WOTF Advice from KD Wentworth (external link)

Interviews with Contest judges, past winners, current winners, and entrants
Grayson Morris
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WOTF Advice from KD Wentworth (external link)

Postby Grayson Morris » Fri Mar 16, 2012 8:27 am

This thread at the Hatrack River writer's forum is an excellent compilation of KDW's tips and advice, culled from several sources by Donavan Darius.

WOTF Advice from KD Wentworth
Much madness is divinest sense, to a discerning eye; much sense, the starkest madness. (Emily Dickinson)
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Re: WOTF Advice from KD Wentworth (external link)

Postby dantzel » Fri Mar 16, 2012 9:46 am

Thanks for posting!!
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Re: WOTF Advice from KD Wentworth (external link)

Postby morshana » Fri Mar 16, 2012 9:57 am

Thanks, Grayson!
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Re: WOTF Advice from KD Wentworth (external link)

Postby george nik. » Fri Mar 16, 2012 2:37 pm

Thanks for posting, Grayson! Really great insight!
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Re: WOTF Advice from KD Wentworth (external link)

Postby Martin L. Shoemaker » Sat Mar 17, 2012 5:28 am

Very useful! Thanks!

And, when I propose a change, I like to give the author two or three ways the
problem can be fixed, not because I want them to use any of them, but I want
the author to see how much room for change there actually is. Everyone has
to write their story their own way, so it's not useful for me to say do this
MY way. In the end, everyone has to fix it with their own creativity. I just
try to shine a little light on the process.


I feel much better about my Semi now. I incorporated part of her feedback; but there was part that I just could not bring myself to follow. There was part she wanted me to remove, and I couldn't: I saw is as the key to understanding three different characters.
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Re: WOTF Advice from KD Wentworth (external link)

Postby Martin L. Shoemaker » Sun Mar 18, 2012 2:16 pm

Hmmm... But now I feel less confident regarding my work in progress, at least with regards to the contest:

I just had a chance to visit with some of the WOTF judges at the Hollywood Awards.
They all agreed that they dislike stories which do not tie everthing up.


My story opens with a mystery. At the end, parts of that mystery have been wrapped up; but even among those parts, some are only resolved by implication. And some have been wrapped up off stage, so the narrator has answers, but the reader doesn't. And some parts remain completely mysterious. This is a conscious decision: I want the story to be about a larger, more mysterious world than the narrator or the reader realizes, with more mysteries always around the corner.

But even before I finished it (okay, future tense -- WILL finish it, but I'm in the home stretch now), I sent a note to my First Reader saying the readers might hate me for my ending. And when I told him which BIG mystery is deliberately left unexplained, he answered, "You're right. I hate you now."

I don't care if he hates me for it. It is what it is, and I think this is the right ending for this story. But perhaps it means the contest is the wrong market for this story.

On the other hand: never self-reject. I really like the story, and the ending has proven to be much more action-packed than I expected. So I guess if Q3 deadline rolls around and I still need a story, I'll give this one a shot.
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Re: WOTF Advice from KD Wentworth (external link)

Postby s_c_baker » Mon Mar 19, 2012 6:49 pm

Martin L. Shoemaker wrote:My story opens with a mystery. At the end, parts of that mystery have been wrapped up; but even among those parts, some are only resolved by implication. And some have been wrapped up off stage, so the narrator has answers, but the reader doesn't. And some parts remain completely mysterious. This is a conscious decision: I want the story to be about a larger, more mysterious world than the narrator or the reader realizes, with more mysteries always around the corner.

But even before I finished it (okay, future tense -- WILL finish it, but I'm in the home stretch now), I sent a note to my First Reader saying the readers might hate me for my ending. And when I told him which BIG mystery is deliberately left unexplained, he answered, "You're right. I hate you now."

I don't care if he hates me for it. It is what it is, and I think this is the right ending for this story. But perhaps it means the contest is the wrong market for this story.

Pshaw.

What matters isn't which mysteries are solved--or even if any of them are--but how the narrator(s) and/or PoV character(s) have changed because of what he/she/they have/has learned.

(Yeesh. Could I have phrased that any more deliberately awkwardly? 'tis a great mystery. wotf011 )
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Re: WOTF Advice from KD Wentworth (external link)

Postby Martin L. Shoemaker » Mon Mar 19, 2012 7:06 pm

s_c_baker wrote:Pshaw.

What matters isn't which mysteries are solved--or even if any of them are--but how the narrator(s) and/or PoV character(s) have changed because of what he/she/they have/has learned.


In theory, I agree with you; in practice, K.D.'s comments about the judges wanting wrap-up had me worried.

On the other hand, after promising to hate the ending, my First Reader today told me the ending was absolutely perfect. He said I might even have gotten away with revealing a little less. So I'll leave it as is.

As a bonus, he fell for my red herring, hook line and sinker. He told me he never suspected what I was up to right until the exact point of the big reveal. That felt good. I was afraid I was being heavy-handed and obvious. He's generally very quick, and he knows how I think, so fooling him makes me feel pretty confident I pulled it off.
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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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