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Kary English
(@karyenglish)
Silver Star Member
Posts: 625

If you write a range, you're lucky. You can enter a range, too.

For me, I asked myself what I wanted to do first or most. I write SF and fantasy, but my novel ideas are mostly fantasy. So for my final finalist, I deliberately wrote fantasy because that's what I wanted to win with.

WOTF: 1 HM, 1 Semi, 2 Finalists, 1 Winner
Q2,V31 - Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!
Hugo and Astounding finalist, made the preliminary Stoker ballot (juried)
Published by Galaxy's Edge, DSF, StarShipSofa and TorNightfire

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Posted : December 8, 2021 4:17 pm
storysinger
(@storysinger)
Gold Star Member
Posts: 1017

My latest hm is fantasy. That's a change for me, I usually write near future syfy. 

Earlier this year I read a book by Terry Goodkind that sparked an interest in his writing.

I'm happy to have placed with my fantasy attempt, but Q1/39 will be syfy.

 

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

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Posted : December 9, 2021 5:04 am
Kary English
(@karyenglish)
Silver Star Member
Posts: 625

Grats on the HM!

The contest can be frustrating at times, and it's OK to feel that way. It's a good sign that you can HM in different genres. Speaks well of your overall ability, well-rounded, etc.  Smile

WOTF: 1 HM, 1 Semi, 2 Finalists, 1 Winner
Q2,V31 - Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!
Hugo and Astounding finalist, made the preliminary Stoker ballot (juried)
Published by Galaxy's Edge, DSF, StarShipSofa and TorNightfire

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Posted : December 9, 2021 1:40 pm
Aidanka
(@aidanka)
Advanced Member
Posts: 44

I have a weird question. Why all of a sudden so many SHM and HM on the list? While there used to be in tens or twenties in the previous years, now there are hundreds of HMs and SHMs. A/ Is it because more people started to send stories after pandemic? B/WOTF course resulted in everyone bettering the craft? C/I have no idea what else

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Posted : December 14, 2021 3:14 pm
babooher
(@babooher)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 155
Posted by: @aidanka

I have a weird question. Why all of a sudden so many SHM and HM on the list? While there used to be in tens or twenties in the previous years, now there are hundreds of HMs and SHMs. A/ Is it because more people started to send stories after pandemic? B/WOTF course resulted in everyone bettering the craft? C/I have no idea what else

I looked up Q2 Vol. 36 randomly and saw around 230 SHM and HMs. That's a little less than half of Q4 for 38. I know that they say the contest is growing and growing, but without knowing percentages, it is hard to definitively say more people are getting better. I figure, assume it is getting more competitive. Always aim for the top. Write. Submit. Repeat. Anything else is needless worry.

 

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

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Topic starter Posted : December 14, 2021 4:31 pm
Aidanka
(@aidanka)
Advanced Member
Posts: 44

@babooher Thank you.

I've been self-sabotaging my minor success.

I just received an HM, which may not be a big deal for some. However, for me it is a HUGE deal, I love the contest, and I think I have language issues given the fact that English is my 4th language.

First I thought it's because of my bio that I got an HM (I know, I'm weird) and then this idea popped up. Impostor syndrome with minimal budget grinning grinning grinning .I guess you are right, the contest is getting bigger and that's why so many people receive HMs and SHMs. 

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Posted : December 15, 2021 12:38 am
David Hankins
(@lost_bard)
Silver Member
Posts: 252

@aidanka 

Learning English as your fourth language puts you ahead of most of the rest of us. Good for you! Many of us struggle with it as our first language! Congratulations on the HM. I know I couldn’t place that well if I had to write in a different language.

I have seen comments from those in the know that the quality of submissions jumped significantly after WotF started the free online workshop. I know it opened my eyes to a lot of issues with my writing. I think that Wulf Moon’s Super Secrets workshop has made a huge difference in the general quality of writing too. And these improvements are while the contest has started receiving significantly more submissions since the pandemic started (they won’t give exact numbers, but it’s up to thousands each quarter). 

So don’t beat yourself up for an HM. Revel in it! You made the top 15% of a huge pool of writers!

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

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Posted : December 15, 2021 3:56 am
Wulf Moon
(@wulfmoon)
Platinum Plus Member Moderator
Posts: 2561
Posted by: @aidanka

@babooher Thank you.

I've been self-sabotaging my minor success.

I just received an HM, which may not be a big deal for some. However, for me it is a HUGE deal, I love the contest, and I think I have language issues given the fact that English is my 4th language.

First I thought it's because of my bio that I got an HM (I know, I'm weird) and then this idea popped up. Impostor syndrome with minimal budget grinning grinning grinning .I guess you are right, the contest is getting bigger and that's why so many people receive HMs and SHMs. 

Very cool how many languages you speak. I highly recommend you get good eyes on your next entry before sending it in. I do freelance editing, and even with writers fluent in English as their second language, there are always the occasional phrases and word usages that are off. Dave—the coordinating judge—won’t know  English is not your first language, he’ll just see these as errors. It doesn’t take many errors when you’re competing at the top tier to get your story downgraded. Do what you can to put your best foot forward. Cheers!

Click here to JOIN THE WULF PACK!
"Muzik Man" wins Best SFF Story of 2020! Read it in Best of Deep Magic Anthology Two! Includes stories by Super Secrets' alumni KD Julicher and Brittany Rainsdon!
You know WotF Workshop's 24-hour story exercise? Want to see what I wrote? Just released in THINGS WITH FEATHERS: Stories of Hope. Order HERE!
Enjoy my published SUPER SECRETS of Writing articles! FREE to read in every issue of DreamForge Anvil! Don't miss my featured story, "Shaken, Not Stirred." Click HERE!

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Posted : December 15, 2021 7:20 am
Aidanka
(@aidanka)
Advanced Member
Posts: 44

@lost_bard Thank you so much for your kind words. Yes, I completely agree, WoTF course, free time "thanks to" pandemic and Wulf Moon's challenge may have boosted success for the entrants (including me). First I cried from happiness not even kidding. Then I just took a look for an older list (I don't even know which) and saw so few nominated writers and immediately started beating myself up. laughing laughing  

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Posted : December 15, 2021 10:39 am
Aidanka
(@aidanka)
Advanced Member
Posts: 44

@wulfmoon I completely agree with you neither judges nor other editors won't know or even care whether I am a native speaker or not. All they would care is whether I delivered a good story or not.

I really admire your energy I am half your age and if I don't push myself I am coach potato half the time clapper .

You are also right with the conclusion that there might be times that non-native text reads like a mess (Grammatically, or even in cultural context, idioms etc.) ESPECIALLY if their native language is not from franco-german family. I read, write, speak and think in different languages which at times make me sound weird even on my 1st language. However, English is the greatest market for books and as English is the lingua franca of 21st century I think non-native speakers too have a miserable right to create. At least for other non-native speakers like ourselves grinning . Even though I lived for a few years in the US, I can never deliver a story like a true American. This is my weakest point and also I can make it my strongest point.

Where can I contact you regarding the questions for editing? (rates, schedule etc). Though I have American teacher who does proofreading for me, I would LOVE to work with you on my next project as well. I really like how you are honest and are not afraid to said what is on your mind.

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Posted : December 15, 2021 10:55 am
Disgruntled Peony
(@disgruntledpeony)
Gold Star Member
Posts: 1229
Posted by: @aidanka

@wulfmoon I completely agree with you neither judges nor other editors won't know or even care whether I am a native speaker or not. All they would care is whether I delivered a good story or not.

I really admire your energy I am half your age and if I don't push myself I am coach potato half the time clapper .

You are also right with the conclusion that there might be times that non-native text reads like a mess (Grammatically, or even in cultural context, idioms etc.) ESPECIALLY if their native language is not from franco-german family. I read, write, speak and think in different languages which at times make me sound weird even on my 1st language. However, English is the greatest market for books and as English is the lingua franca of 21st century I think non-native speakers too have a miserable right to create. At least for other non-native speakers like ourselves grinning . Even though I lived for a few years in the US, I can never deliver a story like a true American. This is my weakest point and also I can make it my strongest point.

Where can I contact you regarding the questions for editing? (rates, schedule etc). Though I have American teacher who does proofreading for me, I would LOVE to work with you on my next project as well. I really like how you are honest and are not afraid to said what is on your mind.

Sending Wulf a PM might be the best way to get into editing-related specifics (that way he doesn't have to post personal information publicly). Also, there's a subforum for critique requests and critique trades. I'd recommend looking into trade options there, because a) it's free, and b) critiquing others' work can be a great way to learn.

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

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Posted : December 15, 2021 12:52 pm
ZeeTeeBeeZ
(@zeeteebeez)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 162

@aidanka don’t minimize an HM!

I have to admit that after years of only getting HM’s I absolutely minimizes the HM’s I was getting. Especially when seeing friends getting SHM, SF, and Fs.

I got to a point where I felt like WotF was just being nice to me, but my writing quality just wasn’t at a level where I could expect to win.

Then I won.

Remember your HM means you HAVE WHAT IT TAKES. There are just a few wrinkles to iron out, then you’ll get there. The only question is will you keep going?

Take those small wins. Celebrate them. Always try to improve, but don’t diminish your accomplishments.

 

9 x HM
V38 Q4 2nd Place
Mike Resnick Memorial Award winner 2021 https://www.galaxysedge.com/
www.ztbright.com

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Posted : December 17, 2021 1:42 pm
Preston Dennett
(@prestondennett)
Silver Star Member
Posts: 531
Posted by: @zeeteebeez

@aidanka don’t minimize an HM!

I have to admit that after years of only getting HM’s I absolutely minimizes the HM’s I was getting. Especially when seeing friends getting SHM, SF, and Fs.

I got to a point where I felt like WotF was just being nice to me, but my writing quality just wasn’t at a level where I could expect to win.

Then I won.

Remember your HM means you HAVE WHAT IT TAKES. There are just a few wrinkles to iron out, then you’ll get there. The only question is will you keep going?

Take those small wins. Celebrate them. Always try to improve, but don’t diminish your accomplishments.

 

Yes! Exactly what happened to me! A series of HMs, then boom, winner! If you're getting HMs, you're in consideration!

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

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Posted : December 18, 2021 9:33 am
Wulf Moon
(@wulfmoon)
Platinum Plus Member Moderator
Posts: 2561
Posted by: @disgruntledpeony
Posted by: @aidanka

@wulfmoon I completely agree with you neither judges nor other editors won't know or even care whether I am a native speaker or not. All they would care is whether I delivered a good story or not.

I really admire your energy I am half your age and if I don't push myself I am coach potato half the time clapper .

You are also right with the conclusion that there might be times that non-native text reads like a mess (Grammatically, or even in cultural context, idioms etc.) ESPECIALLY if their native language is not from franco-german family. I read, write, speak and think in different languages which at times make me sound weird even on my 1st language. However, English is the greatest market for books and as English is the lingua franca of 21st century I think non-native speakers too have a miserable right to create. At least for other non-native speakers like ourselves grinning . Even though I lived for a few years in the US, I can never deliver a story like a true American. This is my weakest point and also I can make it my strongest point.

Where can I contact you regarding the questions for editing? (rates, schedule etc). Though I have American teacher who does proofreading for me, I would LOVE to work with you on my next project as well. I really like how you are honest and are not afraid to said what is on your mind.

Sending Wulf a PM might be the best way to get into editing-related specifics (that way he doesn't have to post personal information publicly). Also, there's a subforum for critique requests and critique trades. I'd recommend looking into trade options there, because a) it's free, and b) critiquing others' work can be a great way to learn.

Liz, Aidanka directed these questions to me, the Forum moderator, and you could see by my like mark that I had seen her comments before you made this post. That should have told you I had already replied to her in private. You should also be aware that I always direct new members to the critique swap folder, and indeed did so when Aidanka joined. I might add that I did so again when I private messaged her regarding this post, long before you posted yours.

Click here to JOIN THE WULF PACK!
"Muzik Man" wins Best SFF Story of 2020! Read it in Best of Deep Magic Anthology Two! Includes stories by Super Secrets' alumni KD Julicher and Brittany Rainsdon!
You know WotF Workshop's 24-hour story exercise? Want to see what I wrote? Just released in THINGS WITH FEATHERS: Stories of Hope. Order HERE!
Enjoy my published SUPER SECRETS of Writing articles! FREE to read in every issue of DreamForge Anvil! Don't miss my featured story, "Shaken, Not Stirred." Click HERE!

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Posted : December 18, 2021 10:59 am
Disgruntled Peony
(@disgruntledpeony)
Gold Star Member
Posts: 1229
Posted by: @wulfmoon
Posted by: @disgruntledpeony
Posted by: @aidanka

@wulfmoon I completely agree with you neither judges nor other editors won't know or even care whether I am a native speaker or not. All they would care is whether I delivered a good story or not.

I really admire your energy I am half your age and if I don't push myself I am coach potato half the time clapper .

You are also right with the conclusion that there might be times that non-native text reads like a mess (Grammatically, or even in cultural context, idioms etc.) ESPECIALLY if their native language is not from franco-german family. I read, write, speak and think in different languages which at times make me sound weird even on my 1st language. However, English is the greatest market for books and as English is the lingua franca of 21st century I think non-native speakers too have a miserable right to create. At least for other non-native speakers like ourselves grinning . Even though I lived for a few years in the US, I can never deliver a story like a true American. This is my weakest point and also I can make it my strongest point.

Where can I contact you regarding the questions for editing? (rates, schedule etc). Though I have American teacher who does proofreading for me, I would LOVE to work with you on my next project as well. I really like how you are honest and are not afraid to said what is on your mind.

Sending Wulf a PM might be the best way to get into editing-related specifics (that way he doesn't have to post personal information publicly). Also, there's a subforum for critique requests and critique trades. I'd recommend looking into trade options there, because a) it's free, and b) critiquing others' work can be a great way to learn.

Liz, Aidanka directed these questions to me, the Forum moderator, and you could see by my like mark that I had seen her comments before you made this post. That should have told you I had already replied to her in private. You should also be aware that I always direct new members to the critique swap folder, and indeed did so when Aidanka joined. I might add that I did so again when I private messaged her regarding this post, long before you posted yours.

The like feature is new to me, and I don't always think to check who has or hasn't clicked the like button before I respond to a post. Am I not allowed to help people now?

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

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Posted : December 18, 2021 12:05 pm
Disgruntled Peony
(@disgruntledpeony)
Gold Star Member
Posts: 1229

@wulfmoon Also, how am I supposed to know what goes on in your PMs?

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

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Posted : December 18, 2021 12:11 pm
Wulf Moon
(@wulfmoon)
Platinum Plus Member Moderator
Posts: 2561

@disgruntledpeony Please don’t exaggerate. Of course you are allowed to help people, as is everyone here. But the post was tagged to me, Liz. The questions were asked of me. You took it upon yourself to answer them for me. And I want it to be clear to all that I have directed her to the critique swap folder where she can get free help from members. And did so again when I answered her questions in private.

Click here to JOIN THE WULF PACK!
"Muzik Man" wins Best SFF Story of 2020! Read it in Best of Deep Magic Anthology Two! Includes stories by Super Secrets' alumni KD Julicher and Brittany Rainsdon!
You know WotF Workshop's 24-hour story exercise? Want to see what I wrote? Just released in THINGS WITH FEATHERS: Stories of Hope. Order HERE!
Enjoy my published SUPER SECRETS of Writing articles! FREE to read in every issue of DreamForge Anvil! Don't miss my featured story, "Shaken, Not Stirred." Click HERE!

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Posted : December 18, 2021 1:54 pm
Disgruntled Peony
(@disgruntledpeony)
Gold Star Member
Posts: 1229
Posted by: @wulfmoon

@disgruntledpeony Please don’t exaggerate. Of course you are allowed to help people, as is everyone here. But the post was tagged to me, Liz. The questions were asked of me. You took it upon yourself to answer them for me. And I want it to be clear to all that I have directed her to the critique swap folder where she can get free help from members. And did so again when I answered her questions in private.

While the post was tagged to you, it was also a public post on a public thread. You hadn't posted a public response to her questions, so I had no way of knowing the two of you had already initiated contact via PM. If you'll notice, the first thing I did was try to facilitate that process so that you could answer her questions yourself, in a safe environment, as quickly as possible.

As for the critique swap subforum suggestion, I don't understand why my bringing that up would be considered a bad thing, or why you're so intent on insisting that you made similar suggestions in the past. I've also mentioned the existence of that subforum to at least one other new writer in response to another thread recently. When it seems pertinent, I bring it up. That's all that was happening, there.

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

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Posted : December 18, 2021 3:29 pm
TimE and AliciaCay liked
Aidanka
(@aidanka)
Advanced Member
Posts: 44

@zeeteebeez I need to screenshot this and read this daily. Thank you for the boost.

 

I am very lucky to find this community here. Even though I rarely post (can't really navigate the site), I'm a long-time lurker, as the saying goes. And you guys have helped me with your posts many times before. Thank you all. I hope to be able to give back one day to the community as well.

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Posted : December 18, 2021 3:44 pm
storysinger, TimE, Wulf Moon and 2 people liked
AliciaCay
(@aliciacay)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 144
Posted by: @wulfmoon

@disgruntledpeony Please don’t exaggerate. Of course you are allowed to help people, as is everyone here. But the post was tagged to me, Liz. The questions were asked of me. You took it upon yourself to answer them for me. And I want it to be clear to all that I have directed her to the critique swap folder where she can get free help from members. And did so again when I answered her questions in private.

I don't believe Liz was exaggerating, I think she was feeling rebuffed.
This is a public forum and even if someone is tagged in a post with a question, everyone is allowed to speak up and have a say in answering that question. That's what this forum is all about. Everyone helping everyone and getting different, well-rounded answers to all the things.

Liz consistently goes above and beyond to help others, is a fantastic double award-winning author, and I find her insight and assistance in all things invaluable. Embarrassing anyone for speaking up and being a part of the conversation is not the Writers of the Future way, and is uncomfortable for the rest of us to have to experience.

~A.

V32: HM (Q4)
V33: HM, HM, SHM, HM
V34: R, R, HM, HM
V35: HM, HM, R, HM
V36: R, R, SHM, R
V37: SHM, FINALIST, HM, SHM
V38: SF, X, tbd, tbd
https://aliciacay.com

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Posted : December 18, 2021 4:19 pm
storysinger, TimE, PenMark and 2 people liked
Wulf Moon
(@wulfmoon)
Platinum Plus Member Moderator
Posts: 2561

@disgruntledpeony It’s a shame you cannot see the issues, but I’m not going to discuss it here further. Let us all move on.

Wulf Moon

Click here to JOIN THE WULF PACK!
"Muzik Man" wins Best SFF Story of 2020! Read it in Best of Deep Magic Anthology Two! Includes stories by Super Secrets' alumni KD Julicher and Brittany Rainsdon!
You know WotF Workshop's 24-hour story exercise? Want to see what I wrote? Just released in THINGS WITH FEATHERS: Stories of Hope. Order HERE!
Enjoy my published SUPER SECRETS of Writing articles! FREE to read in every issue of DreamForge Anvil! Don't miss my featured story, "Shaken, Not Stirred." Click HERE!

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Posted : December 18, 2021 4:25 pm
Disgruntled Peony
(@disgruntledpeony)
Gold Star Member
Posts: 1229
Posted by: @wulfmoon

@disgruntledpeony It’s a shame you cannot see the issues, but I’m not going to discuss it here further. Let us all move on.

Wulf Moon

I would politely suggest that, as the forum moderator, it's your job to explain the issues in a clear and considerate fashion. If I say that I don't see what was wrong, I would far rather be educated about the nature of my mistakes so that I can avoid future missteps. And, since I was publicly chastised, I'd rather the explanation of said mistake be public too, so that others can also avoid the issue in future.

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

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Posted : December 18, 2021 4:44 pm
KD Julicher, TimE, RETreasure and 1 people liked
Martin L. Shoemaker
(@martin-l-shoemaker)
Platinum Member Contributor
Posts: 1786

I have to say that I don't understand the hostility toward someone trying to help. If the help is redundant, that just means more help.

http://nineandsixtyways.com/
Tools, Not Rules.
Martin L. Shoemaker
3rd Place Q1 V31
"Today I Am Paul", WSFA Small Press Award 2015, Nebula nomination 2015
Today I Am Carey from Baen
The Last Dance (#1 science fiction eBook on Amazon, October 2019) and The Last Campaign from 47North

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Posted : December 19, 2021 7:47 am
KD Julicher
(@kd-julicher)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 130

It's good to remember that for every person who responds or "likes" a post, there may be two or three or more lurkers. I lurk on a lot of forums where I gain information but don't always interact - there are many reasons for that. Any public reply is part of a conversation, yes, but it's also out there for the lurkers to see, learn from, and maybe find a comfortable way to join in a community.

 

Also... and this may or may not be the appropriate place to discuss... I'm a little uncomfortable with anyone using this forum to get paid work. The spirit of open sharing here has always been one of the most valuable parts of the forum. While I don't deny that a good editor is worth his or her salt, this forum has always been about entrants (and past entrants, winners, pro'd out writers, whoever still feels a strong connection to WotF) helping each other without renumeration.

 

Anyway. Just my two cents.

WOTF: HM x 16, SHMx2, SF x 1, F V31 Q3, V32 Q2, V32 Q4, V34 Q3, V36 Q1
Baen Fantasy Award Winner 2014
V32 Published Finalist
3rd place V37 Q1!

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Posted : December 19, 2021 11:25 am
AliciaCay, storysinger, RETreasure and 1 people liked
Wulf Moon
(@wulfmoon)
Platinum Plus Member Moderator
Posts: 2561

I do appreciate the comments about the additional benefit to onlookers and lurkers when members post additional comments, but there were reasons I did not wish that in this case. When I welcomed Aidanka to the Forum, I encouraged her to take advantage of the critique swap folder, as I noted that English is not her first language, and said we do have members that could help her with the peculiar nuances of words in the English language. When she directly addressed me in the post above, I liked the comment to let people know I had seen it, and took the conversation private, as I believe I should have as moderator. Liz obviously believed the same, thus her post. I will say I am sorry that you did not understand I had already done that, Liz.

 

In truth, my main concern with Liz’s post is that it was public, and I felt it presumed I had not directed Aidanka to the critiques we do for free to help one another. Indeed I had, long before Aidanka’s post above. Again, I thought that should have been obvious from all the welcome posts I do for new members. And in my private message to Aidanka, I reminded her again about taking advantage of the folder, and stated again that it is free. If you must know, Aidanka immediately wrote back, saying she had tried already, and that the critiques she had received hadn’t helped her. I did not want to make this public, thus my not wanting to discuss this subject further. Those of you that recognize my good record of helping people here should realize this is all I was trying to do for Aidanka.

 

As to opinions, we all have them. I have devoted a great deal of time since I won Writers of the Future to helping members here, often having sacrificed my own deadlines and career goals to help others make theirs. I also know many others have devoted much time to helping members here, and I do commend them for that. In addition, many promote their works for sale here, and I see nothing wrong with that. I might add at the Writers of the Future Workshop this year, David Farland stated to the class that he does editing, and then cited his rate for editing manuscripts. There is nothing nefarious about that, David is as straight an arrow as they come. He can certainly tell writers what he does for a living, even a paid service he provides to help writers, and he did so. If he can, so can I, although that is not what I did here--I was trying to help this Forumite find the solution to her problem. Which, by the way, her post had specifically asked me to do.

 

I ask once again that we close discussion on this topic. And I welcome someone with a great command of English to privately message Aidanka and offer to help her, if Aidanka wishes. Thank you. And Aidanka, I apologize if I have revealed information you would rather I had kept private. There seemed no alternative.

 

I am now going away on holiday. I hope you all enjoy your time with friends and family. But not so much that you don’t get your Q1s finished and submitted before the December 31st deadline. Cheers!

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Posted : December 19, 2021 2:55 pm
EmilyGoodwin
(@emilygoodwin)
Active Member
Posts: 8

Hello. Emily here from Writers of the Future. I want to take a moment to thank Wulf Moon, Disgruntled Peony, Kary English, Martin L. Shoemaker, KD Julicher, and Alicia Cay (all commenting on this feed and all with good points) for the help and support they have been providing to other writers on this forum. I think you are all trying to do the same thing. So how about we close this conversation and have a Merry Christmas (if you celebrate it) and for everyone else, we await your next submission! 

Cheers!

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Posted : December 19, 2021 9:12 pm
babooher
(@babooher)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 155

Getting back to the topic of the thread...Let's look at The Battle of Donasi. Would you consider this military sci-fi?

Also, this is all just my opinion and experience. Your experience and perception my vary. I post this to promote the study and discussion of the winners with a focus on what made the story a win. Some discussion of pitfalls makes sense (if only to show that excellence isn't perfection so submit your best), but look for what works.

And remember, here there be spoilers. 

Couldn't help but hear a bit of Rush's The Pass when I read this story.

"Someone set a bad example/ Made surrender seem all right/ The act of a noble warrior/ who lost the will to fight"

The story starts off showing us the reaction people have to Captain Linae Tower, or at the very least, her perception of the people's reactions. It is a strong display of character development nestled in some world building. This isn't an action oriented example of en media res, but rather a start with little to no preamble. There is conflict from the first line and a bit of mystery without a sense of withholding. And the author doesn't back up to explain the conflict. Instead, the mystery is explained through natural sounding dialogue and some exposition.

I'm not sure about what kind of growth the main character really experiences by the end of the story. She figures something out, but it seems like a confirmation of change or of a past lesson learned. This is where the ending gets a bit muddled for me. She got lucky with the Donasi terms for surrender. I would also suggest that there is a failure in character development here. The Donasi are a population who so quickly assumed that the Pueblo was a military scout that they then pushed their technological advancement faster than any other species had. But when they get the David Roy to surrender, they don't try to take the ship to use in furthering their defensive capabilities. And what lesson will the Donasi learn? It pays to provoke much more advanced visitors? And really, the entire conflict is based on Ben Ami's use of the word "surrender" instead of "leave."

But, there are plenty of try/fail sequences and the suspense builds till the end. Everything is a new challenge, and Captain Tower perseveres (well, until she gives up, but I don't think she really gives up). Also, it was nice to see the Earthlings be the ones with the advantage. To create a sense of danger or drama, sci-fi often makes the Earthlings the underdog, because who doesn't love an underdog? But The Battle of Donasi doesn't rely on that, which makes it stand out for me. Yes, I've seen that kind of set-up before, but I don't see it anywhere near as often as the underdog situation. And it was nice that the threat was more than just a desire to avoid conflict. The threat of nuclear fallout for the planet presents a situation where a solution seems obvious, but that solution would violate the character's beliefs after the last conflict ended in genocide.

And speaking of genocide, is the unintended genocide of a previous threat a bit of an allusion to Ender's Game?

In any event, those are my thoughts on The Battle of Donasi. Did I miss something? Misunderstand something? Is there another way to view this text? Study and discuss.

And as always write on, write on, write on.

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

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Topic starter Posted : December 20, 2021 4:23 am
dommichaels
(@dommichaels)
Bronze Member
Posts: 56

@babooher 

Hi Bret - Glad to see this thread back on track! I think there's a lot of value to it.

I generally agree with your assessment of The Battle of Donasi - insightful take all around. Definitely military sci-fi in my view and agree the ending was appropriate, but a bit "too convenient" or too easy, maybe. That said, it's a short story ... anything more realistic would've taken up too much real estate or left too many loose ends. 

The tension and build were good. It's a good story overall, a worthy winner. It could be the intro to a really interesting novel if, as you suggest, the earth ship were taken captive. The tale then could be how they finally win the trust and respect of the planet and form a new, mutually beneficial alliance. But that would take at least another 100K words!

All in all, one of the better pieces in the collection, IMO.

V37 Q3-HM, Q4-HM, V38 Q1-HM, Q2-HM, Q3-HM, Q4-HM

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Posted : December 20, 2021 12:30 pm
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