1. L'Apprentie
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    L'Apprentie Member

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    What do you term as being a good poet or writer?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by L'Apprentie, Dec 20, 2011.

    A writer friend once told me that she knows when she is a good writer when she can write one or two pieces one after the other and like what she wrote to the point that yes it can be sent for publication. And I agree her writings are often published in online magazines. So I was wondering how many people have actually experienced that or was it merely a pompous thing to say. I tended to believe that all writings- especially poetry- involve some refining phase which is for me the editing phase. And sure it happens that you write something upon inspiration and that same day it turns out to be very good, does that mean you are now a good writer/poet??
     
  2. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    that's true of my work, as well... and i don't consider it being 'pompous' but only having confidence in the quality of one's work, due to its being generally accepted as professional quality...

    if it only happens once, or rarely, no... but if it's the norm, then yes, it probably would... virtually all writing work will take at least a bit of 'touching up' and polishing, but it your work consistently needs little to no editing, then you can say justifiably that you're a 'good' writer/poet/whatever...
     
  3. L'Apprentie
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    L'Apprentie Member

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    Wow. :) Thanks.
    When do you feel that it is good enough then or that there can be no more editing- do you rely on the gut feeling or use other people as testing grounds(a friend as critique or something?). Obviously, the more you write the better you get and the better you can judge if it is good or can be better. But sometimes I get obsessed that is it the best that it can be...or is it still naive and amateurish. Do you have/did you ever have any similar feelings?
     
  4. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    Both, if you can. It's good to have an outside opinion, but really you've just got to look at it objectively. If you can't look at your own work objectively, test it on a friend.

    I have a total of three short stories that I've actually finished and been proud of, and that's among countless unfinished works and a few others that I didn't like enough to consider refining. I can look back at the prose in those stories and think, "Damn. That's good." I can look at the stories and I know that there's a logical progression of events and that it has a good, solid ending. Sometimes that involves a friend saying, "Why did this happen?" and I think, "Wow, that was stupid," and I have to change something.

    But, really, it comes down to being able to look at your own work without seeing it as yours. Just see it as the piece of work it is.
    If you're not that great at doing that, sometimes it's best not to look at the piece of work for a month or so, then you have the opportunity to read it when you've forgotten different parts of it.
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ...i can tell when it's polished enough on my own, having been writing and editing professionally for many years... though i will occasionally have someone i know is knowledgeable enough to give valid feedback look it over, for reactions from a reader's pov...

    ...no, i haven't/don't... i knew long before i started writing professionally, that my work was pro-quality, thanks to the writing i did in high school, awards won for writing, and high grades/feedback from teachers throughout my school years, from first grade on...
     
  6. iabanon
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    iabanon Member

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    even the most successful writers can spend a while editing and polishing. needing to do a lot of editing is no indication of being good or not. jk rowling threw out half of Goblet of fire and started over. stephen king has re written a lot of work. personally i think an indication of a good writer is being regularly published.
     
  7. Froggy
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    When I say I've written something - that includes the editing. So it could be terminology on your friends part.
    If your writing needs little editing, good for you, that definitely shows you either think enough beforehand/whilst writing and pay attention to what you are doing.
    Being a 'good' writer is in the eye of the beholder though. There is also the debate between craft vs. art - which I will not get into ;)
    These days, I'd call someone good who is consistent in producing work he/she can sell. If you're a genius, but can't sell it, or you're too moody to ever finish anything, you may produce beautiful work, but you won't eat.
     
  8. Blood'N'Shadow
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    Blood'N'Shadow New Member

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    (At least for me) Good writing is the kind of writing that is true to the writer's self. Should I explain myself better? Don't try to imitate another writer's style, except, if in any case, you are bored of your own. I'm saying that as a poet/poetry writer. As a story writer I wouldn't know.

    I can relate with what Froggy is saying; "If you're a genius, but can't sell it, or you're too moody to ever finish anything, you may produce beautiful work, but you won't eat." That has happened to me way too much.
     

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