Notifications
Clear all

Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRETS Workshop & Challenge!

Page 43 / 128
 
RETreasure
(@rschibler)
Silver Star Member
Posts: 703

1. What exactly is denoument, and why must a story have it? Denoument is defined as "the climax of a chain of events, usually when something is decided or made clear". It's why sitcoms always end with everything back to normal - because that stability is not only their brand, but their message as well. It's why at the end of every Original Series episode, there's a cheesy joke. It tells the audience that despite all that's happened, the show will go on. But more than that, I like Algis Budrys's definition - denoument is validation. It validates the experience the characters had, provides context for their reaction to those events. Think of the endless denoument for the LOTR movies - yes, it goes on and on, but then, we had ~9 main characters in the films and at least three separate storylines. That's a lot of validation and clarity to provide. The events after the climax show how the character has changed.

2. Describe a denoument for us from one of your favorite books. I have so many favorite books this question made my head spin. I finally settled on 11.22.63 by Stephen King. If you haven't read it, you're missing out in a big way. Spoilers ahead: After the MC corrects the timeline and returns to his own present, there's a huge dangling question. BUT WHAT ABOUT SADIE!? She was a crucial part of his past experiences, the decisions he made, the events as they happened. The audience HAS to know what happened to her, or, despite the magnificence of the rest of the book, we would hate it. I would have. The closer I got to the end, the more I feared this crucial validation and clarity wouldn't be provided. Boy, was I wrong. I don't know if I've ever cried like that in a book before. It's gorgeous writing, and perfectly emotional. King gives the readers the validation for their worry and suffering and fear with the MC.

3. Go back to the last short story you wrote (not the Flash). Ask yourself: Did my story have a true denoument? And then confess. Here. You heard me. Don't worry, we'll absolve you if necessary. : ) I wrote another flash story, and while the denoument is short, it's there. The kids are cutting school at the beginning of the story, and at the end, they decide they'd be better off going to class tomorrow after all. They've changed, because of the events, and that validates the events.

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

ReplyQuote
Posted : October 15, 2019 11:31 am
RETreasure
(@rschibler)
Silver Star Member
Posts: 703

What does this tell you, and how does this relate to you, to this challenge? Discuss please. This is your current assignment.

I think it's fairly simple. Work in, work out. Whether it's 1,000,000 words, or 99% perspiration and 1% inspiration, the fact remains that a lot of success comes down to grit and hard work and not talent. Talent helps, to be sure. I'd bet it cuts down that million words a tad, or shifts the balance of luck in your favor, but there's no prize for quitting. I keep in mind a simplification I saw when I first started writing - it's one of the things that has kept me going. Picture 10,000 wannabe writers. Probably a little higher than WotF, but not a lot. Certainly there many times that many - /r/writing on reddit has 800k subscribers. Okay, so of that 10,000, only 10% ever actually finish anything. So that's 1,000 writers left. Only 10% of those ever edit it. So that's 100 writers left. Only 10% of those ever submit it anywhere. Now you're only competing against 10 writers. Sure, they're the best of the best, because they've honed their craft, but it's a lot better than 10k. Keep going!

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

ReplyQuote
Posted : October 15, 2019 11:37 am
Wulf Moon
(@wulfmoon)
Platinum Plus Member Moderator
Posts: 2099

Denouement assignment results.

Many weighed in. This helps all, because there are many facets to a gem of knowledge, and often another's unique take can help us appreciate new aspects of the knowledge. Thank you. It's why I called for challenge members that would be active participants. We're here to help one another.

It's obvious you are all accomplished gymnasts and understand that no matter how good your set is, you only win if you land on your feet. You clearly understand denouement. It's been ingrained in us since childhood in all those bedtime stories that ended: "And they all lived happily ever after." It appears we have a deep psychological need to know our heroes are going to be okay after all the hell they've been through. We are invested in their welfare--it's why we read a story or book all the way to the end. But we have other needs as well. There might be plot questions that needed clarification at the end so we don't view some miraculous save in the climax as a cheat. There will be the need to know our hero got the point of what they went through, and will use that hard won knowledge or power for the betterment of themselves, their loved ones, perhaps even their clan or society or world or even the universe. We also have an intrinsic need to hear someone say, "Attaboy, job well done." We all have a hardwired sense of justice, and part of that is that hard work and sacrifice should be appreciated, even rewarded. (Think of the award ceremony in the original Star Wars movie--Lucas certainly understands denouement.) But we also need to know "life goes on." We might be closing the book, but we need to know THE END is not the end, not for our good guys we've invested our time and hopes and dreams in. As we close that book or come to the end of a short story, we have a need to know that before we let go, our hero is going to keep living on, or, if they gave the ultimate sacrifice, we need to know that at least the people our hero saved are going to keep living on and benefit from the sacrifice.

The trick is to satisfy this need with great cunning. Denouements have the tough job of being subtle, yet carrying great weight. The best denouements happen off the page. The reader looks at the coding at the end and actually sees a vision of something far greater than what is there. And some denouements are actually trick denouements that, with a subtle play of words, tell you the ending you hoped for is not really what it seems. Surprise! Perhaps that showdown at the end was not with the true villain. Perhaps our hero believes he has solved the problem, but in truth he's only destroyed one of the henchmen of the evil overlord. With subtle coding, especially in the last line, there are ways to tell the reader this fact while leaving the hero blissfully blind at the end of their journey. This is used to great effect in novel sequels, but short stories can play this card as well, and we might even nod sagely because while the hero breathes a sigh and sees a bright future ahead, we know it's not all going to be happily ever afters, but we'll be glad the hero should now be better prepared to face whatever comes next.

Finally, if you can tie your ending to the beginning of your story, you will create the full circle effect. One of the basics of storytelling is that your hero must start the story one way, and be changed from knowledge and experience gained by the end. A great way to prove this is to take your hero back to the beginning. A good ending subtly reminds your readers, "See? This is how they began, this is where it all began, but this hero you look at now is not the same person you set off with." Think Bilbo in the HOBBIT. When Bilbo returns to Bag End after his adventure, he finds he has quite lost his reputation, and that the community finds him 'queer.' He doesn't mind. The community can continue in ignorant bliss--honestly, if they knew what was out there and what might be coming, much of what makes Hobbiton a paradise would be destroyed. We are content that Bilbo knows better, that perhaps there is even someone to keep an eye out for the welfare of these simple folk. Bilbo is no longer naive, worrying about doilies and chipped plates. He may still enjoy a smoke of pipeweed with his friend at the end, but he's a Hobbit that has faced off with a dragon, and has the wit to bandy words with a wizard.

Look to your denouements. Some have confessed they weren't sure if they had them, or wondered if they were strong enough. For your honesty, you are absolved. : ) Others insist they had powerful ones. Perhaps so, perhaps not. I read a lot of stories written by the Volume 36 Super Secret Challenge members last year, and like I said, most fizzled at the end. Sorry, but that will cost you. To win WotF, or to sell professionally elsewhere, your story must be superlative in all the aspects that create Story, which is the Seven Point Plot, which INCLUDES denouement.

Nail your ending. Like Simone Biles, land on your feet and end with a flourish.

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" wins BEST SF&F STORY of 2020
NEW! Don't miss "Shaken, Not Stirred" & "Behind the Scenes" & "Nail Your Opening" 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!

ReplyQuote
Topic starter Posted : October 16, 2019 5:40 am
Wulf Moon
(@wulfmoon)
Platinum Plus Member Moderator
Posts: 2099

Comments on "Fain to Dine and Sup and Soup." Challenge submission requirements by JESchleicher.

A macabre scene, but with obvious SF elements. The stage has been set. We wonder about the vat and floating bodies and why our hero is treading water, but we will read on. The oddity of the situation makes us curious. You have good descriptions and some sensory details. Your 250 is a "boiled down" version of the 500, but I do like it better as the 250, I think it improved. Most notably because the reason for the hero to put himself in harm's way comes to the fore quicker--he has been weaponized. He's also seeking revenge on one particular creature. You give us enough justification to make this horrific sacrifice plausible. And you give us a bit of denouement in your last line. You go for the punch with juxtaposition against searing pain. His sacrifice is going to save their world, and that makes it all worthwhile. Concluding lines are important, and must pack a punch. Well done.

Some helpful pointers. I like crazy titles, everyone knows that by now. But the crazy title must actually fit with the style of the story. As soon as I hear the word "fain," I'm immediately thinking Shakespeare and old English. It's not commonly used today, so it becomes a massive miscue once we start reading and find here a modern tale. Titles should set us up for what lies ahead. We have here a modern tale, so giving us archaic terms like fain and sup throw us off. Don't throw us off in your opening, which in truth, is your title. A title should grab us by the hand and lead us in. It sets theme and is the free tasty sample that makes us desire your packaged product.

Also, don't hyphenate treaded-water. That hyphen is for a descriptive joining of two words to mean one thing. Errors like that, especially in the beginning, toss a reader or judge out of your story. Your goal is to never force your reader to put on the breaks and mull over why your code seems in error. If errors add up, especially in the opening, it's all over for this contest, and for most editors as well. This is why we do indeed need to read over our work when completed, and hopefully have a wise reader to check it as well, before we send a story out. Simple errors like this can cost us, and they are easily avoided.

Thank you for your submission and welcome to the challenge!

OH KEEPER OF RECORDS! ANOTHER OFFERING HAS BEEN MADE! TAKE JESCHLEICHER'S BLOOD AND SCRIBE THE NAME ON THE WALL OF OATHS! Oh, and if JE invites us over for a bowl of soup? TELL JE WE ALREADY ATE AND ARE GRATEFUL BUT WILL HAVE TO PASS.

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" wins BEST SF&F STORY of 2020
NEW! Don't miss "Shaken, Not Stirred" & "Behind the Scenes" & "Nail Your Opening" 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!

ReplyQuote
Topic starter Posted : October 16, 2019 6:33 am
Wulf Moon
(@wulfmoon)
Platinum Plus Member Moderator
Posts: 2099

Like everything we learned in school, there's more to denouement than "the falling action". .... Also, going beyond "what happened" and suggesting "why it matters".

Very good point, Officer.

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" wins BEST SF&F STORY of 2020
NEW! Don't miss "Shaken, Not Stirred" & "Behind the Scenes" & "Nail Your Opening" 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!

ReplyQuote
Topic starter Posted : October 16, 2019 6:37 am
Wulf Moon
(@wulfmoon)
Platinum Plus Member Moderator
Posts: 2099

Since this got buried again, I'm reposting. Only four more days to do your thang to get into this year's SUPER SECRET Challenge!

Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge! Vol. 37 STARTS HERE! (No it didn't, it's a few pages back. This is a repost so you can find it!)

A battle-scarred lycanthrope in his wolfish form rests upon his throne of skulls deep in the hallowed caverns of his lair. He lifts a gnarled staff crowned with a glowing orb; its silvered glow illuminates yellowed ivory fangs as his lips curl back and he opens his maw.

“Ah, it appears the decapitated bodies in the halls before this one did not deter you.” His eyes kindle. You feel stripped to your soul in its fire. “Perhaps you do have the ancient blood of conquerors flowing through your veins that will help you survive this challenge.” And then he smiles, a look shared only with prey about to be devoured. “You will, of course, have to prove yourself.”

He rises, shadows fleeing as he points the staff at a wall, the orb igniting in bright, silvery moonlight. Amber glyphs radiate in response, and you know the concepts each represent, because they glow the same within your heart.

The werebeast's voice rings out like a death knell. “BEHOLD! Moon’s SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge, Vol. 37. May you have what it takes to conquer.”

_________________________________

And here we are again, Challenge Beasties! We launch Moon’s SUPER SECRETS Bonus Challenge, Vol. 37! The foundation of this challenge? Repeat after me: WRITE FRESH ORIGINAL STORIES! I’m sorry, I can’t hear you. Again, and this time, with feeling. WRITE FRESH ORIGINAL STORIES! Ah, thank you, I heard you that time. Honestly, I wasn’t sure why you were here at first. Now, I know.

Actually, I didn’t know. The challenges take much time for me, time I should be writing. My wife reminds me of this most of all, and she’s right, except for one thing.

I am one of you. I came from here. And I don’t believe in leaving anyone behind, not if they are willing to do the work and are simply asking for a helping hand. I believe I can shorten your learning curve and save you some of the pain I experienced from the school of hard knocks. Maybe I can even save you a knock or two, because that’s what friends do. They help one another.

And you can help me. All of you can. I wasn’t sure if I should do this again. But many responded to my polling query at the end of the past challenge--many from behind the scenes as well--that had been reading all these posts and Secrets and said how much they had helped them, some saying they wouldn’t be writing and entering the contest again were it not for these Secrets. And then Joni Labaqi, the contest coordinator, wrote me a few days ago, and that clinched it. She said the Super Secrets are working, don’t change a thing! And so I go on....

I will change one thing. We are going to double our efforts. Four fresh stories in one year’s time is not enough (but it was a noble start!), you are not getting where you need to be fast enough. So this year, we are doubling the requirements. EIGHT FRESH ORIGINAL STORIES. Does that sound like a lot? Yes, for mere mortals. But you want to become a professional writer, don’t you? That’s a drop in the bucket for a professional writer--but again, it’s a noble start! Are you with me? Good. Then here we go!

The Challenge:

In the WotF Vol. 37 calendar year, you must write TWO FRESH ORIGINAL STORIES each quarter, each story 3000 words minimum. The objective is that you will have TWO original stories to choose your submission for that quarter from. You will send one story to WotF, and “kill the spare!” No, wait, that’s Voldemort. If you’ve done your work right, that spare may very well be Harry Potter. We need his lifeblood. Because we’re sending him out into the real world of publishing, and he’s going to have to stand on his own. So the alternate story? You send that one off to a respectable paying market. That’s the rule. And at the end of the quarter, you are a responsible member. We don’t have to hunt you down. You post that you submitted one story to WotF, and one of those fresh, original stories to a respectable paying market. I’ll have a list provided for suggestions on what “respectable” means to me. There’s more, I know. It’s just to help.

One caveat this year. You may have just gotten a Silver HM, or have a trunk story that you really feel if you touched it up a bit, it might have a chance winning the contest. This challenge won’t hold you back from that. But you do have to write TWO original stories regardless, and send at least one to market in that case.

If you have never sent a story to market, don’t worry, I’m going to help you figure it out. You see, this year, I figure you’re past the mechanics of trying to figure out HOW to write a good story; this year, I’m going to focus on teaching you how to SELL a good story.

The Requirements:

This is an advanced course. At college, in order to take advanced courses, you have to meet basic requirements so admissions understands that you are, shall we say, THE RIGHT STUFF. It is no different here. In order to take this challenge, you must:

1. Read the basics of the prior numbered SUPER SECRETS from the Volume 36 year. A hyperlinked table of contents has been provided. This is so you understand the basics of creating a professional story. Don’t worry, I don’t expect people to be at the same level. But I do expect you to do your homework and understand the basics before undertaking this challenge. And you do have to believe the overall approach is something compatible to your own beliefs, or why take a course where I’m going to be drilling down on these more? Make sense? Good.

2. You must watch Dr. Jerry Pournelle’s video and again agree with the basic premise: you need to write fresh, original stories. Lots of them. And stop endlessly reworking old stories. You are moving forward as a writer. You want to level up. You believe this is the next stage. Here is where Joni posted the video. It’s short. https://www.writersofthefuture.com/jerr ... i=77104938

3. You must study the SUPER SECRET: Kill Your Darlings exercise. And then you must do all three phases based on ONE of two prompts: either DECEPTION or BLACK WIDOW.

4. You must post here by midnight Pacific (contest time), October 20th, in one post, just your 500 and your 250. Begin with “I’m in.” And then, format your pieces like this: My 500 titled “Black Widow Night” or some such, and then make it readable, meaning you’ll have to add line spaces to separate out paragraphs and dialog in here. THEN, same post, you’ll write: My 250 titled “Black Widow Night” and more of the same. This is your entrance exam. This is your proof you are capable of doing the work and meeting deadlines. Fail to post by midnight Pacific by October 20th, and we know you aren’t interested, move along, these aren’t the droids we’re looking for. : )

5. You agree to have a share in commentary, and to responsibly post your having met the requirements each quarter. You want accountability, and you want to share in positive discussion about how we can apply and learn from ideas shared. You want to be a valuable member, helping cheer other members on in this goal of getting professionally published, whether through Writers of the Future, or through other esteemed venues. It does no one any good to have members we don’t hear from until the end of the year. Additionally, we don’t mind hearing from outsiders from time to time (I’m happy you’re here), but if you do comment, please make sure commentary is meant to encourage these runners in this sprint they have challenged themselves with. And, I might add, the coach leading them—this challenge is challenging for me to run as well. Comments should put wind in one another’s sails, not shred their sails. We want to help all reach the horizon this challenge has set for them.

6. We will have homework and discussion. Our workbook for this will be HOW I GOT PUBLISHED AND WHAT I LEARNED ALONG THE WAY by Camden Park Press. You’ll see why we’re using it as we go along if you can’t tell from the title. Most courses at college require you to obtain a textbook, and then pay a lot of money for the class. This class is free. The textbook we’re using is only $4.99 on Kindle. Our first assignment is to read David Farland’s essay—he is the WotF contest coordinator after all. Here’s the link: http://www.Books2Read.com/howigotpublished .

You might wish to get the book in Kevin J. Anderson’s NANOWRIMO STORYBUNDLE. For a few dollars more (bundle purchase by donation so you choose your price), you get this book, plus the latest writing books from around five WotF judges. It’s an excellent deal, and a great bundle for building your knowledge (wasn’t that one of my Secrets? Study your judges?). Here’s the link for The 2019 Nanowrimo Tools Storybundle: https://storybundle.com/nano

Finally, it goes without saying you must have the time to take on the added requirements. This is double what we did for Volume 36. It’s not meant to stress you out; it’s meant to challenge your abilities. If this goal seems within reach, reach for it. If not, don’t put unnecessary stress on yourself, you can still read long and cheer the runners in the race on to the finish line!

I look forward to seeing what our challenge beasties accomplish this year. Last year, we saw much good from the challenge. Many said the challenge was the reason they are writing again and submitting to the contest. Members said they learned things they had never understood about writing before. While the verdict is still out for Q4, we had two finalists come from our group, as well as many other honor levels. This year, I believe, will prove even better, because we are seeking results both from the Writers of the Future Contest, and from other markets as well.

So think hard about ALL the requirements. If you believe this is for you, you know what to do. You have until October 20th, and then THE DOOR IS SHUT!

So get in. Now’s the time.

All the beast!

Beastmaster Moon * SUPER DUPER BONUS CHALLENGE: In addition to the above, commit to ONE fresh, original flash story PER MONTH that you put through the KILL YOUR DARLINGS exercise (Super Secret #33) using one of my weekly Monday prompts. This means at the end of the year you'll have EIGHT fresh original short stories, and TWELVE fresh Flash stories, TWENTY new stories in all! You don't have to show these on the topic, we trust you. You just have to commit this month to the Super Duper Bonus and report your progress on this bonus flash challenge each month or each quarter, whatever works for you. These take time, just like short stories, but I believe they will help you advance if you do them regularly. You can post like this: Flash Challenge: 1/12. Have at it if you feel you have the writing time. *

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" wins BEST SF&F STORY of 2020
NEW! Don't miss "Shaken, Not Stirred" & "Behind the Scenes" & "Nail Your Opening" 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!

ReplyQuote
Topic starter Posted : October 16, 2019 6:46 am
SwiftPotato
(@swiftpotato)
Silver Star Member
Posts: 549

OH KEEPER OF RECORDS! ANOTHER OFFERING HAS BEEN MADE! TAKE JESCHLEICHER'S BLOOD AND SCRIBE THE NAME ON THE WALL OF OATHS! Oh, and if JE invites us over for a bowl of soup? TELL JE WE ALREADY ATE AND ARE GRATEFUL BUT WILL HAVE TO PASS.

The flame of your lantern is now little more than a pinkie nail of yellow. It seems that the whisperers in the dark are huddling closer to you by the moment. Despite the creeping chill in your heart, you watch close as a new word is inscribed on the wall in blood: JESCHLEICHER.

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

ReplyQuote
Posted : October 16, 2019 7:27 am
SwiftPotato
(@swiftpotato)
Silver Star Member
Posts: 549

Since this got buried again, I'm reposting. Only four more days to do your thang to get into this year's SUPER SECRET Challenge!

Reposting the links to the vol. 36 super secrets as well, in the interest of keeping it close to this opening post each time.

All pages are for ascending order in the forum. Links will take you directly to the comments explaining each secret.

Moon's SUPER SECRETS copyright 2019 by Wulf Moon.

Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge, Vol. 36

BOOK ONE
Moon's SUPER SECRETS: How to Write a Winning Story

SUPER SECRET #0: Proper manuscript format for the win! Improper manuscript format for the lose! - p.8
SUPER SECRET #1: Enter EVERY quarter. - p.2
SUPER SECRET #2: DON'T drive to the story! - p.2
SUPER SECRET #3: Set the hook! - p.2
SUPER SECRET #4: Pick a major emotion and make your reader FEEL it down to their core! - p.2
SUPER SECRET #5: A story is a PROMISE. - p.3
SUPER SECRET #6: Hint in your opening the grand vista of your world. - p.3
SUPER SECRET #7: Private message for challenge members only. - p.3
SUPER SECRET #8: Kill "as you know, Bobs" in your story! - p.3
SUPER SECRET #9: Open your story with your protagonist. - p.3
SUPER SECRET #10: Private message for challenge members only. - p.3
SUPER SECRET #11: Triple check that your name is OFF your manuscript!!! - p.3
SUPER SECRET #12: MAGIC UP FRONT! - p.3
SUPER SECRET #13: DON’T OVEREDIT! - p.4
SUPER SECRET #14: Do not overthink your story! - p.4
SUPER SECRET #15: Open your short story with 1. A CHARACTER, 2. in a SETTING, 3. with a PROBLEM. - p.5
SUPER SECRET #16: Read your story out loud. - p.6
SUPER SECRET #17: Know thy judge! - p.7
SUPER SECRET #18: Start your #%$@#%!& hero’s quest! We’re on the clock! - p.7
SUPER SECRET #19: Mock-up your story! - p.8
SUPER SECRET #20: Employ the 7 Point Plot model. - p.9
SUPER SECRET #21: KISS. - p.10
SUPER-DUPER SECRET #1: Take your reader on a *deep* emotional journey. - p.11
SUPER SECRET #22: THINGS GET WORSE! - p.12 and p.14
SUPER SECRET #23: READ! - p.15
SUPER SECRET #24: Study your judge! - p.15
SUPER SECRET #25: For WotF, DON'T write a story in first person narrative! - p.17
SUPER SECRET #26: Find your wise reader! Preferably, someone with more pro sales than you! - p.18
SUPER SECRET #27: Private message for challenge members only. - p.18
SUPER SECRET #28: YOU MUST WRITE. - p.20
SUPER SECRET #29: Help your subconscious to ENGAGE. - p.21
SUPER SECRET #30: Experience life, don't just read about other people's experiences. - p.22
SUPER SECRET #31: Not too long, not too short. Your story needs to be jusssst right. - p.23
SUPER SECRET #32: Deploy your MAGIC SWORD. - p.30
SUPER SECRET #33: KILL YOUR DARLINGS: The Economy of Words Flash Exercise - p.33 for summary and tip; p.22-28 for exercise and critiques
SUPER SECRET #34: A Climax Goes Big Badda Boom - p.34
SUPER SECRET #35: "Who was that masked man?" - p.36

BOOK TWO
Moon's SUPER SECRETS: How to Get Professionally Published

Coming soon!

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

ReplyQuote
Posted : October 16, 2019 7:30 am
Thegirlintheglasses
(@thegirlintheglasses)
Bronze Star Member Contributor
Posts: 171

Wow! This thread is POPPING!!! I love it. I'm super stoked reading all of these cool story seeds. Dining on Soup--awesome. Vibe reminded me a bit of "Are you the Life of the Party" in volume 35. Super creepy. Really enjoyed swiftpotato's master deception lady--that is a story I would LOVE to read on a grander scale. I hope you do it. Mr. Heckel's also creepy, also awesome bayou alien slave story sounded prime for building. The first one I read with the magic--first conception then deception—this one also reminded me of a winner in 32 maybe? It was a genie in a book. Cool concept. The mother’s love with the temple toddler she can't claim. Gahhhhhh! I could keep going on. So much awesome you guys! I love them all. It seems like everyone is putting a strong foot forward 

Okay, catching up on some assignments:
1. What exactly is denoument, and why must a story have it? It’s the life goes on moment. It’s the moment the reader can take a breath and go, yes, I get it. It’s validation, showing the change’s effect on everyday or perhaps the reason WHY the story mattered in the first place.
2. Describe a denoument for us from one of your favorite books. So… my favorite books are still the Harry Potter series and I’ll own it. Yep. So… The starts are always the end of a Summer at the Durselys—which is always some degree of awful—and at the end of every book, you have Harry returning home, beginning another summer…only now he’s looking forward to something a bit better. In the first book, he’s excited to torment Duddley—his family doesn’t know he isn’t allowed to use magic outside school. Wonderful! He’ll do much better than the cupboard from now on. In the second book, Harry hands off his phone number to Ron, tells him to have his dad call—and Hermione asks Harry if his aunt and uncle will be proud, he replies “Proud? Are you mad? All those times I could’ve died and I didn’t manage it? They’ll be furious…” So, he’s looking forward to having friends to talk to outside of school and it comes full circle with the awfulness of the Dursleys, with an added bit of humor. The third book ends with Harry getting permission to go to Hogesmede in a note from Sirus, his godfather. When he tells his uncle this, the man’s eyes pop out of his head. “You haven’t got a godfather.” Harry grins. “Yes I do…He’s a convicted murder, but he’s broken out of wizard prison and he’s on the run. He likes to keep in touch with me, tough….keep up with my news…check I’m happy.” This let’s us all know that the summer should be much better. And it’s funny. I like that about the Harry Potter books—light mixed with tragedy. Humor mixed with serious.
3. Go back to the last short story you wrote (not the Flash). Ask yourself: Did my story have a true denoument? My last short, yes. I believe so. I’m working on my current and trying to get that spot on, but it’s HARD. Lol. Like Moon’s Super Duper Moongirl story…I aspire to the one line gut-wrenching denoument. HARRRRDDDDD!

Question for you guys: How do you denoument when your MC dies?

ALSO:
I’M IN FOR THE 12 FLASH- ONE A MONTH CHALLENGE.
Mama needs some new story seeds!

Brittany Rainsdon
R-SHM-HM-R-HM-R-F-F-HM-HM-SHM-HM-HM-SF-PF-2nd place!
Published Finalist Volume 37 Quarter 4
Second Place Volume 38 Quarter 1

First publication was "Perfectly Painted Lies" published in Deep Magic Spring 2021 and reprinted in the anthology, Best of Deep Magic Volume 2.
Learn more about me at rainsdonwrites.com

ReplyQuote
Posted : October 16, 2019 7:38 am
Thegirlintheglasses
(@thegirlintheglasses)
Bronze Star Member Contributor
Posts: 171

RE: First Assignment: Copper Nickel article response about why flash fiction can be beneficial to writing longer pieces.

This bit in particular spoke to me:
"I'm on board with defining flash as a deliberate intensity on the writer’s part."

Learning to write with intensity--emotional, intellectual, linguistic--is a huge benefit regardless of length. It could be said that brevity lends to the intensity--but in the article, it seems to me flash is more about the risk and the way it is written and/or structured. Amp up the pressure and do it in a short space. Clarify the problem. Quickly! And then go for the jugular on that last line. Go! Go! Go! BAM! So... if you can write a scene like that--with flavorful intensity--and then layer another such scene on another and another...then you have yourself a tasty short story.
What flash teaches: intensity in voice.

Brittany Rainsdon
R-SHM-HM-R-HM-R-F-F-HM-HM-SHM-HM-HM-SF-PF-2nd place!
Published Finalist Volume 37 Quarter 4
Second Place Volume 38 Quarter 1

First publication was "Perfectly Painted Lies" published in Deep Magic Spring 2021 and reprinted in the anthology, Best of Deep Magic Volume 2.
Learn more about me at rainsdonwrites.com

ReplyQuote
Posted : October 16, 2019 7:55 am
SwiftPotato
(@swiftpotato)
Silver Star Member
Posts: 549

Got you down for the extra flash challenge, thegirlintheglasses!

For the group at large, I think I've caught and written down everyone signing up for the flash challenge so far. I'll be posting a comprehensive list of challenge takers and spaces for their "stats" when the signup window for the general challenge ends (well... probably more like when I wake up on October 21, because midnight Pacific is 3am my time, and I'm just not on college time anymore). So you will have a chance to make sure I got you down for everything!

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

ReplyQuote
Posted : October 16, 2019 9:20 am
Henckel
(@henckel)
Silver Member
Posts: 402

Do we post our 500 and 250 flash stories here like we did with the deception qualification round?

(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 – tba

Publications
2019 Writing Bloc Cooperative – Escape Anthology
2020 Sci-Fi Lampoon – Winter 2020 Issue

ReplyQuote
Posted : October 16, 2019 10:14 am
Wulf Moon
(@wulfmoon)
Platinum Plus Member Moderator
Posts: 2099

RE: First Assignment: Copper Nickel article response about why flash fiction can be beneficial to writing longer pieces.

This bit in particular spoke to me:
"I'm on board with defining flash as a deliberate intensity on the writer’s part."

Learning to write with intensity--emotional, intellectual, linguistic--is a huge benefit regardless of length. It could be said that brevity lends to the intensity--but in the article, it seems to me flash is more about the risk and the way it is written and/or structured. Amp up the pressure and do it in a short space. Clarify the problem. Quickly! And then go for the jugular on that last line. Go! Go! Go! BAM! So... if you can write a scene like that--with flavorful intensity--and then layer another such scene on another and another...then you have yourself a tasty short story.
What flash teaches: intensity in voice.

As you speak your premise, Professor Trelawney stares into your writing soul, eyes mushroomed within her Coke-bottle lenses. "Tsk, tsk. My dear Brittany, from the first moment you stepped foot in my class, I sensed that you did not possess the proper spirit for the noble art of creative writing. No, you see, there. Oh, you may be young in years, but the heart that beats beneath your bosom is as shriveled as an old maid's, your soul as dry as the pages of the books to which you so desperately cleave."

You flee the classroom as Trelawney calls out, "Was it something I said?"

As you rush into the corridor, there stands Dumbledore, blocking your way. He has swept down from his tower, miraculously it would appear, just to see you. His bushy brows draw down over his eyes. "Miss Brittany, a word."

You follow him into an alcove, fighting back tears. He bends down and speaks soft words, rich with dynamic power. "Trelawney is a bumbling fool. I keep her on the payroll because she had one good prophecy in her, and I might get another payout one day. Pay no attention. Your words are spot on, and are the very reason why I put that assignment in the curriculum. I hope everyone in class heard you."

Your heart swells. You blink away tears, swipe your eyes with the back of your hand, and look up.

Dumbledore is gone. You are left to find your own way through Hogwarts once again.

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" wins BEST SF&F STORY of 2020
NEW! Don't miss "Shaken, Not Stirred" & "Behind the Scenes" & "Nail Your Opening" 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!

ReplyQuote
Topic starter Posted : October 16, 2019 10:30 am
Wulf Moon
(@wulfmoon)
Platinum Plus Member Moderator
Posts: 2099

Do we post our 500 and 250 flash stories here like we did with the deception qualification round?

I wish, Henckel, but I could not keep up, and we would lose lessons in the sheer volume of weekly entries. This is the admissions period. The Kill Your Darlings flash samples were your offering to prove that you are THE RIGHT STUFF. You have proven yourself. We are simply awaiting any others, giving them ample opportunity so no one can say they didn't know about the challenge.

In the meantime, everyone has the assignment to procure our textbook for the months ahead: HOW I GOT PUBLISHED AND WHAT I LEARNED ALONG THE WAY. And I already gave the assignment to read David Farland's essay within, paying close attention as to how he won so many contests. There will be a discussion. Now and then, as was the case last year, there will be valuable prizes.

In addition, the SUPER SECRETS challenge provides a new writing prompt every Monday. This is for those that took the 12 flash bonus--it is my hope they will use the KILL YOUR DARLINGS exercise to create their works of flash. This is not merely to create new flash stories. It is meant to train your minds to create potent words and tight scenes, where the skills will begin to permeate your creation process. Some might be able to create a flash a week off these, or to store extra 250s as story seeds, but the bonus sets a reasonable commitment of one per month.

At some point, I will call for a public display of new 500s and 250s again. But there are other lessons to be learned . . .

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" wins BEST SF&F STORY of 2020
NEW! Don't miss "Shaken, Not Stirred" & "Behind the Scenes" & "Nail Your Opening" 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!

ReplyQuote
Topic starter Posted : October 16, 2019 10:50 am
Henckel
(@henckel)
Silver Member
Posts: 402

Thanks Wulf. I’ve exorcized my procurement skills, utilizing Amazon’s “Buy With One Click” button.

And a big thank you to Girl in the Glasses who read through my Q3 sub and identified issues that I’d failed to see. Before submitting, I changes a character’s gender from female to male, but I completely forgot to update my pronouns pertaining to that character. (these mistakes no doubt cost me)
I’ve since updated and submitted to the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. This is the first time I’ve submitted to them. Might as well start at the top.

Lastly, I’m starting a new job next Monday. I speculate this new job will be more stressful than my current job and require longer hours. Hopefully this doesn’t interfere with my writing time too much.

(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 – tba

Publications
2019 Writing Bloc Cooperative – Escape Anthology
2020 Sci-Fi Lampoon – Winter 2020 Issue

ReplyQuote
Posted : October 16, 2019 1:03 pm
Wulf Moon
(@wulfmoon)
Platinum Plus Member Moderator
Posts: 2099

Henckel,

Congrats on the new job. May it pay the bills until your writing can replace it!

F&SF is a great market, tremendous history there. Let us know when you get a "Charlie" at the end of his letter. It means he likes your writing and wants to see more. He often takes the time to give stories that show promise a quick note. Take this as a good sign, and we'll talk about rejections and signs soon. This challenge is about HOW TO GET PUBLISHED. Smile

Glad you caught mistakes like that. Why it's good to have another set of eyes on our manuscript before sending. They can easily cost you the win, or the sale. No mistakes! That should always be our mantra. And we need systems in place to make it so!

Cheers!

And to the rest...don't forget commenting on the exercises if you failed to do so. Formulating what you've learned in your own words helps lessons stick. Posting here will help it sink down in our gray matter! Smile
HERE YE'! HEAR YE'! FOUR DAYS LEFT TO THE END OF THE WORLD. OR TO GET ON THIS ROCKET! YOUR CHOICE! : )

All the beast!

Wulf 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" wins BEST SF&F STORY of 2020
NEW! Don't miss "Shaken, Not Stirred" & "Behind the Scenes" & "Nail Your Opening" 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!

ReplyQuote
Topic starter Posted : October 16, 2019 1:25 pm
Wulf Moon
(@wulfmoon)
Platinum Plus Member Moderator
Posts: 2099

I think Brittany asked how to do denouement when the protagonist dies. From the perspective of the crew in "Weep No More for the Willow," I did that. It's in the latest Deep Magic. Can't say more, it will wreck the story for folks.There's plenty of other examples, however. Somebody help Brittany with one!

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" wins BEST SF&F STORY of 2020
NEW! Don't miss "Shaken, Not Stirred" & "Behind the Scenes" & "Nail Your Opening" 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!

ReplyQuote
Topic starter Posted : October 16, 2019 1:28 pm
SwiftPotato
(@swiftpotato)
Silver Star Member
Posts: 549

Hmm. I haven't done a denouement where the main character dies, but I've done one where a major character dies. I know it isn't the same, but I think the concept is the same. If a major character dies, it must have been for a reason, right? It must have had some impact you were intending to make. Even if the point was just to show that random awful deaths can happen to anyone at any time. With that in mind, I think the denouement should then focus on the impact that death had. So, if your MC sacrificed themselves to make sure their best friend's pregnant wife didn't end up alone, then the denouement should show what happened to the best friend and their wife and child. Did the wife have the baby? Do they think of the MC and their sacrifice often? Do they feel guilty getting to live out their life when the MC didn't? Are they grateful to have the chance to raise their child and live on with their wife? Etc.

All that rambling just to say that after a MC's death, the reader should be freaking out a little, and your denouement should be answering the main question everyone will have: why did the MC have to die? What was the point? In addition to that, the fact that the MC is dead doesn't change the point of the denouement, which is for you to tell the reader that the goal is accomplished (or not), and everyone can go home now (or not). And if that can be brought full circle, so much the better.

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

ReplyQuote
Posted : October 16, 2019 2:15 pm
Retropianoplayer
(@retropianoplayer)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 224

Girl In The Glasses, my Q3 submission was one where the MC died. Although I provided denouement through the MC's wife and daughter, unfortunately the story did not resonate with the WOTF judges.

Such is life. A different writer's story could find traction even with the MC being terminated at the conclusion.

I did submit an earlier entry to SFF Magazine. The editor is extremely pleasant and generally a great guy. He said there was some good prose and some good moments, but the story didn't win him over, and he hopes I'll keep them in mind in the future. He did sign the note 'Charlie.'

With someone as pleasant as that, I would definitely consider sending other submissions in futuro his way. This was the VERY FIRST time I have ever submitted a short story to a professional magazine.

Best,

Retro

ReplyQuote
Posted : October 16, 2019 3:13 pm
Wulf Moon
(@wulfmoon)
Platinum Plus Member Moderator
Posts: 2099

I did submit an earlier entry to SFF Magazine. The editor is extremely pleasant and generally a great guy. He said there was some good prose and some good moments, but the story didn't win him over, and he hopes I'll keep them in mind in the future. He did sign the note 'Charlie.'

With someone as pleasant as that, I would definitely consider sending other submissions in futuro his way. This was the VERY FIRST time I have ever submitted a short story to a professional magazine.

Retro! That is an awesome personal rejection from F&SF (that's the proper acronym). And even more surprising you got it on your very first submission outside of this contest. Well done!

Seriously, put that on your bulletin board or frame it. That's like an HM in WotF.

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" wins BEST SF&F STORY of 2020
NEW! Don't miss "Shaken, Not Stirred" & "Behind the Scenes" & "Nail Your Opening" 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!

ReplyQuote
Topic starter Posted : October 16, 2019 3:36 pm
Wulf Moon
(@wulfmoon)
Platinum Plus Member Moderator
Posts: 2099

Question for you guys: How do you denoument when your MC dies?/quote]

F. Scott Fitzgerald did a wonderful denouement after the protagonist died in THE GREAT GATSBY.

Here's the ending:

And as I sat there brooding on the old, unknown world, I thought of Gatsby’s wonder when he first picked out the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock. He had come a long way to this blue lawn, and his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it. He did not know that it was already behind him, somewhere back in that vast obscurity beyond the city, where the dark fields of the republic rolled on under the night.

Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter — to-morrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther. . . . And one fine morning ——

So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.

___________________________

And there's that coup de grace at the end, the killer last line that sums up with potent power the entire message of the novel.

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" wins BEST SF&F STORY of 2020
NEW! Don't miss "Shaken, Not Stirred" & "Behind the Scenes" & "Nail Your Opening" 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!

ReplyQuote
Topic starter Posted : October 16, 2019 4:00 pm
AVDutson
(@avdutson)
Active Member
Posts: 24

Okay. Starting word count: 1091.

My 500 (496 - Not quite Sparta)

The old spacer stared into the dark--eyes lost on some forgotten horror. “Black eyes I tell you. The Beast of Thralls. You can never escape it. It smells your fear. God help you should you ever land there.”

A diminutive belch escaped him, leaving a sticky taste. He picked up his mug, but found it empty. “Another round!”

The bald-headed man eyed him. “Its twenty-five minutes since last call and five before you’re out.”

The spacer blinked, unsure he’d heard correctly. He looked down and saw his companion’s mug still half-full. With a smile, he swapped mugs. His chronometer chimed and he tapped the screen.

His face paled. “Oh, no.”

He leapt from the stool, pulling the door open a crack. A thick fog had rolled in off the lake. The chronometer gave a sonar ping. The gap between pings shortened, indicating the beast was getting nearer.

“No,” he cried.

“We’re closed,” the barkeep shouted behind him.

The spacer bolted upright and with a practiced step, the barkeep flung the old spacer into the street, slamming the door.

Fog circled like icy tendrils. Distant sounds muffled in the heavy air. He turned into the darkness and ran. His chronometer pinged, tightening further. He set the sound delay--no sense alerting it. His ship was close. If he could get to it, he could jump world and be rid of the beast forever.

The hanger door was locked. What had he done with the key? He wiped sweat from his brow. This was no time to panic.He needed to find another way in.

He found a small gap between his hanger and the neighboring one. It was tight for a man of his girth. A space fit for a maintenance bot.

Something crunched and he turned to stare into the fog. A dark shape lingered. Could it see him? He prayed death would be quick. But the beast moved on.

He felt around, finding a ladder. It was built for someone with much smaller feet. He climbed it anyway coming out on top of his hanger’s fuel reserve tank. He laughed, giggling with glee and scooted across the flat surface and down the opposite ladder. He ran toward his ship, using the access hatch into the cargo bay. He climbed up to the main deck. Reverberating thumps sounded against the hull.

The beast had found him!

He hurried for the cockpit. If he didn’t launch immediately, it would get into the ship. He dropped into the captain’s seat and began takeoff procedures. That was when the chime resumed on his chronometer. The spaces sounded like a flatline heartbeat.

“Didn’t you hear me banging on the hatch?” She screeched.

He spun, eyes wide. “Oh, sweetness. I didn’t hear you.”

She glared. “Get out of my chair!”

The spacer leapt, dropping into the copilot’s chair.

She sniffed the air. “I see you’ve drank our money away.”

“I’m sorry, sweetness.” He shook, trying to offer his wife a loving smile.

My 250

The old spacer stared--eyes lost on some forgotten horror. “Black eyes I tell you. The Beast of Thralls.”

He picked up his mug, but found it empty. “Another round!”

The barkeep eyed him. “Its twenty-five minutes since last call and five before you’re out.”

The spacer’s chronometer chimed and he tapped the screen. “Oh, no.”

He leapt from the stool and into the street. An icy fog had rolled in off the lake. He turned into the darkness and ran. The chronometer’s sonar pinged--the beast was getting nearer. He set the sound delay--no sense alerting it. His ship was close. He could be rid of the beast forever.

The hanger was locked. What had he done with the key? He needed to find another way in. A small gap with a ladder led onto the hanger’s reserve tank. He scooted across the flat surface and down the opposite ladder, bolting for his ship. As he used the access hatch into the cargo bay, reverberating thumps sounded against the hull.

The beast had found him!

He hurried for the cockpit. If he didn’t launch immediately, it would get into the ship. He dropped into the captain’s seat when the chimes resumed on his chronometer sounding like a flatline heartbeat.

“Didn’t you hear me banging on the hatch?” She screeched.

He spun, eyes wide. “Oh, uh, no.”

She glared. “Get out of my chair!”

The spacer leapt, dropping into the copilot’s chair and offering his wife a loving smile. “I’m sorry, sweetness.”

~Tony
A.V. Dutson
R : 2, HM : 4, SHM : 2, F : 0, SF : 0, W : 0
"A good writer possesses not only his own spirit, but also the spirit of his friends."
~Friedrich Nietzsche

ReplyQuote
Posted : October 16, 2019 11:44 pm
AVDutson
(@avdutson)
Active Member
Posts: 24

As a suggestion for some of our 1st quarter second submissions, I suggest the Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award.

Write a short story of no more than 8,000 words, that shows the near future (no more than about 50-60 years out) of manned space exploration.
No entry fee. Due February 1st.

For more information:
https://www.baen.com/contest-jbmssa

~Tony
A.V. Dutson
R : 2, HM : 4, SHM : 2, F : 0, SF : 0, W : 0
"A good writer possesses not only his own spirit, but also the spirit of his friends."
~Friedrich Nietzsche

ReplyQuote
Posted : October 16, 2019 11:53 pm
AVDutson
(@avdutson)
Active Member
Posts: 24

Thanks, Wulf, for reposting the challenge! I swear I dug through the list but couldn't find it.

The textbook is on order. Getting back into the college mindset. 😀

~Tony
A.V. Dutson
R : 2, HM : 4, SHM : 2, F : 0, SF : 0, W : 0
"A good writer possesses not only his own spirit, but also the spirit of his friends."
~Friedrich Nietzsche

ReplyQuote
Posted : October 17, 2019 12:26 am
Wulf Moon
(@wulfmoon)
Platinum Plus Member Moderator
Posts: 2099

Thanks, Wulf, for reposting the challenge! I swear I dug through the list but couldn't find it.

The textbook is on order. Getting back into the college mindset. 😀

Glad you found it, AV. I was afraid we lost you, why I PMd you on Facebook last night to see what was up. Will get to your submission soon but way to hustle! Well done!

Just FYI to all, this is one of the reasons we can't do this Kill Your Darlings exercise all the time--it buries the topic. But right now, Kill Your Darlings IS the main topic, so we're good. Well, that, and final submissions to qualify for Moon's SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge Vol. 37! Only THREE MORE DAYS so get your submissions in and your name will go up on the illustrious WALL OF OATHS, binding you to publishing success this year! Who will make their first sale? Their second? Their third! Might that even be to WRITERS OF THE FUTURE???

We shall see. One thing is for sure. I've read your submissions. We've got some sharpshooters on this team!

Let's go! Let's get our men and women across the line! PUSH! (Three days left, you lurkers! Smile
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" wins BEST SF&F STORY of 2020
NEW! Don't miss "Shaken, Not Stirred" & "Behind the Scenes" & "Nail Your Opening" 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!

ReplyQuote
Topic starter Posted : October 17, 2019 3:37 am
Wulf Moon
(@wulfmoon)
Platinum Plus Member Moderator
Posts: 2099

Oh, and it helped that Dutson was already a Facebook friend of mine. Others of you are as well. I will suggest you friend me so we have a faster messaging system when needed. wulf moon 94.

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" wins BEST SF&F STORY of 2020
NEW! Don't miss "Shaken, Not Stirred" & "Behind the Scenes" & "Nail Your Opening" 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!

ReplyQuote
Topic starter Posted : October 17, 2019 3:40 am
Wulf Moon
(@wulfmoon)
Platinum Plus Member Moderator
Posts: 2099

Thanks, Wulf, for reposting the challenge! I swear I dug through the list but couldn't find it.

The textbook is on order. Getting back into the college mindset. 😀

Good man! Hopefully the postal system doesn't lose it on you, because you will only have yourself to blame. : ) (Guess where he works, guys. Smile When you get HOW I GOT PUBLISHED AND WHAT I LEARNED ALONG THE WAY, Camden Park Press, please read David Wolverton's/Farland's article. Draw bead specifically on how he won so many contests. It's what we will be discussing first from the book, since our primary objective here is to win this contest to be professionally published by WRITERS OF THE FUTURE, launching our professional writing career.

I want insights! He's the man that will determine your future in this contest! And some of you know his other source material on this. Bring in some of that in your comments as well. He's written about it before. Research! : )

Cheers!

Wulf 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" wins BEST SF&F STORY of 2020
NEW! Don't miss "Shaken, Not Stirred" & "Behind the Scenes" & "Nail Your Opening" 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!

ReplyQuote
Topic starter Posted : October 17, 2019 3:48 am
Thegirlintheglasses
(@thegirlintheglasses)
Bronze Star Member Contributor
Posts: 171

I think Brittany asked how to do denouement when the protagonist dies. From the perspective of the crew in "Weep No More for the Willow," I did that. It's in the latest Deep Magic. Can't say more, it will wreck the story for folks.There's plenty of other examples, however. Somebody help Brittany with one!

Ooooh! I remember that! I also won't spoil that ending for those who haven't seen it. And thanks for the reminder about The Great Gatsby.-- And for the cute Professor Trewlany and Dumbledor scene. Had me worried for a second wotf011

Thanks all for your thoughts on when the MC dies. It's making that last line hard. Although--I really liked how the above SOUP story does it. That was satisfying, even with the MC dying, and didn't change POV. Of course, it's also flash. Weighing things...

the fact that the MC is dead doesn't change the point of the denouement, which is for you to tell the reader that the goal is accomplished (or not), and everyone can go home now (or not). And if that can be brought full circle, so much the better.

That's a good point and helps keep perspective on how much to include and how to gauge if what I've written serves its purpose. Appreciate this.

Brittany Rainsdon
R-SHM-HM-R-HM-R-F-F-HM-HM-SHM-HM-HM-SF-PF-2nd place!
Published Finalist Volume 37 Quarter 4
Second Place Volume 38 Quarter 1

First publication was "Perfectly Painted Lies" published in Deep Magic Spring 2021 and reprinted in the anthology, Best of Deep Magic Volume 2.
Learn more about me at rainsdonwrites.com

ReplyQuote
Posted : October 17, 2019 5:03 am
StarReacher
(@angelakayd)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 141

Thank you, Wulf, for the insightful comments you provided to improve "Soulmates". I totally agree that I missed the mark in answering some critical questions. After reading the other submissions and comments, I realized that focusing on one emotional piece was the goal for the 250. So I am keeping that in mind for the future. I initially thought that this was just a quick "throwaway" piece, but you surprised me by showing just how much I could cram into so little space. Ironically, writing small made me think big. I will definitely be utilizing this process even to write longer pieces (which might include this piece).

For the rest of my wolf pack brothers and sisters, please know that I have been writing for a very long time (off and on for over thirty years) so I can confidently say that I have expended well over a million words thus far, although (alas) without fame and fortune. I've played around with lots of genres, mostly novel length attempts. My first training ground was a Children's Literature writing course which was an amazing introduction. That was where I first tackled an aversion to writing dialogue, forcing myself to face something that felt difficult. A screenwriting consultant (I bartered sitting in on her class in exchange for errands) later told me I had an affinity for dialogue and I was glad I tackled that fear. Moral: search diligently for your weaknesses and focus and trail until you develop them into strengths.

My weakness now is more on plot, I think, especially for shorter works. Fortunately, I am happy to be a lifelong learner, take chances, and try new ideas. There is ALWAYS something new to learn about writing (and I have been studying technique for years).

By the way, I realize that I never indicated that I am female in my introduction. My teenage son got a chuckle out of me being a "him." I already love being a part of this community. Some days it is hard to create time because I am homeschooling and it has been a long time since I took physics, algebra 2 and geometry and am having to relearn right along with my son. The bonus (I am an eternal optimist) is that when time is precious you focus more to meet deadlines.

Happy writing everyone!!

ReplyQuote
Posted : October 17, 2019 5:25 am
officer
(@officer)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 106

The bonus (I am an eternal optimist) is that when time is precious you focus more to meet deadlines.

You know what they say: If you want something done, ask the busiest person!

ReplyQuote
Posted : October 17, 2019 6:12 am
Page 43 / 128
Share: