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shanan187 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote shanan187 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jul 2019 at 4:32pm
Originally posted by GallifreyGirl GallifreyGirl wrote:

Originally posted by mhelgens mhelgens wrote:

some very passionate forumite (I don’t remember who—but thank you mystery poster) described the plotters vs pantsers situation.

I'd like to thank the academy for the nomination for Most Passionate Forumite, and of course my parents and Neil Gaiman and ...

I just choked on my lunch. Bwahahahahah

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote Lookit There Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jul 2019 at 4:42pm
Originally posted by lisafox10800 lisafox10800 wrote:

4. Remember to have fun. This is what my husband tells me in every single contest. Every time. When I'm crying about how much my work sucks. And why do I bother. And I may as well just pack it in. He asks me, "But are you having fun?" And I want to kill him at that moment. Because I know he's right. 
Partner and I have this conversation EVERY SINGLE ROUND! This one was no exception.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (3) Thanks(3)   Quote shanan187 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jul 2019 at 5:00pm
Originally posted by Lookit There Lookit There wrote:

Originally posted by lisafox10800 lisafox10800 wrote:

4. Remember to have fun. This is what my husband tells me in every single contest. Every time. When I'm crying about how much my work sucks. And why do I bother. And I may as well just pack it in. He asks me, "But are you having fun?" And I want to kill him at that moment. Because I know he's right. 
Partner and I have this conversation EVERY SINGLE ROUND! This one was no exception.

My husband and I have definitely had this conversation as well. Usually if I get to that point, he'll go, "Okay... time to step back, do something else for a while, and come back to it."

Strangely enough, the last 4 or 5 rounds, I've been eerily calm. Chalk it up to working in an agency setting for a couple years, I think. Everything is always past-due before it's assigned. You just kind of get used to writing with the clock ticking.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (4) Thanks(4)   Quote stephenmatlock Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jul 2019 at 7:16pm
Originally posted by sootfoot5 sootfoot5 wrote:

I've been on this forum since late 2008 when I wrote THE WORSE short screenplay ever.  

What I've learned on this forum is two-fold:

1)  Don't be afraid to post and to speak out when you don't understand something.  I had been hiding my fiction writing from everyone for years.  I had done well at some screenwriting comps (despite my short screenplay fiasco) and even had a Hollywood chance (not worth it), but mostly I hid my work under a bushel from my friends and family.  I had no writer friends.  But I saw the ad for NYCM on Movie Bytes and decided to give it a go.  It was really scary at first.  There were so many things people talked about that I was clueless about.  What were pubs- what were subs?  I mean SIMPLE things!  I had never taken a creative writing course, and it was really scary to post my work with all these MFA folks.  But you can't learn if you don't put yourself out there, and how do you expect the world to read your stuff if you can't present it to a small community like NYCM?  And we were small then - very small.  

2)  Even greater to my learning process was the giving of feedback.  Sure everyone loves to GET feedback, but it wasn't long before I realized that the GIVING of feedback was doing much more for me.  When I took the time to read stories with a critical eye instead of for pure enjoyment, and then took the time to put my findings/opinion down, I was learning what, in my mind anyway, what worked and what didn't work.  No longer was I making the same mistakes over and over.  By identifying problems in someone else's work, I no longer made those same mistakes in mine.  

To me, these are the two biggie's that I've gotten out of this comp.  Sure, I've gotten many of the same things that the others have said, but those haven't been as important to me as these two.  #1 became really important because I developed severe health issues and had to quite a job I loved.  I had sat, rather stagnant, for several years, before I started with NYCM and by then I had lost a lot of the confidence I'd had when I was working.  It was rather frightening to me to join a group of young people who all seemed to know so much.  But I got passed that and LEARNED.  

#2, well, after I figured it out, it was seemed like common sense.  

I don't know if anyone will take the time to read this or if it will help anyone.  All I can say is that my writing has improved 1000% since I started here ten years ago.  


#3 - ALWAYS be kind. You might find the need to whirl the words out in frustration or anger over a misunderstanding or an offense--but save that for your blog post or your FB friends. Be careful here, and kind. Treat writers as humans who are doing exactly what you're doing--trying to put true words with true feelings onto the screen so they can tell the story only they know. People are going to screw up, misunderstand you, not get the point you're making. Assume good faith, assume good meaning, and assume that humans are going to just get it wrong about as much as they get it right.

#4 - PAY IT FORWARD. Unless you're the Lord God Himself who created the universe by a word, you are not entirely original. You learned how to speak and write, you learned to see the story, and you're learning to tell the story. When you get a good insight or you gain a new skill, share it with others who are not as far along the way.

I can't speak to sootfoot5's growth as much as I can say I have been incredibly blessed and encouraged and even -- ahem -- corrected by someone whose passion for writing and compassion for people is exemplary. Be that person to someone that you wished you had when you first typed out the words "It was a dark and stormy night...."
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mumser Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jul 2019 at 8:23pm
This is a great thread! I’ve only done NYCM since last year, 2 short story comps and this is my second flash. Still I feel my learning curve has been huge.
1. I’ve learned to think about my story idea for at least a day before writing. I’m an intuitive writer and if I’m not feeling my characters my story will be so much more difficult to write.
2. Write the end first. I learned this after over writing one story and vowed never again. For me it works marvellously. For flash the story is usually completely written by the time I’ve written the ending!
3. Yes be the kind person you want to receive reviews from. We’re all in this together! I’ve learned that instead of pointing out typos and line edits it’s much more helpful to communicate my experience as a reader, for example which parts of the story drew me in or out of the story and why, or at which point I figured out who dunnit etc. It’s a skill that takes a lot of practice and I’m still learning.
 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (3) Thanks(3)   Quote nixie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jul 2019 at 8:36pm
I've learned many "big" and "inspirational" things here - but in answer to the question I am going to offer a "small" and "essential" one that was given to me by the lovely @jenspenden in my first-ever crit. In my house we call this a BFO (Blinding Flash of the Obvious), and it is a truism every writer can use:

"Short sentences build tension." 




Edited by nixie - 25 Jul 2019 at 4:11pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote manifestlynot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jul 2019 at 8:53pm
I love all the advice listed so far. All I can add is that my first NYCM contest (SSC 2018) taught me that submitting work that I thought was poor was not the end of the world. My perfectionism has killed many a story before they were written. But being forced to write a thriller with a tour guide and planted evidence, and submitting it even though I wasn’t satisfied, was a huge lesson for me. The HM I got let me know that even if I don’t think my work is up to my standard, it can still be worth mentioning.

On the fish advice - I went to a writing conference this year (thanks to the bravery granted by this contest) and one of the workshop leaders told us that aspiring novelists always bring in their third chapter for critique, because it’s their favorite. They spent two chapters getting into the story and are finally engaged by chapter three. She was usually successful in convincing them to cut the first two chapters Smile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote justmel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jul 2019 at 8:58pm
Originally posted by lisafox10800 lisafox10800 wrote:


4. Remember to have fun. This is what my husband tells me in every single contest. Every time. When I'm crying about how much my work sucks. And why do I bother. And I may as well just pack it in. He asks me, "But are you having fun?" And I want to kill him at that moment. Because I know he's right. 
 
 
Everything you said in your post is dead on, but I read this one out loud to my husband and he's still nodding and laughing because the same conversation goes on here--every single time. It's so nice to know we're not alone! Thanks!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (4) Thanks(4)   Quote justmel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jul 2019 at 9:10pm
I agree with almost everything I've read in this thread, but in addition, I have to say the most valuable thing I've learned in these comps (and am still working on) is to have the courage to let others read my work.  This was probably my 15th+ NYCM round and it's still soooooo scary.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote Lookit There Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jul 2019 at 12:49am
Originally posted by justmel justmel wrote:

I agree with almost everything I've read in this thread, but in addition, I have to say the most valuable thing I've learned in these comps (and am still working on) is to have the courage to let others read my work.  This was probably my 15th+ NYCM round and it's still soooooo scary.
It's only in the last couple years that my post doesn't start with me apologizing for my story and/or saying that I don't like it. 
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