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Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRETS Workshop & Challenge!

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SwiftPotato
(@swiftpotato)
Silver Star Member
Posts: 549

Additions to the market list below! Market list will be posted at the beginning of each quarter for your springboarding reference.

The Kepler Award, as mentioned above, is run by Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores (one of the markets already on our list). The next submission window is Dec 21-28 and the subject is the moon. Prize money for 1st place is at least $300, and the existence of 2nd and 3rd place winners is optional (as well as honorable mentions), all of which are paid. Their reward system is a little more involved, so please find more info here.

The Masters Review has options for both paid entry to contests and free submissions. Detailed information about each submission window is available here.
The New Voices portion accepts submissions from authors who have never published a novel (short stories in an anthology are fine) and pays 10 cents per word up to $200. Keep in mind that this means you will only get 5 cents or more per word if you sell a story to them that is 4,000 words or less.
The Fall Fiction Contest has a $20 submission fee and is for new authors only - details for what this means on the submission info page. Winners receive $2,000 and publication. 2nd and 3rd place receive $300 and $200 in addition to publication.
Other contests are not currently open but more info on them is also available on the submission calendar page.

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

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Posted : October 26, 2019 12:09 pm
Peter_Glen
(@peter_glen)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 143

I hope that helps. You don't have to do them each week. But the more you do them, done right, the more you will train your mind to create with tighter sequences. There's going to be less flab, less slop. You'll find less and less to address when you're done. You might even get to that wondrous point where everything comes out of you right the first time.

Because you practiced one kick, one thousand times.

Yes, ty for the support. I will crack it Smile

On this topic, I found a video the other day which looks useful...titled 'removing filler words': https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fjvm4TK7VCQ&t=265s

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Posted : October 26, 2019 12:43 pm
einstein36
(@einstein36)
Bronze Member
Posts: 69

My submission markets:
Places I have submitted already.
Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine
No sleep podcast
Aurealis
Ink Stains
Pseudopod

Places I plan to submit in the future:)
Clarksworld Magazine
Asimov's magazine
Fantasy and Science Fiction
Escape Pod
Strange Horizons
Analog Science Fiction and Fact
Galaxy's Edge
Constellary Tales
Mysterion
Young Explorer's Adventure Guide
The Dark
Selene Quarterly Magazine
DreamForge Magazine
Deep Magic
Reckoning
Drabblecast

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Posted : October 26, 2019 12:52 pm
Peter_Glen
(@peter_glen)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 143

One writing teacher I had always emphasized how setting particular limitations, treating your writing as writing strict poetry or as playing a game with set rules can help to produce better work. Of course that depends on the writer, I suppose, but I like the idea.

Mr Oishi! I like this approach and can see that a good writer should be able to start a story to hit a particular word count... so definitely a skill that I will practice with the new story for Q1 I (will try for 3000 words).

If you want a fellow writer to take a look at your Kraken, I'd be up for it. It sounds like I may be joining Deep Magic as a slush pile first reader, so you'd get a step up in that sense. Heh. I also need to get some readers telling me what isn't working.

That would be great Smile Perhaps we could partner up for a crit on our Q1 entries? Grats too on landing the Deep Magic position !!

Copied the 1000 word file with 500 tagged to the title and it ended up 1100 words by the time I was through 🙁 So I need to work out what I did differently with the 'General Firth' write and reproduce that.

I'm in the same boat. Starting a fresh Q1 story this weekend. And my flash is going over. I just need to put more effort in and keep in mind Wulf's advice on finding that snowflake to turn into a vignette. On the other hand, one of them I'm thinking will go straight into short story format, while the other two will remain in the Kill Your Darlings process. Best of luck with your new story!

I've seen an immediate benefit from this process. Just last night, I came across a paragraph I wrote a couple of years ago and cringed ... if only I'd known this technique earlier!! GL for you also 😀

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Posted : October 26, 2019 1:04 pm
Retropianoplayer
(@retropianoplayer)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 224

I wanted to personally thank Peter Glen for providing the video link on removing filler words.

Listened to the entire video, found it extremely helpful, and will apply it in futuro.

I won't give a detailed critique, but only a short overview of those words she feels are clunky and troubling: (not in alphabetical order)

Actually / Currently / So
Basically / Now / There/Here
Practically / Was / Things
Simply / Were
Truly / Very
Virtually / Only
Almost / Currently
Nearly / Probably
Appeared / Quite
Seemed / Rather
Get/Got / Somewhat
Just / Somehow
That / Begin/Began
Then / Sort of/Kind of/A Little

She also suggested swapping out "was" and "were" for active verbs.

Best,

Retro

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Posted : October 26, 2019 2:31 pm
Wulf Moon
(@wulfmoon)
Platinum Plus Member Moderator
Posts: 2096

Retro wrote:

I won't give a detailed critique, but only a short overview of those words she feels are clunky and troubling: (not in alphabetical order)

Actually / Currently / So
Basically / Now / There/Here
Practically / Was / Things
Simply / Were
Truly / Very
Virtually / Only
Almost / Currently
Nearly / Probably
Appeared / Quite
Seemed / Rather
Get/Got / Somewhat
Just / Somehow
That / Begin/Began
Then / Sort of/Kind of/A Little

Thanks for the list. I can sum up most of these in two words: indecisive writing.

JOIN THE WULF PACK! http://the super secrets.com
"Super-Duper Moongirl and the Amazing Moon Dawdler" wins WRITERS OF THE FUTURE VOL. 35 & BEST SF&F STORY OF 2019. Order WotF Volume 35 HERE!
“Muzik Man" 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!

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Topic starter Posted : October 26, 2019 3:11 pm
rjklee
(@rjklee)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 172

I noticed an anthology that might work for some: Bronzeville Twisted Love, connected to The Bronzeville Bee (on our market list). Entries are due by Nov 26 (up to 3150 words, 5¢/word). Genres: crime, sci fi, fantasy, horror and YA. Theme: unsettling and unconventional relationships, toxic relationships or lovers bound by crime or fetish. Warning: the video example of such a story they give is pretty violent, a serial killer type story. It’s only 5 cents a word but the theme whispered to one of my characters. Would be perfect but the story’s about 7000 words too long.
Link: http://www.bronzevillebooks.com/writers ... uidelines/

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

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Posted : October 26, 2019 3:13 pm
Wulf Moon
(@wulfmoon)
Platinum Plus Member Moderator
Posts: 2096

Peter Glen wrote:"I've seen an immediate benefit from this process. Just last night, I came across a paragraph I wrote a couple of years ago and cringed ... if only I'd known this technique earlier!! GL for you also :D"

Glad you've benefited from my KYD exercise. Imagine the benefits doing this exercise every week for one year if you had the time!

Thanks for sharing the video.

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!

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Topic starter Posted : October 26, 2019 3:16 pm
Wulf Moon
(@wulfmoon)
Platinum Plus Member Moderator
Posts: 2096

I read all the articles in the book, and most of the other books in the pack. I still have a few to get through. I enjoyed "Researching History for Fantasy Writers", because it tickled my nerdiness and I learned a great deal.

I found the essays in "How I Got Published..." to be very encouraging - because none had the same path to success. We chart our own courses. More, I wonder if the destination isn't different for every writer, too. We all have our own definitions of success.

A friend of mine from Superstars thought up the idea for this book, and took it to an editor (also from Superstars, which tells you something). She loved it, and the anthology was born. I think the premise is incredibly encouraging, for the reasons Becky and Swift said: every writer charts their own course and defines their own success.

Most writing books are from the perspective of one, maybe two authors, so of course it's going to be about their way, their methods. I really liked this book for its diversity, and it's why I wanted you all to read it. It's just writers, like you, that stumbled about finding their way (except that one guy!), finally found a way, and now pass along tips that might save aspiring writers a few bumps in the road.

The book holds a tremendous amount of life experience. And, while it reveals many roads lead to Mecca, there is one consistent theme that surfaces throughout--persistence.

Never. Let. Go.

All the beasties,

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!

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Topic starter Posted : October 26, 2019 3:34 pm
StarReacher
(@angelakayd)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 141

So here’s your new ASSIGNMENT. Prepare to RELEASE THE KRAKEN.

1. Using the sample market list, read over some of the market guidelines that interest you.
2. Create your own market list, ranking your preferred at the top, and lesser at the bottom.
3. Try to find a market in this list that you’ve never submitted to before but sounds perfect for your kind of kraken.
4. Think about the type of stories you write, even specific ones in your inventory, and target a market that buys that story. Don’t get sucked into the “start at the top and work your way down” rhetoric. Yes, I know that’s standard talk on every pro’s lips. The Secrets are about thinking outside the box. Study how to launch your baby krakens at the ship you know they can take down!

I've been researching many of these markets in the past couple of months as I -- FINALLY -- started submitting to magazines rather than just entering the contest. Whew! Confession finished . . .

My next planned submission is to F&SF because, out of the only two submissions (first ever), Charlie Finlay sent me a personal rejection telling me he liked the quality of my prose and that there were some "good moments". I also want to take another look at that particular story because I am new to Super Secrets this year and I may have a big flaw that needs addressing before I send elsewhere. Plus, I want him to remember my name and, hopefully, see that each submission is improving in quality.

Trying to match each story to a "unique" editor rather than randomly going through the list. A lot more work! So planning to include in my spreadsheet what each editor's tastes, dislikes, wishes, etc. are.

Another confession: I have not been submitting my stories for critiques. I just got accepted into the boards about a month or so ago. But also, I worried that my attempts at SF&F would be lacking (I love to read it, but writing this genre is very new for me). Going forward, now I know more of what Dave Farland is looking for (and making sure I address his checklist and all the tips here.)

I want to wow both WOtF, Finlay, and other potential editors, with my best efforts. For example, I KNOW some of my rejected WOF stories have sad denouement attempts. And the majority of my submissions were written without all the great advice. Obviously, I will be writing fresh stories for the challenge with all this new knowledge.

Also, maybe this is just understood by everyone, but I try to read as many sample stories from each magazine as I can get my hands on. A lot of them have "freebies" so you don't have to get subscriptions to all of them. Although I'm putting a couple of subscriptions on my "Christmas wish list." Before I grabbed some copies of WOF editions, I was batting rejections. The same goes for magazines. They all have different "vibes" and you won't know which one yours best fits if you are blindly submitting without doing a little research first.

Also, I like magazines that specifically say that they are looking for a wide range of stories and that they are looking for new voices. I feel like you have a better shot than if certain editors already have a type of story in mind from the very beginning. (for example, I don't write space operas or vampire type stories) Know thy markets!

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Posted : October 26, 2019 4:16 pm
Wulf Moon
(@wulfmoon)
Platinum Plus Member Moderator
Posts: 2096

StarReacher wrote: "I've been researching many of these markets in the past couple of months as I -- FINALLY -- started submitting to magazines rather than just entering the contest. Whew! Confession finished . . ."

Don't worry, StarReacher. You don't need to confess, have absolved yourself by changing your course. There are many like you. It's why I designed this new challenge to address the problem. That you took the challenge says you want to do something about it. Well done!

When you do the reading assignment, I think you will find lots of resonance in my essay to what you just wrote above.

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!

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Topic starter Posted : October 26, 2019 6:33 pm
RETreasure
(@rschibler)
Silver Star Member
Posts: 703

Okay. I think this is the last of them. If I overlooked someone, please do let me know. I wanted to emphasize that when I say ALWAYS available for crits, I mean it. It doesn't have to be a story for WotF - I'm up for reading anything that needs feedback. I can't spare the time to beta read a novel right now, sadly, but short stories are always welcome. You are gonna do great things this year - you're all great writers! Hopefully a few of us can get together in Hollywood next year  fistinair

JV, your story is fun! As a loving wife, I'm a little offended, but I love the use of the prompt. It's the reader being deceived, instead of the characters. Great! There were a few places where I felt sentences needed a comma (He climbed it anyway coming out on top of his hanger’s fuel reserve tank.) but the prose was fairly tight. Again, though, we have the whole story condensed instead of a focused vignette. However in this case I feel it works, really, because of the nature of the story. It's almost a joke with a punchline. Could be worked up to a saleable flash piece!


ZeeTeeBeez
, I really enjoyed your story. The 500 was a great tale of sibling love, deception, and magic. I don't think the 250 worked, though. The punchy sentences felt a bit jarring, and instead of focusing on one element of the story, it condensed the entirety into brief, non-descriptive sentences. This has a lot of potential, I think, but I might work the exercise again and see if there's a piece of the story (in this case I think the middle bit with the arrest and betrayal might be the most ripe for focus) that could be used to cast a sharp light on the theme and the plot. Two other things: I wasn't sure why Rhakti's hands were rigid, and, what did the oil smell like? A rich source for descriptive sensory details.

OishiSushi, these are interesting, but I'm not sure the transition from the 500 to the 250 worked for me. In the 500, there's a fun interaction between adult and child, an alliance, and the plan to spring the trapped kid. Great! The 250 left me a little disoriented, though. It's an entirely new story, with different character interactions and even a different ending. Still interesting, although not as clear as the 500. Both have great descriptions and strong characters, and either one could be expanded out, but, I think it might be valuable to see if there's a scene in the original 500 which could use a close-up. Zoom in close, and instead of trying to tell the whole story, show one critical element of the piece that implies the whole. 頑張って!

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

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Posted : October 27, 2019 3:06 am
Wulf Moon
(@wulfmoon)
Platinum Plus Member Moderator
Posts: 2096

Thank you once again for your thoughtful critiques, Becky. We appreciate your efforts! And nice touch on Oishi's with the Japanese closing comment. Because of your introduction, we know how you can do that. : )

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!

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Topic starter Posted : October 27, 2019 7:33 am
CCrawford
(@ccrawford)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 207

I am catching up on assignments! Here's my "homework."  smiley

SIMON SINEK ASSIGNMENT:
1. In publishing, who are you competing against? Yourself – to continually improve and grow, getting better each time than the last. There’s no such thing as “winning,” only the potential for ongoing growth.

2. Does a rejection mean you lost, or does it mean something else? It’s not a loss, it’s feedback and data to be used for re-evaluating your approach and then improving on the next attempt. Sometimes it means there are clear things in the rejected story that need to be changed or improved, and sometimes it means the rejected story just wasn’t sent to the right market... (or both)... but regardless, it’s just a step in the process of continual growth and improvement.

3. How can each of us be leaders? Do we have to be top dog? What does it mean to lead? Leading means inspiring others to “rise,” to grow and improve and embrace their strengths and pursue them. It doesn’t require being at the “top,” or even having authority... it means encouraging and helping others, in whatever way you can.

4. On midnight, October 20th, we become committed to one another's success in this group for a year (hopefully longer, but the terms are one year). In what ways can we assist our small tribe--that fellow on the right, that fellow on our left--to succeed in their journey toward becoming a published writer and to develop their professional career? We all have gifts, we all have life skills inherent or learned. What do we bring to the table that might aid our pack? I’m still thinking about this one. I still consider myself near the “beginner” end of fiction writing, but I do have some editing experience and as a writing instructor, so maybe I can use that to help some in here. Also, if anyone needs story-research information about working with a very specific list of animals (kangaroos, macaws and parrots, owls, hawks, vultures, eagles, cats, and dogs) or basic animal training/behavioral stuff, I have some firsthand experience to share. Also homeschooling and mom life. And I’m an optimist, so... if you’re feeling discouraged I can give good pep talks!

SHUNN’S MANUSCRIPT TEMPLATE ASSIGNMENT:

1. Less lines of story than I would have expected! I tend to start my stories much closer to the top of the first page. Lesson noted.
2. I compared, and found several things off... I was using Times New Roman, which Shunn said was okay, but I changed it to Courier and found I liked the new look. My program was auto-changing double-hyphens to em dashes, so I turned that off as Shunn’s template suggested. Also, I was not using # to indicate line breaks (I was just leaving blank lines and I didn’t have the recommended page headers. I created a short story template with all of these and saved it for future use!

SWIFTPOTATO ANALYSIS ASSIGNMENT:

1. What can you learn about professional writing and winning contests and perfecting style and performance from what SwiftPotato wrote above? Practice and practice and practice until it becomes “muscle memory”... pros are the writers who kept going and working to improve (practicing that one kick 1000 times) and never gave up.

2. If we know we have a weakness in our writing, what must we do? Admit the flaws, know what they are, and work on them.

3. Why did Swift believe she took second at her last match, instead of first? A difference in style, and the judges preferred the style of the other competitor.

4. How does that relate to Voice and the importance of individual style? What gets rejected by one contest/set of judges might be exactly what another contest/set of judges was looking for... rather than trying to adapt to the judge’s preferences, focus on perfecting your own voice and style.

5. Should Swift change her style to be more like the guy that took first? No. She prefers a more graceful, fluid style because it suits her better – if she tried to imitate the style of the other competitor, she would be working against the grain of her own abilities and strengths, rather than capitalizing on those strengths.

6. What can happen when, at the next match, she has a different set of judges? She could end up with judges who prefer a more fluid, graceful style, and could take first place without changing her style at all.

“RELEASE THE KRAKEN” ASSIGNMENT:

I researched all the markets on the list and made a ranked list of my own for future use! I have submitted to a few places other than Writers of the Future, in the past, but with little success... though I tend to be sporadic about it. I've been focusing my attention mostly on this contest. But I do have some Krakens caged up and more being created through this challenge! A few of them seem like near-perfect fits for one or two of the markets on the list. smiley
ASSIGNMENT: READ WULF MOON’S ARTICLE FROM HOW I GOT PUBLISHED AND WHAT I LEARNED ALONG THE WAY.
Done. I actually read the entire book right after I purchased it but I reviewed Wulf's article today to refresh my memory. Ready for that test! winking

v35: Q4 - HM
V36: R, R, R, R
V37: SHM, HM, HM, SHM
V38: SHM, ??
Indie author of The Lex Chronicles (Legends of Arameth), and the upcoming Leyward Stones series. http://ccrawfordwriting.com
I also have a newsletter and a blog!
Upcoming short story publication in DreamForge Anvil, sometime in 2021!

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Posted : October 27, 2019 8:12 am
ZeeTeeBeeZ
(@zeeteebeez)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 145

Okay. I think this is the last of them. If I overlooked someone, please do let me know. I wanted to emphasize that when I say ALWAYS available for crits, I mean it. It doesn't have to be a story for WotF - I'm up for reading anything that needs feedback. I can't spare the time to beta read a novel right now, sadly, but short stories are always welcome. You are gonna do great things this year - you're all great writers! Hopefully a few of us can get together in Hollywood next year  fistinair

JV, your story is fun! As a loving wife, I'm a little offended, but I love the use of the prompt. It's the reader being deceived, instead of the characters. Great! There were a few places where I felt sentences needed a comma (He climbed it anyway coming out on top of his hanger’s fuel reserve tank.) but the prose was fairly tight. Again, though, we have the whole story condensed instead of a focused vignette. However in this case I feel it works, really, because of the nature of the story. It's almost a joke with a punchline. Could be worked up to a saleable flash piece!


ZeeTeeBeez
, I really enjoyed your story. The 500 was a great tale of sibling love, deception, and magic. I don't think the 250 worked, though. The punchy sentences felt a bit jarring, and instead of focusing on one element of the story, it condensed the entirety into brief, non-descriptive sentences. This has a lot of potential, I think, but I might work the exercise again and see if there's a piece of the story (in this case I think the middle bit with the arrest and betrayal might be the most ripe for focus) that could be used to cast a sharp light on the theme and the plot. Two other things: I wasn't sure why Rhakti's hands were rigid, and, what did the oil smell like? A rich source for descriptive sensory details.

OishiSushi, these are interesting, but I'm not sure the transition from the 500 to the 250 worked for me. In the 500, there's a fun interaction between adult and child, an alliance, and the plan to spring the trapped kid. Great! The 250 left me a little disoriented, though. It's an entirely new story, with different character interactions and even a different ending. Still interesting, although not as clear as the 500. Both have great descriptions and strong characters, and either one could be expanded out, but, I think it might be valuable to see if there's a scene in the original 500 which could use a close-up. Zoom in close, and instead of trying to tell the whole story, show one critical element of the piece that implies the whole. 頑張って!

Thanks! Yes I agree, I need to continue to drill down on my 250. Either between the betrayal angle or the sibling relationship. Not sure which yet. The sibling relationship may pack a bigger emotional punch. Maybe need to try it both ways. But also need to get to another prompt! And finish the first of this quarter’s stories! No rest for the weary.

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Posted : October 27, 2019 10:25 am
Wulf Moon
(@wulfmoon)
Platinum Plus Member Moderator
Posts: 2096

Good work, Crystal (CCrawford). In spite of your pregancy challenges! Glad you did the research and made your own list. You said: "But I do have some Krakens caged up and more being created through this challenge! A few of them seem like near-perfect fits for one or two of the markets on the list. Smile

There you go. That's called working smarter. Best of success as you send your baby krakens out to ships that they have a better chance of taking down!

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!

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Topic starter Posted : October 27, 2019 12:07 pm
Wulf Moon
(@wulfmoon)
Platinum Plus Member Moderator
Posts: 2096

NEW ASSIGNMENT

Install your market search engine!

1. If you don't already subscribe to Ralan or Duotrope (fee based search engines), I have a free/donation one for you, and it's the one I use. The Submission Grinder. Please set up your account at https://thegrinder.diabolicalplots.com/ You'll thank me later.

2. On the top of the screen, pull down "More" and sign up for the newsletter. This newsletter sends you notices when markets open, and when they close. You'll thank me later.

3.Pull down "Account" and click on "Manage Pieces." On the second gray bar you'll see "Add Piece." This is where you inventory all your kraken. How many tentacles, whether they look like space creatures or mythical creatures, what's their girth, etc. Let's figure out how many kraken you're hiding in the hold. This is your ship's roster of baby krakens, and the search engine is going to help you look through your periscope to figure out what ships are out there, and which one of your cephalopods is best suited for the ship you're sending it to attack.

I'm not forcing anyone to do this. If you'd prefer to paper your walls with charts and diagrams and red strings until your room looks like it belongs to a mad stalker, that's up to you. But at least sign up for the newsletter. It will remind you about opening markets, ones you may not have thought of. And using the search engine can help you discover limited window anthologies, something we did not place in our sample market list because they are always changing. There are some very good markets to be uncovered using a search engine.

Additionally, The Submission Grinder publishes stories under Diabolical Plots and is a pro market! You can read the stories for free and study what they seek. Maybe you have the perfect kraken for them! Load tubes one and two! Prepare to launch! BELAY THAT ORDER! That ship moved off the horizon, but she'll sail these waters again in July! Acquire another target!

If you have many stories, this will take some time, but it will be worth the effort. It will also take time learning the ropes--please don't inundate this topic with questions on how to run it. Play around with the search engine and its parameters. I'll suggest NOT selecting SFWA only for your searches, and instead put in a pay rate minimum of five cents or greater. You'll thank me later.

If you choose to use this search engine (again, you don't have to) tell us in a short paragraph what you learned and how you think it might help you.

Happy hunting!

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!

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Topic starter Posted : October 27, 2019 12:44 pm
Wulf Moon
(@wulfmoon)
Platinum Plus Member Moderator
Posts: 2096

And I think Swift is also collecting up these assignments in one reply post with links. If you're having a hard time keeping up, she's doing her best to locate important items on one page with handy links.

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!

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Topic starter Posted : October 27, 2019 12:46 pm
RETreasure
(@rschibler)
Silver Star Member
Posts: 703

I’ve been using the grinder since forever and I don’t know how I’d keep track without it. I second Wulf’s urging - it’s totally worth learning the system. It’s an amazing service.

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

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Posted : October 27, 2019 12:57 pm
einstein36
(@einstein36)
Bronze Member
Posts: 69

Ever since finding the grinder, I have been grinding my stories out to markets using this awesome database:)

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Posted : October 27, 2019 1:59 pm
SwiftPotato
(@swiftpotato)
Silver Star Member
Posts: 549

And I think Swift is also collecting up these assignments in one reply post with links. If you're having a hard time keeping up, she's doing her best to locate important items on one page with handy links.

Yep! I'm still working on that, promise. I think it's about halfway done so my hope is to have it up tomorrow night.

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

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Posted : October 27, 2019 2:22 pm
Wulf Moon
(@wulfmoon)
Platinum Plus Member Moderator
Posts: 2096

And I think Swift is also collecting up these assignments in one reply post with links. If you're having a hard time keeping up, she's doing her best to locate important items on one page with handy links.

Yep! I'm still working on that, promise. I think it's about halfway done so my hope is to have it up tomorrow night.

Thanks for all this, Swift! We all really appreciate it!

It's almost one a.m. here. Just finished narration for podcast on my story "Cold Iron" in Third Flatiron Publishing's Infinite Lives: Short Tales of Longevity anthology. Should go live early November.

And now I sleep! 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!

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Topic starter Posted : October 27, 2019 7:51 pm
officer
(@officer)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 106

I signed up for the Submission Grinder. Using its search, I found two pro-pay anthologies (with Jan 1 deadlines) that fit stories I'm currently outlining. I would not have known about them otherwise.

Seeds for stories come easy to me. Then it gets hard! Not to claim any idea is necessarily good, but fleshing out each one takes a lot of work. Finding markets more likely to accept a particular story is giving me additional reason to pursue it. The more potential buyers, the more likely it is to sell. At the very least, I'm more excited about some of my coming stories now, so I should (hopefully) write them faster!

Also, we should probably brand the group separately for SF: the Moon Crew! (Sorry if that's been suggested already)

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Posted : October 28, 2019 2:50 am
Wulf Moon
(@wulfmoon)
Platinum Plus Member Moderator
Posts: 2096

I signed up for the Submission Grinder. Using its search, I found two pro-pay anthologies (with Jan 1 deadlines) that fit stories I'm currently outlining. I would not have known about them otherwise.

Good for you, Officer! You are actually creating baby krakens with specific ships in mind. Those krakens stand the greatest chance of all in being mission successful. Well done!

Which brings me to important questions I've been waiting to ask all of you. Please provide the answers.

1. In view of Officer's comment above, if story determines length, why would you ever write a story to a certain length?

2. With regular practice, what might the Kill Your Darlings exercise teach you to do?

3. Besides stimulating fresh ideas for stories, what other concept might Moon be teaching with the weekly prompt?

4. When open submission calls for anthologies are announced, what is the case with every anthology?

5. How can this knowledge improve your targeting?

6. Why is it a good idea to sign up for market newsletters and to continue to do market searches, even after you've set up your personal market list?

There's your current ASSIGNMENT. Get kraken! wotf007

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!

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Topic starter Posted : October 28, 2019 4:51 am
SwiftPotato
(@swiftpotato)
Silver Star Member
Posts: 549

Happy Monday, all! Without further ado, I present you with the newest Monday prompt: UNDESERVED PARDON.

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

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Posted : October 28, 2019 5:19 am
officer
(@officer)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 106

For those doing the flash prompt, check out this anthology, which I noticed earlier in searching: https://thegrinder.diabolicalplots.com/ ... ex?id=9828 Perhaps you can write something that also helps you work towards that theme (it's 4k min word count, though)

In response to the new assignment:

Shorter stories are more likely to be accepted. Longer stories consume more of a publisher's resources.

I think I'm pretty efficient in my writing on a small scale (after edits), but I need to learn to kill or combine my "bigger" darlings: whole scenes, plot points, characters. One of the stories I'm planning now I'm thinking about as flash, with one scene; I feel like for me that's the focus I need to turn out a 3,000-word story. I thought my last would be 3k, and grew to 7k (and needed to... it would fall apart with any cut, so I needed to plan differently from the beginning if I wanted it shorter). I'll see what happens with this new one! Nature Futures if I actually keep it under 1k... an anthology otherwise. And then if it's short, I suspect I have a better chance everywhere else after that.

The anthologies are generally themed - and new regular pubs/mags are still getting launched or shifting guidelines - so we need to keep up with market changes both for writing and submitting.

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Posted : October 28, 2019 5:31 am
Retropianoplayer
(@retropianoplayer)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 224

Just installed the Submissions Grinder (with special acknowledgment to my daughter's computer and technical skill).

Subscribed to their magazine without cost.

Added some former stories to release the Kraken.

Did not limit myself only to science fiction, but added Crime/Mystery and Action/Adventure. Used the guidelines of 5 cents per word up as suggested.

My mouth gaped when I saw it listed something like 8,500 markets. I need to peruse this and take it out for a test drive (with my daughter's instructional guidance) so I can assimilate Borg-style this completely unfamiliar method of writer's progress. Last time I used something vaguely similar to this was the search engine for literary agents.

I'm making progress! Yay!

Best,

Retro

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Posted : October 28, 2019 6:59 am
RETreasure
(@rschibler)
Silver Star Member
Posts: 703

1. In view of Officer's comment above, if story determines length, why would you ever write a story to a certain length? If an anthology has a theme you have a story for, or you think you can write it, we're well advised to keep to their word limit. Longer stories get a closer look, because every word costs the publisher money. I've been focusing on trying to learn to write 6k and under only for shorts. Making things longer is easy.

2. With regular practice, what might the Kill Your Darlings exercise teach you to do? Make every word do double or even triple duty. When I first started writing and this advice floated my way, I'd cringe. How could one word do double duty? The Kill Your Darlings exercise teaches exactly that skill. Master it, and our longer pieces will have more kick because we know how to use our words to their full potential.

3. Besides stimulating fresh ideas for stories, what other concept might Moon be teaching with the weekly prompt? Discipline and production rate! While the deadline system for WotF is great, it's also a potential weakness. Professional writers don't have 3 months to fiddle with one story. They write it, get it out, and work on the next one. Four stories a year is not a career making pace.

4. When open submission calls for anthologies are announced, what is the case with every anthology? They have strict guidelines we should follow.

5. How can this knowledge improve your targeting? Know thy market, know thy editor. The more focused our submissions are, the more likely we are to hit bulls-eyes.

6. Why is it a good idea to sign up for market newsletters and to continue to do market searches, even after you've set up your personal market list? New markets pop up all the time, old markets close or change their standards. Established markets to special calls for anthologies. I always glance over the website before I submit a story, just to make sure.

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

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Posted : October 28, 2019 7:00 am
SwiftPotato
(@swiftpotato)
Silver Star Member
Posts: 549

Just in time to snag the latest exercise...here is the full list of assignments so far! I probably won't go back and edit this specific comment since things get buried so quickly in this thread, but I will keep the list updated on the side and try to repost every few assignments or so, depending on how active the thread is. I think I found them all, but if you know of one I missed, let me know and I'll go on the hunt again.

Challenge enrollment
Pournelle video
Copper Nickel on effetive flash
Denouement
Jokes
WotF winners in HOW I GOT PUBLISHED…
Brian Trent interview
Simon Sinek video
Shunn’s format
Questions on voice
Personal introduction
Prepare to release the kraken (assignment at the bottom of the comment - this is also the first vol. 37 super secret)
Read Moon’s HOW I GOT PUBLISHED… article
Install your market search engine
Questions on targeting markets
Reread super secret #26

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

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Posted : October 28, 2019 7:28 am
SwiftPotato
(@swiftpotato)
Silver Star Member
Posts: 549

1. In view of Officer's comment above, if story determines length, why would you ever write a story to a certain length?
Writing a story to a certain length makes you think about how best to pull certain emotions into certain parts of your stories. Like in the KYD exercise, you shouldn't necessarily try to fit the whole story into a shorter piece, but to pull out a vignette that evokes an emotion from your story.

2. With regular practice, what might the Kill Your Darlings exercise teach you to do?
The exercise could teach you to pack more emotional punch into less words. It could also teach you to really be concise and choose just the right words so that nothing superfluous makes its way into your writing.

3. Besides stimulating fresh ideas for stories, what other concept might Moon be teaching with the weekly prompt?
I'm not sure if this is exactly what Moon is going for, but for me personally, I've always been in awe of writers who, when asked to write something for an anthology, just sort of shrug and write something really good. Writing to a certain length has never really been a problem for me, but writing to a certain concept has always been frightening. How do writers just come up with an original idea around a concept? This prompt has been teaching me how. I always used to feel I was sort of at the mercy of my brain coming up with an idea out of the blue until I started thinking about these prompts.

4. When open submission calls for anthologies are announced, what is the case with every anthology?
Each has its own criteria and theme.

5. How can this knowledge improve your targeting?
We'll know exactly which kraken to send off to that anthology.

6. Why is it a good idea to sign up for market newsletters and to continue to do market searches, even after you've set up your personal market list?
Markets open and close for submissions, and newsletters will notify you of these events rather than you having to check for them. What if you took one extra night to tweak a story, and that was the night the market it would have fit closed for the next year? In addition, anthologies - new and established - have their own windows, and being notified of their existence means that, like officer, you may have some krakens in the hold that could take them down!

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

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Posted : October 28, 2019 7:31 am
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