The latest SUPER SECRETS of Writing article! And a great preview of what’s to come in my How to Write a Howling Good Story book. “Escalating Tension: Crank it Up!” Here’s the editor’s comments:
In this article, Wulf Moon shows us how tension keeps readers engaged and invested in your story. Tension creates a sense of anticipation that makes readers want to know what happens next. But you must make it even harder for your characters! Ramp it up. Escalating tension helps shape the narrative, define the characters, and ultimately ensure the story is compelling and satisfying to readers.
I created the Super Secrets of Writing resource, the free Super Secrets year-long Workshop & Challenge, and the Wulf Pack Writers Group to help struggling writers succeed in getting professionally published. We focus on Writers of the Future and other respected markets to build careers. We’ve had seven alumni win Writers of the Future, become published finalists, or both! Now, there’s EIGHT in three-and-a-half years since I started this crazy experiment. David Hankins is our latest!
Thousands enter their stories every quarter to try to win the largest talent search for speculative fiction writers in the world! Over $30,000 is spent on each winner by the time they are paid prize and publication money and all the goodies that follow. They are flown to Hollywood for an expense paid trip from anywhere in the world. The win includes their stay at a luxurious Hollywood hotel, a week-long workshop with top writers and industry leaders, and a gala and award ceremony that many call ‘The Oscars of science fiction and fantasy.’ Way to go, David!
I share his own words on his writer journey, unsolicited and posted to Discord today as we congratulated him on winning Writers of the Future (and congratulated our Wulf Pack Writers’ other Finalist, Brandon Case. So close, Brandon! Next Q is you!)
Heeere’s David! And what he wrote about his journey to that Hollywood stage!
(Shared with permission.)
Thank you! You, the Super Secrets, and the Wulf Pack are the only reason I grew from enthusiastic amateur to award-winning author (wow, that title feels strange!). I’ve told you this but thought I’d share with the group:
18 months. That’s how long I’ve been entering Writers of the Future. I found Moon’s Super Secrets on the WotF forum after my first entry in March 2021. That story earned an HM, but Moon kindly declined my request to join his annual challenge. Need an SHM or above, buddy.
Oh, really? Challenge accepted.
I dug into the Super Secrets, read the thread (120 pages at that point), applied myself through smart practice, wrote six KYDs in 30 days, and took Moon’s KYD Masterclass. My first published story came out of that Masterclass.
That paid KYD Masterclass granted access to the Wulf Pack, which changed my writing forever. You are my writing family. Together we are greater than the sum of our parts.
I got another HM then an SHM and joined Moon’s Vol39 annual challenge.
I was humbled when Moon asked me to be Keeper of Records.
More smart practice, attended Moon’s Winning Stories Masterclass at Fyrecon-online (Attend Fyrecon! It’s amazing!), and I started to find my writer’s voice. Humor, described by many as the hardest voice to write well. Unlikely to win WotF.
I got another HM. Not a step back, just a reminder. Write fresh, don’t revise and resubmit.
January 2022 was pivotal. DreamForge accepted my first story. I had my last working day in the Army (meaning my heart committed itself completely to writing, though my mind yelled ‘get a real job!’). Jody Lynn Nye (a humorist) became WotF coordinating judge.
I found my voice, my passion. Snarky, funny, heartfelt. I wrote my winner. Moon and the Wulf Pack helped polish it, I submitted, and moved to the next story. That one sold. And the next.
Winners are made here. Professionals are made here.
As posted to my Facebook account on January 18, 2022:
Two cool things happened yesterday! The Wolf Moon rose bright in the night’s sky, and the shiny 2021 Critters Readers’ Choice Awards were announced! Each year, 2500 from around the world vote in forty-one publishing categories for works published in the prior year. Congratulations to all the winners and nominees for their excellent works! I’m happy to announce I won in SIX categories:
Many thanks are in order. Thank you to Andrew Burt and Critters dot org for sponsoring a contest that focuses their awards on the readers’ choices. Your contest is aptly named!
My deep appreciation goes to publishers Scot and Jane Noel for making “Shaken, Not Stirred” not only free to read, but also the featured story on their DreamForge Anvil website for 2021. Such visibility truly helps! Thank you for publishing my Super Secrets of Writing articles in every issue of DreamForge Anvil as well!
Heartfelt thanks go to publisher Juli Rew of Third Flatiron Publishing, who chose “Sophies Parisian Stationery and Parfumerie Magnifique”–my 24-hour story from the Writers of the Future Workshop–as the “anchoring story” of her anthology. And thanks to reviewer Eamonn Murphy at SFcrowsnest for reporting that the story was “damn good” and “an original idea and well-handled.”
Special thanks go to Fyrecon for inviting me to their convention last year as a master guest, and for featuring four of my Super Secrets master workshops as part of their programming. And I will always be grateful to Writers of the Future for creating a forum for writers to share their knowledge, which is where the Super Secrets began. Congratulations to Writers of the Future for winning Best Writers’ Forum! And to David Farland, my mentor. He would have been so happy to know the anthology he edited, Writers of the Future Vol. 37, won Best Anthology. He took great pride in that anthology.
Finally, my greatest thanks and happy howls go to the Wulf Pack–my workshop and fan club members that have supported me in my publishing endeavors. And to all of you that read my work, that supported my workshops, that voted in the awards, or just took the time to read this post. You’re on my friends’ list for a reason. It means “you’re one of my kind.”
The three-act structure. Greek philosopher Aristotle wrote about it. Why has this storytelling template been around for so long? Because it’s a simple framework, easy to see, easy to understand. Think about it. Every story has 1) a beginning, 2) a middle, and 3) an end. One, two, three. That sums up the three-act structure in a nutshell. Only, in the three-act structure, it’s called 1) Setup, 2) Confrontation, and 3) Resolution. Same thing. Simple, right? Simple tools are the best. Learn how to use this one by clicking HERE! It’s FREE!