Quote of the Moment

"What's Past Is Prologue." - William Shakespeare

Monday, September 22, 2003

Woah, it hasn't even be a week and I'm posting again....that's an event to be remembered. :)

Okay, yesterday I finished reading Changing Planes by Ursula K. Le Guin. It was wonderful, as is almost everything she writes. What the book is, is actually a bunch of short stories - but each story is about a different dimensional plane (the stories are connected because travelers in airports can travel to the different planes while they're waiting for connecting flights and such).

The humor is wonderful and it's all written in a very conversational tone. But what actually got me thinking half-way through was - every story is a new world. And she makes each world so vivid in such a short amount of pages. I think this is an excellent book for any writer to read (especially fantasy writers) when they're concerned about world building. Most of the stories just describe the world, the history, and what the inhabitants are like.

It makes me ponder the idea of writing a short story on each new world I create, to give myself an idea of where my story is taking place. I think it would help ground me more and also help with the details and actually feel like I know the world better. Then I can take full advantage of the world. My ideas tend to be strong in character, and world building in most instances is difficult for me. This makes me think I need to take the time to get to know my worlds a bit better, since the world can be a character itself. :)

Okay, no pessimism this time - I really enjoyed the book, and it didn't depress me, but inspired me. Now to find the time to implement my idea....

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Yes it's been a while since I posted. Well, here's a new post.

Today, I bitch about people who don't know the proper ettiquette of critiquing. Do some people not know what constructive criticism is? It just unnerves me when I come across people who are plain insulting. They say your story is boring (ZZZZZZZ), they say your writing has no potential. That is not constructive criticism! That's rude and the furthest from helpful anybody can get! If you think something may need work on a piece, you make suggestions, you comment on what you felt worked and didn't, and then you make suggestions to improve.

It just irks me when I'm on the receiving end of these "inexperienced" critiquers. Albeit, it's not often, but it makes me miserable when it happens. And then there was the time that I received my story back, and the person said they didn't have anything to say but that he wanted to put a gun in his mouth and blow his head off after reading it. And you know why? Because it was fantasy! That's the only reason why. He said he was sick of all the Harry Potter/Lord of the Rings hype. My story was far from either of those two types of fantasy. Can you not attempt to be constructive? Mainstream is not the only type of fiction out there!

This crap just leaves me in tears. My self-esteem can only take so much. Am I really that horrible of a writer? Are these the people that are being totally honest, and everybody else is just scared to say, "Wake up dumbass, you can't write, you'll never be published, so just give it up."

I start a writing group for my state because I think it will be helpful, I think it will be supportive for regional writers, I didn't think I'd get shit on, literally. And it pisses me off that someone who has published book doesn't know how to critique constructively.

Okay, I will try to calm down. I still have to write tonight. Because I did make it into a Masters program for writing popular fiction, and I will finish the program, whether my writing is pure drivel or not.

After all this muck, I would like to add some good stuff, I guess. I appreciate all the excellent and helpful critiques I have received from so many people - especially my friend David who I've been exchanging things with for years, my friends Devan and Melissa, my current critique group and mentor at Seton Hill, and everyone who's been kind enough to comment on my work on Critters. These are the people that know how to critique constructively and don't make me feel like what I'm doing is totally pointless!

I write on...