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Poetry Platinum

FaithWriters want your input to help make FaithWriters even better. What do writers really want? If you know the answer, post here.

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honeyrock
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Poetry Platinum

Postby honeyrock » Thu Dec 16, 2010 3:19 pm

I havent been around for awhile. Truthfully I became a little discouraged at having done so well, moving up then apparently no success in the higher categories. Then too it seemed as though poetry got the first pick and higher marks. I joined Platinum a couple of months ago and wouldnt you know it havent even gone on the Writing Challenge for months! But checking in today, I was hopeful since the method of judging had changed. However, in quickly (emphasize quickly) perusing, the top winners were poetry entries again! Is this my fluke or do they do well. I really do not like any kind of poetry at all, so im fighting a losing battle here or so it seems....
Be strong and very courageous Joshua 1:7

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Faith
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Postby Faith » Thu Dec 16, 2010 10:10 pm

I feel the same. Moved up fast until Level 3 and have not done well since. Poetry does seem to place the highest to me too, and like you, I am not a poet and don't care for most of it. I tried one poem, and know it was amateur.

Seriously, I think maybe I should drop back down a level. I wonder if that's ever been done before. Obviously, my writing skills are only intermediate if I go by the rankings and judging.

Or maybe I should concentrate elsewhere...?
Trust in the Lord with all your heart; lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.
Proverbs 3: 5-6
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Postby Ms. Barbie » Thu Dec 16, 2010 10:35 pm

I understand what you are feeling. I have been here for over a year, and cannot get out of the Beginner level. But I blame me-not the judges-for I know I have much to learn and practice.

I keep saying that I am done writing, this is my last entry, etc... but then an idea pops into my head, and I am back at it. Writing is not a passion for me, but as Pup so wisely stated, that if it is from God, then I am meant to write it. I did not enter the last challenge, but as soon as today's topic of communication was posted, I immediatly had an idea!

I am learning that writing is like learning to play a musical instrument. One needs the knowledge of how to play ithe instrument and to have the skill to craft musical notations written on paper, into musical sounds from the instrument so that it produces beautiful song. AND, of course, practice-practice-practice.

You are here at FaithWriter's for a reason. Please don't let discouragement from not placing in the challenges keep you from pursuing your desire to write. Even if you are like me, and writing is not a must-do in my life, you can still utilize the challenges to practice and learn how to do it better.
Barb Culler

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Faith
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Postby Faith » Thu Dec 16, 2010 10:42 pm

Thanks for the encouragement, Barb. When I say "move on," I don't mean I will stop writing. I enjoy it too much to quit; however, maybe God is telling me to direct my writing time and energy elsewhere.

I'll still enter challenges if something really inspires me. I have felt inspired at times and when those entries don't place, it doesn't bother me because I think God has a reason for my writing them. But I just feel I'm spending too much time on this site and should maybe put more time somewhere else.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart; lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.
Proverbs 3: 5-6
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Deb Porter
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Postby Deb Porter » Thu Dec 16, 2010 11:49 pm

Hi honeyrock. Welcome back.

No, it's more a case of most of the non-poetry writers being otherwise occupied during November for NaNoWriMo. The increase in poetry has been because there has been a lot more poetry this quarter.

So please jump in with prose. We had very little poetry placing for a long time, and the mix is usually stronger for prose over poetry. But the poetry is rising to the top at the moment because there is such an abundance of it, and a lot less prose than normal.

Love, Deb
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Postby pheeweed » Fri Dec 17, 2010 12:16 am

I hope this will encourage you. I'm a permanent member of level 3. I started there when I joined FW because the the criteria for that level included being published. I wrote for a newspaper for about 5 years and have a degree in creative writing. But I quickly found out that I'm not nearly as good a writer as I thought. In a year and a half, the highest I've ranked is about 16. I've never gotten an EC. So the challenge is frustrating to me, but also exhilarating. It's given me a chance to write all kinds of things I never would have thought of and I've gotten some good advice and some nice encouragement.

But the best thing that has happened to my writing (besides learning that I'm not as good as I thought) has been what I've learned in Jan's classes. If you haven't read them, I suggest you try them. If you've read them, but haven't done the homework, try that too. Jan is wonderful about responding to every post and gives really good advice.

Because of the challenge I'm writing regularly, which is something I hadn't done in a long time. Because of the challenge I've had to face my petty desire to be recognized. And because of FW, I've grown as a writer. And I've made some good friends here as well. I hope you stay for the particular blessings God has planned for you.

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Postby Faith » Fri Dec 17, 2010 1:54 am

Has FW ever considered having two separate challenge contests each week? One for poetry and one for prose?
Trust in the Lord with all your heart; lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.
Proverbs 3: 5-6
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Postby honeyrock » Mon Jan 03, 2011 4:18 pm

Thanks so much FAITH :lol: for your response! You made me feel alot better! And that is exactly why I havent totally left Faithwriters in the last few months - there has ALWAYS been great community and comfort here - if I dare to reach out! It makes all the difference in the world to know that I am not alone in my feelings. And, it helps to have a little explanation as well as to why the poetry. So, maybe we should give it a few more tries, eh?

And YES YES I so love Jans classes. When I wasn't entering challenges I at least wanted to check in on classes but alas, it seemed they were stopped so haven't checked them in awhile. I really really learn from those classes. (Until she did some teachings on poetry, I did check out! HAW HAW HAW!!!).
Be strong and very courageous Joshua 1:7

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Postby honeyrock » Mon Jan 03, 2011 4:23 pm

And by the way Deb, I miss your great pats on the back as much as I do the ribbons! I have saved every one in a notebook from my first beginner's challenges. :lol:
Be strong and very courageous Joshua 1:7

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Postby Deb Porter » Mon Jan 03, 2011 4:30 pm

Faith wrote:Has FW ever considered having two separate challenge contests each week? One for poetry and one for prose?


Hi Faith. I'm so sorry I'm only seeing this now.

Actually, that suggestion has been brought up many times, but it's not really necessary. Each entry is judged on its own merits using the rating categories. So every entry has as much opportunity to win, regardless of the genre.

But apart from that, the logistics of trying to work two Challenges in this way would be a headache.

I can really confirm that the judges are just looking for fresh, creative, well written material for those top spots. Whether it's poetry or prose doesn't come into it.

For 2011, regardless of your genre, think fresh. When a fresh angle appears in the list, the judges get quite excited. When it's well written, with a great start and ending, then they are almost beside themselves with joy. :wink:

The Challenge has to stretch you (which is why it's a challenge). So if you find you're sort of cruising along, writing much the same way you always do, use this year to experiment and try new things.

Love, Deb
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Postby Deb Porter » Mon Jan 03, 2011 4:47 pm

honeyrock wrote:And by the way Deb, I miss your great pats on the back as much as I do the ribbons! I have saved every one in a notebook from my first beginner's challenges. :lol:


Awwww .... that made my day.

Love, Deb :D
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Postby lish1936 » Tue Jan 04, 2011 12:10 am

Hi Honeyrock,
I just came across your post, and thought the following from another FW who has won numerous ECs would be of some encouragement to you. Even though this was on another thread, I'm not sure I should give her name. What I take away from her statement is this:

The Challenge is an opportunity to grow as writers. Try to stick with it, and give your talent a chance by concentrating on sites, classes, articles from other writers, etc. to improve your writing skills. Phee's suggestion re: Jan's classes are right on.

Read, and keep writing. "Many years" from now, you can have the same testimony.

Quote:

"I am in Master’s Level and have been participating in the challenge for many years – just go to m y profile and see. I don’t know how hard it is to climb up the levels as I have been around long enough to not to have to do it.

I have been placed in the EC many times. I have considered dropping out, but a title and a deadline is like a red rag to a bull to me. I just can’t resist it. I love to challenge myself to come up with a story or a poem that fits in with the topic. I am calling to mind every Bible story I know to see if it’s relevant, or thinking about what I have learned in quiet times that I could adapt – just letting my mind simmer.

I usually make four or five attempts to find a way in that it interesting, or slightly out of the box. Sometimes I will have a whole story written quite early on as a back up, just in case nothing better presents itself. Maybe I will turn my story into a poem and see how it goes.

Sometimes it is an easy birth – it slides onto the page and needs very little tweaking. Other times its hard labour that has me sweating and crying and slamming down the lid of my laptop and walking away. Sometimes the story comes out stillborn – not breathing. Sometimes I submit them anyway.

I am heartedly ashamed of some of the stuff that I submit – and when it places I don’t know why. I see the story that could have been if I had worked at it more. Sometimes I think I have a straight path to the EC – I love what I have written – and it doesn’t even make the top 40 and I am heartbroken. Then I remember that it’s all about writing. I win, regardless what the EC judges say, if what I write speaks to me, or others."


Lillian
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"Let words bewitch you. Scrutinze them, mull them, savor them, and in combination, until you see their subtle differences and the ways they tint each other." Francis Flaherty

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Postby lish1936 » Tue Jan 04, 2011 12:32 am

Deb,

"Fresh" and "Out of the box" are bandied about almost ad infinitum. I understand what it means. However, I was wondering if there's someway to dissect the idea so that less experienced writers can "get their arms" around it.

Perhaps, Glenn Haskell can address it in an article; if he hasn't already. I know a very talented, new FW who placed several times until she reached Level 3. She, too, has expressed frustration because she's failed to come up with a unique approach.

Maybe a few "not this, but that" examples would shed some light on the subject. Just a thought.

Lillian
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I write even when I think I can't, because I must. :-)

I love to write. Nothing escapes the crush I have on the written word. I'm hooked on words!!

"Let words bewitch you. Scrutinze them, mull them, savor them, and in combination, until you see their subtle differences and the ways they tint each other." Francis Flaherty

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Postby Deb Porter » Tue Jan 04, 2011 2:03 am

Lillian, the best explanation I can come up with is the wisdom of another writer years ago. When you get your first idea, reject it and wait for something else. The first idea is probably the most common. That's very good advice.

Now for a few other things. If you base your entry on something really familiar, and there is nothing new to what you have to say, it will be tired. If it's an obvious idea for the topic, then that also will be a bit on the stale side. For example, when we had the topic "Purple" a lot of people wrote about Lydia. Now writing about Lydia is not necessarily a bad thing, but if you bring nothing fresh to the table about Lydia, then it's stale.

The other advice I give to everyone is to be a voracious reader of other people's work--particularly in the Challenge. If someone makes the decision to read every entry for a week (once a month, if they can't do it more than that), and they read it with a critical eye (instead of for pleasure), they will very quickly see what's fresh and what isn't. Believe me, editors and publishers see it in a second. The judges do as well. That's because editors, publishers and our judges are immersed in written material every day. Fresh jumps out at them because it's either something no one has ever done before or it puts a spin on an old idea that brings it alive and hits the mark.

Hope that helps. Never be afraid to experiment. The Challenge is a great place for experimenting.

Love, Deb
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Postby lish1936 » Tue Jan 04, 2011 11:00 am

Deb,
I agree with your suggestions, especially reading other writers. And, yes, editors do have a special knack that weeds out the ordinary. I'll never forget my first article. It just so happens I was working with an editor whom I met at a Writer's Conference. I've always had a penchant for writing, but the mounds of red ink she "poured" over my wonderful manuscript almost dashed my hopes of becoming a serious writer.

I'm not where I want to be, but I'm so much further along in my writing than those early days; and Faithwriters is a great place to grow as a writer. In the future, I intend to take advantage of discounted editorial services for Platinum members...red ink et al. :D

I hope you're not located near any of the floods in Australia.

Lillian
Fortunate500

www.oursilverstrands.com
Seniors in Bloom

:typing2
E-Book - Retirement Lane - How to Celebrate Life After 60

Fortunate 500


I write even when I think I can't, because I must. :-)

I love to write. Nothing escapes the crush I have on the written word. I'm hooked on words!!

"Let words bewitch you. Scrutinze them, mull them, savor them, and in combination, until you see their subtle differences and the ways they tint each other." Francis Flaherty

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