BerylAlexandros's Workshop: Writer is Always Right

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:postit: 15 October 2008

This workshop is now CLOSED. JessaMar is reading the entries and will comment on them on October 19. In the meanwhile, please comment on the entries:


the Library Ghost by cupcake-of-chaos
Overdue by Erin88
Writer is always right by ilutiern
Red Umbrella by Imperial-Obsession
Descending by Konjuku
Kora: Farewell by mariabumby
Kiva's November by mintleaves
A letter from our Great Leader by ria88
Candle by dr3amup
Thunder Moon by starrsilver
A Note With No Name by TenshiKoneko


When things are new, there... by dimerization
Multiple Exit Wounds by leoraigarath
Never The Twain by UnfeelingAlloy

:postit: 14 October 2008

:bulletblue: Just a reminder, there is less than 24 hours until the workshop closes. Please get your entries in as soon as possible, thank you! :)

:postit: 5 October 2008

JessaMar's Workshop: The Writer is Always Right

JessaMar has been writing for as long as she can remember, although it took a long time before she considered herself a writer.  Until she joined deviantART in 2005, she had shared her writing only with a few friends.  deviantART also provided her first experience with writing for prompts (she was homeschooled, and therefore had never had assignments in school).  The skills that she picked up on deviantART helped her get a story published in The First Line magazine, and also came in handy during her first semester of college last winter.

She is currently focusing on writing more, sharing more of her writing, and playing an active role in her community, both online and off.  She works three days a week at the local library, and hopes that someday soon she will be able to buy her own land and move out of her mother’s house.


There are times when we all need or want to write something that doesn’t spring entirely from our own thoughts.  Whether it be an assignment in school, a contest on deviantART, or a magazine that you really want to get published in that just happens to have very specific guidelines, the situation is going to come up.  And while the parameters in those situations are likely to be a little smaller than those that I have provided for the workshop, it’s important than you learn how to move around as much as possible within those parameters.  The purpose of the workshop is to help you discover that you, the writer, are always right.

There are really two crucial parts to this workshop.  The first is to choose a prompt and write your entry.  Choose a prompt that you can write something from – there would be very little point in choosing one that you can’t – but try not to go with the most obvious or easy choice.  Go with something that you maybe have to look at a few different ways before you know what to do with it.  When you write your entry, I want you to defy expectations.  If you think that I meant something one way, but it could be taken another way, that’s excellent: go with the other way.  This workshop is about twisting things to your own purposes, so you will have done an excellent job if what you write isn’t anywhere close to what I or anyone else expected to get from your chosen prompt.

The second part will happen in the author’s comments.  I want you to say something about why you chose the prompt that you did and why you used it in the way that you did.  This can be as long or as short as you want it to be, although I will be asking questions at my discretion so it might be easier if you just anticipate the questions and answer them before I can ask.  The purpose of this second part to the workshop is to help me understand your process – it’s always possible that I won’t be able to see how a piece is even connected to a prompt, and your comments would help explain it to me and also give me a little footing to ask questions if I’m confused.  It will also help you understand your process, and therefore get the most out of this workshop.

Some additional notes:
1.  Although I hope that you will defy my expectations with your writing, it is best if what you write seems to spring naturally from the prompt.  I’m sure it goes without saying that it’s best to keep your writing from seeming like an awkward attempt to connect two disconnected ideas.
2.  I fully encourage you to use my prompts as part of something that you already had an idea to write.
3.  Remember that if you don’t end up with something that you really like, the workshop wasn’t a success.
4.  In the event that you use a prompt to write something of a personal nature which you would rather not explain in the author’s comments, you are welcome to say as much.  “It has personal significance to me” is a perfectly valid explanation as far as I’m concerned.
5.  I am limiting entries to one per person for the workshop, although I will look at others when and if I find time.

The Prompts

- Write something where the second line begins with "Then again," "On the other hand," or a similar phrase.  For poetry, it's okay if the entire second line is one of those phrases.

- Write something about learning a lesson.

- Write something that begins "Thinking about trick-or-treating always made [Name] nervous."

- Write something that contains the line "[Fall or Autumn] was her favorite time of the year."

- Write something about two people who never meet.

- Take a sequence of at least five words out of this workshop introduction and use it somewhere in the first paragraph of your prose or the first four lines of your poem.  It is okay to re-punctuate but not to add, delete, or reorder the words.

:postit: 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 "WRITE RIGHT" in your note. The deadline is midnight 15 October 2008. All times are set for GMT. JessaMar will respond to the entries on 19 October 2008.

A note from Writers-Workshop Please note that this is a FREE-FOR-ALL workshop, meaning that we will accept 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. Critics 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.

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rainbowsaur's avatar
Curse you Homegoods.
You prevent me from submitting my entry.