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So, why did the winners win?

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    #16
    Originally posted by RJHubbard53 View Post
    btw, Ur is the King Kindle story...
    Thank you!
    http://www.cwlasart.com/

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      #17
      Originally posted by TerryE View Post
      I'm glad you mention that. My only complaint with your story was Dr. Johnson's unprofessional attitude. And, silly me, I didn't get that it was the whole point.
      It's all about perspective. Also, when faced with the sheer number of stories we had to read, we were prevented from completely enjoying them as we might if we just sat down to read them by themselves. When I buy a collection of short stories, I read them for enjoyment and am far less critical of everything than I was here. Of course, an obvious mistake would still bother me, but I tend to shut off the editor mode when reading for fun.
      http://www.cwlasart.com/

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        #18
        I was surprised how little votes some of my favorite stories got. I've even asked one of the authors to submit to Dark Recesses. One of my favorite stories ended up in my own group and that was a bummer because I had to vote against it--even though I really liked the story. I felt that there were a couple of stories in the top that should not have been there. That's my opinion and that's all I'm going to say about it. There are probably people who were surprised I was there as well. Everybody has different tastes. I'd recommend to Dan that the next contest should have hidden polls but then that might be defeating the purpose of attracting people to the forum. Half of the excitement is watching the numbers.

        RJ, to address your question about why the stories won while other ones did not: I can't say specifically here. There were a bunch of good stories and a couple that didn't even belong in the group. (IMHO only) Out of them all, my favorite was Meat Socks. It was a fun story that made me laugh. It had nice creepy elements. It also was very well written making it believable to me. There were other stories in the top that I really liked as well. The common reason is that they managed to pull me in. They kept my attention. They gave me a promise of entertainment, be that via humor or thrills, and they delivered on that promise. They clearly had been thought through with great attention and craft. The other thing is their originality. Not every story can be a "brand new" idea, but did they do something new with an old idea? I read tons of stories and I just donít have time for poorly formatted/written pieces. Iíve got around 300 stories to go through for the final issue of Dark Recesses. I know that I will be rejecting most of them. I will be sending back form rejections after reading only three paragraphs or so on a lot of them. I will not even bother reading something that canít be formatted correctly. I will also find a number of stories that I really like but wonít fit our magazine. Iíll email the authors a detailed reply and may even suggest another venue. I will probably find stories that I really like that need improvement. Iíll ask for a rewrite and make suggestions. I will probably find stories that I want to print and pass it on to the rest of the staff only to be vetoed unanimously. Then there will be the few stories that we buy. These will be the gems that get into the magazine. Hopefully, these will be the stories that our fans will talk about for days on end. Hopefully, these authors will be so excited about the validation of their talents that theyíll keep writing and submitting and probably publishing.

        MLD

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          #19
          And RJ, getting back to your original statement of trying to learn from the winners, you can't sit down and try to write for the masses. If you try to appease a section of the reading public, you leave out another section. The people going to see those Twilight movies are not watching Ingmar Bergman films, and that crowd isn't watching George Romero, etc. Write what you want, then see if there is an audience for it. Sure you can write on spec, but don't get to the point of pandering to the lowest common denominator. You'll recognize good writing and good story. When they overlap, there you have the gold.
          "Dance until your feet hurt. Sing until your lungs hurt. Act until you're William Hurt." - Phil Dunphy ("Modern Family"), from Phil's-osophy.

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            #20
            The worst part of writing is not the process of writing, or even the editing, it's the process of having to let your stories out into the world. I give up trying to write for readers and now I do my own thing. Sometimes it works for other people, sometimes it doesn't. Like Terry said, write what you want to read. The rest will happen when it happens. Of course, I sometimes think it is best to write what you want to read and read only what you write, too. in truth, there are days I consider never letting go of the story.

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              #21
              Originally posted by Craig Wallwork View Post
              The worst part of writing is not the process of writing, or even the editing, it's the process of having to let your stories out into the world. I give up trying to write for readers and now I do my own thing. Sometimes it works for other people, sometimes it doesn't. Like Terry said, write what you want to read. The rest will happen when it happens. Of course, I sometimes think it is best to write what you want to read and read only what you write, too. in truth, there are days I consider never letting go of the story.
              Thank you, all. Especially Terry and Craig; I gained a lot from your posts. You both can tell that I am that much of a newbie, eh? Perhaps my problem is that I am a greedy capatilist and feel that if i am going to write for me, which I do, I might as well see if there is a market for it.
              It ain't braggin' if you can do it. . .

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                #22
                Originally posted by RJHubbard53 View Post
                Thank you, all. Especially Terry and Craig; I gained a lot from your posts. You both can tell that I am that much of a newbie, eh? Perhaps my problem is that I am a greedy capatilist and feel that if i am going to write for me, which I do, I might as well see if there is a market for it.
                Write what you write, then BUILD a market for it through social networking
                http://www.cwlasart.com/

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                  #23
                  My dad has always told me: Write what makes you happy, and if other people like it then that's just a plus. I write what's interesting to me and have been lucky enough to sell my first three stories this year on that principle. And, honestly, I've never found it all that scary for people to read my work. It's more curiosity than anything. The only thing I was disappointed with was myself in this contest. I submitted the story before my pre-reader sent back his edits, and I was quite pissed at myself with finding out I had left out some words here and there, and there were some lines that needed a bit of work. Other than that, the story came out exactly the way I wanted it to, with the ending exactly the way I wanted it.
                  www.wesleysouthard.wordpress.com

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                    #24
                    I liked your story quite a bit, Wesley. Had I not voted for myself in the finals, it would have been very hard to pick between a few of the other finalists. There were some very strong stories in there, and they were all such different examples of horror.
                    http://www.cwlasart.com/

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                      #25
                      No doubt. This was my first venture into non-supernatural horror, and I was quite pleased with the result. And congrats on the win, by the way!
                      www.wesleysouthard.wordpress.com

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                        #26
                        Originally posted by WesleySouthard View Post
                        No doubt. This was my first venture into non-supernatural horror, and I was quite pleased with the result. And congrats on the win, by the way!
                        Thanks! And you should be pleased, it was a good story
                        http://www.cwlasart.com/

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                          #27
                          Originally posted by RJHubbard53 View Post
                          You both can tell that I am that much of a newbie, eh?
                          Not at all. You sound like a seasoned writer harvesting advice to help him write wonderful prose.

                          I eat a lot because I'm tall. My mother used to say, "You're always hungry, Craig. You'll eat us out of house and home." And my dad would retort, "It's when he stops eating we need to worry." Don't stop consuming information, RJ.

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                            #28
                            Originally posted by Craig Wallwork View Post
                            Thanks, RJ.

                            I think, and i'll add this now before i forget, a name has swayed me into reading a story too. Not the title of the story, you understand, but the name of the author. C.W. pulled me in right away, so did Draven. MLD, too. For a long time I believed a name can help you get noticed and was thinking of writing under a pseudonym. But i had quite a few stories published by that time, which meant my theory was wrong, and also, I didn't want to lose any kudos I may have gleaned in the process of being published. it's strange how the mind works.

                            But yes, let me extend my thanks once again for the vote. Too cool of you.
                            Thank you for the compliment. I was just happy when you got that final surge. As to the rest, I'll keep my opinion to myself. Great contest and good people.

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                              #29
                              I think the guys from that group, SUPERTRAMP said it best when they coined the phrase, "BLOODY WELL WRITE...)

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                                #30
                                A lot of the stories I voted for did not make the cut. But I just have to say that stories where the characters grab you are what draw me. The stories I really enjoyed and struggled to decide who to vote for where: Pin and the one about the guys in the car- rain? maybe. I really felt that the characters drew you in instantly. I felt for Pin when he was worried about cutting his strings and using the stick to open the lock. And in the rain one- the characters instantly drew you in by how they talked and how the main character told the story. I really enjoyed reading all the stories. Thank you for sharing.

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