Everything is on my last @#$#@#$ nerve this morning.
My spouse is sick, which means a lot of dramatic coughing but also talking for two solid hours about nothing at all (just kidding! it was the same thing over and over again!) like an exhausted toddler. The dog wants to go out but all she wants to do when she gets there is bark. The cat is having some sort of allergic reaction and is covered in a crust of scabs which he can’t stop licking, loudly.
I’m trying to hold onto the fact that it’s pumpkin spice season with both hands and all ten broken fingernails including the one that has a snag that I can’t seem to file off and that keeps catching on my knitting.
So let’s take a cheer-up break and focus on this week’s winners. Whether it’s hard work on the nonfiction knowhow or poetry slam, or just plain inspiration, writing this week means you accomplished something. Which is a lot more than some people who just went back to bed with the %$#@ dog can say.
But it’s not just about throwing something onto the grid for the popular vote at yeah write, folks. We also have our editorial staff picks to hand out. See, while there’s a popular vote winner every week, we don’t always give out a staff pick. Picks are based on writing quality, how successful the author is in conveying information, and just plain style. Some weeks, the editors will comb through the grids and nothing really stands out for us. Maybe the best stories had a bunch of typos or the grammatically perfect ones didn’t have much there there. You’ve really got to nail the details of both elements – structure and storytelling – to earn a staff pick. The great part is that we don’t have a finite number of picks to hand out. That means that if two, three, five, or even all the works on one grid are fantastic, we can give them all kudos.
On weeks when the grids are unmoderated, you can check out the Roundup, where I try to identify trends and troubles that show up for more than one writer on the grid. If you’re curious why there’s no pick, there’s usually a clue in the Roundup why that post you liked didn’t make the cut. Then keep scrolling down to check out who won the popular vote on both grids. 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? Our challenges share the same winner, staff pick, and top three badges. It doesn’t clutter up our sidebar, and they’ll still look pretty on yours!
Rowan’s roundup: yeah write weekly writing challenge #283
Nonfiction storytelling is both easy and hard. Easy in that you already know the story; heck, you’ve probably told it at a party or two, you’ve got your schtick down, you know when to pause for dramatic effect and which words to put emphasis on. Hard because you want to write it the way you say it, and now you’re stuck trying to figure out a formatting scheme that sounds like your natural voice.
Overusing formatting tricks is a quick way to bore your reader. The more effort their eyes are putting in to understand your page, the less they have to spare for enjoying your story. If you’ve got more than one or two bold or italicized words, frequent extra spaces between paragraphs, entire swaths of indent and parenthesized material… or fifty ellipses? It’s too much. Good written storytelling isn’t that different from good verbal storytelling. When you overdramatize every word in your story the reader loses focus. Dial it back, and let the story speak for itself.
When we pick out the poetry slams every month, there’s always a lingering question: will anyone play along? We’re super excited to see so many folks trying a triolet, but it looks like an awful lot of you are struggling with the explanation of the form. That’s on me. So here’s Rowan’s TL;dr Guide To Triolets:
- every line must have the same number of syllables. Usually 8.
- the lines should have emphasized syllables falling in the same place as every other line. Usually on beats 2,4,6, and 8.
- lines 1, 4 and 7 are exactly the same.
- lines 2 and 8 are exactly the same.
- lines 3 and 5 rhyme with line 1 but are not the same.
- line 6 rhymes with line 2 but is not the same.
If your poem doesn’t meet these criteria it’s not a triolet. Yet. But that’s ok: you can try again! It’s a tricky little form and it takes some editing to get right. Remember: scansion, rhyme, pattern of lines. You’ll be fine.
That’s it for this week, so let’s move on to the popular vote results. 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!
Congratulations to the crowd favorites at yeah write #283
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.