1. CadillacXLR8r
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    CadillacXLR8r Member

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    Read This

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by CadillacXLR8r, Sep 3, 2011.

    This is something my friend wrote after she took my only copy of a handwritten book I was writing, and 'critiqued' it. She wrote ALL OVER it. I thought I'd ask anybody who wants to answer, do you think that because she didn't like my one book from like 2-3 years ago, she can tell wether or not she will like any of my books?

    "Cadillac, I'm going to be an honest friend. I don't think writing is your forte. You have lots of grammar and spelling mistakes. And you obviously think the reader is stupid. Adapt to the reader, because she doesn't want you to ramble on about cars - that's you talking about something that interests you - and not your readers. Frankly, I was extremely disappointed with your writing. I expected better than this. Your writing is also not current. Your vocab is like saying "far out!", it's old school. and weird."

    Also, the part about 'adapting to my reader'? She says that me talking about cars is something that interests me not my readers, so I should stop? Last time I checked, she wasn't the whole world, or am I wrong?
     
  2. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    How would any of us know? I don't even know what you write. But honestly. The answer is inside you. Take her criticism on board and improve your own writing, but no body should tell you to stop aside from you. A lot of now famous writers had to go through a lot of shit to get published. Some of them are even alright.
     
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  3. CadillacXLR8r
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    CadillacXLR8r Member

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    Okie dokie, thanks!
     
  4. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    Anyone who read anything I wrote before the age of 16 would have said the same thing. After then (basically April 2009 onwards) was when my writing was good. It was pretty suddenly just good (only because I kept nothing from before then).
    The point is that you grow as a writer as time goes on. I read a single book of John Connolly's, a book of short stories called Nocturnes. I LOVED it. Thought it was some of the greatest writing I'd ever come across.
    I read one of his novels, and hated it after just a single paragraph about 40 pages in. Stayed away from his writing forever after that.
    People will decide, at some point, whether they want to keep reading your work or not. It's not your job to care.
    Grammar and spelling is workable. You can get better at that.
    As for currency, you need to watch out for that as well. "Owned"? That's getting old already. People barely say it anymore. The word "cunt" (sorry, guys) is coming into much more general usage. I expect it to outgrow its shock value very soon. Hell, nobody even barely cares about the word "nigger" anymore. At least not here.
    Adapting to the reader is stupid. The idea of writing is that you will have a preferred audience. Readers don't write the books, we, the writers, do. So we say what it's about. That said, if it's all about how great cars are, it's probably pretty uninteresting. You need to strike a fine balance between what you want and what is readable.
    Maybe you are wrong, too. If you like her, if you want to be with her, and if you could potentially marry her, then you better believe she's the whole world.
     
  5. The-Joker
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    The-Joker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Crucifiction handled this well. There's obviously no point in drudging up a critique from 3 years ago. Three years of additional experience is a pretty sizable advantage, and most of what was said then might not be true about your writing now. If you want to revise this book her comments might be relevant, but it's obviously no indication of what a reader would feel about something you produced now.
     
  6. hiddennovelist
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    hiddennovelist Contributing Member Contributor

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    Has she said something about not wanting to read anything else you've written? That's kind of what this seems to imply to me, and I have to say that regardless of the length of time between her last experience with your writing and this one, it's kind of silly for something to judge whether they'll like something written based upon another piece of yours they have read. Whether it has been three years since she's seen your work or two weeks doesn't matter (ok, obviously you improve with time and practice, so in that sense it matters, but bear with me).

    And here's why I say it doesn't matter. It seems to me that she's saying "dude, I don't like cars...how boring, why would you write about that?" If you had given her another piece you wrote two weeks later about something different, especially if this new subject interested her, maybe she would have reacted differently. I know there are authors out there with some books that I like and some that I don't...I would never say "oh, I didn't care for that...I'm never reading anything by this person ever again."

    Incidentally, I would totally ignore her suggestion to adapt to the reader...maybe SHE doesn't care about cars, but there are people who do.

    Disclaimer: sorry if this is long and rambly, I'm falling asleep in my chair right now...
     
  7. Lightman
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    Lightman Active Member

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    Hello fellow high school senior.

    Yes, most things you wrote at sixteen are probably unreadable. Many things you write now you will probably someday find unreadable.

    I look back at things I wrote early this year and laugh at the pretension of it. It's okay. You're allowed to not be David Foster Wallace at this stage of your life. It's really okay.
     
  8. CadillacXLR8r
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    CadillacXLR8r Member

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    Okay, thanks. And yes, she is saying that because she didn't like this one, she won't read anything else... And so I was just wondering, would anybody here work to get her to like it, or would you just move on? That's what I am thinking of doing. She hasn't read any of my stuff for the past 3 years...
     
  9. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    Trust me guy. Not everyone can be as great as Thomas Pynchon, and nearly no one is as bad as Dale Brown. And Dale Brown was still published, and gave the world a series of cold-war fantasist wank novels.
     
  10. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    You have some pretty severe dignity issues if you change yourself just so someone else will like you. Same goes for your writing.
    I think it's pretty safe to assume that nobody here would work to get her to like it.

    I'd probably say some uncultured things about her value as a friend if she's threatening never to read my work again.
     
  11. LaGs
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    LaGs Banned

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    Fantasist wank novels....LOL
     
  12. popsicledeath
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    popsicledeath Banned

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    My advice is instead of trying to find reasoning or validation to dismiss or discredit this friend, simply learn to write better. That's the focus, right? Who cares what she thinks, who cares if she doesn't want to be your friend or read your work, etc. Why waste time on it? Focus on improving your writing, whether she was right or wrong, mean or nice, a good friend or bad, a friend or not a friend at all. Ask yourself how spending time on this 'issue' is helping you become a better writer.

    Unless she's hot and you want her socks... then anything goes in attempting to impress and appease her!
     
  13. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    i agree with pops, and don't let anyone tell you you shouldn't write. especially someone who hasn't read anything for the last 3 years. Work on improving, but not to impress this person but for yourself. grammar mistakes is something anyone can improve on and so are lots of other mistakes we do in the beginning. learning to write stories well is a long process and if you can find someone else to comment on your work, someone who instead of discouraging you tell you how you can improve, that would be great.
     
  14. Manav
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    Manav Contributing Member

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    @Original poster...This is exactly why you shouldn't let friends and family critique your work... emotions come into play and feelings are hurt, and may be even stain a relationship.

    Your friend's words seem harsh, but who knows, she failed with subtle hints and felt that this was the only way you would listen to her.

    As Lemex said, take her critique and move on, but as I said it is difficult to do so with friend's critique.
     
  15. Batgoat
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    Batgoat Senior Member

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    Is this "friend" the only person to say this about your writing? If so, take it with a pinch of salt. If several people were saying the same things often (and if some of these people were fellow writers with a few thousand written words under their belts) then you'd have something to worry about.

    However, only you can decide whether or not to pull the plug on writing. As others have said, three years is a long time for growth and development. If the writing you do now is the same as what it was three years ago, there might be a problem. To be honest, if someone read just one of my stories and proceeded to feed me a plate of tripe like your "friend" did, it would only inspire me to be better.
     
  16. hiddennovelist
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    hiddennovelist Contributing Member Contributor

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    If she doesn't want to read anything else based on one thing you wrote, then honestly, I wouldn't do anything to try and convince her otherwise. There are plenty of other people who could (and would want to) critique your writing for you.

    This. Just based on my interpretation of her critique, I wouldn't take her opinions too seriously, but 1. I've never read anything you've written and 2. I have no idea how others have responded to your work, so that's just me jumping to conclusions. However, if she is the only person to have reacted like that to your writing, it's just another reason not to spend the energy trying to convince her to read something else.
     
  17. TSC
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    TSC Member

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    If she was reading and critiquing it primarily for her own enjoyment then I think you need to find a new person to read through your work. It may just be me, but personally when I critique a friend's work then I do so partly for my own sake but mostly to help them, and therefore whether or not I personally liked it would be mentioned, but not be of much importance, so as I see it, her refusal to read any more of your work based on her own level of enjoyment from the experience is rude but also somewhat good for you; if the only advice she could have given you was from her own take on it then she can't be much of a critic.
     
  18. AllThingsMagical
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    I once read one of the worse stories I had ever seen on a fan fiction site. There was literally nothing good I could think of to say about it. And it had several absolutely excellent reviews. People were saying that this was the best story they had ever read and I'm sat there thinking 'have I missed something?'

    Basically what I'm saying is that I learnt something very helpful that day. It occurred to me I could write something truly awful and there would be someone out there who would think it was fantastic when absolutely everyone else disagreed. And so I stopped worrying about what one or two people thought of my writing because it's completely down to personal opinion. If I like what I write then there is more than probably someone else out there who will too. Everyone gets bad reviews at sometime and you definitely shouldn't let one bad review stop you doing what you enjoy doing.

    Also if you want to write about cars or anything else that takes your fancy then as long as you enjoy writing about it your passion will show through and people will like it. I know I would hate to read a book about cars but give it to my dad and he would love it. So it's more than likely your friend just didn't enjoy the subject material but I promise you there is someone else out there who will.
     
  19. NaughtyNick
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    NaughtyNick Member

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    ^ I have to agree. For example, someone, somewhere must have bought a Katie Price novel.
     
  20. AllThingsMagical
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    ^ I wish there was a like button for that comment. :)
     

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