Tags: Contest

And the winner is….

by Ruth Tenzer Feldman
Published on: July 16, 2012
Categories: Challenges, Craft, Creativity
Comments: No Comments

Eighty-three. That’s the number of submissions Viva Scriva received for the free-critique contest. Can you believe it? A few of these are in the comment section of the blog, but many more came through e-mails to individual Scrivas. No wonder it’s taken us this long to decide on the best!

It was a delight to go through all the made-up words—enough for a picture book at least.  And it was VERY hard to pick the favorite.

Some of you conjured up animals: Take Carol Woodson’s teradraftyl. Carol reminded us that “tera” means “trillionth,” so I pictured how prehistorically horrible I’d look after my trillionth rewrite of a manuscript. Of the many entries Carol submitted, another animal favorite was gottaplotamus.

Sitting—or the lack thereof—was the subject of two entries. Jane Shapiro offered maxglutes, meaning an enlarged gluteus maximus, a common side effect of prolonged butt-in-chair. Gina Ledoux suggested keesterphrenia, the butt-on-the-move “interruption process of writers as a result of dog barfs within earshot, thumping washing machine, ‘UH-OH, I promised to bake cookies.’ etc.”

Rosanne Parry gave us Garcia Solitude. “This is not a word but a name I use as a placeholder when I have a character that I haven’t given a name to yet,” she said. “It’s a bit of an homage to Gabriel Garcia Marquez and his brilliant 100 Years of Solitude, a book filled with characters having like-sounding names.”

High on the favorite list Bonni Goldberg’s was postscriptosis, meaning the state of mind after writing or completing a writing project. The second meaning to this could be the urge to revise the ending.

I confess that I got the final say on which entry would be the winner. I am in the midst of revising a 60,000-word manuscript based on half a gazillion excellent (and sometimes conflicting) comments from the Scrivas and others. So I have to go with:

Frankenstory: The practice of trying to work into a manuscript every comment made by every critique group member resulting in something where all the seams are showing.

Congratulations, Stephanie Shaw. Step right up and claim your free critique of a picture book manuscript (3,000 words max) or any other manuscript or piece of writing with a limit of 3,000 words.

 

The “Futilitarian” Critique

by Ruth Tenzer Feldman
Published on: July 3, 2012
Categories: Critique Process
Comments: No Comments

Ursula K. Le Guin, 2004

I am venting. No, it’s not about the Viva Scrivas, but about a recent unnamed critique session. Until now I didn’t have quite the right words to describe how appalled I was at the way a writing colleague was treated by someone who ought to know better.

Then I reread parts of Ursula K. Le Guin’s Steering the Craft. Ursula’s excellent book about writing has an appendix on “The Peer Group Workshop.” My search was over. Here is what Ursula adds, in a parenthetical “private aside” about critiquing:

Certain “writing teachers” go around the country doing Master Classes that consist of the Master reading the students’ work and trashing it. The idea is, the Master knows what Art is, and the student is a stupid jerk who can only become an artist if abused by a Master. This sadomasochistic teaching technique exists also in some prestigious writing programs. It has no place in a workshop or peer group. As far as I am concerned it has nothing to do with writing at all, but is a cult of ego-exaltation and ego-abasement.

Ursula’s comment brings to mind “futilitarian.” It’s a word I made up, and it describes the critique given by a confidence-bashing person who has neither the inclination, nor perhaps the ability, to offer useful comments. In extreme cases of futilitarianism, one is justified to capitalizing the first two letters of the word.

As I’m already a Scriva and I get free critiques from my group, I cannot enter “futilitarian” in the free critique contest. But you can. It’s not too late (the deadline is July 8th) to come up with a new word that describes the critique or writing process. We’ve got a bunch of great entries so far. Bring it on!

And thanks again, Ursula.

 

Free Critique: The Perfect Contest for You

by Ruth Tenzer Feldman
Published on: June 4, 2012
Categories: Challenges, Humor, Other Topics
Comments: 18 Comments

Summer is coming. So they tell us. The rains are behind us. Almost. It’s definitely time for a bit of fun. The Viva Scrivas are offering a free critique of a picture book manuscript (3,000 words max) or any other manuscript or piece of writing, again with a limit of 3,000 words. All you have to do is come up with the best new word that describes something related to the writing or critiquing process.

Take this word for instance. Lethescriptosis. Not my idea (alas!), but the invention of Gail Carson Levine (author of Ella Enchanted among other books). Lethescriptosis is her word for the malady of coming up with a dynamite idea and then forgetting it before you can write it down. “Lethe” from the Greek meaning forgetfulness or oblivion. “Script” from the Latin meaning something that is written. “Osis” from the Greek suffix meaning a condition (as in a disease). The perfect word.

Here are the details:

1. Invent a word, or two, or ten. Send in as many entries as you like, as often as you like.

2. Leave your entries as a comment on this Viva Scriva blog post, or send them to me (Ruth Tenzer Feldman).

3. The contest closes right after the Fourth of July weekend, at 11 p.m. Pacific time, on July 8th (which happens to be my birthday).

4. You do not have to be a writer to enter this contest. It’s kosher to submit an invented word on behalf of someone else, whom you think would like to have a critique. See how easy we are making this?

5. The winner receives a free critique that is the same quality that he or she would have received through our critique-for-a-fee services.

Let the games begin.

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