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Disgruntled Peony
(@disgruntledpeony)
Gold Star Member
Posts: 1115

Probably not, simply because the contest is gearing up for the writer's workshop/award ceremony. Still, you never know... wotf013

And, Dave is on his way to Provo today for a Writer Workshop. The waiting game continues.

Makes sense. I don't pay attention to these things as much as I used to. wotf019 Twins will do that to a person.

If you are in difficulties with a book, try the element of surprise: attack it at an hour when it isn't expecting it. ~ H.G. Wells
R, SF, SHM, SHM, SHM, F, R, HM, SHM, R, HM, R, F, SHM, SHM, SHM, SF, SHM, 1st Place (Q2 V38)
Ticknor Tales

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Posted : March 7, 2019 1:04 am
chuckt
(@chuckt)
Silver Member
Posts: 419

Finalists (usually eight) do know they are in the running--the contest administrator calls them, but they're under strict orders not to tell anyone.

~Moon~

Semi-finalist must be told too and also sworn to secrecy? (since they are going up for judging as well?)

Anyone know how many the reader sends to Dave? I'm sure it varies but I bet there is a rough number.

36: R, R, R, SHM
37: R, HM, R, HM
38: HM, R, ?

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Posted : March 7, 2019 1:37 am
Wulf Moon
(@wulfmoon)
Platinum Plus Member Moderator
Posts: 2286

I have an original piece in Q2.

I'm 1200 words into my Q3 story and have it roughly outlined.

Well done. Brittany will carve your name into our hallowed hall wall. Once she gets her Q2 done, LOL.

Good fortune with it!

~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!
MY NEXT MASTER CLASSES ARE AT FYRECON ONLINE, NOV. 18-21ST. UPDATE: 50% FULL. Click HERE before they are sold out once again!

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Topic starter Posted : March 7, 2019 6:22 am
Wulf Moon
(@wulfmoon)
Platinum Plus Member Moderator
Posts: 2286

As for the question about semifinalists, they don't get "The Call" from contest coordinator Joni. They just sit in limbo. Why? I have a theory, and based on the past year, I believe it's the reason. You see, sometimes a finalist gets disqualified, or they decide to withdraw after they get notice. Let's not talk about the reasons, it's not a positive subject, and this topic has been designed to inspire. So somebody dropped out, and now you're one short in your set of eight finalists, and so the judge bumps up the one he believes is most promising in the eight semifinalists. It's your reserve, your fall back, in case you come up short for some reason. Again, this is only my theory, and only the powers that be know the reasons why.

At any rate, there are eight finalists. Those are the only ones that get "The Call" that they are now being judged to determine who will be first, second, and third for the quarter. They are sworn to secrecy. In a week or two, another call goes out to each, telling them if they placed or not. Each are told to wait to reveal until every finalist has been personally notified by a call from Joni of their standing. That's probably the hardest moment of all, both if you win, and if you lose.

Back to writing.

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!
MY NEXT MASTER CLASSES ARE AT FYRECON ONLINE, NOV. 18-21ST. UPDATE: 50% FULL. Click HERE before they are sold out once again!

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Topic starter Posted : March 7, 2019 6:40 am
Dragonchef
(@dragonchef)
Silver Member
Posts: 279

At any rate, there are eight finalists. Those are the only ones that get "The Call" that they are now being judged to determine who will be first, second, and third for the quarter. They are sworn to secrecy. In a week or two, another call goes out to each, telling them if they placed or not. Each are told to wait to reveal until every finalist has been personally notified by a call from Joni of their standing. That's probably the hardest moment of all, both if you win, and if you lose.

Back to writing.

A nail-biting ordeal, to say the least, eh?

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Posted : March 7, 2019 6:45 am
dinodr_neil
(@dinodr_neil)
New Member
Posts: 3

For those of us who have only gotten a rejection how do we know what we are doing wrong? Writing a fresh story and making the same mistakes over and over again won't really help us get any better.

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Posted : March 7, 2019 1:54 pm
Dragonchef
(@dragonchef)
Silver Member
Posts: 279

For those of us who have only gotten a rejection how do we know what we are doing wrong? Writing a fresh story and making the same mistakes over and over again won't really help us get any better.

Hi Neil,
There are a few ideas from which to chose: (I suggest choosing all of them)
1) Find someone you can swap stories with for critiquing. Wulf has mentioned this quite often.

2) Join a critiquing club like Critters.com - this has also been mentioned.

3) Buy and read the previous WotF anthologies. Those winners got there somehow, right? It's good to know how and why.

4) Last, but most definitely not least, go to StoryDoctor.com and follow Dave Farland's tips for success. Since JamMaster D is one of the judges, those tips are there for a reason.

It's really a matter of researching and reading or re-reading stories and books you truly love for study purposes and not for fun...so much. Fun is good too. Why they are good is better.

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Posted : March 7, 2019 5:03 pm
Disgruntled Peony
(@disgruntledpeony)
Gold Star Member
Posts: 1115

A nail-biting ordeal, to say the least, eh?

Yes, indeed.

For those of us who have only gotten a rejection how do we know what we are doing wrong? Writing a fresh story and making the same mistakes over and over again won't really help us get any better.

Dragonchef summarized things very well. The basic idea behind writing a new story every quarter is that, the more you write, the more likely you are to realize where you're falling short--and things like trading critiques with other writers really helps speed up that learning process.

My first entry in the contest got a rejection; my second entry into the contest made semi-finalist, and it was largely because of how many critiques I'd shared both on that story and the one previous. I then proceeded to get three silver honorable mentions in a row (two for Weird Westerns, which I found out the judge was getting overwhelmed with partway through my second story but was far too committed to pull back from at that point; the third was an edited resubmission of the story that had gotten an R a year or so before). Then I had a story make finalist, and I got so excited I over-experimented with my next story and got another R (by the way: Dave REALLY doesn't like stories with healing magic, and I didn't find out until after I submitted a story with the protagonist healing herself in the opening scene). My next story got a regular honorable mention, which I took to mean I was sort of on the right track. Then I edited the hell out of one of my Weird Western SHMs from a year or so before, resubmitted it--and got another SHM.

I detailed all of my submission history to show that a) critiquing helps and b) sometimes editing helps, but sometimes it doesn't. (I can tell you this much: my finalist was a fresh story, never before submitted.) I took the better part of a year off after that last SHM and am currently waiting on the results for a fresh story--hopefully, the first of four.

If you are in difficulties with a book, try the element of surprise: attack it at an hour when it isn't expecting it. ~ H.G. Wells
R, SF, SHM, SHM, SHM, F, R, HM, SHM, R, HM, R, F, SHM, SHM, SHM, SF, SHM, 1st Place (Q2 V38)
Ticknor Tales

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Posted : March 7, 2019 8:19 pm
TimE
 TimE
(@time)
Silver Member
Posts: 338

I've submitted 6 or 7 times running now. My first 4 or 5 were rejections - but were not only stories that had been critiqued on a writer's site, they had each placed in small competitions on that site. My first HM was submitted on the last day of a quarter. It was a story that I knew had problems and hadn't placed in a comp on the crit site but I just wanted to get an entry in. My next HM was a story written specifically for WotF and by then I'd started reading Dave's tips and had bought 4 or 5 year's of winning stories.
So, I must say, apart from getting more emotion in, I don't know where I'm going wrong. And clearly, the opinions of judges in small comps on the crit site are quite different to Dave's.
I like my Q1 entry and hope it does well. Like Dragonchef, I like my Q2 entry more. I'm very reluctant to crit anyone submitting to WotF, because I don't know why stories I thought to be good were rejected, yet 2 I knew had problems got HM's.

I'm grateful to read advice and feedback provided from finalists. Hopefully, it all helps. mmm... perhaps I'm just not suited to speculative. Pity, it's such a good competition.

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Posted : March 7, 2019 9:44 pm
Disgruntled Peony
(@disgruntledpeony)
Gold Star Member
Posts: 1115

I'm very reluctant to crit anyone submitting to WotF, because I don't know why stories I thought to be good were rejected, yet 2 I knew had problems got HM's.

I'm grateful to read advice and feedback provided from finalists. Hopefully, it all helps. mmm... perhaps I'm just not suited to speculative. Pity, it's such a good competition.

That's actually a good reason to trade crits with other people who are submitting--specifically, people who have placed higher in the contest, if possible. I can't say for sure that I made finalist because I traded crits with people who had previously made finalist, but I can say that one of my favorite people to trade crits with has made finalist multiple times and she's always incredibly insightful.

I can't promise a detailed critique, but if you like I could take a look at one of your stories and/or do a quick trade. I know you're wary of trading crits with fellow forumites, but doing so with people who have been around a few quarters honestly helped me a great deal. (Sometimes critiquing others' work actually helped me realize flaws in my own stories, weird as that may sound.)

If you are in difficulties with a book, try the element of surprise: attack it at an hour when it isn't expecting it. ~ H.G. Wells
R, SF, SHM, SHM, SHM, F, R, HM, SHM, R, HM, R, F, SHM, SHM, SHM, SF, SHM, 1st Place (Q2 V38)
Ticknor Tales

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Posted : March 7, 2019 11:09 pm
TimE
 TimE
(@time)
Silver Member
Posts: 338

Thanks for the offer. I've not even started on my Q3 yet, so I've got nothing right now.

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Posted : March 7, 2019 11:20 pm
Disgruntled Peony
(@disgruntledpeony)
Gold Star Member
Posts: 1115

Thanks for the offer. I've not even started on my Q3 yet, so I've got nothing right now.

No worries. Consider it a standing offer for the time being. wotf007

If you are in difficulties with a book, try the element of surprise: attack it at an hour when it isn't expecting it. ~ H.G. Wells
R, SF, SHM, SHM, SHM, F, R, HM, SHM, R, HM, R, F, SHM, SHM, SHM, SF, SHM, 1st Place (Q2 V38)
Ticknor Tales

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Posted : March 8, 2019 12:28 am
TimE
 TimE
(@time)
Silver Member
Posts: 338

Thanks for the offer. I've not even started on my Q3 yet, so I've got nothing right now.

No worries. Consider it a standing offer for the time being. wotf007

Thanks again.

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Posted : March 8, 2019 12:36 am
Dragonchef
(@dragonchef)
Silver Member
Posts: 279

Thanks for the offer. I've not even started on my Q3 yet, so I've got nothing right now.

No worries. Consider it a standing offer for the time being. wotf007

Yo, DP -
I thought you were exclusive to Wulfy?
Can I jump in on this offer?

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Posted : March 8, 2019 12:42 am
RETreasure
(@rschibler)
Silver Star Member
Posts: 743

I am always available for critiques, and this is why. Because I learn so much more from reading other stories, stories I don't have an emotional investment in, stories that aren't perfect in my head, than I do from working and reworking my own. I think critiquing through the forum, critters, and reddit are the main reasons I've grown as a writer. Reading writing books and the anthologies and short stories from the pro markets helps, of course, but the biggest source of growth for me personally has come from critiquing with a gentle and helpful eye the stories of other natal writers. I can do quick turnarounds (usually when my life isn't chaos like it has been lately, but it's settling down) and several forumites have said my crits are helpful. I'm also happy to send my stories out for you to look at in return. Cannot stress the value of swaps enough.

That being said, it's easy to over-saturate your story with critical eyes. I learned this lesson the hard way on a story that has been through the wringer so many times it is floppy and weak now. Two, three, tops four critiques, and send it out into the world. It's as shiny as it can be. Write your next!

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 : March 8, 2019 2:30 am
Dragonchef
(@dragonchef)
Silver Member
Posts: 279

I am always available for critiques,

I'm down with that. Anyone else want to join the Critique Circle? And...please forgive the noob question of the day...how do we begin this and send to each other? Email?

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Posted : March 8, 2019 3:01 am
Disgruntled Peony
(@disgruntledpeony)
Gold Star Member
Posts: 1115

Thanks for the offer. I've not even started on my Q3 yet, so I've got nothing right now.

No worries. Consider it a standing offer for the time being. wotf007

Yo, DP -
I thought you were exclusive to Wulfy?
Can I jump in on this offer?

I'm not exclusive, but I don't have as much free time as I used to so I'm not always good for it like I used to be. (I used to be open to crit trades most of the time, but when the burnout hit a year or so ago I slowed down a lot.) I'd be willing to do a trade with you, though, sure. wotf007 Hopefully, I'll have my half ready for trade within a few days. In the meantime, I'll PM you with my e-mail address so you can send me your story.

If you are in difficulties with a book, try the element of surprise: attack it at an hour when it isn't expecting it. ~ H.G. Wells
R, SF, SHM, SHM, SHM, F, R, HM, SHM, R, HM, R, F, SHM, SHM, SHM, SF, SHM, 1st Place (Q2 V38)
Ticknor Tales

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Posted : March 8, 2019 3:59 am
Dragonchef
(@dragonchef)
Silver Member
Posts: 279

Hopefully, I'll have my half ready for trade within a few days. In the meantime, I'll PM you with my e-mail address so you can send me your story.

By half, do you mean you have a two-parter, or do you mean your half/my half half? Do you want only stories going up for submission to WotF? Or are chapters of a novel fair game? Not sure of the rules here.

And thanks. Looking forward to working with you and RShibler for some fun times reading and scribbling.

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Posted : March 8, 2019 4:10 am
Disgruntled Peony
(@disgruntledpeony)
Gold Star Member
Posts: 1115

Hopefully, I'll have my half ready for trade within a few days. In the meantime, I'll PM you with my e-mail address so you can send me your story.

By half, do you mean you have a two-parter, or do you mean your half/my half half? Do you want only stories going up for submission to WotF? Or are chapters of a novel fair game? Not sure of the rules here.

And thanks. Looking forward to working with you and RShibler for some fun times reading and scribbling.

Your half/my half half. wotf008 We'll talk further details privately based on your needs, if that's okay.

If you are in difficulties with a book, try the element of surprise: attack it at an hour when it isn't expecting it. ~ H.G. Wells
R, SF, SHM, SHM, SHM, F, R, HM, SHM, R, HM, R, F, SHM, SHM, SHM, SF, SHM, 1st Place (Q2 V38)
Ticknor Tales

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Posted : March 8, 2019 5:27 am
KD Julicher
(@kd-julicher)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 119

For those of us who have only gotten a rejection how do we know what we are doing wrong? Writing a fresh story and making the same mistakes over and over again won't really help us get any better.

It actually will, because every time you write you improve. You should be reading, too, and reading widely; and you need to get with other people and share crits. I find that actually critting other peoples' sorties is often even more helpful than having them crit mine. By seeing what doesn't work in their story, and being forced to articulate clearly, I see where I do the same thing.

So:

Write
Read
Crit
Submit
and Repeat

Remember a rejection here doesn't necessarily mean it's a bad story; it just doesn't tickle the judge's fancy.

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 : March 8, 2019 6:04 am
Wulf Moon
(@wulfmoon)
Platinum Plus Member Moderator
Posts: 2286

Good to see people that joined this challenge working together to excel! Good answers to Neil's question, Dragonchef. You actually mentioned a SUPER SECRET I haven't gotten to yet, so well done! As disgruntledpeony (and Becky and KD now) mentioned, getting eyes on your ms by someone ahead of you in the game is highly beneficial. They actually have proof they've figured it out. At least with one or more stories. : ) Doesn't mean their critique will be correct, but it's likely they'll spot things that are holding us back. And Rebecca gives a good warning. Be careful getting too much feedback. Everyone has their own idea on what makes a good story, and it's likely it does make a good story...if THEY are the ones writing it. For you, it might totally send you down the wrong path. And reworking and reworking a story to please a group will likely weaken a story, just as breaking and rewelding a support beam creates a seam that doesn't bear load as well. You will note that's always been my word of caution. Large crit groups can homogenize your Voice, and it's the best asset you will ever have. You want to hone that Voice, not make it sound like everyone elses. For me, that means finding one person I really trust to get eyes on my ms, and of course my spouse, who reads voraciously and has a good eye for general overview.

That said, I know some thrive getting feedback from everyone, including large Critters' and Codex Writers' groups. And they've won this contest reworking the same story quarter after quarter with all those critiques. It can be done. More power to them for being able to keep their story in tune after filtering out so much static. But this topic is Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge...so I'm going to tell you my way, and you figure out what in that works for you. If it helps, use it.

I figure if you signed up for this challenge, you came here to learn, and to push yourselves. Those are the people I want to help.

Well done!

~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!
MY NEXT MASTER CLASSES ARE AT FYRECON ONLINE, NOV. 18-21ST. UPDATE: 50% FULL. Click HERE before they are sold out once again!

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Topic starter Posted : March 8, 2019 6:27 am
RETreasure
(@rschibler)
Silver Star Member
Posts: 743

I’m in with a fresh story for Q2. I have a plot for my Q3 but won’t even start it until at least April as I’m finishing a novel for the summer conference season. Best of luck to all.

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 : March 8, 2019 6:37 am
Wulf Moon
(@wulfmoon)
Platinum Plus Member Moderator
Posts: 2286

I’m in with a fresh story for Q2. I have a plot for my Q3 but won’t even start it until at least April as I’m finishing a novel for the summer conference season. Best of luck to all.

It's a good story, Becky. Best of success with it!

And thanks for letting us know your Q status with a fresh original story. That really helps Brittany in her record keeping when the Q ends.

Cheers!

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!
MY NEXT MASTER CLASSES ARE AT FYRECON ONLINE, NOV. 18-21ST. UPDATE: 50% FULL. Click HERE before they are sold out once again!

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Topic starter Posted : March 8, 2019 6:53 am
Wulf Moon
(@wulfmoon)
Platinum Plus Member Moderator
Posts: 2286

Moon's SUPER SECRET #22: THINGS GET WORSE!

I used to have this secret taped below my monitor--it's that important. Now, I know it by heart and employ it subconsciously. But a lot of new writers miss this important fact. It's subtext within the 7 Point Plot (you do remember the post on the 7 Point Plot, right?), and it goes like this: Try. Fail. AND THINGS GET WORSE!

I'm not going to explain it at this moment. I want you guys to do so with your own posts. Why is this so important? Why will a fail on this secret kill our story? What happens to a tale if things don't get worse?

Go.

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!
MY NEXT MASTER CLASSES ARE AT FYRECON ONLINE, NOV. 18-21ST. UPDATE: 50% FULL. Click HERE before they are sold out once again!

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Topic starter Posted : March 9, 2019 3:51 pm
Dragonchef
(@dragonchef)
Silver Member
Posts: 279

Moon's SUPER SECRET #22: THINGS GET WORSE!

What happens to a tale if things don't get worse?

Go.

Dead story. Boring. Dry.

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Posted : March 9, 2019 4:04 pm
Disgruntled Peony
(@disgruntledpeony)
Gold Star Member
Posts: 1115

Moon's SUPER SECRET #22: THINGS GET WORSE!

I used to have this secret taped below my monitor--it's that important. Now, I know it by heart and employ it subconsciously. But a lot of new writers miss this important fact. It's subtext within the 7 Point Plot (you do remember the post on the 7 Point Plot, right?), and it goes like this: Try. Fail. AND THINGS GET WORSE!

I'm not going to explain it at this moment. I want you guys to do so with your own posts. Why is this so important? Why will a fail on this secret kill our story? What happens to a tale if things don't get worse?

Go.

When it comes to pacing, you want your story to increase in tension throughout, and having your character get what they want too early in the story causes the tension to deflate. (There is an exception to this rule in that sometimes a character getting what they want too early can actually make things worse, and then they have to fix the problems they've caused because what they wanted wasn't what they needed, but on the whole this is definitely a rule you need to learn to enforce first so you can subsequently learn when to break it.)

If you are in difficulties with a book, try the element of surprise: attack it at an hour when it isn't expecting it. ~ H.G. Wells
R, SF, SHM, SHM, SHM, F, R, HM, SHM, R, HM, R, F, SHM, SHM, SHM, SF, SHM, 1st Place (Q2 V38)
Ticknor Tales

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Posted : March 10, 2019 1:54 am
Dragonchef
(@dragonchef)
Silver Member
Posts: 279

When it comes to pacing, you want your story to increase in tension throughout, and having your character get what they want too early in the story causes the tension to deflate. (There is an exception to this rule in that sometimes a character getting what they want too early can actually make things worse, and then they have to fix the problems they've caused because what they wanted wasn't what they needed, but on the whole this is definitely a rule you need to learn to enforce first so you can subsequently learn when to break it.)

wotf052

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Posted : March 10, 2019 4:09 am
DoctorJest
(@doctorjest)
Silver Member
Posts: 363

Escalation is king, no doubt. It's an emotional rollercoaster -- no good if the first rise and fall is the biggest and best one, all the rest will feel like a bit of a let-down after that.

R: 0 / HM: 8 / SHM: 4 / SF: 0 / F: 1
Currently in for Q3.V38 and Q4.V38 / Q1.V39 20% done on draft 1
Last result: SHM for Q2.V38
Revised SHM ('Ashwright') at PodCastle
Revised HM ('The Winds of the Mind') forthcoming at Abyss and Apex, ~October 2023

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Posted : March 10, 2019 7:16 pm
AnikeKirsten
(@anikekirsten)
Advanced Member
Posts: 40

On one hand, failing to make things worse doesn't up the investment of both reader and character, there's a lack of suspense and incentive to continue. On the other hand, I think we all have a nook in our brains that feed on Schadenfreude, partly for that alone and partly because it taps into our empathy centres. Pretty much why so many people enjoy drama (real and fictional) even if it's corny and blatantly obvious it was inserted to capitalise on that, like in soap operas and reality TV.

ETA: It plays on the escapism thing as well, letting readers live vicariously through the character. It makes it seem real because real life is like that. It always gets worse at one point or another.

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Posted : March 10, 2019 11:35 pm
jficke13
(@jficke13)
Bronze Member
Posts: 80

[...] Finalists (usually eight) do know they are in the running--the contest administrator calls them, but they're under strict orders not to tell anyone. [...]

If finalists are ordered not to reveal that they're finalists during the time period between when they're notified they are a finalist and when they hear whether or not they placed, that's new. That was certainly not the case in my quarter, and if you go back through the quarterly threads on the board you'll see many, many instances of people talking about the wait to hear if F becomes 1/2/3.

Heck, telling people is the *only* valuable part of the "you're a finalist, now wait" procedure. Getting to find a foxhole with other people under the same crazy circumstances leads to great friendships/writing-relationships. Without that benefit there's absolutely no upshot to the contest creating the added anxiety (unless the contest does it just so that winners will all have dramatic shared experiences that end in joy and thus to create good PR fodder).

The only thing that was close to a "sworn to secrecy" thing was that when I got the "you won" call, Joni initially said "don't tell anyone for a few minutes... actually, no you're the last person I needed to reach so go ahead. I just don't want someone to find out they didn't win because 1, 2, and 3 all posted about it without me getting a chance to tell them myself."

HM x2, Vol. 34 Q4 - 3rd. http://www.jonficke.com

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Posted : March 11, 2019 2:08 am
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