7 Questions with Brad R. Torgersen

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Brad R. Torgersen
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7 Questions with Brad R. Torgersen

Postby Brad R. Torgersen » Mon Sep 26, 2011 9:14 am

Because some may find it useful -- and at the risk of being immodest:

http://myselfaswritten.blogspot.com/201 ... ersen.html

wotf022
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Re: 7 Questions with Brad R. Torgersen

Postby Martin L. Shoemaker » Mon Sep 26, 2011 9:37 am

Thanks, Brad! I liked it.
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Re: 7 Questions with Brad R. Torgersen

Postby DavidK » Mon Sep 26, 2011 1:33 pm

Fantastic, Brad. It's encouraging to read things like this wotf008
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Re: 7 Questions with Brad R. Torgersen

Postby soulmirror » Mon Sep 26, 2011 3:13 pm

It certainly is both insightful and inspirational to see this glimpse behind the actual curtain and your writer's arc into current and future success, Brad! And you've got the cover art story! That would pack an extra powerful ka-pow for me (though, having anything LIKE your success so far, in my hopeful future, ever ... would be an awful big bunch of ka-pow!) wotf007 Nice interview, Congrats, and keep going!
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Re: 7 Questions with Brad R. Torgersen

Postby Alex Kane » Mon Sep 26, 2011 6:04 pm

Great interview, Brad. Congratulations on the cover story! Can't wait to read your first novel sometime soon.

And yes, your enthusiasm is infectious. Very inspiring.
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Re: 7 Questions with Brad R. Torgersen

Postby izanobu » Tue Sep 27, 2011 12:47 am

Yeah, Brad. We *can't* wait to read that first novel. How's that going?

*evil grin*

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Re: 7 Questions with Brad R. Torgersen

Postby Juliana » Tue Sep 27, 2011 7:15 am

What fun! Thanks for posting!

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Re: 7 Questions with Brad R. Torgersen

Postby LTom » Tue Sep 27, 2011 10:33 am

izanobu wrote:Yeah, Brad. We *can't* wait to read that first novel. How's that going?

*evil grin*


Ooo... and the digging begins! You busy enough, Brad? wotf001
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Re: 7 Questions with Brad R. Torgersen

Postby Brad R. Torgersen » Tue Sep 27, 2011 7:12 pm

I get up at 5:30 AM and I am lucky to be asleep by 11:30 PM.

Yes, I think I'm a little busy these days.

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Re: 7 Questions with Brad R. Torgersen

Postby gower21 » Tue Sep 27, 2011 7:38 pm

Wow! I always love reading winners retell their winning stories. That is so motivating!

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Re: 7 Questions with Brad R. Torgersen

Postby katsincommand » Wed Sep 28, 2011 2:42 pm

Brad R. Torgersen wrote:I get up at 5:30 AM and I am lucky to be asleep by 11:30 PM.

Yes, I think I'm a little busy these days.

wotf004


Sounds like my schedule. Be careful, every now and again those <6 hours of sleep causes unpleasant ripples in your day. ;)
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Re: 7 Questions with Brad R. Torgersen

Postby Alex Kane » Thu Sep 29, 2011 8:58 pm

Brad,

Really enjoyed "Ray of Light" in this month's Analog. And be sure to tell Dr. Schmidt that you singlehandedly sold a first-time subscription. Similar thematically to "Outbound," I thought, and perhaps the story with the most potential to become an epic Arthur C. Clarke-esque novel (haven't read "Bull Frog" yet, though). At least, I would love to see it adapted into a novel down the road.

Keep it up, man! wotf007
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Re: 7 Questions with Brad R. Torgersen

Postby Brad R. Torgersen » Fri Sep 30, 2011 9:34 am

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Thanks Alex! Actually, you could tell Dr. Schmidt yourself.

He **LOVES** hearing from new readers/subscribers -- especially if a particular story piqued your interest.

analog(at)dellmagazines.com

But again, thanks so much for letting me know that "Ray of Light" worked for you.

Incidentally, both "Ray of Light" and "The Chaplain's Assistant" were workshop stories from the yearly short story workshop that judges Kris Rusch and Dean Wesley Smith run:

http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/?page_id=50

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Re: 7 Questions with Brad R. Torgersen

Postby Martin L. Shoemaker » Fri Sep 30, 2011 9:52 am

Brad R. Torgersen wrote:Incidentally, both "Ray of Light" and "The Chaplain's Assistant" were workshop stories from the yearly short story workshop that judges Kris Rusch and Dean Wesley Smith run:

http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/?page_id=50


But I think maybe the character of their workshops has changed. From that page...

Second, these are professional level workshops. We do not teach beginners. Beginning writers can find help just about anywhere. We want to work with the writers who have gotten through their first million words, who maybe or maybe not have published some stories or books, and who are focusing on becoming a full-time fiction writer. Many of the writers attending have been full-time nonfiction writers and want to move to fiction. Many are writers driven who have started to sell or are getting great rejections. Many are well-published writers.

At a table at the Anthology workshop in February last year, I glanced over and saw a good one hundred novels traditionally published among the eight writers sitting at one table. There were over thirty professional writers in that room listening to the four of us and there had to be a good five hundred novels among us all. Stunning fun.

So if you are only working on your first novel or have only written a few short stories, these workshops would hurt you and I won’t invite you. But if you’ve been working at this business for a time, writing like crazy, and have a goal to become a professional fiction writer down the road, these workshops can help you.


I've read that multiple times in the month or so since Dean posted it; and every time, I think: "Hmmm... If I read that right, I'm not ready."
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Re: 7 Questions with Brad R. Torgersen

Postby Brad R. Torgersen » Fri Sep 30, 2011 10:14 am

To be sure, these are not "entry level" workshops.

I wish Kris and Dean still did their weekend-long "Kris and Dean Show," that was the first one I ever did. And in many ways, it was the most fun, too.

Open to everybody!
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Re: 7 Questions with Brad R. Torgersen

Postby Alex Kane » Fri Sep 30, 2011 10:22 am

Brad R. Torgersen wrote:Thanks Alex! Actually, you could tell Dr. Schmidt yourself.

He **LOVES** hearing from new readers/subscribers -- especially if a particular story piqued your interest.


Done. wotf008
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Re: 7 Questions with Brad R. Torgersen

Postby ThomasKCarpenter » Fri Sep 30, 2011 2:50 pm

Brad R. Torgersen wrote:To be sure, these are not "entry level" workshops.

I wish Kris and Dean still did their weekend-long "Kris and Dean Show," that was the first one I ever did. And in many ways, it was the most fun, too.

Open to everybody!


I was lucky enough (along with Annie) to read Ray of Light at that workshop. Honestly, your continued publication in his magazine convinced me to get a subscription. That was easily my favorite story of the workshop and I enjoyed the "curse" story too.

Martin, as for the Kris & Dean workshops, I would highly recommend finding one you think you would enjoy and sign up. They're are absolutely 1000% worth it. Despite being halfway across the country from me, they were worth every penny and more. Last year was my first (the novel workshop in Oct 2010) and then I did two more in Feb of this year. I was the biggest newbie at the anthology workshop, but I didn't care, I was learning so much every day, I was giddy. :)

Even the side conversations or the late night discussions were a gold mine. Kris blew my mind multiple times with off-hand comments on craft that I'd never considered. Plus, just the joy of spending a few days or a week with other serious writers really jazzes the motivation.

Based on your Finalist (I thought you had a Finalist, right?) I would assume your skill level is there. The only other checkboxes I would consider (and I believe Dean will vet you by) are the professional level work habits (meaning you write regularly, finish your work and send it out), and that you have a business attitude about your work. If you read the Kris & Dean websites and are listening to their advice, I think you'd be fine.

Really, these workshops are about stepping your game up to a professional level. If that's what you want, a career in writing, then go to their workshops.
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Re: 7 Questions with Brad R. Torgersen

Postby Martin L. Shoemaker » Fri Sep 30, 2011 6:55 pm

ThomasKCarpenter wrote:Martin, as for the Kris & Dean workshops, I would highly recommend finding one you think you would enjoy and sign up. They're are absolutely 1000% worth it. Despite being halfway across the country from me, they were worth every penny and more. Last year was my first (the novel workshop in Oct 2010) and then I did two more in Feb of this year. I was the biggest newbie at the anthology workshop, but I didn't care, I was learning so much every day, I was giddy. :)

Even the side conversations or the late night discussions were a gold mine. Kris blew my mind multiple times with off-hand comments on craft that I'd never considered. Plus, just the joy of spending a few days or a week with other serious writers really jazzes the motivation.

Based on your Finalist (I thought you had a Finalist, right?) I would assume your skill level is there. The only other checkboxes I would consider (and I believe Dean will vet you by) are the professional level work habits (meaning you write regularly, finish your work and send it out), and that you have a business attitude about your work. If you read the Kris & Dean websites and are listening to their advice, I think you'd be fine.


That's what I'm trying to decide. I definitely like the idea, but I'm not sure I'm at the level Dean wants. Yes, I have one Finalist (which I can't find a home for, much to my annoyance -- it may become my first self-pubbed work), and a couple of sales to Digital Science Fiction. I have eight stories in circulation, adding more as I can. I think Dean's message is mixed on whether that's good enough or not. I was going to write and ask him; but then his friend died, and he has been a bit tied up. I figure I'll give him a little longer and then ask.

Of course, I'm hoarding my vacation time right now for the WotF workshop. Hope springs eternal for Q4...
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Re: 7 Questions with Brad R. Torgersen

Postby izanobu » Sat Oct 01, 2011 1:37 am

A couple of pro sales, a professional attitude (which it seems you definitely have), and stories in circulation is plenty.

Look at it this way, my first Dean & Kris workshop? I'd sold one story and that to a semi-pro magazine and I had about seven stories out to markets. Seven. That's it. Admittedly, Dean almost didn't let me in, but he decided since I had written a couple of novels, quit my job to write, and was working on upping my output since I'd finally decided that the whole revise to death thing wasn't working. So he let me in. And I became the rabid writing monster you see today (j/k... sorta). I don't think it is an accident that since I started doing their workshops I've sold 8 more stories, 6 of those for pro pay, or that I've turned into someone who has no problems writing half a million words a year and getting it looked at by editors or bought by readers via indie publishing. My writing has gone from form rejection level to pretty much all personal rejections (and sales!). I started writing with any sort of seriousness on Feb 4th, 2009. But really, my career as it is now? That didn't start until Feb of 2010, when I did my first workshop with Kris and Dean. And every time I get frustrated or want to just quit, I hear their voices in my head telling me that I'm responsible for my own career, that is it not only possible but doable to make a living at this, and that the only way to fail is to quit. (Okay, they say other things in my head, too, while I'm writing. Like "all setting is character opinion" and good advice like that. Those are the kind of voices you want in your brain when you write, trust me.)

If I make it in this business, well, it is because of them and Papa Heinlein and his Rules.

But yeah, if you aren't serious about writing for a living, you will be wasting your time (and their time). If you are, well, I can't think of better high-level instruction.

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Re: 7 Questions with Brad R. Torgersen

Postby ThomasKCarpenter » Sat Oct 01, 2011 5:28 am

Last year when I went to the workshops, I had exactly zero sales, one silver honorable mention and four novels written. If anything got me into the workshop it's that I was working hard to make things happen. You need to have a professional attitude to attend their workshops, not professional results. Though if you have the first, the second will come along soon enough.
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Re: 7 Questions with Brad R. Torgersen

Postby Kary English » Mon Nov 14, 2011 8:08 pm

Thank you, Brad. One particular bit hit home with me, the bit about reading the anthologies and finding the stories, regardless of where they placed, that really resonated with *you* and that being the key to adding oomph to your own work.

I had crits on a story where readers wanted more depth and more background on my main character, so I added in a career and a motivation to escape a particular workplace for something better. After that, I had an editor level crit where she called the writing superb, but said that I either needed to a) up the speculative element (which was admittedly minimal) or b) *use* the speculative element already present to make social commentary. (woah!)

After I had a private grump session (*whine* but I already gave the MC a motivation and backstory! *whine*), I spent most of a day getting into the headspace of my MC. When I'd chosen the career stuff before, I'd done so in a cavalier fashion - the choice wasn't something I cared about. So I went back and picked something I cared about passionately. Boom! My own interest in it soared, the pathos shot up, the social commentary wrote itself and the thing is out with a publisher.

Wish I could say it sold immediately, but since it's the first story I've written at all in more than 20 years, I'll settle for getting that great editorial feedback on it (and it's only been out for 5 days, so I suppose "immediately" is still possible).
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Re: 7 Questions with Brad R. Torgersen

Postby Brad R. Torgersen » Sun Jan 15, 2012 9:23 pm

An article in which I spout forth much opinion:

http://www.writersofthefuture.com/writi ... -torgersen

wotf013
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Re: 7 Questions with Brad R. Torgersen

Postby Martin L. Shoemaker » Sun Jan 15, 2012 10:06 pm

Brad R. Torgersen wrote:An article in which I spout forth much opinion:

http://www.writersofthefuture.com/writi ... -torgersen

wotf013


And I argued with you, because I'm a contrary cuss.
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WRITE! WRITE! WRITE! WRITE! WRITE!
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Re: 7 Questions with Brad R. Torgersen

Postby Brad R. Torgersen » Mon Feb 27, 2012 5:41 am

New guest blog up at The Fictorian Era:

http://www.fictorians.com/2012/02/27/on-not-quitting/

wotf007
Coming up: "Life Flight," in Analog magazine
Coming up: "The Chaplain's War," from Baen Books
www.bradrtorgersen.com
Nebula, Hugo, and Campbell nominee.


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