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Wulf Moon
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@henckel Thank you, Christopher. Congratulations on making the front page of your New Zealand newspaper! Nice!!!

Click here to JOIN THE WULF PACK!
"Muzik Man" wins Best SFF Story of 2020! Read it in Best of Deep Magic Anthology Two! Includes stories by Super Secrets' alumni KD Julicher and Brittany Rainsdon!
You know WotF Workshop's 24-hour story exercise? Want to see what I wrote? It's about to be released in the pro-pay anthology THINGS WITH FEATHERS. Order HERE!
I've been invited back to Fyrecon Online to teach my Zoom master workshops Nov. 18th—21st. Four to chose from! Which one will help you level up? Explore HERE ... but you better hurry. They always sell out and are already half full!

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Topic starter Posted : September 17, 2021 10:26 am
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Wulf Moon
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image

 

The Top Gun commander calls the classroom to order.

"Attention, naval aviators. You might think this year's champions have been decided, but this training school is far from over. Here's your next mission."

He turns to the chalkboard and scratches out the week's Monday prompt.

THE VEIL OF THE UNIFORM.

"Keep doing those KYD exercises with these. You know the drill. They might just save your butts. 

"Class dismissed."

Commander "Beastmaster" Moon

Click here to JOIN THE WULF PACK!
"Muzik Man" wins Best SFF Story of 2020! Read it in Best of Deep Magic Anthology Two! Includes stories by Super Secrets' alumni KD Julicher and Brittany Rainsdon!
You know WotF Workshop's 24-hour story exercise? Want to see what I wrote? It's about to be released in the pro-pay anthology THINGS WITH FEATHERS. Order HERE!
I've been invited back to Fyrecon Online to teach my Zoom master workshops Nov. 18th—21st. Four to chose from! Which one will help you level up? Explore HERE ... but you better hurry. They always sell out and are already half full!

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Topic starter Posted : September 20, 2021 12:58 pm
rjklee, Scott_M_Sands, Henckel and 1 people liked
Wulf Moon
(@wulfmoon)
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Fyrecon Wulf Moon 2021

My Fyrecon Online Master Workshops are now open for registration! Four Super Secrets of Writing Workshops to choose from, and they always sell out. Master Workshops include registration for the online convention, a $50 value! This is a wonderful convention focused on helping aspiring writers. Writers of the Future did a presentation here last year, with Joni leading it. Further your knowledge for the win! I hope to see you there!

Wulf Moon Master Workshops – Fyrecon

Click here to JOIN THE WULF PACK!
"Muzik Man" wins Best SFF Story of 2020! Read it in Best of Deep Magic Anthology Two! Includes stories by Super Secrets' alumni KD Julicher and Brittany Rainsdon!
You know WotF Workshop's 24-hour story exercise? Want to see what I wrote? It's about to be released in the pro-pay anthology THINGS WITH FEATHERS. Order HERE!
I've been invited back to Fyrecon Online to teach my Zoom master workshops Nov. 18th—21st. Four to chose from! Which one will help you level up? Explore HERE ... but you better hurry. They always sell out and are already half full!

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Topic starter Posted : September 21, 2021 7:12 pm
Henckel liked
Wulf Moon
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ONLY THREE DAYS LEFT TO GET YOUR ENTRIES IN FOR Q4, VOLUME 38. DON'T BE LATE! YOU CAN'T WIN IF YOU AREN'T IN!

And if you're feeling lucky and your story is done, here's another Monday prompt to do KYD work on!

 

CAUGHT IN A TRAP. THE ONLY WAY OUT IS FORWARD.

 

Best of success this quarter! Pull out all the stops. This is what we've trained for!

Commander "Beastmaster" Moon

 

&ct=g

Click here to JOIN THE WULF PACK!
"Muzik Man" wins Best SFF Story of 2020! Read it in Best of Deep Magic Anthology Two! Includes stories by Super Secrets' alumni KD Julicher and Brittany Rainsdon!
You know WotF Workshop's 24-hour story exercise? Want to see what I wrote? It's about to be released in the pro-pay anthology THINGS WITH FEATHERS. Order HERE!
I've been invited back to Fyrecon Online to teach my Zoom master workshops Nov. 18th—21st. Four to chose from! Which one will help you level up? Explore HERE ... but you better hurry. They always sell out and are already half full!

ReplyQuote
Topic starter Posted : September 27, 2021 10:15 am
Henckel liked
empressed
(@empressed)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 131

I hope it's not too late to use the special delivery prompt!

 

The Most Important Catalog In the World

 

Adam Webb opened his apartment door wondering how much longer the place would remain his. It’s crap, but it’s all I can afford. I need the goddess of good fortune to rain money.

Beneath his mail flap lay a past due notice and “The Most Important Catalog In the World!” It featured a child with a bloated stomach, subtitled: “These children need a miracle. Will you help?”

“I’d like to, but I need a miracle, too."

The catalog offered to let him buy fair trade decorative items or flocks of chickens for poor people.

One page bore a mask with a cow’s nose and mouth, complete with grass, and small horns.

The caption read, “The Bouwen goddess of generosity will smile, and you will be blessed to give.”

“Yeah, I want her in my house.”

Adam opened the box to see the goddess of generosity.

“If you’re listening, I need $500,000.”

The wood floors splintered from the weight of the gold. His wealth might cost him his apartment.

I asked for the mask with sarcasm and greed. This is about generosity and gratitude. Things I’ve never demonstrated. “Please send someone who needs what you’ve blessed me with.”

A ball of glossy magazine paper rolled out from beneath the futon with a phone number in white letters. “Call now to help.”

Adam dived for the scrap of the most important catalog in the world. “Thanks! That’s all I need.” 

 

 

 

Victoria Dixon
Author of Mourn Their Courage
a 2010 Sandy Writing Contest Finalist
A Tribble Ate My Lunch: a Star Trek Cookbook (unpublished)
R=22
HM= 6
SHM=1
Finalist=1

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Posted : September 28, 2021 11:35 am
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Wulf Moon
(@wulfmoon)
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Posts: 2337
image

You have your orders. This one is mission critical. Our Top Gun Year is coming to a close. Let’s see what you’ve got after writing two fresh stories every quarter and doing at least twelve KYDs from prompts through the year.

I’ve witnessed some miraculous flying. Now get back up in the skies and make your Wulf Pack proud!

Commander “Beastmaster” Moon

 

Click here to JOIN THE WULF PACK!
"Muzik Man" wins Best SFF Story of 2020! Read it in Best of Deep Magic Anthology Two! Includes stories by Super Secrets' alumni KD Julicher and Brittany Rainsdon!
You know WotF Workshop's 24-hour story exercise? Want to see what I wrote? It's about to be released in the pro-pay anthology THINGS WITH FEATHERS. Order HERE!
I've been invited back to Fyrecon Online to teach my Zoom master workshops Nov. 18th—21st. Four to chose from! Which one will help you level up? Explore HERE ... but you better hurry. They always sell out and are already half full!

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Topic starter Posted : September 30, 2021 8:26 am
Wulf Moon
(@wulfmoon)
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Posts: 2337
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The battle of Writers of the Future, Volume 38 has ended. The battle for Writers of the Future, Volume 39 has just begun.

The Top Gun Year 3 Workshop is not over, however. I am extending it until we get results from Q3 and Q4. Everyone in the workshop this year had impressive publishing results, and we're going to celebrate them all. Many who had no sales sold stories to respectable markets and are about to become published writers! Others made finalist in WotF's international talent search contest! Two of you won the Mike Resnick Memorial Award this year and will be published in Galaxy's Edge! Some have launched their professional careers! It really is miraculous to see so many wonderful results from such a small group of dedicated writers. This just does not happen. But it happened for you because you applied the lessons, did smart practice, and leveled up through dedication and hard work.

WELL DONE, TOP GUN CHALLENGE BEASTIES!

As we await final results to see how everyone did, I'll still have a few assignments and exercises for you. I'm not leaving, but I'm off to Hollywood to write the daily blog on the winners' workshop and gala, I've got four master workshops to prep and teach at Fyrecon in November, and I have to finish two Super Secrets of Writing books for my publisher, Mark Leslie of Stark Publishing Solutions before the end of the year. There's a lot on my plate! Thankfully, you Top Gunners have made it easy on me, because you knew how to discipline yourselves and did all the challenge requirements without having to be prodded. That's pro writers! And look how far you have advanced! Think back to when you first joined this workshop--whether Year One, Year Two, or Year Three--and reflect on what the quality of your work and publishing credits were at that point. Then, take a look at your current quality, output, and results. I'm happy to say, "You've come a long way, baby." Keep marching toward your destiny.

To all of our Forum onlookers and past years' challenge beasties, I know you have benefited as well. How do I know? Because you write and tell me, that's how! Some of you told me you got your first pro sales from applying the Super Secrets, others told me they made finalist in this contest, and still others WON the contest! Four winners now are from Super Secrets Workshop alumni! That makes me very happy. But it's not just about workshop members. I conduct this workshop in the open, so anyone can follow along and benefit, whether you're currently in it or not.

I know many of you have asked privately to join Year 4 of this workshop. At this time, I'm not opening it up to new members, just extending the current Top Gun Workshop to whenever the final Volume 38 results come in. But you can still follow along and do the challenge!

What am I challenging you to do for Volume 39? It would have to be your own personal commitment, and I'm not placing it upon current members--they've met their Top Gun Year requirements. But here it is for those of you that are up to a new challenge for Volume 39:

1. A fresh, original story (or novel chapter) written each month of 3,000 words or more.
     That's 12 new stories written in the Volume 39 year! 

2. One full KYD exercise per month, based off one of my Monday prompts.

3. A story submitted to Writers of the Future each quarter, revised or new, it's up to you.

4. Three stories submitted to RESPECTABLE MARKETS each quarter (see the Super Secret on the definition, but it's basically markets paying 5 cents a word and up that treat writers professionally and with respect). 

So there you have it, a decent challenge for any Forum writer seeking to up their game. And if you wish to level up faster, why not set a goal of 2 KYDs a month? Many workshop members have said doing this exercise every month has been a game changer. In fact, Zach Bright's grand prize winner in the Mike Resnick Memorial Award for New Writers? It was created from a KYD exercise! The system works. I encourage you to see for yourself. The proof is in the pudding, right here, and it's double chocolate with whipped cream and extra sprinkles. Smile

Do let me know you're doing this challenge. You don't have to report in each quarter, it's on the honor system. But I have been known to help out those I see working hard . . .

And if you'd like some one-on-one instruction, I do teach at cons. Just sayin'. Check my signature line for the latest!

I salute each one in this year's Top Gun Workshop, and I wish all of you in the WotF Forum much success on your writer's journey!

All the beast!

Commander "Beastmaster" Moon

 

image

The Super Secrets TOP GUN Year Roster
Final Quarter Q4 Volume 38 

Leah Ning: Keeper of Records 

1. Henckel 
2. RSchibler 
3. CCrawford
4. crlisle
5. AjZach 
6. ZeeTeeBeeZ 
7. rjklee
8. empressed

Click here to JOIN THE WULF PACK!
"Muzik Man" wins Best SFF Story of 2020! Read it in Best of Deep Magic Anthology Two! Includes stories by Super Secrets' alumni KD Julicher and Brittany Rainsdon!
You know WotF Workshop's 24-hour story exercise? Want to see what I wrote? It's about to be released in the pro-pay anthology THINGS WITH FEATHERS. Order HERE!
I've been invited back to Fyrecon Online to teach my Zoom master workshops Nov. 18th—21st. Four to chose from! Which one will help you level up? Explore HERE ... but you better hurry. They always sell out and are already half full!

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Topic starter Posted : October 1, 2021 4:10 pm
WES, Henckel, Danuta Raine and 2 people liked
Wulf Moon
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Posted by: @rjklee

Here's my 250 KYD written with the prompt of "Promised You Heaven, Sent You to Hell":

A Bite of Chocolate Chip Soul Cookie

Jess stepped onto Dandelion River Bridge and zipped up her aura-shielded leather jacket. She peered through ghost vision goggles. Shadows of rope dangled from the metal beams where Auntie April hung herself a month ago.

As president of the fledgling Ghost Hunters Association, Jess had promised to transcend the walls between the living and the afterlife. First step: prove GHA product functionality by capturing a ghost. Perfect excuse to save April from limbo.

Jess dipped a hand into her shoulder bag and raised a GHA cookie. Fall winds spread the scent of cinnamon spice soul shavings, a temptation for any wayward ghost craving heaven. Devices embedded in the chocolate chips transferred the victim’s spirit to the containment cube in Jess’s bag.

Dandelions trembled at the end of the bridge. White pappi fluff burst forth, a flurry of ghost fingers. A hundred tiny gray pigeon beaks, ghost teeth, raked Jess’s jacket. April’s blue eyes glimmered above the teeth along her faded nose.

Jess jammed the cookie into April's frigid maw. “Got you.”

April spit crumbs and bit Jess’s hand. Chocolate-stained teeth pierced through to bone and soul.

Jess screamed but shoved more cookies in April. Then she reached for the cube and powered it up.

The chocolate chip devices rang from April’s mouth and buzzed in Jess’s shredded hand. The cube dragged them into containment, mashing and blending their souls.

Walls transcended. Product a success.

Last step: signal headquarters for extraction before they completely lost themselves to their new prison.

END

Ryland, my apologies for taking so long to get to yours and Victoria's KYD Exercises on the prompt: Promised You Heaven, Sent You to Hell. I am correcting that now. Smile

You have a wild imagination, making all of your stories full of surprise. This one is no exception. That's a good thing. We have here an amateur ghost hunter testing out new product, which works better than expected. Way better, to her possible demise. Nice!

Some constructive comments:

The cookie temptation, while weird, doesn't make a lot of sense, and we have to accept ghosts are attracted to chocolate chip cookies with a strange cinnamon spice. But we don't put cinnamon in our chocolate chip cookie recipes in the West. Do they do this in Japan? We use vanilla. Anyhow, it rings as odd on a few levels. What are cinnamon spice soul shavings? It's hard to understand what these are and how she would shave parts from a soul and why they'd smell like cinnamon. In a 250, I'm willing to overlook much because of lack of worldbuilding space, but your choices do raise questions. I'll offer a suggestion--weird is good, but it's best if it's based on some rational idea or logic you springboard off of. Give us a foundation in a reality we can buy into, and then you can go wild. Tim Powers does this all the time. His ideas are crazy wild, but they're always based on a historical fact that readers often know, and then he turns that knowledge on its head. Readers buy in because they know some of the history, some of the facts. He grounds them in a reality, and then does his insane somersaults into the deep end, and you just go with it because he carefully hooked you first.

You call Auntie April as April throughout the story. I believe Jess is quite a bit younger than April, and would likely call her Auntie, not April. So do set up your second character as Auntie April, but you are in Jess's POV, so refer to April after the introduction as "Auntie." Of course, why is Auntie so violent, shredding Jess's hand? You don't say, and the piece should have some logical reason. Weird for the sake of weird is not good enough.

I liked the succinctness of: Walls transcended. Product a success. That's power writing in minimal space, what KYD is meant to teach, so kudos for that. Of course, it does beg the question that since she's operating on her own and she is president of this small organization, who would ever hear her call if she could possibly call beyond the product's containment? So the last line doesn't have as much punch as it could have, because I don't have much faith she could get a signal out. Besides, she's been mashed and blended with Auntie. Smile

Again, I like your wild imagination, always have. If you fix your ideas in reality and give them logical progression, they would be easier to buy into. Set the hook before you reef us out of still waters. Smile

Thank you for sharing, Ryland, and keep up the good work! 

 

 

Click here to JOIN THE WULF PACK!
"Muzik Man" wins Best SFF Story of 2020! Read it in Best of Deep Magic Anthology Two! Includes stories by Super Secrets' alumni KD Julicher and Brittany Rainsdon!
You know WotF Workshop's 24-hour story exercise? Want to see what I wrote? It's about to be released in the pro-pay anthology THINGS WITH FEATHERS. Order HERE!
I've been invited back to Fyrecon Online to teach my Zoom master workshops Nov. 18th—21st. Four to chose from! Which one will help you level up? Explore HERE ... but you better hurry. They always sell out and are already half full!

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Topic starter Posted : October 1, 2021 7:40 pm
Henckel liked
Wulf Moon
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Posted by: @empressed

Ok, I wanted to read everyone's before posting and I think I did, but now I'm terrified. These were amazing. Here goes:

 

The Space Jinn and the Pirate

 

Armin stared at the approaching spaceship and pondered escape. After thousands of millenia as a jinn, he hated masters, but didn't want freedom because it meant losing the universe and eternity. Still, although he'd promised himself heaven when he turned his home into a spaceship, solitude became hell.

Hope for company defeated his fear of abuse. Armin helped the captain out of her airlock onto his metal deck.

"Thanks," she said. "Nice to meet someone out here."

She had dark skin and grey-streaked chestnut hair tied into a bun that smelled like poppies.

Her eyes bulged at his conjured decaliter; enough water to keep her wealthy for years. "I can't take that. Not for towing a working ship."

Armin blinked.

"I've got enough salvage. What I want as payment for 'rescuing' you is—"

Please don't say it.

"I wish you'd tell me what you're doing out here."

Armin told her his name and species of jinn, and why he fled Earth. "I want friendship with an equal. What is your next command, my mistress?"

"I'd like to be as fit as I was fifteen years ago and to stay that way until the partner I need tires of me or my appearance. He'll need experience with people. We'll be equals in our company and I will never tell him what to do but will always seek his opinion. If he'll accept my offer."

Even the heavens could be hell without a friend.

Victoria, my apologies for taking so long to get to your KYD Exercise on the prompt: Promised You Heaven, Sent You to Hell. I am correcting that now.  Smile

You set up the piece with your title. We know who the characters will be and a bit of their background before we even read the 250. That's good use of a title, and I commend you for that. You also clearly established the problem: heaven became hell in his spaceship because he was so lonely. And you stated his Heart's Desire--he hoped for companionship. All good things and high marks there.

Some constructive comments:

It was a little foggy how there was any "rescue." If the lady was a pirate, she'd just take what he had, including his ship. And it wasn't clear she was towing him--after all, he pondered escape in the opening line. So there's some mixed messages that cause confusion. Much of this could be solved with better setup in the opening. Clear images of what's going on is important. Without clarity, you lose your readers right away, and if they have to keep rereading to figure out what's going on, they drop off. 

My recommendation to you after reading several of your works now would be to pay close attention to your coding. Ground your readers in solid details in the opening of your scenes so they don't get lost. If your beta readers are saying they're confused about what's going on, it means you are seeing it in your head, but you're not getting the proper coding on the page so your readers see your vision. 

I liked the stumble into the wish line, which binds a jinn. And the idea that even a jinn needs a friend, and solitude can be its own kind of hell, which was a good use of the prompt.

Thank you for sharing, Victoria. Keep up the good work! I'm proud of you for making finalist in WotF this Top Gun year!

 

 

 

 

Click here to JOIN THE WULF PACK!
"Muzik Man" wins Best SFF Story of 2020! Read it in Best of Deep Magic Anthology Two! Includes stories by Super Secrets' alumni KD Julicher and Brittany Rainsdon!
You know WotF Workshop's 24-hour story exercise? Want to see what I wrote? It's about to be released in the pro-pay anthology THINGS WITH FEATHERS. Order HERE!
I've been invited back to Fyrecon Online to teach my Zoom master workshops Nov. 18th—21st. Four to chose from! Which one will help you level up? Explore HERE ... but you better hurry. They always sell out and are already half full!

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Topic starter Posted : October 1, 2021 8:11 pm
Henckel and empressed liked
Wulf Moon
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Posts: 2337
Posted by: @ajzach

Exciting to read these as they are coming in!

Here's my KYD exercise, also on the Promised you heaven, sent you to hell prompt:

 

Afterlife of the Slayer

 

The dragon was an easy kill. Old and withered it baked its black body on a rock, not fearing his approach. The golden eye of the beast watched the man who would be king, warning him. He hesitated over that pleading eye, yet plunged.

 

It was sixty years since the words had slipped from the wise woman’s stained lips. “The one who slays the dragon will be marked into eternity.” He could not climb that mountain now, nor sink a knife into a beast’s heart. Even if he wished to.

 

On his deathbed, the king’s thoughts turned to the eternity of glory he was promised. He need not fear dark and death, he had killed the black dragon.

 

His breaths grew shallower, but then he awoke. Cold, damp, dark. His footsteps rang as he walked on slimy stones. He struggled, falling to his aching knees. He was old still.

 

He found a great door in the dark. He pushed it forward.

 

It opened to a room that blinded him with orange light and hot steam on his face. Great islands rested between the lava flows, cracked and dry from the baking heat. Down below, lay a great black form.

 

Breathless and aching, he approached the beast, stumbling over dark stones. It turned its head, cracked a golden eye and smiled, showing its white fangs. It unraveled around him and stretched like a cat. It was now sleek, its scales shimmering in the orange light.

 

“We meet again. Welcome to eternity.”

And I do believe this is the last KYD exercise I asked the group to do for the prompt: Promised You Heaven, Sent You to Hell. 

ajzach uses the prompt well, giving us a king that appears to seek eternal life, and though eternal, it will not be the life he seeks! Heart's Desire is clear--the dragon slayer wants an eternity of glory. Even about to die, he falls back on the promise and believes he will somehow cheat death. But as he awakens from a deathlike sleep, he finds the circle repeating itself, which would be hell indeed. Another good play on the prompt.

Some constructive comments:

The circle from age to youth could be clearer for the king. They appear to be locked in and endless loop, because the dragon is old in the beginning, and is young and sleek at the end. The king is old at the end, but I have no idea how their lives restart so that this loop could play out again. I wished for more clarity so I could understand.

This could be solved with a clearer prophecy by the wise woman. Even opening with the wise woman speaking the prophecy to the man that would be king, and then he seeks to fulfill it, unaware the prophecy has a twist. 

I enjoyed your imagery of the dragon at the end. It turned its head, cracked a golden eye and smiled, showing its white fangs. It was vivid yet simple, easy to visualize. Smile

Thank you for sharing! Keep up the good work. I look forward to reading your upcoming story in the anthology THINGS WITH FEATHERS: STORIES OF HOPE. Congratulations on your first publication being in a book! And at pro-rate on top of that! Respect!

Click here to JOIN THE WULF PACK!
"Muzik Man" wins Best SFF Story of 2020! Read it in Best of Deep Magic Anthology Two! Includes stories by Super Secrets' alumni KD Julicher and Brittany Rainsdon!
You know WotF Workshop's 24-hour story exercise? Want to see what I wrote? It's about to be released in the pro-pay anthology THINGS WITH FEATHERS. Order HERE!
I've been invited back to Fyrecon Online to teach my Zoom master workshops Nov. 18th—21st. Four to chose from! Which one will help you level up? Explore HERE ... but you better hurry. They always sell out and are already half full!

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Topic starter Posted : October 1, 2021 8:35 pm
empressed
(@empressed)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 131

@wulfmoon Thanks, Moon!

Victoria Dixon
Author of Mourn Their Courage
a 2010 Sandy Writing Contest Finalist
A Tribble Ate My Lunch: a Star Trek Cookbook (unpublished)
R=22
HM= 6
SHM=1
Finalist=1

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Posted : October 2, 2021 6:03 am
Henckel and Wulf Moon liked
Wulf Moon
(@wulfmoon)
Platinum Plus Member Moderator
Posts: 2337
Posted by: @empressed

@wulfmoon Thanks, Moon!

You’re welcome. Yoda voice: “Mind your training. Save you it can.” 😁

Click here to JOIN THE WULF PACK!
"Muzik Man" wins Best SFF Story of 2020! Read it in Best of Deep Magic Anthology Two! Includes stories by Super Secrets' alumni KD Julicher and Brittany Rainsdon!
You know WotF Workshop's 24-hour story exercise? Want to see what I wrote? It's about to be released in the pro-pay anthology THINGS WITH FEATHERS. Order HERE!
I've been invited back to Fyrecon Online to teach my Zoom master workshops Nov. 18th—21st. Four to chose from! Which one will help you level up? Explore HERE ... but you better hurry. They always sell out and are already half full!

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Topic starter Posted : October 2, 2021 8:42 am
Henckel liked
AjZach
(@ajzach)
Bronze Member
Posts: 97

Thanks for the crit Wulf!

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Posted : October 3, 2021 10:32 am
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Danuta Raine
(@danuta)
New Member
Posts: 1

@wulfmoon 

I just want to say, I am completely committed to the Volume 39 Challenge. Know I can't join, but hey ... Let's see how it goes.

Kindness

Danuta

This post was modified 3 weeks ago by Danuta Raine
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Posted : October 3, 2021 10:24 pm
Henckel and Wulf Moon liked
empressed
(@empressed)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 131

@wulfmoon BTW, you hit the nail on the head. (Of course you did. You're you.) "Coding," or as I like to say, nailing what I'm trying to say within the first draft, is impossible for me. I need the entire quarter to figure that part out and it's frustrating the !@#$ out of me. I know the KYD exercises are meant to try and help with that, but I don't feel like I'm "getting" it. Does anyone have any additional reading material or words of wisdom that helped you "get" it? Sometimes it helps me understand what everyone's saying if I approach it at a different angle. deadhorse  

Victoria Dixon
Author of Mourn Their Courage
a 2010 Sandy Writing Contest Finalist
A Tribble Ate My Lunch: a Star Trek Cookbook (unpublished)
R=22
HM= 6
SHM=1
Finalist=1

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Posted : October 4, 2021 11:59 am
CeciBlack, Henckel, Scott_M_Sands and 1 people liked
RETreasure
(@rschibler)
Gold Member
Posts: 751

That’s a hard one, especially without knowing how you draft. I’d say, for me, it just took experience. I used to write one story every three months, editing and worrying at it until the last day. As I accumulated words and learned more, it got to be a smoother process. Some things that helped are, don’t be afraid of overwriting, brainstorming out loud/text with writing friends, and setting the story aside for a day or three. Overwriting can help clear out our subconscious, and then as we cut away the excess we see the whole picture. Brainstorming with people is great - but I rarely take ideas directly from my writing group. Instead, their ideas will often bump up against whatever is stuck in my brain et voila my problem resolved itself. Setting the story aside will often give me space to think about it, and when I come back I see the theme or the message much more clearly. Usually it’s already there, buried in the words. Good luck! 

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 : October 4, 2021 4:20 pm
empressed
(@empressed)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 131

@rschibler Thanks! I'm still taking three months to draft stuff, I'm just drafting more stories within three months. LOL I was thinking about it while washing dishes this afternoon and realized, I've always had an incredibly long learning curve with anything I pick up. I just never expected it to be a thirty-year curve. 

Victoria Dixon
Author of Mourn Their Courage
a 2010 Sandy Writing Contest Finalist
A Tribble Ate My Lunch: a Star Trek Cookbook (unpublished)
R=22
HM= 6
SHM=1
Finalist=1

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Posted : October 4, 2021 8:29 pm
Henckel and Wulf Moon liked
Retropianoplayer
(@retropianoplayer)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 233

Empressed,

 

I don't know if this will help, but I'll try: 1. Start out with a simple idea.  2. Start your story In Media Res. 3. Introduce character in an Action Sequence. 4. Rising Action with Tight Sentence Structure  5. Strong Ending (make sure the reader never sees it coming).

 

Sometimes, objects, people, or places can be symbolic coding.

 

All the best,

 

Retro

This post was modified 3 weeks ago by Retropianoplayer
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Posted : October 4, 2021 9:49 pm
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Wulf Moon
(@wulfmoon)
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Posts: 2337
Posted by: @empressed

@wulfmoon BTW, you hit the nail on the head. (Of course you did. You're you.) "Coding," or as I like to say, nailing what I'm trying to say within the first draft, is impossible for me. I need the entire quarter to figure that part out and it's frustrating the !@#$ out of me. I know the KYD exercises are meant to try and help with that, but I don't feel like I'm "getting" it. Does anyone have any additional reading material or words of wisdom that helped you "get" it? Sometimes it helps me understand what everyone's saying if I approach it at a different angle. deadhorse  

Instead of trying to tell a story with a vignette, why not write some scenes? Just practice describing a familiar place, or a place you are visiting, like a library. If you read my Sophie story in the Things With Feathers anthology, you’re going to see I’m describing many of the details I picked up while walking along the Hollywood Walk of Fame while there. Creating brief but evocative descriptions really sets the stage. Do five vignettes just describing a place—what the area is, where the lighting comes from, what items are in the scene, what the sounds and smells are, what the air feels like against your skin, who’s there, and mood. Environment is a character, and you should dip your readers into it at the opening of every scene. 

Practice writing some vivid, evocative scenes for a bit. Nail Your Opening has much to do with this, and it’s not just the opening of a story, it’s the opening of every new scene.You must ground your readers in a sense of place and time, where they are at. Then, when your players move through the scene, we can visualize it because you deftly set it up.

Click here to JOIN THE WULF PACK!
"Muzik Man" wins Best SFF Story of 2020! Read it in Best of Deep Magic Anthology Two! Includes stories by Super Secrets' alumni KD Julicher and Brittany Rainsdon!
You know WotF Workshop's 24-hour story exercise? Want to see what I wrote? It's about to be released in the pro-pay anthology THINGS WITH FEATHERS. Order HERE!
I've been invited back to Fyrecon Online to teach my Zoom master workshops Nov. 18th—21st. Four to chose from! Which one will help you level up? Explore HERE ... but you better hurry. They always sell out and are already half full!

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Topic starter Posted : October 4, 2021 10:48 pm
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Wulf Moon
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Posted by: @danuta

@wulfmoon 

I just want to say, I am completely committed to the Volume 39 Challenge. Know I can't join, but hey ... Let's see how it goes.

Kindness

Danuta

You actually did just join. Anyone can take it. You’re the first that committed! Congrats! May the challenge take you to where you need to be, as these challenges have done for so many others here. Cheers!

Click here to JOIN THE WULF PACK!
"Muzik Man" wins Best SFF Story of 2020! Read it in Best of Deep Magic Anthology Two! Includes stories by Super Secrets' alumni KD Julicher and Brittany Rainsdon!
You know WotF Workshop's 24-hour story exercise? Want to see what I wrote? It's about to be released in the pro-pay anthology THINGS WITH FEATHERS. Order HERE!
I've been invited back to Fyrecon Online to teach my Zoom master workshops Nov. 18th—21st. Four to chose from! Which one will help you level up? Explore HERE ... but you better hurry. They always sell out and are already half full!

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Topic starter Posted : October 4, 2021 10:53 pm
Henckel liked
Scott_M_Sands
(@scott_m_sands)
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Posts: 203
Posted by: @wulfmoon

Creating brief but evocative descriptions really sets the stage. Do five vignettes just describing a place

I could definitely improve this in my writing. I think I'll have a go at the same thing.
Thanks, Moon

And assuming the challenge requirements are the same for 2022 (x2 short stories per quarter, x1 to WotF and x1 to another respectable market, plus x1 KYD per month), then I'm in again. I completed this for the 2021 year and I'm loving how my writing is going.  fistinair  

"Many people will tell you that you can't write. Let no one say that you don't." -Ken Rand
V36-37: R x6
V38: R, HM, P

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Posted : October 5, 2021 7:21 pm
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Wulf Moon
(@wulfmoon)
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Posted by: @wulfmoon
image

The battle of Writers of the Future, Volume 38 has ended. The battle for Writers of the Future, Volume 39 has just begun.

The Top Gun Year 3 Workshop is not over, however. I am extending it until we get results from Q3 and Q4. Everyone in the workshop this year had impressive publishing results, and we're going to celebrate them all. Many who had no sales sold stories to respectable markets and are about to become published writers! Others made finalist in WotF's international talent search contest! Two of you won the Mike Resnick Memorial Award this year and will be published in Galaxy's Edge! Some have launched their professional careers! It really is miraculous to see so many wonderful results from such a small group of dedicated writers. This just does not happen. But it happened for you because you applied the lessons, did smart practice, and leveled up through dedication and hard work.

WELL DONE, TOP GUN CHALLENGE BEASTIES!

As we await final results to see how everyone did, I'll still have a few assignments and exercises for you. I'm not leaving, but I'm off to Hollywood to write the daily blog on the winners' workshop and gala, I've got four master workshops to prep and teach at Fyrecon in November, and I have to finish two Super Secrets of Writing books for my publisher, Mark Leslie of Stark Publishing Solutions before the end of the year. There's a lot on my plate! Thankfully, you Top Gunners have made it easy on me, because you knew how to discipline yourselves and did all the challenge requirements without having to be prodded. That's pro writers! And look how far you have advanced! Think back to when you first joined this workshop--whether Year One, Year Two, or Year Three--and reflect on what the quality of your work and publishing credits were at that point. Then, take a look at your current quality, output, and results. I'm happy to say, "You've come a long way, baby." Keep marching toward your destiny.

To all of our Forum onlookers and past years' challenge beasties, I know you have benefited as well. How do I know? Because you write and tell me, that's how! Some of you told me you got your first pro sales from applying the Super Secrets, others told me they made finalist in this contest, and still others WON the contest! Four winners now are from Super Secrets Workshop alumni! That makes me very happy. But it's not just about workshop members. I conduct this workshop in the open, so anyone can follow along and benefit, whether you're currently in it or not.

I know many of you have asked privately to join Year 4 of this workshop. At this time, I'm not opening it up to new members, just extending the current Top Gun Workshop to whenever the final Volume 38 results come in. But you can still follow along and do the challenge!

What am I challenging you to do for Volume 39? It would have to be your own personal commitment, and I'm not placing it upon current members--they've met their Top Gun Year requirements. But here it is for those of you that are up to a new challenge for Volume 39:

1. A fresh, original story (or novel chapter) written each month of 3,000 words or more.
     That's 12 new stories written in the Volume 39 year! 

2. One full KYD exercise per month, based off one of my Monday prompts.

3. A story submitted to Writers of the Future each quarter, revised or new, it's up to you.

4. Three stories submitted to RESPECTABLE MARKETS each quarter (see the Super Secret on the definition, but it's basically markets paying 5 cents a word and up that treat writers professionally and with respect). 

So there you have it, a decent challenge for any Forum writer seeking to up their game. And if you wish to level up faster, why not set a goal of 2 KYDs a month? Many workshop members have said doing this exercise every month has been a game changer. In fact, Zach Bright's grand prize winner in the Mike Resnick Memorial Award for New Writers? It was created from a KYD exercise! The system works. I encourage you to see for yourself. The proof is in the pudding, right here, and it's double chocolate with whipped cream and extra sprinkles. Smile

Do let me know you're doing this challenge. You don't have to report in each quarter, it's on the honor system. But I have been known to help out those I see working hard . . .

And if you'd like some one-on-one instruction, I do teach at cons. Just sayin'. Check my signature line for the latest!

I salute each one in this year's Top Gun Workshop, and I wish all of you in the WotF Forum much success on your writer's journey!

All the beast!

Commander "Beastmaster" Moon

 

image

The Super Secrets TOP GUN Year Roster
Final Quarter Q4 Volume 38 

Leah Ning: Keeper of Records 

1. Henckel 
2. RSchibler 
3. CCrawford
4. crlisle
5. AjZach 
6. ZeeTeeBeeZ 
7. rjklee
8. empressed

Some apparently missed this post, so I'm bumping it. The Super Secrets challenge has been increased once again for the new contest year! It's a personal commitment this year, no one will be checking up on you. You do this because you are driven and know it will help you advance. See those names on the roster that did last year's challenge? Every one of them made Finalist in this contest, or won other contests, or made their first respectable sales and more during the Volume 38 year, and we are still awaiting results from two more quarters! Committing to a personal challenge can help you push yourself to do smart practice. We learn from every story we write!

I look forward to hearing your results in the upcoming year as you strive to improve your craft and create great stories!

Beastmaster Moon

Click here to JOIN THE WULF PACK!
"Muzik Man" wins Best SFF Story of 2020! Read it in Best of Deep Magic Anthology Two! Includes stories by Super Secrets' alumni KD Julicher and Brittany Rainsdon!
You know WotF Workshop's 24-hour story exercise? Want to see what I wrote? It's about to be released in the pro-pay anthology THINGS WITH FEATHERS. Order HERE!
I've been invited back to Fyrecon Online to teach my Zoom master workshops Nov. 18th—21st. Four to chose from! Which one will help you level up? Explore HERE ... but you better hurry. They always sell out and are already half full!

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Topic starter Posted : October 6, 2021 1:47 am
David Hankins, Henckel, crlisle and 2 people liked
Wulf Moon
(@wulfmoon)
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Posts: 2337

Your Monday prompt, on Wednesday! 😁

“I needed a superhero. When none showed up, I became one.”

Keep working those KYDs! And don’t miss my article “Kill Your Darlings,” coming to a Reader near you on October 15th from DreamForge Anvil! More Super Secrets to hit the virtual newsstands! 

 

 

Click here to JOIN THE WULF PACK!
"Muzik Man" wins Best SFF Story of 2020! Read it in Best of Deep Magic Anthology Two! Includes stories by Super Secrets' alumni KD Julicher and Brittany Rainsdon!
You know WotF Workshop's 24-hour story exercise? Want to see what I wrote? It's about to be released in the pro-pay anthology THINGS WITH FEATHERS. Order HERE!
I've been invited back to Fyrecon Online to teach my Zoom master workshops Nov. 18th—21st. Four to chose from! Which one will help you level up? Explore HERE ... but you better hurry. They always sell out and are already half full!

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Topic starter Posted : October 6, 2021 11:54 am
empressed
(@empressed)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 131

@wulfmoon Yes sir! And thank you! 😀 

Victoria Dixon
Author of Mourn Their Courage
a 2010 Sandy Writing Contest Finalist
A Tribble Ate My Lunch: a Star Trek Cookbook (unpublished)
R=22
HM= 6
SHM=1
Finalist=1

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Posted : October 6, 2021 2:14 pm
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David Hankins
(@lost_bard)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 164

@wulfmoon 

The supplicant knelt in the torchlit cave, pen and inkwell presented over his bowed head to the Keeper of Records.

"Accept my offering, write my name upon the wall."

The Keeper raised an eyebrow and drew a jeweled dagger.

"Ink is but a tool. You must pour yourself into your work. Your blood, your soul. What else have you to offer?"

The supplicant lowered his writing implements and raised his head.

"Me. I'm in."

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

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Posted : October 6, 2021 3:26 pm
Henckel, PenMark, Wulf Moon and 2 people liked
Jenny Perry Carr
(@jennyperrycarr)
New Member
Posts: 2

@wulfmoon

I'm in for the V39 personal challenge!

I'm writing a book. I've got the page numbers done. - Steven Wright
V37: -, -, R, HM
V38: HM, R, P, P
Pubs:
Anthology
Model Citizen in From the Yonder: A Collection of Horror from Around the World Volume 2

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Posted : October 6, 2021 5:09 pm
Wulf Moon
(@wulfmoon)
Platinum Plus Member Moderator
Posts: 2337
Posted by: @lost_bard

@wulfmoon 

The supplicant knelt in the torchlit cave, pen and inkwell presented over his bowed head to the Keeper of Records.

"Accept my offering, write my name upon the wall."

The Keeper raised an eyebrow and drew a jeweled dagger.

"Ink is but a tool. You must pour yourself into your work. Your blood, your soul. What else have you to offer?"

The supplicant lowered his writing implements and raised his head.

"Me. I'm in."

Oooh, he knows our rituals. Keep your eye on this one. But let him keep his head until the end. 

He's going to need it.

 

Beastmaster Moon

Click here to JOIN THE WULF PACK!
"Muzik Man" wins Best SFF Story of 2020! Read it in Best of Deep Magic Anthology Two! Includes stories by Super Secrets' alumni KD Julicher and Brittany Rainsdon!
You know WotF Workshop's 24-hour story exercise? Want to see what I wrote? It's about to be released in the pro-pay anthology THINGS WITH FEATHERS. Order HERE!
I've been invited back to Fyrecon Online to teach my Zoom master workshops Nov. 18th—21st. Four to chose from! Which one will help you level up? Explore HERE ... but you better hurry. They always sell out and are already half full!

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Topic starter Posted : October 6, 2021 5:16 pm
Wulf Moon
(@wulfmoon)
Platinum Plus Member Moderator
Posts: 2337
Posted by: @jennyperrycarr

@wulfmoon

I'm in for the V39 personal challenge!

Yoda, looking to the sky: "Will she finish what she begins?"
 
Padawan Jenny: "I won't fail you! I'm not afraid."
 
Yoda: "Oh! You will be. You will be."
 

Click here to JOIN THE WULF PACK!
"Muzik Man" wins Best SFF Story of 2020! Read it in Best of Deep Magic Anthology Two! Includes stories by Super Secrets' alumni KD Julicher and Brittany Rainsdon!
You know WotF Workshop's 24-hour story exercise? Want to see what I wrote? It's about to be released in the pro-pay anthology THINGS WITH FEATHERS. Order HERE!
I've been invited back to Fyrecon Online to teach my Zoom master workshops Nov. 18th—21st. Four to chose from! Which one will help you level up? Explore HERE ... but you better hurry. They always sell out and are already half full!

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Topic starter Posted : October 6, 2021 5:22 pm
cpapa
(@cpapa)
New Member
Posts: 2

@wulfmoon I am so in! I've screenshotted the challenge and am putting it on my wall above my monitor! I can't wait!

(2020) V37 Q4 – HM
(2021) V38 Q2 – tba

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Posted : October 6, 2021 6:30 pm
Henckel and Wulf Moon liked
Henckel
(@henckel)
Silver Member
Posts: 419

Thanks  @wulfmoon !!!!

It's been a great year! Thanks for all your time and expert advice!

I'm looking forward to Q3 resualts 

WOTF Stats
(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
(2021) V38 Q4 – tba

Coolest Achievements
(2019) Published in Escape Anthology
(2020) Published in Sci-Fi Lampoon
(2020) V37 Q4 – WOTF Finalist
(2021) V38 Q1 – WOTF Semi-finalist
(2021) Mike Resnick Memorial Award - 3rd Place winner!!!
(2022) To be published in Galaxy's Edge Magazine (March issue)

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Posted : October 6, 2021 7:11 pm
Wulf Moon liked
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