Work with me here
See that picture up there? For the last three days, that was my office. I mean, not the ocean. But I took that picture from my “desk chair” with my laptop firmly planted across my legs and the novel I’m editing onscreen. Sometimes all it takes is a change of scenery to make us more productive… but it doesn’t hurt when the change of scenery comes with three solid days during which nobody is allowed to ask me for anything, talk to me while I’m working, or need to be let out into the yard to bark at the neighbor’s dog who has lived here just as long as you have, so shut up.
While I was working, so were you folks! I’m sorry I couldn’t join you on the grids this week but I was with you in spirit. Let’s check out what happened with the popular vote this week.
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 #317
“What’s she got that I haven’t got?” It’s an age-old question and here on the nonfiction grid if you’re asking it the answer is usually “the so what.” I ran across an interesting exercise for finding your so what last week in a fiction writing class, when the instructor asked “What is your story about? Tell me without summarizing what happens in it.” My story turned out to be about “what would you be if you didn’t have to be who your family expected you to?” and not at all about “a woman confronts her ex who is working for a terrorist and also there are dirigibles involved.” If you can’t articulate what your mostly-true story is about, you probably don’t know what your so what is. A strong so what will keep your reader interested even if they can’t relate to the events in your story; a weak one will lose them no matter what you’re writing about.
One of the best things about being on a writing retreat with two other novelists was that nobody gave me funny looks as I stood up, sat down, and twisted my body into implausible positions to see if I really COULD open a cabinet door with my elbow. See, the advantage that nonfiction writers have over fiction is that they already know how they opened the cabinet, so they tend not to write impossible images. On the other hand, when you’re writing fiction, you’re making all those images up. Character’s hands full? Use an elbow. Right? Not right. You still have to make sure that what you’re writing is possible, or risk losing your reader’s attention and confidence. So if your character has a long tentacle they can use, go for it; otherwise it’s time to get up and walk over the the cabinet and try it.
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 #317
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.
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.