1. Masked Mole
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    Masked Mole Contributing Member

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    Is There Anything Better Than Talking About Your Work?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Masked Mole, Jul 3, 2015.

    When someone asks me about a project (finished or unfinished), I have to attempt to keep from having diarrhea of the mouth. I absolutely love talking about my work, even though I have trouble getting enthusiastic for pretty much anything else. I could blab on and on about each individual character, the setting, themes, etc. I also love talking about other writers' books. What's your feeling? Are you more private or protective?
     
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  2. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    I don't like talking about my work until after it's done. And by done I mean published. So I don't really talk about my work at all. :p
     
  3. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yeah. I get diarrhea of the mouth too. A lot! It is part of my writing progress. Because when people listen and hear things and focus on a point or question a point it helps me see what is working right and isn't.
     
  4. izzybot
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    izzybot Human Disaster Contributor

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    For me it depends entirely on who I'm talking to - if I feel like they're going to judge me, even if they're pointedly asking, I'll be reeeally reluctant. Because secretly I am still twelve and terrified of judgment. But I have a few close friends who've made to mistake of like, asking a simple questions or heaven help them going "oh, tell me about ..." and then I just do not stop. Since I write a lot of sci-fi I'll also get onto these big tangents when I talk to my brother - 'cause he's even more of a nerd than me - where it starts out "so what do you think about the idea of [whatever]? is that plausible / how could it happen?" and it quickly turns into a big scientific discussion that usually seeds more idea for cool sf junk.

    The only thing better than talking about your own work is talking about it with someone who'll really engage with you about it and actually cares.

    Then again, I have a blog, so I'm obviously perfectly okay with just talking about my work to the void :D
     
  5. Chelsea
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    Chelsea Member

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    I don't like talking about my work or showing it to anyone. I get really nervous about whether they will like it or not.
     
  6. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    Even more than talking about my work, I enjoy
    • talking about and thus solving problems I have in my work. I invariably find they are solved as you describe the problem to someone else, either through verbalisinsg the issue and finding a solution in the process, of receiving input from that person that assists you. This has worked for both writing and programming, despite the listener at the time being neither of these things (writer or programmer).
    • brainstorming ideas. Brainstorming is awesomesauce.
    • encouraging others in their work / passion / vocation
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2015
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  7. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I used to love talking about roleplaying games and the plots and characters that I created for them, but I don't enjoy, at all, talking about my fiction. I don't know why.
     
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  8. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I don't like talking about my fiction. I find that, if I explain the concept and characters and plot to someone, I lose inspiration to actually write it. I feel like I've already told the story, so why bother writing it?

    Also, if my story isn't finished to my satisfaction, I can't stand explaining it. It's embarrassing. If it isn't perfect, I don't want to show it off. It's like wanting to be a bodybuilder, but I'm just starting out. I say, "I'm going to win the Mr. Universe contest!" and everyone laughs and says, "Right now you're nothing but a fat fuck and you look ridiculous in a posing suit." I have to finish the project before I show it off - I want it to be READY FOR THE BIG TIME before I even tell anyone I'm working on it. It's exposing too much of my ambition without enough of my accomplishment, if you see what I mean. A lose-lose situation. One, it's embarrassing; two, it kills my ambition. So until a story is done. I don't talk about it.
     
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  9. sprirj
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    sprirj Contributing Member

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    When I first started my book, I told colleagues, told family, told my girlfriend. Chattered on about my characters, possible outcomes, then after a few weeks, my girlfriend told me to shut up, my family lost interest, my colleagues judged me, and I realised I should probably keep quiet until it was complete. I'm not saying my loved ones are cruel, but I guess it's a bit like a new born baby, you adore it, your family coo over it for a bit, but when it comes to the hard bit, shaping its personality, watching it grown up, no one else is really as connected as you are to it. Once it's an adult aka finished, that's when people take note, want to interact on an intellectual level.
     
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  10. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    I'm in the camp that feels uncomfortable talking about a work in progress. I don't want anybody's input at that stage, nor feel like explaining stuff I haven't fully worked out yet. Maybe this is why I'm so puzzled at people who write by committee, who ask for other people's ideas early on in the process. It's so very not me.

    However, I certainly want feedback once the first draft is done and edited. Only when readers get hold of it will I know whether my story grabbed them the way it grabbed me. At the editing stages, I welcome anybody's input who is willing to read the story and give me feedback, and I always give any suggestions I receive a great deal of attention. I do love talking about my story at that stageā€”and finding out whether what I intended to convey actually worked. But not until it's done, and the preliminary editing is done as well.

    In other words, it's mechanics I want feedback on. I don't want somebody else helping me conceive my story.
     
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  11. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    Most of my friends don't know I write. Some do, and one also writes, but they have a hard time drawing out of me. I hate talking about it. It's really uncomfortable. And there's no way they can read it.
     
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  12. Lea`Brooks
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    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

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    I really don't like talking about my work. lol

    If I'm having difficulties with something, I'll consult the forum or my husband to get advice on how to move forward. But generally, talking about my ideas just isn't something I want to do. I don't really know why. Part of it is I don't want people to misunderstand my idea and make me explain every single thing to them. I want my work to be a surprise. So having to explain every twist and turn to people is pretty annoying. Or, if I talk about an idea to someone who isn't a writer, they take that as an opportunity to throw every idea they've ever had at me with the hope that I'll somehow think it's a great idea and use it in my writing. Also annoying.

    But mainly, I'm just not confident enough in anything I do to show it to people. I don't want the negative feedback or "this idea really sucks," because that early in my process, it's likely I'll just get frustrated and throw the entire piece in the trash.
     
  13. Masked Mole
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    Masked Mole Contributing Member

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    Just to clarify, I guess I really meant talking with other writers about your work. I think there's an element of respect you'll get from fellow authors that you won't get from others. When I think about the great conversations I've had, most of them have been with other writers.
     
  14. Kallisto
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    Kallisto Active Member

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    I love talking about my work, but only to other writers. I'm pretty sure most other people are not really interested.
     
  15. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    Anyone else see the irony in that most people here(a creative writing forum) said they prefer not to share their work?
     
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  16. No-Name Slob
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    I don't enjoy talking about my work. When someone asks me about it, I get all clammed up and say "uhh ... it's not done and I just really don't feel comfortable talking about it."

    It's like I'm almost afraid to speak it into existence, lest my words float away along with my ideas.
     
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  17. Masked Mole
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    Masked Mole Contributing Member

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    You see it too. I sure did.
     
  18. Lea`Brooks
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    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

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    Sometimes I like talking to writers even less than non-writers. Every writer is different and has their own idea of what works and what doesn't. So sharing your ideas with another writer can lead to poor criticism based on their preference alone and can really hurt the development of a story.

    I like sharing my writing once it's finished, or when I complete a chapter and need critique. And I like sharing ideas with people I trust. But writing is like my baby. lol I'm not just gunna let anyone hold it.
     
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  19. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    Non-writers no. I hate discussing my work. First my work never has that high concept tagline that has people going hey, cool. It's more like - you're writing about what? cough*weirdo*cough.
    Plus they seem to think writers should be able to write a book like someone bakes a cake or mows a lawn. Once you mention it, it's like you're being timed. Aren't you done yet? It can make conversation a little snippy - err yeah I know it only takes you an hour or two to read the damn novel but it sure as hell takes longer to write it.

    As for writers - sometimes I don't mind discussing it. Sometimes I find the same issues come into play especially if you're not really doing a genre novel. I've bumped into so many people that take offense to the word literary or general fiction. You kinda have to prove your worth to even say you're striving for it and it's worse when you straddle - general fiction/genre.
     
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  20. Aaron Smith
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    Aaron Smith Contributing Member Contributor

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    Not talking about your work. Writing is a very private matter to me. In fact, it is so private that I share it with thousands of strangers online for the whole world to see.
     
  21. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm so aware of the possibility of boring people that I'm really self-conscious and try not to talk about it at all. And then if someone can convince me that, no, they're not being polite, they really are interested--I let loose and babble until their eyes glaze.
     
  22. ToDandy
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    ToDandy Contributing Member

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    I only like talking about my written work with other writers (or filmmakers if I'm writing a script), otherwise it feels like a chore and I'd rather they just read it than having to describe it to them.
     
  23. Hubardo
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    Hubardo Contributing Member Contributor

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    There is ice cream.
     
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  24. ToDandy
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    ToDandy Contributing Member

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    I think you just convinced me to go and eat a bowl of ice cream, right now!
     
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  25. daemon
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    daemon Contributing Member Contributor

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    I have found exactly the same thing, both with creative writing and with programming. In fact, most of the questions I start writing on Stack Overflow never actually get posted because the process of explaining what exactly the problem is leads to a solution.
     
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