And topics for both the main competition http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/658082.html and Second Chance http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/658326.html
Folks still in the main competition, or exiled into the “Sudden Death” tribe, which really isn’t all that sudden, or fatal… yet… also have to find themselves a partner to intersect with, someone that they haven’t already worked with this mini-season. Which will hopefully result in some interesting groupings, and more importantly, if someone who doesn’t tend to get a lot of attention, maybe someone who *does* who likes their work will partner with them, and help them get a little more of the spotlight!
Speaking of “hopes”, some randomly person, possibly off their meds, wandered into the Green Room yesterday and ordered a Grand Slam breakfast. After that though, they asked if it was the time in the season where we discussed what “Idol pitfalls” we saw folks falling into. Granted, as Exhibit A should have proved to most people – the “you can’t do that in Idol and succeed” rule is never a hard and fast one. BUT, I think most of what ends up coming up in this conversation are things that are applicable to all writing, and not merely Idolcentric.
I’ll start us off with the common ones that I’ve noticed:
- Shoe-horning in the “topic”. The topic is your starting place, but that doesn’t mean that you have to fit the word/phrase into your piece. Trying too hard just makes it feel awkward
- The “short and sweet”. I can think of a few people who can get away with it. Especially early on when people appreciate not having to read much. But make sure it doesn’t feel like a blurb from a longer piece.
- See above. But add to it that if you are writing a serial, make sure it’s a self-contained piece of the serial. If you are relying on people to remember details, or think “this was the boring part, but wait until they see what is coming NEXT WEEK!”, you might not have a next week.
Ain’t nobody got time for that.
- The “it would have been better if I had more time”… yes, everyone’s piece would probably be better, but everyone else is in the same exact boat.
- Use a beta reader when you can. If not, at least use a spell check
- Consider formatting when you write. You can have the most interesting story ever, but if it’s in one solid block of text, I’m going to have a difficult time reading it, and probably end up just going on to something else.
I’m sure you have more – what are you seeing, that people need to be careful about? What have you seen that folks are doing absolutely right?