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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Hatrack Groups » WOTF Critique Group -- Q2 2014 (Page 1)

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Author Topic: WOTF Critique Group -- Q2 2014
History
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I don't see that Writer Dan has started a thread for the next (actually the current) quarter. Therefore, I thought I should open one for those interested.

Traditionally, a set of rules with deadlines for first drafts and second drafts should follow. For recent quarters it seems many have found it a challenge (and sometimes impossible) to meet deadlines. If some still wish to have deadlines, please feel free to suggest them in a follow-up post.

Otherwise I offer this as a discussion thread for Members to:
(1) provide updates on their progress--and to vent if unsatisfied by it--and to receive encouragement;
(2) share that they have stories for which they desire feedback and will offer the same in return, and/or
(3) invite Members who may not have stories to share this quarter but are willing to be readers and offer feedback.

I don't think it will trigger a DQ if you provide a general category of genre and approximate word length (<5k, <10K, <15K) to attract potential readers. E.g. Dr. Bob -- medieval fantasy -- <15k

Unless Writer Dan arrives to slap me silly and reset the traditional Critique Group format, the preceding is to paraphrase Rod Serling's famous introductions "submitted for your approval."

Respectfully,
Dr. Bob

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Utahute72
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I'd like to see a more relaxed set of deadlines, say shooting for first drafts by the end of January and the second by the end of Feb. Of course I'm usually floundering around for most of the first two months making false starts and retrying. But I think those deadlines are a bit more reasonable. If someone is done early he could still send it out to the group for them to look at.
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History
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That certainly sounds reasonable.
Anyone going to play?

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RyanB
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I never liked the deadlines. They were, IMO, counterproductive.

Let's suppose you're on the ball and you have your first draft ready within the first month. You'd be better served by sending the story out to 8 people one at a time, revising between each edit. If you're not on the ball, the deadlines don't matter anyway.

On the receiving end, I'd rather get 8 stories spread out through the month. The latter tends to bog me down for a full week each time and it also delays some of the writers getting their crits.

So, IMO, a better system is to have an agreement, show me yours I'll show you mine; show it when you're ready (but try to show before the last 2 weeks).

It would also be nice to have a little more control over how many swaps you want. Maybe you had time to do 8 swaps last quarter but only have time for 3 this quarter.

In other words, I like History's proposed format.

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History
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Thanks, Ryan. Anyone else?
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wirelesslibrarian
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I want to write something for this quarter, and I'd appreciate the feedback. Count me in!
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wetwilly
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OK, I'm in. I've got this idea kicking around in my head that I think I'll try to write for this quarter. Don't know if I'll be able to pull it off in time because it involves a decent amount of research before I can set pen to paper (or electrons to screen), but I'll give it a shot. Count me in as well!
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History
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Hmm. As enough of us have expressed interest to participate (and because I started the thread), I'll be in as well.

I'm working on other projects presently, therefore I will use my example in the opening post (a medieval fantasy novelette) as my Q2 submission.

If anyone wishes to read and/or critique it in return for a critique, please email me.

Respectfully,
Dr. Bob

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wetwilly
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Mine will be, once it is written, an urban fantasy/alternate history.

[ February 17, 2014, 07:39 AM: Message edited by: wetwilly ]

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History
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Hi ww,
Just to be safe from disqualification, let's keep to simple genre/subgenre classifications--e.g. urban fantasy.

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Utahute72
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Sure send it along Dr. Bob. I really haven't decided where I'm going yet this quarter, but I'll let you know when I get there.
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Tim
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I'll probably have a story finished at the end of January. I'll send it out to those willing to read it.

If someone has a story they need a crit on, send it my way--I'm always ready to read.

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LDWriter2
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I just noticed that I never added my name to this list.

I have an idea I want to write out. However I'm not sure when I will be done with it since I am doing other stories too. Hopefully not the last day even though not the last moment, as I did this last quarter.

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LDWriter2
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On my story, I managed to hand write out the first two lines at work the other day. I need to type them out and get on with the story.
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wetwilly
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Finished the rough draft of my entry today. By rough, I mean VERY rough. This will need a considerable amount of cleaning up before I let any other eyes see it, but I'm making good progress.

I like the story a lot, but I think I've got a long way to go before I get into a form that satisfies me. I've got about a month and a half to polish it. So, let me give myself two weeks to get a workable draft ready, and then I'll have a month to send it out to readers, get feedback, and make revisions. My next goal: have a workable draft ready for readers by 2/28.

How's everyone else doing with your WOTF stories?

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LDWriter2
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I'm three thousand words into my story. Maybe a third done, which depends on how long the middle is...and come to think of it the ending to. I know pretty much what happens and right now it looks to be short but I have wait until I actual write it out.

Make that 4,700 words.

[ February 14, 2014, 01:14 AM: Message edited by: LDWriter2 ]

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wetwilly
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My rough draft came out to about 10,000 words, but there is a lot of crap to cut out of it (at least a couple entire scenes that will be excised because they were really just prewriting). A ton of revising to do on this one, but I think there is a really good story buried in there.
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wetwilly
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Managed to carve out several hours of writing time this weekend (Hallelujah! It's a miracle!), and I've got a draft ready for readers.

Urban Fantasy/Alternate History, 8,600 words. I will, of course gladly return the favor if anybody would be so kind as to read for me.

History and Tim, I'll take you up on your previous offer to swap. Mine is coming at you; please send me yours.

[ February 17, 2014, 07:44 AM: Message edited by: wetwilly ]

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Smiley
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Am I too late to join in? Or, rather, when would be a better time to join a WOTF Critique Group?
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wetwilly
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I think you can join any time (especially since the group hasn't actually started critiquing each other yet). Anybody feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.

[ February 17, 2014, 08:05 AM: Message edited by: wetwilly ]

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LDWriter2
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I also would think you can. Since my story is only half way done at 5,600 words I doubt I won't make any of the deadlines here except perhaps for the last one.

The conclusion won't take long so I am kinda of guessing with the halfway remark. I might be 64% done. No higher then 70 though.

But I also need to work on my novel. Someone was nice enough to edit the first five chapters and it's going to be awhile before I fix all the mistakes especially counting that I need to redo ch 2. I may try fixing it but rewriting it would be easier and probably faster. Anyway, I will be working on both the Novel and the Q2 story.

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Kent_A_Jones
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I'll be submitting one and need feedback. SF, 3450 words - complete, fifth draft. The story follows a paid assassin as he attempts to evaluate a strange new prospect for Assassin Guild membership.

I'm new and don't know how this works. I'm happy to exchange critiques. I'm a member of Critters and will adhere to their rules of copyright protection for any story that comes my way.

Let me know if you want my story formatted in any particular way. My default is one inch margins, double spaced, 12 point, Courier New.

I'm looking for critique that centers on possible inconsistencies, unnecessary elements that can be omitted, slow points and areas that may affect suspension of disbelief.

I have an HM from WotF for my second entry and I'd really like to crack this nut.

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RyanB
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Kent,

One aspect of WotF is that it's anonymous. It's possible (though unlikely) that your description of your story above could break anonymity. Just to be on the safe side I've heard others recommend to not publicly post details of your story while mentioning WotF.

Also, send the story on over to me (via the email in my profile). I'll swap with you.

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wetwilly
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I've got a new draft of my story ready, Urban Fantasy/Alternate History, this draft 9200 words. Drastically overhauled (and, I hope, drastically improved) from my previous draft. Anybody want to exchange crits?
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Kent_A_Jones
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wetwilly,
I will.

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wetwilly
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I'm ready to declare my story ready to submit. It has changed dramatically from the draft that some of you read (thanks, in no small part, to your feedback). I think it's a really strong story.

Now, I just have to figure out the hardest part: the title. Right now, I'm on "The Hole in the Wall," which I think is fine but not great. I hate titles.

Dr, Bob, I've got a crit coming for you. I'm still working on it. I think I've gotten everbody else's done who I owed them to. If I forgot you, it's just because I'm forgetful. Feel free to send me a reminder.

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History
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Thanks ww,

I'll be finalizing (a shorter WOTF version of) the story this weekend and submitting it by Monday. Time to move on to other writing commitments. If your own commitments preclude you from getting a crit to me in the next day or two, don't worry about it.

Respectfully,
Dr. Bob

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wetwilly
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Got my story submitted. If any of you need last minute crits before the deadline, hit me up.
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LDWriter2
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I am almost finished with my revision. Should be done by Monday night.

It could use a check over I'm sure but the thing is long, 0ver 10,000 words. It would have to be gotten back to me by Friday to give me time to fix it.

I am adding more commas and semi-colons but we shall see how well I do. If I do the manuscript correct this time. I'm still suspicious that last quarter's story was rejected in the first round because I sent in the unprepared manuscript, even though I will more than likely never know. I am thinking of sending it in again to make sure, that would give me more time to work on the final edits of my novel too.

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LDWriter2
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My story is almost ready to go. I just need a title and to format it correctly.

Title is not so easy on this one. I may end up with second or third best. But I plan on thinking on it but if I don't think up a good one by tomorrow night I will send it in anyway.

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wetwilly
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I had to go with a merely OK title, too. I hate titles.
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LDWriter2
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I came up with one, actually came up with a dozen but most seemed to be too cliche-ish. The one I choose is, well, umm, it is. A title that is.


But that mens my story is in. Received the confirmation from Joni.


Funny thing is I still haven't received the copy of Dave's tips like she promised-that makes three quarters. It's not that big a deal since I may have read them even though this batch is suppose to be new, but I might learn something even if I had read then, just wondered if I am not alone.

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LDWriter2
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So who made it this time?

Last quarter I think there were only a couple of us who did. This quarter looks like two so far. But there are a couple of maybes also. [Smile]

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History
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I submitted last week.
Even cutting 4K, I think it is too long, but still chock-full of Dr. Bob magic, humor, and tragedy.
Based on my prior results, I think an HM this time if it is not out-right rejected. [Smile]

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RyanB
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I got mine in at 11:30 EDT.
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Utahute72
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I made it in, but just barely.
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Kent_A_Jones
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Made it, but not with the story I was working on through the quarter. I'm running out of backups.
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Tim
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I'm in that same boat. I went with a backup and it's probably not a great fit for the contest.

I'll be happy with an HM, though that seems unlikely.

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LDWriter2
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So seven of us. That's better than it looked at first.

Good for you all.

And Dr Bob. I have been hanging around with you too much. Last quarter's story was just under their max and this one while not quite that long is still close. [Wink]

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Utahute72
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Yea, I ended up using a previous story I had hanging around and spiffed it up.
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Owasm
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Wrote a new story for this quarter. (Skipped the last) We'll see how it goes.
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Kent_A_Jones
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LDWriter2,
I received Dave's tips from Joni last week. I just remembered you had mentioned them in this thread. Are you still interested, or anyone else?

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LDWriter2
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It is reported that he is at least half way done and so some are starting to expect rejection waves.


But he has Six of his latest Kicks that deal with why he rejects stories for WotF. He uses examples. So far none are from mine. And I don't think I have done anything he uses as an example.


I must say though that because of the last two quarters I half way expect an early rejection again. But I might be back to the last batch as I was for at least half a dozen quarters.

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wetwilly
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Yeah, when I read those kicks, I think, "my story doesn't do that, so that's good." I then think, "that would really suck to have my story show up here. Must suck for whomever wrote that story."
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History
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Well, I have done a few things in his don't-do list (e.g. narrative opening for a folkloric style story, submitted in TNR, missed a few typos). Good tips for future submissions, however; but it still seems "story" trumps all. Tell the best one you can written the best you can. (And thank you for all the well-wishes and positive thoughts for my Q1 entry. I suspect we will hear very soon).

Respectfully,
Dr. Bob

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LDWriter2
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I came here to say that I doubted this was the first batch of rejections, but definitely wasn't the last batch either.
But with so many rejections on the WotF form maybe it's two or three batches together.


Wasn't sure what to say if anything but after reading some of the the comments on that forum,


Aww the heck with it:


Lost again with no sign of improving again even though I worked on what he wanted. Of course no signs of what I missed not even on his series of Kicks on What is wrong with your story. I know I did a lot of what he said to do and din't do what he said not to. But not even good enough for a HM.

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Kent_A_Jones
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@LDWriter2:
It's tough to not know what you didn't do right. [Wink]

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RyanB
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quote:
Originally posted by wetwilly:
Yeah, when I read those kicks, I think, "my story doesn't do that, so that's good." I then think, "that would really suck to have my story show up here. Must suck for whomever wrote that story."

I wonder if he rewrites the snippets just a little, changes names, etc. Seems like the nice thing to do.
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wetwilly
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Role call for this quarter? I'm still in.
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LDWriter2
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Evidently this is the end of the first batch, and there are those on the WotF forum who think the phone calls have gone out or will very soon. But we shall see if there are any more batches or not and if there is one will be it be small.
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