?

Are you ever satisfied with your work?

  1. Yes, my work is perfection. Wouldn't change a thing.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. I do my best but have a lingering doubt in the back of my mind. I try not to let it bother me.

    7 vote(s)
    77.8%
  3. No, it's difficult to put myself out there. The fear of rejection is real.

    2 vote(s)
    22.2%
  1. R. L. Larson

    R. L. Larson New Member

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    The story inside me

    Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by R. L. Larson, Dec 7, 2016.

    Growing up I was never into reading. I never spent nights with a flashlight reading late into the night and quite honestly thought reading books for assignments for school a chore. It might be shameful to admit, but Audible is what got me into to literature about 2 years ago. I'm sure many of you would clutch your pearls in horror to think of someone who doesn't love the musty smell of a old book and when asked what I would bring to a deserted island, wouldn't even for a second contemplate a book.

    It happened about 2 years ago. I had a dream about a heroine and a science fiction novel that I felt compelled I had to get onto paper. I've completed that first novel, and while there are many parts when I read I swell with pride thinking how clever, or amazed I am that I a person who hated reading wrote something so excellent, there are other parts of the novel that are lacking.

    I have just finished my 4th draft of the novel and am at a loss of where to go from here (the novel is quite good, but there is just something I can't put my finger on that isn't quite right). Does any one else feel that way? Or am I anal?

    I felt inspired to reach out to a writing community to perfect my craft, and to improve my creative writing through short stories and character development. I hope that this forum will be a place of great growth for me.
     
  2. R. L. Larson

    R. L. Larson New Member

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    Thank you! I'm excited to dive right in and get some feedback. Have you found writing forums are a good place to improve your writing? This is the first one I've ever tried.
     
  3. Rosacrvx

    Rosacrvx Contributor Contributor

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    Welcome!

    I haven't been here long and I've already learned a lot just by reading posts and critiques to other people's work. It does help! I wish I'd come sooner.
    Just be willing to learn and don't feel discouraged. Writing improves with time and experience. You can only get better, not worse. :)
     
  4. R. L. Larson

    R. L. Larson New Member

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    It is difficult to put yourself out there, it's almost like you are putting a piece of yourself out there for people to criticize. Which is terrifying. But I too hope I will be brave enough to dive in, if not I'm probably not meant to be a writer. Gotta be able to take it!
     
  5. EnginEsq

    EnginEsq Member

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    This could be part of your problem. It may be counter-productive to make "being clever" a goal in writing, depending on what you mean by it.

    Reading fiction should be an effortless and addictive. If the reader stops to say "Oh, the author is very clever here," then they've stopped reading for a moment and may stop period. Cleverness has it's place in writing, but it should be implicit-- hidden by craftsmanship.

    Craftsmanship is what pleases me when I re-read my own work. A sentence without a single wasted word. A passage that evokes rather than tells. Revelations that intrigue and surprise and that are, in retrospect, logical consequences of what the reader already learned, all at the same time. These are the kinds of things I'm proud of writing, not because they are clever, but because they are beautifully crafted.

    Yes, cleverness is necessary. But it's also common, because most people are born with some amount of it.
    Craftsmanship, on the other hand, has to be learned. And it's not easy. But that's why I'm proud when I manage it.

    Regarding getting feedback, I've had good experiences over at critters.org. And submitting work there doesn't count as publishing, as it might here.

    Regarding the poll, my answer is "None of the above."
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2016
  6. R. L. Larson

    R. L. Larson New Member

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    I understand. I do sound rather arrogant when I say that, I suppose I meant to say that when I reread my novel for the first time, I surprised myself. It was a book that I would have purchased in an airport or Barnes and Noble and enjoyed reading. I was surprised that me, a nobody that knew nothing about lit, could write anything good, much less decent. But I am stuck, I know it can be better, yet after several revisions I am still left puzzled as to why I am left with a feeling that there is something missing, something not quite right. Hence why I am here. To learn.

    Though I do hear what you are saying about perfecting ones craft. That I definitely need assistance with. I wish I could write like Hemingway, never a word wasted, the clipped sentences somehow still evoking emotion from the reader, but I have finally realized that I will never be Hemingway. No matter how hard I try, I can't be him. What I can do, however is be me. I can perfect my style of writing, through practice and feedback and hopefully put something out in the world people will enjoy reading.
     
  7. PenelopeWillow

    PenelopeWillow Member

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    This is why audible is so fantastic. It can introduce people who are not enchanted with reading to a new world of words.

    I think if there is any place to get feedback, this is a great place to start. I just joined myself. It's exciting for me to belong to a community in which I can interact with people who I share a passion with.

    It seems you may just need some more feedback on your writing for either reassurance or to point out what might be missing. Either way, it is fantastic that you put your dream into words. I hope to read some.
     
  8. Rosacrvx

    Rosacrvx Contributor Contributor

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    Gotta be able to take it, definitely!
    I understand what you mean about feeling that it's almost as being criticised yourself, but not quite. I think we have to able to see our work as something --a thing-- that we made and not that we are. This thing that we made can be polished and perfected. We are above the thing because we are its maker.
    Imagine making a wooden box that's not perfect and you don't know what you did wrong. Maybe you need help and expert advice, and maybe you need to make many wooden boxes until you make one you're proud of. Somehow, it doesn't sound the same as writing, does it? Writing is much more intimate and personal. Yet, it is the same thing, basically. A piece of work. A "wooden box". Takes practice to get it right.

    As for your novel, I recommend what many other people can tell you here. Put it aside for a long time, if you haven't already, and read it again with fresh eyes. This alone will help. ;)
     
  9. R. L. Larson

    R. L. Larson New Member

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    I really like that analogy! It does help me think of the book more subjectively instead of an extension of myself. Because if you reject or don't like my work....you reject and don't like me? Right?

    Thank you for that. I really think that will help me look at my work in a different light.
     
  10. R. L. Larson

    R. L. Larson New Member

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    Baby steps. Absolutely. Getting me introduced to the idea of critique is nerve wracking.

    I have sent the book off to a good friend who is an editor, and I have yet to hear back from him, and I can't help but think "Oh God, he hates it. It's rubbish. Why did I think it was ready to be edited?" Then I breathe and try to remind myself that any suggestions he might make will only make it better. I absolutely do not want him to be nice and say "It's great" or "I loved it," because he is a friend. I specifically told him to give me honest feedback on the book as a whole and the character development and where I can improve, so I hope he isn't going to go easy on me because of the relationship.
     

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