community closed

sorry all.

this new years' eve i reassessed my priorities and this community is no longer one of them. i hope it's been an interesting experience for all of you.

there are a number of quality writers' communities you could join on lj. just use interest search to find them.

good luck !

new voice

new voice

quin browne
Critiquing skills

Choose one piece of work from the application of an accepted member or mod and give constructive feedback on it. You may find the 'accepted' tag on the right-hand side of the community page helpful. Let us know which piece you're critiquing.

i read a few pieces, and settled on ellymelly's, Apologies for Leaving. i enjoyed the piece, the sense of quiet doom, the various reactions of those who were on the same ship... that sense of each pair of eyes has a different vision of the same event. i loved some of the phrasing, and felt the way she attributed the ship with a sense of being a living thing added to the intensity of the story. most of those who sail do see their ships as 'alive'. it kept me wanting to know what was next, or was this a different view of the titanic or the andrea doria... what was this? to find it unique, and not bloodthirsty in it's need to feed the sea....

Writing sample
Post 1-5 samples of your writing, up to 2000 words. These can be an extract from a novel, short stories, poems, factual pieces, essays, lyrics...anything you like. If it's an extract, let us know the title of the piece, a brief synopsis, and which part of the piece the extract is taken from</b>

i work in flash fiction, so, long pieces are not my forte...

Who Knew?

Perhaps I had shown neglect in the past, allowing my time and attention to be taken by other, less important, matters. You didn&amp;rsquo;t hesitate to take advantage of that, slipping around into other places, other lives. No surprise that I showed no jealousy-- instead I simply left. Parenting was hard. To walk away took no effort at all.



He lay still, keeping his breathing even, listening to his parents on the other side of the bed curtain. The train moved south, carrying his family home; his parents, himself ill from scarlet fever and his older brother, who lay not in the lower bunk as usual, but, in a casket in the freight car. He heard them as they mourned, asking each other why God had not listened to their prayers. Their voices angry, sorrowful, puzzled wondering why in all His wisdom, this decision... choosing to grant the miracle of recovery to the wrong boy. He lay still, keeping his breathing even, understanding now what his life had become. He was six years old, an only child, and would never know their love again.


She walked the patio, slowly advancing towards the feast displayed on delicate china. Her eyes flicked over the carefully placed setting, taking in the perfectly broiled chicken, cooked to perfection and covered with a sauce that was created just for this recipe. I stood to the side, anxious over the presentation, confident she'd find this meal, God willing, to her satisfaction. She stretched, examining her nails, finally settling in front of the plate with her preferred night meal drink of water to one side. Leaning forward, her nostrils flared as she sniffed, then took her first bite. She stood abruptly, closing her green eyes, obvious in her body language the dish offended her. Her head turned towards me, disdain in every line. I sighed, picked up the offending dish, scraping the food into the trash. Damn her and her jaded palate! Reaching for the tin of chopped kidneys in gravy, made by her favourite brand, I again questioned my decision to ever let a cat own me.



It is a ritual - her pliant body's white skin eager to absorb the red pain from his hand. He had thought it a game, not noticing when it slid into something more, something different, something she needed. Absorbed by the intensity of her reactions, he willingly went into that place, feeling his arm vibrate as his hand met her flesh, her moans falling around them. Afterwards, she lies with her head on his stomach, while their breathing slows, her tears dry. Now is when they talk and laugh, when they revert to that which is seen as normal-- what is acceptable to others. Later, she will yank on her jeans, sucking in her breath as they press against the reminder of when, for a short time, she is free of the meltdown of emotions that constitute her internal world... and she gives thanks he is clueless to her duplicity.


Blind Date
They kill the sweet baby cows before their eyes turn brown, you know. Pale fleshed, silly creatures, blindly trusting, going into that dark place with the filtered light, hearing muffled voices, growing complacent... coaxed by soft hands that touch with gentle movements, moving forward from one place to the other, no stress, content with the attention received. Little innocents, who walk into a room to see what is there, sensing no danger, held down, forced into an uncomfortable and scary position-- then it's over. She was aware of these facts before, but it never affected her ability to enjoy veal. Now, she hates the taste of veal. It was on his breath that night, when he raped her after dinner.


lurker survey

hey there lurkers!

i'd like to make loveletters more inclusive of and tailored to you. and so i have a few questions:

- what made you want to join loveletters ?
- what stops you from applying to loveletters ?
- what would make you want to apply ?
- how can we better tailor the community to you ?
- would you like to participate in lurker activities, such as writing tasks or competitions, without having to become an accepted member of loveletters ?
- would you like to have some voting rights, e.g. be able to vote in the monthly prompt competition ?

i'd like the lurkers to be more involved with the community (with no points and no pressure), and i'd love any and all input on how that could be done. including input from the members, so if you're reading this, feel free to leave your comments too :)



mod // december timeline, weekly prompt and monthly prompt

here is the timeline for december. you may like to note some of these dates down in your calendar :)

december 1: applications begin
week 1 prompt and monthly prompt come out

december 8: new weekly prompt

december 15: new weekly prompt

december 22: new weekly prompt, deadline for monthly prompt competition, applications close

december 23: voting begins

december 25: happy xmas !

december 29: voting ends

december 30: monthly awards and vote-offs announced

weekly promot:

Week beginning 1 December

A disastrous family picnic.

Monthly prompt for December
Men with Prawns by Belinda Eaton


OK, well Gauri said that she wanted people to tell the others that they're leaving so that they don't get barred ignominiously. I'd prefer to slip away without saying anything, but here is why I'm leaving.

The main reason for my departure is that I am not happy with my writing at the moment. The secondary reason is that I'm not happy with the quality of writing in the community. I need someone who is good enough that I can really learn from their writing: not through them pointing out the bad parts of my stuff, but from me being able to learn from the good parts of their stuff.

All of the critiques on this community are really aimed at errors. There is nothing really examining the big ideas, which are what really make pieces work. I'm not saying that criticism is a bad thing: not once has someone said, "that sucked because it wasn't creative enough".

I didn't get any better at writing in this community, although I want to make clear that the fault is almost entirely mine. But the thing about other people's advice is this:

"'I never called everything by the same name that all the other people about me did,' said Dorothea, stoutly.

'But I suppose you have found out your mistake, my dear' said Mrs Cadwallader, 'and that is a proof of sanity.'

Dorothea was aware of the sting, but it did not hurt her. 'No,' she said, 'I still think that the greater part of the world is mistaken about many things. Surely one may be sane and yet think so, since the greater part of the world has often had to come round from its opinion.'"

In short, there is a lot of advice out there. I felt unsure about which to trust because of the merits of the critiquers' works. I came here to learn and failed to do that, not because I was much better at writing than anyone else, but because there was no-one else who was much better than me. That's the problem: there's no-one who's really ahead of the pack, no-one to nick ideas from or who could help people with the deeper problems in their writing.

I have no real suggestions about how to do so other than stick around and pick up a reputation. Writing communities are like football clubs: there is a gap between large and small based on performance and history. That gap is an unfair one, being hard to change: but if you were a young footballer, where would you rather be trained?