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Wulf Moon
(@wulfmoon)
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This is a thread to highlight gems learned from the Writers of the Future Online Workshop articles. There’s important information for aspiring writers in these, such as in “The Manuscript Factory” and the article on what is art—my personal favorite. Please open your post with the title of the article so it will be easy for forumites to track.

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Topic starter Posted : April 11, 2021 7:27 am
crlisle
(@crlisle)
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Posts: 243

The most interesting and helpful lesson to me was Essay: Suspense by L. Ron Hubbard on Suspense. He said that most rejections come from lack of suspense. He gave a wonderful example of writing without suspense and then corrected it. You have to make your reader wonder what is going to happen with an "...intricate succession of events."

Next he talks about fight scenes. Those that will make it into the wastepaper basket have no suspense. He gives examples of suspenseful fights and boring fight scenes.

Next he discusses foreshadowing. If you use it, make sure your story lives up to what has been foreshadowed.

In conclusion, if your story has been returned to you, add more suspense. Keep your reader on the edge of their seat. Make them wonder what will happen next. Make the ending of each scene a page turner.

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Posted : April 11, 2021 5:00 pm
Wulf Moon
(@wulfmoon)
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@crlisle

Thank you for sharing these points from Hubbard's article, Candice! So many stories lack dramatic tension. The writing can be beautiful, the characters interesting, but without tension, the guitar string does not sing. Tension drives plot.

JOIN THE WULF PACK! http://the super secrets.com
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NEW! Don't miss the Super Secret "Character Agency: I Need a Hero!" in DreamForge Anvil Magazine!
JUST RELEASED! BEST OF DEEP MAGIC ANTHOLOGY TWO! Three Super Secrets Workshop members made it into this best of the best anthology! KD Julicher, Brittany Rainsdon, and some guy named Wulf Moon. Click HERE to get yours!
NEXT MASTER CLASSES AT FYRECON ONLINE, NOV. 18-21ST. Click HERE before they are sold out once again!

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Topic starter Posted : April 11, 2021 5:08 pm
DoctorJest
(@doctorjest)
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Posts: 358

I'm giving this a whirl, and just this evening got to "Practical: Talk to Another". Well, drat! Suffice to say, this is my shy self's Achilles heel, but it's giving me a kick in the pants to ask people I know a lot of questions I've really been curious about for a long, long while! I am always full of questions, but generally also full of shyness and a sense that I shouldn't waste people's time by asking them bonehead questions.

I'm going to ask them the bonehead questions.

And then I'm going to continue on with this workshop. I'll comment more on my take-aways after I'm all done!

R: 0 / HM: 8 / SHM: 4 / SF: 0 / F: 1
Currently in for Q3.V38 / Q4.V38 currently in crit/revision stage
Last result: SHM for Q2.V38
Revised SHM ('Ashwright') at PodCastle
Revised HM ('The Winds of the Mind') forthcoming at Abyss and Apex, ~October 2023

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Posted : May 5, 2021 10:26 pm
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Agathon
(@agathon)
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Posted by: @crlisle

The most interesting and helpful lesson to me was Essay: Suspense by L. Ron Hubbard on Suspense.

Where did you find this essay?

Agathon McGeachy
Figure Sculptor, Mechanical Designer, Reformed Rakehell, Writer
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Posted : May 6, 2021 2:20 pm
DoctorJest
(@doctorjest)
Silver Member
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Posted by: @agathon
Posted by: @crlisle

The most interesting and helpful lesson to me was Essay: Suspense by L. Ron Hubbard on Suspense.

Where did you find this essay?

It's one of the essays that is included within the Writers of the Future workshop, linked from the site's homepage.

R: 0 / HM: 8 / SHM: 4 / SF: 0 / F: 1
Currently in for Q3.V38 / Q4.V38 currently in crit/revision stage
Last result: SHM for Q2.V38
Revised SHM ('Ashwright') at PodCastle
Revised HM ('The Winds of the Mind') forthcoming at Abyss and Apex, ~October 2023

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Posted : May 6, 2021 6:08 pm
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DoctorJest
(@doctorjest)
Silver Member
Posts: 358
Posted by: @doctorjest

I'm giving this a whirl, and just this evening got to "Practical: Talk to Another". Well, drat! Suffice to say, this is my shy self's Achilles heel, but it's giving me a kick in the pants to ask people I know a lot of questions I've really been curious about for a long, long while! I am always full of questions, but generally also full of shyness and a sense that I shouldn't waste people's time by asking them bonehead questions.

I'm going to ask them the bonehead questions.

And then I'm going to continue on with this workshop. I'll comment more on my take-aways after I'm all done!

Building up on this--in addition to asking those bonehead questions, I'm also going to be sitting down with a friend of mine, whose career in a former life was one of the careers I dreamed of having when I was still just a kid (archaeologist). I talked to him about it, and aside from looking forward to just spending time talking about this, it turns out he also has a collection of books, and some of his own old notes from back when he was doing this, which is stuff I might never have found out if I hadn't received this nudge, and thought to go talk to him about it!

I'm really looking forward to this. I don't think this will inform my current story, but I don't doubt it'll end up informing another one down the line!

R: 0 / HM: 8 / SHM: 4 / SF: 0 / F: 1
Currently in for Q3.V38 / Q4.V38 currently in crit/revision stage
Last result: SHM for Q2.V38
Revised SHM ('Ashwright') at PodCastle
Revised HM ('The Winds of the Mind') forthcoming at Abyss and Apex, ~October 2023

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Posted : May 6, 2021 11:13 pm
Cray Dimensional
(@craydimensional)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 152

My favorite was Magic Out Of a Hat. I loved the description of how everyday objects could be used inspire story ideas.

Small steps add up to miles.
V38: R, R, P

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Posted : May 8, 2021 2:36 pm
pdblake
(@pdblake)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 128
Posted by: @craydimensional

My favorite was Magic Out Of a Hat. I loved the description of how everyday objects could be used inspire story ideas.

I liked that one too. The telling of it was a story in itself. 

www.pdblake.co.uk

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Posted : May 8, 2021 2:54 pm
David Hankins
(@lost_bard)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 139

@crlisle The article about suspense was a bit of an eye-opener for me too. Sometimes when an idea comes to me, I frantically write it out and finish thinking, 'aha, that's a good scene'. Then I go back and reread it later to discover it's just a sequence of events without depth and suspense. I was having a hard time figuring out what the problem was until I read Hubbard's different descriptions of the same scene with and without suspense. 

I've tried going back and filling suspense in, and sometimes it works. But I've quickly discovered that writing in the suspense initially gives it more flow and life. 

The video that struck me the most was Orson Scott Card's video on "Writing Dialogue". I've gotten better over the years, but my early dialogue often came out dry and stilted. That video changed my perspective and now instead of forcing the dialogue to reach the destination I need it to, I ask myself "how would a normal person with my character's personality respond?" and it comes out a lot better. I was just writing a scene yesterday with a snarky 11yo in it. He wasn't the focus of the dialogue, but every time the adult characters said something, I heard this kid's sarcastic commentary in the back of my head. Instead of filtering it out because it didn't serve to get the dialogue to the destination I needed, I went ahead and threw it in, because that's what he'd do. It added good depth to the scene with reactions from the adults who were busy trying to do the Important Adult Things, and the whole thing flowed much more naturally.

V38 Q2: HM

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Posted : May 11, 2021 4:04 am
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Wulf Moon
(@wulfmoon)
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Posts: 2275

@lost_bard Nice points on dialogue. You can tell in an instant if you’re in the hands of a pro by how they write dialogue. I did a Super Secret on it, along with exercises, if you want more help.

JOIN THE WULF PACK! http://the super secrets.com
"Super-Duper Moongirl and the Amazing Moon Dawdler" wins WRITERS OF THE FUTURE VOL. 35 & BEST SF&F STORY OF 2019. Order WotF Volume 35 HERE!
“Muzik Man" in Deep Magic Fall 2020 wins BEST SF&F STORY of 2020
NEW! Don't miss the Super Secret "Character Agency: I Need a Hero!" in DreamForge Anvil Magazine!
JUST RELEASED! BEST OF DEEP MAGIC ANTHOLOGY TWO! Three Super Secrets Workshop members made it into this best of the best anthology! KD Julicher, Brittany Rainsdon, and some guy named Wulf Moon. Click HERE to get yours!
NEXT MASTER CLASSES AT FYRECON ONLINE, NOV. 18-21ST. Click HERE before they are sold out once again!

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Topic starter Posted : May 11, 2021 8:28 am
David Hankins
(@lost_bard)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 139
Posted by: @wulfmoon

@lost_bard Nice points on dialogue. You can tell in an instant if you’re in the hands of a pro by how they write dialogue. I did a Super Secret on it, along with exercises, if you want more help.

The Wulf raised an eyebrow at the inquisitive pup. "Did you read my Super Secrets?"

"Of course!"

"All of them?"

"Well, not yet. There are so many."

"I'll wait, but not too long."

"Here it is! Number 43 'Write Smart Dialogue'. It looks like . . . ah crumbs. I'm still doing it wrong. But there's a cool exercise at the end."

"Now you have no excuse. Fix your dialogue."

"But I like saying that my character snorted, guffawed, and screamed. It makes things more lively, right?"

The opposite eyebrow joined its mate in patient disbelief.

"Right, right. Kill the annoying attributions, remember that 'said' is like punctuation, and figure out how to use beats to set up dialogue."

"And?"

"Don't insult the reader's intelligence. Insulted readers won't keep reading." 

"There may be hope for you yet. Time will tell."

V38 Q2: HM

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Posted : May 11, 2021 10:35 am
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Wulf Moon
(@wulfmoon)
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Posts: 2275

@lost_bard

 

Love it! Great job! Smile  

JOIN THE WULF PACK! http://the super secrets.com
"Super-Duper Moongirl and the Amazing Moon Dawdler" wins WRITERS OF THE FUTURE VOL. 35 & BEST SF&F STORY OF 2019. Order WotF Volume 35 HERE!
“Muzik Man" in Deep Magic Fall 2020 wins BEST SF&F STORY of 2020
NEW! Don't miss the Super Secret "Character Agency: I Need a Hero!" in DreamForge Anvil Magazine!
JUST RELEASED! BEST OF DEEP MAGIC ANTHOLOGY TWO! Three Super Secrets Workshop members made it into this best of the best anthology! KD Julicher, Brittany Rainsdon, and some guy named Wulf Moon. Click HERE to get yours!
NEXT MASTER CLASSES AT FYRECON ONLINE, NOV. 18-21ST. Click HERE before they are sold out once again!

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Topic starter Posted : May 11, 2021 6:57 pm
DoctorJest
(@doctorjest)
Silver Member
Posts: 358
Posted by: @doctorjest

Building up on this--in addition to asking those bonehead questions, I'm also going to be sitting down with a friend of mine, whose career in a former life was one of the careers I dreamed of having when I was still just a kid (archaeologist). I talked to him about it, and aside from looking forward to just spending time talking about this, it turns out he also has a collection of books, and some of his own old notes from back when he was doing this, which is stuff I might never have found out if I hadn't received this nudge, and thought to go talk to him about it!

I'm really looking forward to this. I don't think this will inform my current story, but I don't doubt it'll end up informing another one down the line!

And I'm replying to myself, but--oh my good lord, did this completely blow my expectations out of the water! I spoke to my friend about this, asked questions, and listened while he told me things that he was convinced were boring and not at all useful, while I gathered some genuinely incredible information from him. If all I did now was just transcribe some of the things he told me, I'd have about eighty percent of two or three really good, really interesting and really quite unique stories, driven by great character and mystery elements.

I am absolutely going to have to sit and think about who else I can talk to about things! And also, I'm going to come back and talk to him more. We spoke for nearly four hours, and I still have questions I could be asking.

It really rang true through this whole experience what they said in this same section, too--when you're too close to the thing, it starts to seem ordinary, and you lose sight of just how many wonderful, fascinating little things there are mixed up in it. My friend was completely shocked by just how enthused and excited I was about some of the things he was sharing--details that seemed like no big deal to him, but which to me were Act 1 of a story being handed to me on a gleaming, golden plate.

I would likely never have thought to do this without the Workshop's prompt, and it was awesome! I was right that it wouldn't affect my current Q3 work in progress, but damn if it didn't go way beyond simply informing a future story. Talk about a well-spent afternoon!

R: 0 / HM: 8 / SHM: 4 / SF: 0 / F: 1
Currently in for Q3.V38 / Q4.V38 currently in crit/revision stage
Last result: SHM for Q2.V38
Revised SHM ('Ashwright') at PodCastle
Revised HM ('The Winds of the Mind') forthcoming at Abyss and Apex, ~October 2023

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Posted : May 12, 2021 6:57 pm
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TimE
 TimE
(@time)
Silver Member
Posts: 339
Posted by: @doctorjest

!

And I'm replying to myself, but--oh my good lord, did this completely blow my expectations out of the water!

I'd multiple like your post here just from the effervescing enthusiasm 

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Posted : May 13, 2021 1:24 am
David Hankins
(@lost_bard)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 139
Posted by: @doctorjest

And I'm replying to myself, but--oh my good lord, did this completely blow my expectations out of the water! I spoke to my friend about this, asked questions, and listened while he told me things that he was convinced were boring and not at all useful, while I gathered some genuinely incredible information from him. If all I did now was just transcribe some of the things he told me, I'd have about eighty percent of two or three really good, really interesting and really quite unique stories, driven by great character and mystery elements.

I am absolutely going to have to sit and think about who else I can talk to about things! And also, I'm going to come back and talk to him more. We spoke for nearly four hours, and I still have questions I could be asking.

It really rang true through this whole experience what they said in this same section, too--when you're too close to the thing, it starts to seem ordinary, and you lose sight of just how many wonderful, fascinating little things there are mixed up in it. My friend was completely shocked by just how enthused and excited I was about some of the things he was sharing--details that seemed like no big deal to him, but which to me were Act 1 of a story being handed to me on a gleaming, golden plate.

I would likely never have thought to do this without the Workshop's prompt, and it was awesome! I was right that it wouldn't affect my current Q3 work in progress, but damn if it didn't go way beyond simply informing a future story. Talk about a well-spent afternoon!

That’s awesome! Going through the Workshop I was intrigued by the idea of getting inspiration from outside your life. I’d always heard that you should write about what you know, but it is true that the things we do every day don’t seem that interesting to us.
I was just having a conversation with my wife about how boring my day job is (US Army Logistics) and she started reminding me about all of the crazy ’No &$@! There I Was’ stories I’ve told at the end of the day and we found some good inspirations. It took someone looking at my life from the outside to turn the boring interesting. 

Have fun with your archeological stories! I’ve always enjoyed the stories that look at the interesting things the ancients might have left us. 

V38 Q2: HM

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Posted : May 14, 2021 9:32 am
DoctorJest
(@doctorjest)
Silver Member
Posts: 358
Posted by: @lost_bard

That’s awesome! Going through the Workshop I was intrigued by the idea of getting inspiration from outside your life. I’d always heard that you should write about what you know, but it is true that the things we do every day don’t seem that interesting to us.
I was just having a conversation with my wife about how boring my day job is (US Army Logistics) and she started reminding me about all of the crazy ’No &$@! There I Was’ stories I’ve told at the end of the day and we found some good inspirations. It took someone looking at my life from the outside to turn the boring interesting. 

Have fun with your archeological stories! I’ve always enjoyed the stories that look at the interesting things the ancients might have left us. 

I may--though obviously I won't announce here if I'm going to use this as the theme for any specific quarter! I don't yet have anything concrete enough to use for a full story, though. I have large parts of several, but they're missing key pieces still--and I have other stories much closer to being able to run with. So this is likely to be something that comes together later, I think. 

R: 0 / HM: 8 / SHM: 4 / SF: 0 / F: 1
Currently in for Q3.V38 / Q4.V38 currently in crit/revision stage
Last result: SHM for Q2.V38
Revised SHM ('Ashwright') at PodCastle
Revised HM ('The Winds of the Mind') forthcoming at Abyss and Apex, ~October 2023

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Posted : May 14, 2021 12:38 pm
storysinger
(@storysinger)
Gold Member
Posts: 877

There are times when my golfing buddies don't realize the questions I ask are providing insight into their lives. I use their info, their jobs, and endless other prompts in my stories. They are fair game for the taking.

Today's science fiction is tomorrow's reality-D.R.Sweeney
HM-V32/Q3
HM-V36/Q4
HM-V38/Q1

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Posted : May 18, 2021 10:04 am
Alexandra Miracle
(@alexandramiracle)
Active Member
Posts: 6

@lost_bard Dear the Writer of the Future,

Nice to meet you. I'm a new one in our community.

"Don't insult the reader's intelligence. Insulted readers won't keep reading." 

Is it about ethics?

to write understandable and professional means to respect your readers, right?

Writing the story, I'm in the world of creating the fantasy, I have my imagination, in the moment of writing, I have to think about the reader? I think, editor has this option and correct the writer.

 

My pleasure for your answers. 

 

 

Respect and Honor,
Alexandra Miracle

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Posted : September 16, 2021 6:08 am
David Hankins
(@lost_bard)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 139
Posted by: @alexandramiracle

@lost_bard Dear the Writer of the Future,

Nice to meet you. I'm a new one in our community.

"Don't insult the reader's intelligence. Insulted readers won't keep reading." 

Is it about ethics?

to write understandable and professional means to respect your readers, right?

Writing the story, I'm in the world of creating the fantasy, I have my imagination, in the moment of writing, I have to think about the reader? I think, editor has this option and correct the writer.

 

My pleasure for your answers. 

 

 

No, not insulting your reader's intelligence isn't about ethics. It's about realizing that your reader has a baseline knowledge when they come to read your story and you don't have to explain everything. Sure, if you're creating a new fantasy creature or science fiction technology, it'll need proper description. But if you're talking about mundane things that most every reader will intrinsically understand, you don't have to lay it out step-by-step. A great example is walking through a door. You could describe the protagonist pulling the keys out of his pocket, fumbling with the lock, turning the keys, pushing the door open, and entering the house, but that level of detail is unnecessary and insults the reader's intelligence. You can just say that he entered the house and the reader's mind will fill in the rest.

V38 Q2: HM

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Posted : September 16, 2021 8:21 am
Wulf Moon liked
Alexandra Miracle
(@alexandramiracle)
Active Member
Posts: 6

@lost_bard Dear David,

thank you. Interesting. So, You are saying that the details (what are related to the personality) can insult the reader, right?

Respect and Honor,
Alexandra Miracle

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Posted : September 16, 2021 10:34 am
storysinger
(@storysinger)
Gold Member
Posts: 877

I was telling my wife how I was living life through the eyes of my MC. I immerse myself into what they are experiencing. She is very supportive and understanding of what I am doing, writing the next WotF winner.  Alexandra, sit back, take a deep breath, and look at the world from your characters point of view. 

Today's science fiction is tomorrow's reality-D.R.Sweeney
HM-V32/Q3
HM-V36/Q4
HM-V38/Q1

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Posted : September 16, 2021 11:24 am
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