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Discussion: Q1 Volume 39

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DoctorJest
(@doctorjest)
Silver Member
Posts: 401

Sounds like a reject if you are not introducing a conflict early (page 1 or 2) and the main conflict by page 5.

@joebenet That's always a point to bear in mind! The conflict is up front in the first page here, but I invariably hit the first two pages hardest and most aggressively in my edits (note: my current Q4 entry saw four of its initial first six pages completely cut as part of that.)

As an option, consider dispersing the world building throughout the first half of the story. Add what's needed for the current scene and action, then layer in later what's needed for those scenes. As long as your first chunks don't evoke false images of the world, the later layers won't conflict with the reader's view and thus take them out of the story.

I generally do something similar to this, but this is a special case, as the premise of this story comes from the worldbuilding--I won't go into detail here of course, but both character and conflict arcs build along with it, as they are tightly interwoven. On the one hand, that means you can't so easily defer it, but on the other hand it builds in a more dynamic way, and story momentum is building as the world itself fleshes out.

(It's going to be a thorny little monster to edit correctly because of that too, though...) 

R: 0 / HM: 9 / SHM: 4 / SF: 0 / F: 1
Currently in for Q4.V38 / Q1.V39...yup, square at 0%, and with no ideas at all. Huzzah!
Last result: HM for Q3.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 : October 20, 2021 9:12 am
Scott_M_Sands
(@scott_m_sands)
Silver Member
Posts: 278

@disgruntledpeony 
So true, disgruntled. I'm happy enough with that.
There are a few of those 'guidelines' that I've looked at recently that I'm taking with a pinch of salt. As you said, we all find our own voice.  Smile

"Many people will tell you that you can't write. Let no one say that you don't." -Ken Rand
V36-37: R x6
V38: R, HM, P

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Posted : October 20, 2021 5:52 pm
David Hankins
(@lost_bard)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 217

@doctorjest 

That sounds interesting. So long as there is something happening and it’s not just a massive info dump, and you’re introducing your named character in a setting with a problem early, then I say go for it. Build your problematic world!

V38 Q2: HM
V38 Q3: HM
V38 Q4: Submitted
V39 Q1: WIP

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Posted : October 21, 2021 3:48 am
earthkeeper
(@earthkeeper78)
Bronze Member
Posts: 56

I've always found worldbuilding to be one of the most intensive parts of being a writer. Outside of the actual writing, of course. But it's also one of my favorites things about it. I really get to let my imagination run wild with figuring out how all of the little nuances work in my world, even if they don't make it into the actual stories.

"Trust is like a shop. Difficult to build, but surprisingly easy to ruin. But when it is strong and true, there are few things in this world that make you feel stronger."
HM - V37/Q4
SHM - V38/Q3

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Posted : October 21, 2021 7:35 am
TGio
 TGio
(@tiinag)
Active Member
Posts: 14

@earthkeeper78 I relate so much it's a problem. It is so easy to get lost wondering in the new world, building it, imagining how different things work etc, that I have successfully lost my entire story somewhere along the way lol (I say lol, but inside i am crying, asking: BUT SHOULD THERE BE A LAKE THERE, WHAT ABOUT THE GOVERNING SYSTEM, DO THEY EAT BREAD? DOES OAT EVEN EXIST?)

 

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Posted : October 22, 2021 9:31 am
Prate Gabble
(@kent)
Active Member
Posts: 22

I created a universe that features a jungle world. Every time I visit the darned thing, I end up creating more and more fantastic plants and creatures to populate it rather than thinking of story ideas. It is full of bizarre symbioses with multiple species and phyla.

It's a tchotchke, distracting but useless. My brain goes into overdrive and before I know it, there are three thousand words down but nothing there other than descriptions of organisms and their relationships. Fun. But it is all framework and no flesh. Visiting makes for a pleasant afternoon when there's nothing else to do.

It is a very Prate Gabble universe.

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Posted : October 22, 2021 2:30 pm
Cray Dimensional
(@craydimensional)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 245

Gala is only 4 hrs away. So excited to watch.

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

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Posted : October 22, 2021 3:03 pm
MountainSpud
(@jeschleicher)
Bronze Member
Posts: 96

Dune this afternoon, the Gala this evening. I can't think of a more inspiring day! 

R X 3
HM X 4
SHM X 1

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Posted : October 22, 2021 5:42 pm
Scott_M_Sands
(@scott_m_sands)
Silver Member
Posts: 278

So the live showing of the gala just finished online. Inspiring stuff! 
Let's keep our own stories coming.

"Many people will tell you that you can't write. Let no one say that you don't." -Ken Rand
V36-37: R x6
V38: R, HM, P

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Posted : October 22, 2021 9:23 pm
Wulf Moon, Joel C. Scoberg, NVHaskell and 1 people liked
monjoh
(@monjoh)
Active Member
Posts: 8

It was amazing to hear and see the winners. The diversity and encouragement was inspiring. The keynote was awesome.

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Posted : October 22, 2021 9:37 pm
Wulf Moon, Joel C. Scoberg, NVHaskell and 1 people liked
Dustin Adams
(@axeminister)
Gold Star Member
Posts: 1021

I missed it. 🙁 I am in a bad sleep way again, so late for me is out. But I will absolutely watch the stream when it's posted.

2x Finalist
2x Semi
7x Silver
9x HM
Finalist #2 ** KICKSTARTER ** Help us cross the finish line!

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Topic starter Posted : October 23, 2021 2:36 am
Scott_M_Sands
(@scott_m_sands)
Silver Member
Posts: 278

@axeminister 
Definitely worth a watch. Quite a few of the international winners couldn't make it, but it was nice putting a face to some of the authors of my favorite stories from vol36 and vol 37. And finding out the golden pen winners, of course!

"Many people will tell you that you can't write. Let no one say that you don't." -Ken Rand
V36-37: R x6
V38: R, HM, P

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Posted : October 23, 2021 4:16 am
Cray Dimensional
(@craydimensional)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 245

@scott_m_sands It was exciting to watch. I didn't realize till this week the extent this contest goes to support the writers and illustrators.

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

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Posted : October 23, 2021 6:12 am
storysinger
(@storysinger)
Gold Member
Posts: 961

What an amazing presentation. Seeing all the authors and illustrators receive their trophies was way cool.

If you don't have the time to watch all at once, pause until you can continue. After all, each of us dream of standing at the podium giving thanks to all that helped. Write on!

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 23, 2021 8:40 am
NVHaskell
(@nvhaskell)
Bronze Member
Posts: 68

The gala was inspirational and I teared up at a couple of the speeches. Agree with @scott_m_sands that it was really nice to put faces with the stories and see people who are active in this forum being recognized for their talents and hard work. Definitely worth watching.

‘Writing is like giving yourself homework, really hard homework, everyday for the rest of your life. You want glamour? Throw glitter at the computer screen.' - Ketrina Monroe
'The War Within' Deep Magic Volume 73 https://deepmagic.co
'A Straw in the Wind' in A Hero's Journey Anthology coming in 2022
'Spirit Talk' in The Last Line early 2022
V37- R, HM, SHM, HM
V38- HM, SHM, Winner (3rd place)

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Posted : October 23, 2021 9:46 am
czing
(@czing)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 226

And my entry for v39 Q1 is submitted. Three sitting in the pending pile now! This one is a new story - first submission anywhere.

Guess that means I have lots of time to write something new for Q2.

v36 Q1, Q3 - HM; Q4 - R
v37 Q1 - R; Q2 - SHM; Q4 - HM
v38 Q1 - HM; Q2 -SHM; Q3 - P; Q4 - P
v39 Q1 - P

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Posted : October 23, 2021 3:22 pm
NVHaskell, Dustin Adams, David Hankins and 1 people liked
Cray Dimensional
(@craydimensional)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 245

@czing just started my 1st QTR. 400 words now. Im running late this qtr.

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

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Posted : October 23, 2021 4:51 pm
czing liked
Scott_M_Sands
(@scott_m_sands)
Silver Member
Posts: 278

@craydimensional 
It's huge. I've read some of the blogs posted by previous winners. Even just flying people over, renting the function locations they do, trophies, prize money... MASSIVE financial input. Not to mention, the advice, conversations and connections by top professionals in our field.
There should be no doubt in anyone's mind that everyone involved with this contest is here to impart into the next gen of speculative writers in a big way.  buddies  

"Many people will tell you that you can't write. Let no one say that you don't." -Ken Rand
V36-37: R x6
V38: R, HM, P

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Posted : October 24, 2021 4:14 am
NVHaskell, Wulf Moon, David Hankins and 2 people liked
Scott_M_Sands
(@scott_m_sands)
Silver Member
Posts: 278

@craydimensional 

I'm with you, Cray. I'm a little over 3000w into my likely Q1.
You're speedy, Czing! Gotta give you that!  fistinair  

"Many people will tell you that you can't write. Let no one say that you don't." -Ken Rand
V36-37: R x6
V38: R, HM, P

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Posted : October 24, 2021 4:16 am
earthkeeper
(@earthkeeper78)
Bronze Member
Posts: 56

@kent I know exactly how you feel. I've created more odd plants and creatures than I probably know what to do with. The crazy thing for me is that, in the trilogy I'm working on, my MC is an apothecary that specializes in herbal medicines. So as a writer, I have to know how real life plants and toxins work on the body in order to get an accurate feel for how Kai uses his medicines in the story. 

"Trust is like a shop. Difficult to build, but surprisingly easy to ruin. But when it is strong and true, there are few things in this world that make you feel stronger."
HM - V37/Q4
SHM - V38/Q3

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Posted : October 24, 2021 9:23 am
Joel C. Scoberg
(@joel-c-scoberg)
Bronze Member
Posts: 61
Posted by: @scott_m_sands

@craydimensional 
It's huge. I've read some of the blogs posted by previous winners. Even just flying people over, renting the function locations they do, trophies, prize money... MASSIVE financial input. Not to mention, the advice, conversations and connections by top professionals in our field.
There should be no doubt in anyone's mind that everyone involved with this contest is here to impart into the next gen of speculative writers in a big way.  buddies  

The more I read and find out about the competition, what goes into it--the judging, the gala itself--the time and effort from the judges (seriously busy people outside of WotF too), and the money put into it. It's just...wow. It is "paying it forward" and then some.

 

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Posted : October 24, 2021 2:02 pm
Joel C. Scoberg
(@joel-c-scoberg)
Bronze Member
Posts: 61
Posted by: @czing

And my entry for v39 Q1 is submitted. Three sitting in the pending pile now! This one is a new story - first submission anywhere.

Guess that means I have lots of time to write something new for Q2.

whoa clapper  

I had a mild panic that I'd fallen asleep and woken up in December! giggle  

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Posted : October 24, 2021 2:05 pm
Cray Dimensional
(@craydimensional)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 245

One plus for this quarter, I have vacation time I have to use by end of year. One minus, I will have to spend my extra time hopping between stores this holiday. This may be they first quarter where I am submitting at the last minute literally.

However, I am feeling a little better today with 1st QTR, since I finally got in the rough daft groove. I pledged to myself to finish at least 5000 words of draft by end Nov.

Hope everyone else is faring better than I am.

winking

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

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Posted : October 24, 2021 6:26 pm
babooher
(@babooher)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 137
Posted by: @craydimensional

Hope everyone else is faring better than I am.

I'm getting ready to start over after nearly 3000 words. They were fun, but I think I was driving to the start of the actual story.

2012 Q4: R
2016 Q3: SHM
2019 Q2: HM, Q3: HM
2020 Q2: HM, Q4: SHM
2021 Q1: HM, Q2: SF, Q3: SHM, Q4: Waiting
2022 Q1: WIP

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Posted : October 24, 2021 7:46 pm
DoctorJest
(@doctorjest)
Silver Member
Posts: 401

My Q1 is proving annoyingly elusive! Just when I started to enjoy the new story, I realized I wanted to revamp a significant section of the lead character's driving motivation...went back to the beginning, and, whomp. Can't find the opening paragraphs now to save my skin.

I'll keep on trying, though, of course. I think I'm a little distracted, so maybe I'll find my groove once things settle a little. It's frustrating to be unable to find the rhythm with other things going on, as I've managed to write pretty well through some fairly hectic things in the past, but it's not quite clicking for me so far. Fingers crossed this takes a turn soon. 

R: 0 / HM: 9 / SHM: 4 / SF: 0 / F: 1
Currently in for Q4.V38 / Q1.V39...yup, square at 0%, and with no ideas at all. Huzzah!
Last result: HM for Q3.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 : October 24, 2021 10:21 pm
storysinger
(@storysinger)
Gold Member
Posts: 961

I'm the vessel for a story that is flowing onto the page. I thought the story was original, but after a little research I found out there are hundreds with the same idea.

I'm not going to give up on it, I just have to write it better than those others.

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 25, 2021 5:37 am
Disgruntled Peony
(@disgruntledpeony)
Gold Star Member
Posts: 1180
Posted by: @doctorjest

My Q1 is proving annoyingly elusive! Just when I started to enjoy the new story, I realized I wanted to revamp a significant section of the lead character's driving motivation...went back to the beginning, and, whomp. Can't find the opening paragraphs now to save my skin.

I'll keep on trying, though, of course. I think I'm a little distracted, so maybe I'll find my groove once things settle a little. It's frustrating to be unable to find the rhythm with other things going on, as I've managed to write pretty well through some fairly hectic things in the past, but it's not quite clicking for me so far. Fingers crossed this takes a turn soon. 

If the opening isn't working for you but you have another scene clearer in your head, it might be good to try the other scene instead. There's nothing wrong with writing out of order. (This doesn't always work for me--nothing always works for me--but it's helped me a couple of times.)

It might also just be that the distractions you're dealing with right now are too pressing, and once you're past them things will get easier. I understand the frustration, but sometimes these things are just more difficult than others. Every story's a different monster, after all.

If you want/need to storm some brains, feel free to PM me. grinning  

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
If a person offend you, and you are in doubt as to whether it was intentional or not, do not resort to extreme measures; simply watch your chance and hit him with a brick. ~ Mark Twain
R, SF, SHM, SHM, SHM, F, R, HM, SHM, R, HM, R, F, SHM, SHM, SHM, SF, SHM, 1st Place (Q2 V38)
Ticknor Tales
Twitter
4th and Starlight Kickstarter -- active through December 10th! (55% funded last I checked.)

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Posted : October 26, 2021 9:11 pm
TGio liked
Disgruntled Peony
(@disgruntledpeony)
Gold Star Member
Posts: 1180
Posted by: @storysinger

I'm the vessel for a story that is flowing onto the page. I thought the story was original, but after a little research I found out there are hundreds with the same idea.

I'm not going to give up on it, I just have to write it better than those others.

I used to stress originality a lot, but I've since come to realize that "original" story ideas are built on the bones of older ones. The unique element is the writer involved, their unique combination of perspectives and experiences. If you put elements of yourself into the story, if you write about things that you enjoy, about things that matter to you, odds are good you're on target--no matter how the story does in the contest.

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
If a person offend you, and you are in doubt as to whether it was intentional or not, do not resort to extreme measures; simply watch your chance and hit him with a brick. ~ Mark Twain
R, SF, SHM, SHM, SHM, F, R, HM, SHM, R, HM, R, F, SHM, SHM, SHM, SF, SHM, 1st Place (Q2 V38)
Ticknor Tales
Twitter
4th and Starlight Kickstarter -- active through December 10th! (55% funded last I checked.)

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Posted : October 26, 2021 9:18 pm
David Hankins, TGio, storysinger and 1 people liked
TGio
 TGio
(@tiinag)
Active Member
Posts: 14

I had an idea and got excited. I started building a world that is different from what I usually like to do and got swept away by it, so my original story idea no longer worked. I have started this story over four times now, but I think I finally found my starting point. Maybe?

 

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Posted : October 27, 2021 9:02 am
earthkeeper
(@earthkeeper78)
Bronze Member
Posts: 56

My Q1 is proving to be elusive as well, but moreso because time itself is annoyingly hard to find. Between my internship, 50 hr/week job, and full time grad school, time for writing is hard to slot in until next month without gutting my sleep schedule. I'll be so glad when I graduate next semester, then I'll have a lot more time for actual writing!

"Trust is like a shop. Difficult to build, but surprisingly easy to ruin. But when it is strong and true, there are few things in this world that make you feel stronger."
HM - V37/Q4
SHM - V38/Q3

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Posted : October 28, 2021 7:19 am
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