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Discussion: Q1 Volume 37

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czing
(@czing)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 199

It's not necessarily talking oneself down--having an awareness of one's capabilities is a good thing. I can't write a first draft that doesn't need work, and I know this based on both personal experience and peer review. wotf019 The thing is, there's nothing wrong with that, because that's what editing is for. Striving for cleaner first drafts is good, and my first drafts are definitely cleaner than they used to be, but every time I make an active effort to get everything right on the first try my story crashes and burns. I write my first drafts best when I worry about getting the words out rather than getting them right.

This is me as well. Most of the time if I do too much planning I can't get a first draft to sustain any momentum. I too have gotten better at my first drafts but they still aren't coming out in a state that doesn't need work.

And I wasn't talking myself down ultimately. I was just assessing where I'm at - and I might always be the kind of writer who races through first drafts and then HAS to edit. So maybe calibre was the wrong word choice because maybe I'll never be the TYPE of writer who writes first drafts that are good to go.

What disgruntledpeony said. I know I am bad at evaluating my own work, but my error tends to be in thinking its better than it actually is instead of the other way around. Hence my many rejections.

Rather than focus on new/revising, I think my challenge is going to focus on developing specific skills. Every day in November, I'll spend 15-20 minutes doing a writing exercise, since I don't plan on doing NaNoWriMo. Now I just need to plan out which exercises to do.

I am also in this category. I know after enough experience that my stories need work after first draft. BUT I love them as they are, flaws and all which means I need to work on seeing what needs to be done (I've come a long way but still have some blind spots).

That sounds like a good challenge you are taking on. There are some good writing exercises in Ursula K LeGuin's Steering the Craft.

v36 Q1, Q3 - HM; Q4 - R
v37 Q1 - R; Q2 - SHM; Q4 - HM
v38 Q1 - HM; Q2 -SHM; Q3 - P

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Posted : October 7, 2019 12:28 pm
storysinger
(@storysinger)
Gold Member
Posts: 880

Following Wulf's advice has opened my eyes to the amount of extra phrases I insert in my stories. I haven't acquired the ability to write a first draft that doesn't need to be edited but I'm working on it.

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 : October 8, 2019 12:35 am
Reigheena
(@reigheena)
Bronze Member
Posts: 69

That sounds like a good challenge you are taking on. There are some good writing exercises in Ursula K LeGuin's Steering the Craft.

Yeah, I'll be doing a couple from there. Right now I'm eying the ones that say to write a descriptive passage without adjectives and adverbs, and to cut a piece by half.

I'm also going to do a week on dialogue exercises, a week on character, and I haven't decided what else.

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Posted : October 8, 2019 5:26 am
czing
(@czing)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 199

I had wanted to do a little group discussion around doing writing exercises at one point but it didn't seem there was interest in it. If you're interested in post exercise discussion I'd be game to do the same exercise (at least the ones in Steering the craft because I have that book) and then maybe talk about it.

v36 Q1, Q3 - HM; Q4 - R
v37 Q1 - R; Q2 - SHM; Q4 - HM
v38 Q1 - HM; Q2 -SHM; Q3 - P

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Posted : October 8, 2019 11:55 am
Reigheena
(@reigheena)
Bronze Member
Posts: 69

I'd love to get a discussion going. I found discussing exercises with others helps me to see things about the writing process I didn't realize. Most of the exercises I've found are online, so that would help anyone who wanted to join. I can start a new topic once I've chosen all the ones I want to do.

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Posted : October 8, 2019 12:47 pm
MichaelKingswood
(@michaelkingswood)
Bronze Member
Posts: 53

On an unrelated topic, just thought I'd post that Star Trek: Picard will premier on January 23rd, 2020. It will be on CBS All Access for all those die-hard ST:TNG and Voyager fans. It will reunite Sir Patrick Stewart with Jonathan Frakes, tag along Seven of Nine from Voyager, and from the previews posted, it looks amazing.

Not to sound like Father Time, but I remember when Star Trek first premiered in September 1966 and it really was breakthrough science fiction at its best. It came through at a time when there were mostly insane sit-coms, and gunslinger Westerns, and ridiculously stupid shows on the tube such as The Farmer's Daughter and Dr. Kildare and Green Acres. Although we look back on it now as corny, Roddenberry's vision has raked in many millions and become a franchise.

Yeah, heard about that one.

Gonna sound like a stick in the mud. But I am getting real tired of Hollywood constantly retreading on (and f-ing up) old stories that were perfectly fine and awesome as they were. Do something new for a change, dummies!

You know, I grew up loving Star Trek in all its forms. But after how CBS behaved wrt Axanar, I said, "F--- you guys, I ain't watching your Star Trek anymore." And based on what I've seen and heard about Discovery, it sounds like that was a good decision.

TOS, TNG, and DS9 are still there, and that's enough for me. I've neither the time nor the desire to watch these douchebags screw up yet another IP that I used to love, much less give them money to do so.

But hey, if it's awesome I'll happily stand corrected. wotf007

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Posted : October 8, 2019 7:20 pm
czing
(@czing)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 199

I'd love to get a discussion going. I found discussing exercises with others helps me to see things about the writing process I didn't realize. Most of the exercises I've found are online, so that would help anyone who wanted to join. I can start a new topic once I've chosen all the ones I want to do.

I'll keep my eyes open for you to post this!

v36 Q1, Q3 - HM; Q4 - R
v37 Q1 - R; Q2 - SHM; Q4 - HM
v38 Q1 - HM; Q2 -SHM; Q3 - P

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Posted : October 9, 2019 11:35 am
storysinger
(@storysinger)
Gold Member
Posts: 880

I can start a new topic once I've chosen all the ones I want to do.

I'll keep my eyes open for you to post this!

I second that idea.

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 : October 11, 2019 12:18 am
RETreasure
(@rschibler)
Silver Star Member
Posts: 743

I've got a solid first draft of a story long enough for Q1, and a shorter flash piece as well. I don't know if they'll be my submission, but if something goes nuts in my life, I have something to submit. Hope everyone is writing well!

V34: R,HM,R
V35: HM,R,R,HM
V36: R,HM,HM,SHM
V37: HM,SF,SHM,SHM
V38: F, SHM, P, P
Available for critiques - PM for availability.
www.rebeccaetreasure.com

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Posted : October 11, 2019 6:55 am
Henckel
(@henckel)
Silver Member
Posts: 417

I've about finished my first draft of my Q1 sub.

I han honestly say I'm to the climax. The last words I wrote were "bring it" wotf019

(2014) V31 Q1 – R
(2018) V35 Q3 – HM
(2019) V36 Q3 – HM
(2019) V36 Q4 – SHM
(2020) V37 Q1 – R
(2020) V37 Q2 – HM
(2020) V37 Q3 – SHM
(2020) V37 Q4 – Finalist
(2021) V38 Q1 – Semi-finalist
(2021) V38 Q2 – SHM
(2021) V38 Q3 – tba

Coolest Achievements
(2019) Published in Escape Anthology
(2020) Published in Sci-Fi Lampoon
(2020) V37 Q4 – Finalist
(2020) Dream Foundry - Shortlisted
(2021) Mike Resnick Memorial Award - 3rd Place winner!!! (to be published)

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Posted : October 11, 2019 7:21 am
storysinger
(@storysinger)
Gold Member
Posts: 880

Sounds like some action going on in that one Christopher. If you're near the finish you are way ahead of me.

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 : October 11, 2019 8:39 am
czing
(@czing)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 199

Just about to start re-writing the last scene of my story I've been working on the last little while. Still not sure if it will be my Q1 or if one of my other stories will be. But got a great idea for how to add some spice to the last scene that wasn't there on the first draft. Although I do wonder if that will have me pushing over into novella from novelette territory. Oh well if that is how long it needs to be that is how long it needs to be Smile
Glad to hear some folks are hitting good spots on their Q1 stories!

v36 Q1, Q3 - HM; Q4 - R
v37 Q1 - R; Q2 - SHM; Q4 - HM
v38 Q1 - HM; Q2 -SHM; Q3 - P

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Posted : October 11, 2019 11:02 am
storysinger
(@storysinger)
Gold Member
Posts: 880

I'm going to try using an outline for the story idea that came to me this morning. Something new for me, I usually like to follow the story wherever it takes me.

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 : October 12, 2019 11:33 am
czing
(@czing)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 199

I'm going to try using an outline for the story idea that came to me this morning. Something new for me, I usually like to follow the story wherever it takes me.

Always fun to take a new path and flex your skills in a different way. Hope it goes great for you Smile

v36 Q1, Q3 - HM; Q4 - R
v37 Q1 - R; Q2 - SHM; Q4 - HM
v38 Q1 - HM; Q2 -SHM; Q3 - P

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Posted : October 12, 2019 1:08 pm
storysinger
(@storysinger)
Gold Member
Posts: 880

Always fun to take a new path and flex your skills in a different way. Hope it goes great for you Smile
Judging by the way the story took shape today I have to admit it seemed easier to find my rhythm.

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 : October 14, 2019 12:26 pm
czing
(@czing)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 199

Storysinger, that is fantastic!

I've sometimes found rhythm is the reason I haven't moved to more planning. The couple things I've planned I find myself stumbling when the story seems to want to go a different direction than the plan. Of course I know I can diverge from the plan in that moment but I don't enjoy the process of having to decide if I want to :). At least for first drafts I enjoy that freedom to go where ever I want. But sometimes during the drafting I'll get an idea I know is good but the story never makes its way in that direction. Still need to find myself a way to organize for integrating that idea into it during the revisions (which I do try to plan out more carefully). Always with the learning and the learning and the more learning Smile

v36 Q1, Q3 - HM; Q4 - R
v37 Q1 - R; Q2 - SHM; Q4 - HM
v38 Q1 - HM; Q2 -SHM; Q3 - P

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Posted : October 15, 2019 1:53 pm
storysinger
(@storysinger)
Gold Member
Posts: 880

The couple things I've planned I find myself stumbling when the story seems to want to go a different direction than the plan.

To say I stumbled would be an understatement. I was blindsided by comedic moments that were not in the planning stage.

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 : October 16, 2019 5:17 am
Reigheena
(@reigheena)
Bronze Member
Posts: 69

All right, czing and storysinger, I've got my challenge posted in the Writing Craft forum. And if anyone else wants to join me, feel free.

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Posted : October 16, 2019 2:44 pm
SwiftPotato
(@swiftpotato)
Silver Star Member
Posts: 555

I'm about 1300 words into my Q1 so far. I don't feel like the premise is quite as emotionally punchy as my Q4 was, but I feel like I've got a few more tricks under my hat on this one! I have an idea of how I want to end the story, but other than that I'm still pantsing it. Last quarter I had a rough outline. Both seem to be working fine in terms of flow...though probably at some point I'll be stuck on this one and not know what the next scene should be. Still trying to figure out what's best for my process.

R, 3rd place Q4 v36!!!
Stories in Apocalyptic, Cossmass Infinities, and Podcastle

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Posted : October 17, 2019 12:02 am
czing
(@czing)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 199

SwiftPotato - I hear that last sentence especially loud and clear. I think the thing I expect and don't look forward to is when I settle in and think I've found a good reliable process and then for some other project something else will be needed/work better and then I'll go through the whole issue of trying to find my process again Smile

v36 Q1, Q3 - HM; Q4 - R
v37 Q1 - R; Q2 - SHM; Q4 - HM
v38 Q1 - HM; Q2 -SHM; Q3 - P

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Posted : October 17, 2019 12:51 am
SwiftPotato
(@swiftpotato)
Silver Star Member
Posts: 555

SwiftPotato - I hear that last sentence especially loud and clear. I think the thing I expect and don't look forward to is when I settle in and think I've found a good reliable process and then for some other project something else will be needed/work better and then I'll go through the whole issue of trying to find my process again Smile

Heh, yeah. Maybe process always depends on the project. The timeline for my Q4 was stupid complicated, so even though I didn't put all of the details into the story, I needed an outline to look back at to make sure I was being consistent. But my Q1 is a little simpler, so pantsing seems to be going fine so far. I guess I try to think about it more in terms of "what do I need in order to write this story" rather than "what is my process for every story". Then if, over time, one process works for me on most stories, great! But if not, it's fine. It's just about what I need to write that specific story.

R, 3rd place Q4 v36!!!
Stories in Apocalyptic, Cossmass Infinities, and Podcastle

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Posted : October 17, 2019 2:10 am
crlisle
(@crlisle)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 243

I entered a short story for this quarter the first week it opened and now I regret it. A news journalist friend told me I should have had more "show vs tell" which can be difficult in science fiction. I want to try doing that for that story and re-entering it sometime later. For Q2 I will submit a new story which I have already started on. I love writing science fiction.

2020 Quarters: 1st -- R, 2nd -- HM, 3rd -- HM, 4th -- SHM
2021 Quarters: 1st -- HM, 2nd -- HM, 3rd -- Pending, 4th -- Pending
"Invasion" to be published in Daily Science Fiction
"The Last Dance" to be published Feb. 2022 in the LTUE Anthology, Parliament of Wizards
"My Ten Cents" published in Sci Fi Lampoon, vol. 2, Dec. 2020
"Never give up. Never surrender." - Galaxy Quest

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Posted : November 7, 2019 1:30 am
Reigheena
(@reigheena)
Bronze Member
Posts: 69

Welcome crlisle! Don't feel bad about jumping the gun with entering your story. I know I've submitted stories before they're ready. At least here, we can always resubmit (unless we get semi-finalist or higher).

Kim Stanley Robinson has an essay in Wonderbook (Sorry, I don't know where you could find it for free) where he talks about show vs tell, which I found really enlightening. Basically, he talks about how exposition isn't bad/amateurish the way a lot of writing advice talks about it. It is absolutely necessary, especially in speculative fiction where the reader doesn't have grounding in the world. Of course you have to do it in a way that draws the story along instead of boring the reader, but that doesn't mean you have to take the extra words to "show" what you're talking about instead.

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Posted : November 7, 2019 2:49 am
crlisle
(@crlisle)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 243

Phew! That is very reassuring. Thank you.

2020 Quarters: 1st -- R, 2nd -- HM, 3rd -- HM, 4th -- SHM
2021 Quarters: 1st -- HM, 2nd -- HM, 3rd -- Pending, 4th -- Pending
"Invasion" to be published in Daily Science Fiction
"The Last Dance" to be published Feb. 2022 in the LTUE Anthology, Parliament of Wizards
"My Ten Cents" published in Sci Fi Lampoon, vol. 2, Dec. 2020
"Never give up. Never surrender." - Galaxy Quest

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Posted : November 7, 2019 8:36 am
Reigheena
(@reigheena)
Bronze Member
Posts: 69

Oh! I almost forgot. Here's an essay you CAN read for free on the web - "Let me Tell You" by Cecilia Tan which makes the same points as Robinson, though actually I think she does a better job of it.

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Posted : November 7, 2019 10:47 am
Disgruntled Peony
(@disgruntledpeony)
Gold Star Member
Posts: 1115

Oh! I almost forgot. Here's an essay you CAN read for free on the web - "Let me Tell You" by Cecilia Tan which makes the same points as Robinson, though actually I think she does a better job of it.

That's a really interesting article, there. Thank you for sharing.

If you are in difficulties with a book, try the element of surprise: attack it at an hour when it isn't expecting it. ~ H.G. Wells
R, SF, SHM, SHM, SHM, F, R, HM, SHM, R, HM, R, F, SHM, SHM, SHM, SF, SHM, 1st Place (Q2 V38)
Ticknor Tales

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Posted : November 7, 2019 7:12 pm
crlisle
(@crlisle)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 243

Oh! I almost forgot. Here's an essay you CAN read for free on the web - "Let me Tell You" by Cecilia Tan which makes the same points as Robinson, though actually I think she does a better job of it.

Huzzah!

2020 Quarters: 1st -- R, 2nd -- HM, 3rd -- HM, 4th -- SHM
2021 Quarters: 1st -- HM, 2nd -- HM, 3rd -- Pending, 4th -- Pending
"Invasion" to be published in Daily Science Fiction
"The Last Dance" to be published Feb. 2022 in the LTUE Anthology, Parliament of Wizards
"My Ten Cents" published in Sci Fi Lampoon, vol. 2, Dec. 2020
"Never give up. Never surrender." - Galaxy Quest

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Posted : November 8, 2019 12:04 am
AVDutson
(@avdutson)
Active Member
Posts: 24

I'm in on the '4 in 37!'

I just got my Q1 submission back from its substantive edit and will have it back to my editor around the end of November for the final edit. I'm doing the Wulf Pack Challenge, so I'm also nailing down my 2nd story for publication submission.

As a note on editors: I used an editor once but thought it wasn't that big of a deal. But when I coupled a good editor with a daily writing habit, I FULLY credit using an editor for moving my work from 'Honorable Mention' to 'Silver Honorable Mention.' It honestly made all the difference.

The trick that helped my daily writing habit the most? Putting my laptop as close to the kitchen as possible. You see, I come home from work and unpack my lunch bag. Then I'm faced with the option of writing or relaxing. Relaxing NEVER gets me to my desk. BUT, if I turn on my laptop DURING my unpacking from work, I ALWAYS head to the laptop after. Sneaky, n'est-ce pas?

~Tony
A.V. Dutson
R : 2, HM : 4, SHM : 2, F : 0, SF : 0, W : 0
"A good writer possesses not only his own spirit, but also the spirit of his friends."
~Friedrich Nietzsche

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Posted : November 9, 2019 2:50 pm
czing
(@czing)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 199

I wonder how "rough" the roughest story that has ever won the contest was. I mean in terms of the finer points of editing and polishing. Asking this for a friend*

* You guessed it, I'm the friend.

v36 Q1, Q3 - HM; Q4 - R
v37 Q1 - R; Q2 - SHM; Q4 - HM
v38 Q1 - HM; Q2 -SHM; Q3 - P

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Posted : November 10, 2019 4:04 am
MichaelKingswood
(@michaelkingswood)
Bronze Member
Posts: 53

Well, just submitted my Q1. Guess we'll see how this one goes, eh?

wotf013

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Posted : November 22, 2019 8:09 am
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