The Writer's WorkshopIf you're interested in improving your writing or you're simply looking to get into the habit of writing more regularly, you've come to the right place. Here at the Writer's Workshop, our goal is to help you improve by pushing you to write more regularly.
You don't have to be a published author or an amazing writer to join in. All you need is a passion for writing and a desire to improve. So what are you waiting for? Stop putting it off and join today!
How it works
So here's how it works. There will be a few prompts placed up on the site each week and your task is to pick one (or more) of the prompts and write a short piece of writing for it. You can write about anything as long as it remotely relates to the prompt. Use the prompt in your writing or make it a theme. Anything goes so let inspiration take you wherever you wish to go.
There's no minimum (or maximum) word limit but do keep in mind that other people will be critiquing your work at the end of the week so try not to write a book. Aim for approximately 100 - 300 words if you need some sort of guideline.
Keep in mind that you don't have to participate each week. Simply keep your writing on one page so that I can skim through it at the end of the week to determine whether or not I need to add you to a feedback group.
The Feedback System
And that brings us to an important feature of the Workshop: feedback.
It's hard to improve without receiving some form of feedback and we understand this. Practice makes perfect but sometimes, it isn't enough. So at the end of each week, we will arrange a feedback group for everyone who participated.
Feedback groups will consist of 3-5 people depending on the number of people interested. Once groups are assigned, each person will have to read the work of the other members of the group and provide them with some sort of feedback. This means that everyone should receive at least one critique on their work each week.
Of course, this will rely on everyone to make it work so please, don't just say something generic like "it's good. I like it". Additionally, don't be afraid of criticism! It's there to help you improve and remember, not everyone will like what you write. And that's perfectly fine! Don't get upset if this happens.
- What you liked/didn't like about the piece
- How you felt about the overall drabble
- Opinions on the style of writing or techniques used
- Things you would like to see in the future
- Ways to improve
- Things you think is important to tell the author
Feedback does not have to be super long or anything. To see an example of one,
There was half an hour before his next patient was scheduled to arrive. Thirty minutes of wasted time in his mind. But there was no helping it now. His newest secretary thought it would be a good idea for him to have a break between patients. As if he needed such a thing!
Law may be old but he certainly wasn't incapable. He would take a break if and when he needed one. Not because some youngen thought him fragile and ready to croak at any moment.
It seemed someone needed a talking to…
I like how you've managed to get across Law's character and attitude using such few words. You can really get a sense of how he's somewhat of a workaholic and can be quite snappy when people judge him based on his age from the drabble.
However, I feel like the ending was really rushed and that kind of ruined it for me. Additionally, it doesn't feel very complete because of that. I think it would be worth it to lengthen things a bit and go over that 100 words limit. What I would have really liked to see is some sort of indication of how impatient Law is through his actions. For example, he could have been tapping his feet or something which would have added to the scene.
Please note that this is a rough guide only and will not always be relevant. The main thing to remember is that the point of feedback is to help the other individual improve and not to simply stroke their ego.
If you would like to go one step further, try rewriting and editing what you wrote based on the feedback given. Additionally, if there's a particular area that you would like to focus on, feel free to create some questions that you would like the others to answer about your writing.
If you don't want feedback or don't have the time for it, you can always opt out of it.
Feedback is optional.
Interested in Joining?
If you're interested in joining the writer's workshop, just send me a mail!
Please include the petpage you'll be posting your writing on. After all, people will need to be able to read it to help. If you change the location of the petpage, just let me know and I'll update the page with it.
The Workshop now offers mail reminders so there's no excuse to forget about writing anymore ;)
There are two types of mail reminders:
1. A mail at the start of the week to let you know that a new prompt is up; and
2. A mail near the end of the week to remind you to hurry up
If you're interested in any of those, just let me know!
Here's our growing group of writers so far:
chocolate_lover67 (/~wintermint_5) B, no F
animalker ??? N
hzoo_26 (/~Polymaths) P, No F
kathleen_kate (/~ariai_chigo_12) P, no F
yelly366 (/~nerdpet87) B, F regardless
King_of_Baking (/~Jaelinth) , B
dhullu (/~lallistar) P
punchups (/~Motsure) B
soukea978 (/~Esun) B
eternalmochi32 (/~mochili) P
asplosionrainbow (/~justgettinganavatarr) P
mayearth (/~66Rianna99) B
vanillerrybeitje (/~Spikey_l58) B
xchickfluffx (/~fayerl) B
rabbitguns /~Haukimi B
ravessy /~Sir_Quiggallot B, no F
linachata56 /~Jasmine_Skyler B
alishabi456 /~Tigo B
jmt_1992 /~Eraeia B
hackneystreet106 /~Cemit B
blue_thunder94 /~Island_Breeze94 P
alin80 /~Quillotine H
katherine854 /~Allie987654321391 B
in_a_whisper /~Eowinne P
darigankat /~eikaiyuza B, no F
angelofspring131 /~Krad P
Letter after your details are as followed:
B - both mails
P - prompt is up mail
H - end of week reminder
No F - no feedback
If I've got the wrong details listed, please let me know :)
Please note that the end of the week reminder is currently not available due to time restraints on my part.
Can't find your name on the list? If you've recently mailed me, I've probably forgotten to add you. If that's the case, please mail me again and slap me on the face so I won't forget. XD
If your details was on the list but is no longer there, then I've likely removed it due to inactivity. I remove people from the list every few months in order to keep this manageable. If that's the case, don't panic. Just send me a mail and I'll add you back on the list. C:
And lastly, if you come across one of our boards, feel free to pop in and chat! Discussion of Workshop related things or just completely off topic stuff is always welcomed. You don't have to be part of the Workshop to do this either! You can find the board link on the navigation bar.
Prompts will be placed up on a weekly basis. You might find some of them up earlier though. We'll be working according to a six day week. The seventh day will be mainly used by me to split people up into feedback groups and organize all that.
Please note that you don't have to finish all your feedbacks in a single day. Everyone will work at a different pace but please have it finished by the end of the following week at the latest.
Also, if you have a prompt you would like to suggest, mail it in!
8th October - 13th October
Sorry for the lateness and the lack of mails (and a prompt last week). Things should hopefully calm down on my end in a couple of weeks.
24th September - 29th September
Scenarios - what would you do if...
1. Someone has stolen your money?
2. You hear someone crying?
3. You wake up and find yourself unable to see anything?
Now that you've done that, evaluate how realistic your character's reaction was.
For an extra challenge, think of a extremely out there scenario for your character. This can be a completely different world/universe etc. Does your character remain consistent or is he/she quite contradictory?
17th September - 22nd September
10th September - 15th September
A good introduction is important. Opinions are formed instantaneously so you want to grab a reader's attention as soon as you can. Introductions are more than just the bit that goes first in your story. An introduction is where you set the scene. It's where you reveal just enough to intrigue while keeping everything else hidden from the reader. After all, if you tell them everything in the first paragraph, there's no point in reading any further.
So the task for this week is to write an introduction and only an introduction.
For those wanting additional prompts to work with, use one of the following: gratitude, goodbye, maybe and forward.
3rd September - 8th September
I often find that a lot of people don't write the stories they want to because they don't know where to start or how to continue. So this week, let's do a story outline!
So here's what you have to do. Get that story idea that you've been thinking about for a while and write a list of events, in chronological order, that you want to incorporate in the story. You can set this out however you like. Your outline might be quite detailed or rather sparse. It may include important thoughts, emotions or the overall feel of the chapter or it might just be a list of dot points.
I'm working on one as well so if you would like an example of a WIP story outline, just send me a mail c:
I know this activity won't appeal to everyone but I think it might be worth trying if you're the type who procrastinates because you don't know what to write next or you get stuck on how to go about fleshing your story out.
27th August - 31st August
20th August - 25th August
Anyway, prompts for this week are: titles!
Have you ever come across a really great title? Or just have one in the back of your mind? Well this is the chance to actually write something in response to that title.
13th August - 18th August
6th August - 11th August
Try focusing on interaction. Most stories involve more than one character and as such, the way a character interacts with other is vital. It should be realistic and from that character's interaction, you should be able to infer the type of relationship they have with the other person. For example, if they're good friends, their interaction should be familiar and casual while the interaction between the boss and an employee may be more stilted and formal.
30th July - 4th August
As an additional challenge, I would like you to work on character voice. Write out a scene from 3 different characters' point of view or have them interrupt each other in order to tell a story. Is it clear just who is who? Or does all your characters sound the same?
23rd July - 28th July
Now for the prompts. They are: me/you/us and past/present/future.
Six choices for you to pick from. Hopefully, those are vague enough to prompt quite a few ideas.
16th July - 21st July
There's no additional task this week since I'm planning something different. Keep an eye out ;)
9th July - 14th July
If you're having difficulty writing, try doing some speed writing. Don't think or edit, just write for 1-5 minutes without stopping. When you get stuck, just move on to a new idea or start on something different. Keep doing this until your set time limit is up. c:
2nd July - 7th July
If you're looking for an additional challenge, incorporate another writing format into your piece for the week. For example, you could add a poem, song, letter, text message etc.
25th June - 30th June
As an optional additional task, if you're the type of person that writes stories for your pets, aim to finish one section/chapter by the end of this week. c:
Week 40 + 41
11th June - 16th June / 18th June - 23rd June
The amazing Mel (chocolate_lover67) will be handling the feedback groups and mailouts for those week. If you have any issues / problems, try looking for one of the Workshop boards. Someone there should hopefully be able to help. Or if it's not an urgent issue, mail me and I'll get back to you when I'm able to.
This week's prompts are: harmony, mistaken, swan and missed opportunities.
This week's prompts are: soap, those everlasting moments, ink and There weren't quite sure what to do with the box now that they had finally retrieved it.
4th June - 9th June
28th May - 2nd June
Sorry for the disruption to the normal schedule.
21st May - 26th May
The prompts for this week are: spy, game/competition, firefly and energy
14th May - 19th May
For an additional prompt if you're up for it, write using a first person point of view. This doesn't have to be for the whole thing though.
First person POV is often seen as the natural storytelling voice. When we sit around the dinner table, campfire or whatever the setting may be, and tell our stories, it's in first person because it's our stories that we're sharing - the things that have happened or we've heard about. This week is a reminder of that. :)
7th May - 12th May
30th April - 5th May
This week's prompts are heroes and villians.
23rd April - 28th April
This week's prompts are rush, negg, vocal or (s)he turned and found himself faced with the thing he least expected to see.
16th April - 21st April
I might be a bit slow with updates and mails for this week and the next. Most of my assignments are due so I'll be pretty busy getting those done. Sorry about that! ^^;
9th April - 14th April
Anyway, this week's prompts are exploration, hunt, break or Monday.
2nd April - 7th April
That will be it for this week since those are pretty general. I'm interested to see how everyone will target this week's prompts :)
26th March - 31st March
For an additional prompt, try writing in a different format this time. Anything different from your usual stuff works - things like a script (especially for those participating in Script Frenzy), email, text message, blog post etc.
19th March - 24th March
First, you can do the usual - write a drabble in response to one (or more) of the following prompts: disappoint, mesmerise, and eternal.
Or you can write a one sentence story / 10-20 word story. These will obviously be harder to get feedback on so choose wisely. Think of it as a practice in getting as much information across in a condense form. You can find plenty of examples of these online so poogle it if you're lost. :)
12th March - 17th March
For an additional task, try focusing on the age old show not tell thing since I find that this is something that often pops up with writing.
5th March - 10th March
27th Feb - 3rd March
They don't need to have some sort of underlying moral or anything like that. Those were just what came to mind.
Also, there will be no feedback groups for last week's prompt. Sorry about that. Feedback groups will definitely be up again next week (provided that there's interest of course).
20th Feb - 25th Feb
No additional prompts this week so write whatever you want :)
13th Feb - 18th Feb
For those interested in an additional prompt, try writing an actual drabble - that is, a short piece that is exactly 100 words long. This is not necessary of course, just an optional thing for anyone in the mood.
6th Feb - 11th Feb
Another speed writing week! Try and write non stop for five minutes. Don't edit while you write, if you have the time, you can do that later. Just get writing!
For anyone interested, the winner of the Workshop Game is Sunny! I'll work out the details with you once you get back from the cruise ;)
30th Jan - 4th Feb
Please pay particular attention to your sentence structure and length this week. Writing is best when the sentences vary in length with each written to create a particular result. This is something that I feel is easily forgotten, resulting in repetitive and somewhat boring writing. So if you have the time, try experimenting with your sentence structure and length :)
Also, consider this a final call for those who participated in the Workshop Game. Please mail me with how many points you managed to get. I would love to know if you managed to get over the targeted amount as well!
23rd Jan - 28th Jan
Let's start the new lunar year with more prompts ;)
This week's prompts are: conquest or faith.
As an additional task, try to focus on two (or more) characters and their interaction with each other.
For those who participated in the Workshop Game from the previous week(s), please mail me with the total number of points you achieved. This is just to make it easier for me and to make sure that I don't miss out on anything.
That's it for this week!
1st Jan - 7th Jan
I hope 2012 will be even better than 2011 for everyone :)
I won't be here for the next two weeks so I've planned something a little different for the Workshop while I'm away. It's a sort of game that I hope everyone will enjoy.
How it works
Below is a list of prompts along with other things. Each prompt is worth a certain number of points. There are additional points that you can earn but you'll learn more about that later.
Start by choosing a target amount of points to aim for and over the next couple of weeks (now to 20th Jan), write until you have accumulated enough points.
And at the end... we'll see who has done the most?
The winner will have bragging rights as well as the use of yours truly for approximately two weeks. Star-X508 is good for proofreading, giving feedback, coding (I can help you out or code something entirely for you. I deal with mainly petpages but I can code a petlookup for you if you want) and writing stuff for you (for examples, please go here).
For the sake of ease, please keep a total on your page as well as the prompts you've done from the list.
Each prompt is worth one point and can only be redeemed once. So if you decide to use a certain prompt three times, you will still only get one point.
In the hours of darkness
Order amidst chaos
Fly / Let go
Countdown / tick tock
Dancing to my own tune
Window to another realm / window to another time
This is for you
Possible Total: 20 points
You will receive 1 bonus point for every 5 prompts from the list above that you complete. If you complete them all, you will gain an additional 1 bonus point on top of the 4 you will have received. (So 22 points if you complete 10, 25 points if you complete all 20).
These are additional prompts to add to those above. If you complete one of these, add the number of points they're worth to your score. So for example, if you wrote a piece about 'This is for you' and included a small poem, you would have earned 3 points for that. Unlike the ones above, these can be done as many times as you desire.
Include a small poem in some way (4 lines minimum)– 2 points
Mix two prompts together – 1 point
Write the same (or very similar) piece in a different point of view/perspective – 2 points
Do a twist on an old tale (fairytale, mythology etc) – 2 points
Not relating to writing at all but draw an image to accompany what you've written – 2 points
Write four pieces in one week (honesty required here) – 3 points
Use any of the following sentence starters for 2 points. A few repeats because I can. One use only
- She could not help but be disappointed when she noticed the...
- Daylight came in a shudder of tears as the moon kissed the world farewell.
- There were words spelled out in pellets on the bottom of the hamster's cage
- Things were not as they used to be.
- You put the lime in the coconut and drink it all up.
- The town folks called her crazy and for once, she had to agree.
The aim isn't so much to win as such. It's about setting a number of points as your goal and trying to achieve it.
Please remember that there will be no feedback groups or mail outs for the next two weeks. And that's it so go write! 8D
26th Dec - 31st Dec
No additional tasks this week sine it's been chaotic enough. Bonus points if you manage to add two lines that rhyme in there though ;)
19th Dec - 24th Dec
I'm also adding in a different option this time round! Below is a paragraph starter that I (hastily) wrote. If it inspires you, continue it! Feel free to change the character's gender etc to suit what you want.
If you would like to write a paragraph starter, feel free to send one in :)
Things were not as they used to be. The once sleepy town had hurtled forwards in time as the rest of the world too evolved. The pastures she recalled in her faded memories were long gone, replaced with skyscrapers that littered the bustling city with their ever reaching heights. She looked down at the piece of paper clutched tightly in her hands and wondered just what she was doing here. Nothing was as she remembered it and she felt like every bit the stranger as she absorbed in the changes.
There was thirty minutes before the next train would arrive and take her back to the comfortable home she had built. She could pretend like this never happened.
I've removed the people who didn't reply to the mail frmoa few weeks back. If you simply forgot and would like to join the Workshop, just send me a mail :)
12th Dec - 17th Dec
I'll be putting up a paragraph starter next week so keep an eye out for that.
If you've yet to reply to the mail from last week, please do so soon as I will be removing people sometime next week. You can always rejoin at a later time though.
5th Dec - 10th Dec
With a bunch of belated spring cleaning to do as well but first, the prompt.
This week's prompt is snow or festivities for the holidays! Remember, you don't have to like the holidays. Feel free to write about how much you hate it. I personally hate all the Christmas movies they keep showing.
There will be a time limit placed on this week's writing. You can either choose to:
1. Write for five minutes at your own pace or
2. So a speed writing session. You'll have one minute to write whatever you want (don't think about the editing). See how much you can accomplish in 60 seconds.
If you get stuck or just lack inspiration, try searching up some images and writing about the image. You can try writing the scene shown in the photograph or just work on describing it. Just write something!
Onwards to the spring cleaning
1. The hints page is gone
It wasn't getting updated frequently enough and I don't think anyone used it anyway. If you did and want it back, let me know I guess?
2. I will be removing people from the list
The list is growing but half the people aren't really active so I will be removing some people from it. I'll be sending a mass mail about this. I'll only be removing people who are no longer interested in being part of the workshop so don't worry too much about this. You can always get readded anyway.
3. Mail outs
As always, there is currently two mails that you can subscribe to - a mail at the start of the week when a new prompt is out or a mail at the end to remind you to hurry up. You can pick either, both or none. Just let me know if you haven't already. (If you don't want to be part of the feedback system, also let me know or I'll just assume that's a yes).
4. How can we help motivate you?
A common thing I've been hearing is that people haven't been writing because they simply lack inspiration. How can we fix this for you? Let us know and we'll try our best to implement it! If you have anything you would like to see (or not see) on this site, please mail me.
And lastly, I would just like to point out that if you only write when you have inspiration, you'll never get much done. A lot of writers force themselves to write for around 8 hours a day regardless of their mood. If they didn't, they would be starving right now. So maybe what we all need is a bit of discipline ;)
It's worth a shot anyway xD
Sorry about the super long post. I'm eager to get the Workshop back and running
Think magic tricks, mythical creatures/stories etc.
Was there a particular prompt that you wish you could have done differently? This is your chance to pick out one of the past prompts and do it again!
Sentence starters as promised this week. Incorporate one of the following sentences into your writing. This can be at the beginning, middle or end. Feel free to edit them a bit to fit with your character (eg. name, what they're holding etc). If you absolutely hate sentence starters, just use the theme of each or something.
- They say it's rude to stare but when Ellie walked in wielding a chainsaw, everyone couldn't help but stared.
- They say you can never have enough space... until you drown in it.
- For them, there would only ever be those hidden moments in the dark.
- Sooner or later it's all got to end.
- They wanted an explosion so she would give them one.
- The sun shone while the earth mourned.
- There were words spelled out in pellets on the bottom of the hamster's cage
There, now go for it :P
This week's prompt is catastrophe or miracles.
Next week will be a sentence starter so be prepared for that ;)
The prompt for this week is time or alternatively, costumes for the love of Halloween 0:)
This week's prompt is quotes. Similar to last week, go find some inspirational quote and write something in response! Remember, quotes don't have to be long, can be incredibly vague and short etc
If you do choose to use an existing song/lyrics, include a note about it so that others can tell you how they thought you went with the interpretation of that song/lyrics.
Sadly, no feedback groups this week due to an extreme lack of interest. Start writing people!!
Your task for the week is to include some sort of dialogue in there. For some people, this will be easier. For those who avoid dialogue whenever they can, practice because it's something all stories require eventually.
Sorry guys but I have 2 assignments due at the end of this week and I haven't started ;__; If you really want to do a feedback thing, you could always try organising one yourself by going down the list and seeing who has written their prompts? Sorry about this
Anyway, this week's prompt is Four Seasons or Change because our world is influenced greatly by time and change. No focus because we need a break with that so write about anything you want.
12th - 17th September
There will be no prompt this week so write whatever you want. If you get stuck though, try sensation/perception.
The focus however, will be a different point of view.
This will be the last week of POV so no complaining xD By different, I do not mean just writing in 2nd POV (though you can choose to do that if you wish). You can write from the POV of a baby, blind person, inanimate object, dog etc. Play around and see if you can look at the world in a different light.
As you should know, we've started a mailing system where we will mail you
- at the start of the week to let you know that a new prompt is up; or
- at the end of the week to remind you to hurry up.
If you haven't already, let me know which of these mails you want. You can opt for both or none as well :) If you don't tell me, I'll just send you whatever I feel like (which will probably be none).
Again, there's some issues with people not writing feedback to those in their groups. If you can't manage to do feedback for that week, just let me know and I'll take you off the list temporarily :) If you've already been assigned and something's come up, just mail the people in your group and let them know.
We've decided for the feedback issue that we will let group members sort it out for themselves. We don't really want to spend each week chasing up members when we can't really do anything about it. So, if you don't receive feedback from someone, mail them about it first! Be polite of course =D If that doesn't work, then mail us and we'll talk to them about it.
We may be implementing a three strike system in which people who fail to return feedback to others on three occasions will be removed from the feedback system entirely.
So yeah, be good and do your feedback :D
5th - 10th September
This week's prompt is Wishes or alternatively, Promises.
You know that POV you chose last week? Write in the other one this week. So if you did 1st person POV last week, write in 3rd person this week and vice versa.
Get to work!
29th August - 3rd September
Hopefully, you'll find that easier than last week's chocolate prompt. There will be no alternative prompt this week so if you get stuck, make sure you check out the hints page!
We will also be focusing on point of view (POV) this week.
I doubt I'll have to explain that for you. When we write, we often have a preference for a particular point of view and we tend to stick to that. But each POV has its benefits and that's what we're hoping you'll learn. Use the Workshop as a way to experiment! That's what it's all about after all.
Choose from either a first person point of view or a third person point of view for this week.
Needless to say, you'll be writing from the alternative one for next week so either way, you'll be doing both.
22nd – 28th August
With that out of the way, let's get down to business.
This week's prompt is chocolate or alternatively, vanilla or cake. We will be focusing particularly on our use of description this week so make sure you brush up on your adjectives!
Focus in particular about how you can get information across to the reader without specifically stating it. For example, instead of saying "she was impatient" you can write something like "she drummed her fingers along the wooden surface, eyes watching both the clock and door as she awaited her next client". Bad example since I'm terrible at this but you get the point. A good writer shows rather than tell and that's what we'll be trying to do this week.
Try not to over describe something as well. We don't need an entire page focused on how the grass is green or something.
That's it so get writing!
15th – 21st August
There will be no particular thing to focus on this week. It's just to get you going and for everyone else to get a feel for your writing style more or less.
Once you're done, please send a link to your drabble to me by the 22nd August. That way, I can get everyone sorted into small groups for feedback. If you don't want to be part of the feedback system, just let me know.
Mail me if you would like to be added to this list.
Getting away with a crime, wilderness, recognizing a face, oxymoron, invisible, cooking, shy, interrogation, needs, teaching, new identity, parents, deja vu, lists, beginnings, lies, death, teamwork, notebooks, inside joke, a maze, and surprises.