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I’m not here to make you a better writer

Discussion in 'Insights & Inspiration' started by Wreybies, Jun 17, 2016.

  1. doggiedude

    doggiedude Contributing Member Contributor

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    On a one on one basis you might consider two authors to be in competition. However, imagine your city or town decide to build a square designed for nightlife and entertainment. If thirty of the businesses suck and two of them are great how many people will be attracted to the square on a weekend? If all of the businesses provide great entertainment, food, and other services the area will get mobbed every weekend.
     
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  2. BayView

    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hypothetical situation - a shark and a grizzly bear are in a fight... in space! who do you cheer for?

    This makes only slightly less sense than your hypothetical, because there never IS just one publishing spot open. There are lots.

    @Tenderiser and I are probably as close as anyone else on the site to your version of competition - we both write romance, we both have agents, we both have books currently on submission to publishers. But we've read each others' work, offered constructive feedback, and genuinely tried to help the other create a better MS, and this is absolutely typical of other interactions I've had with writers in my genre. If her book sells, Ill be genuinely happy for her, and it will have minimal if any effect on the likelihood that my book will sell. It certainly won't have any effect on whether someone's epic historical novel sells or whether someone else's space opera sells.

    We really aren't in competition. It's not the way publishing works.
     
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  3. Wayjor Frippery

    Wayjor Frippery Contributing Member

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    Courtesy of @SethLoki and the Synonymous Satire Collective :)

    This post is not helpful. Do not read it.
     
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  4. Wreybies

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    @Wayjor Frippery, I know you mean no harm, but let's have enough of that, please. It sets a precedent that I'm in no mood to go chasing.
     
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  5. Wayjor Frippery

    Wayjor Frippery Contributing Member

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    @Wreybies Aye, aye, Cap'n. Apologies.
     
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  6. doggiedude

    doggiedude Contributing Member Contributor

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    And let's not forget, all satire / sarcasm is to be in violet colored writing to avoid confusion.
    Otherwise, you will be beaten, tarred, feathered, and thrown to the lions.
     
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  7. Kingtype

    Kingtype Always writing or thinking things XD Staff Role Play Moderator Contributor

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    Right under your nose!
    The bear, obviously. :)
     
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  8. plothog

    plothog Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Even in clearly competitive scenarios, people who technically are competiting against each other, work together to give everyone in their cooperative group a better chance of success against the rest of the field.

    I don't know how familiar people are with a fantasy card game called Magic the Gathering, but it's something I've played at an international level, so it's the example I can blather on about a little.
    It's a card game where you chose what cards go into your deck, and there's a large constantly evolving selection of cards to chose from.
    A handful of the very top players earn a living on their prizes. (I never even came close to earning back what I spent on the game) These top players organise themselves into play-testing teams, to discover the best strategies and decks for the next pro-level tournament.
    Teammates often end up playing the same deck as each other, and there's been a number of incidents of team-mates knocking each other out of major tournaments, but play-testing with potential competition is still widely seen as significantly increasing your odds of winning.
     
  9. TopherT

    TopherT Member

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    I respect the comments by everyone even those people (everyone ;)) who disagree with my opinion. I may not agree with you, but you certainly give a good case. :)

    It was lovely meeting you all, but I've been sent a "inappropriate behaviour" email, so this is where I depart. I won't post again.

    No idea what I said that was aggressive, abusive or threatening, but there ya go.

    Oh, and the "stupid" thing was tongue-in-cheek, in case anyone was offended. :)
     
  10. Raven484

    Raven484 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I’m not here to make you a better writer

    I understand you post @Wreybies but I disagree to some of your points.
    I walked away from writing when I was 23 because there were no such forums like anywhere. I have been back at it for about a year and I can honestly say that I have learned more here than anywhere. I am very selfish in my approach here. Every critique, every conversation, every story I read here is helping me become a better storyteller.
    Have I helped others? I think so. I am not going to lie to them and tell them their stories are good when they are not. I read every critique I can in the workshop, each one teaches me something even if I do not agree with it. There is real talent here and some of the best creativity I have seen in a long time.
    You may not believe you are here to make others better writers, but it is happening.
     
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  11. Wreybies

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I think it's just a frame of mind because I actually don't disagree with a single thing you've said. I know I've helped others. I have. But only because I took the task of helping myself seriously, and it seems your description says you've done the same, which is excellent. :agreed: My wording may be provocative, but my approach is always to learn.
     
  12. Wayjor Frippery

    Wayjor Frippery Contributing Member

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    And now I'm back to agreeing with Wrey – much as I did seven pages ago. God, you people mess with my head.

    I have no more points to make (I think). I agree with much of what's been said, a lot of it contradictory – or maybe not, if you dig a little. If I had the time I'd write a summary.

    help yourself – helping yourself is helping others – others helping you is helping them – everyone helps each other – don't forget to help yourself – read Jane Austen – Austen helps us all –
     
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  13. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    It's Schrödinger's forum. You both agree and disagree with the other members, until we perceive one of your posts and then it is one or the other. But it can change with each subsequent observation.
     
  14. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Just musing now rather than arguing a point but I genuinely think if I gave up writing I would still hang around here and give advice and critique. I like giving help as much as I like getting it.

    So if anyone's waiting for me to leave... Bad news, suckers.
     
  15. Wreybies

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I read this last bit in the voice of Samuel L. Jackson. :bigwink: :-D
     
  16. jannert

    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Gotta love that full circle....
     
  17. SoulGalaxyWolf

    SoulGalaxyWolf Member

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    I like that I came across this thread. I wasn't sure of how exactly to critique in this forum like what the guidelines are (If that makes any sense). I'm not good at spotting grammatical errors or anything like that. I'm not good with grammar myself. I try to point out what I like and dislike about it or if something doesn't make sense to me.
    The idea that critiquing others will help us is a good point of view. It makes you pay more attention to what they are writing and gives you thought on what you should try and achieve with your writing.
    I enjoy critiquing others work. I'm happy when my input helps out the writer and make their writing more efficient. I wouldn't want to wait around for someone to critique my work. It's like you receive what you give right?
    Sometimes I may not understand what's going on because my brain wants to be mean to me. It might be obvious to some but it may not to me. Just sitting here, wondering if I'm doing things right, haha.
     
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  18. deadrats

    deadrats Contributing Member

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    Critiquing online isn't really my thing. I much rather enter into lively discussions about the industry or get into the many aspects of writing. I would do a critique swap. I think that's a little less scary. But in general I'm not the biggest fan of giving or getting critiques from strangers. I've gotten some pretty passive-aggressive remarks that leave me scratching my head. Someone once told me my character sounded like he had some sort of mental illness. He didn't, and it was written in first person. Did this person think I had some sort of mental problem? I just couldn't understand that comment or what it had to do with the story or how anyone would come to such a conclusion. And I would have been embarrassed if that was posted online with my writing. I will be honest. Mostly what I am looking for is to be told how great I am. And I want it to be true. I don't think critiques always need to be about what is wrong. I like to read because I enjoy it. I'm not looking for things to be wrong. I'm looking to lose myself in a great story. And I would love to help someone become a better writer. Yes, it is a competitive business, but I do believe there is plenty of room at the top for anyone who can get there.
     
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  19. deadrats

    deadrats Contributing Member

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    Don't feel bad. And don't feel like you have to leave. I'm sure if it was a big deal, it would have been more than a warning. I just hate the idea of anyone feeling excluded. I don't think you meant to hurt or upset anyone. So, maybe rethink leaving us.
     
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  20. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale Contributed Member Contributor

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    I read posts from people who have joined writing groups, or are taking a writing class at the local community college, and I'm just jealous. Gotta get myself back to where English is the primary language so that I can do cool and exotic things like that.

    ETA: That's not a criticism of your post deadrats, just a random whinge that it triggered in me.
     
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  21. Spencer1990

    Spencer1990 Contributing Member

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    Some people bash on writing courses at colleges with things like "it can't be taught," but for me, there's something creatively stimulating to be around like minded people.

    Maybe there are some aspects that are instinctual, but I enjoy the classes. They've inspired me to find myself as a writer.
     
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  22. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale Contributed Member Contributor

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    I don't think the creative impulse can be taught, but there are a lot of technique things that can be. The whole "show don't tell" for one. I took a course, ages ago, and one of the textbooks (can't remember the name) had things like lists of bad habits (nail-biting, knuckle cracking, etc), lists of "strong" verbs, less common adjectives to describe people and things that I think might come in very helpful now. Even just skimming examples of things that you know about can help you unlock the wording of a difficult passage. A lot of people have good stories inside them, but not the means to get them out in a way that will hold the readers' interest.
     
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