Writing with the doors closed?

Discussion in 'General Writing' started by blueshogun96, Apr 19, 2017.

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  1. jannert

    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Yeah. Maybe the word 'may' would have diffused the situation and made me sound less dictatorial. I stand corrected.
     
  2. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm hoping that I don't get myself into trouble here.

    You know the touchy-feely advice that when you're arguing, you use "I" statements? The same thing might work here. It might help to pepper your comments with "for me", "with my process", "with the way my brain works", "with the way my creativity operates", and so on. And I really think that with enough of that peppering, the conversation might be both less awkward and more productive.

    I realize that to some degree it would compromise your position, because I assume that you really ARE saying, "Uh, guys? You have an opinion about what works best for you, but I'm suggesting that you at least give serious consideration to some changes that I'm suggesting. I know I'm not the boss of you, but I really do think that some of this would work better for a lot of people, not just for me." But I think that a softer sell usually works better.

    Examples below, original in blue and rewrite in green. Please understand that I'm NOT trying to rewrite you. I'm trying to offer just enough examples to clarify what I'm seeing as something that might go over awkwardly, and what might have stripped out the awkwardness.

    "So ...why not do what you want to do, instead of what somebody else wants you to do?"
    "For me, too much input early in the process results in my doing what somebody else wants me to do, rather than what I want to do."

    "Your instinct was right. It's counterproductive!"
    "Yes, for me it's definitely counterproductive."

    "However, when it comes to the plot itself, character development, pacing, story flow, etc—or even writing style—how on earth can anybody tell what ultimately works and what doesn't until the story is completed?"
    "However, when it comes to the plot itself, character development, pacing, story flow, etc—or even writing style—I personally don't want anyone else's judgement on what what ultimately works and what doesn't until the story is completed. Without the information drawn from reading the final work, I'm not comfortable that their judgement will be sufficiently well informed."

    OK, now I run away fast, because I may have just made it more awkward.
     
  3. Spencer1990

    Spencer1990 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't know about anyone else, but for me, @jannert, this was never about level of offensiveness.

    It was about...respect?

    I don't know, but, as a writer, being told I'm unable to produce original, uncompromised work because my creative process sometimes involves a brainstorming session with my friend is one of the most disrespectful things I can think of that someone might say about my work.

    I guess I just wouldn't dream of laying the claim that if someone works differently from me they are unable to produce original work.
     
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  4. jannert

    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    No, you're spot-on. Thanks. I was beginning to wonder if it's something in my tone or approach that seemed unnecessarily abrasive. I was coming across like the go-to guru, wasn't I? :oops: Lesson learned. Thanks!

    (In my slight defense, my 'counterproductive' remark was in response to this question from the previous poster : edit for a side-question: is it 'counterproductive' or 'contraproductive'? I'm confused ;). I was answering a spelling question. :))
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2017
  5. Iain Sparrow

    Iain Sparrow Contributing Member

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    I think you're wrong on that.
    It's something that I find odd about writers, you all seem to be so solitary. Perhaps it's my experience in the theatre, and that it is in some regards, 'art by committee', that I find collaboration to be liberating.:)
     
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  6. blueshogun96

    blueshogun96 Member

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    Whoa, this thread exploded into 128 responses in a day and spans 6 pages?? Wow, just... wow. Did I hit the motherload of topics or what? :)

    It will be a while until I can read the entire thread, as I'm bouncing back and forth between duties here. So I'll read the whole argument once I return! *rubs hands together*

    All in all, what appears to work for me the most is this: when I come up with an idea for a story/novel, I'll tell others about it. If they like it, great, I'll start writing it. If they don't (or the majority believes that it is a poor topic), then I probably won't bother, or just write it for myself altogether. Then after it evolves to a certain point (passed the rough draft, half way through it, whatever), start sharing it. That way, I am told what they do and don't like. There's certain errors I want to make for myself so I understand why this way of thinking is not the best of ideas in the first place. Example of this, when I shared my first 3 sentences, I got a unanimous decision stating that it was very off putting (nobody likes being peached to, although it wasn't my intention to do that). So I revised it, and it received better feedback.

    Considering that this is the longest story I have ever written (and still not quite as long as many of yours who have more experience than I do), it may be a better idea to change this thought process. I spent a quick moment scanning through the posts and when I get a chance I'll respond to things in greater detail. So far, Abroad at 46k+ words, and 74 pages (1.25 spaced using Open Office). And of course, it's going to get significantly longer as there are several scenes that I have yet to write. In my experience, potential reviewers only have the patience to read so much of it at a time, so maybe it would be a better idea to open the door a bit at this point.

    As someone who prefers his own company as opposed to the company of others, I am indeed the solitary type. Personally, I couldn't take being in the presence of others for too long. Everything I do is for me, myself and I. But I'll leave that up to you (and the rest of you) to decide if that is grounds for judging how I work/write.

    Shogun.
     
  7. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin Contributing Member

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    Naw, not quite the mother-load. That's a fairly average level of metastasis for any thread involving creative opinions. If you really want to see a dumpster fire, try an identity politics question!
     
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  8. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Contributor

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    Forget that. The explosive topics around here are:
    • Italics for thoughts
    • What is theme and is it necessary
    • Are writers who don't rate massive bestsellers like Stephen King and J.K. Rowling just jeluz
     
  9. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Don't forget passive voice.

    Oh, and NUKE THE ITALICS FROM ORBIT!!!!!!
     
  10. Spencer1990

    Spencer1990 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I wonder if Tenderiser is going to mention POV and Tense, he thought thoughtfully. And adverbs, he thoughtfully added.
     
  11. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Contributor

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    Oooh I've missed the explosive threads about those! Tenderiser would like to see a heated POV debate. And a furiously frothing adverb one. She wondered where the pricky POV discussions were...
     
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  12. Spencer1990

    Spencer1990 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Spencer had maybe conflated "long, tired and drawn out" with "explosive."
     
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  13. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Contributor

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    "That list of topics would be the epitome of long, tired and drawn out," she giggled adverbly. "Which brings me to whether laughs can be dialogue tags and the Oxford com--no, on second thoughts. No." Tenderiser didn't want to start a war.
     
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  14. blueshogun96

    blueshogun96 Member

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    What if I attack the genre of romance novels? I could imagine some digital hell fire for that one. >:--D

    Shogun

    EDIT: Caught on to the Italics for thoughts thing early on. Glad I avoided that clusterfudge!
     
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  15. Imaginarily

    Imaginarily Disparu en Mer Contributor

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    Don't forget the "is this cliché?" cliché.
     
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  16. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Contributor

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    *gets out flamethrower*
     
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  17. Imaginarily

    Imaginarily Disparu en Mer Contributor

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    Hey @Tenderiser where's my erotic fanfiction of Jack and whoever?
     
  18. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Contributor

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    You have to finish the damn novel before people can write fanfic of it. :bigmeh:
     
  19. Imaginarily

    Imaginarily Disparu en Mer Contributor

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    It is finished! What are you talking about?

    :brb:
     
  20. blueshogun96

    blueshogun96 Member

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    @Imaginarily Don't write about women that way! :O

    Yes, I'm referencing that thread...

    Shogun.
     
  21. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin Contributing Member

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    Oof. I wouldn't recommend that, but I'll gladly spectate!
     
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  22. blueshogun96

    blueshogun96 Member

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    And if it ever comes down to that, all I ask is that as you spectate, make a few responses involving Nelson's "Ha-ha" laugh (memes or youtube clips) to lighten the mood!

    Shogun.
     
  23. 123456789

    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Its amazing how passionate people get whenever I make any sort of comment regarding fantasy....
     
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  24. Imaginarily

    Imaginarily Disparu en Mer Contributor

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    How dare you have an opinion on things that are 100% made up and impossible!
     
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  25. 123456789

    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm as baffled about it as you are
     
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