Monday, July 5, 2010

In Which I Share Exciting News

So how was everyone's weekend? Did you have a good time? We did (well except for when we saw The Last Airbender. I'm a HUGE fan of the show. Mr. M. Night Shyamalan, I hereby revoke your movie license. The writing was terrible. Writing 101 - Show Don't Tell.)

Remember how a few weeks ago I requested some crits for Hole-Ridden, well they were super helpful, so thanks again everyone.

A few months ago I discovered a little community called the Online Writer's Workshop, or OWW for short. I actually learned about it from Colleen Lindsay and since I have a bit of a literary business crush on her, I do pretty much whatever she says.

It's an online writing community for sci-fi, fantasy and horror writers. You critique people's submissions which gives you a point and when you have 3 points you can post a piece of your own (up to 7k words) to be critiqued.

I had done something like this before, with The Next Big Writer about 5 years ago. At first I liked that system but then it became clear to me that the crits I got back from the other writer's weren't at my level and so therefore I wasn't getting out as much as I was putting in.

OWW seemed a bit better because they make sure the crits are valid (no one sentence, "good job" allowed) and also OWW has a lot of professional authors as members (Elizabeth Bear, Karin Lowachee (and you all know how much I heart her)).

The first month is free (cost is $50 a year) so I signed up and submitted Hole Ridden to see what kind of crits I got. They were OK. There were a few that were helpful and a few that were either below my level or just clearly didn't understand the story or horror writing in general.

And then, I got the email...

"Hi! A submission you made to the workshop last month has been selected as one of our Editors' Choices (to be reviewed in the next newsletter)"

I freaked out!

What is an Editor's Choice you ask?

"Each month our Resident Editors select one outstanding submission in each category as an Editors' Choice and review it in the newsletter. Editors' Choices do not count against a member's three-submission limit, and remain on display, with their editorial reviews, in our Editors' Choice archive for about four months."

If I had a sci-fi piece that was chosen as an Editor's Choice, it would be critiqued by Karin Lowachee (swoon). Alas this was horror so it would be Gary Braunbeck while Jeanne Cavelos is out.

This would be a crit to end all crits! I was excited because I knew after this crit Hole Ridden would be probably as strong as it could be. But I was also worried. I thought it was pretty strong as is, so what was he going to find wrong with it?

Tune in tomorrow for a special Tuesday post regarding my editor critique of Hole Ridden!


Summer said...

Woohooo! *does the running man* That's so awesome! Congratulations!!!

We saw The Last Airbender too. I had nothing to compare it to, so I thought it was okay. The special effects were pretty enough for me to ooh and awe throughout. Hubby, though, who loves the series, hated it.

Christine Danek said...

How awesome! I'm so excited for you. That is great!! You know its good because you wrote it. :)
Good luck and keep us posted!

Palindrome said...

Why did you have to bring up airbender again? *sobs quietly in the corner*

I think I may check out OWW once I polish up some short pieces or throw out some short pieces and write new pieces! Ha!

And I'd also like to rub in the fact that I already know the rest of the news! I have a few Gary Braunbeck's books now that I see his name in writing. Never read 'em though.

j.leigh.bailey said...

That is absolutely fantastic! I can't wait to hear what kind of critique you get back. Congratulations. Anytime the word "outstanding" is used in reference to your work is a reason to celebrate.

Re: Airbender. I totally had the same "show don't tell" reaction when I watched it. The choreography (martial arts moves?) was pretty cool, the effects were pretty cool, but the dialogue and narration were pretty sub-standard.

Christi Goddard said...

Don't think of what he'll find WRONG with it. Think of it as what he'll see that could be made even better. It'll be an awesome experience, trust me. One that will pave the way to publication.

Lola Sharp said...

How exciting!!!! *throw confetti* CONGRATS!

Good critiques are such a gift.

(haven't seen the was on the to-see-on-vacation list. Just removed it. Thanks for the heads up.)

I'm still in Maine on vacation, with sketchy internet, and no cell phone service, so I apologize for not getting by here to visit you more lately. I miss you guys.

I hope you had a wonderful holiday weekend. :)


Dangerous With a Pen said...

How exciting! Congrats! I'm sure whatever they say can only make the story stronger. Go you!!!!

I was a fan of M. Night in the beginning (who didn't like The Sixth Sense?) but I think it has been all downhill from there. I think he jumped on Airbender because it had major marketing and is kind of a guaranteed hit with kids, and plus, cool effects. Maybe it gave him a chance to spread his wings that way. I keep hoping for him to redeem himself...

Falen said...

Summer - Ha! running man...
yes the effects were quite good in the movie. Thta was one of the things i felt they did well

Christine - ha! Thanks! and i will

Palindrome - i still have to googs him. And yeah, you should check it out. i mean, the first month is free so you can make up your mind. and $50/year isn't bad either

J. Leigh - i was very excited when i got that email.
i agree with all your points on the movie. I felt the first half could have easily been cut to make way for more character development

Christi - you are very very correct. you win the internet today with that comment

Erica Mitchell-Spickard said...

Such high hopes for Air Bender...*cries*
That is SO awesome, and I'm so happy for you! I can'twait to hear more news on the critique for Hole Ridden. Such a great experience!

DEZMOND said...

congrats on the success, Falsy.
When it comes to THE LAST AIRBENDER I must admit I haven't heard anything positive about it so far :((

Falen said...

Lola - uhhh, no apologies when you're on vacay or travelling. I'm amazed you got here at all, since when i go on vacay, i check out pretty completely

Dangerous - i thought Airbender would be good for him because the story is excellent, but the movie was just horrible. Bad cinematography, bad narration, just a lot of bad

Erica - i had high hopes too. sigh.

Dezmond - i had heard the same, but we still went to see it. It was bad in a completely unexpected way...

SonshineMusic i.e. Rebecca T. said...

WHEEEEEEEEE!!!!!! That's SO exciting! Can't wait to get the news that you've gotten it published. I swear that story has stuck with me. Holes scare me now :P


Patti said...

That's awesome, congrats.

I heard the movie was bad, so we'll avoid it.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Oh, Falen, I am so excited for you!! I'm dying to hear the rest. :-)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That is awesome! I'll have to check out that site.

Leah (aka Mary_not_Martha) said...

Congrats! That's so exciting!

Talli Roland said...

That's amazing - well done! Can't wait to hear all about it.

Ugh, I gave up on M Night after watching that terrible film with the killer grass and trees... I've blocked out the name of it!

Jamie Gibbs said...

That is so awesome!! Congratulations, looking forward to hearing what they have to say.

I'm in two minds about Airbender. I've not liked anything by Shayalaman since Signs (and even then, I stopped liking it about 2/3 of the way through) and I've heard so many bad things about this newest endeavour I'm not sure what to do... I might just watch Unbreakable again...

Maria Zannini said...

It is a big honor to be selected by one of the distinguished editors.

I'm the editor for the OWW newsletter. The Editor's Choice reviews are in the newsletter every month. Yours is in the July issue.

If you're not subscribed to the newsletter, by all means join up. It's free and you do not have to be a member of OWW to get it.

Every month, aside from the EC reviews, we have interviews with authors, editors or agents as well as sales announcements from OWW members.

Glad you're trying OWW.

PS You can also join the OWW forum too where people discuss writing and ask questions.

All the links are on the main OWW page where you sign up.

Jemi Fraser said...

Congrats - sounds like a wonderful website!

Falen said...

Sonshine - yes i hope, too, to be able to share that news one day

Patti - thanks! and yes it was not good... though children would probably still enjoy it

Shannon - Thanks!

Alex - you should! So far, the sci-fi i've read and critiqued has been pretty good

Leah - thanks!

Talli - ahhh the happening. That was the first one when i realized even my easy tolerance was being tested

Jamie - i enjoyed the Village, even though the "twist" was so obvious. I also liked Lady in the Water too, even tho i know most people hate that one

Maria - i wondered if you were the same Maria, but i never got around to checking. I think OWW is especially useful in teaching people how to crit others and therefore, learn how to look for the same issues in their own work

Jemi - Thanks! And it is pretty awesome

Teebore said...

Congrats! That's exciting as hell!

Also, boo on Airbender. So disappointing. I couldn't even put aside the horrible writing and enjoy the action because it was muddled and unexciting. Remember when the group of Earth Benders were all dancing in unison, and you were all ready for some big earth bending display, and then like one rock hit a dude? Lame!

(In other Shymalaalalalan news, I love the Village and like you, also enjoyed Lady in the Water even though everyone else hated it).

Falen said...

Teebore - yes, so true. They didn't even need that whole earth bending scene. There was no point to it that couldn't be addressed differently.

yay for the Village and Lady in the Water!
But not so much The Happening...

Teebore said...

I stayed away from the Happening. Heard it was pretty bad, and not just from critics (like Lady in the Water). And there wasn't anything to entice me to it, like the whole "bedtime story/fairy tale/Paul Giamotti" stuff in Lady in the Water.

Falen said...

see i was all pro "plants make people kill themselves" because that's the kind of creep factor i like.
and the "bedtime story/fairy tale/Paul Giamotti" is the reason i like LITW

DL Hammons said...

YAY Sarah!!!! Big Whoop!!!! Thats awesome.

And BTW...totally agree about Last Airbender. M. Night totally sucked the life out of that series. I had such high hopes for it too. *sigh*

AchingHope said...

Yay! Very exciting for you! Whooooooooooooo...

Falen said...

DL - yeah my hopes were dashed about 5 minutes in

Aching - thanks!

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