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OldDarth
(@olddarth)
Bronze Member
Posts: 77

Thanks for all these great tips Wulf.

Wondering if you could answer this question. And I apologize in advance if you planned this as an upcoming topic.

Farland talks about try/fail cycles and that in a novel your protagonist should go through three attempts before succeeding. Does this rule apply to short stories too?

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Posted : January 4, 2019 11:29 pm
Wulf Moon
(@wulfmoon)
Platinum Plus Member Moderator
Posts: 2096

Thanks for all these great tips Wulf.

Wondering if you could answer this question. And I apologize in advance if you planned this as an upcoming topic.

Farland talks about try/fail cycles and that in a novel your protagonist should go through three attempts before succeeding. Does this rule apply to short stories too?

You're welcome, OldDarth! Trying to trim some of the learning curve off for you guys by sharing what I learned over the years. Glad it's helping. I'm really curious to see how our group comes out at the end of the Volume 36 year. If anyone gets higher results than they were getting before, I'm sure you'll let us know! And I do believe we have some future winners in this challenge group--a WotF published finalist is in here, as well as other finalists! That said, I was *never* a finalist, until Q4 when I won. Prior high marks are great signs, but fact is, it's your greatest story that resonates with the judges of your quarter that's going to win. Once you've mastered the skills, it's all about writing fresh to create that future winner! Think about that. You've got a winner inside of you! Like lightning, it's just waiting for the right conditions to strike!

As for try/fail cycles, yes, that's coming. As in many things in life, there is a Rule of Three here as well. And it's really important to note that David Farland was mentored by AJ (Algis Budrys), and AJ knew writing better than anyone, it's why he was hired as the very first WotF judge. Dean Wesley Smith and Kris Rusch (husband and wife team that are both judges of WotF and teach the 7 Point Plot) met at the very first WotF workshop, if memory serves. They readily admit they developed their workshop off what they learned from AJ (but they added a cool DIE HARD movie breakdown that really makes the case!). So go back to the source. Take AJ's "Mary Jane" course. Okay, that wonderful gentleman is gone, you no longer can. But I've taken his course, and I'll pass on some things I learned from AJ. But you can jump ahead by getting his book. WRITING TO THE POINT. Brevity is the sole of wit, and his book is so simple, it's brilliant. Everyone wanting to win this contest, I mean REALLY wanting to win this contest with all their heart, should read that book. It's an investment in your future.

My favorite thing I learned from AJ? It's an odd point, but I've always loved it. AJ talked about humor writing, and said pickles are inherently funny! Introduce a pickle in a story, and you have to laugh. Pickles! Why pickles? I dunno, but PICKLES!

While here, I might mention Critters Readers' Poll is going on until Jan 14 for favorite stories of 2018. I might also mention there's a category called Science Fiction and Fantasy Short Story. You might even see a story in that list named "War Dog." You might have listened to me reading it for free at Third Flatiron. And if you really liked it, you might even wish to cast a vote. Anyone can through January 14th so vote for your faves! It was running in 2nd place for the year, but dropped today to 3rd. It's an honor so many listened to or read my story and felt moved to vote--I've been shocked it has risen so high. Okay, there's my little plug for my own writing. Now get back to yours!

Fortune favor the brave!

~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 : January 5, 2019 6:41 am
storysinger
(@storysinger)
Gold Member
Posts: 814

That's good stuff Wulf. I now have a face to put to your name. Very good story, you got my vote.
I may have to get a little better educated at the podcasting thing.

Today's science fiction is tomorrow's reality-D.R.Sweeney
HM-V32/Q3
HM-V36/Q4
HM-V38/Q1

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Posted : January 5, 2019 9:36 am
vsutherland01
(@vsutherland01)
Advanced Member
Posts: 34

Just a thought on HMs. An HM means a story for sure had a good opening two pages, and most likely, a good ending page as well. If you've read slush, you know what I'm talking about. It doesn't necessarily mean it was read through and through. An editor (or judge) will only read until they get thrown out of the story, they don't have time to do anything more. But if it was well written up to that point, an HM is Dave's way of saying 'you're a good writer, send me another!'

~Beastmaster Moon~

This is very useful information. Is it safe to assume an HM means I wrote a sloppy middle? I suspected this on all three of my HMs. Each one had a stronger ending than intro or middle, by a long shot. The beginnings were adequate at best wotf005 and then the middles were mucky for sure. I gotta start the bar higher and find a way to maintain it all the way to the end. I tried my best on Q1 to do this.

Which stories tend to get read all the way through, SHM and up?

Honorable Mentions: 4
Rejections: 5

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Posted : January 5, 2019 2:17 pm
Wulf Moon
(@wulfmoon)
Platinum Plus Member Moderator
Posts: 2096

Just a thought on HMs. An HM means a story for sure had a good opening two pages, and most likely, a good ending page as well. If you've read slush, you know what I'm talking about. It doesn't necessarily mean it was read through and through. An editor (or judge) will only read until they get thrown out of the story, they don't have time to do anything more. But if it was well written up to that point, an HM is Dave's way of saying 'you're a good writer, send me another!'

~Beastmaster Moon~

This is very useful information. Is it safe to assume an HM means I wrote a sloppy middle? I suspected this on all three of my HMs. Each one had a stronger ending than intro or middle, by a long shot. The beginnings were adequate at best wotf005 and then the middles were mucky for sure. I gotta start the bar higher and find a way to maintain it all the way to the end. I tried my best on Q1 to do this.

Which stories tend to get read all the way through, SHM and up?

Assume nothing, and you'll always be safe. wotf001

Read again. I was merely stating what an HM definitely means. An HM is a guarantee your opening two pages worked and got past the first reader. It also means your opening worked for Dave as well--he's the one that gave you an HM. As for all the stuff in between? Only Dave could tell you what tossed him out of the story, and when it happened. It could even be, like he has written, that you did everything right, all the way up to the end, and then the ending didn't deliver everything he wanted. Try not to read too much into what rejections mean, even rejections with honors. Rejectomancy is a trap, and there's a topic on it I posted on the forum that's good to review. But if you want to know the four reasons Dave doesn't place a story higher, read this: https://www.writersofthefuture.com/why- ... e-mention/

Now, if you place as a semifinalist, that's a whole 'nuther story. You'll get a brief critique from Dave, and he'll tell you *exactly* what threw him out of the story. Pay close attention to that, it's worth its weight in gold. You can not only use it to make the story more marketable, you can also use it to improve your next story.

Keep writing fresh. The future fresh story holds your win. That said, if you have a hunch something is wrong in your stories, get some eyes on it, as professional a friend as you've got access to. (And don't tell them what to look for, you want an unbiased result.) You see, someone with pro sales has already figured out what was wrong in their stories. They will likely know what's wrong...and what's right...in yours.

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 : January 5, 2019 6:59 pm
TimE
 TimE
(@time)
Silver Member
Posts: 326

Think AJ talked about humor writing, and said pickles are inherently funny! Introduce a pickle in a story, and you have to laugh. Pickles! Why pickles? I dunno, but PICKLES!
~

Must include Pickles in humorous stories, eh... (says he in Homer Simpson voice)

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Posted : January 5, 2019 11:34 pm
OldDarth
(@olddarth)
Bronze Member
Posts: 77

As for try/fail cycles, yes, that's coming. As in many things in life, there is a Rule of Three here as well.

But you can jump ahead by getting his book. WRITING TO THE POINT.

While here, I might mention Critters Readers' Poll is going on until Jan 14 for favorite stories of 2018. I might also mention there's a category called Science Fiction and Fantasy Short Story. You might even see a story in that list named "War Dog."

Fortune favor the brave!

~Beastmaster Moon~

Thanks I'll hunt that book down. ACK! Book seems to be a collector's item - it's going for over a couple of hundred dollars US on Amazon. wotf018

Was fortunate to jump on that Xmas Deal, Mr. Farland was running where he packaged a bunch of online courses for $89. The package included The Story Puzzle, Writing Mastery 1 & 2, Promising Starts, Magnificent Middles, and Rewriting plus a bunch of Seminars including Heinlein's Rules.

It's been a great investment to date!

Best wishes with your story in the Critters Poll.

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Posted : January 6, 2019 3:13 am
Wulf Moon
(@wulfmoon)
Platinum Plus Member Moderator
Posts: 2096

As for try/fail cycles, yes, that's coming. As in many things in life, there is a Rule of Three here as well.

But you can jump ahead by getting his book. WRITING TO THE POINT.

While here, I might mention Critters Readers' Poll is going on until Jan 14 for favorite stories of 2018. I might also mention there's a category called Science Fiction and Fantasy Short Story. You might even see a story in that list named "War Dog."

Fortune favor the brave!

~Beastmaster Moon~

Thanks I'll hunt that book down. ACK! Book seems to be a collector's item - it's going for over a couple of hundred dollars US on Amazon. wotf018

Was fortunate to jump on that Xmas Deal, Mr. Farland was running where he packaged a bunch of online courses for $89. The package included The Story Puzzle, Writing Mastery 1 & 2, Promising Starts, Magnificent Middles, and Rewriting plus a bunch of Seminars including Heinlein's Rules.

It's been a great investment to date!

Best wishes with your story in the Critters Poll.

Wow, I knew it was rare, but had no idea copies of that thin softcover were going for so much! Mine is signed--it's probably worth $250. I was right! It IS worth its weight in gold! wotf001

Try this to read it for free. https://archive.org/details/writingtopoint00budr There's a wait list, but worth the wait. Don't worry, though. I will be sharing some points from it. But try to find it and read it, it's that good. AJ was a master.

Thanks, guys, for the good words, wishes, and votes! for my story "War Dog" by Third Flatiron. Can't believe it's holding at 2nd Place for 2018's Best Short Story in SF and Fantasy in the Critters' Readers Poll! Still a week to go in the voting, so a lot can change in that time. I didn't realize this until yesterday, but in addition to my free podcast, the editor also put the story up for free on her website--you don't have to buy the book to read it! Nice editor! If you'd like to check it out, here's the link to my story: https://www.thirdflatiron.com/liveSite/ ... rdflatiron It's not long--the anthology has a 3000 word limit. And if you really like it, you know where you can log your opinion! My editor liked it, obviously, to be her free feature, and she nominated it for a Pushcart Prize, a nice nod. It's just nice to know people are reading--and liking--what you write.

Let's get Dave to like your story! More SUPER SECRETS to come! The next is a DOOZY! After you get past Kary (WotF's first reader) this one will make you or break you with Dave, I'm certain! That's because it's the next essential element of a story!

So tune in this week! Same bat time! Same bat channel!

NANANANANANANANANAAAAAA! BATMAN!

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 : January 7, 2019 3:49 am
OldDarth
(@olddarth)
Bronze Member
Posts: 77

Thanks for the link Wulf.

I also found at copy to borrow online here - https://openlibrary.org/works/OL2454678 ... _the_point

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Posted : January 7, 2019 6:12 am
Wulf Moon
(@wulfmoon)
Platinum Plus Member Moderator
Posts: 2096

Thanks for the link Wulf.

I also found at copy to borrow online here - https://openlibrary.org/works/OL2454678 ... _the_point

Wonderful! Line up for it, gang. Brevity is the soul of wit, and that little book nails it!

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 : January 7, 2019 10:34 am
storysinger
(@storysinger)
Gold Member
Posts: 814

I followed the link and I'm on the wait list now. Thanks for finding a free version, the amazon price is 295.

Today's science fiction is tomorrow's reality-D.R.Sweeney
HM-V32/Q3
HM-V36/Q4
HM-V38/Q1

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Posted : January 8, 2019 1:08 am
vsutherland01
(@vsutherland01)
Advanced Member
Posts: 34

Assume nothing, and you'll always be safe. wotf001

Haha, thanks.

Do you have an opinion on word count? Which word count pairs best with a rich title and robust intro? There's gotta be a word count range the judges have a bias towards. Here I go with assumptions again.

Honorable Mentions: 4
Rejections: 5

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Posted : January 9, 2019 5:54 am
Wulf Moon
(@wulfmoon)
Platinum Plus Member Moderator
Posts: 2096

Assume nothing, and you'll always be safe.  giggle

Haha, thanks.

Do you have an opinion on word count? Which word count pairs best with a rich title and robust intro? There's gotta be a word count range the judges have a bias towards. Here I go with assumptions again.

First, there would have been another SUPER SECRET yesterday, a detailed one, but my tablet blipped out just before the end and I lost all that work. GRRR. I suppose a good tip would be to BACKUP BACKUP BACKUP, and never type important stuff on a tablet or in forum word processors!  giggle

I'll get to it soon. As to word count, what you really need to do is write your tight story, trim 10%, and voila!, that's the right length for your story! Your story determines its length, not the other way around. But it's good to keep in mind too small is hard to sell (not enough world building, which Dave loves), and too big is hard to sell (abundant words can indicate a writer doesn't know how to write a tight short story). Dave says in Volume 34 most stories fall between 5000 and 17000 words. Read "Mara's Shadow" in said volume. That story required every bit of the max word count to tell--multiple timelines, multiple main characters, multiple seemingly unrelated health scares. It's a big theme, big concept, and to do that, you need lots of space.

Now go look at "The Howler on the Sales Floor" by Jonathan Ficke. Humor typically has to get in and out quick to be funny (unless you're Terry Pratchett). That story looks to me like it's under 3000 words, and it's the perfect length for that humorous fish-out-of-water office tale. Story determines length.

In the Volume 35, I believe Preston Dennet said his story was well under 3K--I'll let him tell you more if he wishes. My story? 6100 words. And they are the exact amount of words I needed to tell that tale.

Point is, story determines length. Always. But you have to keep in mind guidelines, and it's good to know what the judge or editor has said they are looking for, and what they've bought in the past. And then throw it all away, and go write the story with exactly as many words as you need to tell it, and no more. Problem for new writers? We think we need more words than we really do.

Keep writing! With enough practice, we find perfect balance. Eventually, it comes without thought.

And now, GRRRRRR, I have to rewrite an entire, lost to the ether, SUPER SECRET. I HATE rewriting! All the energy went into the first one. Now it's just going to be a recap!

~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 : January 9, 2019 12:15 pm
Preston Dennett
(@prestondennett)
Silver Star Member
Posts: 515

My winning story was 3400 words (3500 after edits.) David recommended a little more description of setting and character. I totally agree with Moon. Story determines length. Always write as tight as you can. Review each sentence. Can you say what you want in less words? Then do it!

Preston Dennett
HM x 12
F x 1
Winner, 2nd place, Q1, Volume 35
39 stories published! (and counting!)

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Posted : January 9, 2019 2:44 pm
DoctorJest
(@doctorjest)
Silver Member
Posts: 295

Humor typically has to get in and out quick to be funny (unless you're Terry Pratchett).

The thing with Pratchett is, if you took out all the humour, it'd still be good. Not all humour writers do that, including a good many pretty successful ones. I think that's why it never feels like it overstayed its welcome.

R: 0 / HM: 8 / SHM: 3 / SF: 0 / F: 1
Currently in for Q2.V38 and Q3.V38 / Q4.V38 pending selection (3 possibles, all complete)
Revised SHM ('Ashwright') at PodCastle
Revised HM ('The Winds of the Mind') forthcoming at Abyss and Apex, ~October 2023

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Posted : January 9, 2019 3:23 pm
Wulf Moon
(@wulfmoon)
Platinum Plus Member Moderator
Posts: 2096

My winning story was 3400 words (3500 after edits.) David recommended a little more description of setting and character. I totally agree with Moon. Story determines length. Always write as tight as you can. Review each sentence. Can you say what you want in less words? Then do it!

Thanks, Preston! Sorry I got the word count wrong, was going off memory. Looking forward to seeing you at Hollywood and of course, reading your story!

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 : January 9, 2019 4:14 pm
Wulf Moon
(@wulfmoon)
Platinum Plus Member Moderator
Posts: 2096

Humor typically has to get in and out quick to be funny (unless you're Terry Pratchett).

The thing with Pratchett is, if you took out all the humour, it'd still be good. Not all humour writers do that, including a good many pretty successful ones. I think that's why it never feels like it overstayed its welcome.

Terry Pratchett was so witty, every sentence was a play on words, and most of those sentences were hilarious. I felt that he was to humorous novels what Gary Larson was to comics. He spun world society like a top and gave us views from angles only he could identify, and we'd chuckle and say, you know, that perspective might actually be correct!

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 : January 9, 2019 4:22 pm
DoctorJest
(@doctorjest)
Silver Member
Posts: 295

Terry Pratchett was so witty, every sentence was a play on words, and most of those sentences were hilarious. I felt that he was to humorous novels what Gary Larson was to comics. He spun world society like a top and gave us views from angles only he could identify, and we'd chuckle and say, you know, that perspective might actually be correct!

Very true. 🙂 I'd fallen behind in my reading of his work before he passed, and since then, I've been reluctant to read the rest because, while I haven't, I still have new work by him to look forward to.

R: 0 / HM: 8 / SHM: 3 / SF: 0 / F: 1
Currently in for Q2.V38 and Q3.V38 / Q4.V38 pending selection (3 possibles, all complete)
Revised SHM ('Ashwright') at PodCastle
Revised HM ('The Winds of the Mind') forthcoming at Abyss and Apex, ~October 2023

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Posted : January 9, 2019 6:10 pm
TimE
 TimE
(@time)
Silver Member
Posts: 326

Humor typically has to get in and out quick to be funny (unless you're Terry Pratchett). ~Moon~

Well, damn. My humorous story is... long.

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Posted : January 9, 2019 8:58 pm
Disgruntled Peony
(@disgruntledpeony)
Gold Star Member
Posts: 1058

Well, damn. My humorous story is... long.

Long is relative.

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

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Posted : January 10, 2019 12:53 am
vsutherland01
(@vsutherland01)
Advanced Member
Posts: 34

Thanks Moon and Preston! I'll do my best to be concise. My Q2 story is looking short, somewhere between 3K and 6K

The thing with Pratchett is, if you took out all the humour, it'd still be good. Not all humour writers do that, including a good many pretty successful ones. I think that's why it never feels like it overstayed its welcome.

I need to read some Pratchett. Where should I start?

Honorable Mentions: 4
Rejections: 5

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Posted : January 10, 2019 2:17 am
jficke13
(@jficke13)
Bronze Member
Posts: 80

Howler was about 2,250. And I probably added about 250 words after the acceptance during edits.

I don't know that I'd be concerned overly concerned with story length for this market. There are plenty of examples of shorts that verge on flash and novelettes that butt up against the wordcap. Think more about what is the right length for the story that you're telling. Don't stretch it out artificially, don't cut it down artificially.

Besides, you will NEVER be published with an inferior story because it's [longer/shorter] than a superior story. The strength of the story is 99.99% determinative.

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

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Posted : January 10, 2019 3:42 am
Wulf Moon
(@wulfmoon)
Platinum Plus Member Moderator
Posts: 2096

Well said, Jon. As for Pratchett, the word *genius* is thrown around lightly these days. That man actually deserved the title. He was a comic genius in literature. And I've only read one other author that could spin new plays on words like he could--Shakespeare. His plays on words are THAT good. Some of his novels were excessively long plays on a gag idea, the plot itself thin and just a stage to perform his word magic acts on, and you know what? I DON'T CARE. He was that good. But if you want to see him tug your heart strings while telling a beautiful children's tale, read THE WEE FREE MEN. In the same vein is THE SHEPHERD'S CROWN. And anything, I mean ANYTHING with Granny Weatherwax in it is absolutely hilarious. He has a great tale about Death going on holiday, but I can't remember the title now and would have to dig through my office stacks (don't make me go in there, this is avalanche season!). Some more contemporary looks and laughs at society are MOVING PICTURES and GOING POSTAL. But if Dibbler walks up while you're reading and offers you a tasty, sizzling sausage? Just say NO.

Nobody wrote comedy like Pratchett. Nobody could carry an insane scene on as long as him and still make it work. But you know what? I miss his writing so much, I'm going to try...

Fortune favor the brave,

~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 : January 10, 2019 6:32 am
Wulf Moon
(@wulfmoon)
Platinum Plus Member Moderator
Posts: 2096

It's time for another SUPER SECRET. Unfortunately, I don't feel like retyping the one that vanished into the ether. So here is a quick one, and it's one of the greatest advance-your-writing-tips you will ever employ.

Runs his fingertips over the temple's ancient bas-relief. "Aziz, light!"

Moon's SUPER SECRET #16: Read your story out loud.

There was a friendly writer I used to know. I'd see him at every convention, always with a smile, always with encouraging words. He's gone now. But he left his legacy behind in a simple little book, different from AJ's (Algis Budrys) book, but just as important in its own way. His name was Ken Rand. He wrote a book on editing. It's called THE 10% SOLUTION. I won't recite all his tips here--those were Ken's tips, and you should get his book to learn them. I do know many authors swear by his little book, and his belief that any story can have 10% cut from it and be the better for it. He shows you where to find that 10%, and your writing will be stronger if you follow his tips. And then he cites his most important tip of all. He says it's his number one tip to make your writing move forward: Read your story out loud.

You see, when we read in our mind, the mind runs its own software to smooth things out, to forgive pacing issues, run-on, and clunky sentences. It doesn't have to sound word sequences out, it assimilates written code and is very forgiving, especially since it understands our quirks and will easily hand us a pass if we let it. Not so when we read out loud! Now the words are coming to our brain through an additional source--our trained ears, and we have natural rhythm baby, we know when a song's got a beat you can dance to! And if your sentence structure clunks, the ear can't help but hear that, and just like a tuba going off in a string quartet, you NOTICE. Reading your story out loud after you finish it is the best way to improve your writing. It's going to expose your writing to your ears, and you're going to hear issues your eyes would never catch.

But don't take my word for it. Take Ken Rand's. He wrote his little book based on twenty-five years of writing experience. And it's been reprinted in a new 20th anniversary edition by a friend of mine, Patrick Swenson of Fairwood Press. Fact is, whenever I was with Ken, Patrick would appear, and vice versa. But I'm not telling you to get the book because Patrick is a buddy. I'm telling you the book is available, even though Ken is gone, because of Patrick. Because of Patrick, you don't have to pony up $250 to read a rare, out of print book. This one's under four bucks for the Kindle version. As Ferris Beuller said, "If you have the means, I highly recommend it." https://www.amazon.com/10-Solution-Ken- ... 1547186331

And if you don't? I just gave you the most important tip from Ken's book.

~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 : January 10, 2019 4:43 pm
Scafontaine
(@scafontaine)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 119

Thanks Moon. I just bought the book. Won't get it for a while since it has to ship to Europe, but based on what you said about it, it's worth it.

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Posted : January 10, 2019 7:46 pm
RETreasure
(@rschibler)
Silver Star Member
Posts: 703

Bought it, read it, would happily get the T-shirt. Or the hat. I will be recommending this to others as well. Thanks Wulf.

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 : January 11, 2019 2:19 am
Wulf Moon
(@wulfmoon)
Platinum Plus Member Moderator
Posts: 2096

SCAFontaine and Rebecca, you are most welcome! When somebody boils down what they've spent a couple decades mastering for you in a simple book, it's worth reading. Learning tips from experts can cut years off a new writer's learning curve. I hope it helps you get the win! It WILL help anyone become more polished.

Polished writers win this contest.

Success!

~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 : January 11, 2019 6:14 am
AnikeKirsten
(@anikekirsten)
Advanced Member
Posts: 40

Runs his fingertips over the temple's ancient bas-relief. "Aziz, light!"

I see your 5th Element reference and I appreciate it. wotf022 Almost as much as the Super Secrets themselves.

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Posted : January 11, 2019 8:15 am
Wulf Moon
(@wulfmoon)
Platinum Plus Member Moderator
Posts: 2096

Since I'm going to talk about winning Writers of the Future after entering for twenty-five years--and John Goodwin from Author Services set this up--I'm sharing my social media post and link to the live show here. If you miss it, it will be archived. Also, I sent Chatting With Sherri my bio five days ago. It's wrong about "War Dog" published by Third Flatiron being #2 in the annual Critters Readers' Poll for 2018's best Science Fiction and Fantasy Short Story. It's now tied at #1. Don't forget to vote for you faves--closes Jan 14th!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

KER-SPLAAT! KAAA-POW! KA-BOOM! Holy online radio talk shows, Batman! I'm going to have 20,000 people listening to me LIVE as Chatting With Sherri grills me for 45 minutes. Will I squeal? We are, after all, approaching the Year of the Pig! Discover answers to questions you have always pondered: Who is this Wulf Moon guy? Where did he come from? Where is he heading? And what the heck is a Moon Dawdler??? Tune in Tuesday, January 15th at 1 pm Pacific Time, same bat time, same bat channel, to find out!

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/rithebard/ ... ith-sherri

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 : January 11, 2019 8:26 am
OldDarth
(@olddarth)
Bronze Member
Posts: 77

Have fun! Which you will no doubt have. Thanks for the Ken Rand book recommendation. The 10% solution is something Stephen King talks about in his On Writing book too.

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Posted : January 12, 2019 1:19 am
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