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Retropianoplayer
(@retropianoplayer)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 231

I'm not a mutineer, lol. Just a logical, independent thinker. wotf001

This is the revision.

THE COIN OF THE WOLF MOON

“Hello? Anyone here?” A musty odor pervaded the antique store on Arcturus Prime. I tossed the gold coin on the display case.
“One moment. I’m not getting younger.” An old man scampered into view. Beady eyes appraised my artifact. “Where’d you get this?”
“Let’s agree not to ask each other questions.” I paused. “Colonel Maltose.”
His left eye twitched. “A long time ago.”
“That’s not important. The coin is.” The coin with howling wolf on obverse and wolf moon on reverse had enormous value.
“What’d you say your name was?”
“I didn’t. Call me Krieger.”
“Doesn’t ring a bell.” His eyes darted to the frosted pane window. “Spooky moon tonight.” He grinned. “Wouldn’t be a witch, would you?”
I peered out at the sky. A full moon with crimson edges. “I can make a few drinks vanish from the bar tonight.”
“A rare coin and customer with a sense of humor.”
“You want the coin or not?”
“Forty thousand pentares.”
“Sorry.” I snatched the coin. “Must be in the wrong shop.”
His eyes were pleading. “Name a price so I never see you again.”
“Sixty-five thousand pentares. I swear you’ll never see me again.”
He counted out banknotes. In the adjacent alleyway, I took out my Book of Shadows. “Blessed Be God and Goddess, on this night of the Wolf Moon, return my coin to its original form.” Five similar coins clinked inside my trouser. “For your war crimes and five others under your command, for the death of my wife and children, Colonel Maltose, you will pay the highest sum.”
I peeked inside the closed shop. Moonlight streamed in. The golden coin morphed into its original form – a twenty-foot howling male wolf with terrifying fangs. Somewhere during the worst of the man’s screams, I hailed a cab to my next five destinations

Best,

Retro

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Posted : June 9, 2020 10:50 am
Wulf Moon
(@wulfmoon)
Platinum Plus Member Moderator
Posts: 2279

I made this post elsewhere, but I'm sure some of you would like to help out with this special Virtual Signing. What's a virtual signing? Come to the University Bookstore in Seattle this Friday, June 12th, to find out! Two fresh winners from Volume 36 will be there! This is your anthology. One day, this will be you--hopefully not with shelter in place restrictions like this year's winners are having to work around. Wish you could help? You can! And you don't even have to leave your own home to support. Come give these winners a hand, get a personalized bookplate for your Volume 36, and hear more about their work and how they won the contest! RSVP is necessary. Here's the info and link:

Join us for a virtual evening of fascinating Science Fiction and Fantasy, with two of the winners of Writers of The Future Volume 36 : illustrator, Brock Aguirre and author, Zack Be. This will be a Zoom event at 6 PM Pacific. This event is free to attend but will require an RSVP for access to the zoom event. Please RSVP by clicking on the green REGISTER button to the right.

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/an-evening ... 03BLzA1Tb8

JOIN THE WULF PACK! http://the super secrets.com
"Super-Duper Moongirl and the Amazing Moon Dawdler" wins WRITERS OF THE FUTURE VOL. 35 & BEST SF&F STORY OF 2019. Order WotF Volume 35 HERE!
“Muzik Man" in Deep Magic Fall 2020 wins BEST SF&F STORY of 2020
NEW! Don't miss the Super Secret "Character Agency: I Need a Hero!" in DreamForge Anvil Magazine!
JUST RELEASED! BEST OF DEEP MAGIC ANTHOLOGY TWO! Three Super Secrets Workshop members made it into this best of the best anthology! KD Julicher, Brittany Rainsdon, and some guy named Wulf Moon. Click HERE to get yours!
NEXT MASTER CLASSES AT FYRECON ONLINE, NOV. 18-21ST. Click HERE before they are sold out once again!

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Topic starter Posted : June 10, 2020 9:44 am
AjZach
(@ajzach)
Bronze Member
Posts: 96

Dialogue Assignment part 2:

Hecate gave the potion a final stir. “There! Come bring the vial, child!”

“Oh! But which one? How big?”

The child looked up at the shelf filled with shining glass, trying to spot the empty vials from among the filled ones.

“That one! Next to the rat’s whiskers. It’s empty isn’t it?”

The child scampered up the ladder

“Yes it is!” He clutched his hands around the vial. It was too wide for his small hands. He stumbled on the way down, allowing the vial to slip from his fingers.“Oh no. Whoops.”

She jumped when she heard the crash. The child was already in motion with the broom, sweeping the shards from the stone floor.

“Clumsy child. Your father said you were a good worker when he traded you!”

She turned to find the child at her elbow, a more comfortably held vial in his outstretched hands.

“I brought another one. Can I ladle the potion?”

She dipped the metal ladle into the shimmering green liquid. “And spill it all over yourself?
That’s what I would need, a fish for an assistant.”

“Why does the blacksmith want a fish potion?”

She plugged the stopper into the neck of the vial. “Who am I to ask why? He paid! There might be some effects around town to amuse us, as well.”

“Can I brew the next one?”

“You, child, want to brew the next? You have extensive knowledge on love potions then?”

“Yes?”

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Posted : June 10, 2020 9:54 am
storysinger
(@storysinger)
Gold Member
Posts: 882

A few alterations and here's the result.

D'hani stood in the door shaking snow from his cape, the north wind whipping by threatened to extinguish the hearth fire. "Who is the owner of this wretched excuse for an inn?"
A stoop-shouldered old man rounded the end of the bar and, loosening his dagger beneath his apron said, "I am Ajai and this inn is my pride and joy, I'll hear no more of yer tripe, be civil or be gone."
"Whoa now, hear me out, I want to rent your inn and all of your customers."
"And why would you want to do that?"
"The menagerie I manage needs a place to practice before entertaining the king next week."
"The king himself eh? What proof have you of such an arrangement?"
"My partner follows with the laborers at a slower pace than the show, she has the paperwork."
"Well, for a show fit for a king I can be patient, as long as you deliver on your promise."
"You have my word that every part of the evening will be filled with entertaining action."
"My, my, you do make it all sound so exciting, I'll spread the word and fill the seats."
"See that you do my good man and I will see that you are the main course, um, attraction at the celebration feast."
"Is there anything about your show I can glorify as an added draw to help fill the seats?"
"Hmm, the show does shed light on certain elements of rare exotic cuisine experienced by very few people."
"I'm practically bursting from anticipation, please carry 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 : June 11, 2020 9:38 am
Wulf Moon
(@wulfmoon)
Platinum Plus Member Moderator
Posts: 2279

Congratulations are in order to SUPER SECRET challenge beasties Elizabeth Ticknor and Rebecca Schibler! They co-authored a story that will be published in the Superstars benefit anthology, HOLD YOUR FIRE. The anthology funds the Superstars Scholarship, and includes a story by Kevin J. Anderson. Yes, Liz and Becky will be sharing TOC with one of speculative fiction's greats, as well as supporting the scholarship fund that helped bring them to Superstars. Plus, this anthology was also printed in hardcover this year, and I assume they will do so again. Well done!

In other news, challenge beastie Leah Ning had a wonderful interview in The Millennial Blogger. Want to know her secret to winning WotF? Read on! http://themillennialblogger.com/writers ... aKRzC88Aw4

JOIN THE WULF PACK! http://the super secrets.com
"Super-Duper Moongirl and the Amazing Moon Dawdler" wins WRITERS OF THE FUTURE VOL. 35 & BEST SF&F STORY OF 2019. Order WotF Volume 35 HERE!
“Muzik Man" in Deep Magic Fall 2020 wins BEST SF&F STORY of 2020
NEW! Don't miss the Super Secret "Character Agency: I Need a Hero!" in DreamForge Anvil Magazine!
JUST RELEASED! BEST OF DEEP MAGIC ANTHOLOGY TWO! Three Super Secrets Workshop members made it into this best of the best anthology! KD Julicher, Brittany Rainsdon, and some guy named Wulf Moon. Click HERE to get yours!
NEXT MASTER CLASSES AT FYRECON ONLINE, NOV. 18-21ST. Click HERE before they are sold out once again!

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Topic starter Posted : June 11, 2020 9:49 am
ZeeTeeBeeZ
(@zeeteebeez)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 151

Dialogue to vignette:

Elias patted the rough granite-like snout of his stone-mule, Beau. It had been a long while since Beau’s last sanding. One more reason they needed to head back home. These superstitious Northerners had some ridiculous notions about stone creatures. Not to mention what they thought of Moon Whisperers.

Elias looked up at his Grandmother who sat in Beau’s saddle. “Grandmother, why are we going this way? We need to be moving south.”

“What I tell you about calling me that, boy?”

“Sorry, Mozie. Just trying to show some respect, like they taught me in school.”

“School! What does school know? Respect would be doing as I say. You can call me Mozie, or Mozie Moon, or you can call me nothing at all.”

“Yes, Mozie. But we really do need to be heading south. You seen this poster? There’s a bounty out for a Moon Whisperer.” Elias removed the poster from his pocket, unfolded it, and handed it up to Mozie.

“You trying to say this look like me?”

“Well, it’s an old lady on a stone-mule.”

“Old! What you trying to say, boy?”

“I can’t call you young can I? Lying would be disrespectful. Or was school wrong about that too?”

The thin skin of Mozie’s aged lips stretched tight in a big grin. “Ha! You all right, boy. You all right! But we go this way until the moon tell us different. You’ll have plenty of time to go south when I’m dead.”

Elias smirked. “Yes... Grandmother.”

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Posted : June 11, 2020 9:51 am
rjklee
(@rjklee)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 175

Dialogue Assignment Part 2: Ping Pong to Vignette

Rick Weston, human colony First Delegate, commanded the angry soldiers to stay behind in the lobby of the molter city hall. Ignoring his buzzing phone again, he plopped through the brackish stink of vine-smothered doors. He charged past the stone desk, skirted the central pool, and hefted his shotgun at Governor Manytides, who waddled naked amongst the waist-high ferns. Two hearts pumped on the molter’s bare chest, veins pulsing across rubbery purple skin.

“Saw what you monsters did"--Rick shoved the barrel close--"to my friend.”

“Beezle, sir? A misunderstanding.” The craterous, blackberry eyes dared Rick to fire.

“Ain’t no misunderstanding. It was murder.”

“There was no murder, sir.”

“We rescued Beezle, and guess what? He ain’t breathing.”

“Part of the process, sir. Breathing is difficult to observe when subjec--”

“Blood all over his chest after we spooked your pals.”

“I apologize, sir. Shedding a heart requires such spillage. Return Beezle to us. Forked Lightbeam will help him recover.”

“Keep talking, politician, and I’ll show you spillage. Your Forked friend is the instigator.”

The slippery plop of the door distracted the Governor. “Sir, Doctor Weston has arrived. Please speak with her first.”

“Melody?”

His wife appeared. Flashed him her stern, professional smile. “Stop harassing the locals. Beezle’s under my care. You’d know that if you answered your phone.”

Governor Manytides lifted clenched hands in greeting. “I explained it to him.”

“I doubt he understood.” Melody politely raised her fists.

Rick lowered his shotgun. “Okay. Governor. Doctor. We have a situation.”

R.J.K. Lee
WotF 2015-present: HMx6 SHMx1
My blog has monthly lists of upcoming deadlines and submission windows; let them motivate you to be more productive: https://figmentsdiehard.blogspot.com/
Give a listen to my creepy reading of my original flash fiction piece on the December 2020 episode of the Weird Christmas Podcast at the 22:10 mark: https://weirdchristmas.com/2020/12/23/weird-xmas-flash-fiction-2020-contest-results/. May Stosh persevere.

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Posted : June 11, 2020 3:05 pm
guthington
(@guthington)
Advanced Member
Posts: 26

Just finished the online workshop yesterday so I'm way behind on the assignments and challenges here. I had to skip some of the practicals [family issues; Mom with dementia], but intend to employ them to sharpen the story I began around the trapped in a box challenge from a while ago. I'm hoping to get it done to enter Q3 as I'm eager to start a different story. I am also reading Maas's The Emotional Craft of Fiction which I saw came highly recommended in this workshop/challenge discussion thread. I love reading about writing and perhaps it can be a distraction from me actually writing myself, :). At any rate, it's nice to have writer encouragement.

My thoughts regarding the free online writing workshop... I can see that some of the advice is hard and easy to neglect in my writing. Example, doing the research. One of the reasons why I picked the story I'm working on currently is that I had picked up a nonfiction book a while ago at the Barnes & Noble and began to wonder what it would actually be like if a person went through some of the things suggested in the book... don't want to give too much away as I understand that's something to avoid in this forum. The workshop I took with Card (I think it was the summer of 2010 or 2011) had us interview someone to get story ideas. I find that hard to do as well... Going up to a random stranger to interview them. This online workshop highlights the importance of this. I'm much happier to retreat into a book and research that way. I can also see that making sure a story touches on the emotions of a reader is difficult to accomplish, but an important tool in the writer's tool box. Anyway, I'm glad to have a place to discuss things I'm thinking and working on, e.g. the online workshop.

My current goal is to enter my story in Q3 and hope it does better than a straight reject. When I have my Q3 entry submitted, then I hope to work on a story for Q4.

All the best, Guthington

Amy "Guthington"

So far I've been collecting rejections... Hoping that will change!

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Posted : June 11, 2020 11:52 pm
SwiftPotato
(@swiftpotato)
Silver Star Member
Posts: 555

Reporting in: second story written and submitted to respectable market for the quarter. Will have my dialogue assignment up this weekend.

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

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Posted : June 12, 2020 3:04 am
Wulf Moon
(@wulfmoon)
Platinum Plus Member Moderator
Posts: 2279

Reporting in: second story written and submitted to respectable market for the quarter. Will have my dialogue assignment up this weekend.

The Keeper of Records living up to her blood oath? Well done! No curse shall befall you when you write fresh stories and send them to market!

To all, a quick tip on how to write interruptions in dialogue. I've been seeing some problems in works I'm editing. wotf003

When a character is being interrupted, you write it like this:

The alien supervisor whacked his green intern with a clipboard. "Not that way! You insert it into the brainstem with a screwdri--"
"I know what I'm doing," the intern said. "And you just made me jam it up his gray matter. Now we have to abduct another human. Nice."

Note that two dashes equal an em dash, the longer dash. Don't allow your autocorrect to add the em dash, do it with two en dashes, that's the proper method. And don't use a single dash, that's for hyphenating words. Look like a pro in everything you do, and be consistent.

Here's the way you interrupt a line of dialogue to insert a beat, tag, or other details:

"All my life, the only thing I've wanted"--she wiped away a tear--"is to win Writers of the Future. Why does it have to be so hard?"

Dialogue INSIDE quotation marks, em dashes setting off the action beat go OUTSIDE of them.

Bonus if somebody plays these right in one of their pieces.

Class dismissed. wotf009

Beastmaster Moon

JOIN THE WULF PACK! http://the super secrets.com
"Super-Duper Moongirl and the Amazing Moon Dawdler" wins WRITERS OF THE FUTURE VOL. 35 & BEST SF&F STORY OF 2019. Order WotF Volume 35 HERE!
“Muzik Man" in Deep Magic Fall 2020 wins BEST SF&F STORY of 2020
NEW! Don't miss the Super Secret "Character Agency: I Need a Hero!" in DreamForge Anvil Magazine!
JUST RELEASED! BEST OF DEEP MAGIC ANTHOLOGY TWO! Three Super Secrets Workshop members made it into this best of the best anthology! KD Julicher, Brittany Rainsdon, and some guy named Wulf Moon. Click HERE to get yours!
NEXT MASTER CLASSES AT FYRECON ONLINE, NOV. 18-21ST. Click HERE before they are sold out once again!

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Topic starter Posted : June 12, 2020 8:53 am
storysinger
(@storysinger)
Gold Member
Posts: 882

Jenny let loose with a spit-slinging sneeze from dust raised by the mini-warehouse door. The eye-watering motes floated on sunbeams slanted across the room. With teary eyes and popping ears she said, "It damn well better be worth my time after all this."
Kelly, let loose a deep sigh and shielding his eyes with his hand said, "The letter from Pawpaw mentioned some kind of steel steed that he had bequeathed to me. Help me find it, ok."
"I'll be happy to help, since you seem to think there's some kind of treasure in here."
"Look, my grandfather was known to pack up and ride off for day's at a time, a steel steed is probably a motorcycle."
"You mean like this one? I watched a show about these things, it was some funny story about bikes called Fatboy's."
"Woah, that thing is like mint, he must've polished it like, yesterday."
"Cool, can I fix my lipstick in the mirror."
"Sure, but let me by, he said sit down, press the button, and enjoy the vibes, whatever that means."
"Come on now, you don't have to be so pushy, I'll move."
"Oh, sorry, it's just I want to try the machine out. Hop up behind me and let's see what happens."
"Ok, but I'm gonna keep my distance."
"Whatever, here goes"--he twisted the throttle--"This is for you Pawpaw!"
"Just think if he can see you from the other side Kelly, how proud he would be that you found his treasure."

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 : June 12, 2020 10:13 am
Peter_Glen
(@peter_glen)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 143

Grats Liz and Becky for the Superstars win !! wotf010

Dialogue assignment Pt2 (I've written a new piece as the original was just for a demonstration)

A small, brown rat climbed out of the girl's coat pocket and scampered up to her shoulder. The alien notices the animal and struts up to his prisoner who is startled by the sudden attention. “Please don’t kill me. I’m not even carrying--”
“What is this”--his words were coarse like the gravelly look of his skin--“creature that is sniffing at me?”
“Oh, she’s a rat.”
“No, I’ve heard of rats. Rats are ugly, diseased creatures that smell like poop and eat worse. What is this creature that is so cute? It’s the softest little thing I’ve ever seen in my life.”
“Um, we do call them rats, honest, we do. She’s my pet.”
“Aren’t you a little sweetie? It seems that our database was wrong about you little guys. Goochie goochie goo.”
“Do you eat them? I hear you humans eat your animals. It makes sense to keep your food close.”
“No! She’s my pet. We don’t eat our pets.”
“Good, because I would kill you right now if you would eat this animal; it is too cute.
"Do you milk it? I hear you humans milk your animals.”
“No.”
“I thought so; it seems too small to suck. What name do you have for it? Sweetie? Cutie? Furry Cutie?”
“I just call her rat.”
“Okay, I will let you live. But, only because Rat needs someone to care for it.”

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Posted : June 12, 2020 9:12 pm
officer
(@officer)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 110

"All my life, the only thing I've wanted"--she wiped away a tear--"is to win Writers of the Future. Why does it have to be so hard?"

I've always wondered how to do this! Thanks!

Here's my 250-word version. I kept the dialogue as-is after revising based on Moon's suggestions and extended the scene:

"Come out of retirement? This again?" Michael slammed his beer bottle on the kitchen counter. "Are you mad?"

Scott took a deep breath. "We need you. The world needs you. Hell, I need you."

"Well, I need rest."

"I was with you every step of the way. I didn't give up."

"'Give up'? Please, you should have retired when I did, gotten out while you still could."

"Earth's reputation is at stake. I can't turn my back on everyone."

"The world turned its back on us when we lost to the Centauri Spiders, never even gave us a rematch. We're a planet of fair-weather fans!"

"Those aliens invented the damn game. Anyone who expected us to win our first tournament there was insane. Who cares? We never played for recognition."

"You're right. We did it for personal glory. To prove to ourselves we could be the best."

"Then why not return and achieve that glory again, together? Don't do it for me; do it for yourself. The ship launches in the morning."

"Where you headed?"

"Alpha Centauri." Scott pulled a grav-ball from his pocket and stared at it. “Just think about it. You haven’t let everything go. I saw you kept a net in your living room. We can win.” He tossed the ball into the air and turned without another word.

It landed gently in Michael’s palm as the front door slammed shut. Though built to alien standards, the grav-ball fit Michael’s hand perfectly. A chance at redemption? Even so, he had retired for his own sanity. He couldn’t let others dictate his fate. Michael chucked the ball over his shoulder.

Swoosh.

HM, R, HM, R, R, SHM*, HM, ?, ?
*Finalist, 2021 Baen Fantasy Adventure Award

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Posted : June 13, 2020 2:18 am
CCrawford
(@ccrawford)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 225

I'm still working to get my stories for this quarter finished and/or revised/edited, so I haven't had a chance to do the new dialogue assignment yet. I hope to get to it soon!

v35: Q4 - HM
V36: R, R, R, R
V37: SHM, HM, HM, SHM
V38: SHM, HM, ??
Indie author of The Lex Chronicles (Legends of Arameth), and the in-progress Leyward Stones series--including my serial, Macchiatos, Faerie Princes, and Other Things That Happen at Midnight, currently available on the new Kindle Vella platform. The Vella story is also available through my Patreon, along with side stories, behind the scenes content, and in-progress drafts of other books from my Leyward Stones world.
Website: http://ccrawfordwriting.com. I also have a newsletter and a blog!
Upcoming short story publication in DreamForge Anvil, October 2021 issue!

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Posted : June 13, 2020 6:31 am
Wulf Moon
(@wulfmoon)
Platinum Plus Member Moderator
Posts: 2279

I'm still working to get my stories for this quarter finished and/or revised/edited, so I haven't had a chance to do the new dialogue assignment yet. I hope to get to it soon!

No worries, Crystal. Your Q3 is critical, this is secondary. Phase 2 of this exercise won’t be hard when you return to it—it’s just rounding out your work a bit. If you think of this like KYD, this is the inversion of it, but using dialogue. You start with the smallest and then build out.

KYD is turning a bush into a bonsai. Ping-Pong Dialogue exercise part 2 is turning a tiny bonsai into a...bigger bonsai, with a touch more foliage. Smile
You received a critique from me this Q. Make it count! wotf009

Beastmaster Moon

JOIN THE WULF PACK! http://the super secrets.com
"Super-Duper Moongirl and the Amazing Moon Dawdler" wins WRITERS OF THE FUTURE VOL. 35 & BEST SF&F STORY OF 2019. Order WotF Volume 35 HERE!
“Muzik Man" in Deep Magic Fall 2020 wins BEST SF&F STORY of 2020
NEW! Don't miss the Super Secret "Character Agency: I Need a Hero!" in DreamForge Anvil Magazine!
JUST RELEASED! BEST OF DEEP MAGIC ANTHOLOGY TWO! Three Super Secrets Workshop members made it into this best of the best anthology! KD Julicher, Brittany Rainsdon, and some guy named Wulf Moon. Click HERE to get yours!
NEXT MASTER CLASSES AT FYRECON ONLINE, NOV. 18-21ST. Click HERE before they are sold out once again!

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Topic starter Posted : June 13, 2020 6:52 am
RETreasure
(@rschibler)
Silver Star Member
Posts: 743

Dialogue Exercise Part 2:

Lou rolled on the narrow mattress toward his lover. “You don’t understand. I need to be the one to do it.” Dim flickers from outside lit the cube, the clatter of the drink shop three levels down echoing up the stacked column of steel boxes that passed for homes.
“Why does it matter?” Herry propped his stubbled chin on his hand, his elbow pressing into the soft mattress.
“Because. I want Mother to know it was me.” How else would he get her respect?
“There are thousands of Men. Dozens of radio jerks. She doesn’t care about you.”
She'd care if she knew I was her son. “Exactly! If she knew it was me, if I was the one… she might remember me.”
“I’m not sure I’d want Mother to know my name.”
“You think I haven’t thought of that? You... you just don’t understand.”
“Ambitious, aren’t you?”
Lou unclenched his fists. Herry didn't have all the facts. “It’s not that! Okay, maybe I don’t want to be a radio jerk forever. Who would? Pushing buttons all day, listening to traders moan about their schedules and scratchy signals from dead radio stations on Earth?”
“I like being a radio jerk. Jerk.” Herry rolled out of bed and started to dress, a waft of soap and sweat in his wake.
“I’m sorry. That’s not what I meant. Come back to bed.” He hadn't meant to fight.
“No. I have to get ready for work, you know, pushing buttons all day.”

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

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Posted : June 13, 2020 9:53 am
Retropianoplayer
(@retropianoplayer)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 231

This is off topic, but a science-fiction tidbit.

For decades, I thought the lyrics of Elton John's ROCKET MAN bore uncanny resemblance to a story by Ray Bradbury in The Illustrated Man, coincidentally called "The Rocket Man" on Page 97 of the paperback.

Never bothered to check, lol.

Turns out I was right. Which means Bernie Taupin read science fiction?

Best,

Retro wotf022

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Posted : June 13, 2020 1:19 pm
Henckel
(@henckel)
Silver Member
Posts: 417

Dialogue Exercise Part 2:

The railyard smelled of rust and hot grease and pockets of stale water evaporating. It was a haven for stray dogs and a breeding ground for mischief. Anything that stayed too long in this place was bound to turn bad.
Everett found his little brother, Cole, lounging in a derelict passenger car. Cole had his boot jacked against the seat in front of him and his tobacco pouch balanced on his knee as he slept.
A week had passed since the shooting, and Cole hadn’t come clean. The time had come for Everett to press the issue.
“It wasn’t me.” Cole stumbled backward nursing his jaw where Everett slapped him. “I wasn’t even there.”
“Don’t lie to me.”
“I was in the outhouse taking a wiz.”
“But, you were at his house.”
“It was an accident.”
“Bullshit!” Everett punched the train beside Cole’s head. It sounded a whopping clank, and Everett stiffened. “Accidents like that don't happen unless you're playing with guns. Normal people don't do that. Only idiots play with guns—and criminals. You're lucky Seth isn't dead and you're not in jail.”
Cole’s eyes reddened and his lower lip twitched. “I know. I’m sorry.”
Everett backed away and sniffed. “Whatever. Just keep your nose clean, alright.”
“You going to rat me out?”
“Rat you ou--. No.”
Two cars down, a stray dog clutched the rotting remains of a squirrel in its teeth and carried it deeper into the railyard.
“Just promise me you won’t come back here again, okay?”

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

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

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Posted : June 13, 2020 8:59 pm
StarReacher
(@angelakayd)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 141

250 Word Dialogue Rewrite Assignment

One lingering question I have is my use of questions. I debated changing the prose in the opening sentences to avoid questions, but I like to avoid using a lot of "he felt", "he wondered", etc. types of statements because it seems to yank a reader out of the story. I tend to ask myself a lot of questions in my head, so that is the way that seems natural to me. But maybe I'm just weird that way. wotf001

Does it work here, or is there a better strategy I should be employing? Thanks!!

Lucas stared at his patient, baffled by his questionable decision to save her. Had a century of wear and tear affected his logic circuits? Had the trigger of lost memories in his AI software stirred a wisp of lingering human consciousness?
“I'm Lucas, the pilot of this shuttle. Do you remember your name?”
“Where are we going?” Her glance bounced around the small cabin, flitted past the blinking life support machine, and back to him.
“Somewhere safe where you can continue to heal. You've been in a coma for two months.”
“I was trying to kill you.” She pawed at the sheet as though feeling for a gun.
“Yes. Shall I call you Ms. Assassin or do you have a preferred alias?” Lucas had the illogical urge to laugh. The emotion caught him off guard.
“Harper, if it makes a difference.” Her eyes flickered to the bandages. “What have you done?” A look of horror slid up her face.
Lucas gazed at the ceiling to avoid her eyes. “You weren't much to look at. Damaged beyond the skills of most humans. I did the best I could under the circumstances.”
“I don't understand.” Harper's hands explored the synthetic replacements. “You saved me? Were you programmed as a doctor?”
“Yes to the first question. No to the second.”
“So, you didn't see me before the explosion?”
Lucas cocked his head to the side. “You mean while you were aiming a gun at me?”
“You run faster than I expected.”

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Posted : June 14, 2020 2:41 pm
Retropianoplayer
(@retropianoplayer)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 231

Star Reacher, just a thought. Disclaimer: i don't hold a Ph.D. in Ping-Pong Dialogue, but, what if you save the two questions you pose at the beginning of your dialogue, and substitute them at the end? This way your BIG REVEAL is last and carries more punch.

Best,

Retro wotf008

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Posted : June 15, 2020 7:12 am
StarReacher
(@angelakayd)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 141

Star Reacher, just a thought. Disclaimer: i don't hold a Ph.D. in Ping-Pong Dialogue, but, what if you save the two questions you pose at the beginning of your dialogue, and substitute them at the end? This way your BIG REVEAL is last and carries more punch.

Best,

Retro wotf008

Thanks for the idea, Retro! I was thinking about how my introduction bit did take away from that nice little surprise at the end.

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Posted : June 15, 2020 10:14 am
rjklee
(@rjklee)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 175

Just wanted to mention the Clarion West free class lottery. Register and sign up for your top three choices and then you may be randomly selected. Deadline to do so is 6/17 I think. StarReacher and I signed up, but it’d be cool if we all sign up then the challenge beasties that do get selected could possibly report back, if Wulf thinks that would be beneficial. Also, I signed up for Wulf’s workshop, and hopefully others do, too. My July schedule might become difficult but I’m still going to try and report back if I do manage to take any of these workshops.

R.J.K. Lee
WotF 2015-present: HMx6 SHMx1
My blog has monthly lists of upcoming deadlines and submission windows; let them motivate you to be more productive: https://figmentsdiehard.blogspot.com/
Give a listen to my creepy reading of my original flash fiction piece on the December 2020 episode of the Weird Christmas Podcast at the 22:10 mark: https://weirdchristmas.com/2020/12/23/weird-xmas-flash-fiction-2020-contest-results/. May Stosh persevere.

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Posted : June 15, 2020 2:42 pm
Wulf Moon
(@wulfmoon)
Platinum Plus Member Moderator
Posts: 2279

Super Secrets hit 200,783 views just now (and 2,993 replies). That was around 3,000 views in one day! We always get these huge number of views as we get close to the quarter's end, but I believe this one day result is the biggest yet. Still flabbergasted by how much this project has grown, and how many that have told me it's helped them. I didn't set out to write a book. I established this to help people that really wanted to change their destiny by giving them the tools I had gathered over many years of trial and error. It makes me happy to have helped, and to have shaved some years off your personal writer's journey.

Keep up the good work, challenge beasties, and all those looking on! There is a good reward for your hard work!

All the beast!

Beastmaster Moon

JOIN THE WULF PACK! http://the super secrets.com
"Super-Duper Moongirl and the Amazing Moon Dawdler" wins WRITERS OF THE FUTURE VOL. 35 & BEST SF&F STORY OF 2019. Order WotF Volume 35 HERE!
“Muzik Man" in Deep Magic Fall 2020 wins BEST SF&F STORY of 2020
NEW! Don't miss the Super Secret "Character Agency: I Need a Hero!" in DreamForge Anvil Magazine!
JUST RELEASED! BEST OF DEEP MAGIC ANTHOLOGY TWO! Three Super Secrets Workshop members made it into this best of the best anthology! KD Julicher, Brittany Rainsdon, and some guy named Wulf Moon. Click HERE to get yours!
NEXT MASTER CLASSES AT FYRECON ONLINE, NOV. 18-21ST. Click HERE before they are sold out once again!

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Topic starter Posted : June 16, 2020 8:14 am
Wulf Moon
(@wulfmoon)
Platinum Plus Member Moderator
Posts: 2279

Just wanted to mention the Clarion West free class lottery. Register and sign up for your top three choices and then you may be randomly selected. Deadline to do so is 6/17 I think. StarReacher and I signed up, but it’d be cool if we all sign up then the challenge beasties that do get selected could possibly report back, if Wulf thinks that would be beneficial. Also, I signed up for Wulf’s workshop, and hopefully others do, too. My July schedule might become difficult but I’m still going to try and report back if I do manage to take any of these workshops.

Thanks for signing up for my Super Secrets Master Class at Fyrelite Online, Ryland! So happy I'll be seeing many of you there (including those that are time zone challenged!), but that means there's only five openings left before it sells out! This Master Class won't be a simple rehashing of key Super Secrets. There are also hidden secrets that will be discussed, some that have helped me the most and that I only intended to share in the book. I figured any of you attending from the workshop deserved a bonus! Because of the uniqueness of this workshop, I also look forward to sharing my writing office with you, and how you set one up, complete with a black cat familiar. Smile Dedicated writing space is so important!

As to Clarion Workshops and sharing knowledge learned, I welcome any knowledge that can help the collective. We are all invested in one another's success, and that means sharing good things from events we've had the privilege of attending. I hope you make the cut!

Two weeks left to create your masterpieces for Q3, everyone! If you are not happy with what you have so far, you still have two weeks! You can throw out all the stops and create something brilliant in that amount of time. GO FOR IT!

And if you're on the fence about my master class, have a look before it's gone. I am happy to teach strangers, but I would be most happy to spend the day with all of you. https://www.fyrecon.com/master-classes/ ... -workshop/

Oh, and Ryland, do let me know you got my edits on your Q3. Best of success on it!

All the beast,

JOIN THE WULF PACK! http://the super secrets.com
"Super-Duper Moongirl and the Amazing Moon Dawdler" wins WRITERS OF THE FUTURE VOL. 35 & BEST SF&F STORY OF 2019. Order WotF Volume 35 HERE!
“Muzik Man" in Deep Magic Fall 2020 wins BEST SF&F STORY of 2020
NEW! Don't miss the Super Secret "Character Agency: I Need a Hero!" in DreamForge Anvil Magazine!
JUST RELEASED! BEST OF DEEP MAGIC ANTHOLOGY TWO! Three Super Secrets Workshop members made it into this best of the best anthology! KD Julicher, Brittany Rainsdon, and some guy named Wulf Moon. Click HERE to get yours!
NEXT MASTER CLASSES AT FYRECON ONLINE, NOV. 18-21ST. Click HERE before they are sold out once again!

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Topic starter Posted : June 16, 2020 9:02 am
storysinger
(@storysinger)
Gold Member
Posts: 882

It only took three different search engines and a lot of head scratching, but I think I'm signed up for the class, just waiting for confirmation.

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 : June 20, 2020 6:20 am
rjklee
(@rjklee)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 175

It only took three different search engines and a lot of head scratching, but I think I'm signed up for the class, just waiting for confirmation.

It certainly wasn’t the clearest of signup experiences... I had to ask for a little help. I got into a class. Received confirmation today. I also signed into the Slack group and found it a pretty smooth method of communication for writing topics and writing sprints, though writing sprints was the only thread I engaged with...

R.J.K. Lee
WotF 2015-present: HMx6 SHMx1
My blog has monthly lists of upcoming deadlines and submission windows; let them motivate you to be more productive: https://figmentsdiehard.blogspot.com/
Give a listen to my creepy reading of my original flash fiction piece on the December 2020 episode of the Weird Christmas Podcast at the 22:10 mark: https://weirdchristmas.com/2020/12/23/weird-xmas-flash-fiction-2020-contest-results/. May Stosh persevere.

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Posted : June 20, 2020 10:20 am
storysinger
(@storysinger)
Gold Member
Posts: 882

I got my email confirming registration wotf008, so one less spot is available for anyone still undecided.

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 : June 21, 2020 2:04 am
Henckel
(@henckel)
Silver Member
Posts: 417

Just checking in... I've completed both of my stories for the quarter.
I'll submit my Q3 entry once my partner has read through and is confident I've not made any spelling mistakes in the first paragraph (as I did with my Q1 entry!).
I've already submitted my 2nd story for the quarter to Analog Mag.

In other news (just got to vent for a moment)... I received my copy of Sci Fi Lampoon today. They published my story "Magician's Midlife Crisis". The book is 100% irreparably saturated (rained on). The pages turned to mush in my fingers. wotf005 disappointing... Postage to NZ cost as much as the book.

Okay. I want to end on a positive note.... Looking forward to Q2 results in a couple weeks. That is a very happy thought.

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

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

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Posted : June 21, 2020 8:42 pm
SwiftPotato
(@swiftpotato)
Silver Star Member
Posts: 555

Happy Monday, beasties! Today's Monday prompt is: BABY DIES ALONE.

Got you down, Henckel. Smile Other folks: only eight days left in the quarter! Don't forget to post here when you've submitted so you can be rostered!

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

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Posted : June 21, 2020 11:56 pm
guthington
(@guthington)
Advanced Member
Posts: 26

Hey... I have been hit with some pretty heavy personal life crap. I started out with all kinds of enthusiasm about entering Quarter 3 and 4 since I do get the summers off. HOWEVER... on my end things are spiraling out of control. First my Dad died and now my mom is in the hospital (advanced dementia and on top of that they decided to put her on the covid floor because there's a little bit of fluid in her lung (and no... they put her there before they even did the test so there's that)). Anyway... I am on the last scene or second to last scene of my Q3 story. I'm HOPING I can get it completed in time.

Amy "Guthington"

So far I've been collecting rejections... Hoping that will change!

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Posted : June 22, 2020 6:08 am
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