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Discussion: Q3 Volume 38

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DoctorJest
(@doctorjest)
Silver Member
Posts: 361
Posted by: @babooher

I thought I was going to finish my Q3 draft this weekend. But my wife put me in the hospital Friday night and I lost a lot of valuable time. She was sanding furniture downstairs while I was writing. I didn't realize how bad my breathing had degraded until it was REALLY bad (talk about getting lost in one's writing!). I'm so close, but I'm doing stupid things for lack of sleep. Ah well. It'll be drafted tomorrow. I'll even have time to let it rest before looking at it for revisions. Write on!

I'm not sure if this works for you, but I often find that the quiet in-between times, when I'm unable to write, are times when I can sit and test the foundations of the story in my mind. Am I happy that the opening is in the right place, and that it hooks the reader the way I wanted? Are the sensory notes being correctly hit? Is the ending of the story striking, memorable, satisfying, and true to the story that led to it? Did I remember all the thematic notes I'd originally been thinking of when the idea for the story first hit me?

I quite often find I get ideas that slightly alter the story's trajectory, or that tighten up specific parts of it in one way or another. Some of my best writing happens when I'm unable to write.

R: 0 / HM: 8 / SHM: 4 / SF: 0 / F: 1
Currently in for Q3.V38 and Q4.V38 / Q1.V39 20% done on draft 1
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 16, 2021 8:37 pm
DoctorJest
(@doctorjest)
Silver Member
Posts: 361

I'm at a good point right now--first draft of Q3 is complete, with first revisions and initial tightening/tweaks all done, and first draft of my intended Q4 is underway as well. I'm enjoying the fact that the two stories are worlds apart in terms of style and tone, so each one feels like it'll work as a great way to break from the other--and both feel like stories I really like, too. I'm not yet certain which of them I'll end up submitting for Q3, but at worst, I already have one story complete, just pending final edits now--and the other is fully outlined and in progress.

It would certainly be nice to get to the end of Q3 and have a choice about which to submit for a change. My Q2 was a real rush entry, too, one I pushed out to free up time that I badly needed, and one that in hindsight, I think is a stylistic misfit for the contest. Both of my Q3 and Q4 prospects feel far better, and I'm finding the work on them both extremely rewarding.

I think I'm really going to hug the line for the submission deadline of Q3--or, perhaps, I'll submit the day before. The entry form has a reputation for being a shade less-than-friendly on the deadline day itself...

R: 0 / HM: 8 / SHM: 4 / SF: 0 / F: 1
Currently in for Q3.V38 and Q4.V38 / Q1.V39 20% done on draft 1
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 17, 2021 10:34 pm
storysinger
(@storysinger)
Gold Member
Posts: 880

What I enjoy the most about writing these days is the feeling I can present a better product for viewing. With the workshops and the information I have learned on the forum I have stories that don't blast AMATEUR on the first page. I have found a happy place. I really want to get higher than an HM. Sigh, must 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 : May 18, 2021 9:50 am
DoctorJest
(@doctorjest)
Silver Member
Posts: 361
Posted by: @storysinger

What I enjoy the most about writing these days is the feeling I can present a better product for viewing. With the workshops and the information I have learned on the forum I have stories that don't blast AMATEUR on the first page. I have found a happy place. I really want to get higher than an HM. Sigh, must write on!

I can very much relate to this--I don't think I've been blasting Amateur on page one for a while, but I'm pretty sure I was blasting it somewhere around page ten, and was starting to feel like my craft was a little bit stuck. I'm hoping I've learned how to avoid that for the most part now, though.

R: 0 / HM: 8 / SHM: 4 / SF: 0 / F: 1
Currently in for Q3.V38 and Q4.V38 / Q1.V39 20% done on draft 1
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 19, 2021 11:16 pm
Wulf Moon liked
DoctorJest
(@doctorjest)
Silver Member
Posts: 361

Also, I now have two first drafts, and within a day or two I should have both to the point of having their preliminary edits completed. So, which to choose, which to enter? It's a genuinely odd feeling to actually have options at this stage...

R: 0 / HM: 8 / SHM: 4 / SF: 0 / F: 1
Currently in for Q3.V38 and Q4.V38 / Q1.V39 20% done on draft 1
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 19, 2021 11:18 pm
Wulf Moon liked
Joel C. Scoberg
(@joel-c-scoberg)
Advanced Member
Posts: 38

@doctorjest

I am in a similar position to you. I received really helpful feedback from forumites on a draft story, but the edits required to fine tune it (ahem, beat out the dents and fix the engine) might not be achieved by end of quarter to my satisfaction - life getting in the way of art and all that. But I had a shorter back-up story, very much a first draft, which I think is actually now in better shape than the one I planned to submit. I'm working away on the one I intended to submit but might have to choose between two. Not a bad problem, but I don't want to rush either at the same time and end up with two Rs.

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Posted : May 20, 2021 2:38 am
Wulf Moon liked
Cray Dimensional
(@craydimensional)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 152

Coming to the end of my 3rd quarter journey. Starting to look at QTR 4. Will got back through 3RD qtr entry to read in out-loud on more time in week.

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

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Posted : May 20, 2021 4:34 pm
Scott_M_Sands
(@scott_m_sands)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 158

My current dilemma for Q3 is choosing between two stories. I finished one last month and thought I'd be pretty happy with sending that in for this quarter (after I finished editing it). Turns out, I'm quite liking the next story I'm drafting for this Q. Which to choose!

I think I'll go back over the recent anthologies again. Or see if I can find any recent blog posts with hints for themes that Dave may be looking for. Might help me. We'll see.

"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 : May 20, 2021 5:34 pm
LDWriter2
(@ldwriter2)
Gold Star Member
Posts: 1263

I have the story I want to send finished. Took me a while. I wrote one version and it didn't seem to connect with an editor so I decided to start over and rewrite it. Never finished it for a reason I forget. I started over with a third rewrite. Finished that one today. Most of it is a complete rewrite but I used the conclusion of the first one. We will find out. I do need to have it edited and beta read. That last one I can get here I hope. 

Working on turning Lead into Gold.
Four HMs From WotF
The latest was Q1'12
HM-quarter 4 Volume 32
One HM for another contest
published in Strange New Worlds Ten.
Another HM http://onthepremises.com/minis/mini_18.html

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Posted : May 20, 2021 7:36 pm
LDWriter2
(@ldwriter2)
Gold Star Member
Posts: 1263

@scott_m_sands I know the feeling about having two stories. I have a second one I could use but decided to go with the original idea one. 

Working on turning Lead into Gold.
Four HMs From WotF
The latest was Q1'12
HM-quarter 4 Volume 32
One HM for another contest
published in Strange New Worlds Ten.
Another HM http://onthepremises.com/minis/mini_18.html

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Posted : May 20, 2021 7:38 pm
LDWriter2
(@ldwriter2)
Gold Star Member
Posts: 1263

I forgot to mention that again I have not been here for a while. But this time I have a better excuse than just forgetting. I have been eye, and ear, deep in online workshops for some weeks. I spent some time writing two stories. I started a third today too. That one I got from a story one of the teachers told on the workshops. But I twisted it to make it mine. As in my MC is in a wheelchair and she is trying to make an etching for a government project. I can talk about it because it will not be entered in this contest--probably none--for it is a general fiction tale. My fourth one maybe. I need to find some markets for it. Anyway, I need to get back to the forum on a regular bases.   

Working on turning Lead into Gold.
Four HMs From WotF
The latest was Q1'12
HM-quarter 4 Volume 32
One HM for another contest
published in Strange New Worlds Ten.
Another HM http://onthepremises.com/minis/mini_18.html

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Posted : May 20, 2021 7:44 pm
Cray Dimensional
(@craydimensional)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 152
Posted by: @scott_m_sands

My current dilemma for Q3 is choosing between two stories. I finished one last month and thought I'd be pretty happy with sending that in for this quarter (after I finished editing it). Turns out, I'm quite liking the next story I'm drafting for this Q. Which to choose!

I think I'll go back over the recent anthologies again. Or see if I can find any recent blog posts with hints for themes that Dave may be looking for. Might help me. We'll see.

I don’t have that problem for 3rd QTR, however for 4th QTR I have to decide between writing a new story or rewriting an earlier entry. My problem with 4th QTR is I also have to take a certification exam shortly after it, so I’ll be crunched for time.

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

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Posted : May 21, 2021 6:10 pm
Corbin.Maxwell
(@corbin-maxwell)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 232

Hey everybody. I've been gone for awhile, months I guess, but perhaps i'm back to the forum. I've been working on a story for about eight months. Still working on it (rewriting process now) one word, sentence, paragraph at a time. It'll probably be ready for the next quarter. 

 

And for those who don't know me, I've been on the forum since before 2007. I've seen many of my forum friends win the contest and move on. 

I ain't cut out to be no Jesse James.

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Posted : May 21, 2021 6:55 pm
David Hankins
(@lost_bard)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 140

Doing an initial edit of my Q3 story with Ken Rand's "The 10% Solution". Man, this is tedious, but I can already see the story tightening up. 

V38 Q2: HM
V38 Q3: Submitted
V38 Q4: Submitted

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Posted : May 22, 2021 6:36 am
pdblake
(@pdblake)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 129
Posted by: @lost_bard

Doing an initial edit of my Q3 story with Ken Rand's "The 10% Solution". Man, this is tedious, but I can already see the story tightening up. 

Best writing book I ever bought. Once you get into the routine it's pretty quick to go through and you really can see the difference. 

www.pdblake.co.uk

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Posted : May 22, 2021 6:52 am
David Hankins
(@lost_bard)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 140
Posted by: @pdblake

Best writing book I ever bought. Once you get into the routine it's pretty quick to go through and you really can see the difference. 

I can see how the habits it creates will make this go faster the more I use it. Sadly there is no fast forward from now to that level of expertise. Just time and writing. 

V38 Q2: HM
V38 Q3: Submitted
V38 Q4: Submitted

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Posted : May 22, 2021 7:23 am
DoctorJest
(@doctorjest)
Silver Member
Posts: 361
Posted by: @scott_m_sands

My current dilemma for Q3 is choosing between two stories. I finished one last month and thought I'd be pretty happy with sending that in for this quarter (after I finished editing it). Turns out, I'm quite liking the next story I'm drafting for this Q. Which to choose!

I think I'll go back over the recent anthologies again. Or see if I can find any recent blog posts with hints for themes that Dave may be looking for. Might help me. We'll see.

I'm in the same boat, actually. I just finished my main edits for my Q4 entry, a story that I'm very happy with, and I'm also maybe 75% done with my major edits for the story I'd intended to submit as my Q3. And I very much like both of them, and they're both very different to each other! So I'm trying to decide which of the two is the best for me to submit first.

I'm likely to hold whichever story I don't use as a potential entry for Q4, though given that there are four months between now and that deadline, it remains to be seen if either of the stories would end up being my Q4, either. I'll finish my provisional Q3's edits first, though, then let them both rest and re-read to see how I feel about each of them. I'm really liking my planned Q4 entry a lot today, though.

(Here's a question, though, for any takers -- do people generally feel it's better to submit a story to WotF that is closer to the style they generally write in, or do they think it doesn't really make much difference in the end?) 

R: 0 / HM: 8 / SHM: 4 / SF: 0 / F: 1
Currently in for Q3.V38 and Q4.V38 / Q1.V39 20% done on draft 1
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 22, 2021 3:55 pm
Cray Dimensional
(@craydimensional)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 152

My 3RD QTR entry is in. I have to get an early start on 4th QTR.

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

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Posted : May 22, 2021 7:15 pm
Scott_M_Sands
(@scott_m_sands)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 158

@craydimensional

Nice work, Cray!

"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 : May 23, 2021 7:36 am
Disgruntled Peony
(@disgruntledpeony)
Gold Star Member
Posts: 1113
Posted by: @doctorjest
 
(Here's a question, though, for any takers -- do people generally feel it's better to submit a story to WotF that is closer to the style they generally write in, or do they think it doesn't really make much difference in the end?) 

My style shifts a bit depending on which sub-genre I'm writing for--epic, historical, or urban fantasy--but the only times I'm afraid to send my experimental stuff is when I feel like the experiment isn't one the contest would appreciate. (For instance, my occasional forays into full-fledged horror.) This has resulted in me getting R's from time to time, but it lands me an SHM or higher more often than not. My general feeling on the matter is that we should all write what we enjoy and send in the stories we're passionate about, regardless of whether or not they match conventional writing standards.

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 : May 23, 2021 10:28 am
DoctorJest
(@doctorjest)
Silver Member
Posts: 361
Posted by: @disgruntledpeony
Posted by: @doctorjest
 
(Here's a question, though, for any takers -- do people generally feel it's better to submit a story to WotF that is closer to the style they generally write in, or do they think it doesn't really make much difference in the end?) 

My style shifts a bit depending on which sub-genre I'm writing for--epic, historical, or urban fantasy--but the only times I'm afraid to send my experimental stuff is when I feel like the experiment isn't one the contest would appreciate. (For instance, my occasional forays into full-fledged horror.) This has resulted in me getting R's from time to time, but it lands me an SHM or higher more often than not. My general feeling on the matter is that we should all write what we enjoy and send in the stories we're passionate about, regardless of whether or not they match conventional writing standards.

That certainly makes a lot of sense to me. My style tends to veer into the dark, which is why I was wondering--one of my pieces is dark, the other much more light, and although I enjoy writing both ways, I have a definite tendency to the former. I don't think that either piece is one that doesn't fit the Contest, so I guess I'll just leave it up to instinct or impulse to choose which one I should enter!

R: 0 / HM: 8 / SHM: 4 / SF: 0 / F: 1
Currently in for Q3.V38 and Q4.V38 / Q1.V39 20% done on draft 1
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 23, 2021 1:33 pm
Preston Dennett
(@prestondennett)
Silver Star Member
Posts: 518
Posted by: @doctorjest
Posted by: @disgruntledpeony
Posted by: @doctorjest
 
(Here's a question, though, for any takers -- do people generally feel it's better to submit a story to WotF that is closer to the style they generally write in, or do they think it doesn't really make much difference in the end?) 

My style shifts a bit depending on which sub-genre I'm writing for--epic, historical, or urban fantasy--but the only times I'm afraid to send my experimental stuff is when I feel like the experiment isn't one the contest would appreciate. (For instance, my occasional forays into full-fledged horror.) This has resulted in me getting R's from time to time, but it lands me an SHM or higher more often than not. My general feeling on the matter is that we should all write what we enjoy and send in the stories we're passionate about, regardless of whether or not they match conventional writing standards.

That certainly makes a lot of sense to me. My style tends to veer into the dark, which is why I was wondering--one of my pieces is dark, the other much more light, and although I enjoy writing both ways, I have a definite tendency to the former. I don't think that either piece is one that doesn't fit the Contest, so I guess I'll just leave it up to instinct or impulse to choose which one I should enter!

David Farland says they never get enough humor stories...so that's something to keep in mind.

 

Preston Dennett
HM x 12
F x 1
Winner, 2nd place, Q1, Volume 35
39 stories published! (and counting!)

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Posted : May 23, 2021 1:51 pm
babooher
(@babooher)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 111

I finally got a finished draft done. Lucky V.7. I still don't think I'm sticking the landing, but it's in my group's hands now. I still have time to let it rest before revisions.

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

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Posted : May 23, 2021 6:55 pm
babooher
(@babooher)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 111

Got some initial feedback (bless my readers, for I have done mean things unto you). My diagnosis was confirmed. I'd rather be wrong. If what I thought was the problem ends up being a confirmed problem, that tends to mean I don't know how to fix it. Definitely need to let it rest before I tackle the issue or to find some inspiration on how to address the problem.

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

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Posted : May 24, 2021 5:02 am
Hudsn Todd
(@utilitymonster)
New Member
Posts: 1

Hi all, newbie here. Submitted stories for Q2 and Q3. Question--does anyone have a rough estimate of how many entrants there are each quarter? Curious what % of writers get at least an honorable mention.

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Posted : May 24, 2021 9:40 am
Preston Dennett
(@prestondennett)
Silver Star Member
Posts: 518

@utilitymonster

This is a closely guarded and often discussed secret. Contest administrators say only that the contest grows bigger each year and that there are "several thousand" entries per quarter. I'm guessing it's anywhere from 7-10 thousand. HMs and above are anywhere from the top 10 percent to the top 3 percent, or thereabouts. But do not be discouraged by the high number of entries. David Farland himself has said that most entries are rejected (not yours of course) for various reasons, such as, they are NOT speculative fiction, they are recipes, or lists or political rants; they are filled with errors, they are beyond the word limit, and a host of other reasons. The trick is to get into that group of a few hundred entries that have a real chance of winning. If you're receiving HMs or higher, then you are definitely in that group. Good luck! You can do it! I got 11 or 12 HMs before suddenly, and without warning, I won! Best day ever.

Preston Dennett
HM x 12
F x 1
Winner, 2nd place, Q1, Volume 35
39 stories published! (and counting!)

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Posted : May 24, 2021 11:22 am
storysinger
(@storysinger)
Gold Member
Posts: 880
Posted by: @prestondennett

You can do it! I got 11 or 12 HMs before suddenly, and without warning, I won! Best day ever.

A Certain Slant of Light brought your talents front and center. Well Done!

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 26, 2021 1:36 pm
Corbin.Maxwell
(@corbin-maxwell)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 232

Just finished my Q3, so it looks like i'm in. First time this year and part of last. 

I ain't cut out to be no Jesse James.

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Posted : May 26, 2021 3:48 pm
DoctorJest
(@doctorjest)
Silver Member
Posts: 361

Today, completed my first Q3 out-loud reading, and both got great feedback and it went really well, so I feel very positive about my entry! My current Q4 prospective has also gone to its first reader for feedback, which I'm hoping to get back soon. I should have both finished by the end of this quarter, but I think my original idea for the Q3 is definitely holding ground as my first-choice submission at the moment.

R: 0 / HM: 8 / SHM: 4 / SF: 0 / F: 1
Currently in for Q3.V38 and Q4.V38 / Q1.V39 20% done on draft 1
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 27, 2021 12:06 am
David Hankins
(@lost_bard)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 140

Working on a major revision on one of my primary characters after a critique correctly pointed that I failed at one of Wulf’s secrets: I didn’t fulfill the promise. She came in like thunder, then kind of fizzled throughout as another character took the lead at the grand finale. I can see how to fix it, it’ll just take time. 

And this is why Wulf harps so hard on getting critiques. Without that critical outside eye, I would have submitted the story with a fatal flaw. 

Okay, back to writing!

V38 Q2: HM
V38 Q3: Submitted
V38 Q4: Submitted

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Posted : May 27, 2021 5:19 am
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