kary, that doesn’t matter.

Anyway, any of the challenge members that want to join in on a first 2 pages group later on this quarter, stay in touch!
Z.T.

5x HM

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

Postby RSchibler » Wed Jul 15, 2020 11:20 am

When we had dinner with Kary at SSWS she was kind enough to read over openings for us, and tell us if she'd pass them up/keep reading and why. She was looking for a definite character in a clear setting with something of a problem (I think she said indication of plot) and a clear speculative element. This is a SFF(H) contest. Sometimes the speculative element comes too late, especially in urban or contemporary stories. As Wulf said (Secret #12) MAGIC UP FRONT!

I've said it before, the biggest issue I see in crits is treatment. Kary and Dave read thousands of stories every 3 months. They don't need to read more than a paragraph or two to know if the writer has done their editing and diligence of study to make the rest of their story worth the investment of time. Dave said at SSWS that he can often tell a winner from the first sentence.

Treatment doesn't just mean grammar and punctuation, though. A lot of people can do that. The treatment issues I see are big blocks of exposition, or too many (or too few) dialogue tags, or a character that isn't described or defined well, or wordiness that clutters the page and makes it difficult to read. I know this isn't fun to hear, because things like plot and explanations are relatively easy to edit by cutting and rewriting, but if what is cut and replaced still doesn't flow easily into the reader's mind, transporting them and replacing their thoughts with our words, we aren't doing the job right. In the WotF course, Hubbard had an essay about art and communication. If we're not communicating clearly, we're nowhere.

Keep writing, keep reading, and like Wulf tells us BELIEVE.

Crit offer standing as always, for openings or otherwise.
V34: R, HM, R
V35: HM, R, R, HM
V36: R, HM, HM, SHM
V37: HM, SF, P

ALWAYS available for critique. PM me.

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2020 Writers of the Future Superstars Scholarship

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

Postby zeeteebeez » Wed Jul 15, 2020 12:19 pm

Thanks Becky,

This is helpful.

I think what’s becoming clear to me is you can know something, and think you’re applying it, but the reader is not experiencing it the same way. It comes with practice, but crits definitely help.
Z.T.

5x HM

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

Postby SwiftPotato » Wed Jul 15, 2020 12:54 pm

To tack on to Becky's words of wisdom: be rigorous with your first lines. I try to make myself do at least two things in my first line out of the following: introduce a mystery, introduce the spec element, introduce a strong character, use a pretty turn of phrase. There are more things than that, of course, but the point is to do a couple things that are unique to your story that will make the reader curious.

And tacking on to that, a piece of advice from Charlie that I think is relevant is that he sometimes sees beautiful first lines that don't move smoothly into the next lines. Match your tone. Make sure it blends with the rest of your story. The first line is supposed to give the reader a taste of your story, not a different story.
R, 3rd place Q4 v36!!!

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

Postby guthington » Wed Jul 15, 2020 1:46 pm

I think I'm in Wulf Moon's Fyrelite Online Master Class. I saw Wulf's recent facebook post that indicated one more seat remained and felt an impulsive tug. I got the following message: "Thank you for registering for Fyrecon 4. You will receive a confirmation and receipt email shortly. Sincerely,The Fyrecon Team", and am awaiting that email (also checking spam folder). Hopefully I'm in and will see everyone who's in it tomorrow!
Amy

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

Postby Wulf Moon » Wed Jul 15, 2020 1:57 pm

Well, results look like they're mainly in for our Super Secrets' challenge beasties for Q2. Lots of HMs, some rejections. I know the rejections sting--I collected my share of them in the early days. You can't please everyone all of the time. That's especially true in contests. You send your best, you hope for the best. Sometimes, the magic works, as Terry Brooks would say.

There is always the next quarter. This is not over, not by a long shot. You are in this for the long haul, playing the infinite game. Congratulations to all that have stuck with the challenge and have never given up!

I am proud to see all of you working so hard. That's how you hone your craft. Keep doing the KYD exercises. And reading your stories out loud to proof them. AND PRINTING THEM OUT to proof them! It will really help. You can generate some in medias res stories with the Ping-Pong Dialogue exercise, too. Some of those looked really promising as story intros!

Of course, we have to single out Becky for praise. Getting semifinalist is a GREAT BIG DEAL! It means she was in Dave's final stack, and she made top 16 out of thousands of stories sent in from around the world. She'll get a critique from Dave as well, and she can turn that into gold. Dave knows the market, and how to make a story shine.

WELL DONE, BECKY! YOU'VE DONE THE WULF PACK PROUD! THREE CHEERS FOR OUR CHALLENGE BEASTIE! WOOF! WOOF! WOOF!

Now back to work! This is the quarter you must win. This is the end of the year. Pull out all the stops! And keep helping one another take down the prey!

I've contacted a couple of you that have met the challenge reqs for all three Qs to get a line-by-line critique from me this Q. If you've met the requirements and haven't gotten a critique yet, PM me with a reminder that you want one this quarter. It's hard for me to keep up, especially with the master class going on.

I think I've sent out my master class course materials to all attending. If I missed you, please let me know. We've got Leah, Zeet, ChuckT, Brittany, Ryland, honorary Candice--who else am I missing? Don't forget to update your Zoom to the latest version. You have to go into your Zoom account to do that. I look forward to seeing the Wulf Pack there!

There is one spot left. I hope it goes to one of you, or someone from the Forum (hey, lurkers! We see you! :). The workshop is this Saturday, July 18, 2020. 2 pm to 6:30 pm Mountain Time. It's going to help some of you see how to get to the next level, of this I am sure. Brittany already read the materials and said she found something that was an eye opener. The link is in my signature.

Last quarter of the contest year. And of this second year of the Super Secret Workshop and Challenge. You've got everything you need to succeed. Stay the course!

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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