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Identifying a Possible DD

Journal Entry: Sat Jan 26, 2013, 2:46 AM
Welcome to WritersInk's latest feature: Editorials

Our editorials will discuss issues which affect writers generally, as well as dA Lit specifically. First, we dive into Daily Devaitions (the links above will be enabled as articles are published!)

With so much variety out there, it can be difficult to know what makes a piece good enough to receive a Daily Deviation (DD).

We've put our heads together with the Literature Community Volunteers (Lit CVs), to come up with some advice on what makes a DD stand out.  This isn't a definitive list, nor does it guarantee that your suggestions will actually get featured, but it should help you better understand what sets DDs apart from the rest.
Emotional Reaction and Wider Appeal
Possibly the most defining feature of all successful DDs is how they connect to the reader.  Reading is often a personal and intimate activity, thus the emotional connection between the reader and literature varies.  At some point though, we all form a connection with what we read.  In the words of Nichrysalis:

"Writing should resonate on an emotional level, as art does, whether it entertains, saddens, or shocks. If a piece resonates with me, and I see that it resonates with others as well, it is much more likely to be featured."  

Subjects of emotional interest may be memoirs, accounts of personal experiences, or pieces with a deeper meaning or message.  Works of fiction also form powerful emotional links with readers.  Stories that reach out and touch the reader in some way, be it in a good or perhaps even shocking or bad manner, are great DD material.

Remember that personal connection is not always enough.  The work of a friend my be "nice" or "enjoyable" but would it appeal to more people than you?  Loving a piece simply because it appeals personally to you or a small group of close friends may not be enough to make your suggestion stand out.  Always look for a broader emotional attraction.Originality
Originality is attractive, and there are times when emotional attachment is evoked simply by the innovation of idea alone.  
Remember that originality does not have to come in the form of a totally new idea or subject, it can be in the form of taking something well-known and presenting it in a different light or voice.

"I want the piece to grab my attention and make me interested in some way. It could be subject matter that sparks my interest with passable writing style, or it could be the style itself that makes it interesting, etc." - thorns

Originality doesn't have to mean completely unique either - it could just mean less common. Sometimes, a genre or form that simply does not appear often in features is what our Lit CVs are looking for.  For example: neurotype would love to see more essays and non-fiction showcased, and Nichrysalis and BeccaJS would really like to see more fixed form poetry, as well as micro-reads.  

"For me, poetry needs to have grounding to it- a sense of earthiness and root- I don't like whimsical floaty poetry that has no real meaning or connection. It's not just about emotion and expressing your feelings- it needs a little more than that. " - BeccaJS
Writing Style
The last, but by no means least, important points to consider when looking at a promising piece of lit are spelling, punctuation and grammar (SPAG).  While DDs are by no means meant to be perfect, spelling and grammar are obviously important in the world of the written word.

How a piece is presented to the viewer is a vital factor to consider when selecting suggestions. When it comes to formatting, ask yourself one question: Is the lit presented in a manner that makes it comfortable to read?  Prose should be written in clear paragraphs - either indented or separated by an obvious line-break, and dialogue should be clearly visible and not merged into walls of text.

Useful Guides
The How To's of Dialogue: Grammar and OtherwiseWhen writing dialogue, it's easy to get confused as to what's proper grammar and what isn't. This is no surprise when considering all the variables involved, but not to worry. I'm going to go over the rules and variables of dialogue right now so you can clearly understand the do's and dont's. 
This guide has eight sections:
- Basic Dialogue
- Using other Identifiers
- Actions as Replacement Identifiers
- Interrupting Dialogue
- Using Ellipses, Hyphens, and Dashes
- Paragraphing 
- Long-Winded Dialogue
- Italics (Expanded: 5-1-12)
- One Last use of Italics (New: 5-1-12)
Basic Dialogue:
Example A1:
The man said, "Pass me the cricket bat."
The woman said, "I don't think I will."
- Observations:
     1) A comma after "said," before the quotation mark.
     2) The first letter of dialogue is capitalized since it is the first word of a vocalized sentenc
Html codes and Visual Poetry  A lot of great writers on dA don't know how to use html codes, which is a real shame, because these codes can really be used to bring out a writer's words. This tutorial will go through several basic codes, good places to use them in your writing, along with spacing and other aspects of visual poetry & writing.
If you haven't noticed, when you open an "Add text" devation, there's a list of  HTML codes at the bottom. Most of them look like this . A lot of these match up with the names used for them in Microsoft Word documents, so they should be easy to use. So, let's start off with the basics!
1. Italics <i>
</i>is simply, italics. Got it? Put the i inside the s. See, it's easy! To end any Html code, one puts a slash before the letter i, </i>. Now, for the Visual impact of italics.
                 Emphasis and Motion
Which means that a good place to use i
Writing Style vs. VoiceA Writer's Guide to Style vs. Voice
Here on dA, there seems to be a lot of confusion and general mass hysteria when it comes to the subjects of writing style and voice.  What are they?  What's the difference?  Can you write one without the other?  How important are they, anyhow?  Do you really need either of them?  Wait, what are they again?
Style is the form and structure with which you write.
Voice is the attitude and perspective with which you write.
In other words, voice is the emotion and feeling of a piece of literature, and style is the technical way of communicating that emotion.
Clearly, there is a tangible difference between the two.  Style is a delivery system for voice.  While voice can and should affect the form with which you write, you can most certainly write one without the other.  However, the best writing is a masterful fusion of both.  
I'm here to illustrate for you the difference between style and voice and to define exactly what they are and how you can us

More helpful writing guides can be found in our Writing Resources folder.

Quick Tips
:bulletblack: Reaction and Appeal – Think about the wider audience and how the lit effects you or others. Does the writing form any kind of emotional connection, or pose a message or deeper meaning that will appeal to a wider range of readers?

:bulletblack: Original or Overdone – Ask yourself if what you’re reading is new, completely different, or rarely seen.  Remember that originality does not always mean re-creating the wheel.

:bulletblack: Check that SPAG – The basics of all lit!  A piece should be reader-friendly and presented in a comfortable manner.

:bulletblack: Comments are Key - Comments are there to showcase the reactions of readers.  A piece that is stimulating and engaging will provoke lengthier comments that delve deeper into the meaning or idea behind it.

:bulletblack: Read and Read Again - When considering a piece to suggest, take a moment to read it again, being a little more critical this time.  If nothing leaps out at you and you're still amazed by the work, then you're probably on to something good.

Perfection is by no means expected when looking at pieces to suggest, if it contains at least two of the points offered above, then it stands a very good chance of making it through to a feature so go right ahead and suggest it!  We'll be back next week to tell you more about how to actually do that.

"I want to read ALL THE GOOD THINGS, so send me anything you think the site needs to see or that I'd enjoy anyway. Don't think too hard about it—if I don't think I can feature it, someone else might feel differently." - neurotype

Add a Comment:
SingingFlames Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Excellent and informative article! I will definitely keep this in mind! :love:
MajorasMasks Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2013  Professional Artisan Crafter
Useful tips, but I was told that DDs are just personal favourites of who decide them... ^^'
Sleyf Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Who told you that?
MajorasMasks Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2013  Professional Artisan Crafter
I don't remember anymore, it was many years ago and, if I recall correctly, I was complaining about the DDs system because sometimes I stumbled upon DDs given to artworks that had objective faults or mistakes (for example anatomy or layout in illustrations). When I asked how DDs were chosen, someone replied to me that it's just a matter of personal tastes of the people who choose them.

I think there are people who actually try to choose the best, as much as possible, to give DDs, but if you look at the already given ones it's also clear that there is someone who isn't able to objectively evaluate artworks or, worse, make favouritisms. :(
Sleyf Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Oh wait are we talking about all DDs or just lit ones, because I don't know about the other CVs but I know there are a lot of factors the Lit CVs look at and personal preference is far down on the list
MajorasMasks Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2013  Professional Artisan Crafter
I'm glad to hear that. :)
monstroooo Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Not at all! These tips here are given by the very people who choose the features :) In fact, I think it's actually quite unfair to suggest that DDs are just the 'favourites' of people who chose them. Having done a lot of research to produce these articles, we've seen how much work the CVs do :nod:

It obviously helps if the CVs really like a piece - they're more likely to feature something they fall in love with. But they also look beyond their personal tastes to see if a suggestion holds an appeal for a wider audience, or if it's something rare or otherwise unique. They don't feature their favourites, they feature work which they thinks deserves a chance with a wider audience.
MajorasMasks Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2013  Professional Artisan Crafter
It can be so for people choosing literature DDs, but I'm sure it isn't the same for every category here on DA, and I was told that by someone who is (was?) in charge of choosing some of them. Unfortunately, I don't remember who it was anymore, since it happened some years ago; anyway, from that moment on I didn't take DDs much seriously anymore.

I'm noticing more seriousness in the literature areas of DA, though: maybe, to have less deviations to check in comparison to the visual ones does help. :)
HugQueen Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2013   Writer
EvelynNorth Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2013
Thanks for the information, will definitely keep that in mind when I read literature around here.
PennedinWhite Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
This is really informative, and fun to read. :)

:clap: Well done!
Sleyf Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
PennedinWhite Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Indeed! :)
your-methamphetamine Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2013  Student Writer
This is just about the most helpful guide I've read all week.
Sleyf Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Aww thanks so much, I'm glad it's useful!
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