kais

Lounge II (The Lounge Strikes Back)

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I'm looking for short story resources. I'm applying for a private tutoring position for a 7th grader attempting to win the Scholastic Writing Awards contest. I want to be well prepared if I get an interview and, further more, if I get the job. Unless the student is aiming to enter in the novel category, most categories are maximum 3,000 words. 

Any good resources out there? 

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12 minutes ago, Snakenaps said:

I'm looking for short story resources. I'm applying for a private tutoring position for a 7th grader attempting to win the Scholastic Writing Awards contest. I want to be well prepared if I get an interview and, further more, if I get the job. Unless the student is aiming to enter in the novel category, most categories are maximum 3,000 words. 

Any good resources out there? 

What's that competition? it seems fun, though I don't think that, if I were starting (in kind of polish version), I would be good enough to pass the first stage...:wacko:

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7 minutes ago, Emi said:

What's that competition? it seems fun, though I don't think that, if I were starting (in kind of polish version), I would be good enough to pass the first stage...:wacko:

I'm just learning about it myself. Here's the most helpful link I have found: https://www.artandwriting.org/what-we-do/the-awards/categories/#55

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Posted (edited)

Seems to me that there's no real shortcut to reading a bunch of correct or classical short stories. Although the competition refers to a 3,000 word limit, SFWA goes up to 7,500 words for 'short story'. I reckon that reading the Hugo and Nebula-nominated and winning (of course) short stories would be a good place to start. If it were me, I'd probably go back to the Writing Excuses episodes that are tagged 'short story' and 'short fiction' too.

16 hours ago, Snakenaps said:

attempting to win the Scholastic Writing Awards contest

That seems like a tall order. Apart from anything else, the judging of short stories is a fairly fickle business, I reckon. How many entrants are there? It seems a very specific tutoring position, like someone looking for a tutor to help them win Who Wants to be a Millionaire? Good luck!!

Does the kid have any background in writing, and in writing fiction? Starting from scratch would be...hard. I reckon you should be interviewing them. Does the kid have a voice, do they have anything to say? Any flare for words?

Edited by Robinski
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5 hours ago, Robinski said:

Does the kid have any background in writing, and in writing fiction? Starting from scratch would be...hard. I reckon you should be interviewing them. Does the kid have a voice, do they have anything to say? Any flare for words?

5 hours ago, Robinski said:

Seems to me that there's no real shortcut to reading a bunch of correct or classical short stories.

It's a hard life when I have to read for research ;)

5 hours ago, Robinski said:

That seems like a tall order. Apart from anything else, the judging of short stories is a fairly fickle business, I reckon. How many entrants are there? It seems a very specific tutoring position, like someone looking for a tutor to help them win Who Wants to be a Millionaire? Good luck!!

I would assume that they are trying to win, but the job description says, "The student's specific goal is participating in the Scholastic Writing Awards contest..." It seems to be an incredibly popular middle school/high school contest. 

Mobile won't move you quote down about the kid's skills!

Frankly, I have no clue about who the student is or whether they can actually write. There is none of that in the job description. I'm honestly on the edge about this, because the pay rates are screaming, "Too good to be true." The minimum payment per hour is double what I charge normally, and it goes up with experience. But this is also too good to pass up without regret, so I've got to try. If the kid is unsalvageable, I simply won't accept the job. 

With the number of teachers and substitutes needing a little cash, this job is like a gold mine. I assume there are a lot of people trying to get this position, and my lack of experience will quickly drop me out of the race. I mean, hell, I only graduated out of college in May 2019. I don't exactly have years of experience. But if you don't try, the answer is already no. 

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13 hours ago, Snakenaps said:

correct* or classical

* current (of course) - pah.

13 hours ago, Snakenaps said:

The student's specific goal is participating in the Scholastic Writing Awards contest

Ah! That's much more attainable, phew.

13 hours ago, Snakenaps said:

But this is also too good to pass up without regret, so I've got to try.

Most definitely. I was concerned that the brief was 'Help my kid win the competition', which would be like, really?

13 hours ago, Snakenaps said:

teachers and substitutes needing a little cash

Yes, maybe some published writers too. Good experience going for the application too, I suppose. Very occasionally someone puts a synopsis or submission letter up here for comment, so if it would be of any benefit at all, I'm sure you'd get some input on here, if that was of any help.

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21 minutes ago, Robinski said:

Yes, maybe some published writers too. Good experience going for the application too, I suppose. Very occasionally someone puts a synopsis or submission letter up here for comment, so if it would be of any benefit at all, I'm sure you'd get some input on here, if that was of any help.

I haven't updated my resume or written a cover letter in a year, so at the very least this is good practice to get back into the game. And you are completely right, good experience. This is the first time I've applied to a job that wasn't purely educational since working retail (fun fact, I know way too much about yo-yo's). Considering I don't think I want to become a teacher now, it's important to start stretching myself. 

*deep, dramatic voice* I'm becoming a real adult now. 

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1 minute ago, Snakenaps said:

I know way too much about yo-yo's

:o

1 minute ago, Snakenaps said:

I'm becoming a real adult now.

Let me know if you get the hang of it; I could use some pointers :lol: 

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17 minutes ago, Robinski said:

:o

Let me know if you get the hang of it; I could use some pointers :lol: 

Yo-yo fact one:

There are three main types of yo-yo's:

1) Responsive: the classic yo-yo, which comes back up with a tug. 

2) Unresponsive: the yo-yo's which do not come back up with a tug, but need a "bind". A bind is a move that reverses the spin of the yo-yo's axle to allow it to move up the string and back into the hand. 

3) Off-string: a large yo-yo that isn't attached to the string at all, and is lassoed. 

Yo-yo's are actually really awesome and complex, but I am not good at it. I AM good at getting knots out. 

Adult Tip: Today I learned that the California tenant guidelines suggest replacing the carpet every 8-10 years for normal wear and tear. Now if only I can succeed in convincing my apartment complex in replacing mine...

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1 minute ago, Snakenaps said:

I AM good at getting knots out.

Lol. That is one of my jobs too. I am a registered necklace detangler.

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18 minutes ago, Robinski said:

Lol. That is one of my jobs too. I am a registered necklace detangler.

This is an incredibly important and underappreciated skill. 

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Posted (edited)

On 5/15/2020 at 1:28 PM, Snakenaps said:

Any good resources out there? 

https://worldbuilding.stackexchange.com and https://writing.stackexchange.com

Worldbuilding is a Q&A site devoted to worldbuilding, mostly sci-fi and fantasy worlds, but a few other ones as well. The Writing one focuses on writing and story crating, which Wolrdbuilding explicitly does not do. Both of those are good resources for writing stories, and assuming you ask a well-written and thought out question, you should get a plethora of good answers. Plus, I'm pretty active on World Building myself, so if you need help navigating the site or anything of that nature, just ask. I can't help so much on Writing, though.

Edited by aeromancer
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5 hours ago, aeromancer said:

https://worldbuilding.stackexchange.com and https://writing.stackexchange.com

Worldbuilding is a Q&A site devoted to worldbuilding, mostly sci-fi and fantasy worlds, but a few other ones as well. The Writing one focuses on writing and story crating, which Wolrdbuilding explicitly does not do. Both of those are good resources for writing stories, and assuming you ask a well-written and thought out question, you should get a plethora of good answers. Plus, I'm pretty active on World Building myself, so if you need help navigating the site or anything of that nature, just ask. I can't help so much on Writing, though.

Thanks, @aeromancer ! I haven't heard of this site before! I'll check it out!

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@Robinski I thought of you today while reading A Cook's Tour by Anthony Bourdain. Not only was this chapter about Glasglow and Scotland, but it mentioned your Irn-Bru. 

-vqfmph-hjgP4Ecux5YhtrUIGx0zf95qtkykTUSG7d59DtmuLzPYKqB4ztt6EWXs8oYO2MjF-YaP8QfGP4G1mEBZsNxgqm29Ia2BgyKsDLeMTtU6VQwXWFW89zN1b66a09J-SFt4iTYgCbFsIO3KgkwhH_CpbYR2Lf7xzdmAJhxRwdUUVC0lLlJoSw3kWxxZub5C3G04sjmmGHwEUXZc_wkr0JtQFw1oPnTc6mY8raIIc_si2BoIiJAsK1_IDt2TIcmPZsZZMNmXsQ4kWjwUsaZ6oafbJ9EtavTpqGK4SaGFNnE8oaXZjV5eJBng31wmsClxKkmOnxdJTMV-h6Qqq--32B6D-YqBzBDuq6E2QXS2251OavJbsYySbHeU5DaKvEEKEEHeI7GAPBdqFhcTKvO7Uw8vww00wEMTVMrNvd7dEuM3emVg0sQHpMSHgKZhl9-orEnaZnpJ_6af-5wRLBm4350Fg6yTN1jLnO5puH9mWp_bKEIClIpw822MUan_s4thFuOIuISnMb8J_mnagQf3pwSbgjxHnwYNdDdtkW8EFuQMC6HtnL4BFd925uAGZEz3DXlWEVQ4A2r0APKUc3hzHRSmB5OAdP013hd-HlFtvyffXJWRw-62URC6ltCqIPtwbXaf_u7JvBr8Nx_sz53-eayrkJULf7YyNRk5n5axdlEV5UyEiZ-h2FaIZR0=w695-h926-no?authuser=0

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Posted (edited)

Lol, yes. All the classics are there. Heartwarming to see them in print (shortly before the heart expands to the size of a super nova then implodes).

Buckfast is one of the tipples of choice of jakeys and neds throughout Scotland. Fortified wine loaded with caffeine. Very easy to drink, rather sweet from recollection (I have sampled it for research purposes). The recognisable brand is a common sight of a morning, abandoned in city centre decorative planters, gutters, etc.

5ec4d9e822517_ScreenShot2020-05-20at08_15_28.thumb.png.1ce8bf79f42c2495fea814c3e366c33d.png  

As for the king rib; ah, yes, a true delicacy. Almost guaranteed never to have been anywhere near an animal's ribcage until consumed by a human (or urban fox).

5ec4da7912f5e_ScreenShot2020-05-20at08_16_42.thumb.png.6ddc074a7bfa80a4c28f9451c356d5d0.png

Edited by Robinski
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15 hours ago, Robinski said:

Lol, yes. All the classics are there. Heartwarming to see them in print (shortly before the heart expands to the size of a super nova then implodes).

If you have never read A Cook's Tour, Bourdain has some incredibly wonderful things to say about Scotland. I'm sure you would find much more familiarity in it than I would, though, since, you know, you actually live there. 

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7 hours ago, Snakenaps said:

If you have never read A Cook's Tour, Bourdain has some incredibly wonderful things to say about Scotland. I'm sure you would find much more familiarity in it than I would, though, since, you know, you actually live there. 

Good tip, I've written that down on a piece of paper, so that's a guarantee, of some kind.

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Well, I've failed. I swore to myself I was going to focus on my art and not revise until June 1st. I was trying to give myself enough time so that I could look at my manuscript with fresh eyes. I was getting so burnt out and frustrated in March on Draft Two, that I wanted to give myself a break and work on art and other story ideas. Which apparently now involves 1880's West Pennsylvanian coal mines and Judaism, if anyone knows anything about either one.

But...I didn't make it. There's five days to go until June 1st, and I had the revising itch so bad I couldn't resist. I'm not emotionally attacking it, which was a concern I felt the critiques were going to cause (and they did, at the beginning). But now I'm enthusiastically jumping into revisions without feeling like I'm just reacting to everyone's thoughts and opinions.

I feel good about my story. I feel excited. I think that maybe now revising will become something that I enjoy, instead of a chore. Mostly, I think it is because of you all. Because when Draft Three has issues, I won't be staring at the page going, "Something's off, I can feel it." I'll have people to go, "Hey man, totally agree, XYZ is off on this sentence." More so, I am eager to create a beautiful Draft Three that I can show you all and go, "Remember that thing that didn't work??? Look at this new awesomeness!!!" 

So I guess I'd like to just say thanks for getting the fire burning back in me. Joining this group was the best idea I've ever had. 

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2 hours ago, Snakenaps said:

Joining this group was the best idea I've ever had. 

Yay!!

2 hours ago, Snakenaps said:

1880's West Pennsylvanian coal mines and Judaism

*Raises hand* I believe I hold the forum's resident Judaism card. But I'm like...the diet coke version. Super reformed. I observe the high holy days and the commercialized Chanukah version. I get drunk off my arse on Purim. That's about it.

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9 minutes ago, kais said:

Yay!!

*Raises hand* I believe I hold the forum's resident Judaism card. But I'm like...the diet coke version. Super reformed. I observe the high holy days and the commercialized Chanukah version. I get drunk off my arse on Purim. That's about it.

You may end up being very helpful. I've got this crazy idea about Jewish mysticism and reincarnation, but it's pretty much about this New York man who does it absolutely wrong and ends up raising up these twisted, evil golems. I'm okay with getting a little bit wrong, because the MC is a weak Christian and it was his dead wife who was Jewish, but I am petrified I'm going to make some stupidly obvious, incredibly offensive mistake. If this turns out promising, I'll end up hiring a Jewish sensitivity writer and some 1800's coal mining expert before querying it. I figure I have a long way to go, though, since I have an idea for the beginning, and idea for the end, and absolutely no middle. I'm currently in research phase. I must say, I find gematria fascinating. It's like numerology on steroids. 

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14 hours ago, Snakenaps said:

So I guess I'd like to just say thanks for getting the fire burning back in me. Joining this group was the best idea I've ever had. 

I'm happy to hear this! I'm very happy you are in the group! 

 

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15 hours ago, Snakenaps said:

But...I didn't make it. There's five days to go until June 1st, and I had the revising itch so bad I couldn't resist. I'm not emotionally attacking it, which was a concern I felt the critiques were going to cause (and they did, at the beginning). But now I'm enthusiastically jumping into revisions without feeling like I'm just reacting to everyone's thoughts and opinions.

I feel good about my story. I feel excited. I think that maybe now revising will become something that I enjoy, instead of a chore. Mostly, I think it is because of you all. Because when Draft Three has issues, I won't be staring at the page going, "Something's off, I can feel it." I'll have people to go, "Hey man, totally agree, XYZ is off on this sentence." More so, I am eager to create a beautiful Draft Three that I can show you all and go, "Remember that thing that didn't work??? Look at this new awesomeness!!!" 

So I guess I'd like to just say thanks for getting the fire burning back in me. Joining this group was the best idea I've ever had.

Yay! So glad you're here. Your critiques are very helpful. 

I really love being able to dive into revisions with a clear idea of what I need to do, rather than just staring at the page. For me, draft 3 and 4 is when things really start to shine. I'm really looking forward to what you do with the story. There is so much cool stuff in there and I've been scrolling through your drawings as well. I'd love to see this published!

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@Snakenaps I know a bit about Judaism myself, let me share some of that knowledge.

13 hours ago, Snakenaps said:

I've got this crazy idea about Jewish mysticism and reincarnation, but it's pretty much about this New York man who does it absolutely wrong and ends up raising up these twisted, evil golems. I'm okay with getting a little bit wrong, because the MC is a weak Christian and it was his dead wife who was Jewish, but I am petrified I'm going to make some stupidly obvious, incredibly offensive mistake. If this turns out promising, I'll end up hiring a Jewish sensitivity writer and some 1800's coal mining expert before querying it.

Jewish mysticism is definitely in the running for the most misunderstood series of concepts because authors and creators have a tendency to grab them for whatever given work they're working on and twisting them to match, whereupon people who consume those works then walk away with a whole set of misunderstandings and then the cycle just repeats itself. (I'm not even going to pretend that I understand it to any significant degree, but I'm quite content in my knowledge that I don't know anything about it.) This isn't even including the times that Christian influences were inserted into certain aspects of the mysticisms which where then portrayed as 'Judeo-Christian', and is then shortened back down to just 'Judeo' during cultural osmosis, which also lead to a whole lot of misunderstandings. Long story short, unless you actually talk to someone with firsthand knowledge of everything and a willingness to explain to you, it's very likely you'll get a lot of important concepts somewhat muddled. I've also heard it said that the general rule of thumb about these kinds of things is 'those who know don't say and those who say don't know', so finding someone with firsthand knowledge who's actually willing to share it with you for the sake of a work of fiction is going to be difficult.

Also, it's considered a very serious taboo among Orthodox sects of Judaism to marry outside the faith. The Reform movements did begin in the 1800s, but it's my understanding (I may be wrong, @kais might know more) that they also had a taboo against intermarriage at that point in time. I'm not saying intermarriage didn't happen, but it would definitely be considered offensive in the 1800s to any group of religious Jews. Furthermore, I can't say much on the concept of reincarnation in Judaism except I'm pretty sure that there isn't a concept of a human being able to do it. Finally, and bear with me here - golems can't be evil. (At least, I'm pretty sure they can't.) There's this weird pervasive myth that was popularized that golems, specifically, the golem of Prague, turned evil, except if you try to look at the basis of those legends, they're all from unrepudiated sources, generally secular novels that decided to do it for the sake of shock during a story. (It's my, granted limited, understanding that Golems functioned similar to automatons and didn't have free will of their own.) Given that was precisely the type of cultural mistake you're trying to avoid, I'd really recommend taking a good step back and trying to do some heavy research on the subject or possibly switching to an alternate form of mysticism.

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1 hour ago, Mandamon said:

I'd love to see this published!

Yes, @Snakenaps, very glad that you are here.

The more I read of Name then more I am convinced that it deserves to be published. I'm no expert in that area, but I think it has a very strong sense of identity, of place (up to a point), and of character. It's actually quite refreshing to read a character that is good, thoughtful, caring and has a strong (sense of) family bonds. So much in fiction now is about antiheroes and gritty, grim, darkness. I enjoy the sense of hope that runs through Name, and I'd love to see you have a good go at getting it in print :) 

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1 hour ago, aeromancer said:

Also, it's considered a very serious taboo among Orthodox sects of Judaism to marry outside the faith. The Reform movements did begin in the 1800s, but it's my understanding (I may be wrong, @kais might know more) that they also had a taboo against intermarriage at that point in time. I'm not saying intermarriage didn't happen, but it would definitely be considered offensive in the 1800s to any group of religious Jews. Furthermore, I can't say much on the concept of reincarnation in Judaism except I'm pretty sure that there isn't a concept of a human being able to do it. Finally, and bear with me here - golems can't be evil. (At least, I'm pretty sure they can't.) There's this weird pervasive myth that was popularized that golems, specifically, the golem of Prague, turned evil, except if you try to look at the basis of those legends, they're all from unrepudiated sources, generally secular novels that decided to do it for the sake of shock during a story. (It's my, granted limited, understanding that Golems functioned similar to automatons and didn't have free will of their own.) Given that was precisely the type of cultural mistake you're trying to avoid, I'd really recommend taking a good step back and trying to do some heavy research on the subject or possibly switching to an alternate form of mysticism.

*spontaneously appears*

I knew there was be a reason my brain told me to open this thread!

Orthodox Jew here. Full disclaimer: I'm a teenager. My knowledge on these things isn't complete and more lacking than it should be. I've never learnt kaballah, which is mysticism, since there's a thing against learning it till you're 40 for fear of misunderstanding and losing faith. Finding a kabbalist who knows stuff and is willing to share that knowledge might prove difficult because of that, but still possible.

Reincarnation is very ingrained in kaballah. There is, however, a concept of a soul, a neshama, (which is part of God, sort of?) and that they cycle. I'd be hesitant to call it reincarnation, though.

14 hours ago, Snakenaps said:

You may end up being very helpful. I've got this crazy idea about Jewish mysticism and reincarnation, but it's pretty much about this New York man who does it absolutely wrong and ends up raising up these twisted, evil golems. I'm okay with getting a little bit wrong, because the MC is a weak Christian and it was his dead wife who was Jewish, but I am petrified I'm going to make some stupidly obvious, incredibly offensive mistake. If this turns out promising, I'll end up hiring a Jewish sensitivity writer and some 1800's coal mining expert before querying it. I figure I have a long way to go, though, since I have an idea for the beginning, and idea for the end, and absolutely no middle. I'm currently in research phase. I must say, I find gematria fascinating. It's like numerology on steroids. 

Gematria can be fun, if quite convoluted at times.

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