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Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRETS Workshop & Challenge!

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Retropianoplayer
(@retropianoplayer)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 231

Thank you, Disgruntled Peony, for your thoughtful, analytical and detailed recounting of your Seminar session. You showed enormous ability to take the cognizant facts of what was said, condense them to separate the wheat from the chaff, and add a personal, emotional tone which piqued reader interest.

At this point, you're extremely close to winning this contest. Now, you're a known entity to the Coordinating Judge. Well done!

I wish you the best and hope to view your acceptance speech in the near future.

Best,

Retro wotf010

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Posted : February 22, 2020 2:43 pm
TimE
 TimE
(@time)
Silver Member
Posts: 338

Thanks for putting all that together and posting it DP. I consume all DF's tips and often wonder whether some are intended for novels and not s/s. So good to get notes specific to shorts.

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Posted : February 22, 2020 7:29 pm
storysinger
(@storysinger)
Gold Member
Posts: 887

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience Liz. I enjoyed every word.

He not only remembered my story--he remembered that I’d written other stories with those same characters in the past.

I have recently started giving my characters repeat parts in my stories, it's actually a lot of fun.

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 23, 2020 2:03 am
SwiftPotato
(@swiftpotato)
Silver Star Member
Posts: 555

Good morning, beasties! This week's Monday prompt is: DO NOT OBEY.

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

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Posted : February 23, 2020 11:00 pm
crlisle
(@crlisle)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 243

You're so brave Liz to ask Mr Farland why you got 4th place! Did you see David Farland's tip today? I think it's very relevant to your situation. Did the judges want vegan or BBQ?

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 24, 2020 5:16 am
Wulf Moon
(@wulfmoon)
Platinum Plus Member Moderator
Posts: 2286

Wulf Moon’s SUPER SECRET #40: It Takes Two to Make It Out of Sight!
Copyright 2019 by Wulf Moon

In our last episode, I left you with a cliffhangar: How do we get the proper amount of help on a story, without losing our Voice?

Good question! Because when you’re working alone in your laboratory creating baby krakens, there comes a time where you might stand back, appraise your abomination--I mean, wondrous creation--and ask yourself, “Should I really be putting a beak on my baby kraken? He looks like Daffy Duck! Wouldn’t a rotary tongue with with a giant carbide steel drillbit be more functional?”

In these dark moments of self-loathing and self-doubt, it’s good to have a successful mad scientist in your pocket you can invite over for a beaker of home brew and then ask that discomfiting question, “Say, would you mind stepping down to my poorly lit laboratory in the root cellar to take a look at something?”

And if that mad scientist has made a few successful krakens that took down prizes like the Queen Anne’s Revenge--AND you have properly lubricated him--he might be sweet-talked into stepping down those creaking cellar stairs with you. Might even display some magnanimity by showing you how to improve your baby kraken so that he’s krak-a-lakken. With another beaker or two of home brew, he might even let slip a few of his most sacred secrets that made his famous little kraken indomitable.

Like I’ve said, when you’re an aspiring writer, getting someone this skilled to read your manuscript is tough. The higher up the food chain the writer, the harder it’s going to be to get them to agree to read your manuscript. Hey, they worked hard for this knowledge, and they have a living to make with it, and it takes time from their own writing to do a worthwhile critique. Your best bet here is to find a pro writer that does freelance editing--it will cost you, but if they have good references, one solid critique might change everything for you. Alas, most aspiring writers are dirt poor and cannot afford such services. So what’s a girl to do?

Well, you could simply keep practicing. On your own. By the time you write 500,000 to one million words, you’re going to learn a few things. Especially if you’ve been reading well-written stories along the way, and have also been reading good books on craft. But just as you’ll build some good habits, you’ll likely pick up some bad. Human nature being what it is, we all have an awfully hard time seeing, admitting, and changing our bad habits. Whereas others can see them as plain as the nose on Jimmy Durante’s face! Here’s the good news--you don’t need a bestselling author to tell you what these flaws are.

What you need is a good friend. Good friends believe in you, but they also have the courage to tell you like it is. Good writer friends do the same thing. You don’t need a roomful of writer friends to get good advice. As in real life, you usually only have one or two trusted companions that believe in you, but also are willing to speak up to help you reach your full potential. They’re usually the ones you know will show up when you’ve found a new home and it’s time to load the moving truck. Well, critiquing manuscripts for new writers involves some heavy lifting, too. You’re going to need someone that’s got the back for it, and will handle your delicates...delicately.

I submit that you will need two friends like this. One will be your Writing Partner. This is the person that will read your manuscript within a reasonable amount of time, and while they may not be a professional writer, they are working just as hard as you to become one. They will know things, because they’ve been learning just like you, and that knowledge will help them see those bad habits you are blind to. Unfortunately, not all of their advice will be good, but neither will yours be for them, and at least together you can work toward figuring out how to make your work better, which will eventually give it a real chance at selling and getting published. If two people are working hard at this, a synergy happens between them, and they can motivate one another to write more, to write better, and to submit their work to writing markets. You can actually build one another into your own pro writing companions to help one another succeed. Just like good friends, this shouldn’t be random. You need to keep an eye out for this person and become a real friend to them. Synergy is MUTUAL benefit that creates an outcome greater than the sum of its parts.

So you’ve found your Writing Partner (What? You still don’t have one? You should be able to select from some compatible writing partners by now just by observing members of this group and their writing samples.) Okay, one down, one to go. So who is this second person you will need? This person is called your Wise Reader. The cool thing about Wise Readers? They don’t have to be writers. But they do have to love reading and be widely read. Hopefully, they have good knowledge of grammar, sentence structure, and what makes for good storytelling. Wise readers can’t often tell you how to fix something, but they can tell you when something didn’t work for them, which can be quite valuable. Let’s face it. When we’re telling a story at the coffee shop to a friend and she looks at us in confusion and says, “Huh, I don’t get it,” we realize we didn’t give her an important detail. So we back up, fill her in, and when she nods and says, “Ohhh, I get it, it was your *second* cousin on your father’s side, not your brother-in-law’s wife’s great uncle,” we can tell the added details helped her see the connection. We can go on.

This is the same thing a Wise Reader does. They help us see what was obviously in our head, but didn’t transcribe to the page. They are also really good at picking out misspelled words, words that are spelled correctly but have the wrong meaning (something word processors fail miserably at), repeated words in the same paragraph or page (I call these echoes), and lots of other stupid stuff like forgetting to put down the period at the end of a sentence. Their eyes are fresh, and if they’re good Wise Readers, they will see things we missed.

Okay, so you’ve got your Wise Reader. What? You still don’t have one? Did you look at your mate? Your roommate? Your buddy from college? That friend from work that keeps telling you that you should be a writer? Ask them if they’d like to help you, and figure out how you can help them with something. Make it a win for both of you. Many feel honored that you value their opinion and would trust them to give you advice on your story. And guess what usually happens over time? They get better and better at it.

I have always had two. 1. Writing Partner. 2. Wise Reader. While I would have liked to have had my successful pro buddy as my writing partner, he certainly didn’t need me as one--he was already the most published author in Analog. Would he do me the favor of reading something if I really needed it? Yeah, but again, he already knew how to write the perfect Analog story blindfolded--doing regular critique swaps with me would have offered little benefit to this Nebula Award winner. So I hunted for someone with the same fire in their gut that I had, found them from a writing group, and had my ready writing partner to swap stories with, to get encouragement to keep writing, and to bounce plot ideas off of. It’s really important to have someone you can quickly turn to for this. They also keep you from that lonely feeling of writing into the dark, because when you finish writing something, you hand it to them. You get instant feedback on your work, and if they’re good, they won’t just tell you what you did wrong, they’ll tell you all the things you did right. And that’s pretty important, too.

For my Wise Reader, I’ve always had my wife, thirty-six years now. She’s a voracious reader, and cross genre as well. Readily accessible--just outside my office--and with a “Hey, honey, I’ve got less than an hour before midnight’s contest close for you to read this Moongirl story, can you do it?,” I am happy to say she’s saved my bacon more than once. No, she’s not a writer. She can’t say, “If you place a near-death event in your protagonist’s past that causes PTSD, it’s going to give her a greater internal story arc.” But she can say, “This part didn’t work for me. I don’t know the reason she freaks out when her path is blocked.” And really, isn’t that all you need? You’re the writer! This is the moment you’ve been training all your life for! You can fix this without polling twelve other people to make sure you're doing it right.

Want to know who else uses this system? Our instinctive Leah Ning, Super Secret challenge beastie and winner of Writers of the Future, Volume 36. I hadn’t written this Secret yet, but when I called Leah and asked about her win, she told me she had studied everything in the Super Secrets, that they had seemed logical, and so she implemented them in her writing. When she wrote the story that would become her winner, she shared it with two people. 1. Her husband, who is not a writer but has that Wise Reader eye. 2. A writer friend that helped her with things good writers know, like sentence structure and proper grammar. Together, she had everything she needed to produce a winning story that would make it past first reader Kary English, that would make coordinating judge David Farland put it in the Finalist stack, and finally pass the scoring of the four acclaimed writer judges for her quarter. Did she have a dozen beta readers go over it and try to work every suggestion into her manuscript? No. She found two people whose judgment she trusted, each for different but vital needs, and she stayed true to her Voice while examining their suggestions and applying only what she felt would enhance her story.

Did it work? Leah will be at Hollywood next month, learning even more tricks at that workshop and picking up her award. Oh, and just like in Jim Carrey’s The Grinch, when Leah comes to WotF’s Whoville Whobilation to claim her award, she’ll be able to say, “Did someone mention a check?”

In closing, of course this Super Secret is just one way. It’s my way, and I’ve been using it for decades now. You paid the big bucks to get into this course, and I want you to get every penny out of it. : ) Stop and consider how many people do you really need to give you advice as to how to fix your stories, which is what a critique is all about. Remember my warning about protecting your Voice. Save you it can! Mind what you have learned!

I wish all of you much success. I wrote the Secrets to help you succeed. Keep blazing your trail.

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!
MY NEXT MASTER CLASSES ARE AT FYRECON ONLINE, NOV. 18-21ST. UPDATE: 50% FULL. Click HERE before they are sold out once again!

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Topic starter Posted : February 24, 2020 8:43 am
rjklee
(@rjklee)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 175

Dave’s response floored me. He not only remembered my story--he remembered that I’d written other stories with those same characters in the past. He said he thought I was already there, and that I just needed to keep focusing original characters in interesting settings with surprising spec elements, because at that point it’s all a matter of the judges’ taste. He said that with different judges, I might have gotten higher.

Wow! That is fantastic to hear that not only were you brave enough to ask Farland about your submission, but it sounds like he provided you with a seriously motivating response.

Thank you so much for sharing your notes on Dave Farland’s lecture. I’ll be copying it down and using it as another guide in my writing.

Best of luck with your submission this quarter! You got this.

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 24, 2020 9:11 am
storysinger
(@storysinger)
Gold Member
Posts: 887

Well, you could simply keep practicing. On your own. By the time you write 500,000 to one million words, you’re going to learn a few things. Especially if you’ve been reading well-written stories along the way, and have also been reading good books on craft

It's almost like you're looking over my shoulder, I'm guilty of all those charges. But because of the lessons you're teaching I'm like a turtle coming out of it's shell. I do every flash prompt and send stories to pro-paying markets regularly. To advance one has to put in the work, thanks for the help. A year ago I was submitting nada, zilch.

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 24, 2020 10:11 am
Wulf Moon
(@wulfmoon)
Platinum Plus Member Moderator
Posts: 2286

Well, you could simply keep practicing. On your own. By the time you write 500,000 to one million words, you’re going to learn a few things. Especially if you’ve been reading well-written stories along the way, and have also been reading good books on craft

It's almost like you're looking over my shoulder, I'm guilty of all those charges. But because of the lessons you're teaching I'm like a turtle coming out of it's shell. I do every flash prompt and send stories to pro-paying markets regularly. To advance one has to put in the work, thanks for the help. A year ago I was submitting nada, zilch.

Glad to hear it, Don. ~/o"Turtles in the half shell."~/o Keep up the good work. You are writing. This is the path...

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!
MY NEXT MASTER CLASSES ARE AT FYRECON ONLINE, NOV. 18-21ST. UPDATE: 50% FULL. Click HERE before they are sold out once again!

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Topic starter Posted : February 24, 2020 10:20 am
storysinger
(@storysinger)
Gold Member
Posts: 887

Hi Leah, I'm sure your days are filled with anticipation of the coming event, you so deserve it. wotf010
I completed the Dragon Dreams exercise. On to the next now. Best of luck in LA. Enjoy.

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 24, 2020 10:28 am
SwiftPotato
(@swiftpotato)
Silver Star Member
Posts: 555

Got you down, storysinger, and thank you! Smile

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

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Posted : February 24, 2020 2:53 pm
chuckt
(@chuckt)
Silver Member
Posts: 419

I know I'm not in the challenge this quarter but I thought you guys would find this interesting. All of the points dovetail nicely into things that Wulf preaches. And the opening to True Grit really is very well done.

https://lithub.com/a-close-reading-of-true-grits-perfect-first-paragraph/?fbclid=IwAR2Q66f_oZN1pk-BW-NGdT1nXXIYxTkztALi2qG0WIQay4UD24jWwKywj-M

36: R, R, R, SHM
37: R, HM, R, HM
38: HM, R, ?

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Posted : February 25, 2020 3:58 am
Wulf Moon
(@wulfmoon)
Platinum Plus Member Moderator
Posts: 2286

I know I'm not in the challenge this quarter but I thought you guys would find this interesting. All of the points dovetail nicely into things that Wulf preaches. And the opening to True Grit really is very well done.

https://lithub.com/a-close-reading-of-true-grits-perfect-first-paragraph/?fbclid=IwAR2Q66f_oZN1pk-BW-NGdT1nXXIYxTkztALi2qG0WIQay4UD24jWwKywj-M

You were a challenge beastie in the last contest year, Chuck. You are always welcome to comment here. : )

Excellent article. I love the True Grit movies, both of them, and it's because of that spirited young narrator. It's a fish out of water story--she is forced by circumstance to enter not just a man's world, but a gunslinger's world, and she grows in power as she faces the challenge head on. Nothing will change her mind or stop her from her just and righteous cause. Such an interesting little character. We love her immediately, hope she achieves her goal, and we're ready to ride with her through the rest of the tale to find out.

I have never read the book, but need to now. Everyone should study that opening paragraph. Both say the same thing, but while the one in the Saturday Evening Post is lifeless and flat, the one in the book is filled with the sizzle. Both place a character, in a setting, with a problem, but notice how specifics and the way they are played out in a fascinating narrative voice make all the difference. This, challenge beasties, is why an editor knows they are in the hands of a master from the very first line. In that very first paragraph, so much storytelling magic is happening, you enter the trance and are carried into her world. That opening is so potent, you trust the rest will be just as good.

Thanks for sharing that, Chuck. I planned to do a section on magical openings and what makes them tick for my physical SUPER SECRET workshop (yes, it's coming soon). You've given me the perfect example for it.

About a month to go for Q2 entries, challenge beasties. If you are floundering, look to your KYD flash pieces. Hopefully you've been doing one a month, if not more. Those prompts were specifically designed to inspire spec fic stories. Take a fresh look at your 250s. Is one of those ideas screaming to get out of its tight cage? Unlock the cage door and STAND BACK! That kraken is about to expand into a monster!

Hmm. Only one comment on the latest Super Secret. Looks like I'm going to have to put the thumbscrews to you and give you an assignment. And I so wanted to spare you the pain....

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!
MY NEXT MASTER CLASSES ARE AT FYRECON ONLINE, NOV. 18-21ST. UPDATE: 50% FULL. Click HERE before they are sold out once again!

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Topic starter Posted : February 25, 2020 4:45 am
RETreasure
(@rschibler)
Silver Star Member
Posts: 743

I’ve started limiting my stories to a few readers, and they read different versions usually. I also use crits to look for consensus—did two readers comment on the same spot? Etc. I don’t have a wise reader, sadly, but I have some excellent writing partners though, who give me just the feedback I need in a way I can digest it. Learning how to take critique is an important part of writing for me— agents editors and most importantly readers are all going to have opinions on our writing and we need to learn to distinguish between what is their subjective opinion and what should be addressed. Good luck everyone!

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 25, 2020 6:34 am
ZeeTeeBeeZ
(@zeeteebeez)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 151

In regards to the latest super secret:

This was actually the biggest reason I wanted to be a part of this challenge. I write consistently, but I don’t know others in my personal life who share this passion.

I very much plan to take those in the group who offer crits up on their offer soon. Having said that, if there are any challenge members looking for a consistent writing partner, please let me know.

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Posted : February 25, 2020 8:39 am
AjZach
(@ajzach)
Bronze Member
Posts: 96

I also haven't had a writing partner. I started out with a few that were in my friends and family, but over time and with other commitments, they have slowed down in their writing. I have a wise reader in my husband.
When you posted the super secret I was just wanting to give my story another once over, before looking for anyone here that wanted to swap.
I'm now ready to swap critiques, if anyone is available.

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Posted : February 25, 2020 9:00 am
Wulf Moon
(@wulfmoon)
Platinum Plus Member Moderator
Posts: 2286

Zeet and AJ: Finding a Wise Reader is usually not too hard; finding a Writing Partner is more of a challenge. The good thing is that you joined the WotF Forum, which introduced you to many writers with the same goal--writing a damn good story that will win Writers of the Future. But then you took it a step further--you joined this Wulf Pack. I set the bar high here for aspiring writers because you really have to want this to commit to such a challenge. In turn, because the bar is high, it tends to collect the high jumpers, or those willing to go the extra mile, just like you. So within this group you should be able to find some great runners and jumpers to push yourself to your fullest potential on the track. And as a group, you have your Tribe to cheer you on. This is your team, and we celebrate the successes of every member, because they're our successes, too. But find that one person you can run with that has the same goals and similar track times. If they're slower than you, you're going to leave them behind on the track, and that's no fun. If they're faster than you, you're always going to be left in the dust, looking at their backside.

For a writing partner, it's good to find someone writing in similar genres that you like (you're going to be reading a lot of their work, after all). Additionally, you should be compatible and have easy communication. Swapping a writing sample of your best work is a great idea so you can see how one another writes. Finally, you'll want to know goals and writing output. Are they writing a chapter or short story a week? That's a serious, dedicated writer, but are you writing at that pace? Perhaps you are working full time and have heavy family obligations. Then you might wish to find someone that's just trying to meet the terms of this challenge--which are still serious output terms for most aspiring writers.

I'll be giving you more exercises soon. Watching the samples is a great way to find your new writing partner. So is doing a critique swap and finding advice that really hits the mark for you. When you find a good one, try to rope them in. Of course, they'll be looking for the same things I've spoken of from you. So be the shining star yourself.

I am full up on critiques for this Q. And a couple more of you that I've invited still have to get me yours. I do my best to give each of you a line-by-line critique, IF you have met the challenge requirements you signed up for each quarter. Things happen in life, I do get that and don't feel bad. But I have a reward system because it makes an additional reason to stick to the commitment. And sticking to your writing goals is what will make you a professional writer.

The more you write fresh, the better you get. Keep letting go of the old and pushing on to your next. Because out there in your future is your golden ticket, just waiting for you to unwrap the chocolate bar and find your gleaming invitation to Willy Wonka's chocolate factory. Another one of you is going to win it. IF you are applying yourself to the system, being courageous, and not holding on to bad habits. Review the Secrets before you send that story in. If you're not moving up in the certificate levels, chances are, the reason is in there somewhere. Find it. I suggest it's the Secret that makes you squirm the most.

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!
MY NEXT MASTER CLASSES ARE AT FYRECON ONLINE, NOV. 18-21ST. UPDATE: 50% FULL. Click HERE before they are sold out once again!

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Topic starter Posted : February 25, 2020 11:39 am
Wulf Moon
(@wulfmoon)
Platinum Plus Member Moderator
Posts: 2286

Just a point of curiosity. We are now approaching 100,000 views. Wow.

Another point worth making. If you go to my Facebook page (wulf.moon.94), you're going to see the illustration of Super-Duper Moongirl. Please read that book report by 15-year-old Hermione from Taiwan. Realize that she could only get the anthology by writing to her aunt and uncle in the US and having them ship the book to her. And then she read the stories. And she entered the contest this Q1. But read all the way to the end at how she applied Moongirl to her own life. Amazing.

This is why we write. And only Writers of the Future will give you that kind of exposure as a new writer that will reach people all the way around the world. This is the greatest reason to try to win this contest. Your stories will be read by tens of thousands of people. And you never know who will be moved by them, and how it might change their lives...

Do read her report. And I know some of you have already. Well done.

Winning this contest is worth every effort.

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!
MY NEXT MASTER CLASSES ARE AT FYRECON ONLINE, NOV. 18-21ST. UPDATE: 50% FULL. Click HERE before they are sold out once again!

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Topic starter Posted : February 25, 2020 11:45 am
Henckel
(@henckel)
Silver Member
Posts: 417

Liz, I just read your superstars summary. That is amazing information and contains some real gems. I especially enjoyed that personal note at the end about your conversation with Dave. That you for your time and effort preparing that for us.

Wulf, thanks for your SUPER SECRET #40: It Takes Two to Make It Out of Sight! Like many others, I don't have a dedicated reading partner or wise reader. But I'll get there.

(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 25, 2020 12:17 pm
CCrawford
(@ccrawford)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 225

Re: the latest Super Secret...

I hesitated to reply to this because I think my usual method might sort of violate the "Protect your Voice" Super Secret (I don't remember if that was the official secret name), although since reading that Secret I've been very intentional to keep the importance of preserving my voice in mind while sending my stories out to readers.

So, I have a very small "alpha group" (1-3 people) who read my early drafts of things, usually, and one of them is also my writing partner (we occasionally also cowrite). My writing partner is great, and has become a close friend, but we are each working on separate projects right now and she's not involved in this challenge and doesn't really write short stories, typically. So even though she is still cheering me on, I'd also still like to find a writing partner from within the challenge beasties! And my alpha group is amazing for reader-type feedback, so I guess they count as my "wise readers." I do sometimes have to sift through their feedback to determine what fits my goals for this challenge and how I'm trying to grow my writing, but they are extremely supportive and helpful and willing to read my stuff almost immediately after I write it, if I ask, and to talk through ideas. My husband would be my other "wise reader." He's actually not much of a reader, but he's very into STORY in the form of movies and video games, and has really, really insightful feedback and comments for me if I talk through my plot and ideas with him either beforehand or afterward. If I'm still stuck or uncertain after chatting with my alpha group, I'll run my story concept by him. I almost always walk away with deeper clarity on what I need to do with my story after talking it through with him.

I don't always employ ALL of these people with every story. Generally, out of this pool of people, I end up having 1 or 2 people actually read the story and then 1 or 2 of them chat through ideas with me either beforehand or if I get stuck. I've really been working on ensuring I'm maintaining my own voice in my stories, but in a way it's easy to do that with them, because I know them all rather well and they know my voice/style -- they're good about not trying to change my voice, yet providing feedback on what worked for them or didn't. I still have to go with my instinct, sometimes, to decide what feedback to implement or not.

That said, I've gotten some REALLY, REALLY helpful feedback from some of the other challenge beasties this quarter. They commented on things my other readers overlooked. I'm trying to abide by the tips in the "protect your voice" Super Secret and not over-workshop my stories... but it's actually been quite helpful to get my usual readers' feedback, plus feedback from people in the challenge who are more familiar with the Super Secrets and with my goals for the contest. My story for Q1 (which I feel was one of my better stories so far) went through my usual readers first, and then I made some changes based on their feedback, and then sent it to a challenge beastie and got even DEEPER feedback, which was super helpful.

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 25, 2020 12:40 pm
CCrawford
(@ccrawford)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 225

Like many others, I don't have a dedicated reading partner or wise reader. But I'll get there.

I found your feedback on my story and our ensuing discussion via email very helpful, by the way. I would love to take you up on a swap again this quarter if you're up for it! wotf008

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 25, 2020 12:42 pm
Wulf Moon
(@wulfmoon)
Platinum Plus Member Moderator
Posts: 2286

Crystal--You're keeping your group small, and going to those you trust. You also are aware of who has what strengths, and tap into those strengths as needed. It sounds like no one is trying to dominate you, or to tell you that you should be writing like so-and-so. You lack an actual writing partner, so you won't have that boost of accountability that comes from having one, but your small beta group reads for you as fast as a writing partner would. Which is important--we are often writing to tight deadlines, and waiting around for someone to get to our story could blow the deadline.

Knowing story is very important. Glad you have good feedback there from your husband.

Sounds like you have your system in place, and that it's working. Carry on. Smile

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!
MY NEXT MASTER CLASSES ARE AT FYRECON ONLINE, NOV. 18-21ST. UPDATE: 50% FULL. Click HERE before they are sold out once again!

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Topic starter Posted : February 25, 2020 2:02 pm
Wulf Moon
(@wulfmoon)
Platinum Plus Member Moderator
Posts: 2286

Liz, I just read your superstars summary. That is amazing information and contains some real gems. I especially enjoyed that personal note at the end about your conversation with Dave. That you for your time and effort preparing that for us.

Wulf, thanks for your SUPER SECRET #40: It Takes Two to Make It Out of Sight! Like many others, I don't have a dedicated reading partner or wise reader. But I'll get there.

You know what to do. Smile

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!
MY NEXT MASTER CLASSES ARE AT FYRECON ONLINE, NOV. 18-21ST. UPDATE: 50% FULL. Click HERE before they are sold out once again!

ReplyQuote
Topic starter Posted : February 25, 2020 2:03 pm
rjklee
(@rjklee)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 175

I’d really like to do crit swaps with everyone in the challenge, but so far I’ve only done so with a few members, a few who I have a shared Google drive folder with and a few who I just sent docs to directly. The crits really helped and I implemented most of them. I do find there are some points I consider but ultimately discard in order to protect my voice, but overall it helps improve my work a great deal.

I do not have a writing partner nor wise reader though hope to find some. I had some readers and one in particular really helped my work reach the next level (most of my old HMs were read by her), but after changing day jobs, I lost that wise reader. I had a writing partner before but he got swamped with real life day job obligations and mostly set aside writing, so I lost him as well.

I’ve slowed on my crits from this last weekend because I realized how behind I had gotten on finishing new short stories while working on sending some new flash out, sending out some old and new short stories, and toying with flash and KYD, but I’m about done with a crit of an interesting story from Henckel, then I’ll hopefully look at a few others. I think the hardest part for me is finishing work long before the quarter deadline in order to get the piece to readers with enough time to spare. There’s always something that slows me down, usually paying freelance work, so I just have to continue balancing out life responsibilities. I really do agree with this latest secret, as I saw my work shine when I had a more consistent reader. That said, I keep in mind the comments from before and try to read for those blindspots former reader(s) have found. And starting up as a first reader did provide me with some new insight, despite losing the dedicated reader and writing partner.

I’ve found I’m working on developing 3-4 stories at once this month, and I need to be careful to focus in each one at a time and get them done. One from last quarter (the 3rd new story written for Q1) which I think has the most emotional impact so far and is aiming at one of the comments Dave Farland made, then some various KYD inspired pieces. Looking forward to more time on them after work tonight.

Best of luck with the writing everyone.

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 25, 2020 2:35 pm
Henckel
(@henckel)
Silver Member
Posts: 417

Like many others, I don't have a dedicated reading partner or wise reader. But I'll get there.

I found your feedback on my story and our ensuing discussion via email very helpful, by the way. I would love to take you up on a swap again this quarter if you're up for it! wotf008

Crystal, I am always happy to crit for you wotf009 Ive enjoied reading you story and appreshaed your feedback on mine as well. ...i feel like our writing style is very similar and would be delight to be your go-to.

...no pressure. It's only a public forum amongst friends and strangers wotf007

(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)

ReplyQuote
Posted : February 25, 2020 6:48 pm
Henckel
(@henckel)
Silver Member
Posts: 417

... I’m about done with a crit of an interesting story from Henckel, then I’ll hopefully look at a few others.

Ha ha ha. I hope "interesting" is good in this context. wotf019

No stress. Take whatever time you need. You shouldn't have to miss a personal deadline for a crit.

...and I'm looking forward to reading and writing your 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)

ReplyQuote
Posted : February 25, 2020 6:58 pm
rjklee
(@rjklee)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 175

... I’m about done with a crit of an interesting story from Henckel, then I’ll hopefully look at a few others.

Ha ha ha. I hope "interesting" is good in this context. wotf019

No stress. Take whatever time you need. You shouldn't have to miss a personal deadline for a crit.

...and I'm looking forward to reading and writing your story.

Interesting. A very vague word choice to be sure wotf004 But appropriate. I haven’t really formed a full opinion yet but I see promise. I think it was a wise choice of genre subject matter as it matches with one of the interests Dave Farland expressed recently. Not the same one I’m aiming at but definitely a good one. And you tackled it from a viewpoint packed with emotional potential which could grab a reader.

And I’ll likely finish soon. I have so may deadlines in life that it always feels like I’m missing several. As frustrating as that may sound, I tend to enjoy it.

I think it’s important not to waste too much time if I’ve agreed to a crit, but thanks for being understanding.

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 25, 2020 9:31 pm
CCrawford
(@ccrawford)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 225

Crystal, I am always happy to crit for you wotf009 Ive enjoied reading you story and appreshaed your feedback on mine as well. ...i feel like our writing style is very similar and would be delight to be your go-to.

...no pressure. It's only a public forum amongst friends and strangers wotf007

wotf019 I was actually thinking the same. Smile You've got my e-mail. Let me know when you have something else you need critiqued, and I'll do the same!

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 26, 2020 11:02 am
CCrawford
(@ccrawford)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 225

I do not have a writing partner nor wise reader though hope to find some.

Oishisushi, if you need another reader, I'm willing to read/crit something for you this quarter! Just let me know. Smile

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 26, 2020 11:04 am
rjklee
(@rjklee)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 175

I do not have a writing partner nor wise reader though hope to find some.

Oishisushi, if you need another reader, I'm willing to read/crit something for you this quarter! Just let me know. Smile
Thanks! Will let you know. I might be satisfactorily finished with one on Sunday.

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.

ReplyQuote
Posted : February 26, 2020 12:54 pm
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