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Oct 18, 2010, 1:34 AM

Post #651 of 710 (7910 views)
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Re: [Swamp Thing] professional review services Can't Post

I would go for her, too. She's the only one who looks you in the eye.

The others seem WAY too distracted...


six five four three two one 0 ->

(This post was edited by Junior Maas on Oct 18, 2010, 1:34 AM)


Swamp Thing
Jim Ryals

Oct 18, 2010, 10:52 AM

Post #652 of 710 (7893 views)
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Re: [Junior Maas] professional review services Can't Post

Never noticed that before, wonder if that's what attracted me in the first place.


jamilinzi


Oct 29, 2010, 11:47 AM

Post #653 of 710 (7727 views)
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Re: [Swamp Thing] professional review services Can't Post

Based on this recommendation, I bought the $35 package with MM. She said she'd get my story back to me by Friday, so I'm crossing my fingers for really good feedback!


Swamp Thing
Jim Ryals

Oct 29, 2010, 4:27 PM

Post #654 of 710 (7711 views)
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Re: [jamilinzi] professional review services Can't Post

Let me know what you think.

Thanks,

Jim


Pedro Eler


Oct 29, 2010, 10:35 PM

Post #655 of 710 (7688 views)
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Re: [Swamp Thing] professional review services Can't Post

This seems very interesting about Our Stories. Maybe I'll try that, but the problem is they charge 135 dollars for one story, not 35, as said above, which is cheap, I know, compared to other places you can go for a workshop, but still, for me it is kind of impossible right now...

...anyway, I wanted to know how you guys are planning to send your writing samples. Some of the universities I'm applying for ask that you send it via mail, so my question is, do I bind it or just a normal regular stapler would do the job?

Thanks!


Pedro Eler


Oct 29, 2010, 11:13 PM

Post #656 of 710 (7684 views)
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Re: [Swamp Thing] professional review services Can't Post

Oh, and also, I was just reading this blog this one guy wrote about his 'tips' for MFA applicants, and he said "ALWAYS send at least one story narrated in third person"... and it kind of freaked me out, since I'm sending two stories, BOTH narrated in first person, BY WOMEN charachters!! So... is his advice valid? I think he might have a point, I mean, sending two short stories in first person might indicate a lack of versatility... I don't know. What do you all think?


chicagofog


Oct 30, 2010, 12:29 AM

Post #657 of 710 (7675 views)
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Re: [Pedro Eler] professional review services Can't Post

My samples are also in first person and I consider it some of my best work (based on the feedback I've received). What do others think? Are we doomed?


alamana
Jennifer Brown


Oct 30, 2010, 7:51 AM

Post #658 of 710 (7661 views)
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Re: [Pedro Eler] professional review services Can't Post

Interesting about that advice to send a third person story. . . There are no hard and fast rules about anything, but. . .

I just put up on my blog advice for new fiction applicants based on my experience in a program over the last year, and it is on my list too--consider sending something in 3d person past.

You can see my thoughts on it in my blog post here:

http://jenniferkbrown.blogspot.com/2010/10/some-advice-for-applicants-to-fiction.html


Be regular and orderly in your life, that you may be violent and original in your work. -- Flaubert

http://www.jenniferkirkpatrickbrown.com


bighark


Oct 30, 2010, 9:39 AM

Post #659 of 710 (7653 views)
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Re: [Pedro Eler] professional review services Can't Post

Ughh. That's terrible advice. Completely baseless.

Send your best writing.


bighark


Oct 30, 2010, 9:44 AM

Post #660 of 710 (7652 views)
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Re: [Pedro Eler] professional review services Can't Post

Don't bind your writing sample. Use a paper clip or a binder clip. If the program specifically asks for a staple, use a staple.


Pedro Eler


Oct 30, 2010, 10:24 AM

Post #661 of 710 (7639 views)
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Re: [bighark] professional review services Can't Post

Alabama, I think it was your blog I read about the first person thing. I was kind of puzzled, because I had never thought of that before... I was wondering, why do you think that it's good to send at least one story in first person? You said that it was good to send one, but you didn't really explain why.

And bighark, I tend to agree with you. I wonder if the people reading the stories will really stop and think, "uh, no, two stories in first person... now this can't be a good writer". I particularly love first person narrative, I think it can be more insightful, sensible, and the narrative tends to move better, at least for me. And one of the stories I'm sending, I actually wrote it in third person, I kind of insisted on doing it like that, but it just wouldn't work, no matter how hard I tried, so I finally rewrote it in first person, and it become a much better story. So I think, at least, since I have no one here in Brazil who can read in english to give me feedback... LOL

Well, I guess that at this point of the game there is no more time to start second-guessing the manuscript. And bigghark, thanks for the advice, I was really going to bind the writing sample, but it's good to know that it's best to send it with a binder clip.


alamana
Jennifer Brown


Oct 30, 2010, 11:05 AM

Post #662 of 710 (7631 views)
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Re: [Pedro Eler] professional review services Can't Post

First off, Bighark is right, of courseóyou want to send your best work, period. And it sounds like you have very good reason to tell your stories in first person. No one is going to think ďoh no, two stories in first person. . . now this person canít be a good writer.Ē Plenty of people who submit only first person stories are going to get into great schools.

I said what I did on my blog because the third person past allows the writer to do things he or she canít do in first (and vice versa), and I think that applicants should think about that. Over the past year at school I have seen many stories originally drafted in first person that turned out to work better when revised into third at the suggestion of a professor.

Additionally, I have heard that the majority of stories submitted with applications are first personómany beginning with the word ďIĒ. Itís possible that it could pay off to submit something different than that.

Donít second-guess your manuscript. Like I said in my blog post, there are no rules, and Iím a beginning writer, too. I just wanted to share what Iíve learned over the past year--and part of that is that many stories work better in third and lots of application stories start with "I." Didnít mean for it to be controversial.


Be regular and orderly in your life, that you may be violent and original in your work. -- Flaubert

http://www.jenniferkirkpatrickbrown.com


Pedro Eler


Oct 30, 2010, 12:00 PM

Post #663 of 710 (7611 views)
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Re: [alamana] professional review services Can't Post


In Reply To
First off, Bighark is right, of courseóyou want to send your best work, period. And it sounds like you have very good reason to tell your stories in first person. No one is going to think ďoh no, two stories in first person. . . now this person canít be a good writer.Ē Plenty of people who submit only first person stories are going to get into great schools.

I said what I did on my blog because the third person past allows the writer to do things he or she canít do in first (and vice versa), and I think that applicants should think about that. Over the past year at school I have seen many stories originally drafted in first person that turned out to work better when revised into third at the suggestion of a professor.

Additionally, I have heard that the majority of stories submitted with applications are first personómany beginning with the word ďIĒ. Itís possible that it could pay off to submit something different than that.

Donít second-guess your manuscript. Like I said in my blog post, there are no rules, and Iím a beginning writer, too. I just wanted to share what Iíve learned over the past year--and part of that is that many stories work better in third and lots of application stories start with "I." Didnít mean for it to be controversial.




I completely get your point, and I think it is valid, which is why I even bothered to bring it up here. I mean, it is important to try and stay away from the obvious, because some programs reade thousands of stories every year, and you want to stand out... but utlimetly you'll stand out on the basis of your work alone... this whole 'person' thing can be very tricky... this one story I'm sending was orignally written in third, and then I thought it worked better in first, but honestly, I agree that it would be better to send one story in third person... it's just that the stories I've written in third person don't seem to me to be as good as the ones I've written in first... Actually... one of my stories is written in the second person and then at the end it shiftes to first... and the other is entirely written in first person... right now I fell like I'm gonna have to take the chance... LOL I really do...
Where do you go to alamana? I really liked your blog, by the way...


jamilinzi


Oct 30, 2010, 12:43 PM

Post #664 of 710 (7602 views)
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Re: [Pedro Eler] professional review services Can't Post


In Reply To
This seems very interesting about Our Stories. Maybe I'll try that, but the problem is they charge 135 dollars for one story, not 35, as said above, which is cheap, I know, compared to other places you can go for a workshop, but still, for me it is kind of impossible right now...


They actually do have a $35 package (thank god! because otherwise I'd never be able to afford it), it's just more hidden, at the bottom of this page: http://ourstories.us/...shops/workshops.html Scroll all the way down. It only includes one workshop, so you don't get to keep sending it back and forth, but that's all I can afford right now. I'll let you know how mine goes!

As far as the third person debate, I can see the merits of sending in something different, but I would not stress out about it *at all* if your stories aren't. I'm applying for creative nonfiction, so it's a different ballgame, but I would imagine that just whipping out a new story or re-imagining an older first person story into third person would be a) so much more work and b) possibly detrimental.


Pedro Eler


Oct 30, 2010, 9:30 PM

Post #665 of 710 (7567 views)
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Re: [jamilinzi] professional review services Can't Post


In Reply To

In Reply To
This seems very interesting about Our Stories. Maybe I'll try that, but the problem is they charge 135 dollars for one story, not 35, as said above, which is cheap, I know, compared to other places you can go for a workshop, but still, for me it is kind of impossible right now...


They actually do have a $35 package (thank god! because otherwise I'd never be able to afford it), it's just more hidden, at the bottom of this page: http://ourstories.us/...shops/workshops.html Scroll all the way down. It only includes one workshop, so you don't get to keep sending it back and forth, but that's all I can afford right now. I'll let you know how mine goes!

As far as the third person debate, I can see the merits of sending in something different, but I would not stress out about it *at all* if your stories aren't. I'm applying for creative nonfiction, so it's a different ballgame, but I would imagine that just whipping out a new story or re-imagining an older first person story into third person would be a) so much more work and b) possibly detrimental.



I'm starting to think that this whole 'send one third person short story' thing is horrible adivce... LOL

And that's actually very good, 35 dollars, reasonable price... I would do that, but honestly, by the time they give me some feedback I will have finished sending everything, so I feel there is not much time... or maybe there is... how much time do they take to write you back with feedback?? Do you know? And good luck with your feedback!


jamilinzi


Oct 31, 2010, 12:53 PM

Post #666 of 710 (7536 views)
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Re: [Pedro Eler] professional review services Can't Post

I sent it in on Wednesday and she said it would be done by this Friday, so a little over a week turnaround.


jamilinzi


Nov 2, 2010, 8:38 PM

Post #667 of 710 (7473 views)
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Re: [Swamp Thing] professional review services Can't Post

I got it back yesterday (Monday), so that was less than a week turnaround (I sent it on Wednesday). She was extremely helpful and her comments were very constructive-- lots of work for me to do!

As it was only $35, I would recommend Our Stories service to others.


Pedro Eler


Nov 3, 2010, 9:52 PM

Post #668 of 710 (7424 views)
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Re: [jamilinzi] professional review services Can't Post


In Reply To
I got it back yesterday (Monday), so that was less than a week turnaround (I sent it on Wednesday). She was extremely helpful and her comments were very constructive-- lots of work for me to do!

As it was only $35, I would recommend Our Stories service to others.



The Our Stories workshop is great. I used it too. I had to pay an extra 10 dollars, because my story was HUGE LOL, it had 9000 words, and now, after a great workshop, it's 6000 and much more muscular and efective! I used Justin Nicholes, he was really great! He was very honest, you know, almost brutally so, but that was great, because sometimes people tend to be too cautious when it comes to saying things about other people's writing, but he was a real pro, and he made my story much better in the end. I have a tendency to being verbose, and he taught me a lot too. I would strongly recommend him for anyone thinking of using the Our Stories workshop service.

How did it work for you jamilinzi?

Oh, and there was one thing he said that kind of scared me. He said that due to the bad economic situation in the US, a lot of people are applying to Creative Writing because there aren't as many jobs, and because of that this year will be even more competitive than the other years. MORE COMPETITIVE?? We're screwd!! LOL


Pedro Eler


Nov 6, 2010, 12:15 AM

Post #669 of 710 (7381 views)
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Re: [jamilinzi] professional review services Can't Post

Hello everyone,

I know this have been asked here before, but I couldn't find it in the search, so I am going to ask it again LOL

Cornell asks for a 12.000 words manuscript, but mine is currently 12.900 wors... now, is that a problem? Should I strictly follow the 12.000 words rule, or is it ok to go over it by something like a thousand words?

What do you guys think? Are the size of the manuscripts to be strictly obeyed?

Thanks for the help!!


bighark


Nov 6, 2010, 12:47 AM

Post #670 of 710 (7379 views)
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Re: [Pedro Eler] professional review services Can't Post

12,000 words is a lot, Pedro. Most schools ask for about 30 pages, which is half of that. Does your 12,900 represent a single story or a couple of different pieces?

I would counsel you to submit a smaller sample if it's possible. Use two stories instead of four. Submit a smaller novel excerpt rather than a longer one.

This isn't a strict interpretation of the rules issue as much as application strategy. Basically, two strong stories > two strong stories + 1 OK story.

Places like Cornell and Iowa and some others have some generous limits in terms of writing sample size, but be careful not to hang yourself with the extra rope.

Apart from that, I think you're ok if you're within a few pages of the guideline. Submitting 34 pages on a 30-page limit, for example, won't disqualify you or upset anybody terribly much. Submitting 45 pages on 30-page limit, on the other hand, is just rude.

In your case, going approxmately four pages over a 60-page limit is not a big deal. Still, you really, really should cut that down by half if it's possible.


Pedro Eler


Nov 6, 2010, 1:35 PM

Post #671 of 710 (7354 views)
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Re: [bighark] professional review services Can't Post


In Reply To
12,000 words is a lot, Pedro. Most schools ask for about 30 pages, which is half of that. Does your 12,900 represent a single story or a couple of different pieces?

I would counsel you to submit a smaller sample if it's possible. Use two stories instead of four. Submit a smaller novel excerpt rather than a longer one.

This isn't a strict interpretation of the rules issue as much as application strategy. Basically, two strong stories > two strong stories + 1 OK story.

Places like Cornell and Iowa and some others have some generous limits in terms of writing sample size, but be careful not to hang yourself with the extra rope.

Apart from that, I think you're ok if you're within a few pages of the guideline. Submitting 34 pages on a 30-page limit, for example, won't disqualify you or upset anybody terribly much. Submitting 45 pages on 30-page limit, on the other hand, is just rude.

In your case, going approxmately four pages over a 60-page limit is not a big deal. Still, you really, really should cut that down by half if it's possible.



Thanks for the help bighark!

I have been editing my stories lately, trying to make them more muscular and objective, and I'm really liking the results... but still, I have three stories that I love and that I feel complement each other beautifully and that I also think will make for a very strong manuscript for Cornell, but they have 12.900 words when combined, I think I can bring that down to 12.500, but not much more than that... I'll send them an email asking them what they think, if they are OK with 500 words more than the limit...

For other schools, schools that have a 30 page, 25 page limit, I'll be sending only two stories. It is not my favorite manuscript in the world, but I don't want to go over the limit if at all possible. Cornell might be the only place where I'll go over the limit, but I think that 500 words won't upset them too much.


thebarf


Nov 7, 2010, 10:36 PM

Post #672 of 710 (7305 views)
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Re: [terryjassen] professional review services Can't Post

I second this:


In Reply To
it would be great to read a writing sample from an accepted applicant just to get some feel for how it compares to my work. Does anyone know where I can find such a writing sample?


Anyone? If you answer and live in Toronto, there's a big bag of cashews in it for you :)


blob


Nov 8, 2010, 10:27 AM

Post #673 of 710 (7277 views)
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Re: [Pedro Eler] professional review services Can't Post

I've heard that going over the world limit won't get your application disqualified, but most people will stop reading at the limit. So it may not be worth sending more.

Also, just from a personal standpoint, if I was a reader and someone sent over the word limit, it would likely annoy me when I had piles and piles of reading to do and would likely taint my opinion of that applicant.


Pedro Eler


Nov 10, 2010, 9:51 AM

Post #674 of 710 (7180 views)
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Re: [blob] professional review services Can't Post

I've done some serious editing over the pass few days and now my Cornell manuscript is 12.090 words, so I should be fine. Plus, my stories are much better (when I started this whole editing process my manuscript had 19.500 words!!! So yeah, I've come a long way LOL).

I am finishing my manuscripts now, and I have one doubt. How are they supposed to be? Do I need to put my name in every page or just the first one? What other information should be on my manuscript?

Thanks for the help you guys!!

It's getting closer and closer! GRE in a week! Scared about that... LOL

Good luck to us all!


patrickdunn


Nov 10, 2010, 5:43 PM

Post #675 of 710 (7159 views)
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Re: [Pedro Eler] professional review services Can't Post

Hey Pedro,

I'm with you on the manuscript, although I'm not as close to being finished as you seem to be. I still have some editing and rewriting to go.

Some of the schools are more specific than others about the format of the writing sample. I forget where, but I have seen one that asked for a name on every page, so I'm planning on doing that.

Good luck on the GRE's. Is it bad that I'm not applying to schools that require GRE scores? I decided that I just didn't have the time to study AND finish the writing sample. Oh well!

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