July Monthly Feature: Poetry
I have decided that it's time to expand the scope of the monthly featured author. Instead of featuring an author, it can be any variety of things, but this month, I'll be headlining something that is very near and dear to my heart.
One of the biggest challenges in reviewing is evaluating poetry. One of the most common perceptions of doing so is that poetry is so subjective and difficult to be sure about in terms of meaning. But I have found that, throughout both my tour in 'Poetry, Anyone?', this is a misconception. You don't need to be a great poet to understand what poetry means or what it means to you specifically. Poetry is the art of interpretation and being emotive. And the best part of it is that every poem means something different to everybody. Poets take great joy in sharing a bit of themselves to see what others will make of it. While it's not the easiest thing to write, reading poetry truly is for everyone.
With that in mind, this is my challenge to you: I would love to see you all review a poem this month. There are over 1100 poems in the MNFF archive, so finding one on a subject you find interesting shouldn't be an issue. Poetry makes up almost 1/8 of the entire bulk of the archives, yet it is, by far, the least read and reviewed.
But SPEW Queen, reviewing poetry is hard!
Yes, it can be a bit challenging, but being able to offer meaningful critique and appreciation is a universal concept, so it's a necessary step in your respective evolutions as reviewers to be able to give stellar feedback for something that often has a shorter word count than your first two paragraphs. It's difficult, but it can be done.
What if I get stuck?
No worries, amigo! SPEW is here to help. If you have any questions whatsoever about reviewing poetry, feel free to post it in this thread. It would make me very happy to see a discussion about reviewing spring up, with the result leading to everyone learning something that will help them in the future. In fact, if you do choose to do this activity, I am going to require you ask one TQ (topic question) about the subject, such as asking SPEWers what they found the most challenging or how they feel about certain grey areas of critiquing poems.
Over 1100 poems! Wow, that's a lot. Buuuuuuuuuuuuuut, I still can't find a poem that I'd like to review.
If you'd like to participate in this activity but can't quite find the right poem for what you are looking for, you can peruse the Recommend a Poem thread in Fiction Junction. If you don't find anything there, then just post in this thread and tell your fellow SPEWers what sort of themes you're looking for, such as Voldemort poems, Harry poems, battle poems, etc. Consider this thread both a discussion forum and a support group for those of you who are branching out into unknown territory.
With that, please, go forth and read poetry! While this activity isn't compulsory, I would still really like to see more of you review poetry. Consider it both a growth experience and a gift to the least-reviewed genre in MNFF.
July Discussion: Your Personal Views and Fan Fiction
Every person has their own personal morality and series of beliefs. Often, those very mores encourage us to pursue some forms of entertainment whilst forgoing others. In this discussion, I'd like to see where you as SPEWers stand on this issue.
Do your values and/or beliefs play a major role in what sort of fictions you choose to read here at MNFF?
If so, do you feel like you're missing out on anything?
If not, have you ever come across something that crosses the threshold of what you find comfortable?
Do you have to make a conscious effort to keep your own views from colouring your reviews?
These are just starter questions, so, by all means, add to them. I will say right now that this is by no means a sounding board for you to wave whatever flags you might be carrying, nor is it a place to judge others' tastes and preferences. It is a discussion, which should be conducted as politely and professionally as I know you are all capable.
With all that disclaimer stuff aside, discuss!
July Drabble Challenge: Word Beads
Some of you might recognise this time-tested challenge from The Three Broomsticks. It's easy to understand, and it can be rewarding to shoe-horn odd words into a drabble without it seeming odd at all. Here's how it works:
Take the six words listed below and incorporate them into your drabble as neatly as possible and bold them so my old eyes can spot them. The words are:
Mustache, flame, leg, fancy, smell, brilliant
You are allowed to use the following derivations: alternate verb tenses, change singular to plural and vice versa, change the part of speech as long as the root word is intact and can still be conjugated as the original word ('that is a fancy dress'/'I fancied that dress' is okay, for example). Things you CANNOT do: incorporate a shorter word within a larger word (such as using 'legume' for your usage of 'leg' or 'flamethrower' for your usage of 'flame'), change the part of speech in a way that alters the root word to where it can't be conjugated back to its original form (like changing 'brilliant' to 'brilliance' or 'flame' to 'flammable').
Drabbles should contain a solid basis in the Potterverse in that magic, magical characters with canon powers, or canon characters mentioned in some fashion must be the focus. Writing a random story and throwing in a random mention of Merlin in there isn't acceptable, as I'm sure you know. Yes, I will be checking to make sure you have all the words, and yes, I expect quality drabbles with proper SPaG from you guys.
Please use this entry form for your drabbles, which should be between 300-800 words. If you are, for some reason, unable to cut down your word count, feel free to submit your drabble to the archive and post the link in the thread instead.
If you have any questions, post them in the babble. But I think you've all done this in some form before, so with that, have at it!
[b]Word Count: [/b]
[b]Author's Note: [/b]