Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRETS Workshop & Challenge!

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

Postby Peter Glen » Wed Jul 15, 2020 5:22 pm

Reporting in with an 'R'. Taking in all the pack wisdom and support as energy for the next baby Kraken. Grats Becky for the SF!
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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRETS Workshop & Challenge!

Postby Wulf Moon » Thu Jul 16, 2020 3:41 pm

To those taking my Fyrelite Master Class:

Be sure you obtained your materials, either from me, or on the Fyrecon site. And don't forget tonight is the second trial run on your Zoom and how entering the online workshop works. There will be cake, cookies, and UNEECORNS! THEY'RE SO FLUFFY!!!!

Do check in for a bit to make sure everything goes off without a hitch on Saturday.

And...

MY FIRST MASTER CLASS SOLD OUT!!! THAT'S SO FLUFFY!!!

People are already asking how to get in on the next. That would be Fyrecon, in November. Registration will open for that soon. Plus, all of you that took the master class get Fyrecon for free. Which will be online due to COVID, but I hear there's going to be some great panels...and master classes! wotf013

Keep writing!

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 » Fri Jul 17, 2020 12:25 pm

Over the last week, I've said "Character is action" in multiple critiques. This is a quote from Dan Wells, and his seminar on Creating Character Arcs at SSWS, about the importance of having active characters. I asked Wulf for permission to post a write-up on the concept, so here I go.

Characters are our story drivers. The reader gets in with our main character at the beginning of the story, and rides along with the character as the story progresses. The choices the character makes become the story. Quite often, I see a weakness in stories where the main character is spending the majority of the story reacting to events instead of acting and choosing things that then create reactions and repercussions.

Character agency is something that editors and agents talk about frequently. The choices a character makes reveal who they are. Their choices, their efforts to solve their problem, only serve to make things worse, which in turn ratchets up the conflict and tension in the story until there comes a moment where the choice will have devastating consequences. Passive characters, even if horrible things happen to them, are less interesting because they didn't choose that horrible thing. It's not in consequence of a choice they made, it's a capricious universe or an evil antagonist making their lives difficult.

In Leah's excellent story "Yellow and Pink" the main character is determined [SPOILERS but really if you haven't read it, that's on you] to save his wife from a car accident. He chooses again and again to relive his entire life in order to find a way to save her. Everything he does makes it worse - not just for his wife, but for him, as he has to go back with ever more emotional trauma to try again. He is a terribly active character, making life-altering choices to try to solve his problem. Ultimately, he must learn a lesson from his choices, a lesson of acceptance and gratitude.

Consider the difference between Bella Swan and Katniss Everdeen.

Bella begins the series with an interesting, active choice - she is moving to Forks because her mother wants to spend more time with her new husband. Bella then spends the next 4 books reacting to events, making almost no definitive choices that move the story forward. It is external events that drive Bella's story - Edward falling in love with her drives the first book, Jacob's transformations and Edward's love drive the second book, etc. [Note: I am certain these were intentional and ultimately brilliant choices by Meyers in creating her books.]

Compare to Katniss - She chooses to replace Prim - putting herself in a terrible competition in the process. She chooses to befriend and defend (and antagonize) other Champions - complicating her emotions and actions in the arena. She chooses to threaten suicide, compelling the Capital to let both her and Peeta win - and making President Snow very angry. Constantly, Katniss is making choices that not only move the story to new places, but critically MAKE THINGS WORSE for her. Which is the more interesting character?

Both stories are blockbuster hits, and I'm absolutely not criticizing Meyer's because as I said I think there were very good story and genre reasons for making Bella a passive character, but *as a character* I think it's clear that Katniss is much more compelling. More, Katniss is the driver of her own story. She can't blame Peeta or Gale for her problems, because it is her choices that determine the events of the story.

So, whether editing or writing fresh, consider character agency in your story. Is your main character calling the shots, getting themselves into ever more trouble as the story progresses and they try to fix their horrible problem? Or are they simply reacting to events, without taking direct action to fix their problem? It's an easy mistake to make, maybe partially because often in our own lives there are events that change the course of our lives that we didn't choose, and partially because active characters are more challenging to write. So keep asking yourself, who is driving the story?
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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRETS Workshop & Challenge!

Postby CCrawford » Fri Jul 17, 2020 12:37 pm

Thank you for this explanation, Becky! Very helpful.
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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRETS Workshop & Challenge!

Postby StarReacher » Fri Jul 17, 2020 2:03 pm

RSchibler wrote:Over the last week, I've said "Character is action" in multiple critiques. This is a quote from Dan Wells, and his seminar on Creating Character Arcs at SSWS, about the importance of having active characters. I asked Wulf for permission to post a write-up on the concept, so here I go.

Characters are our story drivers. The reader gets in with our main character at the beginning of the story, and rides along with the character as the story progresses. The choices the character makes become the story. Quite often, I see a weakness in stories where the main character is spending the majority of the story reacting to events instead of acting and choosing things that then create reactions and repercussions.


Thanks for writing this up and posting, Becky. It is one of those things that I have heard but don't always remember while writing my stories.

Also, great examples!!
2017 - R (Q4)
2018 - R (Q1), HM (Q2), R (Q4)
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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRETS Workshop & Challenge!

Postby Wulf Moon » Fri Jul 17, 2020 3:01 pm

Nice points, Becky. Well done! Solid advice, challenge beasties!

Our choices determine who we are. Same for our protagonists.

Side note: To those attending my master class, you will have fresh Zoom access codes in your email today. Don't forget to check your spam. If you have any issues, you can message them through the Fyrecon FB page. And for any that missed out, I've been invited to teach it again in November. Link in my signature. See you soon!

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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 » Fri Jul 17, 2020 5:32 pm

zeeteebeez wrote:
officer wrote:
zeeteebeez wrote:Proposal to my fellow R’s:
Anyway, any of the challenge members that want to join in on a first 2 pages group later on this quarter, stay in touch!


I'm up for swapping stories, whether just the openings or the full piece. I often find I can't really critique an opening without seeing the full story to guess at what the author intended. Plus, as a reader, I always glance at the ending after reading the opening, so...

If my Q4 isn't ready by that time, I have plenty of others that would love feedback.
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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRETS Workshop & Challenge!

Postby oishisushi911 » Fri Jul 17, 2020 5:53 pm

RSchibler wrote:So, whether editing or writing fresh, consider character agency in your story. Is your main character calling the shots, getting themselves into ever more trouble as the story progresses and they try to fix their horrible problem? Or are they simply reacting to events, without taking direct action to fix their problem? It's an easy mistake to make, maybe partially because often in our own lives there are events that change the course of our lives that we didn't choose, and partially because active characters are more challenging to write. So keep asking yourself, who is driving the story?


Thanks so much for the write-up. Great reminders I'll be adding to my folder for review. So jealous you got to take a class from Dan Wells.

Isn't making Bella Swan the perfect choice for her books because that is the classic gothic heroine? I suppose if one were writing some version of gothic horror which they wanted to submit to WotF that would be one genre element to tweak.
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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRETS Workshop & Challenge!

Postby Chezecaek » Sat Jul 18, 2020 11:48 am

You FAILED me, Wulf. I read your super secrets, and I only got an HM in the latest quarter! I WANT THE MONEY I NEVER GAVE YOU BACK!

Just kidding. I'm proud of the HM and your secrets were a big help!

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

Postby RSchibler » Sat Jul 18, 2020 12:39 pm

oishisushi911 wrote:
Thanks so much for the write-up. Great reminders I'll be adding to my folder for review. So jealous you got to take a class from Dan Wells.

Isn't making Bella Swan the perfect choice for her books because that is the classic gothic heroine? I suppose if one were writing some version of gothic horror which they wanted to submit to WotF that would be one genre element to tweak.


It was an amazing class. If you can make it to SSWS ever, it was the best con I've ever been to.

I've always considered Bella to be passive because it allows for easier audience insertion and wish-granting through the novels. Consider the reading audience for Twilight - teenage girls, and middle aged women. Adults make up a huge demographic for YA fantasy, and Meyers did a brilliant job with her characters that allowed adults to enjoy the books, widening her audience. Wish fulfillment and escapism are a huge element in what drives people to read, and I think Bella represents a kind of generic anyperson that readers found it easy to identify with simply because she didn't have a strong personality or make definitive choices. An American mythos surrounding feminine identity at that time could be summed up by pointing at Bella - liked to read, smart with math and science, shy and a little awkward, bad at sports, and of course, irresistible to wealthy ageless superhuman gorgeous males. That's just my perspective, though. There is probably a lot more to it than that!
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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRETS Workshop & Challenge!

Postby zeeteebeez » Sat Jul 18, 2020 5:56 pm

oishisushi911 wrote:
zeeteebeez wrote:
officer wrote:


I'm up for swapping stories, whether just the openings or the full piece. I often find I can't really critique an opening without seeing the full story to guess at what the author intended. Plus, as a reader, I always glance at the ending after reading the opening, so...

If my Q4 isn't ready by that time, I have plenty of others that would love feedback.


I see what you’re saying. Would love to do full swaps. I’ll plan on sending you my full, and happy to read yours. Feel free to send me anything, anytime.

But if we get a group of people together, it might be challenging for everyone to do full crits for everyone. There may be some benefit for a handful of people to say “yes, I want to read more,” or “this didn’t work for me.”
Z.T.

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

Postby Peter Glen » Sat Jul 18, 2020 6:48 pm

Thanks for your write-up Becky. I'm taking this on-board for the edit of my current novel (about 70% done) where there's an issue with the MC but couldn't put my finger on it. But, I think you've nailed it and provided me with ammo for taking the story forward. TY!
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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRETS Workshop & Challenge!

Postby Peter Glen » Sat Jul 18, 2020 9:15 pm

test
Last edited by Peter Glen on Fri Jul 31, 2020 5:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRETS Workshop & Challenge!

Postby oishisushi911 » Sat Jul 18, 2020 9:59 pm

...
Last edited by oishisushi911 on Fri Jul 31, 2020 5:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRETS Workshop & Challenge!

Postby chuckt » Sun Jul 19, 2020 5:39 am

RSchibler wrote: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.


Great post Becky. I'm going to copy and paste it into my writing notebook. Thanks.
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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRETS Workshop & Challenge!

Postby chuckt » Sun Jul 19, 2020 5:44 am

Wulf Moon wrote: I've been invited to teach it again in November. Link in my signature. See you soon!

Beastmaster Moon


Of course you were. :) You did an awesome job. It's clear you have a passion for teaching and a talent for relating things.It's no small gift. I was surprised at how quickly the four hours went. You must have had a hard time squeezing down what to cover. Very much a KYD exercise.
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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRETS Workshop & Challenge!

Postby SwiftPotato » Sun Jul 19, 2020 6:13 am

Congratulations on (and thank you for!) the fantastic class, Moon! It looked like everyone learned tons, and your presentation made it easy to absorb four hours' worth of information. Awesome job! I hope your November class sells out too!!

Also, it was so nice to meet the people from the forum face-to-face! Really enjoyed seeing you all. Maybe we should see if we can organize an informal zoom chat sometime, do some writing sprints or some live readings/crits or something of that sort!
R, 3rd place Q4 v36!!!

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

Postby aryus » Sun Jul 19, 2020 9:32 am

A great class yesterday. Thanks Moon. Was awesome to meet people and chat during the breaks and after class. And I learned more than one thing! Definitely recommend anyone who missed this class to try to make the next one in November.
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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRETS Workshop & Challenge!

Postby storysinger » Sun Jul 19, 2020 9:48 am

I was very happy to see your first class was sold out Wulf. wotf010 I enjoyed every minute of the session. It was a blast putting faces to the names of the forumites that attended.
I don't know what happened when the master class ended, I went to a room full of strangers so I called a day.
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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRETS Workshop & Challenge!

Postby zeeteebeez » Sun Jul 19, 2020 9:55 am

Moon’s class was excellent!

I expect future opportunities for him to teach, and it’s well worth the time and money for anyone wanting to level up!
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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRETS Workshop & Challenge!

Postby chuckt » Sun Jul 19, 2020 9:57 am

aryus wrote:A great class yesterday. Thanks Moon. Was awesome to meet people and chat during the breaks and after class. And I learned more than one thing! Definitely recommend anyone who missed this class to try to make the next one in November.


Shoot darn. I should have taken a screenshot of everyone so I could remember faces. I'm friends with some, but not all, of you on Facebook.
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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRETS Workshop & Challenge!

Postby crlisle » Sun Jul 19, 2020 12:26 pm

It was a wonderful class! I am still absorbing all we were taught and have great revision plans for my 4th quarter story. The chat thread was a blast! So nice to meet you all. I just wish we could have met in person. Maybe next year?
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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRETS Workshop & Challenge!

Postby oishisushi911 » Sun Jul 19, 2020 3:42 pm

SwiftPotato wrote: Maybe we should see if we can organize an informal zoom chat sometime, do some writing sprints or some live readings/crits or something of that sort!


Great idea. A flash writing sprint to one of the Challenge Group prompts with live readings after? Or brainstorming/discussion session? Anyway, I agree. It was fun to see people from the group.

I was so glad I managed to join despite my current work situation. For challenge group members, we knew a lot of the material, but there was a lot of great motivation and the 15 elements of a prize-winning story was a great overview. There were some excellent exercises paired with handouts as well. I also really enjoyed seeing the cats and the bookshelves and little treasures. I wanted more of a tour, but forgot to ask for a walk through. Heh.

Thanks for teaching, Packmaster!
R.J.K. Lee
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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 SwiftPotato » Mon Jul 20, 2020 4:42 am

Happy Monday, beasties! Today's Monday prompt is: FIRST DAY WITHOUT STARS.
R, 3rd place Q4 v36!!!

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

Postby Wulf Moon » Mon Jul 20, 2020 2:33 pm

Chezecaek wrote:You FAILED me, Wulf. I read your super secrets, and I only got an HM in the latest quarter! I WANT THE MONEY I NEVER GAVE YOU BACK!

Just kidding. I'm proud of the HM and your secrets were a big help!


Glad to help, Chezecaek. HM first time out of the gate? Nice!

You can't get your money back. YOU HAVEN'T BOUGHT THE SUPER SECRETS' BOOK YET! wotf001

Coming soon...

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Critter Awards: Wulf Moon BEST AUTHOR 2019; "Super-Duper Moongirl" BEST SF&F STORY 2019.
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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRETS Workshop & Challenge!

Postby oishisushi911 » Mon Jul 20, 2020 3:03 pm

SwiftPotato wrote:Happy Monday, beasties! Today's Monday prompt is: FIRST DAY WITHOUT STARS.


Pete and I are doing a writing sprint from 11 AM JST. Any challenge members are welcome to join. We're aiming to write something new for a specific story call. But with the Monday prompt out, we may apply that as well. Good luck with your writing, everyone.
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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRETS Workshop & Challenge!

Postby Wulf Moon » Mon Jul 20, 2020 3:18 pm

chuckt wrote:
Wulf Moon wrote: I've been invited to teach it again in November. Link in my signature. See you soon!

Beastmaster Moon


Of course you were. :) You did an awesome job. It's clear you have a passion for teaching and a talent for relating things.It's no small gift. I was surprised at how quickly the four hours went. You must have had a hard time squeezing down what to cover. Very much a KYD exercise.


Hey, Chuck! Thanks so much for being there. I didn't have a chance to time it--I just knew what I needed to cover if I was going to teach you the essential elements in every prizewinning story. And then the highlights of the Super Secrets! And the hidden Secrets, too! And the year end bonus Secret!!! You're right, it was a HUGE teaching KYD, but I brought you the pick of the litter. Mucho appreciation for being part of my Wulf Pack support team! It was wonderful to see SOLD OUT on my first master class, and I have my Wulf Pack challenge beasties to thank for that!

Looking forward to seeing what you guys do with that knowledge!

Speaking of, my next Fyrecon Online Master Class in November is open for registration! Three spots already sold and it just opened! It's going to sell out again--Fyrecon is their big event, and online is working!

More news! I'll be teaching a NEW class in October: The Secrets of a Howling Good Plot. Registration open! Writing the copy now!

More to come! Thanks for all the nice comments, guys. I'll reply to more soon, and I will get back to finishing the Ping-Pong Dialogue Exercises. If you see a story inside your Ping-Pong, that's part three: Go write it, perhaps using your exercise as the basis for the opening. Don't post these, please. Just write a winning story and take the gold! And take me with you to the party!

Cheers!

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 Wulf Moon » Mon Jul 20, 2020 6:03 pm

So this was my big project today. Here's the copy on a new class for Fyrelite Online in October. This one is to teach the Seven Point Plot, but with my Secret modifications! Let me know what you think. Going to send this over to post to the site soon, probably tonight. Cheers!

THE SECRETS OF A HOWLING GOOD PLOT

The Nine. You have heard these legends told, of Nine Secrets from the days of old, when forges burned hot and hammers rang bold. They are the stories of mortals who have sold their souls, to create from crude ore one ring of pure gold.

Yes, writer, you know of what I speak. For you can see it too, in your mind's eye. A story incomplete, seeking what is missing with all its might in the fog and confusion of lidless night. Gather your power. Come to Mordor, where we shall dare to stare into the molten heart of Mount Doom. Cast your story into the fire and bring it forth in radiance anew. Howl as you seize the nine elements of every successful story and apply Moon's alchemy to bind them to your living creation.

You have heard of the Seven Point Plot. This one ... is the Nine. From these essential elements, every successful story is created. If you have wondered how to craft a story, if you have been confounded by your story not selling, this master workshop will teach you how to turn lead into gold.

Behold! The Secrets to be unleashed:

1. Discover the Nine Secrets of every working story. Analyze what makes them kick and scream and drag you down into the heart of darkness, only to lift you from the ashes into blazing glory.

2. Explore how authors use these Secrets in your favorite stories to bind you to their power and cast you under their spell. The scales shall fall from your eyes; you will be forever changed.

3. Learn how to bind the Nine to do your will. Using Wulf's Howling Good Story Plotter TM, we will take your idea and give it fur and fangs and a sporty bowler hat. Or a holocaust cloak. You decide.

4. Stand back! Farther, you fools!--you have a Ringwraith on your hands! How to safely unleash your beast on the world and prepare for world domination.

Light. Your. Forge!

Fly you fools, fly! Wulf's last class sold out!
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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oishisushi911
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Location: Japan
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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRETS Workshop & Challenge!

Postby oishisushi911 » Mon Jul 20, 2020 6:08 pm

Perfect. Love how the class description is done. Just add something about world wide or across the globe or whatever to the end there. Wulf's class sold out world-wide, from Tokyo to [insert town in USA] to London!
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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Wulf Moon
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Location: Olympic Peninsula, WA
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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRETS Workshop & Challenge!

Postby Wulf Moon » Mon Jul 20, 2020 6:11 pm

oishisushi911 wrote:Perfect. Love how the class description is done. Just add something about world wide or across the globe or whatever to the end there. Wulf's class sold out world-wide, from Tokyo to [insert town in USA] to London!


Heh-heh. You were the one that gave me that idea before, Ryland! Love it! It was great for a fun *how it went* results post. Might be overkill for ad copy, but I still love it! :)

And loved having you in the How to Write Prizewinners' class! It was so cool to think we could all be united worldwide at that moment. I really enjoyed having you there, seeing you there, and your Ping-Pong Dialogue Exercise was excellent!

Keep writing! You are doing the work. You WILL reap the rewards!

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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