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  1. #11
    Senior Member
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    Your inability/refusal to find anything genuine to praise has been covered in the past.
    Our job is to be brilliant, not just mildly competent. I don't praise what deserves none. What you're not taking into account is that since we all leave school believing we know how to write, when we begin to record our stories we write what reads like a high school writing assignment. I was no different. And thr writing we do on the job doesn't change that. And the average writing site is filled with people sharing that same misconception, with no one to tell them different. So except in rare instances, there's literally nothing to praise.

    Now and then someone posts work that shows that they did enough study to use more than the sense of sight; that demonstrates at least a basic knowledge of what viewpoint is, etc. And that work does get both praise and help. But for the vast majority of work I see posted on any writing site the only thing praiseworthy is how nicely the black of the print contrasts to the white of the page.
    but you keep doing it to those who have already been trying to learn the craft.
    If it doesn't show in the writing it doesn't matter that they skimmed a book or two. Only mom praises intent, because intent doesn't make it to the page.
    you've got some useful advice about what people need to do to take their writing to the next level, but people end up ignoring that.
    I can but lead them to the water. There's almost never a time when I don't suggest that the writer dig into professional technique, and most of the time I steer them to a source. Every article in my blog carries the same disclaimer, not to listen to me, but to go to the pros. If a given writer isn't willing to take the time to learn the craft of the profession there is nothing I—or anyone—can tell them that will change that.
    It's possible to suggest people could learn more about certain elements of the craft (especially your favorite bits like POV, reader's emotional experience etc) through certain recommended websites and books, without annoying quite so many people.
    It's an interesting thing. Almost without exception, the people who become annoyed have several things in common:

    * They insist that one learns how to write, best, by reading fiction.
    • They insist that "Just write what comes to you, and you'll fix it when you edit" is the secret to writing success.
    • They insist that "there is no wrong way to write, and that it's all opinion."
    • They often hold the view that they write just like so-and-so—but never do.
    • They have never had a book in your local bookstore.

    And in the end, because if I'm right in what I tell the people who are not annoyed with me, the ones who are need to learn an entirely different approach to writing, and have been wasting time (people like our local version of Donald Trump) they spend their time attacking me. So nothing I can say, no change in my approach can change that because the message is one they can't emotionally accept. I've tried. They're looking for validation, not help in becoming a better writer.



  2. #12
    Rogue Mutt
    Guest
    Yawn. Same old, same old. I remember one of your "success stories:" he was published by some crowdfunding site and his book wasn't selling any better than yours.

    As George said, you're a pointer. Anyone can do that and yet you seem to think just pointing to information anyone can find makes you better than everyone else.

    * They insist that one learns how to write, best, by reading fiction.
    Here's where you and your buddy Swain are absolutely wrong. If you're going to write fiction then you do learn to write by reading fiction. What matters is how you read it. Let me point you to this book, which I've mentioned before. The author (who is far more successful than you or Swain) talks about learning to read as a writer. He suggests outlining the books you read to understand the structures and techniques of those books.

    Here's another example: In The World According to Garp (far more successful than any of your or Swain's books) how does the future author learn to write? By obsessively reading Joseph Conrad. This was a reflection of the author's own obsessive reading of Charles Dickens. Though he did get education from the famous Iowa Writer's Workshop, he didn't learn to craft stories like Garp from lectures in a classroom; he learned it by studying Dickens.

    So when it comes to that, should I listen to two highly successful authors or should I listen to a failure and a pulp writer who has been dead for almost 25 years? Tough call.

    They have never had a book in your local bookstore.
    Neither have you except if you strong-armed some local bookstore to carry yours on consignment. Maybe bookstores carried Swain back in the 60s but not anymore.

    the ones who are need to learn an entirely different approach to writing
    We've been over this. You sell NOTHING. I sell SOMETHING. So why would I adopt your approach? Why should anyone adopt your approach? It has gotten you nowhere.

    (people like our local version of Donald Trump)
    It's always funny when you call me that. For one thing I #FeelTheBern and another I read your buddy Swain's book. I read YOUR book. I took the time and evaluated your position. You, on the other hand, just stick your fingers in your ears and shout, "I'm right! Lalalala, can't hear you!" As Oberon said, you stick to your guns even when they're firing blanks.

  3. #13
    Senior Member John Oberon's Avatar
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    Our job is to be brilliant, not just mildly competent.

    In terms of sales, I wholeheartedly disagree. 50 Shades of Gray and Twilight, my man. Horrible writing...sold millions...and the authors were hardly brilliant. I know, I know...reality is wrong, and you're right, lol.

    * They insist that one learns how to write, best, by reading fiction.

    I don't know if it's the best way because everyone's different, but it certainly does help... a lot. That's how I learned to write, specifically from C. S. Lewis and Mark Twain.

    • They insist that "Just write what comes to you, and you'll fix it when you edit" is the secret to writing success.

    I don't think it's the secret to writing success, but I do think it's the secret to actually finishing a book, lol. I see people all the time slavering over a chapter or even a paragraph, and as far as I know, they're still doing it. They never finish.

    • They insist that "there is no wrong way to write, and that it's all opinion."

    LOL...that's a hot one...saying that about ME. Isn't that a scream, Mutt? Though I do think it's all opinion, I think some opinions are valid (mine) and others are invalid (yours).

    • They often hold the view that they write just like so-and-so—but never do.

    When I first started to write, I tried to write like my favorite authors. That's how I learned. Now I write like me.

    • They have never had a book in your local bookstore.

    Hey, gimme time, lol. The master plan has just started, lol.
    Last edited by John Oberon; 01-18-2016 at 08:29 PM.

  4. #14
    Junior Member
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    Jan 2016
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    14
    Jay, Jay, Jay......

    Thank god for cut and paste eh!

    So, let me see if I have this straight. I asked for opinions, not from anyone in particular but from the proletariat in general. After all, if you're on this website, it's a fair bet that you have a keen interest in writing. I didn't ask specifically for your opinion. Once it was offered, I took it for what it was worth. I gleaned from your first response, that you didn't feel that you were knowledgeable enough or qualified to offer any constructive advice. Instead, you pointed me in the direction of more qualified experts than you. That was fine with me. You didn't know how to advise me but you did know where an expert or two could be found. Excellent! Perfect!

    But you couldn't simply leave it at that. You had to proffer your opinion of my writing and education as though you could not walk away without cementing in me a feeling that I must be wasting my time. How could someone, as obviously uneducated as I, even dream of being a successful writer?

    But by your own actions and failure to even attempt any form of constructive help, you have in effect said, "I have no wisdom for you, I think I know what's wrong but I don't know how to advise you. However, I do know where you can get help. {INSERT LINK} Now leave me alone, quit bothering me and don't ask again until you've learned how to write something I like."

    I think that what you're all bout is getting attention and you've decided that negative attention is better than none at all. Let's face it - if your advice is to look elsewhere for advice - once taken and acted upon no one would have any reason to talk to you again. Hardly the result you desire. Hence the need for you to poke the bear. It's a good thing for you that the bear only uses the written word to retaliate.

    My first reaction to your initial post was to ignore you. Then I decided to check out the link you provided. Once I did, I decided to let you know it and to offer my opinion of the comments you left for me. I tried to be nice but you obviously don't like nice; you would rather have conflict.

    Those on this site who have responded to you understand your message. You have no wisdom for us other than to look elsewhere for help. Take a lesson from the greatest teacher who ever walked.

    Christ said, "If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet."

    You've told us what you know. You need to leave it at that. As far as you are concerned, you refuse to listen, so I'm shaking the dust.

    Goodbye.

  5. #15
    Senior Member
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    How could someone, as obviously uneducated as I, even dream of being a successful writer?
    The answer to that question is: you can't. But you are, of course free to try, without changing that situation. Obviously, you're upset at learning the extent of your ignorance of the profession. But unlike stupidity ignorance is easily curable. Any you suffer you share with virtually everyone who turns to creating fiction for the page. So lashing out at the messenger, for information you've already said you found useful, is a bit less than professional, and akin to pissing in the well.

    The attack on me because I didn't treat you the way you thought you deserved to be treated, was a waste of time because you get to ask, but not dictate the terms of the response. Someone you don't know took time he didn't have to give you to help you become a better writer. Bitching about it accomplishes nothing.

    So, having granted your request for help, and pointing you toward a source of professional information I'll just wish you well with your writing career.

  6. #16
    Rogue Mutt
    Guest
    Obviously, you're upset at learning the extent of your ignorance of the profession.
    The ignorance is all on your side of the ledger.

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