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Author Topic: WotF Critique Group -- 2013 Q04
WriterDan
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This is a critique group for writers that will be entering a story into the fourth quarter of 2013 in the Writers of the Future contest (30th year). Anyone is welcome to join, but please follow the directions below for doing such.

Currently, the group consists of me:

WriterDan

If you want to join the group this quarter, please post the current members list in a reply to this post with your name added at the bottom.

Tentative deadlines for this quarter are as follows:

June 1st: Start writing
July 14th: First drafts out for crits
Aug 7th: Second drafts out for crits
Aug 31st: Mail in final drafts

[Note: The official entry deadline for this quarter is September 30th; however, this group's deadlines are set up so that all entries can be entered well before the deadline and hopefully beat the rush at the end of the quarter.]

When you send out drafts for critique, please do so in a generic format so that everyone will be able to open your file. (eg. rtf, txt, pdf. doc and docx [Microsoft Word] files are usually okay too, but you may get asked to resend in a generic format.) Also, please try keep to proper manuscript format so that we can all learn how these things should be correctly submitted. Last, we swap stories via email with addresses listed in the forum. So, be sure to keep your email address current on your profile here at Hatrack. The entire group of entrants this quarter will be split into smaller subgroups when it comes to critting. The subgroups should be in the realm of 4-7 people. So don't get too worried if the size of the whole group gets pretty big.

Also, a word about story limits. The officially published limitation for a Writers of the Future short-story submission is 17,000 words. There is, however, also a page-space limit that comes into play because of hard-copy publication issues. Thus there is an unpublished and fairly-hard limit of 68 pages of properly-formatted manuscript (check out the Vonda McIntyre link below). So when you're writing your entry, be sure to keep both of these story limits in mind.

Finally (and I know that for some of you this will go without saying), if you sign up to swap stories and/or give critiques please give a full critique of the full story. Don't bail on a story just because it "isn't for you". If there is too much violence/profanity/sex in a story, you have the right to stop reading, make a comment saying so, and return the story to the author unfinished (this is what the Wotf judges will do, after all. Well, minus the comment.). Otherwise, please be respectful of the unspoken agreement that we each make to give a full, valid critique to every member of the group that submits a story. Also, try not to do too much re-writing in your crits. It gets tedious sometimes if there are more than just a few examples, and we're all pretty smart here. [Wink] Thanks.

Sign up now, and let's get busy writing!

Helpful links:

WotF Submission Guidelines
WotF Blog
Kathy Wentworth's comments about judging
Short story advice from David Wolverton
Axeminister's WotF critique helps
Manuscript Preparation by Vonda N. McIntyre

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WriterDan
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Yes, yes, I'm EXTREMELY late this time around. Sorry about that, all. Was on vacation over the 1st and then I left the adapter for my laptop at my parent's house. Can't do much with a dead laptop, unfortunately. [Smile] But all is back in order at my house, and I'm ready for a great round of stories this quarter. So let's get cracking!
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axeminister
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I'm in this time 'round.
I start school in August, so the advanced schedule suits me just fine.

I'm hoping to send off Q3 in the next week or so and settle in to writing Q4.


WriterDan
Axeminister

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History
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Dustin,

Haven't you pro'd out yet?
(Nice story on DSF this week, btw. "Over 1 million words written"? I probably have that as well...if I include all my medical dictations and every other word I've written since the first ones in crayon).

*

As for my participating in Q4...I'm a "maybe." It looks like I'll overshoot the word count. Al-thou-gh, if I do, I could torture everyone with my current opus and ask for the best places to cut to get under 17K. But that might be too cruel.

Respectfully,
Dr. Bob

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RyanB
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I'm a maybe as well. I'll be working on my Q3 right up until the deadline, which leaves 2 weeks for a first draft. That seems impossible at this point, but we'll see.
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axeminister
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Dr. Bob.
I appreciate the compliment, but no, yesterday's story was my very first pro sale. (Glad you liked it!)

Right now my writing consists of:
WotF - 4x a year
Flash - as often as possible. (10 a year)
Novel - remaining spare time.

So, because I'm so heavily focused on WotF, my overall output and submissions are low.

Someday, I suppose, I'll have a nice cache of stories to perhaps self-pub, or bombard the big 4 with, but for now I'm perpetually writing for the "next quarter."

Axe

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LDWriter2
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I'm going to be torturing myself again by entering. Maybe also whoever has to check my story for nitpicks.


Dr. Bob how much a torture that is would depend on how much over it is.

Ryan over at the WotF forums there's always a crop of writers there who race to get their stories sent just before midnight deadline day. Tina--if I recall correctly had her husband find a 24 hour post office the night of the deadline.


Axe, when you say Big 4 do you mean that literally? There's a lot of other pro mags beside Four.

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LDWriter2
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Suppose to have started writing by now but I'm still thinking on it.

Too many ideas, but if need be I have two or three stories already written I could try.

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Tim
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I'm looking to get ahead this quarter and I think the early deadlines here will help me with that.

Count me in for this quarter.

Also, Dr. Bob, I'm up for reading longer works. So feel free to send it my way whenever you're ready.

WriterDan
Axeminister
LDWriter2
Tim

Maybe?
Dr. Bob
RyanB

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LDWriter2
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Trying to decide what story to do. Evidently David said he would like to see more Medieval Fantasy among other plots. As I said already a while back and just reminded myself, I could do one. Actually, I'm surprise I haven't but wait come to think of it maybe I have. I hadn't thought of it in over a year. It could be a Medieval setting, even though it doesn't have to be. But it's more of a Romance Fantasy and I don't know if David could get down with that. Which is all I will say about it except I would rewrite it if I did use it. I wrote it over five-maybe over six-years ago and I've learned a lot since then. I didn't know there were so many "rules" and ways of writing at that time. So it would be easier to redo it instead of fixing it.


There's another one but it's way short and a rather simple story. Well, after a look over, I found another two short, simple stories that could have Medieval settings and one kinda short one that might work for WotF also.

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A Yeatts
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I'm in. And Dr. Bob, I'm happy to tackle a longer piece for you. [Smile]

WriterDan
Axeminister
LDWriter2
Tim

Maybe?
Dr. Bob
RyanB
AYeatts

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History
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I appreciate the vote of confidence and your generosity, Tim and Anna.

However, when I have the final word count, I'll let the group decide whether I should be allowed to participate.

The incomplete first draft as of this very moment is 17.7K--and I have more to write.

I have two scenes (~6000 words) I'm anticipating cutting to make WOTF length requirements, as much as I hate to lose them. Even so, I suspect the word count will be close to the limit and it will need a lot of sculpting if not a slash and burn. (The best thing I discovered last quarter about writing short, i.e. less than 7K, is there is so much less to revise and edit. [Wink] )

This story takes place in the same world as my WOTF Q3 entry, but 100 years in the past, and explores far more of the world, its creatures and people, and its wonders. Too much more, perhaps. Like Pygmalion, I believe I've become too enamored with my creation.

I'm hoping to have the first draft written by the July 14th deadline, but it may not be in a "readable" form for sharing by then.

Tim and Anna, your generosity requires me to offer to critique your stories this quarter even if I am not permitted to participate. A link to my email address is above.

Respectfully,
Dr. Bob

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mbwood
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WriterDan
Axeminister
LDWriter2
Tim
mbwood
Dr. Bob
RyanB
AYeatts

Okay, I've tossed my hat in with the anticipation of submitting a radically rewritten version of an earlier submission. I don't know if this is wise, and whether the judges will recognize it (I almost don't recognize it).

Dr. Bob, I found it interesting that you included professional writing in your million word count. I figure I've written well over a million words in just fiction writing.
If I include professional writing (yes, I got paid for writing professional economic analyses - which I'm not sure fall into the fact or fiction category), along with professional submissions to scientific journal, I may be pushing the two million word mark.
As a result, I find a lot of writing error prone and (unfortunately) distracting to read.
I must say that I've enjoyed reading your pieces and appreciate your candid, courteous and very thorough critiques, which I've found to be most helpful.
As for your 17K+ piece, if you want an opinion on where to cut it, I'd be willing to give it a go. The size is a little daunting, however, I seem to recall I enjoyed reading your pieces.

Remember the first rule of writing... Write@
mbwood

(see two of my novels on Amazon: Superheat m.b.wood ... and.... MTA & Rapid Transit m.b.wood

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Utahute72
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OK now that last quarter is done I guess I can start thinking about this quarter. Add me to the list.

WriterDan
Axeminister
LDWriter2
Tim
mbwood
Dr. Bob
RyanB
AYeatts
Utahute72

My goal this quarter is to actually make the group deadlines.

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History
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quote:
Originally posted by mbwood:
Dr. Bob, I found it interesting that you included professional writing in your million word count.

I was being facetious, mb.
While the ability to clearly and concisely convey the results of imaging tests is an art in itself (and built on a broad and deep medical knowledge base, decades of experience, and long hours of daily practice), I do not actually consider it relevant or applicable to my fiction writing which is a completely different animal.

My comment was to denote the self-mocking and mildly despairing recognition that it is unlikely I will achieve, in my remaining years, the anecdotal "one million words necessary before being able to write well enough to be published." [Wink]
quote:
I must say that I've enjoyed reading your pieces and appreciate your candid, courteous and very thorough critiques, which I've found to be most helpful.
As for your 17K+ piece, if you want an opinion on where to cut it, I'd be willing to give it a go. The size is a little daunting, however, I seem to recall I enjoyed reading your pieces.

Thank you kindly for the compliment, mb.
If I'm not going to make the one million words of fiction, I've got to make the words I do write be the best I can make them now.
Even so, with only a couple exceptions, I cringe when re-reading the stories I have already written. The best thing about being unpublished is the ability to continue to tweak a word or sentence from time to time, striving to--as I said--vainly (in both connotations of the word [Wink] ) make each of my less than one million words of fiction the best they can be.

Anyway, my current WIP first draft is at 20K and I've two more scenes to write. Thus I am likely out this quarter, unless I can finish it and self-edit it down to something more reasonable by the deadline of 14 JUL. Otherwise, I would not inflict this tome on anyone.

Respectfully,
Dr. Bob

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mbwood
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Okay, Dr. Bob;

that's fine by me. I've enjoyed your previous pieces. If you get to the point of wanting a fresh set of eyes, e-mail me.

Incidentally, I used to make my living by cranking out (every six weeks) economic and market analyses of industry sectors. I've lost track of how many, but it was quite a few. LIke you, I don't count those in my writing (fiction) total. I have finished nine novels, which isn't quite a million words (unless I include the re-writes). Made a lot of mistakes along the way... I hope I'm over most of them now.

Remember the first rule of writing... Write!

mbwood

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History
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Thank you, mb.

I'm debating dropping my current too long WIP to write something shorter for Q4--although I badly want to complete the first draft (I annoyingly already have too many partly completed stories in my files).

With only 10 days before Writer Dan's 1st deadline(and a full work week coming up), I'm out of Group this quarter. But if I have something completed prior to the end of the WOTF Q4 deadline, I'll be in touch regarding potentially swapping reads outside of Group.

Respectfully,
Dr. Bob

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LDWriter2
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I won't be done in ten days either.

Well, unless I decide to use the story I am working on now. It seems to fit what David wants so I may use it.

But I had seriously considered doing a rewrite of a certain story that is the type of story he wants that I wrote five years ago. I won't have time to rewrite that one.

And I mean do rewrite not revising.

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axeminister
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I won't be ready by the 14th. But I'm in good shape. Working on the final scenes now. Then I'll read over and eliminate all the parentheses words. But this appears to be a pretty rough first draft. Hopefully my group doesn't strangle me.

I'm thinking around 9000 words when complete.

However, I'm good to go on reading.

So, when we get split into groups, please send to me whenever.

I'll follow up as soon as I can.

Axe

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LDWriter2
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I'm definitely not ready. I had wanted to rewrite an old story but I may have to try a new one I'm almost finished with, the rewrite would take another week at the very least.

But even though not on purpose I think that new one could fit what David wants anyway.

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Tim
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I'm ready to read but my story is not ready for crits.

I'll have it done in the next few days.

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LDWriter2
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Is anyone ready to send their story to the group?

I'm not. Or that depends on which story I decide to go with. One is ready but it's not the first or second story I wanted to send in for Q4.

The first and second could take another week each.

As I think I have said, spending too much time on getting that novel ready to E-publish and trying get covers ready for my story sets.

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WriterDan
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So, the consensus that I'm seeing is that most people aren't ready for a swap yet. Regardless, I'm going to post groups now so that once people [u]are[/u] ready, they can send them off to their group.

I have just a few more tweaks to make to my story, and then it'll be good and ready for some red ink.

Here's the groups for this round:

Group 1:
WriterDan
LDWriter2
mbwood
RyanB

Group 2:
Axeminister
Tim
AYeatts
Utahute72

If you're listed in Group 1, send your stories to the others in Group 1.
If you're listed in Group 2, send your stories to the others in Group 2.

[ July 16, 2013, 02:30 AM: Message edited by: WriterDan ]

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RyanB
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I'm going to need at least another week, but group 1 can send their stories whenever they're ready.

Does everyone else need the same amount of time to do a second and third draft as they need to do the first draft?

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History
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quote:
Originally posted by History:
With only 10 days before Writer Dan's 1st deadline(and a full work week coming up), I'm out of Group this quarter. But if I have something completed prior to the end of the WOTF Q4 deadline, I'll be in touch regarding potentially swapping reads outside of Group.

As per the above post of July 4th. I'm out, unfortunately.

Respectfully,
Dr. Bob

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WriterDan
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Ah, sorry, Dr. Bob. I just went with the most recent names list. I'll edit the post to reflect your withdrawal.

Dan

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A Yeatts
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Sent mine to Group 2. No rush.

Thanks!
Anna

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mbwood
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Got mine off to Group 1. Looking forward to receiving your pieces.

Remember the first rule of writing... Write!
mbwood

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axeminister
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Anna,
Received.

Hopefully can read very soon.

Axe

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LDWriter2
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I have received one story.

I have not sent out mine yet. I should this weekend one way or another.

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Dirk Hairychest
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Though I am a latecomer, I am ready with my short for WotF. Is it too late to join?
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A Yeatts
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Don't see why not, Dirk. Jump on in!

Thanks, Axe. No hurry!

Anna

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Dirk Hairychest
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I looked through the threads for previous quarters and see that the convention for late comers seems to be to simply pick a group. Therefore if there are no objections, I will add myself to group 2

Group 1:
WriterDan
LDWriter2
mbwood
RyanB

Group 2:
Axeminister
Tim
AYeatts
Utahute72
Dirk Hairychest

[ July 21, 2013, 09:20 PM: Message edited by: Dirk Hairychest ]

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A Yeatts
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I volunteer Group 2! Because anyone whose online id is Dirk Hairychest is an immediate friend on mine. [Smile]

Send your story on over. [Smile]

Anna

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Dirk Hairychest
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Thanks for taking me in, Anna. I sent my short out to group 2. I look forward to getting all your stories as soon as your drafts are complete. I'm all giddy!
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A Yeatts
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Hmmm... I don't see yours, Giddy Dirk the Hairychested. (Sorry, that's going to crack me up every time I type it. It's the little narrator voice in my head saying it in a faux British accent that does me in..)

So glad to have you in our little group! I've sent mine your way. Would you mind resending?

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LDWriter2
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So far still only one story from Group one.

If anyone needs my E-mail address, leave a note here and I will send it.

Been busy with my foray into Indie publishing so I haven't sent out mine yet. But I will in a day or two. It's not the story I wanted to send in this quarter but I think it still fits.

Since I have only received one story I thought about working on the one I wanted but I probably don't have that much time especially since I'm not done with the Indie stuff.

So maybe next quarter bob second though Hopefully not.... [Wink]

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Dirk Hairychest
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I resent my story. Please let me know if you did not get it, my fellow group twoers! I got your story, Anna. Good stuff!
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LDWriter2
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I sent mine out.

I have also read the one I have received. I have some general comments to make on it but it could a day or three to go through with specific comments.

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Tim
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Dirk, I didn't receive your story yet.

Anna, I'm just about done with my crit and I'll be sending it your way very soon.

My story is in the final stages and should be out by this weekend.

Sorry for the delay.

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mbwood
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Okay, Group 1, time to get a move on! I've sent out my piece and got one crit back (thank you, Ryan, good crit ), and received one submission, which I've critted and returned.

Tempus fugit - August comes with all kinds of vacation activities, followed by WorldCon (which is almost debilitating). Looking forward to receiving your submissions and crits.

Remember the first rule of writing... Write!
mbwood

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Dirk Hairychest
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I resent my story to you Tim, using the email address link in this page. Please let me know if you receive it!
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Tim
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Thanks, Matt. Looks like my spam folder ate it for some reason. I'm reading it right now and I'll have comments for you ASAP.
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Dirk Hairychest
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Dirk Hairychest has that effect on spam filters. One gets used to the ignominy.
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A Yeatts
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Tim, I received your crit last last. Thanks so much!

Dirk, I'll finish yours up this afternoon and get it back to you pronto.

You gents are the best. Especially Axe for totally busting me on my lazy #'s. Scrivener and I are feuding. Scriv is winning. But I shall not go quietly into the dark night of loppy #'s. [Wink]

Anna

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Dirk Hairychest
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Axe, I got your story and should finish up critiquing it tonight.
Anna, your critique was very helpful and I am looking forward to implementing some of your excellent insight on the next draft.

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LDWriter2
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Malcolm did you get my crit?


So far that is the only story I have received unless I lost one.

[ July 31, 2013, 10:33 PM: Message edited by: LDWriter2 ]

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Utahute72
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OK, I have sent back Anna's crit and received stories from both Axe and Tim. Mine will be out hopefully tonight, so I can read the two I have while mine is being reviewed. Dirk I haven's seen yours come through.

[ August 01, 2013, 10:54 AM: Message edited by: Utahute72 ]

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Dirk Hairychest
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James, I sent it again. Please let me know if you receive it. It looks like it went into the junk folder for a couple folks so you might want to check there. I hope this isn't a bad WotF omen! [Embarrassed]
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mbwood
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Hey, Louis;

Thanks for your crit (sorry about the delay in responding - other **** going on in my life).

At the moment, I've had two crits (Ryan & Louis) and sent out only one... c'mon, group 1 guys, send them!

Remember the first rule of writing... Write!

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