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Author Topic: WotF Blog 2017 3rd Quarter Results
Disgruntled Peony
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Results are in, and I'm not sure if I should be the one to post about this, but I'm excited.

Names Recognized:
M. Elizabeth Ticknor - Finalist
H.L. Reinhold - Honorable Mention

(Please speak up if you're on the list and I didn't mention you. There are a lot of names I recognize from other forums, which can confuse the issue for me.)

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extrinsic
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Salutations to WotF's Hatrack writers recognized!
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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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Is that you, Disgruntled Peony? Congratulations, if so. That's great!

And congrats to Hannah as well. Very good work!

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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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I recognize Frank Dutkiewicz (silver honorable mention) and Dustin Adams (honorable mention) as two more Hatrackers. My apologies if there are others I don't recognize.

Congrats to all!

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Disgruntled Peony
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quote:
Originally posted by Kathleen Dalton Woodbury:
Is that you, Disgruntled Peony? Congratulations, if so. That's great!

Yes, that's me. I didn't place, but it was still super exciting. [Smile] That excitement is part of what's pushing me toward really trying for a novel (although I keep getting distracted, like a silly person).
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Meredith
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Congratulations to all of you!
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tesknota
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Congrats!!!!!!! =)
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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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The thing about being a finalist is there is a chance your story may be selected to fill out the year's anthology. Best wishes to you on that.
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H Reinhold
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Congratulations, Peony, and Frank and Dustin and any others!
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Osiris
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Thanks! Also received an HM. A.A. Leil from Massachusetts is me. [Smile]

Was curious, what do people do with their pieces after they receive an honorable mention? Submit them elsewhere I assume but do you think it's a good or bad idea to mention in your submission that the story received an HM?

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extrinsic
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The general consensus is to submit elsewhere, maybe tweak somewhat. According to contest coordinators over the years, honorable mentions contain shortfalls that "professional" writers' works do not, and as well that the honorable mention distinction could be entered on a curriculum vitae, though is not a professional publication credit -- which is the only notable item of the type to enter on a CV or cover letter's CV section.

Me, I'd want to determine what the shortfall is or shortfalls are before any further submissions. Here's a start point, published 5/30/2017 at WotF's blog, by guest blogger and coordinating judge David Farland: "Why You Only Got Honorable Mention."

Missed content, missed message implication development and full message subtext realization most often of all.

[ September 19, 2017, 03:12 PM: Message edited by: extrinsic ]

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extrinsic
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And related recent Farland WotF blog columns:

"Back to the Story

"Avoiding Cliché Openings"

Farland's usual both narrowed focus and vague coverage -- after all, five hundred words that cover a complex topic is a challenge to compass the topic or several topics shoehorned into one essay. "Avoiding Cliché Openings" does identify several of the shortfalls common to Hatrack fragments: wake-ups, wanders, and wonders, misunderstood personas in a social fugue state of ennui and angst, to name a few.

Notable for both essays is a point that is short-shrifted: the wander type start and narrative in which the viewpoint agonist just is present -- static, stasis, state of being, no substantial personal-public want or substantial personal and public problem to satisfy introduced at the outset, no why motivation-complication given, declared, or accessibly implied from start to end. This is known across writing culture as motivation, and often crammed into conflict, though is complication. Conflict is polar opposite stakes forces in contention, like life and death, success and failure, riches and rags, acceptance and rejection, etc., and often in the form of personas who represent such forces' realization. Complication is a want and problem satisfaction effort tableau.

One more point the essays raise and short-shrift -- misunderstood difference between "popular" and "profound". "Besides, too many critics confuse popular for profound. For example, if you were to write a story that deals with the theme of the 'greed of the political right,' a lot of critics would say that your work was brilliant even if your insights were intellectually sloppy or stale. On the other hand, if you were to write something that was truly profound on a tired old topic like 'maintaining faith in yourself in the face of adversity,' those same critics would most likely yawn. Why? Because they confuse trendy for timeless. Ideally, if you’re going to deal with a trendy topic, you handle it in a way that becomes timeless, so that your story becomes the definitive treatment on the topic." ("Back to the Story," David Farland: Italics emphasis in original.)

A difference of note for the two theme features in the above cite is the political one is topically and tangibly narrowed-specific; the social science one is overly broad and abstract. A consideration for the latter's shortfall is to incorporate a related tangible private-personal motivation (complication), of public significance, too. The former theme could do with such a feature also. And stakes (conflict) and tone (attitude toward a topic or subject, at any moment and overall). Motivation, stakes, and tone -- and -- and more.

Curious that the more significant points raised in the essays are mere token glances. Intuition? "Smart subconscious plants"? per David Smith's Clarion workshops "Being a Glossary of Terms Useful in Critiquing Science Fiction." Taken for granted as within every writers' grasp and ken?

[ September 20, 2017, 05:26 PM: Message edited by: extrinsic ]

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Disgruntled Peony
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quote:
Originally posted by extrinsic:
"Avoiding Cliché Openings"

Farland's usual both narrowed focus and vague coverage -- after all, five hundred words that cover a complex topic is a challenge to compass the topic or several topics shoehorned into one essay. "Avoiding Cliché Openings" does identify several of the shortfalls common to Hatrack fragments: wake-ups, wanders, and wonders, misunderstood personas in a social fugue state of ennui and angst, to name a few.

Notable for both essays is a point that is short-shrifted: the wander type start and narrative in which the viewpoint agonist just is present -- static, stasis, state of being, no substantial personal-public want or substantial personal and public problem to satisfy introduced at the outset, no why motivation-complication given, declared, or accessibly implied from start to end. This is known across writing culture as motivation, and often crammed into conflict, though is complication. Conflict is polar opposite stakes forces in contention, like life and death, success and failure, riches and rags, acceptance and rejection, etc., and often in the form of personas who represent such forces' realization. Complication is a want and problem satisfaction effort tableau.

This article and the observations on it really interested me, specifically because of how much I struggled with this exact problem in the story I wrote that ended up making finalist. (And it really was a struggle. We have the proof right here.)

I think the reason the 'wandering' problem showed up in so many of those early drafts is because I was trying to start the story in media res. I thought I knew where the complications of my story started, but while that may be where the plot complications really kicked in, the reason Cers started traveling was the real inciting incident. One of the biggest things I learned throughout the course of writing 'Warspawn' is that if a character is going to be on a literal journey as well as a figurative one, the reader needs to understand why.

There's always a reason why the protagonist is on that road. Once it gets defined, the story has the opportunity to gain more depth. (Among other things, it gives a chance to establish what the protagonist's growth arc will be.)

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extrinsic
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Curious that writing growth is as much, if not more, a matter of unlearning as it is learning.
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Disgruntled Peony
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quote:
Originally posted by extrinsic:
Curious that writing growth is as much, if not more, a matter of unlearning as it is learning.

Yep. I've a host of bad writing habits I'm trying to break. I still make a lot of them in my early drafts, but I'm learning to recognize more of them with every story. ...And probably developing new ones I'll have to break later. Whee!
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extrinsic
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quote:
Originally posted by Disgruntled Peony:
quote:
Originally posted by extrinsic:
Curious that writing growth is as much, if not more, a matter of unlearning as it is learning.

Yep. I've a host of bad writing habits I'm trying to break. I still make a lot of them in my early drafts, but I'm learning to recognize more of them with every story. ...And probably developing new ones I'll have to break later. Whee!
Congruent-self-contradiction (paradox, an irony-type figure) observations are notable experienced writer hallmarks that distinguish such from casual hobbyists and the inexperienced. Paradox, expressly as regards writing: "A statement that is self-contradictory on the surface, yet seems to evoke a truth nonetheless.

"Example

"Whosoever loses his life, shall find it." (Paradox, Silva Rhetoricae)

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