Beccalicious's Workshop: New Beginnings

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8 January 2009

This workshop is now CLOSED. Please comment on some of the entries, with 26 to choose from, let's try and give everyone some feedback!

Poetry

Hektor by sply-dude
Burying Grounds by forWinds

Prose

Story-starter. by wonderfulrachel
New Beginnings by TenshiKoneko
War Given Right by dr3amup
Put That On My Tab by Queen-of-Marigold
story prologue for workshop by phillGH
Gone by Nicktroptopolis
Writers Workshop- Beginnings 2 by myah5000
Manitingon and the Skymaiden by mirageode
Three beginnings by Cluisanna
One Day News by leoraigarath
Scarlet Tube Top by Kitz-the-Kitsune
New Beginnings Entry by Imperial-Obsession
An Indecisive Beginning by Halatia
Winter's Eyes by Elmara
Fifty Nine by Desert-Lilly
A Definite Uncertainty by CyberPhantom
new beginnings entry by csbhagya
A Beginning - 80 words by mackwrites
Untitled First Paragraph by JessaMar
Murdoch by Audley
The show must go on by Amimone
New Beginnings by Almost-Certain
Never-Children by Admantina
Prose Beginning by a-broken-soul

Update 07 January 2009

Happy New Year Everyone!

There are about 10 hours left before the deadline for this workshop. Please make sure you submit on time if you want to participate!


29 December 2008

:iconbeccajs:

NEW BEGINNINGS

Well, although we are still a few days away from the 1st of January, this workshop just so happens to coincide with the New Year and so what a great way to mark 2009 with a new start? What about something fresh and exciting? Who knows, this new thing, or new writing could be the start of a successful piece!

Now when I have my critique hat on (which has been less frequent of late, but that’s what resolutions are for), one of the first things I will look at in any piece of writing is a good start to the piece. Whether this is a poem or prose, even a stage setting for a play to me the beginning is an important factor. After all what reader starts reading from the middle?

The importance of your beginning often seems to be forgotten in writing, and yet this is one of those elements in your craft which perhaps link to the success of a piece. Before you write your next piece, think carefully first, who are you writing this piece for? Is it for self expression or is there an audience in mind? If the answer is the latter then think further, who is your audience? Are they members of something such as dA or are they a specific age or into a certain genre or style of writing? Are they critics or are they reading for leisure? Maybe you don’t know them yet, but something you always need to do is consider your audience the reader, the person who you are provoking and controlling to get involved with your story.

Consider television. Imagine sat down on a Thursday night and flicking through a TV guide and you see that costume drama based on some historic event you may have a slight interest in. It also has one of you favourite actors in. You think “hmm I think I want to watch that.” So you tune in only to find the first part of the drama is difficult to follow, too much information at once and in away kind of boring. At the advert break you flick channels and find something else more entertaining to watch. The drama is forgotten.

Now what if that drama had started in such a fashion that you were instantly hooked into the story? There is a seed of curiosity left in your mind that you want to know what happens next and what is going to happen in the rest of the story? There has been some kind of impact that has immediately got you involved. Suddenly the advert break doesn’t ask for channel changing, instead you get yourself a glass of wine and get yourself comfortable for the next hour of enjoyment ahead.

The point is, any piece of writing needs an instant hook. You need to entice the reader in—what if your reader was a perspective publisher and your amazing story was ignored because that first chapter was weak?

The task is fairly simple, but at the same time it is asking you to take a lot of time to seriously consider your writing and how it is attracting your audience and sucking them into the images and world you want to present.  Write for me either a first two stanzas or an opening paragraph to a piece of writing. You can also consider writing a setting for a play or maybe try you hand at nonfiction writing, this is a free for all after all.

In terms of critique, I will try my best to get around to everyone and my critique will be directed at how the introduction created a hook. Remember, you don’t need a huge explosion to draw someone in, impact has much more delicate layers and I will be looking for that delicate enticement.

Good luck and enjoy yourself! This is 2009 after all :D

How to Submit

After submitting your entry as a new deviation or scrap, send us a note with a link to your piece. Include the subject line "BEGINNINGS" in your note. The deadline is midnight 7 January 2009. All times are set for GMT. BeccaJS will respond to the entries on 11 January.

A note from Writers-Workshop: Please note that this is a FREE-FOR-ALL workshop, meaning that we will accept both prose AND poetry entries. Proofread your work before you send it in so that grammatical and spelling errors are minimal. And most of all have fun with it!

:postit: On Accepting Critique

:bulletblue: Always thank the critic. This gratitude must be as sincere as possible, even if you did not like the critique given, because the critic has taken time to offer his/her opinion of the piece.
:bulletblue: If you do not like the critique, it is not necessary to mention so. Simply thank the critic and move on. You can always ignore their suggestions, while not making a scene of it.
:bulletblue: If you are unsure of what the critique means, feel free to ask the critic what s/he meant. Building rapport with your critic is one of the best ways to survive in a workshop and to learn. If you want examples, ask. Similarly, if you like the suggestions given, mention it. Critic's have feelings too. :)
:bulletblue: In the unlikely case that a critic offers rude/sexist/racist/etc comments, feel free to contact Writers-Workshop in a note and we will try to help you. A decision regarding the rudeness of the critique will be taken, and if we're not sure ourselves, we will consult with one of the GDs or anyone else high up on deviantART.

:postit: It would be fantastic if you also...

:+favlove: our news article!

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Comments19
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fense's avatar
I feel bad for being so busy :x
And especially so for missing your workshop, Becca.

I'll catch the next one, I promise!