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Holbrook
February 18th, 2004, 03:36 AM
“I am published; therefore I am an author and know better.” No you don’t. Okay, you might be better at grammar than me; and your idea might have caught the eye of an agent/publisher. But know better? That’s the ego talking.

It doesn’t mean you know better, it means you have got a break. It means you are one step further up the ladder. Yes, I would like to hear your opinion of my work, but would you accept my honest opinion of yours? You are published, the work is out in the public domain; therefore you have to accept negative critiques as well as positive. Being published does not protect you from someone thinking you work is crap and it shouldn’t.

To believe that because you are published everything you write is wonderful is fooling yourself as well as trying to fool others.

No matter what you write, whether published in the traditional manner, a short story on a forum to an essay in class, you are a writer. You have had the courage to put down the words in your head. You have had the courage to put it in a place where others can read it. Therefore you should have the courage to accept criticism, even the most negative kind. The sort that kicks your legs from under you and makes you think of giving up.

You might scream and cry when you read the comments, hate the writer of them, but in the end what’s the real reason for your reaction? “Ego” plain and simple, you don’t like to think that your writing is anything less than the “best”

If you want to improve, want get better, and to be honest we all do want to get better, ditch the ego, or put a muzzle on it. Accept the bad and the good with equal grace and in the end you can reject what you feel is not “right” for your work. The main and important thing is that you have not dismissed the comments outright.

There is something worse than the negative comments, which tear your work apart. It’s the “you are wonderful,” “That was super” comments all the time. At first you think, great, I am getting it right. Then after a while you think, but I know that second paragraph stinks, can’t they see it? Did they actually read the work? Are they afraid I can’t take criticism? You then ask why are they doing this? Because they are a friend and don’t want to hurt your feelings? Possible, but to be honest a good friend will tell you when you are crap. It also leaves you with the sick feeling, can I honestly comment on their work now? Will any negative comment be seen as an attack or you not being “supportive”

Snobbery doesn’t only come from the top, i.e. the “published” it comes from any, comments like “I tell stories, I don’t need to be published I write for my family, friends and myself. “ All writers write for themselves, all writers share their work with their family and friends. If you are putting your work out on paper, on a forum, or in any form for others to see, you are published. You are doing it for the same reason “published” authors are doing it. You want others to read the work. Plain and simple. To give yourself airs and graces when you are producing work for the purpose of being read, you are only stroking your ego.

To not even admit this is partly behind placing your work in “public” is only fooling and hurting yourself. You want the praise; you want people to like it. Yet to deny the fact that some might not like everything, might want to comment on the work; might actually think what you have written is crap, is in the end only going to hurt you even more. Because there will come a cold dawn, when you find that all you have are empty phrases of praise that mean nothing.

If some one has actually taken the time to read your work, think on it and comment, even the most negative. It means they have taken you seriously, taken the time to tell you what they think is wrong, what they think you could improve. In a strange way that is, in my opinion more of a compliment to you as a writer, than a hundred “you are wonderful darling”

juzzza
February 18th, 2004, 04:54 AM
Shut up!!!

My work is fantastic, my mum, girlfriend AND the guy who works for my uncle says so and they wouldn't lie damn you!!!

People who think my work (I prefer to call it ART) is not incredible, are either jealous... Or just don't understand me.

The only reason I am not rich is because the critics have it in for me, I must be too good looking and my prose intimidates them, they don't like to feel stupid and they are scared of my imagination, it takes them to places they don't want to go.

I don't WANT to be a mainstream author... Pah! I am too good for that, it's selling out anyway, I don't want my book (ART) next to muppets like Crichton, King, Martin, Jordan on the shelves in Ottakers... I prefer to have the few print-outs floating around, treasured by my loved ones, who love my plots and characters as much as they love me.

HOW DARE YOU suggest that the short story I allowed to be published in my mum's family newsletter does NOT allow me to look down on you UN-published peasants... Or as I like to call you, 'Unnies'... Rediculous.

You know what... At the end of the day, I WRITE FOR MYSELF so your 'Unnie' opinion means NOTHING to me...

I.M.N Ignoramous

milamber_reborn
February 19th, 2004, 12:30 AM
Bring on the criticism! It's the only way I'm going to improve.

Any serious writer should be more concerned with the truth than blindly thinking they're god's gift to the literary world.

The goal should not be to write the perfect story, but for the writer to figure out how to take their writing a step closer to perfection.

user123
February 19th, 2004, 03:04 AM
Perfection is a dream better foregotten. No matter how well you write there is always going to be someone out there who thinks it sucks. Don't worry about critics, just write as well as you can and let the bitter word roll off your back.

kahnovitch
February 19th, 2004, 09:41 AM
Criticism eh? What is it?
Somebody's opinion.
Does their opinion make them right?
No.
Does there opnion make them wrong?
No.
On the other hand, If their opinion is well constructed and makes you re-think your own ideas, then it must be a good thing.

If Holbrook wants some flak I say, "Have at thee Holbrook!"

Then again H, maybe your work is better than that which most people are used to, and is hard to criticize and really tear apart.

Howabout you deliberately write something that you think is absolute drivel and then pass it around to see how people react?

"oh that's wonderful H! Your best work yet!"
http://members.iinet.net.au/~vroncol/Smiley_gifs/bow.gif http://members.iinet.net.au/~vroncol/Smiley_gifs/bow.gif http://members.iinet.net.au/~vroncol/Smiley_gifs/bow.gif

KatG
February 19th, 2004, 11:08 AM
So, Hol, what published writer crawled up your bonnet?

Holbrook
February 20th, 2004, 04:39 AM
Originally posted by KatG
So, Hol, what published writer crawled up your bonnet?

Not one in particular just been reading the tips from authors, editors and others on the on line writers' work shop. Just that some are so condescending and opinionated. Maybe it’s just the way they are written. Also noticed that not many said “in my opinion” most had the tone of do this and that…. It felt as if they were lecturing, as if they were better than all the rest.

Also tired of folk placing stuff on forums like the on line writers workshop, who the moment some says, don’t like that, they jump down your throat and say: I tell stories, I don’t need to be published I write for my family, friends and myself

I just feel like shaking them and saying; you put it on a forum for others to read! If you didn’t want others to read it and form an opinion then why bother in the first place….If someone dislikes your work it doesn’t mean they dislike you or getting at you… some folks can’t take a knock to the ego at all…..

I have had so many and yes, moaned about them, but underneath I know there has to be something in my work that made folks form that opinion. I am then stuck with the problem do I change it or not? It often ends up a half way house, I change somethings, but not others.

kahnovitch
February 20th, 2004, 06:00 AM
No matter what you write, or how well you write or whatever your genre of choice is, SOMEONE will attack it and slag it off.
If being on this forum had taught me anything, it is that one cold fact.
From Shakespeare to Tolkien to Asimov there are lovers and haters of their work.

At the end of the day I think it's best to judge a piece of work on it's readability rather than it's content as such.
Does it flow or is it badly paced?
Does it hold your interest or bore you to tears?
In essence is it a pleasure or a chore to read?
I've read newspaper and magazine articles about things that don't even vaguely interest me, but the style in which it was written has caught my attention and kept me reading untill the end.
As for the Grammar-ton Clerics who nit-pick pedantics... to Hell with the lot of them!
If they can only see the mechanical structure of writing, rather than the heart and soul, they have nothing to say that's worth hearing.
IMHO ;)

funky_fantasist
February 20th, 2004, 07:48 AM
I agree with you for the most part - and I am a published writer. Listen, it takes guts to put your work out there - in a magazine, forum, book, anything. You are constantly laying your work open to criticism and that's HARD. There is no defence against criticism - it hurts your feelings - and thats as it should be. Why? Because you CARE deeply about what you produce or you wouldn't be in the game at all.

And you are right - there is no 'them and us' amongst writers. Unpublished writers who are honing their skills with love and passion are tomorrows writers. Just one step further down the ladder. If you feel you've been patronised by published writers I'm quite surprised - in my experience SF and Fantasy writers are a terrific bunch of people who welcome newcomers and don't seem threatened by this years newbie... Perhaps they didn't mean to come across that way? It's often the case on discussion forums that people 'sound' different than they intend... Hmmm, a story idea occurs: War is waged over a miss-place comma on an official document...

Anyway... waffling now...
Hugs
Funky
:D

JRMurdock
February 20th, 2004, 09:37 AM
Not to be one to pick nits, but funky_fantasist, I'm glad you agree with H and you have a typo on your home page.

my apologies for mot updating my website sooner

and not to use you as an example, but even the most experience writers make the most common mistakes which is why there are editors out there.

I've never had my work officially slammed. I've had it critiqued mostly by those I know and love or work with. I look forward to the day when someone looks at my work and says 'What a worthless pile of crap, I can't believe you did this, that and the other thing' for then I'll know where I need improvement in my work and can either make adjustments, assume that the reader didn't 'get it' or move on and try to improve later writing.

I don't know who posted what, the context it was posted in, and I sure don't know what they were replying too. I can say this, the tougher skinned you are, the easier this game is. Don't take critisism and insult at face value, do take it as that person's opinion.

Of course, all this is just my own opinion as is all my wordings out on this site. All that is except the typo...:)