Let it… rain

Here in the Pacific Northwest we’re locking down our windows and pulling on our wellies as the ‘mega moisture plume‘ makes a mockery of the passing of the vernal equinox. Even that last Easter egg waiting to be found in someone’s yard is damp and dreary, and it’s sapping our will to write. My writing partner and I have been working through a heavy set of edits lately, and even our side stories feel like too much effort.

When your regular writing feels like work instead of play, change it up. Write a poem, a microstory, or an essay in a style you don’t usually use. Take the chance to change it up. Feel like nothing you’re writing will be any good? Turn that freedom to write a ‘bad’ piece into the freedom to experiment. That’s how I ended up with a thousand words about the wool gliders that live on the wild yaksheep, and what happened when the world walkers brought one home. (Don’t worry. I won’t make you read it.)

If you’re as ready as I am for April to be over, though, here’s a quick sneak peek of what’s coming in May: I’ll expand my constructive criticism posts to include how to read and critique poetry in the Poetry Slam (I promise we’ll get back to actual poetry eventually), tell you how to save your darlings in our Nonfiction Know-how, and don’t forget the first week of every month is our Microprose challenge so keep your eye out on Wednesday for this month’s special rules and grid!

In the meantime, though, let’s get to this week’s popular vote winners. Besides the popular vote, we also have the option of handing out an editorial staff pick to any post on our grids. Our editors comb the grids to find, not just the best writing on this grid this week, but what we think is pretty darn great writing anywhere anytime. Picks are based on writing quality, how successful the author is in conveying information, and just plain style. 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- and we’d love to, so keep that great work coming!

On weeks when we don’t award a staff pick, keep an extra close eye on the Roundup. That’s our rundown of trends we see from week to week. We try to highlight the good stuff and point out problems that more than one writer is struggling with. There’s probably a handy tip in there for you right now, so check it out!

Once you’re done reading through the Roundup, keep scrolling down to check out who won the popular vote on both grids. If you earned the highest number of votes in any 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 grids have the same Winner, Editorial Staff Pick, and Top Three badges. It doesn’t clutter up our sidebar, and they’ll still look pretty on yours!

Rowan’s Roundup: YeahWrite Weekly Writing Challenge #315

Can you imagine if you had a little being that followed you around poking you with a pin and telling you how to feel at any given moment? Besides being annoying and probably unsanitary, that would get pretty old pretty fast, right? That’s how your reader can feel if they’re inundated with “and then I felt” or “it was sad when.” On the other hand, you did have feelings about what happened in your story at the time, right? Try to spend some time remembering what made you feel that way and putting it in the story instead of eliminating the triggers for your feelings and just describing the feelings. If you do a good job including the elements that gave you feelings, they’ll give your readers feelings too. And it’s a lot less heavy lifting for both you and your reader.

I know I keep promising a special treat for poets, but I really did it. Keep your eyes on the site May 1 for a special poetry reading and critique post just for you. It’ll touch on internal rhyme and alliteration, consonance, structure, and why it’s not enough to just bang on the enter key a bunch of times.

In the meantime, prose writers: I’m coming at you from a place of… look, I just finished writing a horror story for a competition. At the end, everyone dies. It’s basically not a surprise at all. In many cases we can find ourselves writing stories like that, where the outcome feels inevitable. If you’re going to go a predictable place with a story, you need to put additional effort into the journey, right? Think about it like a road trip: you’re going to begin and end at home, but you wouldn’t spend the entire time in the car trying to get your traveling companions excited about ending up at home, right? No, you’d be busy pointing out the sights along the way and talking about your in-between destinations. Do your readers the same favor with a story that has an inevitable ending. Even if that ending is “everyone dies.”

That’s it for this week! 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! If you’re more the self-help type, remember to scroll through our writing help section for tips and tricks. Even if a post isn’t directed at your favorite grid, there’s probably a handy hint for you in there anyway!

Everybody: before you go, please take some time to leave your favorites a little love in the comments, and don’t forget, the Weekend Writing Showcase opens tonight at 6pm Eastern US Time!

Congratulations to the Crowd Favorites at YeahWrite #315

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.

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About the author:

Rowan submitted exactly one piece of microfiction to YeahWrite before being consumed by the editorial darkside. She spent some time working hard as our Submissions Editor before becoming YeahWrite’s Managing Editor in 2016. In real life she’s been at various times an attorney, aerialist, professional knitter, artist, graphic designer (yes, they’re different things), editor, secretary, tailor, and martial artist. It bothers her vaguely that the preceding list isn’t alphabetized, but the Oxford comma makes up for it. She lives in Portlandia with a menagerie which includes at least one other human. She blogs at textwall and CrossKnit.

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