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Work Room - Week 2

The Week 1 results are up: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/717791.html

and the new Topic is coming shortly. edit to add link: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/718214.html

I usually post the new topic first, and then the Work Room. Most weeks, you will see that formula. This week though, I’m changing it up a bit!

Why? Because I want to mention a couple things before people start posting:

(1) It’s not a race. Regardless of any gimmicks out there, you should take the time to work on your entries until you are satisfied with them. (Well, within the allotted time period!) If you can bang out something awesome - great! If you just want to do something for the sake of getting it done, well, OK. But they say that every week is someone’s first time reading you.

That’s especially true in the first couple weeks of Idol.

If you pick up a book from an author you don’t know and it’s not something you want to read, will you check out the second? Maybe. But if the second one isn’t either, I doubt you are going to give the third a glance on the shelf.

Which isn’t to say that some people can’t do great things in a short period of time. Of course they can - a glance at any given week’s Topic post has tons of great stuff on the first couple of pages. I just want to make sure that I’ve said it. Hopefully you will keep that in mind.

(2) if you have to write “the topic is” or “when I saw the topic” in order to get to where you are going, OK. But it had better be the best damn thing I’ve ever seen. Because you’ve pretty close to losing me at that point. Let the topic guide you - not handcuff you to a spot. These are your entries, in your voice, in that moment, make me forget there is a writing competition at all, and I’m just there to enjoy what you have to say.

You do that, and you’re going to be in a good position to keep me coming back for more.

(3) Have fun. Don’t let any of this get to you. Because at the end of the day, it’s about you having a good time doing something that you love.

***

What gave you the biggest problems during Week 1? How do you think you can overcome them for Week 2?

Comments

( 379 comments — Leave a comment )
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(Deleted comment)
anyonesghost
Mar. 21st, 2014 02:09 am (UTC)
^^^ This, actually. Hooray for facetious jackasses! *high-fives*
porn_this_way
Mar. 21st, 2014 02:08 am (UTC)
What gave me the biggest problem during Week 1 was resisting the urge to respond to the prompt with an LJI specific version of The Aristocrats.
lrig_rorrim
Mar. 21st, 2014 02:09 am (UTC)
I... still wish you had done this. But I am a bad, bad person.
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kecharasmoon
Mar. 21st, 2014 02:08 am (UTC)
aye aye cap'n!
alycewilson
Mar. 21st, 2014 02:09 am (UTC)
I would add that there's no harm in doing some free writing on the topic before you actually whittle it down to what matters. Put all the words down as they come into your head, and then go back and remove the stuff that's filler.
n3m3sis43
Mar. 21st, 2014 11:52 am (UTC)
Ha, this. I removed about half of my original entry before I posted it. I assure you it was not missed. XD
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lrig_rorrim
Mar. 21st, 2014 02:11 am (UTC)
Honestly, the biggest problem I had with week 1 was that I was dealing with a lot of emotional stuff in my personal life. I didn't feel like writing at all, and my sole idea for the prompt was something silly. Making that work, despite not really feeling silly (which is rare for me. I'm a silly critter), was hard.

I'm hoping that I'll feel a better connection to the prompt next time around. Guess we'll see...
eska818
Mar. 21st, 2014 02:13 am (UTC)
I had this issue also - and it become my writing topic. I'm still not sure if this is/was a good or bad thing.
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eska818
Mar. 21st, 2014 02:12 am (UTC)
My biggest problem was freaking out about the voting... I've never really put any writing "out there" for people to accept or reject, and I've kind of been beside myself all week, wishing I'd done a better job, or written something more inspiring.
lrig_rorrim
Mar. 21st, 2014 02:24 am (UTC)
Try to keep in mind that people click on the ticky boxes for lots and lots of reasons ("this is my friend!" "I loved this piece!" "I recognize that name" "I'd like to see more of their stuff in the future" and zillions more) and don't click for just as many (including "didn't have time to read this one" "I didn't like it" "couldn't quite see the correlation with the topic" "I voted for x number of people in this tribe, and that's all I'm voting for" "they're not on my friend's list" and a zillion others).

Try not to correlate votes or lack thereof with flat-out acceptance or rejection, because that's not what's going on. Also, it'll help save you some sanity for later on. ;)
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witchwife
Mar. 21st, 2014 02:13 am (UTC)
Was totally one of the offenders with posting the topic before my entry! Beginner's mistake? ;)

The biggest problem during Week 1..
I suppose like, posting the topic before my entry. It won't happen again, sir.
n3m3sis43
Mar. 21st, 2014 02:20 am (UTC)
Your entry was strong enough overall for me to overlook it. Although I get pickier about stuff like that depending on my mood or how long people have been playing.
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poppetawoppet
Mar. 21st, 2014 02:14 am (UTC)
Probably spacing my time better to write my entry (and my alt entry too) and thinking of a million ways to fix it. Not reading any entries this week (many apologies as time just flew)

This week I definitely want to plan better
locknkey
Mar. 21st, 2014 02:43 am (UTC)
I should add no time to read this week between illness, work and RL. :(
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cheshire23
Mar. 21st, 2014 02:14 am (UTC)
This household's biggest problem was that ravenshrinkery got really, really sick, and that sort of threw everything off around here. :(

My biggest problem, personally, was a succession of ideas, none of which flowed at all when I tried to write them out even though they sounded awesome in my head.
lrig_rorrim
Mar. 21st, 2014 02:31 am (UTC)
Ugh, sick SUCKS. I hope everyone is feeling better now.
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tatdatcm
Mar. 21st, 2014 02:15 am (UTC)
My biggest problem in week one, and with my writing in general, is avoiding those cliched and predictable phrases and situations.

I think I rely on them too much to bring my reader to where I want them to be. There are other, better ways to accomplish the same goals. They offer a common frame of reference because people are familiar with them, but I think using them too much makes a piece trite and gives it less power.
witchwife
Mar. 21st, 2014 02:16 am (UTC)
I can definitely identify with this! And then sitting there trying to think of a more unique way to describe something and getting frustrated over how clunky and awkward it sounds. I'm with ya!
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favoritebean
Mar. 21st, 2014 02:15 am (UTC)
My biggest problem after deciding what to do was to get permission to write on my topic from others that were in the situation. Since my topic wasn't fiction, I needed to know how much I could give away before doing it.

Following that, writing the actual dialogue is always tough for me.

After that, worrying about whether the subject was too existential or otherwise. Having beta readers helps on that end.
tatdatcm
Mar. 21st, 2014 02:24 am (UTC)
Dialogue is tough for me too. It never sounds natural to me as I'm writing it.
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reckless_blues
Mar. 21st, 2014 02:15 am (UTC)
(I had deleted recklessblues with no hyphen, which I used in Exhibit B)
My biggest problem was I just made this journal and I kept forgetting the damn password.
eska818
Mar. 21st, 2014 02:19 am (UTC)
Re: (I had deleted recklessblues with no hyphen, which I used in Exhibit B)
this made me lol. <3
n3m3sis43
Mar. 21st, 2014 02:15 am (UTC)
There was a whoooole lot of #2 this week. I'm pretty sure I did it at least once in season 8, but omg it gets tiresome reading that over and over. :D

My biggest problem this week was that I'm still recovering from a huuuuuge writing slump. I was on some medications that totally screwed with my brain and it got to the point where I couldn't write anymore. I've been writing daily again since January, but I don't have the same flow and confidence I had for a while before things got all weird.

Besides that, I haven't written for a prompt or a deadline in I don't know how long, and I wasn't positive I could even come up with anything that wasn't total crap. I didn't feel like writing something funny, or inspired to do any fiction. I've been working with the same universe and characters so long that I almost don't remember how to make new ones.

Which is how I ended up with nonfiction, which is not something I generally excel at. I felt pretty good about what I wrote, and I think what I need to do for week 2 (and hopefully beyond, if I make it that far) is re-learn how to think around the prompts and find inspiration in weird places like I did in season 8. Most importantly, I need to be willing to try new things.
dizzydog
Mar. 21st, 2014 02:27 am (UTC)
There was a whoooole lot of #2 this week.

The four year old in me won't let me keep reading past this because he's having giggle fits :D
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jem0000000
Mar. 21st, 2014 02:15 am (UTC)
I kept getting super distracted. It probably would have been funny if there wasn't a deadline, but as it was, I had the awfullest time staying focused enough to finish the piece.
sweeny_todd
Mar. 21st, 2014 02:19 am (UTC)
getting through the reading *shakes head*

I ended up reading everything, and commenting on half (and next week I will start with commenting on the people I didn't get to comment on this week) but I am not sure what else I can do about that...

I guess one of my biggest... I am going to call it a concern... is how out of character my writing was.
witchwife
Mar. 21st, 2014 02:21 am (UTC)
Yeah, the reading was a struggle for me too. Not like it wasn't enjoyable, because it was. There was just so much of it!

I'm thinking of trying to make my submission this week a bit shorter. Kicking myself for making something so drawn out in the first few weeks!
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