A question or two for KD

Interviews with Contest judges, past winners, current winners, and entrants
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Prisoner
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A question or two for KD

Postby Prisoner » Thu Apr 24, 2008 9:07 am

I didn't see this answered before, and if you have done so, I'm sorry for the repeat.

Is there any length preference? It is unusual that WOTF accepts up to 17k.

The reason I ask is that I'm getting critiques on a story that is currently 8k. Almost every other market will want a query first for such a long one. I can adjust it up or down depending on what's expected.

What is the average length of the winners? From my reading, some are longish. I'm hoping not to be reduced to counting words in a book!

I know part of the answer, that it is like Abraham Lincoln answering the question about how long a man's legs should be. Long enough to reach the floor, he said. A story should be long enough to tell it, no more no less, but there might be a sweet spot in length that you gravitate towards, and it would be good to know that.

Also, I suspect it helps you to have submissions a little before the absolute deadline. As much as you may try to avoid it, I wonder if early submissions have an edge because you aren't as tired as an accountant on April 15th reading them.

Lastly, I'm actually gratified that someone bothered to read my first submission all the way through. It was only 2100 words. The first page read like a purple prose heroic fantasy. You had to have noticed that it was a parody, which couldn't have been easy given the volume of responses, to pay attention enough to catch it.

I"m charged up because, as I said elsewhere, the first submission I made to anyone anywhere got an honorable mention from you folks!

Working away at the next Qtr's submission.

Prisoner
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kdwentworth
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Re: A question or two for KD

Postby kdwentworth » Thu Apr 24, 2008 7:27 pm

Prisoner wrote:I didn't see this answered before, and if you have done so, I'm sorry for the repeat.

Is there any length preference? It is unusual that WOTF accepts up to 17k.

The reason I ask is that I'm getting critiques on a story that is currently 8k. Almost every other market will want a query first for such a long one. I can adjust it up or down depending on what's expected.

What is the average length of the winners? From my reading, some are longish. I'm hoping not to be reduced to counting words in a book!

I know part of the answer, that it is like Abraham Lincoln answering the question about how long a man's legs should be. Long enough to reach the floor, he said. A story should be long enough to tell it, no more no less, but there might be a sweet spot in length that you gravitate towards, and it would be good to know that.

Also, I suspect it helps you to have submissions a little before the absolute deadline. As much as you may try to avoid it, I wonder if early submissions have an edge because you aren't as tired as an accountant on April 15th reading them.

Lastly, I'm actually gratified that someone bothered to read my first submission all the way through. It was only 2100 words. The first page read like a purple prose heroic fantasy. You had to have noticed that it was a parody, which couldn't have been easy given the volume of responses, to pay attention enough to catch it.

I"m charged up because, as I said elsewhere, the first submission I made to anyone anywhere got an honorable mention from you folks!

Working away at the next Qtr's submission.

Prisoner


We really don't prefer any particular length, but it's hard to do justice to a fantasy or sf story that's extremely short. The way to tell if your story is too long is to put it aside for a week, then tell yourself the plot. Then go back and read it again. Anything you left out is probably unnecessary and should be cut.

Even though we buy longer stories, as you noted, many markets do not, so you want your story as lean as possible to maximize your marketing chances.

As for arrrival order, the entries are boxed up in L.A. by the marvelous Joni and sent cross-country to me. I have no idea which came in first and which just made the deadline, so send it in whenever it's a good time for you.

More questions, please! This board has been too quiet lately. {g}
KDWentworth

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Prisoner
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Thanks

Postby Prisoner » Fri Apr 25, 2008 12:38 am

For the info. I think we all share a love of the genre, how it can spark the imagination, and more. I've done a lot of crits over at critters.org. Of course, there are mediocre ones. But every 10 or 20 of them I find one that is breathtaking. An innovative voice that works. An idea that is brilliant and new, or at least new to me and I've read hundreds of novels in F/SF.

I know this forum is about the contest, but I just don't want to lose sight of the purpose of the contest, and the purpose of refining my little craft here to be more competitive. It is communication.

My own view is that the future is not to be feared. It can be embraced. Wonderful things are and will be happening. Negativity makes news, but the sweep of history is upward. That's what I'm writing about, even in the simple fact that I write about people thousands of years from now. We made it through the perils of the present, my stories say, just in the setting.
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BRUNCH fairyanna

Re: A question or two for KD

Postby BRUNCH fairyanna » Mon Dec 22, 2014 3:48 am

OK, Amanda Hocking is no longer the only poster child for an unknown getting rich by self-publishing. Now we've got half a dozen or so.

Lowers the odds from 2 million to 1 all the way down to maybe 300,000 to 1.

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Elen Tel'Ithil
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Re: A question or two for KD

Postby Elen Tel'Ithil » Mon Dec 22, 2014 4:49 am

Umm...do we need Gator?

Why?

Because this new user's post is totally random, but there are also no links or anything.

No. I mean, why do you need a Gator when you have a dragon?!?

Like I said, I'm not sure about this one.

I'm going to just eat them both.

Both? Who?

Prisoner's reply to Kathy was also weird and random.

Shhh!! Somebody will hear you! You know, you really should try putting "in my opinion" on the end of some of your sentences!

In your opinion.

*sigh* And no, you can't eat anyone! You don't actually have that power anyway.

Well, if you're going to be all technical, neither does Gator.

I think you're just jealous, because you're scared of the water, you sorry excuse of a dragon!

I think you should be writing, you sorry excuse of a writer.

wotf003
"You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you." - Ray Bradbury
"Write until it becomes as natural as breathing. Write until not writing makes you anxious." - Christina Katz

HM x 2
R x 2

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Martin L. Shoemaker
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Re: A question or two for KD

Postby Martin L. Shoemaker » Mon Dec 22, 2014 8:24 am

Although not active recently, Prisoner has a long history here, including starting this thread.

fairyanna, on the other hand, has been declared Dragon Brunch. As Kary explained it to me (and I've seen examples), this is a stealth trick to add links: post a seemingly innocent, almost on topic, link-free comment today; and then later, after we're no longer looking, add links to the signature. That retroactively gets added to the comment.

Munch away, Dragon!
http://Shoemaker.Space
Other worlds from award-winning author Martin L. Shoemaker

WRITE! WRITE! WRITE! WRITE! WRITE!
SUBMIT! SUBMIT! SUBMIT! SUBMIT! SUBMIT!
REPEAT! REPEAT! REPEAT! REPEAT! REPEAT!
Patience. Patience. Patience. Patience. Patience.
NNiNN

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E.CaimanSands
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Re: A question or two for KD

Postby E.CaimanSands » Mon Dec 22, 2014 1:14 pm

Hey. Who stole my lunch? wotf020
Wretched dragon.
*Thinks: forum is becoming overpopulated. Who can I eat?* wotf012
SF x 1 (Extreeemely happy snappy gator)
HM x 9 (Happy snappy gator)

"Europa Spring" - buy from Amazon

The Happy Snappy Gator Bog! Er, Blog...

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Elen Tel'Ithil
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Re: A question or two for KD

Postby Elen Tel'Ithil » Mon Dec 22, 2014 9:04 pm

E.CaimanSands wrote:Hey. Who stole my lunch? wotf020
Wretched dragon.
*Thinks: forum is becoming overpopulated. Who can I eat?* wotf012

::snide, dragonish chuckle::

Elen: Oh dear! Don't antagonize the Gator, Dragon!

Martin L. Shoemaker wrote:Although not active recently, Prisoner has a long history here, including starting this thread.

Oh yes, I recognize Prisoner from my lurking days.
::hisses at Dragon::

Martin L. Shoemaker wrote:fairyanna, on the other hand, has been declared Dragon Brunch. As Kary explained it to me (and I've seen examples), this is a stealth trick to add links: post a seemingly innocent, almost on topic, link-free comment today; and then later, after we're no longer looking, add links to the signature. That retroactively gets added to the comment.

Ah, that makes sense!

Martin L. Shoemaker wrote:Munch away, Dragon!

Thank you. It was most delectable.
"You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you." - Ray Bradbury
"Write until it becomes as natural as breathing. Write until not writing makes you anxious." - Christina Katz

HM x 2
R x 2

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E.CaimanSands
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Re: A question or two for KD

Postby E.CaimanSands » Tue Dec 23, 2014 4:49 pm

Elen Tel'Ithil wrote:
E.CaimanSands wrote:Hey. Who stole my lunch? wotf020
Wretched dragon.
*Thinks: forum is becoming overpopulated. Who can I eat?* wotf012

::snide, dragonish chuckle::

Elen: Oh dear! Don't antagonize the Gator, Dragon!



Gator glares up at dragon, but seeing as dragon is much larger than she is thinks twice about putting it on her menu.

Gator may be vain, and full of herself, and lazy, and greedy, and psychopathic, and--

Hey! Who you calling lazy? wotf020

Uh oh. She's not stupid though. Gotta run!
*Sound of jaws snapping at Nice Elinor's heels*
SF x 1 (Extreeemely happy snappy gator)
HM x 9 (Happy snappy gator)

"Europa Spring" - buy from Amazon

The Happy Snappy Gator Bog! Er, Blog...

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Elen Tel'Ithil
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Re: A question or two for KD

Postby Elen Tel'Ithil » Tue Dec 23, 2014 11:20 pm

E.CaimanSands wrote:*Sound of jaws snapping at Nice Elinor's heels*

Oh my!! wotf003 wotf024 wotf003

May I be of assistance, my Lady Elinor?

And there he goes... Dragon considers himself quite the suave charmer, when it comes to human ladies, at least. He's still never managed to impress anything with scales, though, and the jury's still out even when it comes to humans.

Harumph.
"You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you." - Ray Bradbury
"Write until it becomes as natural as breathing. Write until not writing makes you anxious." - Christina Katz

HM x 2
R x 2


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