[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Some days you’re the windshield, some days you’re the bug. Right?
I’ve been the bug all week, it feels like, or at least I caught the bug. The flu bug, that is. I’ve been flat on my back barely able to do more than read the grids; writing has been entirely out of the question. In fact, I had to download a new game on my iPad because my usual Bubble Pop was too hard.
Let’s all sit with that for a minute. Bubble Pop. Too hard.
Sometimes life forces us to take writing breaks, though, and I look forward to my brain turning back on and filling up with new ideas (instead of snot – it is definitely full of snot right now). Then maybe I can get back in the running to win that popular vote! In the meantime, you can make fun of my incoherency in this week’s Roundup. And just below that, I’m going to give you the popular vote results for the folks who did manage to write this week on both of our grids – nonfiction and fiction|poetry!
But it’s not all about the popular vote, folks. We also have our editorial staff picks to hand out. Every week our editors comb through your submissions looking for their favorites. Picks are based on writing quality, how successful the author is in conveying information, and just plain style. If you got a staff pick this week, grab your badge from the sidebar and wear it with pride!
Once you’re done reading through the staff picks (and congratulating the winners in the comments), keep scrolling down to check out the popular vote winners. If you earned the highest number of votes in either challenge, you are this week’s crowd favorite! If you came in first, second or third, you get “top three” honors. Grab your badge from our sidebar!
Looking for your badge? Both our challenges have the same winner, staff pick, and top three badges. It doesn’t clutter up our sidebar, and they’ll still look pretty on yours![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]
Yeah write #268 weekly writing challenge staff picks: nonfiction
[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Although writers probably use their families as the subject of nonfiction essays more than any other topic, the brothers, sisters, parents we know best in (and out of) our lives are probably the hardest to address. Often, we feel guilt, shame, anger, fear. In this short essay, Jan clearly feels she let her nephew down – in fact, she refers to her inability to serve as intermediary between her sister and nephew, saying, “So I left it there. Left it. Dropped it. No. Set it gently on the grass. And then I disappeared.” And later, imagining there could be a rope tying them to one another, she admits “it had fallen in a pile the day he died.” Dropping family relationships is hard enough but going back to pick up where you left off is equally daunting and Jan shows us the vulnerability and humility needed to get there.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”22653″ style=”vc_box_circle” title=”meg”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_separator][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]
Rowan’s roundup: yeah write weekly writing challenge #268
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[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Unless you’re writing a persuasive essay, your nonfiction writing is probably going to mostly involve events that you actually observed. But when you sit down to write about those events, it’s important to distinguish between stories about you and stories that you were just present for. If the story is about you, by all means talk about yourself, what you observed, how you felt. Check out Lisa’s post for a great example of a story about the writer this week. On the other hand, if your story only involves you because you were physically present, think about taking yourself out of the frame. Jan moves back and forth between these techniques beautifully in this week’s post – watch how she centers herself in the pieces of her story that are actually about her feelings and actions, and removes herself from the picture as she talks about occurrences far from her or people’s actions that don’t involve her. Nancy does the same thing, creating the sense of “reader as observer” that draws you into the structure of her story – a story that takes place mostly in the movie-picture frame of her windshield. As you re-read and edit your stories, ask yourself “is this really about me or is it about something I saw?” If it’s not about you, get yourself out of the way and let your reader see the story the way you saw it, without injecting a lot of “I felt, I thought, I think” into the picture.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”29344″ alignment=”center”][vc_column_text][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]
[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Hooboy. It’s been so long since we talked about voice that we’ve changed templates and all the posts look kinda funny now. And mostly we were talking about nonfiction. But fiction and poetry are also critically dependent on voice, and it seems like a few of us are struggling with what that means, so here’s your refresher.
Voice isn’t just about your characters’ diction, although that is important. It’s about writing with consistent and appropriate style and structure. That includes choosing words that feel natural in the sentence structure of the story, and using phrasing that your characters would actually use when speaking. It’s one thing for Lady Macbeth to say “[c]ome, thick night, and pall thee in the dunnest smoke of hell, that my keen knife see not the wound it makes nor heaven peep through the blanket of the dark,” but another entirely for Xena, Warrior Princess to say it. Xena would probably say something more like “is it dark enough to stab the king yet?”
Look at individual words, too. If your story is dark and dramatic you may want to use the word “daylight” instead of the more cheerful “sunshine,” and if you’re writing a children’s or YA story make sure your vocabulary is consistent with your intended audience. Conversely, if you’re writing for an adult audience or with an adult subject matter, a “perky” voice full of simple words and phrases may be inappropriate. Whatever voice you pick, though, be consistent. If you find either your characters or your narrative voice lapsing into “dying wizard mode” sometimes and “Chuck Norris mode” at others, you’re probably not writing with consistent voice.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”29345″ alignment=”center”][vc_column_text][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_separator][vc_column_text]That’s it for this week! Remember, we don’t always give out a pick on every grid; if we were impressed by several posts on one grid, we’ll give them all picks, and if nothing really stood out for us on another grid, we’ll hold off. If you didn’t get a pick this week, read back through the roundup to see if you can use some of this week’s tips and tricks.
If you’re lost in the middle of the grid and wondering how you can get a little more feedback on your posts, check out our membership perks!
Everybody: before you go, please take some time to leave your favorites a little love in the comments, and don’t forget, our weekend grid opens tonight at 6pm Eastern US Time![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]
Congratulations to the crowd favorites at yeah write #268
The thumbnails are now sorted in order of most votes to fewest. Ties in the overall number of votes are broken by number of editor votes.
Congratulations if you’re at or near the top! Writing well is hard work, and we’re honored you’ve chosen us this week to showcase your entry.
If you’re at or near the bottom, don’t be discouraged. You’re in the right community for learning and growing as a writer, and we are always available with resources for those who ask nicely.
To our readers and voters: thank you! See you next week.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]