Craftsmanship--the 3rd judging criterion

These lessons, by one of our most consistent FaithWriters' Challenge Champions, should not be missed. So we're making a permanent home for them here.

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Re: Be a Better Writer--Craftsmanship, and a CONTEST

Post by Shann » Sat Feb 15, 2014 4:17 pm

Toni Hammer wrote:I'm very new to FW and Shann as well as Vonmie encouraged me to check out these lessons. This is the first one I've read and it's quite challenging! I don't even know where to begin in terms of commenting. Thank you so much, Jan, for doing these.

I feel a bit conflicted now as I wrote a poem for this week's challenge and am second guessing myself now. It's not emotionally weighty for the most part. More of a fun, rhyming short story. I'm glad I read this lesson before submitting the entry in hopes I can add a bit more figurative language and flair to it.

Looking forward to catching up and participating more!
Since this is your first time here and this topic feels a bit overwhelming perhaps one of the previous topics will help you feel more comfortable. Jan has done some amazing lesson's and if I can find my favorite one of all time, I'll leave the link. Don't hesitate, though to scan down the list and see if a topic piques your interest. I know Jan is so gracious about responding to every post and since she gets a notice when someone posts on any of them she will more than likely see it and comment. :mrgreen:

I hope that's okay Jan. I know how much work you put into these lessons and don't want to overwhelm you, but I know you've been great about commenting on every post.

This is one of the lessons that I suggested many people check out. I think it is super helpful, especially to those new to the challenge. When I first started entering, I was literally cutting 1,000 words or more each week. I believe once I was like 2,000 words over. Now that may surprise people that I'm a tad wordy, I try to hide it. :rolling Over the years though I learned how to cut the word count so it would be under the 750 limit. I even did a special thread about it on the kids' FW site, but my expertise is shadowed by Jan's. She gives some amazing tips on how to tighten your writing here: ... 67&t=37453

I'm still looking for my all time favorite. I hope it didn't die in the great computer crash. Oh I found it! Here is the link: ... 67&t=29027
It actually goes a bit with this week's lesson. I still today will give people this advice:
Jan said:
How do you step out of the box, then? Here are a few suggestions:

1. Write the topic word on the top of a piece of paper

2. Start to brainstorm—everything you can think of that’s related to the topic word. Let’s say the word is HORN. You might write trumpet, trombone, tuba, Little Boy blue, cows, the car horn, Abraham catches the ram by the horn, walls of Jericho, rhinoceros, to lock horns with, take the bull by the horns. Think of song titles, movie titles, book titles, biblical references, popular sayings. See if you can come up with at least 10 items—even more, if possible—in about five minutes.

3. Look at your list and ask yourself: are there things on this list that will occur to other people?

4. Crumple up the list and throw it away. Because if you thought of all those things in about five minutes, it’s a sure thing that dozens of other writers thought of them, too. Seriously. Throw the whole list away. Don’t look at it again.
There is more to it, but I'd encourage you to check out the topics and what others said. You'll laugh when you see mine. Talk about being too far out of the box! It also shows how dedicated Jan has been to helping people improve. I know I speak for many when I say Thank you Jan, you have and will continue to make a huge difference. :clap

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Sometimes God calms the storm; Sometimes He lets the storm rage and calms His child

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