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Wulf Moon
(@wulfmoon)
Platinum Plus Member Moderator
Posts: 2277

I'm going to give you some free advice...wait a minute, all this advice is free! Smile

I recall the most important thing I learned in sales, the KISS method: KEEP IT SIMPLE, STUPID. Smile It is really, really easy to complicate what a story is, turn the process into some elaborate monstrosity, or cloak it in such mysticism no one can understand the process without paying some guru to unravel their secrets. I suspect all these many ways, Three Act Structure, Save the Cat, 7 Point Plot, Hero's Journey, all of them are saying virtually the same thing with different terminology in order to sell their system and sell their books. Try not to get too caught up in all the mysticism, or you will get lost, and have to pay the gurus to navigate you through their hedge maze.

A story is a character, in a setting, with a problem. Something enters into their normal world and disrupts it. They are forced to try to solve the problem, must fail at solving the problem, must try again in some new way, must fail again, and must gamble all in one last do or die attempt to shove the problem back out of their life and possibly their world (the climax). Having succeeded (or failed in a tragedy) they must return to their normal world with new knowledge that changed them. Finally, you must show life goes on (denouement).

Keep it simple. Tell your story. Don't get wrapped up in checking off too many systems and terms that all mean virtually the same thing: bad stuff comes into your heroines world, and she's gonna stand for it no more! And then take her on a journey to solve it.

Zeet, as to taking a workshop by a pro or hiring a pro to edit your work, depends on who is conducting the workshop, who is the pro you are hiring. Obviously, Dave teaches short story, and you would be wise to take one of his classes on it (I think everyone in the Wulf Pack did at Superstars, which was very smart, and I'm still looking forward to Liz's report, because she had some very nice things happen just by being able to chat with Dave after). But as to hiring someone, it is the way to ensure you have a pro look over your work and advise you on what you need to work on to improve. But what kind of pro? If they are bestselling novelists, they often are not great at short story--each are a highly specialized field. And if they have awards and great credits, do they have the skill to teach? I know many bestselling authors I would never pay to critique my work--they know how to write great stories, but they don't know how to translate that to someone else's work. I know. I was in Wordos, the best writing workshop in the country. Being able to actually help someone see what they need to work on in terms they can understand is a gift, and gift means a rare talent.

I do freelance editing. I once had my own publishing company, creating logos, brochures, public offerings, and advertising campaigns for Inc 500 companies in the financial industry. Now that I've had some nice sales and accumulated some respectable awards, people come to me both with fiction and non-fiction. Someone even approached me at Superstars and said Dave referred them to me. Another said he is going to hire me to edit his novel when he finishes in a couple of weeks. Lots of other things, too. Word gets around. My honest advice? Find someone that has won WotF that wrote a story you respect and see if they will critique your story. No one will give you better advice (aside from Dave and Kary) on how to write a story that wins. But if you can't find that, find some way to get a pro to critique your work...and yes, even if you must pay them, it will likely be worth it even once to figure out what your blind spot is. Provided they can figure it out. Like I said, teaching is a gift, and don't assume because someone is a pro that they have this gift, or you will be sorely disappointed (and lose money if you paid them for their advice).

This is why I am trying to get to each of you with critiques. I did light crits for all with our opening flash exercises at the start of Super Secrets Year Two, but I am also working my way through the list each quarter. If you are meeting the challenge requirements each quarter, you keep the chance for a free crit open. But if you want to speed up your progress, well, you're asking the right questions. Now go forth and make the answers happen.

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" in Deep Magic Fall 2020 wins BEST SF&F STORY of 2020
NEW! Don't miss the Super Secret "Character Agency: I Need a Hero!" in DreamForge Anvil Magazine!
JUST RELEASED! BEST OF DEEP MAGIC ANTHOLOGY TWO! Three Super Secrets Workshop members made it into this best of the best anthology! KD Julicher, Brittany Rainsdon, and some guy named Wulf Moon. Click HERE to get yours!
NEXT MASTER CLASSES AT FYRECON ONLINE, NOV. 18-21ST. Click HERE before they are sold out once again!

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Topic starter Posted : February 14, 2020 7:01 am
AjZach
(@ajzach)
Bronze Member
Posts: 96

Wulf this brings up a question I have for you:
If you could only choose one, would you recommend paying for professional critiques from a NYT bestseller on a monthly basis (like what I mentioned above) OR paying for a workshop (take Dave’s upcoming fantasy workshop for example)?

Have you looked into a Writer in residence at the library or university near you? We have one at our library, I plan to take advantage of that program this quarter. In our program you can send in 3000 words for a critique, and spend an hour talking about your writing career. While they may not know WOTF, it's still a critique and advice from a published author for free.

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Posted : February 14, 2020 8:52 am
RETreasure
(@rschibler)
Silver Star Member
Posts: 745

I'm going to give you some free advice...wait a minute, all this advice is free! Smile

I recall the most important thing I learned in sales, the KISS method: KEEP IT SIMPLE, STUPID. Smile It is really, really easy to complicate what a story is, turn the process into some elaborate monstrosity, or cloak it in such mysticism no one can understand the process without paying some guru to unravel their secrets. I suspect all these many ways, Three Act Structure, Save the Cat, 7 Point Plot, Hero's Journey, all of them are saying virtually the same thing with different terminology in order to sell their system and sell their books. Try not to get too caught up in all the mysticism, or you will get lost, and have to pay the gurus to navigate you through their hedge maze.

All the beast,

Beastmaster Moon

This a thousand times. A story is a story. These are just ways to think about it. I asked Dan Wells if he used this proscriptively or diagnostically - he said he uses them to figure out why a story isn’t working, not to write the story in the first place. Tell your stories.

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

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Posted : February 14, 2020 9:39 am
storysinger
(@storysinger)
Gold Member
Posts: 880

Hi Leah, I've done the Vital Flaw exercise.
Anyone that did the Blood Sucker prompt and submitted to Flame Tree probably got the email with new prompts for their contest.
You are allowed to submit to both the syfy and the horror prompt.
Horror- Inanimate Beings
Syfy- Avatar.
You have until 2-21-2020
Write On!

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 : February 14, 2020 11:02 am
crlisle
(@crlisle)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 243

WOWSA!!! My head is spinning after all of this! I wish I could insert all this excellent information into my mind. I picture downloading to a memory stick and inserting it into a slot just behind my ear. I wish.

Where do stories come from? They come from wishes.

2020 Quarters: 1st -- R, 2nd -- HM, 3rd -- HM, 4th -- SHM
2021 Quarters: 1st -- HM, 2nd -- HM, 3rd -- Pending, 4th -- Pending
"Invasion" to be published in Daily Science Fiction
"The Last Dance" to be published Feb. 2022 in the LTUE Anthology, Parliament of Wizards
"My Ten Cents" published in Sci Fi Lampoon, vol. 2, Dec. 2020
"Never give up. Never surrender." - Galaxy Quest

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Posted : February 14, 2020 11:06 am
officer
(@officer)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 110

A story is a story. These are just ways to think about it. I asked Dan Wells if he used this proscriptively or diagnostically - he said he uses them to figure out why a story isn’t working, not to write the story in the first place. Tell your stories.

This is great advice. Thank you for the detailed notes you posted on Dan Wells's seminar. And thanks to everyone for sharing your Superstars experiences with the group!

HM, R, HM, R, R, SHM*, HM, ?, ?
*Finalist, 2021 Baen Fantasy Adventure Award

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Posted : February 14, 2020 11:53 am
ZeeTeeBeeZ
(@zeeteebeez)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 151

Wulf this brings up a question I have for you:
If you could only choose one, would you recommend paying for professional critiques from a NYT bestseller on a monthly basis (like what I mentioned above) OR paying for a workshop (take Dave’s upcoming fantasy workshop for example)?

Have you looked into a Writer in residence at the library or university near you? We have one at our library, I plan to take advantage of that program this quarter. In our program you can send in 3000 words for a critique, and spend an hour talking about your writing career. While they may not know WOTF, it's still a critique and advice from a published author for free.

I haven’t, but I definitely will. Thanks!

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Posted : February 14, 2020 12:01 pm
SwiftPotato
(@swiftpotato)
Silver Star Member
Posts: 555

Got you, storysinger!

Others who are doing the extra credit flash challenge: we're halfway through February! Don't forget to do your flash!

All challenge beasties: we're also approximately halfway through the quarter. Write, write, write! Submit, submit, submit! (And don't forget to post here when you do!)

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

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Posted : February 14, 2020 12:38 pm
rjklee
(@rjklee)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 175

Hi Leah, I've done the Vital Flaw exercise.
Anyone that did the Blood Sucker prompt and submitted to Flame Tree probably got the email with new prompts for their contest.
You are allowed to submit to both the syfy and the horror prompt.
Horror- Inanimate Beings
Syfy- Avatar.
You have until 2-21-2020
Write On!

Thanks for this. I got my nice rejection notice for my entry but no newsletter and it’s not the clearest site to find their prompts on.

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 : February 14, 2020 1:36 pm
storysinger
(@storysinger)
Gold Member
Posts: 880

Thanks for this. I got my nice rejection notice for my entry but no newsletter and it’s not the clearest site to find their prompts on.

I never received a rejection notice. I found out I was out of the running when I got the newsletter with the winning stories. They were good stories, I read both winners. In the newsletter the new prompts were offered so I created something for both. Just plugging along, write, submit, wait for the day when something different happens. This pack rules.  fistinair

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 : February 15, 2020 5:07 am
CCrawford
(@ccrawford)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 225

I never received a rejection notice. I found out I was out of the running when I got the newsletter with the winning stories.

The same thing happened to me, but then I went back and found the rejection email in my spam/trash folder. wotf017

v35: Q4 - HM
V36: R, R, R, R
V37: SHM, HM, HM, SHM
V38: SHM, HM, ??
Indie author of The Lex Chronicles (Legends of Arameth), and the in-progress Leyward Stones series--including my serial, Macchiatos, Faerie Princes, and Other Things That Happen at Midnight, currently available on the new Kindle Vella platform. The Vella story is also available through my Patreon, along with side stories, behind the scenes content, and in-progress drafts of other books from my Leyward Stones world.
Website: http://ccrawfordwriting.com. I also have a newsletter and a blog!
Upcoming short story publication in DreamForge Anvil, October 2021 issue!

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Posted : February 15, 2020 6:29 am
Wulf Moon
(@wulfmoon)
Platinum Plus Member Moderator
Posts: 2277

So I'm seconding SwiftPotato's reminder: We are halfway through Q2. Since you signed up for the challenge reqs (and maybe the bonus flash challenge), this means you should have wrapped up your first fresh original story, and are starting on your second. By March 31st, you will have sent one story to Writers of the Future (the pick of the litter, or another you think has a better chance) and sent the other story out to a "respectable market." If you forgot what that means, go back to the start of the challenge for this year and read again. Smile

Remember: meeting the requirements you signed up for has rewards. Most notably, each quarter you log in that you met the terms keeps you in my personal critique pool. I do four or more critiques per quarter, working my way through the list of those successfully meeting the challenge throughout the course of the year. And in the last contest year, everyone that successfully completed the challenge got my greatest Super Secret sent to them privately. This Secret has been a game changer for me, and I trust it will open the eyes of others once they understand it. But to get it, you have to stay in the race! The Wulf Pack is on the run, and fulfilling your oath has rewards!

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" in Deep Magic Fall 2020 wins BEST SF&F STORY of 2020
NEW! Don't miss the Super Secret "Character Agency: I Need a Hero!" in DreamForge Anvil Magazine!
JUST RELEASED! BEST OF DEEP MAGIC ANTHOLOGY TWO! Three Super Secrets Workshop members made it into this best of the best anthology! KD Julicher, Brittany Rainsdon, and some guy named Wulf Moon. Click HERE to get yours!
NEXT MASTER CLASSES AT FYRECON ONLINE, NOV. 18-21ST. Click HERE before they are sold out once again!

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Topic starter Posted : February 16, 2020 9:12 am
SwiftPotato
(@swiftpotato)
Silver Star Member
Posts: 555

That's actually a good reminder for me, too--I keep forgetting to post my progress here since I AM the roster. I have submitted my first story for the quarter (to a few respectable markets) and am about 1300 words into my second. Smile

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

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Posted : February 16, 2020 9:30 am
officer
(@officer)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 110

Reporting in. I sent my first story of the quarter out today, just barely on schedule.

I knew something felt emotionally off but couldn't find it. Thanks to crits from fellow beasties, we discovered that I cut short my denouement and didn't properly resolve a secondary emotional thread/conflict (a couple paragraphs did the trick). While writing I felt like that resolution was implied, but in this case, it needed to be explicit to satisfy the reader.

HM, R, HM, R, R, SHM*, HM, ?, ?
*Finalist, 2021 Baen Fantasy Adventure Award

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Posted : February 16, 2020 9:34 am
Henckel
(@henckel)
Silver Member
Posts: 417

Reporting in on progress.
I've otherwise completed my 1st story for the quarter. Just pondering peer review.
Brainstorming stage for other story.

(2014) V31 Q1 – R
(2018) V35 Q3 – HM
(2019) V36 Q3 – HM
(2019) V36 Q4 – SHM
(2020) V37 Q1 – R
(2020) V37 Q2 – HM
(2020) V37 Q3 – SHM
(2020) V37 Q4 – Finalist
(2021) V38 Q1 – Semi-finalist
(2021) V38 Q2 – SHM
(2021) V38 Q3 – tba

Coolest Achievements
(2019) Published in Escape Anthology
(2020) Published in Sci-Fi Lampoon
(2020) V37 Q4 – Finalist
(2020) Dream Foundry - Shortlisted
(2021) Mike Resnick Memorial Award - 3rd Place winner!!! (to be published)

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Posted : February 16, 2020 10:28 am
CCrawford
(@ccrawford)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 225

Reporting in -- 1st story for the quarter is written; received some feedback from Pack members and will be starting edits soon. In planning stage for second story; plan to do my (bonus) flash sometime soon as well.

v35: Q4 - HM
V36: R, R, R, R
V37: SHM, HM, HM, SHM
V38: SHM, HM, ??
Indie author of The Lex Chronicles (Legends of Arameth), and the in-progress Leyward Stones series--including my serial, Macchiatos, Faerie Princes, and Other Things That Happen at Midnight, currently available on the new Kindle Vella platform. The Vella story is also available through my Patreon, along with side stories, behind the scenes content, and in-progress drafts of other books from my Leyward Stones world.
Website: http://ccrawfordwriting.com. I also have a newsletter and a blog!
Upcoming short story publication in DreamForge Anvil, October 2021 issue!

ReplyQuote
Posted : February 16, 2020 10:34 am
Retropianoplayer
(@retropianoplayer)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 231

Reporting in – Currently, in process of revision for 2nd Quarter story. Focusing on POV errors and correcting them. Reaching Catalyst and Big Event sooner. Adapting critique suggestions. Will be ready before March 31st.

Second fresh story written. Will take a fresh look before submitting to respectable market before March 31st.

Flash prompt will be done within the week.

Revised my novel and submitted full manuscript to respectable market.

Best,

Retro

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Posted : February 16, 2020 10:51 am
Wulf Moon
(@wulfmoon)
Platinum Plus Member Moderator
Posts: 2277

SUPERSTARS WRITING SEMINAR: A Short Report

I encouraged the Forum to find a way to attend this amazing writing seminar, and many did. If you go to my Facebook page (wulf dot moon dot 94) you'll see a wonderful picture of our Forum group at dinner! We had four scholarship winners from the Forum in our group, including two of our very own from Super Secrets that were awarded the very first Writers of the Future Superstars' Scholarships! And guess what? We had a surprise visit from Joni Labaqi! What a kick! Another surprise, and something new for me, every swag bag for attendees had WotF Vol. 35 in it! I've never had a story as part of a swag bag before. EVERYONE at the conference had a copy of Moongirl, and I loved having people come up asking me to sign their books! So that was pretty special, and another bonus of having WotF as your publisher.

Tremendous knowledge was shared from writers at the top of their game. You want to know how to indie publish and rise in the Amazon bestseller charts? James Hunter was there, #1 with his Viridian Gate novel, explaining release strategies. You want to have a pro go over the first three chapters of your novel? Eric Flint was there, giving one on one critiques. Is middle grade or YA the right place for you to be writing in? Jonathon Maberry explained the sweet spot. Do you want to create fascinating fantasy worlds? Kevin J. Anderson and Rebecca Moesta went through detailed outlines of every aspect of worldbuilding and how to make your civilizations believable. How about crafting the perfect short story? David Farland did a Craft Day workshop on that, and I think all of our group attended (except me because I'm going to have two weeks with him total with the WotF workshops). There were pitch sessions with agents and editors, and I'm hearing some of you had exciting results from your pitch! But the most important thing of all at Superstars...some of you got to sing with me. Okay, maybe that wasn't the most important thing for you, but I was pretty thrilled you came to my folk and filk session, we had so much fun!

Finally, there is Tribe. You meet so many people just like you, trying to find their way, ready to give you encouragement and support. Not just at the seminar, but for the rest of your life. Superstars becomes family. They stand with you through time, as you will find out if you become a member. It is VERY important to have allies in this business, and you won't find a nicer bunch of professionals and aspiring professionals anywhere, highly focused on spec fic, I might add.

If you'd like to attend but are financially challenged, the scholarships are available to help those with needs get there. They are merit based, but you saw how many here have the writing skills necessary to meet their high standards. I'll try to let you know when scholarship applications open again for 2021. And if you have the means, as Ferris Bueller said, I highly recommend it. It's next level stuff, but if you're ready to make the jump to the next level, this is the place that will help you get there. Find a way to attend.

Many of you have asked if you could ever be of help to me, to let you know. I'll tell you how you can help, and how I can help you. You can reserve your registration now for just $100, and pay throughout the rest of the year. And if you'd like $100 off your registration, please use my code WULF9928 in the general discount code box when you register. If enough of you go, it will help me to be able to go as well. But go because you want to up your game and learn from the best in the biz. https://superstarswriting.com/

Looking forward to more reports from our group that attended Superstars! It was so absolutely wonderful to meet some of you there and I enjoyed our meals together!

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" in Deep Magic Fall 2020 wins BEST SF&F STORY of 2020
NEW! Don't miss the Super Secret "Character Agency: I Need a Hero!" in DreamForge Anvil Magazine!
JUST RELEASED! BEST OF DEEP MAGIC ANTHOLOGY TWO! Three Super Secrets Workshop members made it into this best of the best anthology! KD Julicher, Brittany Rainsdon, and some guy named Wulf Moon. Click HERE to get yours!
NEXT MASTER CLASSES AT FYRECON ONLINE, NOV. 18-21ST. Click HERE before they are sold out once again!

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Topic starter Posted : February 16, 2020 11:24 am
rjklee
(@rjklee)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 175

I’m behind, overall. Boo. My update on writing progress:

After getting some great feedback on my flash from the Dragon Next Door prompt, I sent it out and it got its first rejection; I’m sending it out again soon. My Blood Sucker flash also got some great feedback, was sent to Flame Tree, and is now out again, pending response at a respectable market. I also sent some short stories to market, one of the three short stories I finished for Q1 consideration, and two stories rejected by WotF earlier in 2019. One was rejected and I asked two writers for critiques before sending it out again. The rest are pending a response. I’ve been sorting through my other stories to consider what to send out next and what may need revision.

I’m giving the two prompts at Flame Tree for this month a try, though I might not make it since I have some voice work and such that just came in. Will try.

So I’m getting much better about sending stories out, but I’m behind on writing my Q2 stories. I have started both stories based on separate starts on earlier flash prompts from Jan and Dec. The first story has 688 words of a planned 4000. The second story is brainstormed but waiting its turn once I finish flash, submissions, and the first story. Most of my WotF submissions secretly want to be novels (two actually are and need to be revised), or at least novelettes, and have trended between 10k-17k words, so I plan to make both my Q2 stories shorter than usual for easier submission to a range of other markets, and also to try and improve the overall quality of the stories.

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 : February 16, 2020 1:30 pm
rjklee
(@rjklee)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 175

Revised my novel and submitted full manuscript to respectable market.

Best,

Retro

Submitted your novel, too! While also handling all the short story and flash challenges. Much respect!

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 : February 16, 2020 1:33 pm
Retropianoplayer
(@retropianoplayer)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 231

Thank you, Oishisushi 911.

Submission is only half the process. The rest is waiting until the jury returns with its verdict.

When the jury delivers its verdict is the second half of the process.

Similar to when an attorney presents his/her case in court. You do your best, agonize over everything, review the evidence. But, in the end, the jury (publisher) makes the final decision.

Best,

Retro wotf022

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Posted : February 16, 2020 1:47 pm
SwiftPotato
(@swiftpotato)
Silver Star Member
Posts: 555

Nice job with the updates, beasties! Keep em coming! And don't forget to post here again when you've submitted those stories so I can roster you. Smile
And without further ado, it's that time again! This week's Monday prompt is: DRAGON DREAMS.

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

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Posted : February 16, 2020 10:28 pm
crlisle
(@crlisle)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 243

I've submitted to Analog.
I'm waiting to hear from 2 non-WoTF contests.
I submitted and received a personal rejection from Fantasy & Science Fiction; that took 1 day. He's fast!

2020 Quarters: 1st -- R, 2nd -- HM, 3rd -- HM, 4th -- SHM
2021 Quarters: 1st -- HM, 2nd -- HM, 3rd -- Pending, 4th -- Pending
"Invasion" to be published in Daily Science Fiction
"The Last Dance" to be published Feb. 2022 in the LTUE Anthology, Parliament of Wizards
"My Ten Cents" published in Sci Fi Lampoon, vol. 2, Dec. 2020
"Never give up. Never surrender." - Galaxy Quest

ReplyQuote
Posted : February 17, 2020 12:01 am
ZeeTeeBeeZ
(@zeeteebeez)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 151

Reporting in —

Flash for blood suckers done, submitted (rejected), and marinating so I can expand on it for story 1.

Story 2 is a seed that was planted a few weeks ago and is now starting to break the surface and reach skyward. I plan to KYD it right away.

My story from last quarter is on the submission carousel. Some positive personal feedback, but nothing more than that yet.

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Posted : February 17, 2020 2:11 am
AjZach
(@ajzach)
Bronze Member
Posts: 96

Reporting:

My first story is in the editing stages and I just finished the first draft of my second story last week.
I am doing the flash challenge prompt this week.
In the final stages of editing for Flame tree's February prompt.

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Posted : February 17, 2020 2:53 am
Wulf Moon
(@wulfmoon)
Platinum Plus Member Moderator
Posts: 2277

Great job on reporting in, all. It also encourages our wulf pack, because they can see each of you on the prowl, encouraging them to do the same. Sales are made through many repeated efforts as we continue to send our stories out, and return to writing the next fresh one. You will see. We haven't heard the end of the good results that will happen in this second year of the Super Secrets. Because you are doing the work.

May good rewards come to each one of you for your efforts!

Finally, I have a secret program open only to Super Secret members, past or present. Please contact Ari Officer for details, and do not share with others. Thank you.

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" in Deep Magic Fall 2020 wins BEST SF&F STORY of 2020
NEW! Don't miss the Super Secret "Character Agency: I Need a Hero!" in DreamForge Anvil Magazine!
JUST RELEASED! BEST OF DEEP MAGIC ANTHOLOGY TWO! Three Super Secrets Workshop members made it into this best of the best anthology! KD Julicher, Brittany Rainsdon, and some guy named Wulf Moon. Click HERE to get yours!
NEXT MASTER CLASSES AT FYRECON ONLINE, NOV. 18-21ST. Click HERE before they are sold out once again!

ReplyQuote
Topic starter Posted : February 17, 2020 3:19 am
crlisle
(@crlisle)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 243

I put a report on Brad Torkensen's keynote address at LTUE in "Interviews" in this forum for those who are interested. He is a humble, gentle man and I am happy that we got to hang out a bit.

2020 Quarters: 1st -- R, 2nd -- HM, 3rd -- HM, 4th -- SHM
2021 Quarters: 1st -- HM, 2nd -- HM, 3rd -- Pending, 4th -- Pending
"Invasion" to be published in Daily Science Fiction
"The Last Dance" to be published Feb. 2022 in the LTUE Anthology, Parliament of Wizards
"My Ten Cents" published in Sci Fi Lampoon, vol. 2, Dec. 2020
"Never give up. Never surrender." - Galaxy Quest

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Posted : February 17, 2020 4:26 am
Peter_Glen
(@peter_glen)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 143

Thanks Wulf and all for the updates on SuperStars ... sounds like one helluva workshop!
For my update, I have first draft of my first story and 6K in on my story number two (based on the growing impulse prompt 😉
Still waiting on results from both my Q1 baby Krakens out in the wild.
Finished a flametree flash and will post for critique soon.

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Posted : February 17, 2020 4:29 am
rjklee
(@rjklee)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 175

Thanks Wulf and all for the updates on SuperStars ... sounds like one helluva workshop!
For my update, I have first draft of my first story and 6K in on my story number two (based on the growing impulse prompt 😉
Still waiting on results from both my Q1 baby Krakens out in the wild.
Finished a flametree flash and will post for critique soon.

Ooooo you expanded on the growing impulse one? I’m curious to see where that one went.

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 : February 17, 2020 5:32 am
AliciaCay
(@aliciacay)
Bronze Member
Posts: 65

SUPERSTARS SUMMARY
Hi All,
Long time lurker, first time poster. My name is Alicia for those of you not in the know, and Wulf asked me (as with a few others) to write up a small synopsis on something we learned at Superstars Writing Seminar - Feb 2020 (It was SO much fun ♥)

THE ART OF THE PITCH
As presented by Jonathan Maberry

This year I received the incredible honor of being a scholarship recipient (one of two scholarships sponsored by Writers of the Future) and was able to attend Superstars Writing Seminar 2020 for the first time - so much yay!

One of my favorite panels was Jonathan Maberry’s: The Art of the Pitch.
You should know that beyond being a bestselling author, and an engaging and entertaining speaker, he was also a martial arts instructor for over two decades, and apparently his class on writing fight scenes will go down in the books at Superstars (we could hear them laughing throughout the hotel Smile
First, I would encourage you all to go to his author website: jonathanmaberry.com
Amongst the links at the top of the page, there is one titled: Free Stuff For Writers. You will find LOTS of cool things to read and learn there. There is even a sample query letter – ‘Query Letter to Agent.’ I recommend having a look.

THE QUERY:
On Query Letters, Maberry said that in your letter you want to tell the prospective agent/publisher/editor (hereafter referred to as ‘the pitchee’) about YOUR STORY, not about you. This is a business letter, and the editor/publishers are buying the potential of the book – not you. They are in business to make money, so pitch them your product (the book). He also recommended opening your query letter with a hook – catch their attention!

THE PITCH:
Maberry emphasized that you should be able to talk about the book. As in, be able to tell them what your book is ABOUT. This does not mean the plot. He stressed that the plot is different than what the book is about.

He strongly encouraged everyone (threatened to throw a chair at us – haha!) to NOT memorize a pitch speech, and definitely DO NOT write down notes to read from when you go to give your pitch (apparently pitchee’s hate this). You must know what your book is about and be able to talk to those points.

He also mentioned that sometimes the pitchee will ask you questions, just to throw you off your memorized patter. But if you’re talking about your story, you will be much less likely to be thrown off your game (in theory 😉

He also impressed upon us to make the pitch personal. Look the pitchee in the eye, introduce yourself. He says that pitchees are just regular people and want to be treated as such... (I remain skeptical).

As to the art of the pitch…While making your personal pitch to this regular ol’ person, Maberry mentions it’s important to show the emotion of the story. Show your passion for it and invite rather than exclude the readers. (An example would be: This story will appeal to those of all ages, especially people who adore fluffy puppies, etc. Rather than saying something like: Dudes aren’t going to like this story because it’s about little fluffy puppies and we all know that Dudes don’t like adorable, fluffy puppies – or whatever. Don’t exclude anyone. You’re selling a book here people!)

SIDE NOTE: This sentiment ties in with author/Illustrator James A. Owen’s Eggs Benedict breakfast, which you must attend to fully appreciate – but be forewarned - it will make you cry.

I digress...

The point is – SELL your book, don’t point out all the stuff you think is wrong with it.

And lastly of all (not a thing), the most important point (that I can remember) is: PRACTICE YOUR PITCH! Go over it, and over it, and over it again. No one at this point is going to know the story you’ve written better than you – so talk about what you wrote. Bring it to life for the pitchee and engage them the way you would a reader. They may just buy it!

-xo
Alicia Cay

P.S. Mr. Maberry then went on to do a pitch on the fly with suggestions we threw at him. This was one of the coolest, most awesome-est things I've ever had the enjoyment of witnessing. I cannot recommend more that you sign up for Superstars 2021 and see it next year for yourself.
There are several of us here on the forum with codes that can give you a $100 discount. ♥

V32: HM (Q4)
V33: HM, HM, SHM, HM
V34: R, R, HM, HM
V35: HM, HM, R, HM
V36: R, R, SHM, R
V37: SHM, FINALIST, HM, SHM
V38: SF, X, tbd
Ten story publications! (including Air and Nothingness Press, Third_Flatiron, and three with WordFire Press ♥)
https://aliciacay.com

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Posted : February 17, 2020 9:03 am
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