Neil Gaiman said: “When (beta readers) tell you something is wrong or doesn’t work for them (in your writing), they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong.”

Yikes. Right?

To be clear, I think beta readers are awesome. They donate time and energy to help you out when you’re stuck. Receiving their perspective is an invaluable tool to resetting our essays and stories. But I have to say I agree with him. Probably the biggest lesson I’ve learned being a professional editor is that there are a million ways to fix a writing issue, and most of those solutions are going to be easier to execute than the first one that pops into your or your beta reader’s head. Just like our first drafts, our first solutions tend to be convoluted.

But here’s some advice that is always good: remember to read the submission guidelines before you press post or hit send, especially if you’re new around here. Have a favorite yeah writer or two? Why not ask them to be your writing partner? Everyone needs another set of eyes to point out the typos, word repetitions, content errors, and ungainly phraseologies in our posts.

Stay in the know: sign up for our mailer today! We promise not to spam you. Or stop by the coffeehouse and meet some of the people behind the words!

Prompt Up!

Prompt up is our optional weekly writing prompt for the fiction|poetry challenge! Here’s how it works: we choose a sentence prompt from last week’s winning nonfiction post and announce it in the kickoff. It’s your job to use that prompt in your poem or story and then run with it. The prompt is just a springboard, though: feel free to use it as your first sentence, move it, change it, or float down it to other territories.

Jan brought us to a statue in a park this week in her essay Cold Reality. The prompt up is: “There are spin-outs everywhere, cars smashed, people standing off to the side waiting for police.”

more prompts for you

Write—not sing, we promise—a ballade or check out the master class all around you in this month’s nonfiction know-how.

yeah write #298 fiction|poetry writing challenge is open for submissions!

Basic yeah write guidelines: 750 word limit; your entry can be dated no earlier than this past Sunday; fiction or poetry only.

How to submit and fully participate in the challenge:

  1. In the sidebar of this week’s post, please grab the code beneath the challenge grid badge and paste it into the HTML view of your entry
  2. Follow the InLinkz instructions after clicking “add your link” to upload your entry to this week’s challenge grid
  3. Your entry should appear immediately on the grid if you don’t receive an error message
  4. Please make the rounds to read all the entries in this week’s challenge
  5. Consider turning off moderated comments and CAPTCHA on your own blog

Submissions for this week’s challenges will close on Wednesday at 10pm ET. Voting will then open immediately thereafter and close on Thursday at 10pm ET. The winners, as always, will be celebrated on Friday.

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