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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Hatrack Groups » Wotf Critique Group -- 2010 Q02 -- Early Submissions (Page 2)

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Author Topic: Wotf Critique Group -- 2010 Q02 -- Early Submissions
Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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I hope it isn't one of those "if I don't laugh, I'm going to cry" laughs, arriki. I also hope the effort is worth it.
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arriki
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29+K to just under the legal limit of 17 was a heartbreaker. I learned a lot about writing leaner.

Was it worth it? Cutting out one of every three words? It was an education. It would be nice if it did better than my other stories. But it's soooo long. Yet it's also too short. So much of the alienness had to be excised.


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Teraen
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Status check: first draft is all done. I'm now reviewing it and will be seeking reviewers soon.

If you haven't finished your story, you better be on your way! If I can do it, so can you! In fact, if I can do it, you should be able to do three or four! Its really not that hard!


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ScardeyDog
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Still not done the first draft, but I should be by our self-imposed deadline. Send me your story as soon as it's finished.
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arriki
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Are you guys actually talking about the story that's deadline is March 2010?

Finishing yours? Now?


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Kitti
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I feel like such a slacker :-)
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Teraen
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"Are you guys actually talking about the story that's deadline is March 2010? Finishing yours? Now?"

Some points: I've been working like crazy on it during the winter break. I had it started and plotted before this announcement was ever made, so I was ahead. Its a short short story, nowhere near the 17K word limit.

And it isn't very good. I still need to editify.

So don't feel like a slacker... unless it is your subconscious confirming that you have, indeed, been slacking...


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Dark Warrior
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Actually I felt rushed with my entire WOTF entry last quarter since I joined the group half-way through.

Considering that our early first draft deadline is only in two weeks and I am halfway through my writing I feel more on pace than last quarter.


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dougsguitar
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Yep... I'm riding at just under 6K words but I have a crystal clear path to the end of the story. I have no idea if it is worth a hoot'n hollar... I've never been critiqued... even once...
I guess it doesn't really matter yet, I'm counting on you guys to help center me in the road. I enjoy reading the thing, which at this point is what matters; yes, no, maybe?

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arriki
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Having written about six pages, I'm now trying to hammer out an outline (new technique for me) to skip at least a few dozen bad versions of the story.

I think I have part of the log line premise and a lot of background on my main character. I even know in a muddy sort of way what the story is going to be about. I'll have to see how much this speeds the actual writing.


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BenM
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I'm currently reverse engineering an outline / plot points from my story so I can work out how to balance it in my first edit. Sadly, more complicated than I'd envisaged, but once the momentum picks up I expect it's going to be fun.
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ScardeyDog
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Yes, first draft is finished, though mine is very short at only 2K. And it's very bad, since it's a first draft. I'm sure there are a lot of plot problems to iron out as well as the inevitable grammar/spelling ones.
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WriterDan
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I have...mmm...almost two pages done.

Though I do know exactly where it is going to go and how I'm going to get there. So, there is that.

Though first, I have to bash out a one-scene story that jumped into my head last week. It's in a vaguely urban fantasy world and takes place in a diner.

I'm really excited for both of them.

[This message has been edited by WriterDan (edited January 04, 2010).]


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genevive42
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I'm 2500 words into my story and I just started on Dec. 30th. It's a little borderline whether it'll be complete by the 15th but if it flows I might make it. In looking at what I have left I think I'm going to be pushing the 17,000 word limit.

If I can get it done in time I'd love to jump in on this round of critiques. Even if I can't get mine done I'll volunteer to do crits for the group.

So I guess that means, count me in.

WriterDan
Owasm
JenniferHicks
Arriki
Dark Warrior
Teraen
BenM
Kitti
Satate
Deauxglas
ScardeyDog
genevive42


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JenniferHicks
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Got my rejection in the mail today for quarter 4. That doesn’t bother me so much (me and rejections are getting to be good friends), but it got me thinking about my WotF track record:

First entry: no critique, HM
Second: no critique, HM
Third: critique, rejection
Fourth: critique, rejection

It seems that when I get a lot of critiques saying my story needs this or that, or my wording here doesn’t work, I end up thinking every suggestion is a good one, throwing it all in, and in the process killing my own voice in the story. So I’m going to withdraw from the group this quarter and see whether I get a better result.

That being said, if a couple of people here would like to trade stories, I’d be happy to do that. It seems two or three opinions on any given story is the ideal amount for me. E-mail me privately if you’re interested. Thanks, and good luck everyone!


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Dark Warrior
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Sorry about the rejection JH. Glad to see you arent letting it get you down, and are going to submit again this quarter. Did you get your Q01 out too?
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BenM
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I think the hardest things about critiques is learning which parts to ignore. I'll often just file them for a few days after the first read and come back to work out which points are salient to the story I want to tell.
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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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I think that's a great way to approach feedback, BenM.
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Owasm
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I agree with Ben. You can get overcome with suggestions. However I like to see a number of critiques because if everybody has the same issue, it might be something you've missed.

My Q4 rejection came my way this week. My first two stories were HMs and then my last was rejected. I thought that one was the best stories I've written. I'm afraid my Q1 won't make it either. It was less than 3,000 words.

WotF Vol. 23 made it into my hands today and I found 9 of 13 stories were first person. All of them were longish (most over 8K words). My last two submissions were short, so this one will be longer with a solid story arc. My first two had good arcs.


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snapper
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Here is a review of WOTF Vol. 23, Owasm.

http://www.diabolicalplots.com/?p=551

Be interested to know how your opinion differs.

Edited to add...

Sorry about the rejects, Jennifer and Ken. Food for thought; Adam Colston's first two entires were rejections. # 3 he won 2nd place for the 3rd quarter.

[This message has been edited by snapper (edited January 05, 2010).]

Whoops, wrong WotF volume. Enjoy the review anyway

[This message has been edited by snapper (edited January 05, 2010).]


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JenniferHicks
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It is hard to sort out which suggestions to use, and I'm just not very good at it. Until I develop more confidence in my own skill as a writer, it would probably benefit me to limit the number of suggestions. It's certainly nothing against this group or anyone in it. This is the classic "It's not you, it's me."

In addition to the rejection by mail today, I also received the e-mail confirmation that my quarter one story has been received. So, onward with the next try ...


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genevive42
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My recommendation in listening to multiple critiques:

1) If more than one person hits on the same thing it's probably a real issue that needs looking at.

2a) Each individual comment I evaluate on an individual basis. Then if I agree with it I change it. I guess this is where trusting yourself comes in. But the question to ask is, 'which way works better for the story?' If you trust and believe in your story I think this isn't so hard to answer.

2b) Consider the source of the criticism. If you know the person well enough you might know that they're sensitive to one thing or another. Be aware when their statement might be more subjective than objective even if they don't state it. If you don't know the critiquer see 2a.

3) I try to read between the lines of the comments as a whole. This will hopefully tell me if I'm missing something in the bigger picture.

I have to admit that I developed this criteria as an art major where group discussion and evaluation of your work is constant. My first devastating critique came in a beginning drawing class where the instructor started out saying how much she liked my drawing. She then proceeded to tear it apart on a technical level. And she was right on both counts. But I didn't learn that until sometime later. I walked out of that class thinking my drawing was a failure. I had completely erased from my mind the good things she had to say. Live and learn.

So these are my thoughts. Hope they help.


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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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One of the ways you can tell if you should listen to a bit of feedback is if it gets you excited about your story. The best feedback can provide insights into what you are trying to accomplish and help you to see more clearly how to accomplish it.

Feedback that makes you feel dull or stupid or blank may be very good feedback, but it is not going to help you with your story if it makes you feel that way.

So look for things that make you anxious to get back to work on the story. Anything else that is in between may or may not be useful, but you can consider that stuff after you've implemented the exciting feedback.


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JenniferHicks
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Kathleen and Genevieve, thank you for the good advice. I'll keep it in mind for future critique situations.
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Teraen
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Just finished my final first edit!

It's now complete at 6850 words! My first finished short story ever! Hoo-rah!

Anyone ready for crits?

[Note: This message has been edited by Kathleen Dalton Woodbury]


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genevive42
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I'll do crits. Send it on.
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arriki
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I'll look at the full story. Already been to the 13 line and commented.
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ScardeyDog
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Sure, send it to me.
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Teraen
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Sent, sent, and sent.

To everyone else, keep writing! Its so easy to finish... just a few words a day, and soon you are done. Only one week left before our self-imposed deadline!


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arriki
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I forgot to mention in my critique, Teraen, your writing is pretty good.
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BenM
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I have to admit, as I go through attempting to edit mine into shape, that I'm beginning to have serious doubts. Sigh. I will still make it available for critique in the next few days though, even if it's just to learn for next time.
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Dark Warrior
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Grr...so I am cruising along about half-way through my story and realized my proposed ending is probably too dark for WOTF and hit a brick wall. I cannot think of a different ending for that entry so I am brain storming other ideas to completely start over.

WD...I have to laugh with you, not at you. I read through a couple years of the SFF thread last night and saw numerous entries about you swearing you would get your entries in earlier...then I look at Q01 and you mailing it in the last day I will be available for the normal scheduled crits on Jan 15th if that will help you keep your early promise this time.


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dougsguitar
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I managed to get a good session in this morning, about 1200 words. I got through the main event and was pleased with what I ended up with. A bit more to tie things off and I'll be done. Right now the WC is at 9644. I am very excited about going through this process.
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recovering_cynic
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So WriterDan talked me into joining the group. I've submitted one entry to WotF, which was rejected this past week. It was something old that I was written about four years ago, and I wasn't real surprised when it got toasted (especially after Dan looked at it and pointed out its many flaws). Anyway, I have the first third of a short story written and the rest of it outlined. I'm hoping I will have a--rough--draft of it done by the 15th. I'm excited to work with you all.

So here's the new list:

WriterDan
Owasm
JenniferHicks
Arriki
Dark Warrior
Teraen
BenM
Kitti
Satate
Deauxglas
ScardeyDog
genevive42
recovering_cynic


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Dark Warrior
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Hey Cynic...welcome to the group. Check out the post I just put together on WOTF writing advice from the coordinating judge herself.

http://www.hatrack.com/forums/writers/forum/Forum1/HTML/005988.html


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BenM
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Welcome, Cynic.

I just this hour decided to drop the story I was originally planning on using for wotf and use another. Funny how I have all this time to prepare but there's still always this flurry of action at the last moment. Reminds me of college.


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Owasm
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I've finished a rough draft, but have two stories I'm considering. One is finished. I'd only like a couple of readers to see if this is on the right track. Any takers?

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arriki
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I'll take a look if you would like
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genevive42
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I'll read. Send it on.
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dougsguitar
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Doug takes a deep refreshing breath and types THE END... then leans back in the chair to stretch aching back muscles and revel in the joy of completing 11,031 words. The chair decides that Doug doesn't need to feel too cool and self-fulfilled about the event and picks the specific blissful moment to give up the chair-ghost, breaking at the very point of no return and dumping the fledgling wordsmithy in a heap on the floor... Doug shakes it off and hits 'control S', then wonders who the heck drank all his coffee.

I would be more than happy to accept and read any other WotF stories at this time... I am a rookie crit'r but will put all of my heart and soul into it... as soon as I get this coffee situation worked out.

[This message has been edited by dougsguitar (edited January 11, 2010).]


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WriterDan
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DW: Yeah, I'm forever trying to get my stories in earlier. It's horrible. At least I haven't given up yet, eh? On the up side, my story this quarter is coming out at an average of 1000 words/hr, instead of the average 800. (Anyone else track their writing? If not, I have an excel file that I've put together that helps me get motivated every time I look at it.) I'm hoping to catch up with my goals this quarter. Things look promising. Unfortunately, my 3rd quarter story is stuck in the mud and I can't figure out where to go with it. All I know is that I want to use this particular idea and run with it. Thus, I may just end up falling behind again next time around. Ah well. Onward!

Cynic: Glad to see you made it! Looking forward to this quarter as well, and hopefully, many more! (Unless, of course, we stun the judges this next quarter with our literary prowess and they have no option but to give us our deserved honors. )

This weekend didn't much work for my story progress. Planning on banging out some good stuff this next week though as our first deadline is fast approaching. I...will...push...through! Get it out! First draft is the toughest!

Later.


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shimiqua
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WriterDan
Owasm
JenniferHicks
Arriki
Dark Warrior
Teraen
BenM
Kitti
Satate
Deauxglas
ScardeyDog
genevive42
recovering_cynic
shimiqua

I have my first draft finished. It's a weird one. Why do I keep writing such weird stories?

Anyone want to exchange their well crafted sure to be Honorable mention story for a weird 2000 word sure to be recycled story?
~Sheena


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Dark Warrior
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quote:
Unfortunately, my 3rd quarter story is stuck in the mud and I can't figure out where to go with it. All I know is that I want to use this particular idea and run with it.

WD...same here. My story ending would have been too dark, IMO, for WOTF so I stared at it for three days until an unrelated conversation with a friend gave me the ending. Now I just have to put fingers to keys and get it finished.


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recovering_cynic
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Yeah, I was stuck in my current story for some time as well, but I kicked it around and abused it some to make it sit up and fly straight. I know where it's going now, but I still have to find time before Thursday to write it, which may prove more difficult than I thought. If I run a few days behind, can I submit a few days late? That's not the plan, but I was wondering how merciful the group is . . .
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ScardeyDog
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Tearen, I haven't recieved your story. Would you mind sending it again? (I had this problem with another crit I promised someone, I think it's my email server...)
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BenM
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I'm happy to provide feedback on all stories from the group, the only proviso being that I might not get around to actually reading them until after the 14th, I'm furiously trying to errorcheck my first draft so I can have it out in the mix by then too. But if anyone has anything they want read, send it on, and it'll be first in line when I start reading
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WriterDan
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We're completely forgiving, RC.

If not, I'd never get a crit from anyone in this group. (eg: I'm ALWAYS late)

Take the time you need. We'll be here when you need us.


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Teraen
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ScaredyDog, I resent my work. I hope it is getting through a spam filter or something. You could also email me directly.

Also, anyone who is done with theirs can sent it to me for crits.

Thanks.


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BenM
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Huzzah, I reached the end! I'm looking for some first readers to guide me in shaping this puppy. Anyone interested?

Do we keep a list of who has stories available for critique?

As mentioned previously, I'm happy to critique everyone's stories, so please feel free to send them in; now that I'm finished drafting I'll also email you if I see any requests up. But! Since I suspect I get carried away with my critiquing (the left brain computer programmer in me), if you want something specific included in (or omitted from) the critique, please let me know. Or, as always, just ignore the less relevant ramblings ;)


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genevive42
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BenM and anyone else, I am happy to do critiques whenever you're ready. Send it on.
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