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  1. msmith
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    msmith New Member

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    I love writing but others don't love my writing

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by msmith, Dec 4, 2013.

    Hello! I am a writer with a BA in literature. I am a 30 year old man and I have wanted to be a writer since I was 12, and I do consider myself to be a writer in a vocational sense. I care very much about writing but my work is never going to be suitable for a wide commercial readership. It just isn't the kind of thing that is published in journals or periodicals. Actually, people hate my writing - it makes them feel uncomfortable and dissatisfied, they demand explanations for why it is the way that it is, and they urge me to change my experimentation with style to conform to more regular usage conventions, regardless of whether I believe style has its own meanings that contribute to what I am doing or not. I have many reasons for why I write the way that I do, that are both artistic and intellectual, and I believe I'm doing the right thing for my writing by composing it in a way that is not necessarily publication-friendly, but sometimes I get down and blue that the industry will never take up my work. In a way I guess it makes me a sort of hobbyist, and I admit that I always expect to be involved in other employment to pay the bills. I guess I would describe my feelings as mostly anger. But that's irrational, I don't want to feel angry - I just want to be content doing what I have decided is right for my own writing. Do other people ever struggle with a feeling of maintaining a sense of dignity and value for themselves, while making writing that is more or less unpublishable?
     
  2. T.Trian
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    T.Trian Overly Pompous Bastard Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Sure. In my and KaTrian's current WIP, we tackle some fairly uncomfortable subjects (e.g. killing in the line of duty, rape, homosexuality in the military etc), and in other stories, we discuss other things that are likely to make the reader feel uncomfortable in various ways for various reasons. Oh, and the stories tend to be a bit long for traditional publishers since we aren't J. K. Rowlings or G. R. R. Martins (yet ;)).

    At times we have wondered whether we should tone down some of the things, since some readers just cry "gratuitious" at anything non-vanilla (regarding other things than just sex), even when it obviously isn't. It's possible it's because they are the kind of people who acknowledge that bad shit happens in this world, but that no good can be achieved by discussing such things.

    Then we remember that we're not in an ass-kissing business. We don't make a living with our writing, we have other sources of income, so even if we never make a cent with our stories, it doesn't matter; we write because we love it. We'd write even if we were the last two people on Earth, and we love to write the kind of stories we write. Producing some "easy reading" just wouldn't be fun for us.

    That's also why we, holier-than-thou as it sounds, hold on to our artistic integrity and refuse to sacrifice our artistic visions to make our works more easily digestible. We want to make them technically as good as possible (that covers language, grammar, plot structure, character creation etc), but we don't remove / tone down anything simply because some tit-babbler might get upset by the content. I mean, if they don't like it, they don't need to read it, right? Just write what you enjoy, make it as good as you can, and enjoy the ride, whatever it turns out to be.
     
  3. msmith
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    msmith New Member

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    Thanks T. Trian
     
  4. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    This is really hard to parse. I've seen people who don't hear advice they should hear. They argue, explain, don't listen. They aren't good writers but are confident they are.

    Then there are people who have a vision, maybe something others can't yet see, good writers before their time? Or something else that is just out of sync with potential readers, a Van Gogh or a Poe but an author, not a painter.

    What are you writing for if not to be read? Forget publishable, the gatekeepers have been demoted by the birth of the self publishing world. Are you just writing to hear yourself think? What are the complainers saying to you about your style that you don't want to give up?
     
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  5. live2write
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    live2write Contributing Member

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    First off I would like to thank you for writing this post. I cannot tell you the many times people (outside of the forums) did not like my writings. They did mention that the concept was different, but the story was not of their tastes. There are then those who are fascinated with the genre that I write who consider my work publishable according to interest. I even have one fan (mainly an outside consultant) who wants me to write a series. (a little ambitious but some hope).

    Just like my photography, the work I do face some criticism, both good and bad. In all honesty, just like artwork, writing is subjective. Especially when it is topic specific or genre specific. I must say that criticisms are the key to testing out the market, especially if they are avid readers. They are your audience. Look at the Twilight books! I found them not being pieces of literature and more of stimulating brain entertainment for the weekend reader. Look at what happened, 3 movies! Mass marketing and licensing deals! Writing is a business. In my opinion...I did not like the books and thank god I borrowed it.

    I am reading several books right now in and outside my genre that personally I do not like. Many factors are involved from a weak character, or a too elaborate storyline to keep up with, the writer's language etc.

    I joined the forums because I want to be surrounded by a community of writers from all different styles, markets and experiences. Joining here did help me with opening my eyes more on what writing should be about. I do have to admit I did read in the community posted stories section and have enjoyed and not really enjoyed some the stories. (please do not take offense if you posted a story on here). The truth is, you cannot please anybody. only yourself. (Take that with a grain of salt before I explain).

    Writing should not just be about presenting a book to a reader just to please them. Personally I believe that is a different market in the writing business. Writing a book should be about expressing your thoughts and ideas and revealing them to the world and showing the audience your perspective of the world. It is true that you cannot please everybody. However there is an audience out there that is looking for a story that they can relate to, read and who knows, it might be a life changing experience (thank you Ann Aguirre!)
    Out of my collection of books on my shelf (god I am up to 50), only three books I consider my favorite that I have enjoyed from the front to the back jacket. Maybe about 10 that I enjoyed a bit and the rest...I wish I could get a refund, or at least some money back if I donate them.

    The best form of advice from a forum member here @jannert virbadum gave me was "Write a story to satisfy you, do not focus on writing a story to satisfy the audience."
     
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  6. Andrae Smith
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    Andrae Smith Gone exploring... in the inner realm... Contributor

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    Ging. Makes some good points here. What's being said about your writing? What questions are being asked. I think at some point we all feel like we may be writing something unpublishable, but to a degree we all are. But with the rise of self-publishing the name of the game is now writing something compelling and readable and being able to convince others to read it whether or not you can get a publisher. You can get away with more, but to stand out, you really have to do stellar work. If the writing isn't bad then you just haven't ound an audience yet. When you meet the requirements, post something for us to review, will ya. I'd love to see something of yours. Heck, I'd take a look at it in a PM if you wanted me to or you could PM me for my email ha ha. It is NOT about writing to please everyone, but to express yourself as best you can, please yourself, and hopefully please those whom you are writing towards.
     
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  7. msmith
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    msmith New Member

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    It's a little bit difficult to explain. I've had my writing mercilessly criticised on the basis that it doesn't conform to regular usage conventions. "Why did you not capitalise this. The tense is wrong here. Why did you do this. If you cannot carefully justify the meaning to me in every single individual instance, then there is no meaning. Things that have no meaning are extraneous and need to be removed. Your obsession with style is distracting from the meaning in your stories. The distraction is preventing the transmission of your meaning. If it doesn't add to the meaning, then it needs to be removed."

    I am perpetually hearing "First you have to know the rules in order to break them." Obviously I did a degree in literature in order to learn about how writing works. But that doesn't seem to be what is at stake here. It's some other issue to do with style. I don't think I'm the one obsessed with style, I think that others who demand that I conform to a specific idea of what style should be are the ones obsessed with style. If I learned one thing from my degree, it is that when it comes to art, there are no rules. Not only is there no place that is agreed on where these rules have been written down, but there is no one who is actually qualified to dictate such a set of rules to all other speakers and writers. There is no one who has that kind of authority, and I think there's no one who should have it. For me art is about liberty and truth, communication and abstraction, joy and discovery and possibility, not obedience. I think it's sad and disturbing that things have gone so far that I should be absolutely required to communicate my ideas in a certain style, even when my message is otherwise clear.

    From another angle. In "Modern American Usage" 3rd edition Bryan Garner includes an essay mentioning an exchange he had with a customer service attendant., that goes like this.

    >
    Finally, I said, "Can I get the upgrade?"
    "You mean, 'May I get the upgrade,' " she responded.
    I thought I had imagined it. "What?"
    "You said, 'Can I get the upgrade.' What you mean is, 'May I get the upgrade.' "
    [...]she was wrong, and I gently told her so: "I'm not asking for your permission. I want to know whether you have a Cadillac on the lot. I want to know whether it's physically possible for me to drive one of them. So: 'Can I get the upgrade.' "
    "Oh, I guess you're right," she said with resignation.
    >

    Garner, who is an expert on "rules", has on every level failed to recognise that the customer service attendant was not incorrect in the phrasing she suggested. She was not "wrong". On the contrary her phrasing suggested another alternative meaning, which is to do with the way that many people in our culture are taught to express consideration: etiquette. It is polite to make requests of what may be possible; it is polite to ask the other party for their permission even when their position does not happen to be very flexible. Of course it was not very polite of her to correct a customer, but when it comes to an insistence on correctness of usage, that isn't the point.

    I seem to hear "Your ideas are good, but your writing is terrible," to the exclusion of any further engagement with my ideas. What is the priority here? Twilight is a toxic novel that promotes unhealthy ideas of relationships to young people, in which an emotional rush is more important than true adult interaction based on matters of similar thoughts or ethical values or ways of perceiving the world, where it is OK for your significant other to stalk you, inform you conclusively that you are incompetent to survive without him, and to love you so much that he is afraid of killing you (which we could even say constitutes a sort of a death threat). I have often heard about Twilight, "The writing is terrible, it's the story that is great." In my opinion, the writing is not brilliant, but completely acceptable. Meyer has a particular knack for restrained sublime landscape description. And at least as far as style goes, she seems to have pretty much mastered "The Rules".

    There is an idea that there is something about my style that I should have to relinquish in order to further my message. That I should obey people who set themselves up as authorities on style. I disagree fundamentally with the whole idea of that, not necessarily because of the knowledge of those people who tell me what to do, as they may have obtained much more knowledge than I have on grammar and usage, but because style is a message. There is meaning in it. Although I admit that my perspective is highly emotionally coloured, when I read a piece of writing that conforms closely to these expectations of usage regularity, I feel disgusted. I think, "This person has sold out and is playing the game. There isn't even any meaning in this piece of writing, except that it conforms to usage expectations." I don't know how to write within those confines. It seems trivial to me. I don't want to construct shapely prose. It makes me think of a mother bird pre-masticating food so it slips easily down her baby birds throats. If I really did have something worthwhile to say about style and meaning, wouldn't that be condescending of me to go about it that way?

    I'm not even saying that my writing is excellent, or that I am a great philosopher, or anything of that nature. Someone has said to me "How do we know whether you are a smart person, or just a smarty pants, for writing in the way that you do." From my perspective, that is all wrong, that is not literacy. Literacy is approaching something for possible meaning, and enjoying possibility of meaning, not stripping it of meaning that seems at first incongruent, or is in some way otherwise unacceptable to personal taste. Why should I have to prove that I am some way transcendent or ahead of my time as a writer, in order to write the way that I believe is right? How is a person supposed to prove their potential as a writer who is allowed to write on their own terms, if they are not permitted to explore meaning and potential in their writing? Why should I have to adapt my writing to suit the needs of people who aren't even interested in seeing what it is, but are just interested in perceiving what it isn't - that it doesn't meet their expectations for acceptabilty of usage?

    NO, of course I am not speaking just to myself, I don't have that kind of arrogance. My writing is crafted in the hope that people will read it and get something out of it and maybe even enjoy it. But if people don't want to listen to anything that I want to say, if they are too concerned with their inner expectations regarding the regular tick tock of punctuation and capitalisation and paragraphing, and other readability concerns? Why should I compromise what I believe is the integrity of my writing and my theoretical beliefs about ownership of language, in order to flatter their conceits?

    In any case regularity is a new, contemporary thing. The idea that it has been around forever is mythological.

    Anyway. I am writing this in response to posts that have been made. The actual reason why I made this thread, was to hear the voices of people who have decided to do things their own way, and how they deal with the refusal of others to engage with the idea that they could be doing something meaningful. That is really why I started this thread and it's really what I want to hear. I've pretty much made up my mind about why I write the way I do. If anyone actually wants to read anything I wrote after all the crap I have written here, I have stacks of writing on my domain at majicland.com. I write tiny fictions.

    Please... I don't really want to argue... These are just my beliefs that I have stated in order to respond to requests to explain myself. but I would love to hear anything about how people "cope" with feeling strong about what they are doing with their writing, even when it does not have mass or commercial appeal.
     
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  8. Andrae Smith
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    Andrae Smith Gone exploring... in the inner realm... Contributor

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    Well you certainly spin a good argument, and I agree with some of it too. All I can say there is they may or may not have a point. We'll have to see your writing to see if you simply love language like Nabokov or if your writing, er, needs improvement. ;)

    Edit: The difference is we will try to help you make a few adjustments that might make things easier on readers.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2013
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  9. msmith
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    msmith New Member

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    Thanks so much, and if you like my writing, I'm so happy you like it. I'm happy to receive any feedback of course! But I don't really want help adjusting the directions of my writing. I am pretty much happy developing my writing and growing as a writer on my own. I don't want my writing to be perfect. I'm pretty confident in my own ability to use my own writing as a tool to grow as a writer and to learn from what I am doing. I am happy practicing myself and deciding for myself about the directions that I want to take my writing in. Nabokov was a great genius, and there isn't really any possibility that I could ever compare to him, and I'm not trying to. I just post here because I wanted to hear about other people who are writers and persist in their writing despite other people not enjoying their writing. I know I shouldn't really feel this way considering that I am satisfied with my reasons for why I have decided to write the way that I do, but when writing is such a huge part of your identity, it's difficult to not feel blue sometimes. I really just posted wanting to hear from others and how they deal with it when they feel blue if their writing is not commercially successful or does not appeal to a wide audience.
     
  10. live2write
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    live2write Contributing Member

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    The truth is anybody can write a story and anybody can go out and try to publish a book whether the approach is going through a publisher or self publish.

    There is a very strong difference between an author and a commercial writer. (not saying commercial writers aren't authors). Commercial writers yes do have a wide audience that appeals the the masses. However from reading their books and listening to interviews, it appears that they write for the soul purpose of income and the satisfaction of story telling is second hand.

    Author on the other hand is true to their own style and tells a story they have to offer. It is really luck that authors end up obtaining commercial success. I consider J.K Rowling an author because she had a story that she wanted to tell the world. It was a matter of finding the right person that made her who she is today. Of course there is the other argument that the series has become too commercial. I find that is a matter of opinion but with opinions, yours and mine I respect.
     
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  11. Juju Bagdasarian
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    Juju Bagdasarian Member

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    let me add my little something in this conversation to :), ms smith , i don't know how is your kind of writing but since you went through the trouble of opening your feeling to us, i promise that i am going to take a look.
    For me being a writer doesn't mean compromising with the rules since i to consider it a form of art, when i began writing i had some horible stories on my head and they sucked so much that when i tried explaining them to my friend , they actually wanted to make a parody (short movie) because they were so bad , every now and then i look at them and see that were awful, and i mean like the worst thing that could be written on paper. it took me years to learn how to decode my thoughts and describe moments, details in a way that people could understand, i had no one to teach back then, no internet, and no books at home that i could read so i could learn from(not to mention that books here in Greece is like ambrosia, a priviledge reserved only for rich people), i could never read greek novels to much drama, all i had was three translated Harry potter books, and i avoided taking anything from them because they were translated , about four years ago i went to germany, and there was this bookstore that had a sell out, my eyes fell on a book of Arthur Clark and Stephan Baxter time odyssey Firstborn, if you know it. long story short i ate the book up and learned from it how i should write to convey though to letters and finally i started seeing a style of writing blooming , if i can call these two my writing teachers then i owe them everything, i don't know their story, if they are sell outs, but if they are, does that make me to ? because my style is influenced by them and i still study the writing of other published writers, long story even shorter :D sometimes i feel like a copycat but i don't let it get to me, i keep writing using the way i learned how to do it, so should you, and i am sure that you will see that it was the right way... wrong i think that you already know it's the right way, your just feeling a little under appreciated. :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2013
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  12. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Well, the truth is, if as you say, NOBODY seems to understand what you're writing, then yes, very likely there's something wrong with your writing. Look, if it's really a matter of taste and style, then surely somebody would at least understand it? I'm not even saying they have to like it - but simply to understand it. Words are used to transmit meaning. If your readers cannot understand your meaning, then your writing has failed, it's that simple.

    Yes you can play with style - but your style is only successful if people in fact understand the content. You need to somehow bring the two to harmony. That doesn't mean changing your style necessarily, or conforming to conventions - but it does mean adapting. You can scream about staying true to your art all you like, but if you art holds no meaning for anyone other than yourself, then of what worth is it?

    It depends on what it is you want to achieve. Is it publication? Is it recognition? Or is it simply to write, for your own pleasure and your own sake? If it's the last reason - for your own pleasure - then write how you like. There's no point for a discussion because in the end, it doesn't matter. I write poetry - I don't care what makes good poetry and I know nothing of poetic conventions, I don't even read poems, but I do write it. I never intend on publishing them. I write poems in order to vent my own feelings and release any tension or pain I might have. For these purposes, it's just fine how I do poetry. But if I were looking to have readers, to have people enjoy my work, to have people know my work, or better yet, to have people BUY my work - then I must do something that pleases both the readers and myself.

    I can rage about art and purity and integrity all day long but at the end of the day, what is it that you want? Now do whatever you need and whatever it takes to get there. The motto of "write for yourself" is only true to an extent. In the end, you want your books read, you're gonna need to please the one paying. What one should do is write for BOTH yourself and your readers. Unless of course, you don't care to have readers, then we're back to my poetry example.
     
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  13. msmith
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    msmith New Member

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    i never said that people don't understand my writing. What I actually said is that people do in fact understand my writing, but they actively refuse to engage with the meaning in my writing, because they are offended by departures from usage convention.

    I really believe in the value of making writing and artistic products, even folk art, genre art, "poor" art.... not necessarily art that has to cater to what people want. There's always going to be someone who doesn't want what is available, no matter how "good" it is. I don't write "for myself". I write because I believe in art and I try to make the best artistic product that I know how to make.

    I don't believe I am a great artist or ever going to be a great artist. It is enough for me to be simply an artist. But sometimes I get sad and down that the value of anything that I could genuinely achieve with my writing will never be valued by other people. Isn't that reasonable? Don't people sometimes get sad and blue about what they are doing, even though they believe in its value?
     
  14. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    And there's the rub - if you are not writing for yourself, if you are trying "to make the best artistic product that you know how to make", then it has to be appreciated by the reader, else what's the point?

    I will tell you one thing that struck me about your writing, at least in the samples provided above: you never told us which particular usage conventions you were eschewing and why. You write around the issue in a very general and unspecific way, but it would be helpful to know the specifics.

    Some people act as if the mere breaking of rules or conventions is, in and of itself, artistic. It isn't. Could it be that you are flouting convention just for the sake of the flouting? You say that you believe that "style has its own meaning", so I suspect that may be the case.
     
  15. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I agree with this. And even if you know what you're doing, some people won't like it or understand it.
    Like, I don't get David Lynch -- apart from Twin Peaks. To me most of his stuff comes off artsy-fartsy pseudo-artistic laughing-his-way-to-the-bank type of stuff. Still, to quite a few people he's a genius, and he probably knows what he's doing, most of the time anyway.

    What do they say after you've explained your many reasons? There's nothing wrong in explaining and dissecting your work, and it's not defensive when people ask what's with the lack of capitals, etc.

    When you've met the criteria to post to the workshop, why don't you put an excerpt there and see what people here think.
     
  16. mg357
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    mg357 Active Member

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    msmith: If i may add my own 2 cents. To heck with what everybody else thinks and write how ever you want to write.
     
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  17. msmith
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    msmith New Member

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    I'm sorry but I don't believe that an artistic product has to be appreciated by a consumer in order to be good. There are other purposes to art apart from consumer appreciation.

    If I go into specifics about usage conventions, we could be here forever, arguing about the validity of the usefulness of one particular characteristic of formal written language or another, and I think that would be pointless and in any case irrelevant. So no I am not getting the grammar textbook out. Why don't you go and open Robinson Crusoe and tell me about the capitalisation? Describe it to me and tell me why it is there?

    For the purposes of argument I concede that breaking rules and conventions is not inherently artistic. Although, in the contemporary historical context of the current cultural lockdown on freedom of usage, as is plain to see in the willingness of several members to argue heatedly with me over this despite the fact that my OP requested only a little emotional support in doing what I believe in, I personally disagree. However obeying rules is not inherently artistic either. Couldn't it be that you are conforming just for the sake of conforming?

    Again, in any case, there are no rules, only conventions. People try to turn them into rules and tell other people how they should talk and write, and try to control the language of others. My language is mine and does not belong to some prescriptive grammar "professor". Who are these people trying to turn convention into unbreakable law? Prophets with a direct connection to the divine progenitor of all language?

    I don't understand your final statement connecting my own remark about possible meanings in playing with style to the notion that I am flouting convention for the sake of it. I just can't understand the logical connection that you are making between those two things. If I am playing with style for a purpose, doesn't that then mean that I am not just doing it for the sake of it? I can't even believe what I'm answering. I don't deserve for people to be pointing their finger at me and making these value-laden accusations about my motivations for doing things. Who do you think you are?

    Why are we talking about this. Why are we talking about this. Please tell me why. It must be clear to people that I have decided to do what I am doing for reasons that I have thought about. Do you think that I have been poorly educated, or that I didn't work hard for my education? Do you think that I am hurting someone, killing someone by writing in the way that I choose? Why do I have to justify myself to write how I choose to write? Why is it so difficult to accept that I could possibly be doing something reasonable? Please can we stop? I'm unwilling to talk about this anymore?

    All I wanted to know is how other people deal emotionally with their writing not being taken up by an audience when they still believe in what they are doing.
     
  18. DrWhozit
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    DrWhozit Banned

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    -----
    I've been reviewed and rejected. Journals and periodicals won't publish my work.

    In fact, the peer reviews I've had suggest that people truly hate my writing. They tell me it makes the uncomfortable and dissatisfied. They actually demand explanations for why I write like that and urge me to conform to usage conventions without regard to my right to artistic style. I believe they are putting limits on what I feel is contributory to a limitless art form. -----

    Look at how you handled your plight and how another writer has handled it.

    As a visual artist, Picasso did not delve into cubism, Dadaism and deeper abstract till he had a firm skill developed around the classic conventions of drawing and painting. Writing is the same way, if you want to be respected as a writer.
    Have you had any formal writing classes? If not, run as fast as you can to enroll in some. If you don't have the bucks, there are community classes in just about every city in the US begging for students. No excuses! Hit the books if you want to learn how to write them.

    Or decide to write stuff that you alone want to read.
     
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  19. Garball
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    Garball Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand. Supporter Contributor

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    There may not be any rules in art, but there are rules in language. If you are trying to convey a message to the masses using words, structure cannot be ignored. If you are writing for yourself and a small contingency that "gets it," then fuck what everybody else says.
     
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  20. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    And yet you are complaining that you are not appreciated.

    And we went and delved deeper into the topic, getting into the whys and wherefores. You apparently are interpreting this as some form of opposition, but really it's the tendency of most of the folks on this forum to offer advice intended to help one improve their writing. You can take the advice or not, as you choose.

    If you are going to be "cutting edge", "avante garde" or "unconventional" (pick the adjective you like most), then you have to be prepared for the fact that you may not find a readership. And you have to decide whether your art matters more, or your public acceptance. Maybe you haven't quite sorted that out, yet. For your sake, I hope you do.
     
  21. matwoolf
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    matwoolf Contributing Member Contributor

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    OP

    Like you too, I am a great author trapped inside my bottle of literature juice, a fine wine, drips hit the pillow, yet as yet not the mouths of Mr Penguin, MacMillan. I share your pain and would like to be your frend in the revue suite, here provided. Join me, I will read your stories, you can read mine, like them, buy them if you like me, money - and I will buy yours - with my coffee, show me l'ouvre.

    'I l'ouvre it, I can't help myself reading and reading.'

    Also, you must write not boring shitf but stuff that is good and nourishing, give pleasure with your hand, writer. Run my little one, run with the words at your feet.

    'Shoot him.'

    'Stop.'

    xx
     
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  22. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    If that's the case, find other people to read your work. For what it's worth, the people here on WF have a variety of tastes, so you could always post an excerpt here for critique (after you've met the requirements of course). I guarantee you'll get at least a few good critiques.
     
  23. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Just some generalized observations here...

    First, you're right, there are no rules to style - but there are rules to grammar. And one should have a very good reason to break those rules, because those rules are what allow writers to convey their message most effectively to their audience. Breaking them just for "style" can distract and annoy and thus the message gets lost. I don't know if this applies, but it's something to consider.

    Second, as others stated, you have to decide what your goal for writing is. If it's to be "artistic", then you have to accept that your readership may or may not be large. Many great artists (I'm thinking of painters) were not appreciated until after they were dead, after all. If you want a larger readership, then you need to learn to compromise. One can do that without "selling out" or pandering, you know. It does involve letting go of the "artiste" schtick, however...

    Last, if you don't want to hear anything but praise for your work, don't let others read it. If you let others read it, they have a right to their opinions of it, and most people will express those opinions, helpful or otherwise. If you post it on a critique forum, you will get constructive crits, crits designed to help you write better. If that doesn't interest you, then I would say you probably are a hobbyist and should, like other hobbyists in other areas, enjoy what you do and stop worrying if others appreciate it or not. They don't have to.
     
  24. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    So in your clarification it would appear this is what you were looking for in the thread. But a lot of us are unable to empathize because we need more information to know if your experience matches ours or one we recognize, like Poe's. Or we have information to go on, but don't necessarily see our own experiences in what you've described.

    Anything else I would say at this point has been said by others in the thread already.

    But why not stick around? Join other conversations. Then when you meet the workshop requirements, give us an example of what you are trying to describe. :)
     
  25. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    I took a look at your website, and while you've got some interesting stuff, I understand the criticisms that you are receiving. If you insist on flouting convention, and you don't wish to make clear statements, that is going to interfere with a reader's ability to appreciate and enjoy your work.

    There certainly are plenty of writers who don't enjoy commercial success, for a variety of reasons. Even if you changed some of the things that you have apparently been told to change, there's still no guarantee of any sort of commercial success. So, you've got lots of company as far as people who write but do not attain a widespread following or financial gain.

    It looks like you're not so much looking for advice as commiseration, and you will find that here. Welcome.
     
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