Beccalicious's Workshop: Results

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BeccaJS's Workshop: Results

February 3, 2008

A word from Writers-Workshop: We have come to the end of our second cycle of workshops, Getting your basics right, and it's great to see that so many writers have a strong base. The three workshops dealt with dialogue in prose (GeneratingHype's workshop), word choice in poetry (TheHungerArtist's workshop) and characters in both prose and poetry (BeccaJS's workshop). With this, I think we can move onto Exploring new writing, our next cycle of workshops.

It was interesting to see how our participants picked names; there were some clear favourites in each category. Unsuprisingly, there were more prose than poetry entries. Often prose allows greater scope for exploring a character's, well, character, but let's not forget Eliot's J Alfred Prufrock, possibly the greatest, most pathetic figures in modern poetry, or Hughes's Crow, the humanoid, not to mention Ulysses and other heroes of epic poetry.

You can read all the entries here. I guarantee you'll be amused by some of the crazy questions BeccaJS asked the participants about their characters!

:star: Special Mention: Arnold Feathers - no, I'm kidding! But all those who picked Arnold Feathers as their character did a fantastic job. BeccaJS has already mentioned conorschild, so I'll concentrate on the three poems: BurntMark attempted a villanelle, which is one of the most difficult forms, and I was impressed. It still needs some work with the varying line lengths, but excellent work all the same. Drunken-Splice made good use of sonics in his poem, creating a half-humorous, half-macabre narrative poem. ghostfly writes the poignant story of a WWII veteran in poetry filled with some innovative imagery. Great work, guys!

BeccaJS's Comments: Wow, what an impressive workshop! Not only did we have a few regulars contributing, but so many new faces too. There was such a good range of work too, both in poetry and prose, and I was really happy with the results!

I have to admit; the last few days I have had a dreadful cold/flu type thing, so I tried to get around to as many entries as possible. The critiques were not a thorough as I usually do, and I apologise to those who I didn't get to. However I did read them all, and enjoyed them. There have been some improvements from some people and it was interesting to see how you all approached this workshop.

I have to say, I do feel incredibly sorry for poor Valerie Snow. I imagined Valerie to be this huge black woman from Alabama, who had a huge voice. Not a voice like Aretha Franklin, a voice which could burst eardrums with its awfulness. She had auditioned for American Idol in season four, and still believed she is better than Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood and Jordin Sparks put together. Simon, Paula and Randy disagreed of course! Valerie works in a pet parlour, clipping and sheering people's dogs. She is single, but has got her eyes on this pizza delivery boy who is half her age.

However, Valerie for everyone else suffered! From a naughty little girl who didn't appreciate her social status, to a young woman dealing with her mother's death.  This is exactly why I enjoyed the workshop, the characters were so different.

Now for my Hot Picks I have picked three because I couldn't decide on one!

BeccaJS's Top Picks

:star: The Ballad of Valerie Snow by LadyLincoln

LadyLincoln's approach to this coincides with the rest of her style in her gallery. However it felt that Valerie slipped right into that style, and worked so well. The character had not only a connection with the reader, but LadyLincoln had written the story that made us want to know more about her. Valerie became an interesting character and with a wonderful image to compliment the words, I felt this achieved the workshop task brilliantly.

:star: Giving Birth to Natti by mwiings

Giving birth to Natti is such a powerful poem. When I first read it, I was overwhelmed by the content, the story and the growth of the character. This is exactly what I meant about characters working in poetry and how prominent a name can be. This couldn't be just 'a woman', naming her and taking her through this emotional journey, it had to be 'Natti'. An excellent attempt and one which I really engaged with.

:star: Reason in madness by conorschild

I think conorschild is underestimated in his writing, and this piece shows it. What I loved about this piece was that it had it all. Not only did the character interest me, but you had empathy, suspense, village humour and some rather odd twists. Seriously, if you're comfortable and have a cup of tea, get reading this piece!

:star: I also have to mention Queen-of-Marigold who kept me amused when I was feeling unwell by answering not just one question, but all the character questions I had! The questions really unveiled the character and have encouraged her to continue with her, which is fantastic to know. Well done to her! Special mentions to a few other pieces I enjoyed, JessaMar, whose piece was really consistent and heartwarming, EvenAfterTwelve who created a really interesting twist in a short story, and MaskedVengeance whose poem reminded me of Roald Dahl's 'revolting rhymes'!

Thank you to everyone who entered this, I really enjoyed hosting it. This workshop was originally our 'dummy workshop' when Aditi and I were working out how this community was going to work, and I am so glad it's been used and the positive response with it. :heart:


Writers-Workshop would like to mention that GeneratingHype's poem Worship (submitted to TheHungerArtist's workshop, A Lipogram) received a Daily Deviation on January 29, 2008.

Congratulations, everyone! Look out for our news article and journal with apocathary's prose workshop on magic realism.

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mwiings's avatar
Thank you for the mention! This was challenging but good fun! :D