Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge! Vol. 36

Open topics on the Contest itself, to include results-watch threads and other items of note.
User avatar
AnikeKirsten
Posts: 27
Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2018 6:58 am
Contact:

Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge! Vol. 36

Postby AnikeKirsten » Mon Dec 10, 2018 4:29 am

Due to the enthusiasm Moon is showing (and the hallowed halls echoes, by the way congrats on the win, Moon!), I'm creeping out from lurk-mode to join this.

My Q1 entry is already in and it's technically a fresh story (in that it was written to sub to WotF but wasn't ready for last quarter and thus rolled over). That still counts, right?

Just finished the first draft of Q2's entry, as well, so I'm already in this but now it's official.
V.35: Q4 - SHM.
V.36: Q1 - Pending.
V.36: Q2 - Pending.

Wulf Moon
Posts: 466
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2017 2:54 pm
Location: Olympic Peninsula, WA

Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge! Vol. 36

Postby Wulf Moon » Mon Dec 10, 2018 9:42 am

The stone troll in our hallowed dining hall looks up from the cauldron he's been faithfully stirring for tonight's feast. There's still no meat in the pot, as no one volunteered for the sacrfice, but the night is young, and these are writers--a brawl is sure to ignite before the gathering is over.

He lifts the ladle and brings a steaming scoop to his cracked lips, and halts just before he sucks it down. He stares at what floats upon the surface, something Rebecca tossed into the pot. "THAT is beeyoooteeefull, that is!"

"It compels the reader to go on, to dig deeper into the story. That's a good hook. And each following sentence should up the ante by both deepening the reader's immersion in the time and place and characters, and increasing reader questions. Answer one with a new question, or by creating a problem. It should be hooks all the way down, really."

He sniffs reverently. "That would go nicely with some fresh nags and bit of squirrel dung seasoning, it would."
Wulf Moon
Q4 Vol 35 "Super-Duper Moongirl..."
Annual Critters Readers' Choice Award: First Place, "War Dog," Best SF&F Short Story of 2018
BlogTalk interview: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/rithebard/ ... ith-sherri

Wulf Moon
Posts: 466
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2017 2:54 pm
Location: Olympic Peninsula, WA

Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge! Vol. 36

Postby Wulf Moon » Mon Dec 10, 2018 10:00 am

AnikeKirsten, of course it counts! Plus, how will we ever pay the rent on the castle I leased for this event if we don't enrich ourselves with new members? I assume you brought an offering? Oooh, shiny! You're all in for four quarters of minty freshness!

I rise to the dais. "OH KEEPER OF THE SACRED TOME OF DISMEMBER--, ER, DEES MEMBERS, PLEASE ADD COUNTESS ANIIKE KIRSTEN DELURKER TO OUR STEAMED RANKS!"

Maybe some of the echo throughout the great hall is electronic reverb, maybe it's not, and maybe the arched heights are trompe-l'œil and forced perspective, and maybe they're not. Maybe it's real, and maybe, just maybe, so are the secrets whispered in these hallowed halls to help you win the battle.

~Beastmaster Moon~
Wulf Moon
Q4 Vol 35 "Super-Duper Moongirl..."
Annual Critters Readers' Choice Award: First Place, "War Dog," Best SF&F Short Story of 2018
BlogTalk interview: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/rithebard/ ... ith-sherri

Wulf Moon
Posts: 466
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2017 2:54 pm
Location: Olympic Peninsula, WA

Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge! Vol. 36

Postby Wulf Moon » Mon Dec 10, 2018 10:42 am

Moon's SUPER SECRET #5: A story is a PROMISE.

So you've figured out you have to open your story with 1. A CHARACTER, 2. IN A SETTING, 3. WITH A PROBLEM. Well done, you're ahead of 90% of contest entrants. But we already knew that, you couldn't have gotten past our gargoyle bouncer if you didn't know that much when you came in. But there's something else that has to be in those first two pages: A PROMISE TO YOUR READER. Every story is a contract with your reader. You reader comes to you with their hard earned quality time and says, "I've recently come into some time and although it's not enough to retire on, I was thinking of investing. What have you got for me that gives fair YIELD for my investment?"

And you, the writer, will say in earnest in your opening, "I promise you will be ENRICHED beyond your wildest dreams!"

And your reader will yawn and say, "Yeah, I've heard that one before. I've even invested in that promise, and it turned out not only did my time yield no dividend, I got to the end of the investment term and it came up bust!"

And you, the writer, will say, "No, trust me, this time YOU WILL BE ENRICHED BEYOND YOUR WILDEST DREAMS!"

And because the lure of quick return for precious time is so great, and knowing others have occassionally, like in those fairy tales, enjoyed windfalls, your reader might drop some chips and say, "Okay, I'm buying in, but you better be right!"

And you had better deliver, because some of those readers are editors and contest judges, and they get really ticked when you promise in your opening they WILL BE ENRICHED BEYOND THEIR WILDEST DREAMS, and they come to the end of your story only to find their time wasted and their pockets picked clean.

A story is a promise. You must state that promise in your opening. The rest of the story is spent either getting the promise (in theater, this is called comedy) or failing to get that promise (this is called tragedy). So many new writers fail to understand this contract with the reader, and so, their stories fail to deliver. Readers must be told UP FRONT what your protagonist seeks, and they invest in your promise by reading your story to see if your hero or heroine is going to get what she deserves. For example:

Jane wanted an ice cream cone. Jane had never had an ice cream cone in her life, but she had seen so many other kids eat their ice cream cones right in front of her, and by god, this was her thirteenth birthday. Come hell or high water, before this day ended, Jane was going to find a way to eat one too.

Again, not going to win a Hugo or a Nebula or a Woofie (what I call WotF trophies). But THE PROMISE is in this opening. Do you see it? Okay, good, you've got eyesight. But you may have a blind spot. Go back to your entry and check to see if you have THE PROMISE there. IN THOSE FIRST TWO PAGES!

Sorry, I know that echoes terribly in these hallowed halls, but seriously, I barely whispered it.

And Storysinger? Put a sign out front, and write on it: FREE ICE CREAM. We need more members or we'll never cover our lease for the quarter, let alone for the year.

~Beastmaster Moon~
Wulf Moon
Q4 Vol 35 "Super-Duper Moongirl..."
Annual Critters Readers' Choice Award: First Place, "War Dog," Best SF&F Short Story of 2018
BlogTalk interview: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/rithebard/ ... ith-sherri

thegirlintheglasses
Posts: 107
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2017 8:50 pm
Contact:

Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge! Vol. 36

Postby thegirlintheglasses » Wed Dec 12, 2018 10:15 am

I'll throw in there that there's something to be said for fresh writing, fast and furious. I took Dustin's challenge last year and wrote my Q4 story partially in the hospital after delivering my baby. The last bit I wrote was the day before the deadline. No critiques, no rewrites. Just a few edits a few hours before the deadline. And I only pushed because I wanted to meet my goal. When Joni called a few months later to say I made finalist, I was utterly shocked. First draft. A few edits. I had multiple typos and one sentence made no sense... Embarassing in some ways. But I sent it in, and I'm so glad I did! As others have said, you don't know what you're capable of if you don't try--and you might just write something the judges like. Get your entry in!!!

Secret hooks? I like to dump the reader in the story with a striking sensory detail. An image, a smell, a sound, a weird feeling or cringy situation... Shrug. Dave says he likes rich details, so I try to throw those out and rotate which senses I'm using throughout the story. Maybe that's not a hook exactly, but I think rich worlds encourage the reader keep reading (because then they're right there with the mc. Don't pull them out!)
Brittany Rainsdon
R-SHM-HM-R-HM-R-F

John Goodwin asked me to type up a blog post about writing my wotf entry around giving birth. Here it is!
https://www.writersofthefuture.com/birt ... -rainsdon/

Wulf Moon
Posts: 466
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2017 2:54 pm
Location: Olympic Peninsula, WA

Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge! Vol. 36

Postby Wulf Moon » Thu Dec 13, 2018 8:56 pm

Brittany,

Environment can certainly be a hook, the richer and more unique the better! And yes, Dave has frequently said he likes rich worlds, so getting that up front concisely puts something he will certainly be looking for checked off on his list. I've read your work, and you're superb at working in sensory details that make the prose come to life.

Also, don't forget about milieu! Getting a feel for the social climate as well up front is really important. Are we in an Orwellian world? Or a free love Sixties kind of environ? Lots of ways to sneak in the BIG PICTURE without writing the big picture on the page. Think of Lord of the Rings. Tolkien hinted everywhere that huge cultures had existed in his world, had decayed, and the remants of that ancient world were all but on the cusp of collapse. You FEEL the history, even though you don't always see it on the page. Like passing the Argonath statues on the River Anduin. What civilization built those huge works? Gondor of course, but not the Gondor we see in the story. It tells us a much bigger realm once existed here, glorious in power. And how did Tolkien do this? Simply by having his characters pass those monoliths in canoes.

Hint at your world in such a way that it seems HUGE, without going into detail. The reader's mind will long to explore all those nooks and crannies, but you're only giving them a nibble. Let them see the multi-tiered cake, give 'em a nibble, then leave 'em hungering for more.

Moon's SUPER SECRET #6: Hint in your opening the grand vista of your world.

I said HINT! Don't go shoving the cake down Kary's throat like she's a bride at the wedding reception! I said a NIBBLE!

Storysinger! We need more members! THE END OF Q1 COMETH!!! Let's put another sign out in front of the portcullis:

FREE CAKE IF YOU JOIN THIS CHALLENGE!
By Order of Beastmaster Moon
Last edited by Wulf Moon on Fri Dec 14, 2018 9:46 am, edited 2 times in total.
Wulf Moon
Q4 Vol 35 "Super-Duper Moongirl..."
Annual Critters Readers' Choice Award: First Place, "War Dog," Best SF&F Short Story of 2018
BlogTalk interview: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/rithebard/ ... ith-sherri

Wulf Moon
Posts: 466
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2017 2:54 pm
Location: Olympic Peninsula, WA

Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge! Vol. 36

Postby Wulf Moon » Thu Dec 13, 2018 9:56 pm

Moon's SUPER SECRET #7: Private message for challenge members only. If you're a member, or if you join the challenge before Q1 ends, you can private message me and get this one.

Will it help you win? I think it's one of the most important SUPER SECRETS, and I believe it's what helped my story stand out from the rest of the pack.

As they say, Membership has its priveleges! wotf001

Fortune favor the brave!

~Beastmaster Moon~
Wulf Moon
Q4 Vol 35 "Super-Duper Moongirl..."
Annual Critters Readers' Choice Award: First Place, "War Dog," Best SF&F Short Story of 2018
BlogTalk interview: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/rithebard/ ... ith-sherri

Wulf Moon
Posts: 466
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2017 2:54 pm
Location: Olympic Peninsula, WA

Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge! Vol. 36

Postby Wulf Moon » Sun Dec 16, 2018 10:56 am

Moon's SUPER SECRET #8: Kill "as you know, Bobs" in your story!

What's an "as you know, Bob?" It's authorial intrusion, done through a character to make it seem okay. You think that by using this method, you're being sneaky getting information into your story that your reader might not know. You aren't. You're being annoying as hell. Here, an example in a team that's topside on a rescue ship:

"We need to get that trapped diver to the surface, Bill!"

"Well, as you know, Bob, at that depth, the air in his tank is compressed seventy-five percent."

"Right! And as you know, Bill, he's going to have to release air all the way up on his ascent or his lungs could have an air embolism, or worse, might even explode."

"Right you are, Bob. Plus, we have to worry about nitrogen narcosis."

"Yes, Bill, a drowsy state induced by breathing air under higher than atmospheric pressure. You do know the nitrogen can be forced into his joints, causing excruciating pain, even death?"

"That I do, Bob. I watched the same episode you did of Jacques Cousteau when his son died in this very manner. Good thing we have a hyperbaric chamber on our ship for just such emergencies, Bob."

"Yeah, Bill, we are two smart hombres."

We see a lot of writers doing this in old pulp stories. Back then, they could still get published with "as you know, Bobs." No one called writers on it. But I guarantee you, Kary and Dave will cull your story if you do. You will not get past GO, you will not collect $200 dollars.

Find another way to fill a reader in. And trust your reader. Chances are, they know more than you do.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Two weeks to the end of Q1! Any other lurkers out there that wish to join our challenge? Free ice cream! Free cake! Free member's only SUPER SECRETS! There's still time, but the clock is ticking! Ticka, tock, ticka, tock, ticka...

BOOM.

~Beastmaster Moon~
Wulf Moon
Q4 Vol 35 "Super-Duper Moongirl..."
Annual Critters Readers' Choice Award: First Place, "War Dog," Best SF&F Short Story of 2018
BlogTalk interview: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/rithebard/ ... ith-sherri

Wulf Moon
Posts: 466
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2017 2:54 pm
Location: Olympic Peninsula, WA

Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge! Vol. 36

Postby Wulf Moon » Sun Dec 16, 2018 11:12 am

If you find a SUPER SECRET that did help you out, showed up a blind spot in your writing, please comment on it. Also, we're getting close to the end of the Q. In addtion to 4 in 36, please post that you entered the Q here so we can keep track and celebrate your victory! However, you might want to hold off submitting just a bit yet. This Q's secrets are about your opening, and there's still more to come. If you haven't been getting HMs or higher on a regular basis, I'll guarantee you, the answer is in here, or coming soon. Fix it, and you'll start seeing dramatic results, and you can show row upon row of honor certificates on your social media.

Perhaps, you'll even turn one of those honors--making finalist--into your win!
Wulf Moon
Q4 Vol 35 "Super-Duper Moongirl..."
Annual Critters Readers' Choice Award: First Place, "War Dog," Best SF&F Short Story of 2018
BlogTalk interview: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/rithebard/ ... ith-sherri

User avatar
AnikeKirsten
Posts: 27
Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2018 6:58 am
Contact:

Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge! Vol. 36

Postby AnikeKirsten » Sun Dec 16, 2018 11:57 am

Wulf Moon wrote:Moon's SUPER SECRET #8: Kill "as you know, Bobs" in your story!

What's an "as you know, Bob?" It's authorial intrusion, done through a character to make it seem okay. You think that by using this method, you're being sneaky getting information into your story that your reader might not know. You aren't. You're being annoying as hell. Here, an example in a team that's topside on a rescue ship:

"We need to get that trapped diver to the surface, Bill!"

"Well, as you know, Bob, at that depth, the air in his tank is compressed seventy-five percent."

"Right! And as you know, Bill, he's going to have to release air all the way up on his ascent or his lungs could have an air embolism, or worse, might even explode."

"Right you are, Bob. Plus, we have to worry about nitrogen narcosis."

"Yes, Bill, a drowsy state induced by breathing air under higher than atmospheric pressure. You do know the nitrogen can be forced into his joints, causing excruciating pain, even death?"

"That I do, Bob. I watched the same episode you did of Jacques Cousteau when his son died in this very manner. Good thing we have a hyperbaric chamber on our ship for just such emergencies, Bob."

"Yeah, Bill, we are two smart hombres."

We see a lot of writers doing this in old pulp stories. Back then, they could still get published with "as you know, Bobs." No one called writers on it. But I guarantee you, Kary and Dave will cull your story if you do. You will not get past GO, you will not collect $200 dollars.

Find another way to fill a reader in. And trust your reader. Chances are, they know more than you do.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Two weeks to the end of Q1! Any other lurkers out there that wish to join our challenge? Free ice cream! Free cake! Free member's only SUPER SECRETS! There's still time, but the clock is ticking! Ticka, tock, ticka, tock, ticka...

BOOM.

~Beastmaster Moon~


Ha! Yes, this is infuriating for me as a reader. It's patronising. Plus it breaks character, which in turn breaks the flow of reading and there goes the suspension of disbelief. Sticking to the character is important in a story, in my opinion though this is an opinion shared by many a reader (and editor from what I've seen). Makes me want to pull the author through the page and give them a shake. Because the authors get me so invested in their characters and then kill them in the worst possible way so that all that's left is an unliving husk of who they used to be that guides me (reluctantly) through the rest of the story. (I wish this were an exaggeration but, alas, it feels like that when I come across it.)
V.35: Q4 - SHM.
V.36: Q1 - Pending.
V.36: Q2 - Pending.

Wulf Moon
Posts: 466
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2017 2:54 pm
Location: Olympic Peninsula, WA

Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge! Vol. 36

Postby Wulf Moon » Tue Dec 18, 2018 12:42 am

AnikeKirsten wrote: Ha! Yes, this is infuriating for me as a reader. It's patronising. Plus it breaks character, which in turn breaks the flow of reading and there goes the suspension of disbelief. Sticking to the character is important in a story, in my opinion though this is an opinion shared by many a reader (and editor from what I've seen). Makes me want to pull the author through the page and give them a shake.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

You've summed up my feelings when I see this exactly, Anike! It's annoying, it's a beginner mistake, and yet I see established writers doing it too, thinking they're too clever for their readers to catch it perhaps?

Friends, just say NO to as you know Bob, Bill, Sherri, Sam. Figure out a more clever way to sneak critical info into your story, and trust your reader to probably know it anyhow.
Wulf Moon
Q4 Vol 35 "Super-Duper Moongirl..."
Annual Critters Readers' Choice Award: First Place, "War Dog," Best SF&F Short Story of 2018
BlogTalk interview: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/rithebard/ ... ith-sherri

Wulf Moon
Posts: 466
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2017 2:54 pm
Location: Olympic Peninsula, WA

Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge! Vol. 36

Postby Wulf Moon » Tue Dec 18, 2018 1:14 am

Moon's SUPER SECRET #9: Open your story with your protagonist.

Readers come to a story and immediately want to hang their hat on someone--the hero of this tale. When you open a story with Calamity Jane dusting off her plasma blaster, we're going to expect that this is a story about Jane. We start settling into her character right up front, glad we've got that out of the way, because we need to know who we're going on this journey with, and whether or not she's bringing along enough cookies to share.

ALAS! Three pages in, we come to find out Jane is the proprietor of a store, she has NO cookies, and our protagonist is a boy getting beat up by school bullies outside in the parking lot. What? We were all set for a gun-slinging retro-future Jane story, and now you're telling us it's Billy's child endangerment story set in Wichita, Kansas? WHY DIDN'T YOU TELL US UP FRONT? That's the question readers will ask, often with much annoyance, and often with some expletives as they close the story and never come back! Or, in contest terms, it gets a rejection.

Yes, there are exceptions to every rule. Yes, we've all read stories that start with another POV, and eventually hone in on the protagonist. If they're really good, a writer can break this rule. But it's a lot safer to just give the reader what they're looking for...their heroine!...right at the start of your story.

Get your story off on the right foot. Give us our hero! And some cookies! Chocolate chip, please.

~Beastmaster Moon~
Wulf Moon
Q4 Vol 35 "Super-Duper Moongirl..."
Annual Critters Readers' Choice Award: First Place, "War Dog," Best SF&F Short Story of 2018
BlogTalk interview: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/rithebard/ ... ith-sherri

User avatar
disgruntledpeony
Posts: 785
Joined: Fri Jul 31, 2015 7:21 pm

Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge! Vol. 36

Postby disgruntledpeony » Tue Dec 18, 2018 3:25 am

Wulf Moon wrote:Yes, there are exceptions to every rule. Yes, we've all read stories that start with another POV, and eventually hone in on the protagonist. If they're really good, a writer can break this rule. But it's a lot safer to just give the reader what they're looking for...their heroine!...right at the start of your story.

In my experience as a reader, this rule is much more likely to be broken in novels (where multiple viewpoints are more likely in the first place) than short stories. The shorter a story is, the harder it is to maintain multiple viewpoints. I try to keep things to one character/viewpoint per short story, myself.
Last edited by disgruntledpeony on Tue Dec 18, 2018 6:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
If a person offend you, and you are in doubt as to whether it was intentional or not, do not resort to extreme measures; simply watch your chance and hit him with a brick. ~ Mark Twain

R, SF, SHM, SHM, SHM, F, R, HM, SHM, ?

User avatar
RSchibler
Posts: 325
Joined: Thu Mar 30, 2017 2:53 pm
Location: San Antonio, TX
Contact:

Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge! Vol. 36

Postby RSchibler » Tue Dec 18, 2018 6:36 am

I tried a 3 POV story for Q3 and got a rejection. The story had other issues, but trying to weave in three POVs for a short story was a challenge!
Trying to refute entropy with words.

Vol34: R, HM, R
Vol35: HM, R, R, HM
Vol36: pending

ALWAYS available for critiques. PM me.

Wulf Moon
Posts: 466
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2017 2:54 pm
Location: Olympic Peninsula, WA

Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge! Vol. 36

Postby Wulf Moon » Tue Dec 18, 2018 10:41 am

disgruntledpeony wrote:
Wulf Moon wrote:Yes, there are exceptions to every rule. Yes, we've all read stories that start with another POV, and eventually hone in on the protagonist. If they're really good, a writer can break this rule. But it's a lot safer to just give the reader what they're looking for...their heroine!...right at the start of your story.

In my experience as a reader, this rule is much more likely to be broken in novels (where multiple viewpoints are more likely in the first place) than short stories. The shorter a story is, the harder it is to maintain multiple viewpoints. I try to keep things to one character/viewpoint per short story, myself.


Great point about novels, Liz. They have the room to break this rule, short stories really do not. But I still get annoyed when the opening scene starts with someone that I'm hanging my hat on as the protagonist, only to find the REAL heroine in Chapter Two. Sheesh, I have to lift the hat off I put on the first character, realign my thoughts, and put the hat on the real hero of the story. It's annoying because it makes me stop and rethink everything I thought the author was telling me in Chapter One, only to find out it was all a ruse....
Wulf Moon
Q4 Vol 35 "Super-Duper Moongirl..."
Annual Critters Readers' Choice Award: First Place, "War Dog," Best SF&F Short Story of 2018
BlogTalk interview: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/rithebard/ ... ith-sherri

Wulf Moon
Posts: 466
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2017 2:54 pm
Location: Olympic Peninsula, WA

Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge! Vol. 36

Postby Wulf Moon » Tue Dec 18, 2018 10:56 am

RSchibler wrote:I tried a 3 POV story for Q3 and got a rejection. The story had other issues, but trying to weave in three POVs for a short story was a challenge!


Again, there are exceptions to every rule, and one should break the rules, but only after they know the rule inside and out and have practiced the rule again and again and again. Then, they can do an expert job of tricking everyone when they break it.

Here's another problem with dual, or in this case you cited, a trio of protagonists! (You crazy! :) A reader invests in your protagonist. They want to know intmate details about them, even identify with them in some way. It takes space within your story to do that, and it's hard to pull it off in the first place! And now a writer says I'm going to be avant guarde. I'll play two main characters, and it will be FABULOUSLY BRILLIANT! Problem is, now you're splitting precious space between two characters, with a resulting half the emotional impact because you have to share quality time with two pivotal POV characters. In a novel, you can do this if you wish, you have the space. In a short story, one does not. And so, the time we have to invest in one main character becomes diluted. Strong stories need strong heros. Having to share the stage with someone else fighting for our heroine's lines steals emotional investment from them.

Focus on one from the get go. Make us bleed with that person all the way to the bitter end. You'll have a stronger tale, and strength is the only thing that will win this contest.

Cheers!
Wulf Moon
Q4 Vol 35 "Super-Duper Moongirl..."
Annual Critters Readers' Choice Award: First Place, "War Dog," Best SF&F Short Story of 2018
BlogTalk interview: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/rithebard/ ... ith-sherri

Wulf Moon
Posts: 466
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2017 2:54 pm
Location: Olympic Peninsula, WA

Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge! Vol. 36

Postby Wulf Moon » Tue Dec 18, 2018 11:37 am

(Since we don't have a volunteer crier....) HEAR YE, HEAR YE! With less than two weeks to go, this challenge is about to close. Q1 looms. There's still time to join either the full four fresh stories challenge, or the three fresh, one previously written challenge. And there's one other benefit to joining I'd like to tell you about, besides having three or four fresh stories to send to other markets by the end of WotF's calendar year.

One member per quarter will get the private offer of a critique. By Wulf Moon.

Not saying it will help, but it can't hurt either. And I wish I could do more, but I already have friends I critique for, podcast episodes to create for future-sf.com and gallerycurious.com, my own work, and my wife's ongoing health care. I'm always swamped, but this SUPER SECRET challenge is my way to offer a helping hand to all on this forum (because anyone can read it, even if they don't join...yeah, I see you!) I often tell writers the single best thing you can do to improve your writing is to find someone that's got some pro sales to look over your writing and tell you their suggestions. You see, they know how to create professional writing, it's why they are selling. New writers, alas, are still working on it. Often a pro will know exactly what we're doing wrong, and will help us to be able to see it too. Fixing that is often the difference between a sale or a rejection.

Unfortunately, those pros are busy trying to keep their own work in the pipeline, and already have obligations to others in their critique circle. They, like me, are swamped. As it should be, it's a demanding business.

Soooo....What factors determine who gets my quarterly critique? Well, the offer will be private, so you won't know. But I'll guarantee you have to be a member of the challenge, and you have to engage. : )

There's still time to become a member! Just sign in blood on the dotted line. Post that you're in now, before the portcullis drops December 31st at midnight!

This quarter's critique has already been awarded. I look forward to helping someone else out next Q!

But I haven't forgotten that membership hath its ordained priveleges and mighty blessings. BEHOLD! Members, private message me for SUPER SECRET #10! This one is a HUGE super secret, and will absolutely determine whether you make the cut past first reader Kary and into Dave's must read pile!

Fortune favor the brave!

~Beastmaster Moon~
Wulf Moon
Q4 Vol 35 "Super-Duper Moongirl..."
Annual Critters Readers' Choice Award: First Place, "War Dog," Best SF&F Short Story of 2018
BlogTalk interview: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/rithebard/ ... ith-sherri

thegirlintheglasses
Posts: 107
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2017 8:50 pm
Contact:

Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge! Vol. 36

Postby thegirlintheglasses » Tue Dec 18, 2018 1:21 pm

. Your steps echo as you sulk forward, squinting through the shadows and dancing firelight. Past the spitting embers and towards the east wall, a glittering something shines on the rock. Another step forward and a metallic tang floods your mouth. Blood. Dripping red blood glitters on the rock wall--signatures.

"You made it"

You whirl around, and a man in a long fur cloak smiles, holding a pen. A shiver slides up your back. "Made it to what?"

"The signing. There's only 13 days left." His hood falls back, revealing yellow Wulf eyes. "I promise, there are privileges given to the brave souls that sign..."

You take the pen and look to the wall...

Full Challenge

Storysinger
TimE
DoctorJest
disgruntledpeony
Dragonchef
AjZach
Megan
AnikeKristen
LittleRed


The Three Quarter Challenge

KDJulicher
thegirlintheglasses
RShibler
SCAFontaine
vsutherland01

Michealjwyantjr
Last edited by thegirlintheglasses on Tue Dec 18, 2018 5:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Brittany Rainsdon
R-SHM-HM-R-HM-R-F

John Goodwin asked me to type up a blog post about writing my wotf entry around giving birth. Here it is!
https://www.writersofthefuture.com/birt ... -rainsdon/

LittleRed
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2018 7:54 pm

Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge! Vol. 36

Postby LittleRed » Tue Dec 18, 2018 2:43 pm

But... but ... I am here, I am here! I have sent the hope laden scrolls to to the game master. Why am I not among the chosen inscribed? Weeps softly into her handkerchief.
If this world holds no wonder, it is no place for me.

User avatar
AnikeKirsten
Posts: 27
Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2018 6:58 am
Contact:

Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge! Vol. 36

Postby AnikeKirsten » Tue Dec 18, 2018 3:07 pm

Wulf Moon wrote:(Since we don't have a volunteer crier....) HEAR YE, HEAR YE! With less than two weeks to go, this challenge is about to close. Q1 looms. There's still time to join either the full four fresh stories challenge, or the three fresh, one previously written challenge. And there's one other benefit to joining I'd like to tell you about, besides having three or four fresh stories to send to other markets by the end of WotF's calendar year.

One member per quarter will get the private offer of a critique. By Wulf Moon.

Not saying it will help, but it can't hurt either. And I wish I could do more, but I already have friends I critique for, podcast episodes to create for future-sf.com and gallerycurious.com, my own work, and my wife's ongoing health care. I'm always swamped, but this SUPER SECRET challenge is my way to offer a helping hand to all on this forum (because anyone can read it, even if they don't join...yeah, I see you!) I often tell writers the single best thing you can do to improve your writing is to find someone that's got some pro sales to look over your writing and tell you their suggestions. You see, they know how to create professional writing, it's why they are selling. New writers, alas, are still working on it. Often a pro will know exactly what we're doing wrong, and will help us to be able to see it too. Fixing that is often the difference between a sale or a rejection.

Unfortunately, those pros are busy trying to keep their own work in the pipeline, and already have obligations to others in their critique circle. They, like me, are swamped. As it should be, it's a demanding business.

Soooo....What factors determine who gets my quarterly critique? Well, the offer will be private, so you won't know. But I'll guarantee you have to be a member of the challenge, and you have to engage. : )

There's still time to become a member! Just sign in blood on the dotted line. Post that you're in now, before the portcullis drops December 31st at midnight!

This quarter's critique has already been awarded. I look forward to helping someone else out next Q!

But I haven't forgotten that membership hath its ordained priveleges and mighty blessings. BEHOLD! Members, private message me for SUPER SECRET #10! This one is a HUGE super secret, and will absolutely determine whether you make the cut past first reader Kary and into Dave's must read pile!

Fortune favor the brave!

~Beastmaster Moon~


Woot! wotf015 Now that's some nice incentive right there. And very kind of you doing this plus the crits, Wulf.
V.35: Q4 - SHM.
V.36: Q1 - Pending.
V.36: Q2 - Pending.

thegirlintheglasses
Posts: 107
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2017 8:50 pm
Contact:

Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge! Vol. 36

Postby thegirlintheglasses » Tue Dec 18, 2018 5:01 pm

LittleRed wrote:But... but ... I am here, I am here! I have sent the hope laden scrolls to to the game master. Why am I not among the chosen inscribed? Weeps softly into her handkerchief.

Oppps!! *Dips finger in red paint and fixes mistake*
Brittany Rainsdon
R-SHM-HM-R-HM-R-F

John Goodwin asked me to type up a blog post about writing my wotf entry around giving birth. Here it is!
https://www.writersofthefuture.com/birt ... -rainsdon/

LittleRed
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2018 7:54 pm

Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge! Vol. 36

Postby LittleRed » Tue Dec 18, 2018 6:32 pm

Thanks, Brittany.
If this world holds no wonder, it is no place for me.

Wulf Moon
Posts: 466
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2017 2:54 pm
Location: Olympic Peninsula, WA

Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge! Vol. 36

Postby Wulf Moon » Wed Dec 19, 2018 12:54 pm

Yellow Wulf eyes kindle, searing your soul as you spatter blood to the wall, sealing your fate.

"Your blood oath will hold you to your promise," the man draped in dark fur calls out. "Break it, and the blood will demand its price."

Cold purpose settles to the bottom of your gut. You must not fail. You will not fail.

You are bound.
Wulf Moon
Q4 Vol 35 "Super-Duper Moongirl..."
Annual Critters Readers' Choice Award: First Place, "War Dog," Best SF&F Short Story of 2018
BlogTalk interview: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/rithebard/ ... ith-sherri

Wulf Moon
Posts: 466
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2017 2:54 pm
Location: Olympic Peninsula, WA

Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge! Vol. 36

Postby Wulf Moon » Wed Dec 19, 2018 12:58 pm

Thanks, Storysinger, for the work you did before. Thanks, Brittany, for now taking up the Helm of Keeper of Records! Long may you live, scribing our mighty deeds for eons to come as we ride out as heros to gather fame and fortune!

So let it be written, so let it be done.

~Beastmaster Moon~
Wulf Moon
Q4 Vol 35 "Super-Duper Moongirl..."
Annual Critters Readers' Choice Award: First Place, "War Dog," Best SF&F Short Story of 2018
BlogTalk interview: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/rithebard/ ... ith-sherri

User avatar
MiloMinderbinder
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2018 9:56 am
Location: Pennsylvania

Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge! Vol. 36

Postby MiloMinderbinder » Wed Dec 19, 2018 3:17 pm

I'm in for the full challenge.

I just submitted for Q1.
My Q2 entry is ready for my WG to dissect in January.
The plot for Q3 is slowly forming in my head.
The trend: R, R, HM, SF

Wulf Moon
Posts: 466
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2017 2:54 pm
Location: Olympic Peninsula, WA

Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge! Vol. 36

Postby Wulf Moon » Wed Dec 19, 2018 5:38 pm

MiloMinderbinder wrote:I'm in for the full challenge.

I just submitted for Q1.
My Q2 entry is ready for my WG to dissect in January.
The plot for Q3 is slowly forming in my head.


Well done, MiloMinderbinder! If you want the SUPER SECRET member BONUS secrets, just private message me. Girlintheglasses, you'll need to draw some more blood. wotf051

And may I just say <tugs the multipurpose rope in the great hall used for hangings and ringing the bell tower>, "PHILLY CHEESESTEAKS FOR EVERYONE!"
Wulf Moon
Q4 Vol 35 "Super-Duper Moongirl..."
Annual Critters Readers' Choice Award: First Place, "War Dog," Best SF&F Short Story of 2018
BlogTalk interview: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/rithebard/ ... ith-sherri

Wulf Moon
Posts: 466
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2017 2:54 pm
Location: Olympic Peninsula, WA

Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge! Vol. 36

Postby Wulf Moon » Wed Dec 19, 2018 5:53 pm

The Beastmaster strides into the chamber, throws back his hood, and snarls. "Ogres! Sound the war drums!"

Mighty cudgels beat against huge kettle drums...that may indeed be cast iron kettles, the skins stretched across them of dubious origin.

"BEHOLD! Moon's SUPER SECRET #11: Triple check that your name is OFF your manuscript!!! YES, YOU HEARD ME, HEADERS TOO!!!!

Because, duh, blind contest. Leave identifiers on and you will not pass GO, you will not collect $200. Or in WotF's case, $500, $750, or $1000. And they won't even tell you why. Straight R.

'Nuff said.

Hear ye, hear ye, spattered in blood, soul be damned, blah blah blah,

~Beastmaster Moon~
Wulf Moon
Q4 Vol 35 "Super-Duper Moongirl..."
Annual Critters Readers' Choice Award: First Place, "War Dog," Best SF&F Short Story of 2018
BlogTalk interview: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/rithebard/ ... ith-sherri

thegirlintheglasses
Posts: 107
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2017 8:50 pm
Contact:

Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge! Vol. 36

Postby thegirlintheglasses » Thu Dec 20, 2018 10:03 pm

Blood drawn!

Full Challenge

Storysinger
TimE
DoctorJest
disgruntledpeony
Dragonchef
AjZach
Megan
AnikeKristen
LittleRed
MiloMinderbinder

The Three Quarter Challenge

KDJulicher
thegirlintheglasses
RShibler
SCAFontaine
vsutherland01
Michealjwyantjr
Brittany Rainsdon
R-SHM-HM-R-HM-R-F

John Goodwin asked me to type up a blog post about writing my wotf entry around giving birth. Here it is!
https://www.writersofthefuture.com/birt ... -rainsdon/

Wulf Moon
Posts: 466
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2017 2:54 pm
Location: Olympic Peninsula, WA

Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge! Vol. 36

Postby Wulf Moon » Thu Dec 20, 2018 11:44 pm

thegirlintheglasses wrote:Blood drawn!

Full Challenge

Storysinger
TimE
DoctorJest
disgruntledpeony
Dragonchef
AjZach
Megan
AnikeKristen
LittleRed
MiloMinderbinder

The Three Quarter Challenge

KDJulicher
thegirlintheglasses
RShibler
SCAFontaine
vsutherland01
Michealjwyantjr


Oooh! That's SHINY! wotf010
Wulf Moon
Q4 Vol 35 "Super-Duper Moongirl..."
Annual Critters Readers' Choice Award: First Place, "War Dog," Best SF&F Short Story of 2018
BlogTalk interview: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/rithebard/ ... ith-sherri

Wulf Moon
Posts: 466
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2017 2:54 pm
Location: Olympic Peninsula, WA

Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge! Vol. 36

Postby Wulf Moon » Fri Dec 21, 2018 4:41 pm

Because we are getting close to the end of the Q, and I want everyone on the list above to receive an HM or better...

BEHOLD! Moon's SUPER SECRET #12: MAGIC UP FRONT!

Okay, the correct way to say that would be: Speculative element obvious in the first two pages. BORING. But MAGIC UP FRONT sounds so much cooler!

I know, many think every word you write is read by the first reader, and then carefully hand brushed and gift wrapped and handed gingerly to Dave, where he sits before a fire like Santa with all the time in the world and rocks back and forth reading every line in every story. It's a cute image. And it's wrong.

Let's say there's 1500 manuscripts in any given quarter. Let's say there's on average, 6000 words in every story. Do the math...

There is no way first readers can read every word, nor would they want to. A first reader's job is that of a prospector: to determine in all the gravel in the quarterly pan which nugget might be contest gold. They know what pyrite looks like. They know what gravel looks like. They are searching for one thing. Gold.

How much time have you got to prove your story is gold? Two pages, if you're fortunate. Dean Wesley Smith used to tell me he could often tell a story was reject or gold by its first paragraph when he was judging Star Trek: Strange New Worlds. He's now a WotF judge, so his words bear reflection. First readers have a job to do, and before they can do it, they have to whittle down that stack. Fail in any of these secrets I've been sharing, especially in the first two pages, and it's likely your story goes to the reject pile.

Why Magic Up Front? Why Speculative Element in the First Two Pages?

This is a speculative fiction anthology. I'll state that again. Writers of the Future is a speculative fiction anthology. You can write gorgeous prose. You can open with a character, in a setting, with the most intriguing problem. But if your magic happens on page 17, no one is going to read that far to find out. If your future science tech only appears on page four, it's TOO LATE!

This is a speculative fiction anthology. That means magic up front. IF you hope to get your story read...which is the only way in.

I hope all of you, even our lurkers, are checking your openings against this set of secrets. I'm trying to help you.

Fortune favor the brave,

~Beastmaster Moon~
Wulf Moon
Q4 Vol 35 "Super-Duper Moongirl..."
Annual Critters Readers' Choice Award: First Place, "War Dog," Best SF&F Short Story of 2018
BlogTalk interview: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/rithebard/ ... ith-sherri


Return to “The Contest - Quarterly Topics, and Other Items”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest