Some of my all-time favorite stories are actually video games. Now before I get kicked in the nuts I would like to say that most of these stories were older games before they added voice acting to games. So I was still reading and imagining voices to the characters. Although I could see the characters, to me, it felt similar to reading a book, parts that are supposed to be strong are not done with description, but visuals. (Just as good as description, but different) As you may know, there are almost as many game critics as there are movie critics. And all the critics talk in ways that don't exactly sound like opinions. Just as with any critics, they can seem totally right, and then other times, they'll have you saying "WHAT?! THAT WAS A GREAT STORY!" I was an avid fan of Final Fantasy as a teenager. (a series that features new stories and new characters that are completely related to the installment before and the one after, e.g. FF7 has nothing to do with FF8, and FF8 has nothing to do with FF9). My favorite Final Fantasy was number 8. It's a 50-hour game, and I played through it and the side quests about 5 entire times. On one playthrough, the clock that logs the total amount of hours turned red, and reset, because it didn't go beyond 100 hours. That gives you an idea of how much I loved that game. If you are familiar with Final Fantasy, you know that the one that the world loves more than them all is Final Fantasy 7. I played both FF7 and FF8 and I thought that 8 was significantly better in terms of story and real-feeling characters. The world disagrees. And that's okay. I know you are surprised to hear this but the critics' opinions all happened to flow with the majority of the world's opinions. In fact, to this day I am still the only person I know who thinks that the best Final Fantasy was NOT 7! There was another video game that I absolutely loved as a child. It was a tale of "Dragon-warriors" told in a way that I haven't seen anyone else even come close to. And it's not bad that they haven't come close to that what that story brought, it's just that to me, that game had a pretty original idea and story. I played the game as a kid, and there is a particular scene where a good guy dies and I, as young Flying Geese, could not help but cry for the loss of this awesome character. If you were to search for that scene on Youtube, you would find many comments from players who also felt the heartbreak of watching that character die. (I always wondered if I was the only one who had cried over a game) The game was never that popular back when it was out. So I looked it up recently to see what ratings the big-game houses had given it. I was shocked. My jaw dropped at some of the reviews. So many negative reviews about that game that it almost seemed like trolling. On Metacritic, they separate reviews by critics and reviews by users. And the community speaks. So many people who played the game wanted a sequel. People all over the world shared the same experience I had with that story. Despite what the big-names said, the players themselves (whom the game was made for, mind you) absolutely loved that game just like I did. What I found to be interesting is that one big critic said that the game was just a ripoff of Final Fantasy 7. Of all the people I have met who has played both games I have never heard anyone even mention FF7 in a discussion. I think those stories have zero in common with each other, yet the critic says that one is a ripoff of the other. The reason I talk about critics is because since I have been a part of this forum, I have heard so much talk of a work trying to pass an agent or editor's desk. When I say "critic" in this post, I use the term synonymously with editor and agent. Your work is your work. Your book is not designed to reach out to editors and agents all over the world is it? I hope not! I haven't written a single entire book yet, but I have caught myself thinking of editors and agents as I write and even now I can tell what a dangerous trap it is. Let us as writers, who are artists of literature and story, remember that the majority of critics are just that. Critics. Let's not speak of these editors as if our work, our art, is a sacrifice to be offered upon their altar. It is funny that so many people think that they are the person to ask if a movie or book is good, but you wouldn't ever catch them trying to write their own story. Some people have set up their own Youtube channels and blogs where all they do is rate, instead of create. What I like about this forum is that we all are aspiring writers. We all are actual artists (I assume). Yes, getting published is important, and cool. But if we would be honest with ourselves, we would remind each other that getting published is secondary. The game (whose title I have yet to mention) pleased so very few critics. But the audience, myself included, thought it was a thrill ride! My books may never resonate with the soft and tender hearts of critics, editors and agents. As long as it reaches the readers I am trying to reach, I will be happy. I dare say that if you care about agents more than audiences you are in the wrong business. No more writing for agents. Write for your audience by writing the story you love --the story you want to write!