Curtailing an Offer, and Lessons

In today’s Journal

* Curtailing the Opening Critiques Offer
* Bradbury Challenge Reminder
* I Take My Lessons
* Of Interest
* The Numbers

Curtailing the Opening Critiques Offer

My offer to critique your opening is something that could leap your writing ahead. That’s why I offered it.

But I’ve changed the rules a bit. I overextended myself, and I have to get back to my own writing. So—

1. Please send only one opening for critique. What you learn from it will sink into your creative subconscious, and you will be able to apply it to other openings.

2. Format: Please send your opening as a .doc, .docx, or .rtf file.

3. The opening can be 300 to 1000 words or so, any genre, for any short story, novella or novel.

4. Published or unpublished work is fine. I just want to spread the knowledge.

5. The cost remains $15. I suspect you will find it worth the money. (Current donors still get one opening critique free of charge.)

6. This offer closes on May 31. I’ll do your critique and get it back to you as soon as possible.

Writing Better Fiction contains everything you need to know about writing openings. If you have a copy, refer to it. See especially Chapters 4, 5, and 6.

If you don’t have a copy, you can get one anywhere ebooks are sold, or you can save a buck or two by going here.

Bradbury Challenge Reminder and Format

Today is Sunday. You who are in or want to join the ongoing challenge, please be sure to get your story info in to me before the Journal goes live on Monday.

Setting a personal deadline earlier in the week is the easiest way to ensure that.

The whole point of the challenge is to have fun and grow as a writer even as you expand your IP inventory. (grin)

To jump in, send the title of your work, word count, and genre. This is the format:

“Story Title” 1234 Genre

Remember, I also opened the Challenge up to anyone who would like to report numbers on longer works.

It’s all up to you. If you’re writing a longer story, you can jump into the Challenge with the title, word count for the week, updated total words to date, and genre. This the format for longer stories:

“Story Title” 1234 (5678 to date) Genre

I Take My Lessons Where I Find Them

Thank you to those who took the time to email me or leave comments regarding the “debrief” post. It was not my intention to offend anyone with that post.

I offered the contest to provide an opportunity accompanied by positive, you-can-do-this motivation. For various reasons, that mostly fell flat.

So I wrote the “debrief” post to urge you, through negative motivation, to take advantage of opportunities where you find them. In my experience in the writing world, such opportunities are rare.

But obviously, for many of you, I missed the mark both times. Oops.

So let me clarify:

Only about 170 writers are even subscribed to the Journal. So probably a fragment of a billionth of the writers on Earth.

To me, that makes Journal subscribers special, by which I mean worthy of my sometimes misguided efforts over here in the cheering-section.

Among that minuscule number of subscribers, many read the Journal only intermittently. So if you’re even reading this, thanks for being here.

I recommend at least opening the email and browsing the table of contents for the day to be sure you aren’t missing anything you might need.

That said, only nine writers entered the contest. That leaves roughly a minimum of 161 individual reasons why nobody else entered. Some simply forgot or ran out of time. Some don’t like contests. And every reason in between.

I understand we’re all different, with different situations, circumstances, lives, motivations, and priorities.

So whatever your reasons, they are yours and they are perfectly valid in your life and for your situation.

Tomorrow I’ll return to passing along what I’ve learned about writing.

If any of you have any questions about anything or would like to see my take on a particular topic, feel free to leave a comment or email me.

Talk with you again soon.

Of Interest

If You’re Not Publishing All the Time You’re Missing Out

Expectations A great post.

The Numbers

The Journal………………………………710

Writing of

Day 1…… XXXX words. To date…… XXXXX

Fiction for May…………………….….… 9734
Fiction for 2024…………………………. 313519
Fiction since October 1………………… 616577
Nonfiction for May……………………… 11650
Nonfiction for 2024…………………… 165990
2024 consumable words……………… 479509

2024 Novels to Date……………………… 8
2024 Novellas to Date…………………… 0
2024 Short Stories to Date……………… 1
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)……………… 90
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)…………… 9
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……… 239
Short story collections…………………… 29

Disclaimer: I am a prolific professional fiction writer. On this blog I teach Writing Into the Dark and adherence to Heinlein’s Rules. Unreasoning fear and the myths of writing are lies, and they will slow your progress as a writer or stop you cold. I will never teach the myths on this blog.

To be sure you continue receiving the Journal after May 31, subscribe free, then click the Donate link at the end of this post and make either a recurring donation of $3 per month OR a one-time donation of at least $36. In doing that, you’re effectively paying me 5 cents per hour to provide you with the Journal every day. Donate Here. Thank you!

2 thoughts on “Curtailing an Offer, and Lessons”

  1. I’m not sure what anyone might find have found offensive about your debrief post, but then, we seem to be living in interesting times, I guess. To each their own.

    Regarding your Opening Critiques offer, all I have to say about that is that it was the best 15 bucks I’ve ever spent, bar none. I trust that makes up for the offense I didn’t take with your debrief post, Harvey. (grin)

    Reply

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