Before you start getting into this week's topic: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/814969.html
just stop and celebrate that for a moment. Let it sink in.
Jack Foster sent along comments for a couple people - and if you are one of them I will include that bit in with your "in danger" "safe" or "very safe" standing in the Gatekeeper round. I should probably note here that only *2* of you were "very safe".
Which brings me to something else he had in that email - which is always good advice and something that I've been pushing here and in the Killing Floor. But it's never a bad thing to hear it from a stranger:
"Hi and thank you for inviting me to your party. This was a lot of fun.
One note in general: you guys should be editing each other; the comment section is great for that. To be clear, I don’t mean critiquing, but editing. Some of you are very tight and you should be helping the other ones out. No need to be pedantic, just “hey, how about a semicolon after that second sentence” or “perhaps that line would read better as two independent clauses”. The more you watch for it in other people the better you get at seeing it in your own; I, for example, love to comma splice, I’m doing it now, I’m all but blind to them. A good edit is always best from a second pair of eyes and this is a great place for that. Just do it kindly J"
elledanger added something of her own in her email: "I really enjoyed the entries that opened strongly and within the first two paragraphs were able to demonstrate an economy and precision in their story telling. Unlike entries that used that same space for world building or pre-ambles; if you're going to tell me it gets better 500 words in, please, you need to cut those first 500 words. This is because the good entries have already gotten my attention and good will in the same amount of time that I've gotten distracted and bored with those I didn't enjoy. And it takes spectacular writing to win me around once I'm bored."
If you take a look at the Gatekeeper comments http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/814499.html there are themes there. Things you SHOULD be doing. Things you SHOULD NOT be doing. Listen to them. Take them to heart and then follow the one biggest piece of advice you are hearing: Your Work Needs to Take Risks. This isn't the time of the competition to play it safe. It's the time to knock that door down and declare "I'm going to win this thing and here's why".