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Wulf Moon
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This is a thread to highlight gems learned from the Writers of the Future Online Workshop articles. There’s important information for aspiring writers in these, such as in “The Manuscript Factory” and the article on what is art—my personal favorite. Please open your post with the title of the article so it will be easy for forumites to track.

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"Super-Duper Moongirl and the Amazing Moon Dawdler" won Best SFF Story of 2019! Read it in WotF, Volume 35. Order HERE!
"Muzik Man" won Best SFF Story of 2020! Read it in Best of Deep Magic Anthology Two!
You know WotF Workshop's 24-hour story exercise? Want to see what I wrote? Just awarded Best All Other Short Stories of 2021! Read in THINGS WITH FEATHERS. Order HERE!
Enjoy my award-winning SUPER SECRETS of Writing articles! FREE to read in every issue of DreamForge Anvil! Don't miss Best Positive Future Story of 2021: "Shaken, Not Stirred." FREE! Click HERE!


   
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crlisle
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The most interesting and helpful lesson to me was Essay: Suspense by L. Ron Hubbard on Suspense. He said that most rejections come from lack of suspense. He gave a wonderful example of writing without suspense and then corrected it. You have to make your reader wonder what is going to happen with an "...intricate succession of events."

Next he talks about fight scenes. Those that will make it into the wastepaper basket have no suspense. He gives examples of suspenseful fights and boring fight scenes.

Next he discusses foreshadowing. If you use it, make sure your story lives up to what has been foreshadowed.

In conclusion, if your story has been returned to you, add more suspense. Keep your reader on the edge of their seat. Make them wonder what will happen next. Make the ending of each scene a page turner.

2020 Quarters: 1st -- R, 2nd -- HM, 3rd -- HM, 4th -- SHM
2021 Quarters: 1st -- HM, 2nd -- HM, 3rd -- HM, 4th -- HM
2022 Quarters: 1st -- SHM, 2nd -- RWC, 3rd -- Pending, 4th -- WIP
To be published in: Martian Magazine
Published in: Galaxy's Edge magazine, Daily Science Fiction, LTUE Anthology Parliament of Wizards, Sci Fi Lampoon


   
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Wulf Moon
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@crlisle

Thank you for sharing these points from Hubbard's article, Candice! So many stories lack dramatic tension. The writing can be beautiful, the characters interesting, but without tension, the guitar string does not sing. Tension drives plot.

Click here to JOIN THE WULF PACK!
"Super-Duper Moongirl and the Amazing Moon Dawdler" won Best SFF Story of 2019! Read it in WotF, Volume 35. Order HERE!
"Muzik Man" won Best SFF Story of 2020! Read it in Best of Deep Magic Anthology Two!
You know WotF Workshop's 24-hour story exercise? Want to see what I wrote? Just awarded Best All Other Short Stories of 2021! Read in THINGS WITH FEATHERS. Order HERE!
Enjoy my award-winning SUPER SECRETS of Writing articles! FREE to read in every issue of DreamForge Anvil! Don't miss Best Positive Future Story of 2021: "Shaken, Not Stirred." FREE! Click HERE!


   
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DoctorJest
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I'm giving this a whirl, and just this evening got to "Practical: Talk to Another". Well, drat! Suffice to say, this is my shy self's Achilles heel, but it's giving me a kick in the pants to ask people I know a lot of questions I've really been curious about for a long, long while! I am always full of questions, but generally also full of shyness and a sense that I shouldn't waste people's time by asking them bonehead questions.

I'm going to ask them the bonehead questions.

And then I'm going to continue on with this workshop. I'll comment more on my take-aways after I'm all done!

DQ: 0 / R: 0 / RWC: 0 / HM: 10 / SHM: 6 / SF: 0 / F: 1
In for Q3.V39 and Q4.V39
Last four: HM • HM • SHM • SHM
Revised SHM ('Ashwright') at PodCastle


   
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Agathon
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Posted by: @crlisle

The most interesting and helpful lesson to me was Essay: Suspense by L. Ron Hubbard on Suspense.

Where did you find this essay?

Agathon McGeachy
Figure Sculptor, Mechanical Designer, Reformed Rakehell, Writer
Vol 37, Q2: HM
Vol 37, Q3: HM
Vol 37, Q4: HM
Vol 38, Q1: R
Vol 38, Q2: R
Vol 38, Q3: HM
Vol 38, Q4: HM
Now in print: NIWA 2020 Anthology 'Escape' and NIWA 2021 Anthology 'Forbidden' available on Amazon


   
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DoctorJest
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Posted by: @agathon
Posted by: @crlisle

The most interesting and helpful lesson to me was Essay: Suspense by L. Ron Hubbard on Suspense.

Where did you find this essay?

It's one of the essays that is included within the Writers of the Future workshop, linked from the site's homepage.

DQ: 0 / R: 0 / RWC: 0 / HM: 10 / SHM: 6 / SF: 0 / F: 1
In for Q3.V39 and Q4.V39
Last four: HM • HM • SHM • SHM
Revised SHM ('Ashwright') at PodCastle


   
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DoctorJest
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Posted by: @doctorjest

I'm giving this a whirl, and just this evening got to "Practical: Talk to Another". Well, drat! Suffice to say, this is my shy self's Achilles heel, but it's giving me a kick in the pants to ask people I know a lot of questions I've really been curious about for a long, long while! I am always full of questions, but generally also full of shyness and a sense that I shouldn't waste people's time by asking them bonehead questions.

I'm going to ask them the bonehead questions.

And then I'm going to continue on with this workshop. I'll comment more on my take-aways after I'm all done!

Building up on this--in addition to asking those bonehead questions, I'm also going to be sitting down with a friend of mine, whose career in a former life was one of the careers I dreamed of having when I was still just a kid (archaeologist). I talked to him about it, and aside from looking forward to just spending time talking about this, it turns out he also has a collection of books, and some of his own old notes from back when he was doing this, which is stuff I might never have found out if I hadn't received this nudge, and thought to go talk to him about it!

I'm really looking forward to this. I don't think this will inform my current story, but I don't doubt it'll end up informing another one down the line!

DQ: 0 / R: 0 / RWC: 0 / HM: 10 / SHM: 6 / SF: 0 / F: 1
In for Q3.V39 and Q4.V39
Last four: HM • HM • SHM • SHM
Revised SHM ('Ashwright') at PodCastle


   
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Cray Dimensional
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My favorite was Magic Out Of a Hat. I loved the description of how everyday objects could be used inspire story ideas.

Small steps add up to miles.
V38: R, R, HM, HM
V39: RWC, HM, P
"Amore For Life" in After the Gold Rush Third Flatiron Anthologies


   
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pdblake
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Posted by: @craydimensional

My favorite was Magic Out Of a Hat. I loved the description of how everyday objects could be used inspire story ideas.

I liked that one too. The telling of it was a story in itself. 

R:6 HM:6 SHM:2
My Blog


   
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David Hankins
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@crlisle The article about suspense was a bit of an eye-opener for me too. Sometimes when an idea comes to me, I frantically write it out and finish thinking, 'aha, that's a good scene'. Then I go back and reread it later to discover it's just a sequence of events without depth and suspense. I was having a hard time figuring out what the problem was until I read Hubbard's different descriptions of the same scene with and without suspense. 

I've tried going back and filling suspense in, and sometimes it works. But I've quickly discovered that writing in the suspense initially gives it more flow and life. 

The video that struck me the most was Orson Scott Card's video on "Writing Dialogue". I've gotten better over the years, but my early dialogue often came out dry and stilted. That video changed my perspective and now instead of forcing the dialogue to reach the destination I need it to, I ask myself "how would a normal person with my character's personality respond?" and it comes out a lot better. I was just writing a scene yesterday with a snarky 11yo in it. He wasn't the focus of the dialogue, but every time the adult characters said something, I heard this kid's sarcastic commentary in the back of my head. Instead of filtering it out because it didn't serve to get the dialogue to the destination I needed, I went ahead and threw it in, because that's what he'd do. It added good depth to the scene with reactions from the adults who were busy trying to do the Important Adult Things, and the whole thing flowed much more naturally.

Winner, Volume 39, 2nd Quarter, 3rd Place
V38: HM, HM, SHM
V39: HM, 3rd Place

Published Stories:
"A Properly Spiced Gingerbread" in DreamForge Anvil Volume 7
"The Last Quest of Corbin the Coward" in Factor Four Magazine
"Reassessed Value" in Third Flatiron's After the Gold Rush Anthology


   
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Wulf Moon
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@lost_bard Nice points on dialogue. You can tell in an instant if you’re in the hands of a pro by how they write dialogue. I did a Super Secret on it, along with exercises, if you want more help.

Click here to JOIN THE WULF PACK!
"Super-Duper Moongirl and the Amazing Moon Dawdler" won Best SFF Story of 2019! Read it in WotF, Volume 35. Order HERE!
"Muzik Man" won Best SFF Story of 2020! Read it in Best of Deep Magic Anthology Two!
You know WotF Workshop's 24-hour story exercise? Want to see what I wrote? Just awarded Best All Other Short Stories of 2021! Read in THINGS WITH FEATHERS. Order HERE!
Enjoy my award-winning SUPER SECRETS of Writing articles! FREE to read in every issue of DreamForge Anvil! Don't miss Best Positive Future Story of 2021: "Shaken, Not Stirred." FREE! Click HERE!


   
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David Hankins
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Posted by: @wulfmoon

@lost_bard Nice points on dialogue. You can tell in an instant if you’re in the hands of a pro by how they write dialogue. I did a Super Secret on it, along with exercises, if you want more help.

The Wulf raised an eyebrow at the inquisitive pup. "Did you read my Super Secrets?"

"Of course!"

"All of them?"

"Well, not yet. There are so many."

"I'll wait, but not too long."

"Here it is! Number 43 'Write Smart Dialogue'. It looks like . . . ah crumbs. I'm still doing it wrong. But there's a cool exercise at the end."

"Now you have no excuse. Fix your dialogue."

"But I like saying that my character snorted, guffawed, and screamed. It makes things more lively, right?"

The opposite eyebrow joined its mate in patient disbelief.

"Right, right. Kill the annoying attributions, remember that 'said' is like punctuation, and figure out how to use beats to set up dialogue."

"And?"

"Don't insult the reader's intelligence. Insulted readers won't keep reading." 

"There may be hope for you yet. Time will tell."

Winner, Volume 39, 2nd Quarter, 3rd Place
V38: HM, HM, SHM
V39: HM, 3rd Place

Published Stories:
"A Properly Spiced Gingerbread" in DreamForge Anvil Volume 7
"The Last Quest of Corbin the Coward" in Factor Four Magazine
"Reassessed Value" in Third Flatiron's After the Gold Rush Anthology


   
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Wulf Moon
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@lost_bard

 

Love it! Great job! Smile  

Click here to JOIN THE WULF PACK!
"Super-Duper Moongirl and the Amazing Moon Dawdler" won Best SFF Story of 2019! Read it in WotF, Volume 35. Order HERE!
"Muzik Man" won Best SFF Story of 2020! Read it in Best of Deep Magic Anthology Two!
You know WotF Workshop's 24-hour story exercise? Want to see what I wrote? Just awarded Best All Other Short Stories of 2021! Read in THINGS WITH FEATHERS. Order HERE!
Enjoy my award-winning SUPER SECRETS of Writing articles! FREE to read in every issue of DreamForge Anvil! Don't miss Best Positive Future Story of 2021: "Shaken, Not Stirred." FREE! Click HERE!


   
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DoctorJest
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Posted by: @doctorjest

Building up on this--in addition to asking those bonehead questions, I'm also going to be sitting down with a friend of mine, whose career in a former life was one of the careers I dreamed of having when I was still just a kid (archaeologist). I talked to him about it, and aside from looking forward to just spending time talking about this, it turns out he also has a collection of books, and some of his own old notes from back when he was doing this, which is stuff I might never have found out if I hadn't received this nudge, and thought to go talk to him about it!

I'm really looking forward to this. I don't think this will inform my current story, but I don't doubt it'll end up informing another one down the line!

And I'm replying to myself, but--oh my good lord, did this completely blow my expectations out of the water! I spoke to my friend about this, asked questions, and listened while he told me things that he was convinced were boring and not at all useful, while I gathered some genuinely incredible information from him. If all I did now was just transcribe some of the things he told me, I'd have about eighty percent of two or three really good, really interesting and really quite unique stories, driven by great character and mystery elements.

I am absolutely going to have to sit and think about who else I can talk to about things! And also, I'm going to come back and talk to him more. We spoke for nearly four hours, and I still have questions I could be asking.

It really rang true through this whole experience what they said in this same section, too--when you're too close to the thing, it starts to seem ordinary, and you lose sight of just how many wonderful, fascinating little things there are mixed up in it. My friend was completely shocked by just how enthused and excited I was about some of the things he was sharing--details that seemed like no big deal to him, but which to me were Act 1 of a story being handed to me on a gleaming, golden plate.

I would likely never have thought to do this without the Workshop's prompt, and it was awesome! I was right that it wouldn't affect my current Q3 work in progress, but damn if it didn't go way beyond simply informing a future story. Talk about a well-spent afternoon!

DQ: 0 / R: 0 / RWC: 0 / HM: 10 / SHM: 6 / SF: 0 / F: 1
In for Q3.V39 and Q4.V39
Last four: HM • HM • SHM • SHM
Revised SHM ('Ashwright') at PodCastle


   
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TimE
 TimE
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Posted by: @doctorjest

!

And I'm replying to myself, but--oh my good lord, did this completely blow my expectations out of the water!

I'd multiple like your post here just from the effervescing enthusiasm 


   
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David Hankins
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Posted by: @doctorjest

And I'm replying to myself, but--oh my good lord, did this completely blow my expectations out of the water! I spoke to my friend about this, asked questions, and listened while he told me things that he was convinced were boring and not at all useful, while I gathered some genuinely incredible information from him. If all I did now was just transcribe some of the things he told me, I'd have about eighty percent of two or three really good, really interesting and really quite unique stories, driven by great character and mystery elements.

I am absolutely going to have to sit and think about who else I can talk to about things! And also, I'm going to come back and talk to him more. We spoke for nearly four hours, and I still have questions I could be asking.

It really rang true through this whole experience what they said in this same section, too--when you're too close to the thing, it starts to seem ordinary, and you lose sight of just how many wonderful, fascinating little things there are mixed up in it. My friend was completely shocked by just how enthused and excited I was about some of the things he was sharing--details that seemed like no big deal to him, but which to me were Act 1 of a story being handed to me on a gleaming, golden plate.

I would likely never have thought to do this without the Workshop's prompt, and it was awesome! I was right that it wouldn't affect my current Q3 work in progress, but damn if it didn't go way beyond simply informing a future story. Talk about a well-spent afternoon!

That’s awesome! Going through the Workshop I was intrigued by the idea of getting inspiration from outside your life. I’d always heard that you should write about what you know, but it is true that the things we do every day don’t seem that interesting to us.
I was just having a conversation with my wife about how boring my day job is (US Army Logistics) and she started reminding me about all of the crazy ’No &$@! There I Was’ stories I’ve told at the end of the day and we found some good inspirations. It took someone looking at my life from the outside to turn the boring interesting. 

Have fun with your archeological stories! I’ve always enjoyed the stories that look at the interesting things the ancients might have left us. 

Winner, Volume 39, 2nd Quarter, 3rd Place
V38: HM, HM, SHM
V39: HM, 3rd Place

Published Stories:
"A Properly Spiced Gingerbread" in DreamForge Anvil Volume 7
"The Last Quest of Corbin the Coward" in Factor Four Magazine
"Reassessed Value" in Third Flatiron's After the Gold Rush Anthology


   
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DoctorJest
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Posted by: @lost_bard

That’s awesome! Going through the Workshop I was intrigued by the idea of getting inspiration from outside your life. I’d always heard that you should write about what you know, but it is true that the things we do every day don’t seem that interesting to us.
I was just having a conversation with my wife about how boring my day job is (US Army Logistics) and she started reminding me about all of the crazy ’No &$@! There I Was’ stories I’ve told at the end of the day and we found some good inspirations. It took someone looking at my life from the outside to turn the boring interesting. 

Have fun with your archeological stories! I’ve always enjoyed the stories that look at the interesting things the ancients might have left us. 

I may--though obviously I won't announce here if I'm going to use this as the theme for any specific quarter! I don't yet have anything concrete enough to use for a full story, though. I have large parts of several, but they're missing key pieces still--and I have other stories much closer to being able to run with. So this is likely to be something that comes together later, I think. 

DQ: 0 / R: 0 / RWC: 0 / HM: 10 / SHM: 6 / SF: 0 / F: 1
In for Q3.V39 and Q4.V39
Last four: HM • HM • SHM • SHM
Revised SHM ('Ashwright') at PodCastle


   
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storysinger
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There are times when my golfing buddies don't realize the questions I ask are providing insight into their lives. I use their info, their jobs, and endless other prompts in my stories. They are fair game for the taking.

Today's science fiction is tomorrow's reality-D.R.Sweeney
HM-V32/Q3
HM-V36/Q4
HM-V38/Q1
HM-V38/Q4
HM-V39/Q2
Published Poetry
2012 Stars in Our Hearts Notions
Silver Ships


   
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Alexandra Miracle
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@lost_bard Dear the Writer of the Future,

Nice to meet you. I'm a new one in our community.

"Don't insult the reader's intelligence. Insulted readers won't keep reading." 

Is it about ethics?

to write understandable and professional means to respect your readers, right?

Writing the story, I'm in the world of creating the fantasy, I have my imagination, in the moment of writing, I have to think about the reader? I think, editor has this option and correct the writer.

 

My pleasure for your answers. 

 

 

Respect and Honor,
Alexandra Miracle


   
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David Hankins
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Posted by: @alexandramiracle

@lost_bard Dear the Writer of the Future,

Nice to meet you. I'm a new one in our community.

"Don't insult the reader's intelligence. Insulted readers won't keep reading." 

Is it about ethics?

to write understandable and professional means to respect your readers, right?

Writing the story, I'm in the world of creating the fantasy, I have my imagination, in the moment of writing, I have to think about the reader? I think, editor has this option and correct the writer.

 

My pleasure for your answers. 

 

 

No, not insulting your reader's intelligence isn't about ethics. It's about realizing that your reader has a baseline knowledge when they come to read your story and you don't have to explain everything. Sure, if you're creating a new fantasy creature or science fiction technology, it'll need proper description. But if you're talking about mundane things that most every reader will intrinsically understand, you don't have to lay it out step-by-step. A great example is walking through a door. You could describe the protagonist pulling the keys out of his pocket, fumbling with the lock, turning the keys, pushing the door open, and entering the house, but that level of detail is unnecessary and insults the reader's intelligence. You can just say that he entered the house and the reader's mind will fill in the rest.

Winner, Volume 39, 2nd Quarter, 3rd Place
V38: HM, HM, SHM
V39: HM, 3rd Place

Published Stories:
"A Properly Spiced Gingerbread" in DreamForge Anvil Volume 7
"The Last Quest of Corbin the Coward" in Factor Four Magazine
"Reassessed Value" in Third Flatiron's After the Gold Rush Anthology


   
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Alexandra Miracle
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@lost_bard Dear David,

thank you. Interesting. So, You are saying that the details (what are related to the personality) can insult the reader, right?

Respect and Honor,
Alexandra Miracle


   
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storysinger
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I was telling my wife how I was living life through the eyes of my MC. I immerse myself into what they are experiencing. She is very supportive and understanding of what I am doing, writing the next WotF winner.  Alexandra, sit back, take a deep breath, and look at the world from your characters point of view. 

Today's science fiction is tomorrow's reality-D.R.Sweeney
HM-V32/Q3
HM-V36/Q4
HM-V38/Q1
HM-V38/Q4
HM-V39/Q2
Published Poetry
2012 Stars in Our Hearts Notions
Silver Ships


   
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ellisael
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I really enjoyed all the mentioned articles and also have been in search of writing guides like these. So, immersed into writing!


   
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