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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Hatrack Groups » WotF Critique Group -- 2012 Q01 (Page 1)

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Author Topic: WotF Critique Group -- 2012 Q01
WriterDan
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This was a critique group for writers that entered a story into the first quarter of 2012 in the Writers of the Future contest (29th year).

After the end of the quarter, entries submitted have been responded to as thus:

Honorable Mentions:
Louis Doggett (LDWriter2)
Ken Cassell (OWASM)
Frank Dutkiewicz (snapper)
James A. Hanzelka (Utahute72)

Congratulations to everyone that submitted!

If you participated in the group and got some kind of award for this quarter, let me know and I'll add you to the list.

These are our Woo-hoos!

(Original posts from the quarter shown below)

[ August 02, 2012, 02:05 AM: Message edited by: WriterDan ]

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LDWriter2
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WriterDan
LDWriter2

I'm not sure of a story idea yet but maybe I can use a story that I wrote but haven't gotten around to revising yet. A nice SF about a guy maturing and learning there are people he can trust.


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axeminister
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This message has been edited by... Wait, there's an echo coming.

[This message has been edited by axeminister (edited September 27, 2011).]


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Osiris
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I'm ready to get back into the WoTF game. Have a story I'll probably use for this already.

WriterDan
LDWriter
Axeminister
Osiris


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anarresti
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Seems like a "write" of passage to be part of WotF:

WriterDan
LDWriter
Axeminister
Osiris
Anarresti

[This message has been edited by anarresti (edited September 02, 2011).]


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mbwood
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Hello,

count me in. I'm already started.

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


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mbwood
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Oops!

Okay, here's the list with my name added:

WriterDan
LDWriter
Axeminister
Osiris
Anarresti
mbwood

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


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WriterDan
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Thanks, Axe. I'm still holding out to see how your does. Best of luck to you. Not that you'll need it.
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Owasm
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WriterDan
LDWriter
Axeminister
Osiris
Anarresti
mbwood
Owasm

In for yet another quarter. Now to think up a story.


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Utahute72
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Really, 2012 already? You're killing me here.

I'm in.

WriterDan
LDWriter
Axeminister
Osiris
Anarresti
mbwood
Owasm
Utahute72

[This message has been edited by Utahute72 (edited September 02, 2011).]


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LDWriter2
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I was thinking of doing a SF story again. I have a couple of ideas plus a couple of new stories that I could use that could use some help.


Since my muse seems to be stuck on Urban Fantasy these days I would love to do one of those but I'm not sure how they feel about it. The one or two I sent in didn't get very far but that could be because of my writing. There's a dark UF(that's almost redundant but not for me) I've written that I think is one of my better tales. I suspect they don't mind dark stories.

I know I have a better than average, unique UF story inside of me. The one's I've written seem to mostly pretty much normal for that genre.

Hmm, come to think of it, the one I sent in for Q4 could be considered UF even though not quite the usual fare for UF.

But I have time to think.


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genevive42
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An idea that's been percolating has just gotten juicy. Sitting down to make notes and outline now.

WriterDan
LDWriter
Axeminister
Osiris
Anarresti
mbwood
Owasm
Utahute72
genevive42


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Owasm
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Just finished my first draft. 12,000 words in two nights. Now I'll let it sit and steep for awhile. I wonder what it will look like when I next shine the light of day on it.
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axeminister
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Go Ken. That's nuts. Good for you. I find the best ideas I have are the stories I write the fastest.

What kind of story is it? Can you give us a teaser?

Even if you don't end up in my group, I'm happy to read your story.

Axe


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Owasm
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The title refers to a person who can nullify magical ability. It's an epic fantasy in a small package.

Thanks Genevive. I forgot about that commandment.

[This message has been edited by Owasm (edited September 06, 2011).]


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genevive42
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Owasm, if that's truly your title, you should remove it from your post so there's not an issue with WotF and anonymity later.
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LDWriter2
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Ken wow, already and so long too. Double wow.


I haven't even decided what to do yet.

You do have time to let it sit for a while.

But a mini- epic fantasy... hmmm sounds interesting. I may want a crack at it too.


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Utahute72
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I'm gonna drop this recommendation in for the whole group. Someone suggest to me that I get the small book, "Self-editing for Fiction Writers". Probably figuring out I'm a science guy, not an English major. And the book is useful, but while I was looking for it I found one called, "The First Five Pages", that appears to be more generally useful. It's written by a guy that is a slush reader and he outlines what doesn't work and will get your manuscript culled out early. It was an interesting read and made me look differently at both my stuff and pieces I'm critiquing.
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axeminister
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Ute,

I haven't read the first, but I believe it's on my shelf of how to's. I've read the second tho. Noah Lukeman I believe.

Here's the reason I've interrupted this thread to mention this:

It should be read on a periodic basis.

I've read some how to books that I enjoy while reading them, or that inspire me at the time, but I put them away, never to be read again. The First Five is more of a reference guide, full of little tidbits that can be forgotten over time. In fact, I think I'll skim it again before sending in my 4Q entry. (Only 3 weeks left!)

Axe


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mbwood
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Hello,

I have a question.

Can I resubmit a heavily revised previous WotF entry? It's almost twice the length of the original entry (new title, totally new opening, etc.) I'd like to consider entering it in the 1Q2012 WotF contest. And no, it has not been submitted to this critiquing group.

I reviewed WotF rules, but saw nothing that dealt with re-submitting previously entered pieces.

Your insight would much appreciated.

MBW


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axeminister
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MBW, this is from KDW herself.

"[resubmitting a rejection]... Usually it's better just to write something new, but we had a revised story win last year ("The Hanger Queen"), so it can be done. You only have one chance to win each quarter, though, and you want to use your very best ammunition."

I leave it up to you, sir.

Axe


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Corky
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I'll second Utahute72's recommendations. FIRST FIVE PAGES is a great guide to what to look for when you prepare to do rewriting.

Each chapter deals with a different thing a story may be rejected for, and as you proceed through the book, the chapters deal with more sophisticated and advanced writing aspects to check.


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mbwood
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Hello, Axe;

you cited 'The Hanger Queen' as an example. As a pilot, I wonder whether this refers to a device for hanging clothes, or, whether it referred to an aircraft that always stayed inside...

As for what is my very best work, I dunno. Pieces that I've put my heart and soul in, polished until I thought it gleamed, have, once subject to the tender mercies of the critiquers, received the recommendation that they be killed. And pieces dashed off, which I'm almost embarrassed to share, have been praised. I just don't know what is my very best ammunition... Sigh! Something about 'the eye of the beholder.'

Anyway, it sounds as though there is precedence to allow a re-tread into the contest. Thank you!


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WriterDan
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@mbwood: I believe that "Hangar Queen" was about a sentient bomb that never left its hangar. If I'm remembering right. It's been a while since I read that one. As for resubs, I know that you can't resubmit a story if kdw has given you a semi-finalist critique on it, and I'm also pretty sure that you can't resubmit it if it was chosen as a finalist. Other than that, you're good to go. My only experience with resubmitting a story was one that got a straight reject. And the second time? Straight reject. Best of luck.
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Osiris
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Thanks for the recommendations, Utahute72. I downloaded both to my kindle and started reading THE FIRST FIVE PAGES.
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Utahute72
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Just some Intel for those still writing. I've been reading the most recent anthologies and it's struck me that 90% are war or conflict related. By conflict I mean the humans acting as either peace makers or heirarchial conflict such as political or religious authority imposing their will on others. I've found no multiple character POVs. I did find two set in other than far future times. One set at the time of the civil war that stretches back to ancient Egypt and on set in 1960s Japan. Only one I would consider fantasy, Laura Toms, and one with some magic in a futuristic setting.
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mrmeadors
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OK, I'm going to give it another shot this quarter, and see how things fly. HOpefully things have settled down.


WriterDan
LDWriter
Axeminister
Osiris
Anarresti
mbwood
Owasm
Utahute72
genevive42
mrmeadors


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JenniferHicks
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Ah what the heck. I'll jump in this time.

WriterDan
LDWriter
Axeminister
Osiris
Anarresti
mbwood
Owasm
Utahute72
genevive42
mrmeadors
JenniferHicks


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Bent Tree
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Okay, I am back... and in it to win it!

WriterDan
LDWriter
Axeminister
Osiris
Anarresti
mbwood
Owasm
Utahute72
genevive42
mrmeadors
JenniferHicks
Bent Tree


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Utahute72
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Well it may be a moot point for Genevieve and Axe. Here's hoping anyway.

[This message has been edited by Utahute72 (edited September 08, 2011).]


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genevive42
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Utahute, I hope you're right. But I'll crit throughout the quarter regardless of the results. If I'm in, I'm in.
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Brendan
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And besides, one winner last year also received an HM after winning. (It got missed.)

Oh, and I'm in.
WriterDan
LDWriter
Axeminister
Osiris
Anarresti
mbwood
Owasm
Utahute72
genevive42
mrmeadors
JenniferHicks
Bent Tree
Brendan

[This message has been edited by Brendan (edited September 08, 2011).]


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LDWriter2
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Utahute, I have the first one mentioned or one with a very similar title. It's by two people whose name I forget at the moment.

mb, You're not the only one to feel that way. You won't know what makes a good story yet. Or so a couple of pro writers have said. Even if you sell a couple you won't know why they sold. Eventually you will know enough to know what works. I assume how long that is depends on the writer but it's a while. Or again as a couple of pros have stated.



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genevive42
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Anyone know how WotF reacts to FTL drives? Do they stand on current science or have there been winners that have applied proper hand-wavium and gotten away with it?
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Crank
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Yeah, I'm out of my mind.

WriterDan
LDWriter
Axeminister
Osiris
Anarresti
mbwood
Owasm
Utahute72
genevive42
mrmeadors
JenniferHicks
Bent Tree
Brendan
Crank

S!
S!


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Utahute72
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I used a novel drive in my HM from last quarter.
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Crank
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An alien race in my most recent HM entry made use of wormhole travel.

In an upcoming novel, I'm going to expand on why this form of interstellar travel is an insanely bad idea.

S!
S!


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mrmeadors
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Grrr..... Someone expressed interest in another project of mine, which is longer and will take up a lot of my time. And of course they couldn't have told me BEFORE I signed up for this quarter. Long story short, I am taking my name off this quarter's group for now. It may turn out that I will have time, but i'm not going to risk it and have people's groups messed up. Sorry! Hope everyone does well!! good luck!

WriterDan
LDWriter
Axeminister
Osiris
Anarresti
mbwood
Owasm
Utahute72
genevive42
JenniferHicks
Bent Tree
Brendan
Crank


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LDWriter2
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Utahute Interesting to have a novel in a short story.

What do they do have to read the novel to get the ship go FTL?


Sorry, I couldn't resist after it took me a second to get the novel approach.

And MR, I hope it's someone who can publish it.


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Utahute72
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Yea, LD, all they had to do was read the novel and they were transported at FTL.
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mrmeadors
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LD--Yeah, me too!!
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genevive42
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Sorry, after some consideration I've realized the story I want to write isn't really suited for WotF. Besides that, I really had paused on shorts to work on my novel series. So I'm taking myself off the list. Hopefully it won't matter in a month anyway.

Good luck everyone!

WriterDan
LDWriter
Axeminister
Osiris
Anarresti
mbwood
Owasm
Utahute72
JenniferHicks
Bent Tree
Brendan
Crank

[This message has been edited by genevive42 (edited September 14, 2011).]


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axeminister
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Hi all,
I'm here to remove myself as well.

I'm going to do (not try, do, there is no try) NaNoWriMo this year and I'm going to need every spare minute in November.

Plus, I'm planning to write a sequel to the novel I haven't finished yet... So I'm going to need October as well.

WriterDan
LDWriter
Osiris
Anarresti
mbwood
Owasm
Utahute72
JenniferHicks
Bent Tree
Brendan
Crank


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Dark Warrior
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After a short hiatus, I am back, and my story is nearly finished so I should actually be on time.

WriterDan
LDWriter
Osiris
Anarresti
mbwood
Owasm
Utahute72
JenniferHicks
Bent Tree
Brendan
Crank
Dark Warrior


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LDWriter2
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Good DW especially since I haven't even come up with an idea yet.

I have a couple in my head but trying to decide which one is the problem... especially since I have two stories that are short, one will be very short, but I could expand them. Both are SF and deal with more emotional conflicts. One does have a space battle the MC gets caught in by accident but that is not the main conflict.


I better decide like today since I have only ten days or so before the first trade off. But that's plenty of time for me, once I get going on it.

Of course since it looks like it's okay to send in one again as long as it wasn't a finalist, there's one I sent in five years ago that received a HM. And it probably needed some cleaning up with nitpicks and grammar, well maybe not grammar so much. I seemed to be doing better back then. but commas may have been a problem.


[This message has been edited by LDWriter2 (edited October 02, 2011).]


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Crank
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Without fanfare or unnecessary drama, I am withdrawing my name from this quarter's reading group. Reasons will be discussed in a future WotF entry.

WriterDan
LDWriter
Osiris
Anarresti
mbwood
Owasm
Utahute72
JenniferHicks
Bent Tree
Brendan
Dark Warrior

[This message has been edited by Crank (edited October 03, 2011).]


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Utahute72
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I figured it was because you were cranky.
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JenniferHicks
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I wasn't quite sure which WotF thread to post this in, but this is the group that's writing now, so ...

There's a very interesting post by a "guest" at KDW's message board. This person has gone pro without ever having won the contest and is reflecting on the quality of entries vs. how they performed in the contest vs. how they performed elsewhere.

I can't make a guess at who the guest is. Maybe someone else can. But if this person's experiences in the contest show anything, it's that what you think is a great story is not necessarily what other people think is a great story, and vise versa.

http://webnews.sff.net/read?cmd=read&group=sff.writing.writersofthefuture&artnum=5844


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snapper
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My guess was Dr Phillip Kaldon of Michigan but his record is far more extensive than mystery writer. I suspect he wouldn't mind me posting how he's done, considering he published this on his blog

The Results:
Rejected 6
No Call 1
Finalist 3 (1 published in WOTF XXIV, 2 in one year)
Semi 2
Quarter 10
H-M 15 (Quarter+H-M = 25)
Total 37
Subs 38 (WOTF Q4 2011 in)

Post-WOTF:
Published 6
Readings 3
Website 1


..according to his post, Joni believes he holds the record for most persistent. He has two SFWA sales which makes him still eligible. Notice the rejections. He received one of those a quarter after a finalist entry.

So as these two rock solid writers have said...submit, submit, submit.

note: it could be still Doc K, considering mystery writer only mentioned how they did starting 2007. Of course, he mentions nothing about a F&SF sale on his blog.

[This message has been edited by snapper (edited October 06, 2011).]


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axeminister
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38 entries / 4 quarters per year = 9.5 years.

Yeah, he's the most persistent.

Thanks for posting that Jennifer. I like how they mention wishing they could meet everyone in person. That was a nice touch.

Axe


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