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The Angry Writer

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  #1  
Old 07-10-2010, 05:10 PM
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You've all probably met the angry writer at some point in time. He's there lurking behind every post, waiting to rip your story to shreds.
I don't think there is a problem with reviewing or criticizing someone's work. All writers are growing.
As I have said before and faithfully believe in this: A writer who doesn't grow has lost his ability to imagine.

But then there is the angry writer. I call them angry because they come in and give feedback. But the feedback is really how they think writing should sound like, how they think your writing style is wrong, they make it aware that you'll never get published, etc.

The angry writer, is a writer who believes he has no more need to grow. He has lost his ability to imagine. He has lost his ability to appreciate works that are unique and unfamiliar to literature.

Writing is a very subjective process and it's like painting. One painter may hold his brush this way, one painter may stroke his canvas a different way getting different lines.
The same with writing. One writer may write as if he were talking in his own language. One writer may write as if he were a 1950s narrator.

Btw, I haven't met an angry writer on WB...so no worries. This isn't a concern about this site. This is simply an observation I have made over the years.

The questions I pose to you is:

Who has the right to tell you how your writing should sound?

How do you deal with an angry writer?

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Old 07-10-2010, 05:15 PM
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Everyone has the right to make suggestions on how to make your writing better, but NO ONE has the write to tell you how your writing should sound. The language, speech, vocabulary, etc...used in a story is what makes it different and uniquely yours.
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Old 07-10-2010, 05:18 PM
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Interpreting critiques can require great skill and maturity. Instead of immediately reacting, we ponder the words of others and then act on them accordingly. Dealing with the angry writer requires those same attributes. It's usually best not to react to them.
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Old 07-10-2010, 06:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Secret View Post
Everyone has the right to make suggestions on how to make your writing better, but NO ONE has the write to tell you how your writing should sound. The language, speech, vocabulary, etc...used in a story is what makes it different and uniquely yours.
Unfortunately I meet a lot of feedback like this:

"You'll never be a writer if you write like this.

Your sentence:

The door opened and light peered through the room. As the light shined on his face he began to stir, awaking from his dying slumber.

This sentence makes no sense. You should write it like:

He awoke when the light peered onto his face."

Or I meet poetry feedback, where they tell you "you have to have punctuation".
Not all poetry sounds good with punctuation.

These "angry" [I use the term as a loose adjective] writers, when you try to tell them this fact or try to ask them to clarify on their feedback more; feel that you are challenging them. Questioning or undermining their ability to write and give feedback.
And so instead they go onto a slew of insults.
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Old 07-10-2010, 11:48 PM
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I agree with Secret on this. Everyone has the right to express their opinions and make suggestions on your work. But when it gets to the point of telling you what and how to write, a line has been crossed.

That said, there isn't much you can do about an angry writer except to talk to them about it. They do have a right to their opinions. Unless of course the line is crossed and you get something akin to a "mentor" stalker. I have had one of those before. The only cure for that is to ask a moderator to step in. But in my case it was a moderator. That was neither pretty nor fun.
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Old 07-11-2010, 04:24 AM
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I saw the thread title and thought, well, that sounds interesting - angry writers - maybe a thread about writers who use their art to express discontent or even hate for aspects of society ... but it's actually about receiving criticism. Really, the thread title should be "Angry Critics".

That aside, anyone who posts their work in an open forum must be willing to accept criticism they do not like. The important thing is to judge the criticism in light of the critic's own ability. For instance, if a poet I admire offers criticism on a poem of mine, I'm more likely to listen to their advice and act on it. On the other hand, when an illiterate wannabe (and they flood boards like these) questions my writing or offers suggestions on how to improve it, I say, "thank you" and ignore them. Discrimination is an important factor in how you receive criticism.

Ultimately, only you as a writer can decide how to write your poem, story, novel, or article. Advice is advice after all: another option to what you already have. It's not an authorative ruling you are obliged to comply with.

Here's another tip: know thyself. Or, more specifically, know your own capabilities. If you know you have trouble with punctuation or spelling, you oughtn't to baulk when someone corrects you. If you struggle with wordiness, shouldn't be too quick to bristle if someone suggests trimming your sentences back. And if you really don't want advice, then post work with a "not looking for criticism" disclaimer.

Finally, if someone posted:

The door opened and light peered through the room. As the light shined on his face he began to stir, awaking from his dying slumber.
I, for one, would have no compunction whatsoever about doing this to it:

The door opened and light peered ? Does light have eyes? through into the room. As the light shined shone on his face he began to stir, awaking archaic and cumbersome on modern ears from his dying slumber. No his, who else's slumber could he wake from? Dying is unnecessary and melodramatic.
Those corrections/suggestions do not arise from anger but from a firm grasp of the English language and more than a few years of using it in fiction. The corrections (shone, the comma) are not really negotiable; authors need to obey the rules of grammar, and use punctuation correctly in order to aid the reader. The rest are suggestions, alternatives offered for the author's consideration. The author is always entitled to ignore my corrections/suggestions. No skin off my nose, but no need for him/her to get angry, or hurt, or resentful either.

Most criticism is a combination of corrections and suggstions, as in the example above. It is up to the author to distinguish which is which, and to decide which bits he/she wants to act on, according to his/her preference. But if a writer cannot receive criticism as in the above example without feeling a sense of hostility from the critic, the fault may not lie in the critic, but in the recipient.

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Old 07-11-2010, 05:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Q Wands View Post

Those corrections/suggestions do not arise from anger but from a firm grasp of the English language and more than a few years of using it in fiction. The corrections (shone, the comma) are not really negotiable; authors need to obey the rules of grammar, and use punctuation correctly in order to aid the reader. The rest are suggestions, alternatives offered for the author's consideration. The author is always entitled to ignore my corrections/suggestions. No skin off my nose, but no need for him/her to get angry, or hurt, or resentful either.
Yeah but no one likes being nitpicked, and the stylistic suggestions like "This is archaic and cumbersome" and "dying is melodramatic" feel like nitpicks to me, and probably to him lol. I didn't find any of his words cumbersome, and i didn't think dying was melodramatic, though I do feel it's a troubling choice, since I'm not sure exactly what he means by that. It's a little ambiguous, and that's why I'd change it.

Point is these are opinions, but when that's all you say and you don't say whether or not you even enjoyed it, the writer gets the feeling you didn't even read it but went over it like your teacher handed it to you as an assignment to correct. Writers would love to have stuff like that told to them, and he might've never thought to change shined to shone, but writers also want your evaluation of the story as a story and not just a page of words.
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Old 07-11-2010, 06:24 AM
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That was an example, and not a critique.

When I offer a full on, warts-and-all critique, I tend to go through the text picking out areas that I feel are weak. I make it a point to say that those areas do not work for me and I give the reasons why. You may see this as nitppicking, but if a critic can't offer a solid reason for disliking something, then they are probably talking out of their nether regions. But I know how hard it is to have someone forensically examine your work. (I've received detailed critiques that would reduce some of the thin-skinned people here to tears. I learned from them, though.) So I usually try to inject humorous comments to soften the blow. Towards the end, I try to find aspects that are well-written or particularly noteworthy. Everyone needs encouragement. And then I point out that this is simply my opinion and nothing more. Others might disagree, and that's fine. They are as entitled to their opinion as I am to mine.

Then it is the author's duty to read all the comments and to determine which are the ones he/she will act on. It is not the job of other critics to pick apart someone else's critique, but that's something you will find happening a great deal. If one critic agrees with another, it's fine to say so, but when they disagree, there is no need to get into a discussion since it is all a matter of personal taste. When you get one person telling another that their opinion is wrong, then you get into the realm of angry writers to the detriment of the forum.

You might notice, however, that I don't do many full on, warts-and-all critiques. At least not any more. The reason is that most people who post work are looking for unadulterated praise. They think they are two steps away from publishing a masterpiece. It's not fun knocking the scales from peoples' eyes, and it's seldom appreciated. Now I tend to save my criticism for people I know can take it face value, or else I offer only the briefest of comments.

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Old 07-11-2010, 07:03 AM
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Originally Posted by R.J.Nightfall View Post
Unfortunately I meet a lot of feedback like this:

"You'll never be a writer if you write like this.

Your sentence:

The door opened and light peered through the room. As the light shined on his face he began to stir, awaking from his dying slumber.

This sentence makes no sense. You should write it like:

He awoke when the light peered onto his face."

Or I meet poetry feedback, where they tell you "you have to have punctuation".
Not all poetry sounds good with punctuation.

These "angry" [I use the term as a loose adjective] writers, when you try to tell them this fact or try to ask them to clarify on their feedback more; feel that you are challenging them. Questioning or undermining their ability to write and give feedback.
And so instead they go onto a slew of insults.

I've never had anyone tell me how my writing should sound. But then I surround myself with so few people and very rarely post online, I've had people tell me what my character shouldn't do when I posted online once. I also had a best friend refuse to read my story because I wouldn't make the protagonist male, she wanted it to be a male, and I tried my hardest but I just couldn't write it as a male, so she said the story was crap because he wasn't a male, lost interest in it. But she also has said that unicorns in a fantasy setting weren't realistic either...so I took what she said with a grain of salt and never asked her to read or go through my plans again.

Most people tell me to find my own distinctive voice and then use it. I did have one person who said that who then said my writing is always gloomy and melancholy! And that I should try to lighten it up...I think that's similar? I didn't understand it so I just took it into my head, went home, and continued to write my gloomy, melancholy, dark fantasy .

Originally Posted by R.J.Nightfall View Post
How do you deal with an angry writer?
Well once this guy got angry at me, pissed off when he read part of my story. The MC must sacrifice and kill her son in order for the world to live because she is/personifies everything living and he is Death, the end of the world. She loves this boy to death, but also doesn't want the world to die so she sentences him to death and her niece fights her every step of the way.

The guy read it and put it down in disgust and told me realistically that wouldn't happen. And I said what? "A mother wouldn't kill her son! I'm a Father!" He said, I would never kill my son, a mother would never kill her son that is just not realistic. I don't like your story...at all. And I said but...you haven't read the rest, you don't even know what happens or why, and he said he didn't want to know because it was that horrible that she sentences her son to death.

I'd say that was the only kind of experience I have ever had with an angry writer. A bad reaction .

Originally Posted by Q Wands View Post
I saw the thread title and thought, well, that sounds interesting - angry writers - maybe a thread about writers who use their art to express discontent or even hate for aspects of society ... but it's actually about receiving criticism. Really, the thread title should be "Angry Critics".
I thought the same thing and was all excited when I clicked and then I was oh, aww man. Critics! Mwahahaha!
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Old 07-11-2010, 07:08 AM
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If you post your work for critique, everyone has the right to comment as they see fit. If thery suggest a different way of writing it, they're doing you a favour. It's entirely up to you what you do with it.
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Old 07-11-2010, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Q Wands View Post
I saw the thread title and thought, well, that sounds interesting - angry writers - maybe a thread about writers who use their art to express discontent or even hate for aspects of society ... but it's actually about receiving criticism. Really, the thread title should be "Angry Critics".
Most people who critique your writing are also writers. Thus angry writers. They want your work to sound exactly the same as the way they writer.

And sadly I don't agree with your example. I think we all have a unique voice and a unique way of writing. Actually, I have had the opportunity to check out some very very old books.

These old books written by different artist all had different styles of writing within their own language. Ya know back then they didn't really have as many standards as we do now. And all authors sounded different because they were allowed to haver certain aspects of themselves in their. Their signatures if you may say.

But now a days we want it all to fill in this industrial model. And that isn't what writing is suppose to be. It's suppose to be many authors, with many different styles.
Just like there are different styles of paintings.

And that's my biggest problem with the reviews and the feedback. A lot of the criticism I get is generally how my work is outside of the box. And how I won't make it in the industry because I need to think inside the box.

And that's another problem. A lot of my writing, my real real writing is outside of normal thinking.

My goal as a writer. Is to be one of those people in your history books. Encouraging a new literary movement by being outside of all the rules people built. I'll write stories, people will imagine, people will be encouraged. And maybe I can get the writing world to be less stagnant.

But this thread isn't really about that. I was only making an example so you understand more.
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Old 07-11-2010, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Q Wands View Post
The reason is that most people who post work are looking for unadulterated praise.
Praise is nice. Actually for the most part because of my "archaic" writing style, I don't get very much praise. I get a lot of people who cannot appreciate the work for what it is.

Instead I get half and half. Half of the side of the room thinks my writing is a piece of junk, they cannot understand it, and they think I'm horrible writer and should quit trying to be a writer.
The other half of the side of the rooms likes my work, I have even inspired people to write poem responses to my poem, they say they understand it and they don't know what A over there is talking about, and they think that I'll get published, but it will very difficult. They appreciate the work.

The appreciates, do tear my stories to pieces. And I have no problem with that. Good. Great, I can't catch every typo and grammar mishap. Glad you enjoyed, glad I was able to see some mistakes, and let me edit.

The unappreciates, tear my story down and then put into a slew of personal publishing insults, they insult the work, and they think that their sentences are better. I have no problem with it, but it does hurt. Thanks for handing me my mistakes and throwing it back into my face.


And I also think a writer reflects the authors they have been inspired by. I like T.S. Elliot, Hemingway, Poe, and Lovecraft. They weren't exactly known for giving out every extraordinary detail. Instead most cases you had to figure out the meanings and the symbolisms in their works. It was abstract and ambiguous and I enjoyed it.
I fell in love with that kind of writing.

Sometimes I lose faith in my own writing. And maybe that's because I don't get enough useful advice. Well I get useful advice with some insults. Rather than some advice, some ways I could fix myself, and the enjoyment of someone's mind.
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Old 07-11-2010, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by R.J.Nightfall View Post
Most people who critique your writing are also writers. Thus angry writers. They want your work to sound exactly the same as the way they writer.
Forgive me for saying so, but that's complete bull. 50% of those giving crits don't really know what they're doing, so will tell you what they think you want to hear. 25% won't know how to give a full-on critique so they'll quote it in full and correct the spelling and punctuation. 15% will either miss the point completely or try to trash it to make themselves feel cleverer. If you're lucky, 10% will have something insightful to say. That's just the way things are.

Originally Posted by R.J.Nightfall View Post
But now a days we want it all to fill in this industrial model. And that isn't what writing is suppose to be. It's suppose to be many authors, with many different styles.
Again, bull. In my experience particularly when bombarded by work that the author considered to be 'outside the box' - it generally isn't. It's just badly written. It's really easy to write garbage then claim it's 'experimental' or 'stream of consciousness' or whatever tag works right now. But there's more to being 'out there' than just writing shit with a fancy label.

You say you get told your work is too far outside the imaginary box. You've only posted two pieces here, I've only looked at one, and it seemed quite conventional. No problem there. Why not post something that other people have rubbished, so we can see why and maybe help?
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Old 07-11-2010, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by R.J.Nightfall View Post

My goal as a writer. Is to be one of those people in your history books. Encouraging a new literary movement by being outside of all the rules people built. I'll write stories, people will imagine, people will be encouraged. And maybe I can get the writing world to be less stagnant.
Everyone wants that. Everyone.

Praise is nice. Actually for the most part because of my "archaic" writing style, I don't get very much praise. I get a lot of people who cannot appreciate the work for what it is.
That may be so in some cases, but you also have to understand that some people just will not like your stuff. Maybe they aren't writing you off because your style isn't normal, maybe they've accepted that and saw through to what your story was. And hated it.

A lot of us can probably relate to what you're saying (or at least I can) but you need to understand some things:

A.) You're posting on an online writing forum. The people do not know you and can't see you. They have no idea if your original way of putting things is because you intended it to be or because you tried to be normal and failed. And since the blank text box takes the place of your face, they'll say whatever the hell they want without fear of offending you. You're nobody to them. So get ready for the harshest and most simplified responses to your stories.

B.) You're posting on a forum of writers. Based simply on the fact that the commenters are even on a writing forum, you should intuit, and though this may be harsh, most of these writers are average or below average. Most of the best ones don't even post stories here much, just look for other writers to bond with. Why? Because they found little help in the all the shouts of "That's wonderful!" and "It's too different". Or the occasional "You missed a comma here here and here"

C.) Again, you're on a forum of writers. Largely unpublished. Do you think the majority of these people know what they're talking about when they tell you to change this and it'll have you printed in no time? Writers are not inherantly critics, and vice versa. To find someone who can write and critique well is to stumble upon a small miracle, so take everything you're told here, compliment or not, about your stories with the caveat that this is another writer speaking. Someone who, like you, is struggling to find what exactly every reader in the world is dying to see written. If they knew the ticket to make it big they wouldn't be posting stuff here very often, they'd be making it big.

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Old 07-11-2010, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Mike C View Post
Why not post something that other people have rubbished, so we can see why and maybe help?
You mean like:

-My fantasy novel that has destroyed all elves, trolls, vampires, humans, etc. Instead I placed in races I made up. And there isn't that conflict of prejudice and the usual chosen one to save the world.

-My psychological horror where there is a supernatural phenomenon that takes the form of madness. And this madness infects people.

-My story in the point of the view of a ghost that knows he is dead and it's a story of regular life for the dead.

-My story trying to rewrite vampire novels, by reverting a little to Dracula and rewriting the vampires are for romance, vampires are evil warlords taking over the world, vampires and humans don't get along, etc.

I got more ideas, lol.

Cause, they are all rough drafts. And I have been taught a very bad habit when it comes to rough drafts.
Also because I don't like the idea of people getting nasty with it. Convential, at least gets people to look so I can fix my writing style and incorporate it into my real real works.
The works I have been slaving over for years now.
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Old 07-11-2010, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by R.J.Nightfall View Post
You mean like:

-My fantasy novel that has destroyed all elves, trolls, vampires, humans, etc. Instead I placed in races I made up. And there isn't that conflict of prejudice and the usual chosen one to save the world.

-My psychological horror where there is a supernatural phenomenon that takes the form of madness. And this madness infects people.

-My story in the point of the view of a ghost that knows he is dead and it's a story of regular life for the dead.

-My story trying to rewrite vampire novels, by reverting a little to Dracula and rewriting the vampires are for romance, vampires are evil warlords taking over the world, vampires and humans don't get along, etc.
.
The first one doesn't say much about the story except what it's not.... The second sounds like how zombies work. And the third one is twilight hahaha

But seriously its hard to say anything about those when we see none of the actual writing.
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Old 07-11-2010, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by S.R. Hansford View Post
The first one doesn't say much about the story except what it's not.... The second sounds like how zombies work. And the third one is twilight hahaha

But seriously its hard to say anything about those when we see none of the actual writing.
My vampire one has no romance, has no wars between the human race and vampires. Humans the victims of vampires or werewolves victims of vampires.

The second isn't zombie, they don't go mad and kill off each other and such. It's nothing like the movie Crazies.

Hold on then. I only give excerpt.

Realize they are rough drafts and I'm editing them. Realize I'm fixing each and every one of them right now and don't kill me. Some of these have be reworded because the first chapters or so have been written years before they were finished.
So these works are:

Works in Progress and are Currently Getting the Editing touches
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Old 07-11-2010, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by R.J.Nightfall View Post
Most people who critique your writing are also writers. Thus angry writers.
Why thus? I'm a writer, but I don't see myself as an angry writer. In fact, I tend to be a pretty happy person. Critiquing another's work, and not falling all over myself gushing about how unique and marvellous it, doesn't make me angry. It makes me honest.

They want your work to sound exactly the same as the way they writer.
Pardon? I don't really want anyone else to write exactly like me, thank you. I'd much rather they find their own voice. That doesn't mean I can't offer suggstions about better phrasing, especially if it helps readability or clarifies confusion.

And sadly I don't agree with your example.
It was your example. I just showed the sort of thing I would do, if asked. I realise you didn't ask for a critique but thought you would have the sense to understand my purpose. And if you don't like my suggestions, that's just fine and dandy. It's your choice to use or ignore what is offered in a critique. But I said that already.

I think we all have a unique voice and a unique way of writing. Actually, I have had the opportunity to check out some very very old books.

These old books written by different artist all had different styles of writing within their own language. Ya know back then they didn't really have as many standards as we do now. And all authors sounded different because they were allowed to haver certain aspects of themselves in their. Their signatures if you may say.
I've read a lot of old books too, not all of them fiction, and styles certainly have changed over the years. And it can help, when writing a piece of period fiction, to replicate some of the language for the specific era, but it's very easy to get carried away. One needs to strike a comfortable balance between stlye and readers' expectations.

But now a days we want it all to fill in this industrial model. And that isn't what writing is suppose to be. It's suppose to be many authors, with many different styles.
Who is this we you speak of? What is this industrial model you think is used in book after book? The books I read are a varied lot and that's the way I like it. I suspect other people like variety too, because there's a lot of it in the marketplace.

And that's my biggest problem with the reviews and the feedback. A lot of the criticism I get is generally how my work is outside of the box. And how I won't make it in the industry because I need to think inside the box.
Without seeing your work, it's impossible to even guess at whether you really are writing outside of the box or not, or whether you have the potential to achieve publication. One thing I do know, though, is that publishers and editors are always looking for something different, not the same old thing. Anyone who tells you otherwise is wrong.

And that's another problem. A lot of my writing, my real real writing is outside of normal thinking.

My goal as a writer. Is to be one of those people in your history books. Encouraging a new literary movement by being outside of all the rules people built. I'll write stories, people will imagine, people will be encouraged. And maybe I can get the writing world to be less stagnant.
Goodness me! You want to create an entire new genre or style or something, but you still want to post work on a public forum for validation. It sounds as though you don't really have confidence in your writing, but you won't find that on a public forum. That sort of confidence has to come from within.


Originally Posted by R.J.Nightfall View Post
Praise is nice. Actually for the most part because of my "archaic" writing style, I don't get very much praise. I get a lot of people who cannot appreciate the work for what it is.
Maybe you are just doomed to being misunderstood. There are a lot of writers who feel that way. Or maybe you just need to find a better balance between your style and what readers want to read.

Instead I get half and half. Half of the side of the room thinks my writing is a piece of junk, they cannot understand it, and they think I'm horrible writer and should quit trying to be a writer.
The other half of the side of the rooms likes my work, I have even inspired people to write poem responses to my poem, they say they understand it and they don't know what A over there is talking about, and they think that I'll get published, but it will very difficult. They appreciate the work.

The appreciates, do tear my stories to pieces. And I have no problem with that. Good. Great, I can't catch every typo and grammar mishap. Glad you enjoyed, glad I was able to see some mistakes, and let me edit.

The unappreciates, tear my story down and then put into a slew of personal publishing insults, they insult the work, and they think that their sentences are better. I have no problem with it, but it does hurt. Thanks for handing me my mistakes and throwing it back into my face.
Hmm. You are very new to this forum, R.J. Nightfall, so these problems cannot have occurred here. Or at least not yet. Why bring problems from elsewhere here? Why not wait and see how this community reacts to your writing, rather than simply assume we'll tear it apart and insult you into the bargain?

And I also think a writer reflects the authors they have been inspired by. I like T.S. Elliot, Hemingway, Poe, and Lovecraft. They weren't exactly known for giving out every extraordinary detail. Instead most cases you had to figure out the meanings and the symbolisms in their works. It was abstract and ambiguous and I enjoyed it.
I fell in love with that kind of writing.
There is nothing wrong with enjoying the work of authors from the past, and nothing wrong with wanting to emulate their style to a certain degree but, when making it your own, you need to bear in mind who your audience is. I love a lot of Victorian authors, but if I wrote in the same style (and I've already proved to myself that I can) modern readers would be bored to tears. They want something that moves at a faster clip. That doesn't mean I have to ignore my Victorian influences, only that I need to find a way to bring what I admired into a more modern parlance. In the same way, you can bring qualities of Poe or Lovecraft into your writing, but still make it your own. But no matter what you write, and how you write it, you have to accept that there will always be people who won't like it. They may even be mean about it. At the end of the day, does it really matter?

Sometimes I lose faith in my own writing. And maybe that's because I don't get enough useful advice. Well I get useful advice with some insults. Rather than some advice, some ways I could fix myself, and the enjoyment of someone's mind.
Every writer goes through periods of self-doubt. It's often that doubt that brings us to forums such as Writer's Beat. Of course, not all forums are the same. Some are very serious, some dish out bucketloads of insults with every critique, and some offer a bit of advice with a smile. I like to think that WB falls into that last category. Oh, there's always some grumpy old git who gets a bit too mean, but it's like I said in my earlier post: you have to learn to judge the advice you receive. Before you decide whether a person is offering useful advice or talking nonsense, read some of their work. Then you can make a proper judgement about whether you want to listen to them or ignore. But coming into the forum with the attitude that we won't "get" you, or will insult you, is a little unfair. So why not leave the generalisations at the door, post some work, and see how it goes.
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Old 07-11-2010, 02:03 PM
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Originally Posted by R.J.Nightfall View Post
Cause, they are all rough drafts.
Don't post drafts. Finish something.
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Old 07-11-2010, 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Q Wands View Post

There is nothing wrong with enjoying the work of authors from the past, and nothing wrong with wanting to emulate their style to a certain degree but, when making it your own, you need to bear in mind who your audience is. I love a lot of Victorian authors, but if I wrote in the same style (and I've already proved to myself that I can) modern readers would be bored to tears. They want something that moves at a faster clip. That doesn't mean I have to ignore my Victorian influences, only that I need to find a way to bring what I admired into a more modern parlance. In the same way, you can bring qualities of Poe or Lovecraft into your writing, but still make it your own. But no matter what you write, and how you write it, you have to accept that there will always be people who won't like it. They may even be mean about it. At the end of the day, does it really matter?
But see, I crave the old style. Being a reader myself. I have been an early reader since I was very very young. Thus I crave something with more ambiguous messages, more mystery, more things to draw me in. The modern books don't appeal to my aesthetic. Nor do I like them very much. If a book is something I can figure out, then to me it isn't fun to read. It takes me out of the world of the book entirely.

And I know several or so people who are in the same boat. Modern works bore them to tears and they want something fresh, different, etc.

But coming into the forum with the attitude that we won't "get" you, or will insult you, is a little unfair. So why not leave the generalisations at the door, post some work, and see how it goes.
I wasn't trying to talk about this forum. Nor was I generalizing anything. You're the one who took it personally and you're the one addressing it to this site. I was addressing this issue because someone on an old forum who is a supposedly published writer and has been an editor for a while got my Editor Support access revoked.
That's the reason I came onto WB, but I wanted to know how to deal with it so that I could send her a reply without sounding like a jerk off as well.

I'm a glad to finally see someone who obviously knows nothing about being a writer taking off the editor staffing. For two years now I have had to suffer from poor knowledge of writing and poor knowledge of editing skills. Finally, there is justice for those who do know what they are doing, such as myself.
Good luck with whatever else you're going to do. You'll need extra plans because becoming a writer is not what you're going to do.

~Mel

@Mike C: But that isn't the purpose of getting something edited or looked over. To fix your drafts. If the work was finalized, there would be no point in asking about SPAG. If the work was completed then there would be no point in asking feedback.

In class, with my students we look over several rough drafts to make a final product. They wouldn't send me in a final product. Why is this any different?
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Old 07-11-2010, 06:18 PM
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Most people who critique your writing are also writers. Thus angry writers. They want your work to sound exactly the same as the way they writer.

But now a days we want it all to fill in this industrial model.
The above are generalisations, but never mind. You didn't answer my question on them anyway. No big deal.


Presumably Mel is the person on the other forum who was rude. Certainly that wasn't a very polite post, whatever he/she might have thought. But why worry about what might not happen here? Why not sit back, relax, post some work, and see what happens? One thing I've learned over the years is not to anticipate trouble because it finds you soon enough.

Meanwhile, your introductory post promised us intelligent horror stories but you haven't posted any yet, and I was looking forward to something that might actually spook me instead of following the tried-and-true formulae.

Finally, I haven't taken anything personally, just addressed points you've made in response to my post. That's called a conversation, not trading barbs or having an argument. It's what we do when we're not sharing our work with each other, but maybe it's better I don't try to engage you in conversation since you don't seem to like what I'm saying. Sorry for bothering you. Pax.
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Old 07-11-2010, 06:23 PM
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Originally Posted by R.J.Nightfall View Post
In class, with my students we look over several rough drafts to make a final product. They wouldn't send me in a final product. Why is this any different?
Because we aren't your teachers, we're your peers. Don't give us half-written stuff that you haven't edited. We're taking our time out of our life to help you, and the least you can do is supply us with a neat final draft with editing already completed by yourself (assuming that you're wanting to post an entire project and not just a snippet).

Sorry for being nosy, but I thought I'd lend my two cents.
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Old 07-11-2010, 06:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Q Wands View Post
Presumably Mel is the person on the other forum who was rude. Certainly that wasn't a very polite post, whatever he/she might have thought. But why worry about what might not happen here? Why not sit back, relax, post some work, and see what happens? One thing I've learned over the years is not to anticipate trouble because it finds you soon enough.

Meanwhile, your introductory post promised us intelligent horror stories but you haven't posted any yet, and I was looking forward to something that might actually spook me instead of following the tried-and-true formulae.
I try not to. But when I put my real work up, people go crazy.

All right I will post some horror stories.

Originally Posted by Reddy Dean View Post
Because we aren't your teachers, we're your peers. Don't give us half-written stuff that you haven't edited. We're taking our time out of our life to help you, and the least you can do is supply us with a neat final draft with editing already completed by yourself (assuming that you're wanting to post an entire project and not just a snippet).

Sorry for butting it, but I thought I'd lend my two cents.
Yes. Even with my own writing friends we exchange rough drafts and edit them here and there.
When I get a piece of work I assume they are rough drafts. Because I know that it takes severals months to edit everything in your story. And you will go through a multitude of drafts before you find a final. That would mean no one would be allowed to post work on the forum then. If people were to only post final work.
That means I'd be putting up a finished novel 2 years later on this forum.
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Old 07-11-2010, 06:29 PM
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Hey, I didn't say that's what you HAD to do. I recall Mike C suggesting that you try that, and then you gave the responses you did. I'm only trying to bolster what Mike already said.
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Old 07-11-2010, 06:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Reddy Dean View Post
Hey, I didn't say that's what you HAD to do. I recall Mike C suggesting that you try that, and then you gave the responses you did. I'm only trying to bolster what Mike already said.
Well...I just see it as a strange concept. For me, personally. Poems are easier to finalize than novels. And to ask for a finalized novel, it's a really weird concept that I just don't understand.
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Old 07-11-2010, 06:33 PM
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Well obviously you wouldn't post the entire thing at once. Chapter by chapter, rather. I'm just saying that as a reader I don't want to go through many mistakes in a story because the author didn't fix them.
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Old 07-11-2010, 06:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Reddy Dean View Post
Well obviously you wouldn't post the entire thing at once. Chapter by chapter, rather. I'm just saying that as a reader I don't want to go through many mistakes in a story because the author didn't fix them.
But see that's unfair to assume that the author hadn't fixed them. What if he had fixed what he could?

When writing we always need two eyes: mine and yours.

And when we critique we need two minds the reader's mind and the critique's mind.
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Old 07-11-2010, 07:02 PM
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Q is right. Ostensibly you took your very specific experience with that one asshole and applied it to almost everyone with that generalized little paragraph she quoted.
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Old 07-11-2010, 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by R.J.Nightfall View Post
And when we critique we need two minds the reader's mind and the critique's mind.
Sorry for the double post, but i just read this. You're right about that, in my mind, but you're wrong in how you're looking for it. I realized some of the things you've said a long time ago, like how (generally speaking) writers read stories with a more critical eye, nitpicking many, many things that the average reader cares nothing about. In response, I started showing my stories to my writer friends and reader friends instead of just one or the other. To clarify my trust, put in precentages, the reader has 70% of my trust while the writer has 30%.

You should maybe go about editing your stuff in this way, as it's really the only way you'll get a more complete idea of what's going on. Keep an open mind and do not dismiss anyone's opinion on the sole premise that they're writers or anything like that. But stay aware of what you know--you're more interested in what'll make your story more pleasing to your audience, not to literary critics. That being the case, you'll side with a reader over a writer 70% of the time (or at least I will).
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Old 07-12-2010, 03:13 AM
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Originally Posted by R.J.Nightfall View Post
I try not to. But when I put my real work up, people go crazy.

All right I will post some horror stories.
Great news! Looking forward to it.

And don't worry about making it absolutely perfect. If it was perfect, you wouldn't need us to read it and offer our comments.

But do try to make sure it's in pretty good shape. The fewer irritating errors (such as typos, misplaced punctuation, etc) there are, the more likely people are to read it until the end. Give it a good spell check and grammar check in your WP, and then let it rip!
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