Moon's STUPID SUPER SECRET #23: READ!
This is my stupidest SUPER SECRET EVAH! There's only one that's even a STUPIDER SUPER SECRET
, and I'll post that next time. Writers MUST be readers, and not just in their favorite genre they write in, and not just fiction either. Writers read. *Everything.* Cereal boxes, grill assembly manuals, good fiction, non-fiction, memoirs, ships' logs, advertising lines, Celestial Season tea boxes....anything with print, even, dare I say, WRITERS OF THE FUTURE VOLUMES.
Why? Our minds are sponges. They are soaking up whatever we put in front of our eyes and ears. As wordsmiths, we want to soak up words, lots and lots of good words, and we want to exercise with those words, left, right!, up, down! As storytellers, we want to soak up lots and lots of ideas, we want beakers and vials bubbling over in our minds with the stuff of crazy mad scientists' laboratories. Our subsconscious is a mulch pile, and we want to heap lots and lots of organic matter upon it so it will ferment and sprout with a cornucopia of ideas and stories. Reading from a diverse palette of works and interests gives you a massive array of real life matter to grow your beautiful story garden from, or to gather the abundance of body parts necessary to create your growling Frankenstein. Read. Read everything. Because it all goes on the mulch pile.
But this challenge is about something more than writing. It's about writing a story that WINS Writers of the Future. So you're going to need to read the Volumes to figure out what David Farland (and now added, first reader, Kary English) deem as the necessary elements to BE a winning story. And not just read, but carefully analyze as well. Did you preorder Volume 35? Are you planning on getting it? Because that's got the latest, and the latest means cutting edge. You want that cutting edge. Many skilled contestants will never have a chance to win this contest because they didn't do numero uno when it comes to selling a story: STUDY YOUR MARKET. How do you do that? You read the current issues. This will give you the mind of the editor, and in this case, the mind of the coordinating judge, and insight into what passes the judges' panels in the various quarters.
You guys accepted my challenge, so I'll give you a special tip. Think about it. Before any story gets to Dave--the coordinating judge--it must first go through Kary English. That means if you want to win Writers of the Future, you now have to get past her FIRST. But how do you know what she likes? How do you know what she believes are the necessary ingredients that must be present in an award-winning story? How do you discover what her tastes are? THE SAME WAY. : ) Read her works. Study her style. This is how Dave won so many contests in the past--by studying the contest judges, what they buy, what they've written, what they've written on writing if it's out there. Well, Kary was a WotF first place winner. I can't recall the volume at the moment, but I think it's back five or six (one of you will certainly know). If you have it, read it. If not, get it. She just published or revamped four stories to Amazon. One of them was free, not sure it still is, but if not, they're only 99 cents. This is my 'word to the wise,' and that means you guys in this challenge. She's the gatekeeper now, she's got the guest list at the gate of the mansion, and you scruffy mutts
, it would behoove you to figure out the type of folks she's letting into the party.
We all have to remember...if we aren't cutting edge, if we aren't learning everything we can, someone else is. Knowledge is power. You be that guy or gal that went above and beyond, discovering that bit of extra knowledge that put your story above and beyond...and into the WotF winner's circle.
Fortune favor the industrious,