Resistance is futil...
 
Notifications
Clear all

Resistance is futile

23 Posts
11 Users
70 Likes
1,431 Views
storysinger
(@storysinger)
Posts: 1505
Platinum Plus
Topic starter
 

After discussing the issue with my wife a few times I've come to the conclusion I must make a few changes to my approach to writing stories to submit to WotF.

I don't mean to offend with what I'm about to say but here goes. I enjoyed my time as a member of the Wulf Pack and following the lessons elevated my abilities exponentially. The thing that I failed to do was the work done as a community. All the behind the scenes comradery where everyone wishing to do so could share their stories and receive input from talented writers. 

To say I'm bull-headed is an understatement. I have tried to do everything by myself without any help at all. It's definitely not a winning approach. My advice to anyone wanting to level up: take the free online WotF course, study Wulf's Super Secrets, actively participate in the community. Because when all is said and done, resistance is futile.

Today's science fiction is tomorrow's reality-D.R.Sweeney
HM x5
Published Poetry
2012 Stars in Our Hearts
Silver Ships

 
Posted : November 11, 2022 9:06 am
Todd Jones, MountainSpud, Cherrie and 4 people reacted
David Hankins
(@lost_bard)
Posts: 445
Gold Star Member
 
Posted by: @storysinger

After discussing the issue with my wife a few times I've come to the conclusion I must make a few changes to my approach to writing stories to submit to WotF.

I don't mean to offend with what I'm about to say but here goes. I enjoyed my time as a member of the Wulf Pack and following the lessons elevated my abilities exponentially. The thing that I failed to do was the work done as a community. All the behind the scenes comradery where everyone wishing to do so could share their stories and receive input from talented writers. 

To say I'm bull-headed is an understatement. I have tried to do everything by myself without any help at all. It's definitely not a winning approach. My advice to anyone wanting to level up: take the free online WotF course, study Wulf's Super Secrets, actively participate in the community. Because when all is said and done, resistance is futile.

Community is a huge part of what makes writing worthwhile, and the help you get along the way is immeasurable. You can do it yourself, but it's much more fun with others who join you on the journey.

Death and the Taxman, my WotF V39 winning story is now a novel available for pre-order! (Click Here >). The Taxman is Coming on Tax Day (Apr 15th) 2024!

Subscribe to The Lost Bard's Letter at www.davidhankins.com and receive an exclusive story!

New Releases:
"Milo Piper's Breakout Single that Ended the Rat War" in LTUE's Troubadours and Space Princesses anthology.
"Felix and the Flamingo" in Escape Pod.
"The Ghosts of Hart's Gambit" in Renaissance Press's There's No Place anthology.
"The Devil's Foot Locker" in Amazing Stories

 
Posted : November 11, 2022 9:31 am
Cherrie, Anna X, storysinger and 1 people reacted
James (Ease)
(@ease)
Posts: 472
Gold Star Member
 

Are you saying you don't critique exchange because you've previously wanted to do it all yourself? 

For what it's worth, I get as much out of critiquing as I get out of being critiqued. When you let others critique your work, it's not them helping you as much as you both helping each other.

I may be misreading your post, but if you haven't done some critique exchanges, please do. I highly recommend them.

VOL 40 2nd Quarter: Third Place ("Ashes to Ashes, Blood to Carbonfiber")
Past submissions: R - HM - HM - HM - HM - HM - SHM - SHM
www.jd-writes.com

 
Posted : November 11, 2022 9:54 am
angelslayah, Cherrie, David Hankins and 2 people reacted
storysinger
(@storysinger)
Posts: 1505
Platinum Plus
Topic starter
 
Posted by: @ease

Are you saying you don't critique exchange because you've previously wanted to do it all yourself? 

That is partially true. I'm not sure of how to critique. I am good at reading and spotting typos but other than that I don't know how to return the favor.

Today's science fiction is tomorrow's reality-D.R.Sweeney
HM x5
Published Poetry
2012 Stars in Our Hearts
Silver Ships

 
Posted : November 11, 2022 1:26 pm
James (Ease)
(@ease)
Posts: 472
Gold Star Member
 
Posted by: @storysinger
Posted by: @ease

Are you saying you don't critique exchange because you've previously wanted to do it all yourself? 

That is partially true. I'm not sure of how to critique. I am good at reading and spotting typos but other than that I don't know how to return the favor.

From my experience, there are few places better to learn critiquing. The 450 thread is always good. You can learn so much from reading a dozen story openings from a dozen different authors, and you can get a lot of eyes on several of your own stories without too much guilt/time because it's only 450 words.

I've also sent you a summary of what little I know, but you know what they say: the best way to learn is doing.

Oh, and this is awesome, too (some of which I stole for my summary, although made more concise. Sorry-not-sorry).

VOL 40 2nd Quarter: Third Place ("Ashes to Ashes, Blood to Carbonfiber")
Past submissions: R - HM - HM - HM - HM - HM - SHM - SHM
www.jd-writes.com

 
Posted : November 11, 2022 3:00 pm
David Hankins, Cherrie, storysinger and 1 people reacted
(@annax)
Posts: 159
Silver Member
 

Posted by: @storysinger

Posted by: @ease

Are you saying you don't critique exchange because you've previously wanted to do it all yourself? 

That is partially true. I'm not sure of how to critique. I am good at reading and spotting typos but other than that I don't know how to return the favor.

 

I have to say that I’m not great at critiquing either. My first critique was a failure and someone gave me some suggestions to help. I also googled and have mashed different ones together. I’ve just become comfortable with what I’m using now.  

I put in the basics:

critique for

critique by

date

 

Then I put in the normal things people look for:

plot

characters

genre/speculation 

editing/grammar

is it interesting?

 

Then, I leave LOTS of room for additional comments.

 

My additional comments section are pretty crazy. I don’t go in this order, but I focus really hard on what I love. Then I focus on what I don’t like. I focus on what confuses me. I try to give ideas on how to clarify things that aren’t clear. I give ideas on how to improve or suggestions for writing something that will showcase character, heart’s desire, setting, etc. I think I over try to help, but I feel like it’s useful to say I’m confused, tell why, and give examples on how to make it not confusing.

Everyone has been really great with me, even if I’ve been harsh. I think you can still love a story and see the flaws and point them out to make it better. 

And that’s what community does. I’ve been doing it alone for so long, it’s hard for me to share but I try to share now. I really love people pointing things out now because it’s like, I see what they mean and yes, they’re right. Changing it would make it a much more streamlined and engaging story. Plus, having more heads to help brainstorm ideas or concepts or expertise is also awesome. 

By the way, if you would like to have me read something or give you an opinion, I would be more than happy to do so. Dm me or email me at: anna.adamantiumskin@gmail.com

 

~ I honestly believe that good stories write themselves. You can always start writing a story, but the characters tell their own tales and if you're lucky enough, you get to merely be in the audience watching everything unfold. ~ 8/1/2022
***
WotF - 2022, V39 Q4: R
WotF - 2022/2023, V40 Q1: HM; Q2: HM; Q3: HM; Q4:HM

 
Posted : November 11, 2022 6:03 pm
V. R. Lassmann
(@vrlass)
Posts: 77
Bronze Star Member
 

Posted by: @storysinger

Posted by: @ease

Are you saying you don't critique exchange because you've previously wanted to do it all yourself? 

That is partially true. I'm not sure of how to critique. I am good at reading and spotting typos but other than that I don't know how to return the favor.


I am non english native. I CANNOT find typos and proofread. But I simply hint what doesn’t work for me in someone else’s story and seems like its ok. 

And I  want to act like a pro, but i can give few tips to start, and i think it might be a great place for discussion. (Correct me if i am wrong/how can I improve)

Right now I am allways adding uncle Neil’s advice in all the new critiques:
https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/477087-remember-when-people-tell-you-something-s-wrong-or-doesn-t-work

You are a reader. When you read someone’s works, some stuff don’t work for you. Put a light on them.
Right now I operate on structure of :
- some stuff I didnt like - some stuff that seems like obvious flaws and clear why (the concrete stuf which makes reading painfull, and you want to drop—warning sometimes it can be just you reacting like this because of your own problems :D)
- some stuff that didn’t work for me - stuff that simply seems weak, but I am not sure why (the stuff that seems to need improvement)
- the good - seems unnecesary at first glance but 
A. Gives a validation and i think we it’s like fuel (or nitro) for our creative engines 😀
B. I think the suggestions about what works, are the foundation upon which the voice is built.

For me the biggest problem is how to present the critique.
In my background the rule was “the more i love you the mor thorow I’ll pulverize you”.
But on the internet you don’t really know who is on the other side, and some people may treat their works as extantion of their souls, and treat critique personally. Thread carefully. The worst possible outcome of spending two hours trying to help someone is when someone hates you for this 😀

Anyway this is my understanding of the process but hey, I started half a year ago, and most of it i learned gradually…
Probably some time later I am gonna laught at some parts of it (or all of it), so don’t treat it as absolutes (it might be improved), nor as carved in stone.
Peace,
VR

 

 
Posted : November 12, 2022 6:38 am
James (Ease)
(@ease)
Posts: 472
Gold Star Member
 

I totally agree with @vrlass. How the piece makes you feel is most important. And tough love is the most helpful, but some kindness to soften the edges is... Well, kind.

VOL 40 2nd Quarter: Third Place ("Ashes to Ashes, Blood to Carbonfiber")
Past submissions: R - HM - HM - HM - HM - HM - SHM - SHM
www.jd-writes.com

 
Posted : November 12, 2022 8:28 am
Todd Jones, V. R. Lassmann, Cherrie and 2 people reacted
V. R. Lassmann
(@vrlass)
Posts: 77
Bronze Star Member
 

Posted by: @ease

I totally agree with @vrlass. How the piece makes you feel is most important. And tough love is the most helpful, but some kindness to soften the edges is... Well, kind.

Yeah… I just realised something.
Writting impact heavy AND kind critique is the very apex of writing on meta level. 
It even sounds pro-est…

 

 
Posted : November 12, 2022 10:03 am
Anna X reacted
storysinger
(@storysinger)
Posts: 1505
Platinum Plus
Topic starter
 

Thanks David, Ease, Anna X, and VR. All the input is appreciated. I will commingle more often with the community.

Today's science fiction is tomorrow's reality-D.R.Sweeney
HM x5
Published Poetry
2012 Stars in Our Hearts
Silver Ships

 
Posted : November 12, 2022 10:49 am
Anna X and James (Ease) reacted
James (Ease)
(@ease)
Posts: 472
Gold Star Member
 

@storysinger I mean, your 1250 post count says you've been commingling plenty!

VOL 40 2nd Quarter: Third Place ("Ashes to Ashes, Blood to Carbonfiber")
Past submissions: R - HM - HM - HM - HM - HM - SHM - SHM
www.jd-writes.com

 
Posted : November 12, 2022 10:58 am
Anna X and storysinger reacted
pdblake
(@pdblake)
Posts: 465
Gold Member
 

I think it's time I did some critting too. I've not done any since Hatrack went down. 

I've just about got something ready and I'd love to know where my last RWC went wrong. 

R:6 RWC:1 HM:9 SHM:3
My Blog

 
Posted : November 12, 2022 12:09 pm
Todd Jones and Anna X reacted
V. R. Lassmann
(@vrlass)
Posts: 77
Bronze Star Member
 

One case study to add tho.
I got a review once (not pointing fingers) that siad that for all the characters i presented only one seemed to know what she was doing. I understood it on surface level and went happy with slight adjustments.

Later on I read a story where MC seemed to have some serious cognitive issues.He did not understood anything that was going on, while it was clear from the POV.

Then I looked at my story again and saw, that in a way i did the same thing. This was the thing (i think) the reviewer ment. I was infodumping by creating a young MC and a mentor figure explaining everything (even the fundamental laws of my setting), not to mention 2 overwhelming infodumps, i didn’t recognise (but this i found thanks to @angelslayah). 

<VR-TRYING-TO-BE-WISE ALERT>
Funny thing is, that’s where writing as an art intertwines with with the art of living. We are sort of blind to some mistakes we are making, but once we see it in others its way easier to spot it in ourselves (unless we think of it as the new standard :D).
</ALERT>
Peace,
VR

 
Posted : November 12, 2022 12:55 pm
angelslayah and Anna X reacted
storysinger
(@storysinger)
Posts: 1505
Platinum Plus
Topic starter
 

My post count is every thread except the 450's and critique swaps Ease. That's the area I need to become immersed in. 

Today's science fiction is tomorrow's reality-D.R.Sweeney
HM x5
Published Poetry
2012 Stars in Our Hearts
Silver Ships

 
Posted : November 13, 2022 9:02 am
angelslayah
(@angelslayah)
Posts: 234
Silver Member
 

I think most important role of critique is just the eyes on your story. I started as a writer in journalism and always re-read my work as it came out. Just knowing thousands of other eyes were on my writing at the same time gave me x-ray vision and I saw all the places I let myself off the hook too soon. 

When I decided to write fiction just a few years back, I did everything I could to draw a small group of writers around me for regular readings and responses. With a couple lineup changes this has continued without a break and the power and insight it affords can't be overstated. 

But while it sometimes happens that I gain a new insight or develop new approaches through that interaction, I think the act of critique has its own power, regardless of the quality of the feedback. 

I see critique as a great plow that breaks open the crust of work I'd pack so hard I thought it finished. That turning over of the topsoil allows new things to the surface, enables growth and preserves the freshness of the story for me. 

Skim through this amazing collection of Contest luminaries: the number one and two pieces of advice have got to be: get a writer's group and engage in the forum:

https://jarridcantway.com/2022/09/how-to-win-the-writers-of-the-future-contest/

@DonMarkmaker

 
Posted : November 13, 2022 6:54 pm
Cherrie, Todd Jones, Joel C. Scoberg and 3 people reacted
(@reigheena)
Posts: 110
Bronze Star Member
 

I was once in a critique group with Mary Robinette Kowal, and one of the guidelines she sent to the group was to tell the writer what you thought was Awesome, Boring, Confusing, or that you Don't believe. Now when I send my stories to new beta readers, I give them that same guideline, and it's worked pretty well. 

v 29 : - HM - - | v 30 : - - - - | v 31 : - - - HM | v 32 : - HM - HM | v 33 : R HM R SHM | v 34 : SHM SHM HM R | v 35 : HM R R R | v 36 : - R R R | v 37 : - - - HM | v 38 : - - - HM | v 39 : HM - - R | v 40: - HM - SHM | v 41: R
My published works

 
Posted : November 14, 2022 2:36 pm
Todd Jones, Joel C. Scoberg, Anna X and 3 people reacted
James (Ease)
(@ease)
Posts: 472
Gold Star Member
 

@reigheena makes for quick critique turnarounds too: if they don't feel like more in-depth comments, just throwing A, B, C, D down when they apply is real easy/quick. Personally I prefer to give people a little more info when time allows, though.

VOL 40 2nd Quarter: Third Place ("Ashes to Ashes, Blood to Carbonfiber")
Past submissions: R - HM - HM - HM - HM - HM - SHM - SHM
www.jd-writes.com

 
Posted : December 16, 2022 11:34 am
Anna X reacted
Dustin Adams
(@tj_knight)
Posts: 1354
Platinum Plus Moderator
 

The 450 thread is awesome. If you need assistance with how to crit, copy / paste from the first post. I did that for years. You can literally just answer the questions and give a great critique. Do that a few times and then you may find yourself developing more of a style, or adding comments at the end - your own thoughts.

I've always been able to spot more easily a "flaw" in a story not mine than my own. The beauty is when you spot it in others' stories, then go to your own and have an ah ha moment.

You might think, come on, where's the smells? Where's the middle and distance? Then look at your story and go, huh, no smells. No middle and distance.

Critiquing is the cardio to the writing/weight training.

Career:

1x Win
2x NW-F
2x S-F
9x S-HM
11x HM
7x R

 
Posted : December 17, 2022 4:02 am
Todd Jones, Anna X, angelslayah and 4 people reacted
V. R. Lassmann
(@vrlass)
Posts: 77
Bronze Star Member
 

What is 450?

 
Posted : December 26, 2022 10:52 am
Anna X reacted
(@annax)
Posts: 159
Silver Member
 

Posted by: @vrlass

What is 450?

It's where we critique the first 450 words of a story. The thread is here: 

First Four-Fifty Critique Exchanges | Story Critique Exchange | Writers & Illustrators of the Future Forum (writersofthefuture.com)

 

~ I honestly believe that good stories write themselves. You can always start writing a story, but the characters tell their own tales and if you're lucky enough, you get to merely be in the audience watching everything unfold. ~ 8/1/2022
***
WotF - 2022, V39 Q4: R
WotF - 2022/2023, V40 Q1: HM; Q2: HM; Q3: HM; Q4:HM

 
Posted : December 26, 2022 8:47 pm
Todd Jones
(@toddjones)
Posts: 524
Gold Star Member
 

Posted by: @storysinger

I have tried to do everything by myself without any help at all. It's definitely not a winning approach. My advice to anyone wanting to level up: take the free online WotF course, study Wulf's Super Secrets, actively participate in the community. Because when all is said and done, resistance is futile.

Good advice. I have done it alone for so long I almost gave up writing.

This forum, the courses, and Wulf Moon have greatly leveled up my writing.

I'm still on the verge of giving up, at times, but then someone reaches out from the forum to help and I'm excited again.

I don't know why I'm so afraid to ask for help. Hopefully, I'll learn to spot this same flaw in others and lend a hand when they need it.

Have fun, and keep on writing. 

 

"Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right."~ Henry Ford
2024 - V41 - Q1-RWC, Q2-Submitted, Q3-WIP, Q4-?
2023 - V40 - Q1-HM, Q2-HM, Q3-R, Q4-HM
2022 - V39 - Q1-SHM, Q2-HM, Q3-SF, Q4-HM
2021 - V38 - Q4-HM
2020 - V37 - Q2-R

 
Posted : May 19, 2023 11:33 am
Wulf Moon and Cherrie reacted
Todd Jones
(@toddjones)
Posts: 524
Gold Star Member
 

Posted by: @reigheena

Awesome, Boring, Confusing, or that you Don't believe. 

That makes sense.  I'm going to start using that formula and prompt others to use when reviewing my work.

 

"Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right."~ Henry Ford
2024 - V41 - Q1-RWC, Q2-Submitted, Q3-WIP, Q4-?
2023 - V40 - Q1-HM, Q2-HM, Q3-R, Q4-HM
2022 - V39 - Q1-SHM, Q2-HM, Q3-SF, Q4-HM
2021 - V38 - Q4-HM
2020 - V37 - Q2-R

 
Posted : May 19, 2023 11:39 am
(@johnalex20)
Posts: 18
Advanced Member
 

I applaud your self-reflection and growth mindset! It takes humility and courage to acknowledge areas for improvement. Your experience with the Wulf Pack resonates deeply. Embracing the community's camaraderie and tapping into collective wisdom is a powerful stride. Your advice is golden – the course, Super Secrets, and active engagement form a roadmap to ascend. You're an inspiration; your openness fuels collective progress. Kudos to your evolution!

 
Posted : August 10, 2023 11:17 pm
storysinger reacted
Share: