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I Just Joined Vocal - Here's What's Happening

by KD Fox 2 months ago in Creators · updated 2 months ago
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I'll give regular updates on my Vocal Media experience!

Vocal Media Shoutout made by author

Vocal Media had intrigued me for months. I'd been a regular Medium contributor, but something about Vocal just tugged at my heart. I liked the personal feel of it. The writing challenges excited me to no end. And the entire vibe just felt amazing. It felt like home. So, I decided to join. In fact, I just bought a year-long subscription, hoping for a good fit and much success (fingers crossed).

What's my progress so far?

Stories

I just submitted my 10th story, with five already published. It's taken anywhere from 1-3 days for my stories to get published. I read Vocal's instructions, so this amount of time didn't surprise me. I waited patiently, and, sure enough, my stories are getting published as quickly as Vocal Media promised. Thanks, Vocal!

I'm a little confused about the communities and the tags after the communities. I have a feeling that there is some secret knowledge on which communities to publish in (some of the communities are vaguely named, and I had trouble figuring out which best fit some of my stories). I feel that picking the exactly correct community and the exactly correct tags available after choosing that community are crucial to my success. I just wish I knew more about the strategy needed here.

I love the simplicity of how easy it is to create a story. The tools are simple and easy to understand. I didn't have to stop to research or look up a single thing. Vocal Media made it easy. Thank you for that, Vocal!

Perhaps the last thing I could use a little guidance on is what to put as a subtitle. I hope some of you will take a look at my stories, read the subtitles (and titles) to give me some valuable feedback. I'm not sure I have the gist of what would work best as a subtitle.

Challenges

In addition, I've submitted stories to two writing challenges! I'm super excited! My first writing challenge was "The Runaway Train." I submitted at the last minute - I mean, literally, the last minute - at 11:59pm on the deadline date. However, Vocal made certain that my story was included in the challenge.

Photo by Kevin Malik: https://www.pexels.com/photo/the-word-original-on-crumpled-paper-9017731/

I have to admit that, once the deadline for "The Runaway Train" passed, I began to look at the entries. My hand hit my forehead when I saw how many stories had been submitted. Wow. Well, nothing is going to keep me from trying. I plan to enter every single Vocal Media challenge for an entire year. I'll keep you updated!

For "The Runaway Train," I read several stories that had been entered before I began writing. I noticed more than one entry used ideas that I had already thought of. Uh, oh. This was going to be harder than I thought.

So, I went back to the prompt:

Write a story about someone who wakes up on a train. They have no ticket and no memory of how they got there. Oh, and one more thing: the train shows no signs of slowing down.

Hmmm. I decided that I would veer from the obvious and go in a whole different direction. People were expecting intrigue, suspense, mystery. They expected the story to open with someone waking up on a train. I flipped those expectations all around, having my character wake up on the train in the middle of the story, and I used humor and fantasy instead. Will it work? Hey, I figure my effort is as worthwhile as anyone else's! If you'd like to read my entry for "The Runaway Train," please click here (The White Suit Version).

Today, I entered my second Vocal Media challenge, "New Worlds." The prompt presented as follows:

For this Challenge, look to the stars and write the first chapter of an exciting new science fiction story. We are providing the first sentence to get you started. Be advised, space explorer: you must use the sentence below to start your mission into the unknown.

Here's the first sentence:

Nobody can hear a scream in the vacuum of space, or so they say.

As long as your story begins with this line, every detail is up to you. The sky is the limit—or should we say the galaxy’s edge? Good luck out there. See you on the other side of the universe.

This challenge is different. It's asking for the first chapter of a science fiction novel, and it just so happens that I am in the middle of writing one! Therefore, I used my already-written first chapter, tweaking it to meet the requirements.

I'd love to know if any of you would like to read more chapters. A quick summary of my sci-fi novel:

Lennan is a senior in high school living with his father. Although the official story is that his mother was killed in a car crash with six year old Len as the only passenger, Lennan's memories of that moment are far different from the story being told. He keeps this to himself since his attempts at telling the truth as a six year old were fruitless.

After an argument with his father one late night, Lennan retreats to his bedroom. Full of rage and pain, Len puts his fist through the back wall of his open closet and sinks to the floor. When he finally lifts his head, he is filled with terror and amazement. After running to his window to reassure himself that it is, indeed, nighttime, Len turns to investigate the sunlight shining brilliantly through the newly-made hole.

The link to my first chapter entry for the Vocal Challenge "New Worlds" is here (The Moment Particle).

Customer Service

Because my first challenge entry was made less than a minute before the deadline, I contacted Vocal customer service to make certain my entry succeeded in getting into the contest. I was so pleased to have customer service respond within 24 hours to let me know that my story, indeed, was entered into the challenge. Sweet relief!

My next customer service experience was when I emailed to see if I could make a change to my photo that is required for the story. I found I could edit photos further down in the story, but that first required photo had no way to change it. In the same email that verified my entry into the challenge, the customer service rep explained in detail how I could change the photo by having Vocal revert the story to draft. He explained that doing this would not affect my challenge entry whatsoever.

I'm truly 100% pleased with the fast, detailed customer service response. I found that emailing customer service was fast and effective. Probably the only thing that would beat it would be an immediate chat feature. In any case, I was not disappointed with my customer service experience in this regard.

Final Comments

I'd be so grateful if you'd ❤️ this review. Also, please click here to read more of my writing and subscribe to my publications. Feel free to leave a much-appreciated tip or small, recurring pledge if my words move or enlighten you in some way as I work hard to become a writer extraordinaire. I can't thank you enough!

Free Use - Public Domain

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About the author

KD Fox

KD Fox has been writing creatively since she could put pen to paper.

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