[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
The new topic is up: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/1001426.html


***

Cynthia and I were having a conversation the other day about how little things have changed - as much as we would like to think otherwise. People still gather around their campfires listening to stories. It's just some of those campfires are electronic. There are internet campfires and television/movies campfires... flickering lights and a release of energy serving as a focus to bring people together. (OK, most of our conversation wasn't about *that*, but I'm trying to tie it together... :D)

Where is your mind racing to with this topic?
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
One of the things that I liked about this week's topic http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/997016.html (beyond the obvious, that folks may remember that it was posted above the door when they first signed up) was that there are different translations of the same line.

So differences in translations is definitely one of the many ways to go that aren't as "obvious".

I'm giving you that one for free. ;)

***

I know that personally, when I sit down and write, there's definitely a part of me that "abandons hope" and doesn't come out until I'm done with whatever I'm working on, which is when the self-doubt shows up. You?

How do you deal with it?
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
The results from last week are up: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/993116.html

and Second Chance is on it's way with a brand new week: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/992643.html

Which seems like a good time to remind everyone that as things start getting closer to the Top 50, that every vote is going to become more and more critical. If there is someone that you want to read more of, make sure you get out there support them. They are going to need you.

***

I just finished the latest issue of Champions (#6). It's from Marvel Comics and features a group of young heroes who are trying to define the idea of being a hero for a new generation. I really loved the first four issues, the fifth threw me a little - but with the sixth, I'm going to have to decide if I really want to go forward with it, or put it in the pile of "this book isn't for me".

Mark Waid is writing it, and I used to be a big fan of his back when I was a regular comic collector. The first few issues definitely proved that he's still really entertaining and engaging.

What threw me off? The new villains introduced in the issue started talking about how they "always punch down". Which was a counterpoint to the Champions (earlier) saying that you should "punch up". I get the idea behind it, but especially coming out the mouth of the bad guys, it just sounded over-the-top and not believable. They were certainly doing enough on the panel itself to show that they were the bad guys and that they would harm those less able to defend themselves. But Waid went a step further and had them vocalize it, just in case there was someone who didn't get it. Sure, there have always been the bigger-than-life hackneyed villains who spout all kinds of cheesy lines, and I'm sure that's exactly what he was trying to achieve. But the combination of over-the-top and "here's our agenda" really just left me feeling like perhaps I wasn't the audience they were looking for with this book. Which, to be fair, I'm NOT the audience they are looking for with this book. ;)

Far more to the point than "will Gary buy another issue of this comic" though is that I thought about writing "your agenda" in fiction, and how much of it in your own work comes from "and THIS IS WHAT I WANT TO SAY" and how much is subconscious that just comes out? Do you ever have to pull back from hitting people in the face with it, or are you far more likely to just let loose with it and let the chips fall?
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
The new topic thread is up: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/989342.html

So is the poll for Second Chance: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/988636.html

There is also a couple more joining the 100 Weeks club: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/988997.html

This is the start of that period where there is a lot going on.

Which is when it's always a good time to ask - How are you planning on standing out from the crowd? It's a question for every week really, because there are *always* things going!

Or, to turn this around to address you as the reader - What can the rest of the crowd be doing to get, and keep, YOUR attention?
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
It's that time again.

The new topic is up: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/985303.html

(And there's a Write-Off happening: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/984904.html )

The Work Room is a place to work out those problems and ask questions of your fellow contestants and help each other over potential stumbling blocks.

So, where are you this week and what do you need help with? (or help you can offer!)
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
The results for Week 8 are in: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/981177.html
The Second Chance sign-up sheet is up: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/981280.html
The new topic is up: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/981676.html

I guess that means it's time for a Work Room again!

Something that I've been picking up on is that who has "a good week" doesn't always seem completely consistent, but the general amounts of support seem pretty evenly distributed. Which makes me wonder how that is going to shake out in the coming weeks. Who is going to emerge with the most consistency? With Second Chance coming into play over the next few weeks - from a strategical standpoint, how it that going to factor in?

There are a lot of questions left to be answered - and plenty of time (for now) for things to play out.

***

For now though, where are you with the new topic and what can other people do to help get you where you need to go?
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
No Mentor this week.

But the new topic is up: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/977744.html

So this is definitely the space to talk about that, and perhaps hash some stuff out.

***

As I was about to post this, I encountered an article that made me think of a quite a few writers I've known over the years, and their struggles: https://writingcooperative.com/writing-through-depression-6042ed15e946#.huqqld43f

I was also saw something about "tips for writers". But the only one that I really thought was worth sharing (that wasn't completely cliched) was to KEEP PUSHING YOURSELF. Not just against the forces that make you want to not keep moving forward (see above) but also to be better, to take that limit of what you *think* you can do, and keep pushing at that wall until it breaks.

How are you going to push yourself this week?
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
The Topic post is now up: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/974915.html

We are fortunate enough to not only have a Mentor, but the winner of Season 7!

Her Idol story itself is pretty amazing - being the first returning player to win the game, after needing to drop a couple seasons in a row. She just kept coming back, and kept getting better, until that time it "clicked". After that? Well, she talks about that below... but let's just say she's been pretty unstoppable.

Definitely take advantage of having her at your disposal this week!

***
Hello, you crazy people! Long time, no read!

It's me, [livejournal.com profile] amenquohi, formerly known as "Seven of Nine." (But Gary wrecked that by having more than nine seasons but I'm not bitter. Much.)

I haven't hung on Idol much since winning Season 7, but that's because I've been busy. Winning the season gave me the guts to try for a blogging job with a major women's magazine, I did that for a few years, started blogging for another magazine, started my own blog, then self-pubbed a half-dozen books before finally landing a bonafide 2 book deal with a big 5 publisher. Yeah, baby.

So here's the shameless plug for my YA fantasy, TRAVELER (http://amzn.to/2k2tQDB), out on February 7th. Check it out!

And now here's the part where I impart all my writerly wisdom, right? Right.

I'm going to concentrate on something specific, because the world is full of generic writer advice and because I happen to think it's something I'm reasonably decent at: dialogue.

When I've got a scene in mind, I have a couple of techniques to work the dialogue.

First, act it out. Get up, walk around. Or sit in the car. Play all the roles. Shout, argue, snark a lot. Try out various lines and retorts and make notes while you do it. Or set your phone to voice record.

Second, remember that written dialogue should not sound like speaking in real life. Seriously. Trim out extraneous crap. Don't be redundant, unless the character does it on purpose to be annoying or to make a point. Trim the word "that' everywhere you can. Monologue when you have to, and sometimes, you have to

Third, watch your dialogue tags. Go light on the adverbs. If your characters are answering or speaking with a modifier ("he said, grimly" or "she answered cheerfully") more than 1/4 of their lines, you're doing it wrong. Don't be afraid to keep it to "he said" and "she answered" because those are transparent to the reader and don't interrupt the flow. Save those modifiers for when they can really deliver a punch.

Above all, don't have people talking just to talk. You may have a great, snarky conversation running through your head, but if it doesn't further the plot along or add to a character's development, it's useless. If you're like me and write very dialogue-heavy stories, it feels like cutting off an arm to cut your carefully crafted lines, but if it's not moving anything or anyone forward, you gotta do it. You just do.

And now I'll leave you with a great little video ( http://youtu.be/zJGX2raiafU ) imparting more advice on the subject. I hope you find it entertaining and instructive.

I'll be hanging out in the workroom this week and happy to offer any advice with the caveat that I am absolutely not an expert in this field, just some schmuck who writes stories and worked her ass off to get where she is (and still has her day job). I've written memoirs, self-help books, fantasy, romance and now YA. And blogs and fanfic. And of course, a whole bushel full of delusional LiveJournal Idol entries.

Seven of Nine, signing out.
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
I promised you a Mentor, and here she is! :)

I was really hoping to get [livejournal.com profile] tigrkittn involved somehow with this season, but she's been so busy lately that it was going to be tough. I was really happy when she said she would be able to Mentor you guys this week.

I've got to get to work, so here's the link to last night's Work Room: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/971205.html

The Results/sudden death announcement: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/970905.html

and the new topic: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/971359.html

And here's your favorite kittn! ;)

***
I can't believe it's been eight years since I first discovered LJ Idol and started writing seriously for the first time in my life! I’ve gotten so much out of this game – wonderful friends, a new career I never would have attempted otherwise – www.shadowcatediting.com – and of course the opportunity to read hundreds (thousands?) of incredible stories written in various stages of deadline-induced panic.

Most of us are amateurs – or at least start out that way – and that means we’re writing pretty much from the gut. We haven’t necessarily studied a lot of books on the craft, taken any creative writing courses, or had our work professionally edited. And here’s where that initially puts us at a disadvantage, if we’re trying to write the highest quality essays and stories we can:

We don’t know what we don’t know.

Cliché? Sure, but that’s because it’s true – and that’s actually great news! Yes, really. Bear with me for a minute.

It’s great news because as soon as you discover something that you didn’t know before, your work can grow by leaps and bounds almost overnight. Writerly “tics” I’ve seen recently:

Favorite words. If your characters are staring, grinning, or nodding their way through your story, readers will notice – often before you do. Do events often happen “suddenly” in your work? How many times did you use the word “just” in your last story?

Favorite punctuation marks. Exclamation points and em dashes are likely culprits here. I’m overly fond of both, myself, and reducing their number is often a specific goal when I self-edit my own work before sending it to a pro.

“Words to use instead of said.” Several wonderful writers and editors have already written about this at great length and much more eloquently than I about why not to do this, so I won’t try to reinvent the wheel, but here’s the gist: “said” is invisible, and invisible is good. Unusual dialogue tags draw attention – and they’re drawing it away from what the character actually said and onto your description of it. Instead of describing how something was said, choose words that leave no question.

Short choppy sentences. They look fine when I’m writing them. I know what I’m saying. The scene is playing out in my head as I write. There are several things happening at once, or in sequence. Each one needs to be pointed out. Otherwise the reader won’t see what I see. But is this the best way to do it?
Dialogue tags that aren’t. This can be related to avoiding the word said, but not always. It’s often connected to actions, as in “We should order pizza,” she grinned. Or, “You never let me get anchovies,” he growled. Well, no. Have you ever tried to talk while growling? Try it. We can’t really growl sentences, and we definitely can’t grin them.

These are just a few examples, but practically every writer has some sort of habit that sneaks in to their work when they aren’t looking. So why am I bringing up these issues and not telling you what to do about them? Because you’re smart, and these problems aren’t rocket science. You know what to do about them – unless you don’t know you’re doing them.

That’s often where an editor or beta reader steps in – but you all have each other! Writing buddies can help you create your personal list of “quirks to watch out for” and give your work an instant boost.

So now it’s your turn – have you noticed any unusual or conspicuous habits in someone else’s writing? (When I’m listening to Dresden Files books in the car, I count how many times Jim Butcher uses the word “oblique” – it drives me batty!) Or in your own? Be brave – ’fess up! Then we’ll all know what to watch for!
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
I invited a Mentor this week, and then I completely forgot to remind her.

She *is* coming - in Part 2 of the Work Room.

For Part 1, I'll remind you that there is a Sudden Death Write-Off: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/970905.html

and that the new topic is posted: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/971359.html

***

I will also let you know about some exciting news in the Idol-verse.

Friend of Idol Jason Franks SixSmiths was picked up by Caliber Comics and they have reissued the first volume: The Sixsmiths - Volume 1

"The Sixsmiths are a family of suburban Satanists who've fallen prey to the global recession. Now their life is in turmoil: the father Ralf needs to find a new job; the twins, Cain and Lilith, need to survive the horrors of the public school system; and wife Annie needs to keep them all sane and under budget. Meanwhile, their estranged elder daughter Jezabelle is having her own crisis of faith. Will the Devil rise to smite their enemies, or will he damn them with hellfire, wrath and underwater mortgage payment? Collects issues 1-4. A light hearted comedy satire for adults. Its The Simpsons meets The Osbournes. "


and closer to home, our own [livejournal.com profile] fourzoas now has an excuse that she byed-out in Week 5. She had work in this book that was just released

Rhetorics of Whiteness: Postracial Hauntings in Popular Culture, Social Media, and Education

"With the election of our first black president, many Americans began to argue that we had finally ended racism, claiming that we now live in a postracial era. Yet near-daily news reports regularly invoke white as a demographic category and recount instances of racialized violence as well as an increased sensitivity to expressions of racial unrest. Clearly, American society isn’t as color-blind as people would like to believe. In Rhetorics of Whiteness: Postracial Hauntings in Popular Culture, Social Media, and Education, contributors reveal how identifications with racialized whiteness continue to manifest themselves in American culture."

One of the things that I've loved seeing, over the years, is Idol writers (and "Idol-adjacent" in the case of Jason) putting their work out there!

So please, go and support your fellow Idol writers in this, and anything else that we have in the Idol store! http://astore.amazon.com/li0cd-20 (and if there is something I've forgotten, or you want to see added - of your own, an Idol-adjacent friend, or just something you really love and you think other people should check it out too). Be sure to mention it to me!

***

While we are waiting for the Mentor post though, first thoughts on the topic?

(and don't forget, those of you who are Patrons, you have the chance to *send me topics to use this season*. https://www.patreon.com/user?u=70027 )
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
The results are up: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/967722.html
There is another member of our 100 Week Club: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/967458.html

and a new topic: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/968050.html

I also brought you a special treat - one of the most iconic members of the 100 Club, and definitely a bit of a legend in Idol circles.

She is one of those people who I have seen grow as a writer over the years. Which has been awesome, but even better, I've been able to see her life transform. That's one of my favorite things, ever. (and she is one of them as well)

Welcome to your Mentor for this week - the one and only [livejournal.com profile] gratefuladdict!

***

Hello, Idolers!! Thanks for having me this week. Let's talk about setting the mood!

The ability to create and sustain mood and tone is integral to great writing. This encompasses everything from the chill that permeates a horror story to the impish decadence of pillow talk, from the impassioned persuasive essay to the upbeat, friendly and professional tone of corporate email. It's a skill that draws your reader in as you build your narrative.

So, how do we do that?

For me, the biggest tool is rhythm. When I want to up the stress level in a piece - for suspense, hysteria, etc. - I create disjointed sentences that don't flow well. I'll do several short, staccato sentences in a row, and occasionally throw in a long, run-on sentence, so your reading pace starts to raise your blood pressure a bit.

If you want to see how a master does that, read The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe. If your heart isn't racing by the end, you have nerves of steel!

You can apply that same technique to create other moods. If you're going for surreal disjointed dream state (my personal guilty pleasure), you can write long, stream-of-conscious sentences that observe more than they judge or act. If you're making an argument about human rights or the culinary merit of sweet potato fries, start slow and measured, then build up to a crescendo of impassioned personal statements.

The key is to read it aloud, or have a friend read it to you. Make sure their voice changes where it should. Make sure they speed up or slow down in sync with the piece. If they don't, you might want to look at your sentence flow again. Shift things until your writing evokes that mood from them.

Another big piece is word choice.

If you are writing that a woman is good-looking, for example, there are a lot of words you could choose from. Is she beautiful, pretty, gorgeous, good-looking, handsome?

Take a step back and think about connotation, rather than just the denotation (literal meaning) of the word. For example, when a woman is described as "handsome," most of us tend to imagine someone whose features or dress are not particularly delicate or feminine. I imagine this woman to be someone who sees wardrobe as serviceable, but is neat and well groomed.

Conversely, if you describe her as "beautiful," I get something really different.* I imagine someone with striking feminine features - probably long hair, big eyes, and a curvy shape. I also infer something about the speaker's perspective - calling someone beautiful could suggest that person has "stars in the eyes" and is awed by her beauty.

And it's not only the connotation to consider here. Say your choices aloud, alone and embedded in a sentence, and see how the words feel in your mouth. They become part of that rhythm as well.

One last thought to consider! Don't underestimate the role that empathy plays in creating strong moods in your writing. If you're writing a personal essay, you might be doing this without realizing it! If you're writing fiction, it takes a bit more work. But if you can immerse yourself emotionally in the moment you are describing, a lot of that mood will come through naturally.

That's enough out of me! How do YOU create mood and tone in your pieces? Are there certain voices or rhythms that feel natural or more intimidating?

After ten seasons of Idol, have you mastered the ominous "hippie about to be kicked" tone?


*Disclaimer: Bear in mind that different cultures and subcultures can have very different connotations for words! It helps to have others read your draft and let you know if any of your word choices feel off to them.
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
The new topic is up: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/965056.html


Most of you have taken the holidays off from Idol, but hopefully not from your own creativity.

For a lot of folks, they have though.

What is your favorite way to start shaking the dust off and getting back into a routine again?

***

What are your hopes, writing (or generally "being creative") wise for the new year?
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
I've given you some time off during what is, traditionally, the most busy time of year.

But in true Idol fashion, I've also put out a bit of a trap. :) http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/961914.html

Because you *can* take the time off. Or you can complete four entries during that time, knowing that you will get something that could be useful in the coming weeks!

Is the time worth the reward? Is the risk, because who knows what might be waiting at the end of the non-mandatory week?

And what's going on with those topics anyway?

This "week" should be a lot of fun. I'm looking forward to seeing what you come up with!
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
The results from Week 2 are up: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/958187.html

as is the new topic: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/958277.html

Given how busy December tends to be, I've even given you the best gift of all, more time. Use it wisely.

But that's not all. This week I'm giving you something extra in your stocking - A Mentor!

The Mentor program, for those who haven't been around in a season that has had them is where I extort threaten convince someone to come into the Work Room to give advice and be around to answer any questions people might have, and generally bounce ideas off.

This week, it's the Co-Winner of Exhibit B mini-season - and the person who was the fastest in Idol history to join the 100 Weeks Club! Give a warm welcome to your Mentor for the week - the one and only [livejournal.com profile] lrig_rorrim!

***

Ok. I’ve got some important advice for you intrepid Idolers. You ready? Here we go.


1. Reread your entry. Then reread it again. Read it aloud. Then have a friend read it. And then another friend. Rope as many friends into this as you can.


That’s it. That’s the big piece of advice.


Perspective is incredibly valuable. I’m not saying you should be an authorial shape-changer, shifting your style and content and presentation based upon the whims of a mercurial audience. I’m saying that writing is a kind of magic trick - we have images in our mind and we want to smush those images onto a screen in words for others to read. And what images will they have in their minds when they’ve seen the words? Is it what you were aiming for? Could it be closer? The more feedback you get from other people, the more you can perfect that magic trick.


Also, your friends will catch your typos and stray commas and awkward sentences. You’re going to miss some. Trust me on this one.


I said that was it, but really this singular piece of advice comes with two important corollaries.


1a. Learn how solicit good and useful feedback.
1b. Learn how to apply the feedback that you get.


So! Finding people to read your stuff is one thing - that’s what this space can be used for, after all! But those corollaries? Yikes!


How do you solicit good and useful feedback? So often what we get is “I liked it!” or “That was good” or “Eh, it wasn’t my thing.” Now, there’s useful information in those statements, but not a lot.


The first trick is to make sure to ask your readers good questions. It’s nice to know if they like something, but it’s way more useful to know that a sentence wasn’t at all grammatically correct, or that one of your characters is super unlikeable (especially if that wasn’t your intention!).


So, set the tone when you ask folks to read a thing. Ask for help spotting typos and awkward sentences, but also ask questions like, “What do you think happened, in your own words.” If you’re going for a specific tone, whether that’s melancholy or funny or introspective, ask how the piece made your reader feel. Did they get invested in the characters? Was there any point in the entry where their attention started to wander a little bit? I think you start to get the picture!


And what about 1b, learning how to apply the feedback you get? You don’t want to twist yourself into knots trying to make things perfect for everyone, and you’re operating on a pretty tight schedule here. Here’s the secret to revision and applying feedback: it’s not all-or-nothing. You don’t have to take every piece of advice someone gives you about improving an entry and try to apply it. You get to pick and choose. Someone may have fantastic sentence-level feedback for you but be awful about seeing the bigger picture. Maybe non-fiction memoir really isn’t their thing, and so their input on style just isn’t going to work for you this time. That’s ok! The trick is to get enough perspectives on a thing that you understand what’s generally working and what isn’t.


And how do you fix those things that aren’t working? Well, sometimes your readers will have ideas on that score - more often they won’t, or won’t have time to articulate them clearly.


Take what input you’ve got, and remember that every single word of your entry has an impact - sometimes that impact is negative, so you may need to cut a few of those words out. Remember that the things which are so clear in your head aren’t necessarily always making it to the page. If readers are unclear about something important, it might be because you haven’t actually put the words on the page yet. Add words. Reread. Take some words away. Read it aloud. And if you’ve got the time, get even more eyes on it. Creation is an iterative process.


And when that deadline rolls around and it’s time to put your link in the topic post and share it with an even wider audience, take a deep breath and congratulate yourself. And then go read! All these writers, working with the same general constraints, coming up with so many different angles on the same prompt... it’s amazing. You’re all amazing.


Go forth and be amazing. I’ll be here, to answer questions, read and offer feedback on works in progress, and do what I can to help.
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
When I first heard that I would be writing a Work Room this week, I wasn't sure about what I was going to say. I sat down and I pondered the idea. What is a Work Room? Why did I need to write one? Work. In a room. A Room of Work.

I pondered until I couldn't ponder any more...

and then I deleted the first couple of paragraphs you just read and got right to the point with a stronger beginning.

There's a lesson in there. You only have a few moments to grab someone's attention. There is a lot to read, just in Idol - and a world of distractions. If you don't have a way to hook someone into wanting to read more, it doesn't matter how you close, because most people won't get there.


That's MY number 1 piece of advice going into Week 2.

What's yours?

The new topic is up: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/954961.html

and please make sure that you stop by the Results thread to say goodbye to those leaving us this week: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/954709.html
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
The Week 1 topic is up: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/951685.html

I won't lie, I went back and forth on how to start this season.

Heck, I went back and forth on the deadline. At one point it was going to be Thursday (which happens to be Thanksgiving in the US) and Cynthia literally said "Don't be an asshole!" So I decided not to do that. I should, however, point out that this isn't the "regular schedule" either. It's part of the "slow start", that will even out as we progress through the season.

I landed on the topic due to a couple reasons: (1) My love for all things Beach Slang - I'll save you the Googling time and let you know that it's a lyric from one of their songs: https://beachslang.bandcamp.com/track/dirty-cigarettes and (2) a discussion about the line and how it felt like how they felt about their own writing.

So it seemed like a good fit, and the rest of the season seemed to fall into place for me after that. (more or less)

***

But it's not about where I go with it that's important - it's where you go.

I'm saying this both as a guide for newbies, but also a reminder for veterans, especially those who may not have been around in awhile - or have gotten rusty - The topic is the launching pad, not the destination.

This is your Work Room, a place to hammer out and discuss different ideas - or to just talk about writing in general. Really, it's whatever you need it to be.

At the end of every topic post, I say "Have fun", and I hope that you do!
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
Greetings Idolers! The Week 0 topic has been posted - (for newbies) http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/947581.html (for veterans) http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/947738.html

This is the first Work Room of the season, so I'll explain a few things for those who don't know.

A Work Room is your space to bounce around ideas with each other, talk out writing related issues, and generally help each other out with problems you may encounter. It's the place, to borrow a phrase from Tim Gunn, to "make it work".

If you want to talk about "craft" in general - this would be a fantastic place to do that. The Green Rooms tend to be more light-hearted (although they don't *have* to be) and so a dedicated space was created for those purposes.

***

I call them "topics", because that gets some people thinking in a rigid manner, and I think it's important to break out of that. They are more like jumping off points. You are free to take them anyway you want to take them.

With "Introduction", I'm sure there will be some 'My name is so-and-so", which is fine, as long as it's well done. But remember, this is the first time a lot of these people are going to be reading your work. This is the time when it's important to let people to start seeing "Why should I be reading this writer for the rest of the season?" There's a lot of entries to get through, if you get them reading early, that's half your battle right there to get them to come back for more!

Most of all though, as I say at the end of every Topic thread HAVE FUN!
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
Congratulations to the Top 4!

[livejournal.com profile] gratefuladdict
[livejournal.com profile] kathrynrose
[livejournal.com profile] orockthro
[livejournal.com profile] prog_schlock

You only have 1 choice for your topic http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/937944.html, and no more special powers left in the game. It's just 4 people - and one of them is going to win it all!
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
Just a few minutes ago, Cynthia called me into the other room. She's been getting really into photography lately and had just found the official state archive for images of Florida history.

There are a ton of really cool images in there.

That, combined with the fact that the deadline for this week is actually the official 10th anniversary date for LJ Idol got me thinking about preserving history.

Is there anything of yours - writing or otherwise, something of *you* - that you would want to have preserved so that people could take a look at it long after you are gone?

If so, what is it?

***

and how are you feeling about the topics? http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/935840.html It is a Work Room after all. :)
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
The new topics are up. http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/932438.html

What is catching your fancy and how are you going to use them to get to survive another week?

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