Lovetodeviate's Workshop: Results

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:postit: Results of lovetodeviate's Workshop: I, me Myself.

A word from Writers-Workshop Another huge workshop, another great effort! We saw 29 entries in total, equalling the record amount we have had for a single workshop. There were some really insightful pieces written for what was actually a rather challenging approach to writing. We can't point out one individual for critique this time, simply because there was an awesome board sweep of constructive comments and advice from everyone. It was refreshing to see not a single piece has been neglected and every entry to this workshop has been given something they can use in continuation and redrafting!

:star: This workshops special mention goes to batousaijin who before these results have even been announced has seen his contribution to this workshop receive an honourable daily deviation.


Before moving onto lovetodeviate's comments, we would just like to echo again a reminder to everyone. Writers-Workshop is not about competition. When you enter these workshops, you are here for your own writing development, and although we have 'top picks', this isn't about 'winning'. Everyone who spends the time to look at their own writing constructively, can be prepared to take, give and use critique and are happy to explore new techniques are all winners to us. We want to thank everyone who participates in these workshops because you are all amazing and keep the spirit of this project alive!


I'm exhausted after commenting on 29 entries (I apologise if some were too short, but I allowed myself to ramble only when I had many suggestions to offer), but it was good fun.

The poets chose all kinds of spaces to write about, from trash cans and coffins to closets and bedrooms. A lot of writing operates through the opposition of open space and claustrophobia. For some reason, we like large, sprawling fields, mountains and rivers, even the desert, because when we explore them, we also conquer them. It's human. Confining ourselves to smaller spaces, like a room, offers different paths of explorations, and I was happy travelling through the poems that were sent in. scottish-gardeners, for instance, described the walls of her study as "sky blue"; yet the voice of the poem is intensely aware that you cannot see the clouds outside, which was a great way of talking about what is outside while being sheltered, so to speak. Houses can also be metaphors for memory, as in tmpst24myst's poem.

The diary entries were lighter reading, and it was very interesting to see how people saw themselves ten years or more down the line. Many of you found yourself talking about success or the lack of it in love and work. itzjusdrama is pretty sure that some of us will still be fighting our battles on dA 17 (or is it 5?) years later, which made me smile. But the most interesting discovery I made was that many of you saw yourselves with children. Here it is worth mentioning wordworks's entry, which portrayed the most unique, and perhaps realistic, description of a family.

Before, I get to my top picks, I'd like to mention that we need to get out of this trend of not finding titles, even rudimentary ones, before posting a piece of writing. (I've done it, too, so I won't leave myself out of it.) Here are some of my favourite titles in this workshop: My Rolling Coffin, Panic at the Student Union, Closeted, For The Love of Emma and Elvis is Close Enough.

Top Picks

It was fun not letting on how much I liked these entries when I was leaving comments, and restricting myself to critique and suggestions. In alphabetical order:

:star: Personify me by Amy--Louise

This poems begins with an artistic comment that goes on to describe the human condition pretty well: don't we all need "person-things"? Amy--Louise pursues this idea with a very matter-of-fact, yet poignant, narrative. My favourite bit was "A superhero / I knew all about / invisibility." I don't like the linebreaks, but the idea itself is fantastic, because the writer has inverted the coolness of being a superhero by making invisibility a sad thing for the narrator. I suppose the poem breaks the "rules" of the workshop, but to a good end. A real treat for this reader.

:star: Life Cycles by JessaMar

I was so surprised that this was the only prose entry that approached the fear (or anticipation) of death. The best part is it's not just the death of someone, but the death of a 102-year-old, who has a brain tumor. That brings in a lot of complications and it could make the reading heavy, but the writer finds a way to approach the subject without either belittling it or making it very depressing. "I wonder if I should kill myself." Takes some skill to pull off a line like that.

:star: Closeted</b> by daowns

I love economical poems, and this is a good example. In eight short lines, the writer neatly lays out the setting. The images are sharp and fleeting. What I enjoyed most was that the space chosen was "told" only at the end. Instead of telling and then showing, the writer showed us the space through details, and then told us what the space was. Of course, the title was a big hint, but it did not ruin anything for me. In fact, the word "closeted" connotes privacy and intimacy, perhaps even shame, and these meanings add to the overall experience of the poem.

:star: A Day in the Life</b> by GaioumonBatou

"I swore to myself when I first decided I was going to be a teacher that I would never teach anything below high school." This, to me, is the mark of good characterisation. Several participants of the workshop have examined their future selves' lives by talking about whether or not they achieved what they wanted when they were young. This is good, but what this writer has done is even better: he has made an in-the-present ambition, if that makes any sense. Often what we hope for is not something great; it is the inches we negotiate, the little spaces. So it's not good enough that :devgaimonbatou:'s future self wants to be a teacher, but that he does not want to teach below high school. For him, that is a standard. Excellent detail and enjoyable read.

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