The month of Valentine’s Day, that Hallmark holiday on which we celebrate love by honoring, um, either the Roman babymaking feast of Lupercalia (which was traditionally celebrated by killing a goat and a dog) or maybe a dude murdered for his religion. Super romantic! It’s also Black History Month. Yeah, you heard me. No name change. Because not all black people are African-American.
Those are two instances where a little research really changes the narrative, aren’t they? I bet you can think of more examples even in your own writing, where someone later pointed out a thing you hadn’t thought of, which changed the entire meaning of the story. That’s another reason it’s important to at least have someone glance over your work before you hit “publish!” Those details can really bite you in the… uh… the plot.
Details can also take your essay, story or poem from “well, that’s a thing you wrote” to the top of the popular vote each week. But it’s not all about 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![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]
Rowan’s roundup: yeah write weekly writing challenge #303
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[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Cindy already did such a great job wrapping up January that I guess I have nothing much to say except make sure to read February’s nonfiction knowhow and be ready to jump in next week when Cindy kicks off our little tag-team class. That means I get to focus on whatever I want for the roundup, so it’s time to talk about trimming the deadwood. I love a good aside as much as the next writer, but when you’ve finished writing you need to step back and look at your work and make sure there’s more story than side-story, backstory, or cute remark about story. Otherwise you can accidentally end up writing a story about telling the story you thought you were telling. Was that sentence convoluted? So’s your story, and now you’ve lost your reader’s interest.
If you get done writing and your ratio isn’t at least 2/3 story to 1/3 asides, it’s time to start pruning. Murder your darlings.[/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]I spend a lot of time talking about telling story outside the lines of the page. In fact, that’s one of the reasons I enjoyed Farewell from the Undercity so much this week. If you look at this story, all that actually happens is one character – about whom we know approximately “her name” – gets out of a car and hugs her brother. That’s it. That’s the whole plot. We don’t even have much about the world, except that there’s a patrol bot, which places the setting somewhere at “vaguely dystopian slight-to-distant future.” On the other hand, the story feels rich and developed. There’s a sense that a lot is happening just outside the reader’s field of view.
When you’re writing a story where most of the action and worldbuilding happens off the page, it’s important to balance that by putting enough on the page to hold the reader’s attention. Don’t get so drawn into the vignette you’re building that you forget to tell a story at all. While you can tell a story about a person staring at a wall for five minutes, it’s not usually the world’s greatest idea.[/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, 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![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]
Congratulations to the crowd favorites at yeah write #303
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]