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gower21
(@gower21)
Posts: 757
Gold Member
Topic starter
 

This might be jumping the gun a bit, but seeing how a lot of forum members have already turned in their Q4 stories and are working on Q1, I thought I'd start this thread.

For Q1 I'm writing a Fantasy. My last three entries have been more science fiction. I love science fiction, love to read it, but I think I'm not qualified to write it. I just can't get very science-y in my descriptions. I love fantasy too and I think I'll give it a shot. Plus the story is already outlined and some basic first scene attempts have been written.

What does everyone else write? Do you stick to one sub-genre or do you mix it up?

Tina
http://www.smashedpicketfences.com

 
Posted : September 13, 2011 3:00 pm
Anna X and B.A. Boose reacted
Juliana
(@juliana_1617100642)
Posts: 24
Active Member
 

Ooooh you're quick! wotf009

http://blog.geekuniverse.org

 
Posted : September 13, 2011 3:03 pm
Martin L. Shoemaker
(@martin-l-shoemaker)
Posts: 1950
Platinum Plus Moderator
 

I've got a piece that I really think belongs at Analog. But if Mr. Schmidt disagrees, it might be good for Q1. I'll have to wait a while to decide, however, as he's still sitting on another piece.

I've got two other pieces out at other markets. Either of them would fit the contest, but neither is as strong as that one.

Heck, in my wildest dreams, all three of them will sell, and then I'll have to come up with something new just for the contest!

My current work in progress is a piece I never expected to write. It's completely outside my usual genre tastes; but for all that, I'm rather pleased with it, and think it will end up one of my stronger stories. But it also happens to fall smack dab into one of the cliches that KD mentioned a couple quarters back; and the speculative element really doesn't appear for the first 2,700 words. Up until that point, it might be a mundane story where some of the characters simply believe in the supernatural. So as much as I'm enjoying writing it, I don't think it's right for the contest.

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

 
Posted : September 13, 2011 3:27 pm
Anna X and B.A. Boose reacted
Rebecca Birch
(@rebecca-birch)
Posts: 625
Silver Star Member
 

I'm still putting the finishing touches on Q4, but I've got a plot I'm working my way through for Q1. It's sci-fi, which is *not* normal for me, and while I love the idea, I'm struggling with how on earth to get it onto paper. If I do manage it, I'll be pretty darned pleased with myself. Otherwise, I have a few other stories in circulation that could probably work as submissions.

Lots of time to wrap my head around the sci-fi one, though, so bring it on! wotf010

Rebecca Birch
Finalist - 2, SF - 1, SHM - 1, HM - 18, R - 6
Words of Birch
Short Story Collection--Life Out of Harmony and Other Tales of Wonder

 
Posted : September 13, 2011 3:45 pm
Anna X and B.A. Boose reacted
wellsdesigned
(@wellsdesigned)
Posts: 67
Bronze Member
 

Well, since this topic will be at the top of the list for the next six months, why not be on the first page? I have my story for this one in my head, but then who knows. The story I started writing for Q4 was never finished because the story I am submitting to Q4 came about and I liked it better for the contest. Not to say the original Q4 story was completely off track, it will be published in a fledgling non-paying anthology on Smashwords
(http://jakesmonthly.wordpress.com/accepted-stories-2/). With a little luck I might see some positive feedback there.

But, since we can't talk about our story substance for obvious reasons, I can say that my Q1 entry will be somewhere between 1,000 and 17,000 words, wotf017 wotf001, and that it will not have vampires, zombies or cowboys fighting indians.

My Author's Website

 
Posted : September 13, 2011 3:55 pm
Anna X reacted
WriteToLive
(@writetolive)
Posts: 224
Bronze Star Member
 

I have one right now that would be golden for WotF Q-1 2012. But, it's out at publshers right now. So, if it sells, I need to work out something else.

Michael Beers
Blog: Write To Live
Latest Out: Detroit Ex Nihilo at AESciFi
Now Available: Zion in For All Eternity: Tales of the Seven Deadly Sins (Dark Opus Press)

 
Posted : September 13, 2011 4:54 pm
E. Caiman Sands
(@e-caimansands)
Posts: 872
Gold Member
 

I'm half way through my first draft for Q1. Or at least, I'm half way through my first draft of my next story...
wotf042

SF x 1 (Extreeemely happy snappy gator)
HM x 9 (Happy snappy gator)
"Europa Spring" - buy from Amazon
The Happy Snappy Gator Bog! Er, Blog...

 
Posted : September 14, 2011 12:36 am
soulmirror
(@soulmirror)
Posts: 571
Silver Star Member
 

"Sheesh ... Quarter 1, Volume 29 ... already ?!?!" wotf011

'The only tyrant we accept in this world is the still voice within.' -Gandhi IOTF:Winner Q1 vol.27 (3x Finalist); WOTF: HM x2

 
Posted : September 14, 2011 1:50 am
katsincommand
(@katsincommand)
Posts: 230
Bronze Star Member
 

I'm working on mine, too. It's an early revision though, so I still need some time to put it through my critique group. I'm doing the reverse - usually I submit fantasy. This time, I'm trying SF. Smile

Dawn Bonanno
http://www.dmbonanno.com

SF 2 / HM 6 / R 16 / Total 24 Entries

 
Posted : September 14, 2011 2:02 am
kyle
 kyle
(@kyle)
Posts: 330
Silver Member
 

I am so not ready to be thinking about Q1...

 
Posted : September 14, 2011 2:14 am
s_c_baker
(@s_c_baker)
Posts: 979
Gold Member
 

...the speculative element really doesn't appear for the first 2,700 words. Up until that point, it might be a mundane story where some of the characters simply believe in the supernatural.

My SF entry wasn't speculative at all for about the first 7,000. To resolve this, I just inserted a brief (~100 words) out-of-sequence speculative scene at the very beginning before delving into all that background. wotf007

eta: I have a 3-week-old and an 18-month-old and a full time job and a masters thesis to write so right now I'm thinking about, oh... Q4 V30. wotf001

Stewart C Baker - 1st place, Q2 V32
My contest history: Semi-finalist, R, HM, R, R, HM, HM, R, R, R, R, HM, R, R, R, R, Winner
My published fiction, poetry, &c.

 
Posted : September 14, 2011 4:06 am
Martin L. Shoemaker
(@martin-l-shoemaker)
Posts: 1950
Platinum Plus Moderator
 

...the speculative element really doesn't appear for the first 2,700 words. Up until that point, it might be a mundane story where some of the characters simply believe in the supernatural.

My SF entry wasn't speculative at all for about the first 7,000. To resolve this, I just inserted a brief (~100 words) out-of-sequence speculative scene at the very beginning before delving into all that background. wotf007

I tried that, but it's difficult. The first person narrator is a confirmed skeptic. So even though the story opens with what the believers would call clear evidence of evil forces at work, he sees it as mere superstition -- albeit dark, harmful suspicion.

But maybe... Hmmm... Maybe a quick flashback to when he was younger and less skeptical...

Thanks, Stewart, you've given me something to think about!

eta: I have a 3-week-old and an 18-month-old and a full time job and a masters thesis to write so right now I'm thinking about, oh... Q4 V30. wotf001

We need to find you a way to combine tasks! Maybe your next story should be on the rigors of child-raising, with an SF spin. That way your time with your kids counts as research!

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

 
Posted : September 14, 2011 4:39 am
kyle
 kyle
(@kyle)
Posts: 330
Silver Member
 

Nick Mamatas' advice for dealing with first-person narrators is to think about how a person would tell the story if they picked up the phone and called their best friend. It wouldn't be, "How're you doing? ... Well, I got up this morning and went out for coffee, and then I met Tim and Angie, and then the three of us went down into the cellar under the old bookstore, and then we got attacked by a dragon." It would be, "OMFG!!!!! I just got attacked by a #&*$^#@@ dragon!" So, by putting the narrator's timeline close to the end of the story, starting at the end and then working back to the beginning to fill in the story can actually be quite organic.

Said with no idea about your particular story, of course.

 
Posted : September 14, 2011 4:53 am
Martin L. Shoemaker
(@martin-l-shoemaker)
Posts: 1950
Platinum Plus Moderator
 

Nick Mamatas' advice for dealing with first-person narrators is to think about how a person would tell the story if they picked up the phone and called their best friend. It wouldn't be, "How're you doing? ... Well, I got up this morning and went out for coffee, and then I met Tim and Angie, and then the three of us went down into the cellar under the old bookstore, and then we got attacked by a dragon." It would be, "OMFG!!!!! I just got attacked by a #&*$^#@@ dragon!" So, by putting the narrator's timeline close to the end of the story, starting at the end and then working back to the beginning to fill in the story can actually be quite organic.

Said with no idea about your particular story, of course.

Without revealing too much, I can use your analogy. My story amounts to, "Hey, Tim said he just saw a dragon." Then flashbacks to when they were kids, and they believed in dragons and hunted them. Then the amazing incident when they actually met one. Then skim forward past the years when he grew old and skeptical and stopped believing in dragons. But Tim still believes, and has gone on a dragon quest, and the narrator feels obligated to go rescue him from his own foolishness. Only along the way, he discovers they were right all along when they were kids: dragons are real, and one has Tim, and the narrator has to rescue his friend.

(Hmmm... Maybe I just plotted my next story!)

So if the narrator actually sees the dragon in the opening scene, his skepticism in the present is pretty foolish. The whole point of the story is his gradual shedding of the skepticism. But maybe if he remembers seeing a dragon in his youth -- even if he doubts his memory today -- maybe that's enough of a speculative element to serve as a hook.

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

 
Posted : September 14, 2011 5:05 am
kyle
 kyle
(@kyle)
Posts: 330
Silver Member
 

(Hmmm... Maybe I just plotted my next story!)

And if you make your narrator Angie, you'll also get points for inverting a trope. wotf001

 
Posted : September 14, 2011 5:16 am
katsincommand
(@katsincommand)
Posts: 230
Bronze Star Member
 

...the speculative element really doesn't appear for the first 2,700 words. Up until that point, it might be a mundane story where some of the characters simply believe in the supernatural.

My SF entry wasn't speculative at all for about the first 7,000. To resolve this, I just inserted a brief (~100 words) out-of-sequence speculative scene at the very beginning before delving into all that background. wotf007

eta: I have a 3-week-old and an 18-month-old and a full time job and a masters thesis to write so right now I'm thinking about, oh... Q4 V30. wotf001

Holy Cow you're busy. I didn't write the first 6 months of either of my kids' first year.. it was too crazy. And you've got the masters going on too? Breathe breathe... there are many quarters to come.

Dawn Bonanno
http://www.dmbonanno.com

SF 2 / HM 6 / R 16 / Total 24 Entries

 
Posted : September 14, 2011 5:22 am
Martin L. Shoemaker
(@martin-l-shoemaker)
Posts: 1950
Platinum Plus Moderator
 

(Hmmm... Maybe I just plotted my next story!)

And if you make your narrator Angie, you'll also get points for inverting a trope. wotf001

Whoa! I just saw her face. When I can see a character that clearly, the character usually demands to be written.

This just moved from a joke to the Idea Stack. Thanks!

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

 
Posted : September 14, 2011 5:35 am
E. Caiman Sands
(@e-caimansands)
Posts: 872
Gold Member
 

... Then skim forward past the years when he grew old and skeptical and stopped believing in dragons.

BOO!

SF x 1 (Extreeemely happy snappy gator)
HM x 9 (Happy snappy gator)
"Europa Spring" - buy from Amazon
The Happy Snappy Gator Bog! Er, Blog...

 
Posted : September 14, 2011 5:57 am
kyle
 kyle
(@kyle)
Posts: 330
Silver Member
 

This just moved from a joke to the Idea Stack. Thanks!

My pleasure! Just make it a good one. wotf007

 
Posted : September 14, 2011 6:49 am
s_c_baker
(@s_c_baker)
Posts: 979
Gold Member
 

...the speculative element really doesn't appear for the first 2,700 words. Up until that point, it might be a mundane story where some of the characters simply believe in the supernatural.

My SF entry wasn't speculative at all for about the first 7,000. To resolve this, I just inserted a brief (~100 words) out-of-sequence speculative scene at the very beginning before delving into all that background. wotf007

eta: I have a 3-week-old and an 18-month-old and a full time job and a masters thesis to write so right now I'm thinking about, oh... Q4 V30. wotf001

Holy Cow you're busy. I didn't write the first 6 months of either of my kids' first year.. it was too crazy. And you've got the masters going on too? Breathe breathe... there are many quarters to come.

I'm thinking that 6 month timeline is about right. From what I recall with number 1, it was about a six month gap.

Stewart C Baker - 1st place, Q2 V32
My contest history: Semi-finalist, R, HM, R, R, HM, HM, R, R, R, R, HM, R, R, R, R, Winner
My published fiction, poetry, &c.

 
Posted : September 14, 2011 2:16 pm
gower21
(@gower21)
Posts: 757
Gold Member
Topic starter
 

Wow, not quite 24 hours into the topic and there's already one story written and outlined in secret code.

Tina
http://www.smashedpicketfences.com

 
Posted : September 14, 2011 3:33 pm
izanobu
(@izanobu)
Posts: 341
Silver Member
 

Wha??? Q1? I haven't even started my Q4 story. Geez...

 
Posted : September 15, 2011 12:18 am
MaryJ
(@maryj)
Posts: 2
New Member
 

What does everyone else write? Do you stick to one sub-genre or do you mix it up?

I go back and forth from Fantasy (everything from traditional ghost stories to sword and sorcery) to SF (but I am so light on the science they may be considered futuristic fantasies.) I also attempt horror, but I really have to be in a certain mood to start a horror story.
My first story for this contest was science fiction and it was a semi-finalist. My second attempt was fantasy. It was a HM, and my third attempt (last quarter) was science fiction. It was a rejection (I am pretty sure) and for Q4 back to fantasy again. So, I am writing a science fiction for Q1 to keep my pattern wotf008

 
Posted : September 15, 2011 12:35 am
mattj
(@mattj)
Posts: 6
Active Member
 

Oddly enough, I started out wanting to be a horror writer. As it turns out, I don't like reading horror. And I don't like writing horror.

So I turned to fantasy. Sort of like horror, in a way. DARK FANTASY! But that didn't take, either. Even not so dark fantasy, with magic and all that. I can't get it out of my mind that traditional fantasy folks are have smelly, unwashed greasy hair and itch from all the mites and fleas. Plus, you can't have people talking contemporary.

"Hey, did you see that dragon?"

"Did I? Barely made it out alive. Watch the fire. Man, its like it never ends."

No, you have to say:

"By the gods, did you witness that wretched dragon?"

"Aye. Barely made it out alive, I did. Watch yourself, for when the fire starts . . . it never ends . . ."

It turns out that what I really like to read and write is science fiction. Also, science fantasy.

V 28 Q4: HM
V 28 Q3: Finalist

 
Posted : September 15, 2011 2:30 am
Anna X reacted
steffenwolf
(@steffenwolf)
Posts: 73
Bronze Member
 

I've been trying to put something together, but haven't quite figured it out. I actually have 2 prior stories that I had thought about submitting but:
Story 1: Might be too derivative (though I really like it)
Story: Might not have strong enough characters (though I really like it)

I've been working for a couple months tryign to figure out Story 3, an epic fantasy type story. I keep feeling like I almost have it, then realizing a major flaw, overhauling it, and reaching the same realization

Gave up on that, on to trying Story 4, a comedy fantasy, we'll see where that one goes.

I think I'm just worrying too much. I know I only have a few more quarters before I DQ, and I want to make the most of them1!!!!!

David Steffen
Visit Diabolical Plots for interviews, reviews, and much more:
http://www.diabolicalplots.com

 
Posted : September 26, 2011 1:20 pm
AMcCarter
(@amccarter)
Posts: 259
Silver Member
 

Ugh, this thread reminds me of a nightmare I had last night. I was watching myself in third person from inside my own mind and all the stories I was writing were blatant rip offs of popular stories. Plagiarism doesn't even begin to cover it. And I remember the me that was watching the dream was horrified, but the me in the dream was perfectly content with stealing another writer's work. I would say I need a vacation, but I AM on vacation. wotf027

Amanda McCarter

Amanda McCarter’s Blog

Honorable Mentions x5
Silver Honorable Mention x1
Semi-Finalist x1

 
Posted : September 26, 2011 3:31 pm
Martin L. Shoemaker
(@martin-l-shoemaker)
Posts: 1950
Platinum Plus Moderator
 

Ugh, this thread reminds me of a nightmare I had last night. I was watching myself in third person from inside my own mind and all the stories I was writing were blatant rip offs of popular stories. Plagiarism doesn't even begin to cover it. And I remember the me that was watching the dream was horrified, but the me in the dream was perfectly content with stealing another writer's work. I would say I need a vacation, but I AM on vacation. wotf027

Write that up! It worked for Stephen King (two or three times, at least).

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

 
Posted : September 26, 2011 3:39 pm
AMcCarter
(@amccarter)
Posts: 259
Silver Member
 

Ugh, this thread reminds me of a nightmare I had last night. I was watching myself in third person from inside my own mind and all the stories I was writing were blatant rip offs of popular stories. Plagiarism doesn't even begin to cover it. And I remember the me that was watching the dream was horrified, but the me in the dream was perfectly content with stealing another writer's work. I would say I need a vacation, but I AM on vacation. wotf027

Write that up! It worked for Stephen King (two or three times, at least).

Wouldn't that be like ripping off Secret Window? And then, wouldn't I be compounding my nightmare? Not to mention that now it's posted here, I can't use it for the contest. Besides, I think subjecting people to my psyche is probably illegal in at least a half a dozen states.

Amanda McCarter

Amanda McCarter’s Blog

Honorable Mentions x5
Silver Honorable Mention x1
Semi-Finalist x1

 
Posted : September 26, 2011 3:47 pm
Martin L. Shoemaker
(@martin-l-shoemaker)
Posts: 1950
Platinum Plus Moderator
 

Wouldn't that be like ripping off Secret Window?

Secret Window, Secret Garden, The Dark Half, Umney's Last Case... My mom tells me there's at least one more story where King plays with this concept, though I don't know the name.
-

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

 
Posted : September 26, 2011 11:12 pm
Ember
(@ember)
Posts: 85
Bronze Member
 

I have a Q1 entry! Well, almost; it is written, now awaiting an in-depth read-over by my husband (who so far has skimmed it while at work). A brief edit and it will be off. Admittedly it is a bit of a cheat because it is a major over-haul of a story I wrote many many years ago. Also, my stories are always short, so they don't take as much time!!

I am reasonably stunned by this because I have always been procrastination-girl, last-minute-girl, I-wonder-if-they-will-take-marks-off-me-if-I-hand-this-in-just-a-weensy-bit-late-girl. I have NEVER been early, with pretty much anything.

Parenthood is some pretty powerfully spooky stuff and is definitely to blame. I'm not sure I recognise this girl who would submit an entry MONTHS EARLY. Don't know much about her - I hope she writes good stuff.

---------------------------
Call me - "klevang" - my login if registration issues get fixed.

Volume 33: Q2 - R ,Q3 - SHM

The "real" Ember is a good friend and let me borrow her account, she won with "Half Past" in Vol. 31

 
Posted : October 14, 2011 12:26 am
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