Author Topic: Circle of Writers Vague Conversation  (Read 53294 times)

Laieanna

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on: February 01, 2007, 05:55:00 PM
I thought it was time us writers got a chance to talk about our stories…in a very vague way.  No specifics or hinting to your stories in anyway.  You don’t want to tell us who you are and we don’t want to hear it until the great unveiling.  So let’s talk about this experience.  Here are some questions I have for you guys.


Does it drive you crazy when someone doesn’t get what you’re saying and your itchy fingers want to type out a comment explaining what the reader is missing?

How many of you out there who haven’t had any of their stories put up are screaming at the screen, waiting for them to pop up?

Do you think you put less effort into one or more of your stories because you knew you had three chances with this contest?

This is a dumb one cause I think we all feel the same.  If you could, would you take back your story and tweak it more?

Have the comments really affected how you view your story?

While writing your story, did you know you were putting information that could be confusing or unwelcome by the readers and smiled when people confirmed your thoughts?

Last for now, who is bringing what to the coming out party?

Working on my comeback


GoodDamon

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Reply #1 on: February 01, 2007, 06:24:05 PM
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Does it drive you crazy when someone doesn’t get what you’re saying and your itchy fingers want to type out a comment explaining what the reader is missing?
Oddly, my stories don't seem to acquire very much commentary. I don't know what that says about them. A couple times, I've wanted to reply, but only a little.

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How many of you out there who haven’t had any of their stories put up are screaming at the screen, waiting for them to pop up?
I've got two up, so I guess that doesn't apply to me. Certainly, I refreshed a bunch before they went up, and I'm certainly waiting for the last one. :)

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Do you think you put less effort into one or more of your stories because you knew you had three chances with this contest?
Maybe a little bit. Funny thing: I think I put the least effort into my strongest entry, and the most into my weakest.

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This is a dumb one cause I think we all feel the same.  If you could, would you take back your story and tweak it more?
Depends on the story. I spotted some clumsy lines in one that I'd certainly tweak a little if I could, but all in all I think they're complete.

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Have the comments really affected how you view your story?
In one of them, the comments improved my opinion of the story. :)

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While writing your story, did you know you were putting information that could be confusing or unwelcome by the readers and smiled when people confirmed your thoughts?
Not really.

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Last for now, who is bringing what to the coming out party?
Vodka and bombast.

Damon Kaswell: Reader, writer, and arithmetic-er


Rachel Swirsky

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Reply #2 on: February 01, 2007, 07:04:50 PM
Does it drive you crazy when someone doesn’t get what you’re saying and your itchy fingers want to type out a comment explaining what the reader is missing?


I don't have any entries up yet, but I would hope not to feel that way. After I've written and submitted something, it is an entity in the world without my babysitting, and people will react to them as they will.

How many of you out there who haven’t had any of their stories put up are screaming at the screen, waiting for them to pop up?


I'm one.

Do you think you put less effort into one or more of your stories because you knew you had three chances with this contest?


Not really. I was only planning to enter once, and wrote two other entries mostly because I found them to be good writing exercises. I'm doing 500 worders now for Ideomancer/the-hell-of-it.

This is a dumb one cause I think we all feel the same.  If you could, would you take back your story and tweak it more?


Not really. If I'd felt that way, I probably wouldn't have subbed.

Have the comments really affected how you view your story?


N/A.

While writing your story, did you know you were putting information that could be confusing or unwelcome by the readers and smiled when people confirmed your thoughts?


Well, I try not to be overly confusing. If people are confused, it should give me information for revision, or possibly information about how I should market the stories in future.

Last for now, who is bringing what to the coming out party?


Rainbow pins and signed copies of The Female Eunuch... oh, wrong kind of coming out party.



Swamp

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Reply #3 on: February 01, 2007, 07:06:31 PM
I wrote two stories.  The first one came to me quickly, and I had to write it out quickly because I couldn't get it out of my head (I wrote it at work because I was distracted from my work anyway).

My attempt at a second story failed because the more I wrote, the more I needed to explain or there would be too many holes.  So I decided not to force what will someday be a great story into a piece this short.  Finally, I wrote a new story which became my second submission.

As to your questions:

1) It is always frustrating when readers don't "get" what you are trying to get across, but that has always led me to write a better story.

2) I got my first story in early so I didn't have to wait long for that.  Now I'm waitng for my next one to post. No screaming yet.

3) I didn't really lessen my effort on a particular story.

4) I do get a little nervous about my second story, especially when I read good stories in the contest.  Maybe I should have tightened it up, or changed the title, or added a descriptive word.  Oh well, it's out there and will be judged, good or bad.

5)  The comments on my story haven't changed my view of it.  I like it.  I understand why some people didn't, but I like it.  Have the comments made me want to change it?  Bits and pieces, maybe.

6)  It will be interesting to see if I get comments on what I think might be confusing, or at least distracting.  Nothing major, just a character who I gave more description to at the end of the story where I should have at the beginning.  (I'm trying to be vague.)

7) I'll bring chips and salsa.




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Heradel

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Reply #4 on: February 01, 2007, 07:52:55 PM
Neither of mine are up yet, but one of them's my own fault (I wrote it in an hour, thought it was perfect, sent it in, slept, re-read it, realized that no one other than me would really get it, rewrote, sent in the revised one.).

As a reader of the stories, I'm finding that it's a lot easier to critique than to support, which is annoying as a writer because I don't want to be the cynical critic in the corner throwing things at people. When I see something good, I'm not really moved to write about it unless there's something that calls out to me, but when it's bad, I want to critique what went wrong.

I am getting a little annoyed at the lack of either of my stories being put up yet, no actual screaming yet. And it does have me checking the forums religiously, so that's good.

I Twitter. I also occasionally blog on the Escape Pod blog, which if you're here you shouldn't have much trouble finding.


ClintMemo

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Reply #5 on: February 01, 2007, 08:39:27 PM
1) Sometimes, but it also makes me try and think of how I could have done it better.
2) One of mine is up. My second would have been up but it was rejected for being 2 words too long (DOH!).  I wrote a third one on a whim, but it will get posted before my second one since I submitted it before the second one got rejected (and resubmitted).  Of the three, I think the one that is the best is the one that will get posted last, so the short answer is "yes."
3) The third entry I wrote, I wrote off the cuff. I worked the hardest on the first one because I had no idea just how short 300 words was.  My first draft was over 750 words and I never finished it.  When I saw the word count, I decided not to write the section I hadn't included yet and began ruthlessly chopping things out.  It turned out to be a very good learning experience.  When I wrote the second one, I used what I learned writing the first one so it was much easier and I think it came out better.
4) I have a very hard time declaring that something is "done" - so yes.
5) Yes.
6) N/A
7) my name.



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Steven Saus

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Reply #6 on: February 01, 2007, 10:37:59 PM
Does it drive you crazy when someone doesn’t get what you’re saying and your itchy fingers want to type out a comment explaining what the reader is missing?

Hasn't happened yet.  Then again, I too haven't been attracting many comments.

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Do you think you put less effort into one or more of your stories because you knew you had three chances with this contest?

Er, no.  If any of them don't win and Mr. Eley doesn't want them, I'll continue to shop them around.  I like all three, but for different reasons.

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Have the comments really affected how you view your story?

Comments to other people's stories have affected how I view mine.  Especially since some of the thematic elements mine have are also addressed by other stories in this contest.

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While writing your story, did you know you were putting information that could be confusing or unwelcome by the readers and smiled when people confirmed your thoughts?

I used to - and I mean years ago "used to".  Then I realized I kept getting different things out of my favorite books each time I wrote them, and realized that I have probably never gotten exactly what each author "meant", and got to be at peace with it.

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Last for now, who is bringing what to the coming out party?

Won't be able to make it.  Full time job, two kids (one with a mental disorder), and both my wife and I in school full time.  Busy household.  :)

Walking is the process of controlled stumbling.


GoodDamon

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Reply #7 on: February 01, 2007, 10:56:06 PM
Here's a thought: I'm planning on editing the stories that don't make it, possibly making them longer in the process. A common thread among the comments on these stories has been that the readers wished many of them were more fleshed out. I'll consider rejection an opportunity to do so.

Damon Kaswell: Reader, writer, and arithmetic-er


Steven Saus

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Reply #8 on: February 02, 2007, 02:13:07 AM
Here's a thought: I'm planning on editing the stories that don't make it, possibly making them longer in the process. A common thread among the comments on these stories has been that the readers wished many of them were more fleshed out. I'll consider rejection an opportunity to do so.

Absolutely!  There's a lot of work here I'd like to see again - and even more I'd love to see after a few tweaks here and there.  I've seen two or three people now mention that this contest is what got them off thier butt to start submitting stories, and I'll bet there's more out there like 'em.  If I hadn't already submitted something to EP a couple months ago, I'd be in that camp too.

I'm all for continuing to work with each other's stories, to help and aid each other get better and get published.   Because each and every one of you that I help means more (and better) specfic for me to read.

And hopefully you feel the same about my stories.  Win-win situation all around.   

Although I'm running on sleep dep and procrastinating doing my Spanish homework.

Walking is the process of controlled stumbling.


The Word Whore

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Reply #9 on: February 02, 2007, 03:54:20 PM
Just wanted to say, this is great thread! I love seeing artists exchanging ideas,
collaborating, motivating each other...

While I consider myself a big Sci-Fi fan (watching, reading, listening), I admit
it is FAR FROM my forte as a writer – I actually used this 300-word-challenge
as an excuse to finally try it & I know I fell short – but I'm so intrigued by the
genre and quite anxious to learn.

Long 'vague' story short, glad I made myself do it and looking forward to trying
again (a full-length piece next, though... I think)  ;)


Cheers,
~tWW
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www.airoutmyshorts.com


slic

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Reply #10 on: February 02, 2007, 04:09:01 PM
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Does it drive you crazy when someone doesn’t get what you’re saying and your itchy fingers want to type out a comment explaining what the reader is missing?
Yes, but it is kinda neat to see other people try and help - how their interpretation influences the story.
 
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How many of you out there who haven’t had any of their stories put up are screaming at the screen, waiting for them to pop up?
N/A - All three of mine are up - one in the first group of 4.
 
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Do you think you put less effort into one or more of your stories because you knew you had three chances with this contest?
Yes and No. I wrote one "crowd-pleaser" hoping to do well, and the other two were more like experiments to see how they would go over. This is my first writing contest in a long while, I have no illusions of doing this professionally right now - far too many other responsibilities. So I approached these as pure fun (though I've still obsessed over how they are doing).

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This is a dumb one cause I think we all feel the same.  If you could, would you take back your story and tweak it more?
No, I've learned that if I don't let it go - good, bad or ugly - I can't move on to the next piece.  Though I agree somewhat with kmmrlatham - upon seeing the quality of the other stories, my don't look as shiny good. :P
 
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Have the comments really affected how you view your story?
Yes - I have a thick skin so I take them all as positive.
 
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While writing your story, did you know you were putting information that could be confusing or unwelcome by the readers and smiled when people confirmed your thoughts?
No - why would I do that?

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Last for now, who is bringing what to the coming out party?
Chocolate

I'd like to add another question:
What is your preferred story length?
I write short stories (mainly because I like to see something finished), and usually between 500 and 2000.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2007, 04:58:42 PM by slic »



ClintMemo

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Reply #11 on: February 02, 2007, 04:45:40 PM

I'd like to add another question:
What is your preferred story length?
I write short stories (mainly because I like to see something finished), and usually between 500 and 2000.

I like short stories, both writing and reading, for the same reason.  Of the few things I have finished, outside of this contest, they usually run between 1500 and 4000 words. 

Life is a multiple choice test. Unfortunately, the answers are not provided.  You have to go and find them before picking the best one.


Steven Saus

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Reply #12 on: February 02, 2007, 05:18:59 PM
I'm also in the short/flash camp.  While I enjoy a novel, my time's very "chunky" lately, so flash and short fic have been wonderful mental breaks from, say, my Spanish.

Which I'm still procrastinating on.   ::)

Walking is the process of controlled stumbling.


GoodDamon

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Reply #13 on: February 02, 2007, 05:30:28 PM
As for story length, it depends on my mood. I write a lot of short stories, usually ending up between 4,000 and 8,000 words long. Lately I've been experimenting with flash fiction, but I like the more standard short story lengths, which let me really get into characters and settings.

I have two finished novels under my belt, too. The first took me a year to write, and someday I'll give it the edit it deserves. The second took me a month to write -- it was a NaNoWriMo novel -- and needs a complete rewrite, which will also happen some day. Soon, I hope to write the novel I actually want to write, which the first two were basically a warm-up for.

Another new question: Anyone here already published in other venues?

Damon Kaswell: Reader, writer, and arithmetic-er


Rachel Swirsky

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Reply #14 on: February 02, 2007, 09:24:18 PM
Yeah.



hautdesert

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Reply #15 on: February 02, 2007, 11:32:16 PM
Yes.



GoodDamon

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Reply #16 on: February 03, 2007, 06:22:44 PM
Since it would be rude to ask without offering full disclosure myself: I'm not published yet, but will be in ~6 months.

Damon Kaswell: Reader, writer, and arithmetic-er


Rachel Swirsky

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Reply #17 on: February 03, 2007, 06:52:12 PM
Congrats! Where (if you feel like saying)?



GoodDamon

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Reply #18 on: February 03, 2007, 07:07:25 PM
Congrats! Where (if you feel like saying)?

Certainly. I have a story appearing in Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine, and one appearing in the Writers of the Future anthology. Oddly, they're both due at approximately the same time.

Damon Kaswell: Reader, writer, and arithmetic-er


hautdesert

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Reply #19 on: February 03, 2007, 07:13:57 PM


Certainly. I have a story appearing in Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine, and one appearing in the Writers of the Future anthology. Oddly, they're both due at approximately the same time.

Oh, hey, cool!

I really enjoy the issues of ASIM I've read, I'd love to sell there, I confess myself envious.  :)



Rachel Swirsky

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Reply #20 on: February 03, 2007, 08:11:20 PM
Oh, nice. Both great markets. Particular congrats on the WOTF sale!



Steven Saus

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Reply #21 on: February 03, 2007, 11:16:48 PM
Another new question: Anyone here already published in other venues?

Not yet.  Have a couple things out, one that's in the midst of review.  We'll see how it goes.

Walking is the process of controlled stumbling.


GoodDamon

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Reply #22 on: February 03, 2007, 11:52:19 PM
Oh, hey, cool!

I really enjoy the issues of ASIM I've read, I'd love to sell there, I confess myself envious.  :)

Have you ever submitted anything to them? They have the single friendliest submissions process I've ever seen anywhere.

Which reminds me, I need to dig up another story to send their way...

Oh, nice. Both great markets. Particular congrats on the WOTF sale!

Thanks! That echoing boom you heard last year? That was me, hitting supersonic speeds after I got the phone call.

Damon Kaswell: Reader, writer, and arithmetic-er


hautdesert

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Reply #23 on: February 03, 2007, 11:54:26 PM
Oh, hey, cool!

I really enjoy the issues of ASIM I've read, I'd love to sell there, I confess myself envious.  :)

Have you ever submitted anything to them? They have the single friendliest submissions process I've ever seen anywhere.


I have!  I love their submission process.  I just haven't scored there.  <sigh>



Rachel Swirsky

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Reply #24 on: February 03, 2007, 11:55:42 PM
Yeah, haut and I have both sent stuff there, I think (We're CW classmates). They do have a nice sub process. I mostly send them poetry -- got something in 3rd round there, atm.

A couple of our classmates have sold there recently. I'll buy the issues with their stories in 'em, and keep an eye out for your name. :)