This is a critique group for writers that will be entering a story into the fourth quarter of 2009 in the Writers of the Future contest (26th year), and do so on an early schedule.
Anyone is welcome to join. If you do though, please follow the directions for such. Currently, the group consists of me: WriterDan
If you want to join the group for this quarter, please re-post the current names list in a reply and then add your name to the bottom.
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 for Q04
Note: The official mail-in deadline for this quarter is September 30th; however, this group's deadlines are set up so that all entries can be mailed 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 is okay too, but won't allow for in-text comments.)
I've just been thinking about my next story. Its either one I'm almost done with, or another I've just, within the last ten minutes, had an idea for which as yet, I don't have a word written for. Mmm... I'll have to think about it.
Yeah, was asking myself those same questions about a week ago when I noticed what month it was. Ugh.
I actually plotted out my next entire short story over the period of about 3 hours just last week though. And I'm REALLY excited about it. Got some inspiration while reading a book -- The Orphan's Tales: In the Night Garden by Catherynne Valente. Just something that one of the characters in the book said struck me, and all of a sudden my mind was off and running. Kind of took me by surprise. No complaints here though.
Happy to see that you're both on board. Looking forward to seeing more good stuff this quarter.
You guys have it wrong. You think about using something you already have in the works. I believe, if you submitted there, the rights to the Heinlein anthology have expired. So if you haven't heard anything from them, you are free to submit your story elsewhere. That will be my first choice, if not I have other things in mind.
So, I've had what I think is a great idea for this time's story. None of those I mentioned in an above post, but something entirely new.
One: I realised just yesterday that I have never had a female MC. I've had female characters, but never one that is the focus of a story. This story recifies that anomoly.
Two: This story is going to be quite dark, containing what could be described as mild horror scenes. Do you think that would be ok in accordance with WotF.
Anyhow. Anyone getting anything down for this quarter yet, or are you still working on the present quarter's story? I know I have to put the finishing touches to mine but I just had to get this one started.
It would help if I had a keyboard that didn't have several of the keys missing, and several more that don't work properly because I have a dog that wont keep off of my laptop.
Just to add: Think we're going to need another message up in the general forum to gather some more interest. We don't have many takers this time around as yet.
[This message has been edited by darklight (edited June 17, 2009).]
Darklight: "Darkness" in a story is fine. They take horror and the works. It just has to be speculative. They do have limits on how much violence/gore and sex they will allow (because this is supposed to be a PG-13 type anthology that is used in High School cirriculums), but that leaves the doors open for a whole lot. Remember the movie, The Ring? That was a 13. And that thing was freaking tripped out. So I say, go for it.
Current list: Snapper WriterDan Darklight Kitti Owasm
Yes, congrats to all who did well last quarter! As for myself, I really have no clue how I managed an HM. I didn't think the story was that impressive, but it was all I had ready to go by the deadline.
I look forward to reading everyone's stories. I finished my first draft a couple of days ago and am working through some rewrites.
I'm 2k into my story. Unfortunately, some very un-Brittish weather (temperatures of almost 30 degress, which hamper my ability to do anything since I don't do well with the heat) and my starting a new job at the beginning of the week has restricted my writing time but now my son's finished college for the summer he's proving to be a very useful sounding board and researcher. I expect to have it finished and ready for critique in the next couple of weeks though--at least that's the plan.
Thanks for the congrats. I worked six months on that damned Full Moon story, so I'm glad I got something for the effort. And like always (big confession here) I left the final editing to the very last minute, which meant a two day rush to get it polished before the final day to send it out. Same with Q3s. I left the final editing until last weekend then got some kind of virus and had to struggle through it. God only knows what state I sent it out in, and on the Monday, right before printing it off, I spotted a huge error that I had missed reading through it dozens of times, and all the critiquers had missed too. Glad I caught that one!
Looking forward to reading everyone's stories this time around.
Edited to say, thanks to everyone who critiqued the Full Moon story, and the one I sent in for Q3, you know we couldn't do it without you guys giving us the kick up the backside that we need.
[This message has been edited by darklight (edited July 02, 2009).]
My HM was a story called _Recall_, a time travel piece, that I believe made some rounds here at hatrack though not in a WotF group. I believe it was the Ready For Market group that used to (perhaps still) goes on here.
I honestly sent it as a last resort because I had nothing new written. I'm glad it did well as it is one of my favorites.
I have completed a story that started out as a WotF possibility but the storyline slipped from light horror-scifi to straight up horror with no real speculative element. Back to the drawing board!
I do have my story for this quarter outlined, but haven't started yet. Just finished my story from last quarter two days ago! After the 4th, it'll be back on the band wagon and we'll see how much I can get done. Hoping it'll come out nice and quickly, but most of the world building is going to be done on the fly, so...
You know, I don't think that there's a single writer in the world that hasn't had that happen to them. It's just something that you have to pick up from and keep on going. Now days, I tend to save every draft of my story on multiple computers in multiple formats. Maybe a bit excessive, but I haven't lost any material since I started doing this. Luck to you, for the re-re-write.
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Oh, man, that's some bad luck. At least it's still early in the process and you have time to redo your rewrite.
My progress: The rewrite is done, and my computer was kind enough to save it. I'm now going to set aside the story and not look at it until it's time to send it out for critique. I've worked on it so much recently, I'm at the point where I need a break.
Just thought I'd share something I came across on the WOTF forum. A writer asked judge K.D. Wentworth what the "hinge point" is between stories that receive honorable mention and those that are semifinalists or finalists. Maybe this is something that's been tackled on Hatrack before, but I haven't seen it. Here's the answer:
HMs are stories with one or more excellent elements but that are not going to win for some obvious reason. Sometimes it's that the premise is too familiar and not original enough. Often, it's that the protagonist is too passive or the pace is really slow. Sometimes the story is too long for the amount of plot it contains or, though well written, the protagonist is a jerk. Sometimes the author is deliberately vague about what is going on and the reader (me) loses interest. Sometimes the ending is off, with the story stopping too soon or not resolving the central conflict.
Since its the day of the first send out for critiques, I thought I would check in and see how you're all doing.
As for me, I'm kind of stuck, since I'm not sure whether to go for the flashback scenes I planned on doing, which give the MC the strength to overcome the problem she faces, and tie into things I have mentioned throughout the story so far, or to leave them out and let her find the solution another way.
Anyhow, if any of you have a story ready, send it my way.
I need a preliminary reading. My story is a little steampunk number set in something equivalent to Victorian-era England. I need a Britisher to help scrub out the obvious Americanisms before I wrap the draft up.
I've asked someone else, but two readings would be better. Any volunteers?
I'm not sure I qualify as a Britisher (are we talking spelling, figures of speech, or just general cultural knowledge?), but I can read it for you if you want.
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I am using British terms of speech. I need a native speaker because I don't want Americanisms in the story. I can pick out British spelling and colloquialisms, but I am oblivious to the some American slang that I would naturally put into a story.
So thanks for your offers... but I'd rather send you the Anglicized versions.
A quick update. I've managed to critique and return three of the stories I've received, and expect to have the other three, one of which is almost done, completed and returned by Sunday, then I'm away for a few days.
When my story will be done, only God knows, but I'm hoping to work on it some more while I'm away. Should be out to the group no later than the end of the month.
Today is the designated day for sending out the revised draft, isn't it? I better get in gear and finish polishing my story. Is anyone close to being ready to send out?
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Snapper, that's sounds good to me. Send it whenever you're ready and I'll critique when I get back.
JenniferHicks, I wouldn't worry too much about the dates, they're guidelines more than anything. If we can make them, then fine, if not, no worries. I haven't even got a first draft, let alone a second. This story is causing me some headaches, but I know where it's going now, just got to get it down on paper. Most of us are happy to critique any time, just send it out whenever you're ready.
Edited because I don't know the difference between your and you're, aparently.
[This message has been edited by darklight (edited August 07, 2009).]
I'm caught up on critiques and am ready for more. Arriki, send yours along. I should be ready to send out my second draft either tonight or tomorrow.
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