Author Topic: Loser's Lament  (Read 29869 times)

GoodDamon

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on: February 26, 2007, 04:30:01 PM
So... Your last entry has been voted down, after getting picked apart by the ravenous forum-wolves. What now? Write an ode to fallen words? Rewrite the story and post the new and expanded version elsewhere? Hide under a rock and whimper?

What are you planning to do with your 300 word gems?

Here's what I'm going to do...

These are very short pieces. To get them down to length, many of us trimmed and cut, cut and trimmed, and in the process we might have cut too much, removing the heart of the story along with the fat. Or we left incomplete bits in, lines that reference nonexistent characters or actions that serve no purpose. When the voting is finished, when the winners are chosen, and when Steve has picked the stories, if any, that he intends to buy outright, I'm going to take these three stories of mine (The Neighbors, Asylum, Sunburn) and polish them until they shine.

Then I'm going to submit them to other markets. Rinse and repeat.

Damon Kaswell: Reader, writer, and arithmetic-er


Rachel Swirsky

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Reply #1 on: February 26, 2007, 04:40:14 PM
Are you going to keep them at 300 words, or expand to 500?

*wants to see fatted versions of Asylum & Sunburn*



GoodDamon

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Reply #2 on: February 26, 2007, 04:58:01 PM
Are you going to keep them at 300 words, or expand to 500?

*wants to see fatted versions of Asylum & Sunburn*

Expansion is definitely in their futures. There's plenty of room for it in Asylum. Sunburn could probably use some extra clarification and a light edit, but it's really a story about the will to survive, not specifically about the aliens on the other side of that ridge. I'm not sure going into depth about the setting would do the story justice. If I go that route, it'll be essentially a different story.

I may very well write that story later, though.

Damon Kaswell: Reader, writer, and arithmetic-er


Alasdair5000

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Reply #3 on: February 26, 2007, 05:23:54 PM
   Count me in for an expanded version of Sunburn.  One of my favourites of the contest:)



GoodDamon

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Reply #4 on: February 26, 2007, 05:35:58 PM
   Count me in for an expanded version of Sunburn.  One of my favourites of the contest:)

Thank you very much!  :D

Are you planning to expand any of your entries?

Damon Kaswell: Reader, writer, and arithmetic-er


Laieanna

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Reply #5 on: February 26, 2007, 05:44:06 PM
Usually when I've written a short story, I'm done with it.  But I might keep the idea of a crazed vampire who fears the sun in such an extreme way and use him as a character in a vampire story, should I ever write one.


I did read all my stories on my podcast.

Working on my comeback


Swamp

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Reply #6 on: February 26, 2007, 06:04:22 PM
I'm going to take these three stories of mine (The Neighbors, Asylum, Sunburn) and polish them until they shine.

I enjoyed all three of your stories.

As for my stories (The Fall of Humphrey the Wise, Bad Environment), it's a mix.  I think Bad Environment will probably just [MikeWazowski] go away [/MikeWazowski].  I could try to tone it down and expand it, but I doubt I will.  

With Humphrey, however, I think I am going to start over and tell the story of Humphrey as a “lowly farmer” where he first discovers the magic stone and is led to the enchantress’ castle.  That is the part of the story that I enjoyed telling the most and where I did most of the cutting (and thus the part that didn’t make it to the contest).  I plan to let the readers in on Humphrey’s true identity from the beginning.  I’m sure the word count will grow considerably.

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GoodDamon

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Reply #7 on: February 26, 2007, 06:06:35 PM
I did read all my stories on my podcast.

Just so you know, that has implications for selling the rights to them in the future. If you weren't planning on selling them, that's fine, of course.

Damon Kaswell: Reader, writer, and arithmetic-er


GoodDamon

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Reply #8 on: February 26, 2007, 06:08:18 PM
With Humphrey, however, I think I am going to start over and tell the story of Humphrey as a “lowly farmer” where he first discovers the magic stone and is led to the enchantress’ castle.

That sounds like fun! Without that part, it suffered from the punchline-story syndrome.

Damon Kaswell: Reader, writer, and arithmetic-er


amyr

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Reply #9 on: February 26, 2007, 06:17:36 PM
I really enjoyed The Fall of Humphrey the Wise.   I would love to see more done with that.



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Reply #10 on: February 26, 2007, 06:19:22 PM
There's a long list of stories I've read here that a- I'm sure will find a home as it is or b- would absolutely be wonderful as a longer, more detailed story and I'm looking forward to reading them all in their eventual publications.


As for my two tales - one (fireworks) I'm not sure what I'll do with but I may do something because I still like the voice - very much like my fatherinlaw... With Venus though - I'm may expand it to include all the stuff about the crime and her psychosis and play around some more with the themes in the painting - give it some foundation. Unfortunately, knowing me, it'll wind up being too long.

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Alasdair5000

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Reply #11 on: February 26, 2007, 06:29:16 PM
   Count me in for an expanded version of Sunburn.  One of my favourites of the contest:)

Thank you very much!  :D

Are you planning to expand any of your entries?
   No problem:)  Yeah, I've been doing some thinking about that.  'Sun Down', I think, might go well as a flash piece up in the 900-1000 word range.  'Oak Island' I think is going to be bigger.  There's the makings of a bigger idea there that would take in the Money Pit on Oak Island as well as the pre-apocalyptic' element which could be a lot of fun.



Rachel Swirsky

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Reply #12 on: February 26, 2007, 06:48:37 PM
Quote
Expansion is definitely in their futures. There's plenty of room for it in Asylum. Sunburn could probably use some extra clarification and a light edit, but it's really a story about the will to survive, not specifically about the aliens on the other side of that ridge. I'm not sure going into depth about the setting would do the story justice. If I go that route, it'll be essentially a different story.

I may very well write that story later, though.

For what it's worth (and it may not be worth much) when I asked about expansion, I was thinking character development within the arc as it stands. Andrew was skirting stock to me and I wanted more from him.



ClintMemo

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Reply #13 on: February 26, 2007, 06:49:38 PM
Of my three entries, I thought the first one (Problem Cycle) was "ok" but I later realized that the interesting ideas that caused me to write the story all got chopped out from the story while I was getting it down to 300 words.  I've already taken one of the ideas and used it to write a completely different piece.  The other idea, I'm not really sure what to do with.

My second entry (Attention Span) was a flash-contest specific joke, so I'm not sure what else I could do with it.  And that's fine. I already got more pleasure out of writing it and reading the comments than it probably deserved anyway. :P

My third entry (No Scars) is the one I liked the most, and I've already looked at some people's comments and thought about how to make it better. That one I'm sure I'll fix up some more, maybe out to 400 or 500 words, and try submitting it somewhere.

IIRC, Steve said something about starting a forum where people could post longer pieces for reviews/comments/help and I am REALLY looking forward to that.  I have two things I'd like to drop in that meat grinder, if it ever develops.  (Hopefully after the contest). One is about 3400 words and the other is about 1600.  I've already made some minor changes to the 3400 word piece after reading comments on the contest boards as well as the "Pet Peeves" thread in the writing lounge.

I'm also looking forward to another escape pod flash contest, if one happens.

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


GoodDamon

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Reply #14 on: February 26, 2007, 07:24:32 PM
For what it's worth (and it may not be worth much) when I asked about expansion, I was thinking character development within the arc as it stands. Andrew was skirting stock to me and I wanted more from him.

That's where most of the clean-up would come in. I imagine after I round Andrew out, the story will clock in at 400 words, or thereabouts.

Damon Kaswell: Reader, writer, and arithmetic-er


J.R. Blackwell

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Reply #15 on: February 26, 2007, 07:40:54 PM
You might want to consider submitting some of your stories to 365 Tomorrows, the daily science fiction site I co-founded.

They don't pay, but they are always looking for flash, the site gets upwards of five thousand unique hits a day (that's good exposure) and they have 365 slots to fill with stories every year.

You can visit them at www.365tomorrows.com

There are lot of other great markets out there too, but 365 will always have a special place in my heart.

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ClintMemo

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Reply #16 on: February 26, 2007, 08:04:26 PM
You might want to consider submitting some of your stories to 365 Tomorrows, the daily science fiction site I co-founded.

They don't pay, but they are always looking for flash, the site gets upwards of five thousand unique hits a day (that's good exposure) and they have 365 slots to fill with stories every year.

You can visit them at www.365tomorrows.com

There are lot of other great markets out there too, but 365 will always have a special place in my heart.

(edited to remove the unintentional impression that I was being a jerk and dissing 365tomorrows - the opposite of what I intended)
Oh believe me, I've thought about doing that LOTS of times.  I just haven't been brave enough to hit "copy", "paste" and "submit" all in the same sitting.  Being a master procrastinator, my excuse for not fixing anything, writing anything new, submitting anything or doing any anything to further (hell, start)  my career as a writer has been that I was waiting for the contest to be over.  Well, it is over, for me anyway, so I guess I better do something (or come up with another excuse.) :P
(and I've been reading from that site almost every day for a few months now - good stuff!)
« Last Edit: February 26, 2007, 08:30:26 PM by ClintMemo »

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


Laieanna

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Reply #17 on: February 26, 2007, 09:13:40 PM
You might want to consider submitting some of your stories to 365 Tomorrows, the daily science fiction site I co-founded.
They don't pay, but they are always looking for flash, the site gets upwards of five thousand unique hits a day (that's good exposure) and they have 365 slots to fill with stories every year.
You can visit them at www.365tomorrows.com
There are lot of other great markets out there too, but 365 will always have a special place in my heart.


Even if I don't submit, now I have another Scifi storytelling podcast to add to my listening list. *giddy handclapping*

Working on my comeback


tom.d

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Reply #18 on: February 27, 2007, 03:40:15 AM
The two pieces that I submitted (Bob: Employee of the Future and Metamorphosis) were the first things that I've submitted anywhere, and the feedback I got on them was great.  At this point, I don't have much interest in selling them, rather, I think that I need the feedback more than anything at this point, and so I decided to set up a site to post my stories.  When I first posted this, as a reply to one of my stories, I was reminded that it would constitute first publishing, but it still seems the right thing to do, for me, at least.  In addition to thanking the entire community who made this whole thing possible, I might as well give myself a shameless plug, so here it is.  http://pawnstorm.blogspot.com



degan

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Reply #19 on: February 27, 2007, 04:21:36 AM
MS Blackwell,

I just visited your 365 tomorrows site.  Very nice.  I am curious, where did you get the radio telescope pictured.  It looks very like the educational telescope here at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory here in Green Bank West Virginia.  We have much larger telescopes if you would like to use a picture of a bigger one.  ;)

http://www.gb.nrao.edu/

Dennis Egan
author of Fuel Pressure



J.R. Blackwell

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Reply #20 on: February 27, 2007, 02:45:24 PM
I am curious, where did you get the radio telescope pictured.  It looks very like the educational telescope here at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory here in Green Bank West Virginia.  We have much larger telescopes if you would like to use a picture of a bigger one.  ;)

You know, I actually have no idea. One of the other authors, Kathy, put together the graphic for our site. She may have very well snatched it from the National Radio Astronomy Observatory.

I am very jealous that you get to work around all those telescopes. Telescopes are sexy. Big ones are even sexier. <---Nerd

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slic

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Reply #21 on: February 27, 2007, 05:11:03 PM
I'll be pretty much leaving mine alone.  Pendulum Swing was just an idea, not a story, and bThere goggles was specifically written as a joke advert/podcast promo.  All for one... may turn into a much longer story with the character's ability more of a background trait than a driver for the story.  In writing the story, I spent alot of time thinking about the character and her environment, (what her job actually is, does she get lonely, what are her ambitions, how she interacts with others (including other Multis), how society sees her, etc.).  But that sure seems like a lot of work - I have the most fun inventing situations and creating universes, telling individual stories is the hard part.



GoodDamon

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Reply #22 on: February 27, 2007, 07:54:52 PM
...telling individual stories is the hard part.

Amen to that!

Damon Kaswell: Reader, writer, and arithmetic-er


tatterbelle

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Reply #23 on: February 27, 2007, 11:05:15 PM
I really enjoyed the stories in this contest and hope to see them again in different forms. I don't know what to do with my stories (Infestation, the Movies, Dream Date) other than to post them on my deviantart page.



Rachel Swirsky

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Reply #24 on: February 28, 2007, 01:03:37 AM
Bear in mind that if you post them on your personal website you limit your ability to sell them at a later date.

~P