And as a side note, I have a winning story for this quarter. No bones. After reading all these freaking WotF anthologies, I've finally come up with an idea-story that I think the judges'll latch onto. Guess we'll see.
quote:And as a side note, I have a winning story for this quarter. No bones. After reading all these freaking WotF anthologies, I've finally come up with an idea-story that I think the judges'll latch onto. Guess we'll see.
But then who'll run this group? Oh, lament, and lamentations. At least snapper can go on to be judge of the WOTF challenge he does, but no one else runs a WOTF group quite like you do Dan.
[This message has been edited by Brendan (edited June 02, 2011).]
Finished my story today. But it's a bit longer than I anticipated. !0,303 words long. I think I can cut that down. The length may not be bad for WotF but I don't think this story should be that long. But we shall see once we get around to critted stories in what in a couple...three months?
Well, there is such a thing as project block. Maybe you're trying to come at it from the wrong angle. Or the wrong scene. Try one a bit later or even earlier. If that doesn't work try a completely different opening.
Perhaps something you rejected because you thought editors-readers wouldn't like it or was too boring or....
I'd like to try my hand at this. I have a short story that has been an idea for far to long. The only thing that I'm debating is whether to put this off a quarter since I will be going to the bootcamp in August. I think the final revisions are due after bootcamp, in which case maybe I'll just get a massive bump in quality at that point
I think I may like to through my yamulke into the ring as well--if I do not exceed story length restrictions. I am almost at 13,000 words and have the final scene and epilogue to write. I should know this soon.
I also have not been part of a Hatrack WOTF critique group before; therefore, just remind me of my responsibilities when appropriate.
Writer Dan mrmeadors Wonderbus LDWriter2 Meredith Owasm Crank thomaskcarpenter ? francisbruno Coralm Brendan Utahute72 wirelesslibrarian mbwood History (Dr. Bob)
It looks like I'm going to go over the 17,000 word limit. By how much will soon be determined. If too much I may withdraw. If 1500 words or less, I'll stay in as this is a "first" draft and perhaps I could shorten it following participating members'suggestions.
Then again, if you all cringe at the length of this story, with so many participants this quarter, I will voluntarily withdraw it upon request.
History, I had a story in here once that was about 20000, looking to cut it down. So long as you are prepared to cut, I don't see any problem. But careful, I have heard that the word count is based on the old method of estimation based on number of pages. That tends to underestimate the word count (or, to put the other way, counting every word overestimates publishable word counts).
[This message has been edited by Brendan (edited July 04, 2011).]
Dr Bob and mr. meadors--my fair lady-- Again- I have heard pros say that most new writers write too much, in other words their stories usually need what I call condensing. So it might be possible to go over your stories and cut and cut. Or say things in shorter sentences.
Actually, come to think of it 3,000 words out of a 20,000 words isn't that high a percentage. I don't know if you can find that much cutting without ruining the tale- some stories are meant to be long- but at the same time it might be worth looking into.
I've had that problem a time or three but not for a while.
[This message has been edited by LDWriter2 (edited July 04, 2011).]
I've been reading through the past winners and most are in the range of 5 to 8 thousand words. I have taken that to mean that while a longer story might have enough merit to win you are climbing uphill to get there.
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@Brendan: Illustrious? lol. Not so sure about that. Lustrous, I might take. or Ill maybe. lol -- Gotta love the love in this group.
There also just happens to be a paragraph in my opening post this quarter about word/page limit.
@History: Best way that I know of to make a story shorter is to make it simpler. Fewer characters is a big one. There really shouldn't be more than two POV characters if you're planning on having arcs for all of them. Fewer plot points is also key. More than one is tough. More than two gets near impossible to keep within the limits. Simplify. Simplify. Simplify. That'll take you a long way, in my opinion.
@LDWriter2: We've actually hit my critical mass of 15 people for the quarter. So, there'll be three groups again, which puts the groups at 5 entrants a piece. So, not so many more crits to do.
Nother week to go, and I SO need to write something still. Glad to see so many others are ready to go though. Should help this quarter to move along nicely.
to whom will I have to send my ms (entry) for critting? I see the list is quite long, and I wonder how many pieces will I have to crit to get my piece critiqued?
I generally allocate about four hours per forty standard ms pages for a quick critique - twice that for an in depth read and write-up, giving detailed suggestions type critique. With fourteen writers already listed, the crit demands will be significant to do every one in time available and do a re-write...
Of course, if every entry is polished to perfection, the read will be a pleasure!
With this many, generally the group would be split into groups of about 5 or 6. That means that the first round will have different readers from the second round, and stories for the second round are more polished.
WriterDan wrote: Best way that I know of to make a story shorter is to make it simpler. Fewer characters is a big one. There really shouldn't be more than two POV characters if you're planning on having arcs for all of them. Fewer plot points is also key. More than one is tough. More than two gets near impossible to keep within the limits. Simplify. Simplify. Simplify. That'll take you a long way, in my opinion.
I have only one POV in my KABBALIST stories. I do have a number of secondary characters, however; and I anticipate truncating or eliminating one or two to meet word count restrictions. I look forward to suggestions from Q4 WOTF participants in this regard.
Utahute72 wrote: I've been reading through the past winners and most are in the range of 5 to 8 thousand words. I have taken that to mean that while a longer story might have enough merit to win you are climbing uphill to get there.
Well, I've just finished my first draft and it comes in a little over 19K words. By your analysis, I've just dropped my chances of "winning" three to four-fold.
But I'll take a day or two to enjoy the warm fuzzy feeling of accomplishment that comes with completing a story. Then this weekend I'll pick it up again and be horrified by how much work it needs.
Respectfully, Dr. Bob
[This message has been edited by History (edited July 06, 2011).]
If this helps, History, the first round I generally focus on story structure (beginnings, endings, middles, concepts and ideas, information structure, plot, general gist etc.), i.e. whether it worked on the big scale. What is the point of line-edits if great swathes will be hacked off anyway.
The second round is more line edits, information changes, minor character and theme improvements, etc., i.e. assuming it works on the big scale, what small improvements can be made.
I should say, this is what I hope to do. Sometimes it is seriously flawed still at the second round, so I would revert to an effective first round edit.
So, if I'm in your group for the first round, expect a big picture discussion of the story.
[This message has been edited by Brendan (edited July 06, 2011).]
You know what I hate? Last quarter, I felt like I did good work. It wasn't perfect, and as hard as I worked at it, it never ended up being that perfect vision of what I wanted to say, but it came pretty darn close. This quarter... I just don't feel that golden feeling about my story. It's missing whatever it was that I felt made last quarter's story good. I know, that's what first drafts are for, just get the story down and then work on the "good stuff" with the next draft. But it feels like a let down or something, like I had my groove and then lost it completely! Grr....
Up until this past weekend, I wasn't sure which story I wanted to enter. Of course, I chose the one that required the most work. Now, I have no idea how I'll have it finished by the 14th.
The story is based on an idea I've been sitting on for a few years, periodically adding a hand-written passage or a digital audio file of random thoughts to the collection of notes, but never actually writing the story itself. The reason I joined this group was to jolt me out of my sittng position and actually get this story out there; I like it too much to see it go nowhere.
I'm definitely out of my comfort zone this time...but, maybe, after only two Honorable Mentions in my last three submissions, this jolt will make a positive difference in how I tell my story. I'm excited to find out.
One way to eliminate characters, and, it is to be hoped, cut the word count down, is to merge as many of them as you possibly can. In other words, if one character can do the work of two (or even three), get rid of the extra characters and have that one character do their work.
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Coralm: There is no cutoff. Seriously. I didn't make a single deadline last quarter, sent my story out like 2 days before the deadline, got back a few very helpful suggestions (thanks, everyone!), and sent my entry in 3 min prior to deadline. The only qualifier for this group is that you're going to do your darndest to get an entry in this quarter and are willing to throw a few crits for people in your group when they're ready. Please stay!
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A little info from my reading of past winners. A lot of them have a military/warfare theme. Also a lot of them deal with perception of reality or memory transfer. This is by no means exclusive, but just seemed to stand out as I read through these things.
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