Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge!

Open topics on the Contest itself, to include results-watch threads and other items of note.
Wulf Moon
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Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge! Vol. 36

Postby Wulf Moon » Fri Aug 23, 2019 9:54 am

Okay, the kinks have gotten worked out and here is the fresh WotF interview I told you about. I posted this to my Facebook account moments ago. Includes some of the best things I learned at the WotF workshop!

https://m.soundcloud.com/writersofthefu ... your-brand
Wulf Moon http://driftweave.com
Q4 Vol 35 "Super-Duper Moongirl..."
Critters Readers Award: #1, "War Dog," Best SF&F Short Story of 2018
NEW! "Weep No More..." DEEP MAGIC Fall 2019 http://amazon.com/author/wulfmoon

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

Postby AjZach » Fri Aug 23, 2019 11:13 am

What I found meaningful is the concept of not thinking. Some other advice really pushes to have a complete story from draft one. And while I believe that your writing does get better with time, ideas will be more complete and grammar will be better, I prefer to write down as much as I can, and not worry about plot holes and extra details. He advised to get the story down as fast as you can, and then polish and take your time with it after.

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

Postby Peter Glen » Sat Aug 24, 2019 4:27 am

Wulf Moon wrote:https://www.huffpost.com/entry/pay-close-attention-to-the-man-behind-the-curtain


2. Don't think. I too can relate to this one as don't know where the story will go each time I sit down to write (as long as it fits in with the general plan for the story, I'm happy). But before I do write finding that I spend a lot of time nitpicking over the previous few paras. If I were to take anything away from this point, it would be to steam through and not edit the first draft at all ... makes sense because that would free up the creative side of the brain. Will try this with my current write. (Edit: since the last 30 mins since posting this I went to write and then, without thinking started editing the last few paras ... doh ... this is going to be harder than I thought)

Personally, I also really liked reading that Bradbury had multiple revisions of a story because my first draft is always crappy (like the 'c' in CFD) and rely on severe creative and copy editing ... I find this more so for short stories rather 1-2K word serial chapters that I'll let go with a bit of moo left in there.

4. Read a Short Story or a Poem or an Essay Every Night Damn youtube ... if not for that beastie, I'd be doing this! MMOs also stole a significant part of my life that will never get back (but luckily am over that!)

5. Make Lists of Nouns The knife; The circle; The Cernunnos; The mouse; The fireman ;)
HM 1, R 4

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

Postby RSchibler » Sat Aug 24, 2019 5:04 am

His word-association writing prompt game is very similar to how I come up with stories, which I find striking. Letting the mind wander and make subconscious connections must connect to something innate in us.

I struggle with the joyful first draft. My first novel was absolutely like that, until about halfway through when I realized (through reading articles and books on writing) that it probably wasn't as brilliant as I had previously been certain of. I have a more laborious first draft approach, although I do try to let all the ideas get on the page, I work to avoid the things I've learned should be avoided. I suspect that as I internalize more and more of these habits and rules, I will be able to return to a quick and furious first draft. I simply haven't been at this long enough to write well without thinking. The more I read and study, though, the quicker I can go "ah, that's an as you know bob!" or "that's a filter, delete!" and get back to making progress.

Fahrenheit 451 was a mindquake for me when I first read it. I can't imagine coming up with that in 9 days, but then, Bradbury had significantly more practice than I.

Thanks for sharing!
Trying to refute entropy with words.

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

ALWAYS available for critiques. PM me.

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

Postby disgruntledpeony » Sat Aug 24, 2019 10:32 am

“Make a list of ten things you love,” he often instructed young writers, and write a short story, poem or essay about each one.”


Or one novel that includes all of them? wotf019 (Oh God, now I want to try this.) Seriously, though, I like this idea.

I also liked the idea of reading a short story, poem, or essay every night. I have enough books at home to keep that up for quite awhile if I just take the time.
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, R, HM, R, ?

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

Postby AlexH » Wed Aug 28, 2019 1:45 am

Wulf Moon wrote:Also...Congrats on accepting my 3 stories in Q4 Super Duper Bonus Challenge, Brittany! I know Becky is in as well. Pace yourself. One month is almost gone.

It's great that's a challenge as I'm working on 3 this quarter by some sort of accident (though didn't start them all this quarter if that doesn't count). I keep changing my mind over which to submit. One has a flaw I can't seem to fix.

I've missed a lot in this thread due to password reset problems (now fixed - I wish I'd been a lurker). I'm reading through every SUPER SECRET (I hope I'm not too late to be PM'd the ones I missed) and adding to my reading list. How many of us are in the queue for that book on Archive.org/Open Library? wotf007
35: R R R | 36: R HM R ?

Probably free for critique swaps, but double-check in case I'm away.
If you're a new writer and concerned about giving a critique, you're welcome to send me something anyway. :)

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

Postby michaeljwyantjr » Thu Aug 29, 2019 8:29 am

I'm in for Q4 with a brand new story.
EDIT: In as of 9/18 because Joni is awesome and let me pull, edit, and resubmit because I completely screwed up the submission dates (was off by a month).

This one was tough. I had ZERO ideas and, instead, had to rely on a bunch of writing tools to make it happen. In the end, while I'm not as happy with the plot as I usually am with my submissions, I think the form of the story probably hits closer to what Dave looks for than anything else I've ever written.

Here's hoping! wotf007

Good luck to everyone and well done to those who made it all four quarters! wotf009
Last edited by michaeljwyantjr on Wed Sep 18, 2019 11:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
WotF Results:
  • R:5
  • HM:6
  • sHM:0
  • SF:1
  • F:0
  • Last: Pending, Q4 v36

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

Postby Wulf Moon » Thu Aug 29, 2019 10:36 am

Hey all you beasties! I've enjoyed all your comments on the Bradbury article. It's interesting to see how, even in a very short article, we all pull different meanings and relevance out of it. And every point made is valid, because it's what we personally take away from it. I did notice Bradbury's musings in later life differ a bit from his earlier stories about his writing. I know he definitely wrote for money to pay his rent and bills, because I remember articles years ago where he talked about that. The difference as compared to some other pulp writers is that Bradbury could produce art while writing at this pace. He had both natural talent and a highly trained work ethic that allowed him to make a living doing what he loved best--writing good stories.

And aren't we glad that he found a way to do so.

You keep finding your path. Winning Writers of the Future can be a big part of that equation for new writers. This SUPER SECRET bonus challenge has been part of the equation to help you win. In more ways than one.

More secrets to come. Kudos to MichaelJ for making all four quarters with FRESH ORIGINAL STORIES! Well done! I'll advise the rest of you to hold off yet. I still have some secrets that might help you before the Volume 36 year ends. I've just been busy with contracts and editing for Future SF and podcasts for Gallery of Curiosities and the proofreader's edits on "Weep No More for the Willow" coming out Septemember 10th in DEEP MAGIC--FALL issue. If you check out my FB page, there's a way to win a free copy of the magazine if you jump quick! This story was a semifinalist in WotF, and sold because I followed Dave's advice in the critique you get to KILL YOUR DARLINGS. I hope you get a chance to read it (you can preorder--it's already on Amazon and it's not expensive). Dave Farland really liked that story, especially my world building. The published story shows how you can do a heavier style of prose and still sell it in today's market. And I took that story from around 14K to 7.2K and still told a tale I'm happy with, and I'm even happier that others besides me will be reading it. All because I listened to Dave's excellent advice--advice I obtained by entering this contest.

This is the reality of the current SECRET I have yet to write and canonize. The KILL YOUR DARLINGS exercise will help you write better stories, stories that can win here, or sell to good markets elsewhere. "Weep No More for the Willow" is living proof.

I hope you get a chance to read the story.

All the beast!

Beastmaster Moon
Wulf Moon http://driftweave.com
Q4 Vol 35 "Super-Duper Moongirl..."
Critters Readers Award: #1, "War Dog," Best SF&F Short Story of 2018
NEW! "Weep No More..." DEEP MAGIC Fall 2019 http://amazon.com/author/wulfmoon

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

Postby michaeljwyantjr » Thu Aug 29, 2019 1:05 pm

Wulf Moon wrote:Kudos to MichaelJ for making all four quarters with FRESH ORIGINAL STORIES! Well done!


Err... I'm in the 3 new, 1 recycled group.

Whoops. wotf012

(But thanks regardless! wotf009 )
WotF Results:
  • R:5
  • HM:6
  • sHM:0
  • SF:1
  • F:0
  • Last: Pending, Q4 v36

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

Postby Wulf Moon » Thu Aug 29, 2019 1:37 pm

michaeljwyantjr wrote:
Wulf Moon wrote:Kudos to MichaelJ for making all four quarters with FRESH ORIGINAL STORIES! Well done!


Err... I'm in the 3 new, 1 recycled group.

Whoops. wotf012

(But thanks regardless! wotf009 )


Well, we had that challenge as well, and I'm glad it worked for you! That is why I did this. And I'm still hoping we find a winner or two this year from our group! It's not over yet!

Cheers!
Wulf Moon http://driftweave.com
Q4 Vol 35 "Super-Duper Moongirl..."
Critters Readers Award: #1, "War Dog," Best SF&F Short Story of 2018
NEW! "Weep No More..." DEEP MAGIC Fall 2019 http://amazon.com/author/wulfmoon

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

Postby storysinger » Thu Aug 29, 2019 2:49 pm

In my next session one of my darling's bites the dust.
HM-1
Today's science fiction is tomorrow's reality.
D.R.Sweeney

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

Postby Wulf Moon » Tue Sep 03, 2019 11:03 am

This was in my mailbox today. It's so important, I am posting it here. After getting past first reader Kary with your first two pages, next will be your first five pages with David Farland when he sits down to read it. Think long and hard about what David Farland says here. Miss any of these things, and you won't go beyond HM. Good doesn't cut it in this contest, not for the win. It has to be brilliant. And Dave tells you all the markers of a winning story, and you better have them by page five. Study hard. Don't send your stories in early this Q. There is still more that might help you win before the contest year ends this month.

Here you go. And here's some homework, my SUPER SECRET challenge beasties. Make yourself something called A FIVE PAGE CHECKLIST. Mark these points down, and check your story in the mirror before you send it out on the most important date of its life!

Here's Dave's tip letter:

________________________________

When you send a novel to an agent or publisher, they normally ask for the first five or ten pages, just so that they can gauge your writing skill. If those pages don’t grab the reader, it won’t sell.

As an editor, I read thousands of stories a year, and it would be difficult to tell you all of the ways that you can go wrong, or all of the things that you can do right. But let’s hit some main points:

1) From the very first sentence, I want to see that you’re not just a competent writer, but a skillful one. I want to see that you have a way with words, so that I feel as if I’m in the hands of a professional storyteller. That means that I won’t feel confused, and I won’t get tripped up by typos or beginner’s mistakes. Indeed, I want to see that you’re talented right from the first sentence. Half of the editors and agents say that they look for a great voice right out the gate, whether it be the voice of the narrating character or of the author.

2) I want to know (or at least have some great hints) where and when the story is taking place. It helps if the setting is intriguing and beautifully drawn. Of course, when you bring that setting to life, you should appeal to most of the senses quickly—sight, sound, smell, touch, taste.

3) I want to know who the protagonist is and I want to see you handling the viewpoint properly. This means that the protagonist moves, has an emotional state, and thinks, so that we aren’t seeing the tale from a camera’s point of view, but from a real person’s. More than that, it is often helpful if the character is likeable or interesting or even both.

4) In the opening five pages, I must see a hint of an intriguing conflict, one that is already building toward a climax. To get that in quickly, this means that you almost need to start the story in media res.

5) In my business as a science fiction and fantasy editor, I want to see some novelty—something that tells me that your work is original, that you’re capable of coming up with something new.

Now, that’s my short list. I could go on and suggest that I want to see that you know how to construct a scene, that you can dazzle the reader in subtle ways that most pros know, that you know how to construct a plot, that you tastefully insert the emotional draws your audience is hoping for, that you are a pro at constructing believable dialog—and a dozen other little things.

But as you can see, for the first five pages, I can only hope for so much. All that I really want is to be convinced that you’re one of the greatest discoveries that I’ve ever made. If you think that an agent or editor wants anything less, you’re mistaken. The truth is that every editor and every agent who reads your manuscript is hoping that your tale demands to be published.
______________________________________________
Wulf Moon http://driftweave.com
Q4 Vol 35 "Super-Duper Moongirl..."
Critters Readers Award: #1, "War Dog," Best SF&F Short Story of 2018
NEW! "Weep No More..." DEEP MAGIC Fall 2019 http://amazon.com/author/wulfmoon

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

Postby Henckel » Tue Sep 03, 2019 1:50 pm

That's good. Thanks for sharing.

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

Postby Wulf Moon » Wed Sep 04, 2019 8:44 am

Henckel wrote:That's good. Thanks for sharing.


You're welcome. David Farland--the WotF coordinating judge--just gave you his criteria for reading past five pages. Anyone that doesn't print that out and study it in depth isn't serious about winning this contest.

All the beast,

Beastmaster Moon
Wulf Moon http://driftweave.com
Q4 Vol 35 "Super-Duper Moongirl..."
Critters Readers Award: #1, "War Dog," Best SF&F Short Story of 2018
NEW! "Weep No More..." DEEP MAGIC Fall 2019 http://amazon.com/author/wulfmoon

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

Postby Henckel » Wed Sep 04, 2019 1:12 pm

so, about 1250 words?

...I'm going to go heck my Q4 sub I'm working on...

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

Postby Peter Glen » Wed Sep 04, 2019 8:18 pm

Wulf Moon wrote:Here's Dave's tip letter:


Wowzers, thanks Moon! ... am also finding the Maas book on the emotional craft useful, so thanks for the heads up on that too :)
HM 1, R 4

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

Postby Wulf Moon » Thu Sep 05, 2019 8:27 am

Peter Glen wrote:
Wulf Moon wrote:Here's Dave's tip letter:


Wowzers, thanks Moon! ... am also finding the Maas book on the emotional craft useful, so thanks for the heads up on that too :)


You're welcome. I've got more Super Secrets to come as well, including the Kill Your Darlings one, but I'm swamped. Isue 4 of Future Science Fiction Digest is coming out in about a week, the magazine hits its one year SFWA qualifier for pro (we've met all the rest), and I still have to choose the story or stories for podcast and get them narrated. I've done the little corrections you have to approve or STET from the proofreader of DEEP MAGIC magazine, and the Fall issue comes out in less than a week. Very proud of that story, it was a semifinalist from WotF that I followed Dave's critique on, the very critique where he gave me the advice to "kill your darlings." I am certain it's the reason I sold it. If anyone is interested, here's the preorder link, and it's only three bucks for the entire issue. I'll talk a little bit about it in the Kill Your Darlings Super Secret, because I got the idea from Dave's critique. Cheers!

Here's the link: https://www.amazon.com/Deep-Magic-Fall- ... way&sr=8-1
Wulf Moon http://driftweave.com
Q4 Vol 35 "Super-Duper Moongirl..."
Critters Readers Award: #1, "War Dog," Best SF&F Short Story of 2018
NEW! "Weep No More..." DEEP MAGIC Fall 2019 http://amazon.com/author/wulfmoon

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

Postby storysinger » Thu Sep 05, 2019 11:20 am

Yesterday was one of those days where writing was easy. Not only did I reach my goal for the day but my story found a new sustainable plotline.
I hope today will be as fruitful because tomorrow I go under full anesthesia and the knife for the first time in my life. There's something growing and pressing against my left eyeball and they're going to remove it. Saying I'm not scared is an understatement. Wish me luck forumites.

Write On!
HM-1
Today's science fiction is tomorrow's reality.
D.R.Sweeney

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

Postby Wulf Moon » Thu Sep 05, 2019 12:03 pm

storysinger wrote:Yesterday was one of those days where writing was easy. Not only did I reach my goal for the day but my story found a new sustainable plotline.
I hope today will be as fruitful because tomorrow I go under full anesthesia and the knife for the first time in my life. There's something growing and pressing against my left eyeball and they're going to remove it. Saying I'm not scared is an understatement. Wish me luck forumites.

Write On!


I'm very sorry you have to go through surgery, Don. I'm sorry this is happening, but I'm glad you are getting it taken care of. May the surgery go well, and may the results come back good so that you can recover and get back to normal life. You have many more stories and songs in you to be written and sung!

To your good health.

Moon
Wulf Moon http://driftweave.com
Q4 Vol 35 "Super-Duper Moongirl..."
Critters Readers Award: #1, "War Dog," Best SF&F Short Story of 2018
NEW! "Weep No More..." DEEP MAGIC Fall 2019 http://amazon.com/author/wulfmoon

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

Postby Peter Glen » Thu Sep 05, 2019 3:30 pm



Sounds like a good kind of busy ;) ... I'm looking forward to the read!
HM 1, R 4

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

Postby Peter Glen » Thu Sep 05, 2019 3:36 pm

storysinger wrote:Yesterday was one of those days where writing was easy. Not only did I reach my goal for the day but my story found a new sustainable plotline.
I hope today will be as fruitful because tomorrow I go under full anesthesia and the knife for the first time in my life. There's something growing and pressing against my left eyeball and they're going to remove it. Saying I'm not scared is an understatement. Wish me luck forumites.

Write On!


All the best ... going under is not bad in my experience ... I hope you make a quick recovery back to your story!
HM 1, R 4

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

Postby Wulf Moon » Thu Sep 05, 2019 6:24 pm

Peter Glen wrote:


Sounds like a good kind of busy ;) ... I'm looking forward to the read!


Thanks, Peter! Study it for worldbuilding in your own stories, how you set the scene in your opening while in medias res. Dave liked "Weep No More for the Willow" for that. Here's a snippet from his semifinalist critique:

Dear Author:

Congratulations on being a semi-finalist in the first quarter of 2015. The competition was tough, and your story had a lot to offer.
On the level of worldbuilding and writing alone, this was one of the strongest stories in the quarter—perhaps the very strongest. I so wanted to make it a finalist....
So I loved so much of this. My first impression was that this could be a prize winner.
I do think that you will find a home for it, and I hope that you can send us another story soon.

Sincerely,
Dave Wolverton/aka David Farland
Wulf Moon http://driftweave.com
Q4 Vol 35 "Super-Duper Moongirl..."
Critters Readers Award: #1, "War Dog," Best SF&F Short Story of 2018
NEW! "Weep No More..." DEEP MAGIC Fall 2019 http://amazon.com/author/wulfmoon

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

Postby Henckel » Thu Sep 05, 2019 7:39 pm

I've always been curious about Dave's semi-finalist crits.... what they look like and such. Are they in-line comments? Summary notes? A combo of both? How in-depth are they?

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

Postby disgruntledpeony » Thu Sep 05, 2019 7:53 pm

Henckel wrote:I've always been curious about Dave's semi-finalist crits.... what they look like and such. Are they in-line comments? Summary notes? A combo of both? How in-depth are they?

Mine was summary notes, just a few paragraphs. Still useful info, although I inadvertently misinterpeted mine at first. wotf019 wotf017
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, R, HM, R, ?

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

Postby Wulf Moon » Thu Sep 05, 2019 10:55 pm

Henckel wrote:I've always been curious about Dave's semi-finalist crits.... what they look like and such. Are they in-line comments? Summary notes? A combo of both? How in-depth are they?


A brief summary of what you needed to do to hit the mark, instead of barely missing it. They are specific to your story. Mine had advice on current market trends as well, and how to avoid pitfalls in the current atmosphere. I would not have sold to DEEP MAGIC had I ignored his advice, and it was given from his own personal experience of reader reactions from points in some of his own stories. Dave knows the marketplace. He knows readers as well. His advice is on the money, and it's another benefit of this contest. Where else will new writers get a critique from an NYT bestselling author? For free?

Cheers!
Wulf Moon http://driftweave.com
Q4 Vol 35 "Super-Duper Moongirl..."
Critters Readers Award: #1, "War Dog," Best SF&F Short Story of 2018
NEW! "Weep No More..." DEEP MAGIC Fall 2019 http://amazon.com/author/wulfmoon

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

Postby MiloMinderbinder » Fri Sep 06, 2019 6:10 am

Henckel wrote:I've always been curious about Dave's semi-finalist crits.... what they look like and such. Are they in-line comments? Summary notes? A combo of both? How in-depth are they?


Mine was just two comments: one about my protagonist's motivation and one about the ending.
The trend: R, R, HM, SF, HM, HM, HM
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Re: Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge! Vol. 36

Postby Wulf Moon » Fri Sep 06, 2019 10:01 am

MiloMinderbinder wrote:
Henckel wrote:I've always been curious about Dave's semi-finalist crits.... what they look like and such. Are they in-line comments? Summary notes? A combo of both? How in-depth are they?


Mine was just two comments: one about my protagonist's motivation and one about the ending.


Yep. A course correction of just a couple degrees can determine whether you reach your destination or sail on by, wondering where it's at.
Wulf Moon http://driftweave.com
Q4 Vol 35 "Super-Duper Moongirl..."
Critters Readers Award: #1, "War Dog," Best SF&F Short Story of 2018
NEW! "Weep No More..." DEEP MAGIC Fall 2019 http://amazon.com/author/wulfmoon

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

Postby storysinger » Fri Sep 06, 2019 12:12 pm

Thanks for bearing with me everybody. Thank you Peter and Wulf for the encouraging words.
I made it through the ordeal. Those people sure are sneaky. I was telling them how this experience gave me more scenes I could put in stories and next thing I know a voice says, "Don't be alarmed I'm removing your breathing tube."
Sure glad thats done, now to finishing my 4th fresh entry.
HM-1
Today's science fiction is tomorrow's reality.
D.R.Sweeney

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

Postby Wulf Moon » Fri Sep 06, 2019 12:20 pm

storysinger wrote:Thanks for bearing with me everybody. Thank you Peter and Wulf for the encouraging words.
I made it through the ordeal. Those people sure are sneaky. I was telling them how this experience gave me more scenes I could put in stories and next thing I know a voice says, "Don't be alarmed I'm removing your breathing tube."
Sure glad thats done, now to finishing my 4th fresh entry.


"Breathe in, breathe out." Glad it went well, Don. Rest up. Then finish your Q4, but don't miss Dave's post I shared in here. That five page checklist is important!
Good health to you!

Moon
Wulf Moon http://driftweave.com
Q4 Vol 35 "Super-Duper Moongirl..."
Critters Readers Award: #1, "War Dog," Best SF&F Short Story of 2018
NEW! "Weep No More..." DEEP MAGIC Fall 2019 http://amazon.com/author/wulfmoon

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

Postby AlexH » Fri Sep 06, 2019 1:15 pm

Whew, I've caught up. This thread is great. I wish I'd thought of the concept of lurking when I couldn't login to the forum. I thought I'd posted in this thread around Q2 or 3 but didn't see myself. After reading the public SUPER SECRETS, I'll attempt to become more of a plotter rather than a pantser. That's mostly thanks to #20 "Employ the 7 Point Plot model." Part of my enjoyment of writing is not knowing how a story will end, but maybe I can have fun with getting to an end, and not having to do as much editing will make the editing more fun. :)

#21 "Take your reader on a *deep* emotional journey" is another important one for me. I think this is why WotF has been my favourite anthology since reading my first volume (30). Somehow, I manage to do this easier in flash, but not so much in my longer stories.

While reading V35 (I still haven't finished), I realised "An inventive, unique, creative trope," as Preston put it a few pages ago, is something that stands out in many WotF stories.

I don't have my own printer, but I'm WRITING some of these things out to keep with me where I write. That'll make them stick in my head more.

I also found Wulf's quote that we're only competing with around 350 entries each quarter quite a relief. That number will increase, but I always wondered what percentage of that 2000+ were contenders.

I don't know if this'll be helpful to anyone, but I used to struggle with worldbuilding. As in pretty much everything was white-room (mildly amusing story - my first WotF submission actually ends in a white room). One thing that helped me improve was writing stories and poems from a photo, painting or CGI prompt. Sometimes, these pictures would have a figure in them (often silhouetted or with their back to camera), and they'd become my main character. I keep a folder of pictures on my computer for setting or story ideas. There are loads of great websites for inspiration, such as 500px for photography and cgsociety.org. I sort by highest rated.

Anyway, I'll be in with my 4th fresh story this year (actually prompted by a photo I found intriguing). I didn't think I could do it at the start. I'm not happy with my 4th quarter as it stands, and I'm not having much fun editing it. But on the plus side, I would've been DELIGHTED with this story 18 months ago. So that's progress. wotf008
35: R R R | 36: R HM R ?

Probably free for critique swaps, but double-check in case I'm away.
If you're a new writer and concerned about giving a critique, you're welcome to send me something anyway. :)


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