View Full Version : Doldrums
July 11th, 2002, 03:12 AM
I was just wondering how many of you hit the "doldrums"
What I mean is that you are trying so hard to make your writing clear and distinct. To weave a tale that people would like to read. Then something comes out of nowhere that whacks your head so hard that your teeth rattle and the doubts begin.
I put my work on various "writing sites" under various names. Now I know the purpose of these places is to endure the critique. And I don't mind some one pulling my story to pieces. But when you state its first draft, full of grammar errors and you are using the said site as a sounding board i.e. does the flow or basic idea work etc.
Then some one comes in and nit picks every small detail of grammar and who has the tact of a sledge hammer. It does not help, it blows you of the water.
And to put it bluntly this time I am serious considering the thought "what the hell I am doing putting myself through this day after day."
So fellow writers why do we do this to ourselves....?
(Holbrook, who has recently been told they wouldn't know a comma or hyphenation if it came up and bit them in the bum)
July 11th, 2002, 05:08 AM
Someone actually told you that Holbrook?!? :eek: :mad:
That was not feedback. Feedback is supposed to be both helpful and constructive. What that was, was a spiteful comment from a hateful person with a pitiful little soul. Ignore that wretched excuse for a human being, my friend. You would do better to look for wisdom in buzzing of flies around an outhouse.
Maybe grammer is not your strong suite, but the stories you create have always inspired me in my own writing. :)
Why do we write?
For the love of writing, why else?
In the end, isn't that all that matters? :D
July 11th, 2002, 05:38 AM
There is indeed a big difference between constructive critique and childish cruelty - the later usually born of immaturity and ignorence. I always try to forget the spiteful stuff and look for the comments that have been offered with some degree of care and thought, designed to actually help a writer rather than demoralise. Sadly though, there will always be those who can see no further than being hurtful. Some of my friends have told me this is really just a form of jealousy and should ALWAYS be ignored. At times though, it's difficult not to be affected by others' words, and this in itself is just another hurdle that we all must strive to conquer in our quest to become better at what we love - writing!
The best response to spiteful comments is to direct any anger or emotion it causes into the next story you write - you'd be amazed at what may show up on the pages in front of you. I received this advice once and found it really helps. So, just hit the keyboard thinking: I'll show them! :)
July 11th, 2002, 06:24 AM
It is just I know my grammar is weak, partly because of my education or lack of it in some respects. A high school in the depths of rural England in the late '60's didn't encourage you to "take learning seriously". You were only there to fill in the time between being 11 and 15, when you were expected to shift and get a job, marry and raise the next lot of rural poor!
It's the first thing I mention when showing a piece of my work to anyone. I can and do work on it, time and again.
I do read gammar books and try and drive the stuff into my aging brain....
I don't mind folks pulling apart my story,characters and how I have constructed the fabric of the piece. That's the reason I post sections.
But just rubbing my nose in to a fact I have already stated I know about and am working on as much as I can, just seems to defeat the object.
Another thing that bugs me is some one saying to use simple words..... Or dum it down.... Sometimes it is said in a manner that mean's "you don't know what it means so why are you using it"
Perhaps I am at the moment too tired to think straight about anything......
Thanks both of you for your kind words.
July 11th, 2002, 07:48 AM
Don't worry about any grammatical failings you feel you have and certainly don't worry about those who choose to criticise your grammar. In my experience, these sort of people actually don't know how to review and constructively criticise from any aesthetic viewpoint so spend their time lost in the technical detail because they can rely on 'fact'.
The more you write, the more you'll get to know about the grammatical rules that suit you. We none of us are perfect grammatically. Indeed, I am deliberately un-grammatical at times to make certain points in my writing.
Far more important than the grammar is the vision you bring to your writing - the stories, characters, settings, themes... keep on developing those and ignore the rulebook wavers!
July 11th, 2002, 09:43 AM
Ahh, critques on our work. Such a wonderful thing. I'd say the best way to deal with it is to read them as though you don't care. Detach yourself from the spiteful comments and only take what you need from the reviews. Your always going to get jerks, such as myself who write crap and are about as constructive as a Fraggle. It's something you have to deal with as a writer but do not let it get to you.
Find reveiwers who are fair and honest and take in their veiw. As for the others; if you see a review by them, skip over it and move on. Its not wrth getting down on yourself about.
This is from the experiences of the kegasaur, whose emotionless state of being would make the Vulcans take note.
Write on and write long.
July 11th, 2002, 10:04 AM
Well, the other posters have pretty much said it all, but I'd like to add my two cents for what it's worth: I've read the stories you posted on this site, and I thought they were fabulous. Really!
I have to be brutally honest: I try to read all of the stories posted here, and I often stop before I'm done the first page because I lose interest. But your stories are always interesting and well-written. Don't listen to goofs who have "the tact of a sledgehammer" as you put it. Someone who says such hurtful things is obviously not a writer themself, or if they are they're just a nasty person, so just ignore them!
Grammar can be learned, but writing talent is mostly innate, I think. You definitely have the latter, so cheer up! And keep on writing. :)
July 11th, 2002, 10:46 AM
I agree with the above posts up to a point. But...
Sugar coating your criticisms doesn't help anyone. It's better to be succinct and to the point. If something is poor, then it is better to get straight to the point, explain what is wrong, and suggest ways of fixing it. This can sometimes appear brutal, lacking in tact, and uncaring, but it's the most effective way to get your point across when writing a critique.
As far as problems with Grammar go: Well.. Many people seem to have difficulties with it.
Writing is both an art and a craft. Fortunately, the use of grammar is definitely part of the 'craft'. This means that it can be learned if you put your mind to it (and have the time to do so). Of course, the older you get, the harder it becomes to take it all in. Usually though, just learning a few elementary rules is enough to improve your writing ability by leaps and bounds.
So, in my rambling way, I reach my point.
It is feasible that although you admit to having problems with grammar, people still place emphasis on your grammatical mistakes because they are both frequent enough, and serious enough, to distract from the other positive aspects of your work.
I'm sure you'll be fine though!
Just keep writing and, importantly, reading those books on Grammar usage. I'm sure that the critiques you receive will become more positive, as time goes by.
July 11th, 2002, 11:14 AM
Sugar coating your criticisms doesn't help anyone. It's better to be succinct and to the point.
That is certainly true--you need some useful criticism if you want to improve your work, not praise--but it is also true that some people go beyond what is reasonable, and just start using insults. I think this is the kind of criticism that Holbrook is talking about, the kind that really bursts your writer's bubble, so to speak.
July 11th, 2002, 11:47 AM
Yes, but honest criticism can often be perceived as an insult when the work that is being critiqued is your own.
Of course, I'm not saying that that is the case here.
Actually, the more I read the responsed to Holbrook's original post, the more concerned I am that people are already "sugar coating".
Grammar is important. It's one of the single most important tools that a writer can possess (just behind an active imagination). Telling someone that it doesn't matter that their grammar is poor because their ideas are good is probably going to do more harm than good.
It is through the usage of language and grammar that allows us, as writers, to convey our ideas. If our vocabularly and grammar are poor then anything we write will be awful.
You wouldn't tell a painter that it doesn't matter if he can't paint, because his ideas for pretty pictures are nice, would you?
Likewise, you wouldn't say "Oh, bob is a fantastic public speaker! Sure, he's got a lisp. And a weird accent. And he mumbles. But that's not important!"
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