There are a couple people that I have seen, in trying to put things together, who went and made everything friends only. Which I fully understand. But it does make looking back over things, both for a fresh perspective and to trigger my memory, a bit more difficult! :) Obviously I may have to wait a little longer for you guys!!!
For everyone else - I hope you take the time to go back and reread some of these old favorites, and remind yourself exactly why they were, or check out someone who maybe you missed the first time around!
belgatherial (Week 14) - This is a goodbye post to belgatherial for therealljidol series of Gary catching up on his goodbye posts. It's not the best goodbye that I've ever written, but it was late. I hope you like it anyway.
You're reading that and hopefully on some level are going "Why the hell is that there?" It doesn't add anything to the goodbye and makes it look clunky to anyone scanning the page. I could end up saying all kinds of things about you, but I can guarantee that a number of people will take a look at that first bit and just keep going by. (To be fair, this being an introduction - they might not, they might just wonder what I'm on at the moment. :D)
I started this goodbye that way for a reason. I think it was part of your downfall. I know there are groups out there who stress that people should put all sorts of labels on the work - and various folks within Idol itself who have differing philosophies about uses of labeling. Some like it in the subject line, whereas others like it italicized in the footnote. The one place they all agree that they don't like it is at the start of a piece.
Nor are people all that fond of the disclaimers. Look at the difference between: http://belgatherial.livejournal.com/304655.html and http://belgatherial.livejournal.com/302861.html (which did specifically mention "the prompt was" but I think still managed to redeem itself by being absolutely lovely with spot-on ending lines and decent sense of pacing. Compare it with http://belgatherial.livejournal.com/301048.html AND http://belgatherial.livejournal.com/299924.html or http://belgatherial.livejournal.com/308267.html, which work well as pieces but visually risks getting lost in the disclaimer clutter.
You have a knack for imagery and general pacing - but time after time I saw you (IMO) shoot yourself in the foot and potentially lose an audience who should have been loving your stuff, instead of having to trust that it was worth clicking and scrolling passed everything else to get to it.
Your work easily stands on it's own. You give us stories - often quite wonderful stories, that's more than enough.
(In going through your LJ to find the specific pieces that I remembered, I did see that your more recent entries that you are using a stripped down, non-disclaimer style. Which means that somewhere along the way you realized everything that I said above! Oh well, it's still valid!!
I think your work is *so* much better off for being stripped down to just being about the piece itself. I'm glad that people are getting a chance to discover what you have to offer (*cough* more Home Game */*cough*) and I hope you are still working on your novel!)
lostin_thestars (week 14) - Every season there are contestants that I end up thinking "they could have caught fire in a couple more weeks". Not literally catch fire of course.
Well, OK, there *are* those sorts of contestants too. But I'm not talking about them! :)
She wowed me right out of the gate with a one-two punch: http://lostin-thestars.livejournal.com/106873.html and http://lostin-thestars.livejournal.com/108052.html and pretty much just kept going. The entries were just so consistently good that I thought it was just a matter of time before she started showing up on more radars and her poll numbers started to climb.
I went back to try to figure it out. How could she have possibly been eliminated - and then I saw it. The "non-partner twist". I think she did a great job on the high fantasy piece, but I'm also quite certain that's not where her instincts would have normally taken her. Yep, that's pretty much normal - one of my twists eliminates someone that I think should do well!
I do think some of the momentum was lost with the satire piece, just based on how many people didn't seem to "get" that it wasn't serious: http://lostin-thestars.livejournal.com/120096.html - but all the same I hope that more people go back and reread her stuff because just like every season there is someone who "doesn't do as well as they should" - there are plenty of examples of people who come back the following season and end up making it much, much further into the game - if she comes back for a hypothetical Season 7 - you might as well join the fan club early!!
worldofcharlie (Week 16) - A lot of things are about timing and momentum. Since this the "second goodbye", I'll be brief. :) I already got to say a lot of what I wanted to say the first time around.
When folks come back into the game, there is a chance that they might falter right out of the box. After all, no matter how intense things were when they left, it's always a bit more so when they come back in. It's more difficult to keep pace.
In the two entries that you wrote coming back in: http://worldofcharlie.livejournal.com/373762.html and http://worldofcharlie.livejournal.com/375107.html I think you really showed a lot of promise and in a lot of ways were worlds away from the writer who first stumbled into Idol. There is a lot more concentration on dialogue and your pacing has improved a great deal.
Your downfall on the entry you were eliminated on struck me as being one more "sex entry" in a group of "sex entries". It's not like you all got together and coordinated, but when have something that might have otherwise stood out, standing next to a bunch of other entries standing out in the same way. . . it has the opposite effect.
I really like where you are going in general though. I'd say you were even better when you came back than when you left a few weeks before!
Every time I see your work it's getting a little better. Keep it up. (OK, maybe that *wasn't* so brief after all! :p)
sra33 (Week 17) - Aha, another person using Idol tags to make things easier: http://sra33.livejournal.com/tag/my%20work:%20ljidol
Thank you for that! :)
It's a sweet gesture - which actually is a nice segue into the idea of you being one of this season's "sweet hearts". Every season there are a few. People (usually women) who are seen as being "kind" and "sweet" and "likable". It's kind of the "popular" idea - people say that someone is "sweet" instead of talking about writing itself.
That would be a mistake with you. You certainly have a great deal of potential and and are well on your way toward realizing it - someone who isn't afraid to break that fourth wall and talk directly to the reader.
Even when you aren't doing it, I don't know, it's like you can't help but reach out and take someone's hand and bring them into the story you are telling. Even when it's about something dark and serious: http://sra33.livejournal.com/733689.html or fictional http://sra33.livejournal.com/711565.html - you manage to still bring that quality into it, which just helps make your work even *more* personal and engaging.
Yes. You do come off as "the sweet one", the "nice one" - and much like your face to face entry stated, you are a work in progress. But the structure is there to make that progress, as long as you can focus in on that seemingly innate ability to pull people in, and not let anything or anyone stand in your way of getting there. Even yourself.
roina_arwen (Week 20)- I didn't put you on the list immediately following sra33 by accident. I did it to give her - and other people - an example of what I was talking about.
It would be very easy for someone to just kind of lump you into the "she's sweet and nice" category just based on interacting with you in the Green Room and not really pay as much attention to your work as they should. Which would be a mistake, and one that I think you've done a good job of showing how much of one that it is over the last few seasons. (Granted, all they have to do is see some of your sarcastic remarks to me to throw that "sweet and nice" thing out the window! :P)
In going back over your entries for the season I went a little too far back and came across an entry from last time around with a line that I think nails it: "My writing closely mimics how I am in real life – stable, humorous (with partiality towards wittiness), occasionally serious, but usually lacking in drama. For me, "cracking up" usually means laughing at my own stupidity or gleefully enjoying the faux pas of others."
I think there is a lot for people to learn from your example.
There are people who try really hard to sound impressive in their writing. You don't do that. You're "just Ro" in every sentence of every entry. You're writing because you want to share a particular story. Being able to do something like that - and making it interesting in the process, because we actually walk away with a little better understanding of *who you are* - *that* is far more impressive to me.
Since you have what appears to be YOUR ENTIRE IDOL RUN, several seasons worth, tagged - I'll just post the link to that: http://roina-arwen.livejournal.com/?tag=lj_idol
Just because I'm going to link to your blatant and shameless attempt at getting support from kittymichaels: http://roina-arwen.livejournal.com/1448347.html and a couple other entries: http://roina-arwen.livejournal.com/1430777.html and http://roina-arwen.livejournal.com/1421876.html with a little muffin loving thrown in for good measure: http://roina-arwen.livejournal.com/1426347.html