I’ve Moved!!

Those of you who are following me here, I have a brand new site and will not be making any more posts to this one.

Please come follow me here instead: The Rose Patch: Constance Watson

Can’t wait to see you there!

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My First Writing Tip Article

Wanderlust (3)

Recently I had a crazy idea to start a series of articles on writing tips. Should be fun, right?

Well, in a way it was. For my first topic I was writing about something that I had learned many years ago. I hadn’t seen many articles on this topic, and since it had been an immense help in my own writing, I decided that I would write about it.

I wrote the first draft, and then submitted it to the queue in The Writers’ Block for critique. Recently our critique system underwent a few changes in order to streamline the process, so instead of getting critiqued on everything at once, the first round of review is just developmental.

This turned out to be a really good thing for me, because my first developmental review turned into a major rewrite. Turns out I had much more to say on the topic than I had originally thought! In fact, that rewrite doubled the overall word count of my article.

After that, I got another developmental review, then it finally went into the nitpick stage. This is where grammar and spelling mistakes are fixed. I also had to change a few of my examples–what I had didn’t accurately portray the topic I was covering.

As I was working on this piece, I noticed a strange phenomenon. For some reason I was more sensitive regarding the feedback I got on it than I am with my fiction or poetry (even though I’m new to writing poetry). When it comes to critiques on those, I just change what needs to be changed and that’s it. No mess no fuss.

But for this article, I found myself crying over some of the comments I got. We have a 24-hour timeout rule with our review system, so writers have the time to fully process the notes they get and apply any necessary changes to their work. For my article that 24  timeout was a necessity. And it wasn’t because of anything anyone said. No one was being overly harsh or critical, or making any nasty comments. It just hurt, much more than I thought it would.

I discussed this phenomenon with the lovely Tiny, who has written a plethora of writing tips articles, and she made a very good point. “Writing about writing opens you up to people saying ‘Who are YOU to tell ME how to write? What have YOU accomplished so far?'”

That’s what drove home. The fear that I wasn’t a good enough writer to write about writing. That the topic wasn’t important enough for me, an amateur, to write about and teach to other writers.

Once I was able to identify what was making me so sensitive, I found the courage to push past those fears and write the best article I could write. I only hope it helps make even just one person a better writer.

So without further ado I bring you the first installment in the Cultivate Your Prose with Rose series: Loose Body Parts and How to Keep them Attached.

There Was Research Involved

Copy of a wolf's debt

Rewriting a fairy tale wasn’t enough. I was writing it from the perspective of a creature I’ve never used before – a wolf.

I once published a short piece on Steem about the importance of research when you’re writing. The need for research came into play with A Wolf’s Debt, as I needed to know wolfish things: their body language, their thoughts, whether or not they can carry a lamb on their back (they can’t).

Luckily for me, I am friends with two people in The Writers’ Block that were able to help. One of them raises sheep for a living, while the other has a wolf for a pet. Both of them, with their intimate knowledge of wolf and sheep facts, were able to help me bring my story to life in a much more tangible way.

Now I was able to have Rayni howl at the moon to show grief. I learned that she would need to stay downwind of the sheep if she were to hunt them properly. And I loved that she would be able to carry a small lamb with her mouth while running, as it fit very nicely into my tale.

I hope you enjoyed Part 1 of A Wolf’s Debt. Part 2 is up and ready for you. You can also find links to this story and other stories by going to the Short Stories link on the top menu bar.

Rewriting a Folk Tale

About a month ago I joined a really fun writing group on Discord called The Writers’ Block. We peer review each other’s work till it’s polished and ready to be published, either to SteemIt or through mainstream chanels. We also brainstorm together, and have weekly-ish writing exercises where we can further strengthen our skills.

I say “weekly-ish”, because our last exercise ended up being more involved than anyone originally planned. It started out as a two week project, and we had to extend it an extra week.

Here’s the task we were given:

Rewrite a fairy tale as a deep POV (3rd limited) story from the perspective of one of the characters that is not usually the main character. Remember to base it on the classic version of the tale, which would be considered public domain, not a modern copyrighted version, such as Disney. The focus of the exercise is to work on writing deep POV, so it’s okay if you modernize or expound on the tale. It’s also okay to stick close to the original ideas, but use your own words.

Easy, right?

Yeah, not so much. Others found their stories right away and started working on them almost immediately.

I, however, had a hard time just choosing a fairy tale. Most of my favorites had already been done into the ground by other venues (I’m looking at you, Disney). I tried browsing some unknown ones, or ones from different regions that were unfamiliar to me, but nothing stuck out. I spent days poring over lists of various fairy tales and folk tales.

Then, finally, one day, inspiration hit me. I came across on one of the lists the folk tale “The Boy Who Cried Wolf.” I thought, what if I wrote that, but from the wolf’s perspective?

The story came to life, almost like it was writing itself. Before I knew it I had a story that barely resembled the original folk tale. With the help of my friends at The Writers’ Block, I spent the following week and a half editing, and editing, and editing, and editing some more.

And now I bring you, “A Wolf’s Debt – Part 1”. Enjoy 🙂

Copy of a wolf's debt

Welcome to The Rose Patch

IMG_9941editedMy name is Constance Watson, also known as The Rose Patch, or just Rose.

I live in the mountains of lovely Virginia with my husband, our daughter Evelyn (Evie), and our cat, Thalia.

I’ve created this blog to serve as a companion to my profile on SteemIt, a blockchain-based blogging platform. My goal is to keep what I’ve posted to SteemIt organized and easily accessible (for you and for me) here. I also plan to blog about what I’m writing on SteemIt and post regular updates about my author’s journey.

Thank you for visiting and I hope to see you soon!