Mysterious Cycle 5: Workshop by Beccalicious

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This workshop is now CLOSED. Following are a list of entries. As there are only five, we expect that you will be able to offer some critique. Meanwhile, BeccaJS will be reading through.


in alphabetical order of final draft title

by illuminara
The Healing 001 - Tragedy (draft 1)
All Wrong (draft 2)

by ria88
First Draft (draft1)
Christina's Story - an Excerpt (draft 2)

by 8ankH
Florida (draft 1)
Florida (draft 2)
Florida (draft 3)

by itzjusdrama
Tarnished Notes (draft 1)
Tarnished Notes (draft 2)

by batousaijin
Drowning a Rat (draft 1)
To Drown a Rat (draft 2)
To Drown a Rat (draft 3)

May 4, 2008

Are you wondering why Writers-Workshop has a new CSS?

Then you've perhaps missed something important.

No, it's not that this is the beginning of our fifth cycle of workshops -- or it's not just that. It's also not that we're doing something slightly different this time round. Well, you'll just have to scroll down to figure it out. Until then, look what we have in store for you this fortnight.


This cycle consists of workshops on transformation or revision. We plan to focus more on the polishing on one's writing to higher standards, publishable standards, even.

The first workshop will be hosted by BeccaJS. For those who don't already know her, Becca is a lit senior (denoted by her `) and one of the most resourceful people in the lit community. She is one of Writers-Workshop's admins and founders. In cycle two, she hosted a hugely successful workshop on character: What is in a name?.

Take a look at her workshop on revising prose pieces.

Many people expect to write a successful story in one submission. True, there are elements of success in a first write up, but isn’t there always room for improvement?  Usually when you return to your writing after a period of time, you can find the flaws and often dislike it. Wouldn’t it be great to feel for that piece again and consider rewriting it?

It is always important to remember that writing is a process, not just a splurge of creative words on paper. It involves development, accepting critique, revising, changing, understanding and consistency. All these elements don’t come at once and have to be worked at until you meet that polished piece. They may not even come on a second draft -- some writers can take up to 20 redrafts and still not be completely satisfied with the results. Writing takes a lot of patience.

It is also important to remember that revising work isn’t about the technical aspects of writing. Although grammar and spelling is important, revision focuses on the content -- the actual story the words are telling you. Some elements that fall into revision, and should be considered include: character development, descriptions, hooking the reader, consistency of the plot, whether things make sense, consideration of audience, etc.

As part of the literature communities incentive for revision month, Writers-Workshop is encouraging our members to consider their writing and taking it to the next level. This workshop is a window of opportunity for you as an individual to spend some quality time on your writing and work towards that new draft.

These useful articles have been written by GeneratingHype and create the baseline to which we are working towards in this workshop. There are also many useful articles and resources on our resources section.

:bulletblue: Polish that Poetry and Prose!
:bulletblue: What is Revision?

The Task

Take any piece of your own prose which you would like to revise. Put your old copy into scraps and submit a newly drafted version of your piece. Consider the critique you have received on this piece and try and use some of this in the rewrite.

There is no word limit, but please bear in mind due to submission volume, the lengthier pieces may not have the same level of response. Please only submit one piece per member.


:bulletblue: Start by reading your piece all the way through. Don’t stop to amend anything on the first read, but just refresh yourself with your story and get a feel for it.

:bulletblue: Printing off your draft and sitting down with a red pen can keep you focussed -- how many of you slip onto dA when you’re in the middle of writing?

:bulletblue: Learn to be self critical. This doesn’t mean hate yourself; you have to believe in yourself that you can make this piece work. However, you need to be able to take that step back from your work and take it all on your own chin. Be brutally honest with yourself, even if the emotional attachment cries something different.

:bulletblue: Ask yourself questions -- are the characters interesting? Do they connect with the reader? Will this keep the reader interested? Does this make sense?

Do you have some helpful tips and advice into redrafting? Why not share them with the group in our forum discussion thread??

When it comes to critiquing each others’ work, try and focus on the revised elements more than the technicality. Again you don’t have to ignore it altogether, but too many critiques tend to look at the technical aspects over the content, this time you need to look more at the content.

:postit: Remember!

:pointr: This workshop is for PROSE only.
:pointr: Please do not submit more than one entry for this workshop.
:pointr: Try to follow :debeccalicious:'s workshop as best you can.
:pointr: Feel free to revise a previous workshop entry as you are likely to have received more critique on these entries. But obviously, this is not necessary.

:postit: How to submit

Submit your revised entry as a new deviation or scrap and send us a link to it in a note. Please also send us a link to the original, unrevised version of the piece (and indicate which is which, please). The subject line of the note should be "REVISION PROSE". Entries must come in on or before midnight (GMT/UTC), May 14. BeccaJS will respond to the entries on May 18.

:postit: How to accept 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!

Still haven't figured out what's special about this now?

It's our 6-month birthday! That's right, we've been bringing you workshops consistently since November 11, 2007. Although the date looks strange, think about it: 4 cycles of workshops successfully completed. Each cycle is a month and a half long. 4 * 1.5 = 6

Some fantastic statistics and facts

:bulletgreen: Since November 11, 2007, 12 different workshops were hosted. Our guest workshoppers so far (in chronological order) are:
GunShyMartyr, somestrangebirds, StJoan, GeneratingHype, TheHungerArtist, BeccaJS, apocathary, EveningDownpour, lovetodeviate, conorschild, MSJames and Jon-Law. In addition, the admins hosted a personal review week.

:bulletgreen: We have received 229 submissions (and 2 late submissions) to our workshop in all! These submissions have been for workshops on plot twists, ekphrasis in poetry, jazz in literature, dialogue, lipograms, character, magic realism, non-fiction prose, exploring the self in writing, brevity in prose, tanka and humour.

:bulletgreen: 4 of the above submissions and 1 resource article written by a guest workshopper have received Daily Deviations -- the highest honour for art on the site! These have been featured in our journal shoutboard.

:bulletgreen: Although pageviews are not always important, they are to us, because it means that people find our club useful and/or interesting (most of the time, anyway). So it's good to know that we have had nearly 13,700 pageviews to date.

:bulletgreen: Most importantly, our huge group of members. We shan't number you (because we can't; there are too many of you), but we appreciate you very much. :heart:

Thank you to our members, supporters, contributors, guests, anyone at all who has offered us a kind ear. A workshop is nothing without writers and critics.

A special thank you to itzjusdrama and inspiredimperfection for these stamps:

writers-workshop stamp by itzjusdrama :thumb77273148:

So yes, happy birthday us! :party:

(But don't let any of this distract you from revising and submitting to this workshop, eh?)

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illuminara's avatar
I'm out of town till Sunday, but I'll try to read all the entries when I get back! Hopefully I'll have time. :P