Re: Thoughts on Writer's Arrogance? (Rant fuel)

#21
There's no shortage of bloggers out there who think they know it all - The kind that thinks that they have all the secrets to good writing figured out because they've read "On Writing" by Stephen King once. Just ignore them and continue chugging along. You don't magically become a better writer by listening to these sorts of people, you get better with a lot of reading and a lot of writing. 

Re: Thoughts on Writer's Arrogance? (Rant fuel)

#22
I get your rant man.

I don't how it was called, but a few months ago a writer on this website wrote a book about a boy named Jack. His parents were the goddesses of day and night, in a world where that had all but dissapeared.
He joined a thieves guild trying to also get the blessing of that god (he needed all the blessings).
--
Anyhow: it was a really well-written book with good characters and worldbuilding. Yet one day it just stopped existing. After a while, I found the author's other book. I looked at his recent author's notes, where I found out that he stopped the book because, and I quote: "It didn't gain enough traction".
He had a solid 19 comments on each chapter and a good hundred followers. His main book had more sure, but that isn't enough reason to abandon it, or even worse delete it (what he did)

I still hate that kind of author, if you think your book doesn't do well enough, and you just stop writing. I don't like it. He had followers on that book. You write out of passion and if you don't and do it for the followers, you should realise that 100 individuals make time to read your book.
Ugh.



Re: Thoughts on Writer's Arrogance? (Rant fuel)

#23
I have a degree in Writing, and I went to school with a lot of other people who were also majoring in Writing. And the thing that struck me the most in my time there was... most people are just NOT GOOD at critiquing. I had dozens of short stories and poems and excerpts workshopped by probably a hundred different people, almost all of whom were fellow majors, and almost all of the workshopping advice was pretty useless. Now, the few people who were good at it were lovely and really helped me become a better writer and reviser, but there's nothing like getting 25 paper copies of your story back, flipping through the line notes, which is like two typo fixes, and then reading their overall two-paragraph critique that doesn't really help anything.

Now, in-person classes meant that people tended to be a whole lot nicer than the really rude people online (ESPECIALLY on the old Wattpad forums; holy crap there was a posse of jerks on that site). But I think the same thing holds true, that both groups are just not very good at critiquing and helping other people's stories, and it can come across as arrogant even when they don't mean it to.

Re: Thoughts on Writer's Arrogance? (Rant fuel)

#26
Astrowoud Wrote: I get your rant man.

I don't how it was called, but a few months ago a writer on this website wrote a book about a boy named Jack. His parents were the goddesses of day and night, in a world where that had all but dissapeared.
He joined a thieves guild trying to also get the blessing of that god (he needed all the blessings).
--
Anyhow: it was a really well-written book with good characters and worldbuilding. Yet one day it just stopped existing. After a while, I found the author's other book. I looked at his recent author's notes, where I found out that he stopped the book because, and I quote: "It didn't gain enough traction".
He had a solid 19 comments on each chapter and a good hundred followers. His main book had more sure, but that isn't enough reason to abandon it, or even worse delete it (what he did)

I still hate that kind of author, if you think your book doesn't do well enough, and you just stop writing. I don't like it. He had followers on that book. You write out of passion and if you don't and do it for the followers, you should realise that 100 individuals make time to read your book.
Ugh.

I feel this type of thought-process tbf.

Whenever I quit writing (and I quit pretty much every month), it's because of a similar reason, but that's because I'm embarrassed about spending so much time on something that doesn't even get looked at. I usually alternate between playing video games and writing and I end up quitting both if I'm not doing well. Both of those hobbies make me more depressed than anything. 

peolaughing

Re: Thoughts on Writer's Arrogance? (Rant fuel)

#27
Thedude3445 Wrote: I have a degree in Writing, and I went to school with a lot of other people who were also majoring in Writing. And the thing that struck me the most in my time there was... most people are just NOT GOOD at critiquing. I had dozens of short stories and poems and excerpts workshopped by probably a hundred different people, almost all of whom were fellow majors, and almost all of the workshopping advice was pretty useless. Now, the few people who were good at it were lovely and really helped me become a better writer and reviser, but there's nothing like getting 25 paper copies of your story back, flipping through the line notes, which is like two typo fixes, and then reading their overall two-paragraph critique that doesn't really help anything.

Now, in-person classes meant that people tended to be a whole lot nicer than the really rude people online (ESPECIALLY on the old Wattpad forums; holy crap there was a posse of jerks on that site). But I think the same thing holds true, that both groups are just not very good at critiquing and helping other people's stories, and it can come across as arrogant even when they don't mean it to.

Honestly true.

What's even worse is when people throw their credentials at you to backup a "nonsense" critique as I've experienced before. In some cases they just lie. I had one person tell me they were studying for a PhD in English Lit. When I read their work it resembled that of a ten-year-olds. Genuinely. 

peoblush

Re: Thoughts on Writer's Arrogance? (Rant fuel)

#28
Writing is a creative art, but it is also a technical craft. Anyone can do it, it's just hard to meet the standards of traditional publishers and gatekeepers of their publishing. That being said since it's a TECHNICAL craft all you need theoretically is practice and finishing your work, which is easier written than, well... written. 

Talking about the arrogance of writers we're all pretty much starving artists until we DO become authors, where we have no acknowledgement of all our sweating fingers and countless hours spent to polish our stories. Though it is a relatively solitary line of work writing is SO competitive at its core. Everything, and I mean everything you could think of possibly within our understanding and beyond of reality has already been thought up of. Not yet published perhaps, but take A Brave New World for instance. It was published in the 1930s and it talks of gene splicing and dystopian systems that are very prevalent to our future still. It's just a race to the finish before someone else publishes that idea. 

Rambling on I can see why writers are salty with reading work where they see their own past mistakes or roll their eyes at ideas that lack emotional and thematic maturity, e.g. seeing the billionth LitRPG take off in views before your own work where you've had a remixing of ideas that seems slightly original or is just so bizarre in the publishing sense no one has bothered to write it yet. Does my pretentiousness drip off these words yet? Anyhow, the point is that anyone can become a writer, and people who put in the work to hone their craft in writing see the respect and philosophical credibility of writers brought down by the next furry werewolf/fox girl harem, which even more infuriatingly has somewhat decent prose.

Re: Thoughts on Writer's Arrogance? (Rant fuel)

#29

ArthurScott Wrote: Honestly true.

What's even worse is when people throw their credentials at you to backup a "nonsense" critique as I've experienced before. In some cases they just lie. I had one person tell me they were studying for a PhD in English Lit. When I read their work it resembled that of a ten-year-olds. Genuinely. 

peoblush

To be honest, there was a strong correlation in my college classes with people who critiqued very poorly and people who wrote very poorly. I have no idea how some of these people graduated with writing degrees, but they're out there in the world now and there's nothing we can do to stop it  peodistress

Re: Thoughts on Writer's Arrogance? (Rant fuel)

#31

Thedude3445 Wrote: To be honest, there was a strong correlation in my college classes with people who critiqued very poorly and people who wrote very poorly. I have no idea how some of these people graduated with writing degrees, but they're out there in the world now and there's nothing we can do to stop it  peodistress



This made me chuckle. Sounds like a salty/jealous other instead of a arrogant one to me

Re: Thoughts on Writer's Arrogance? (Rant fuel)

#33
Whenever I think about arrogant writers or grammar nazis I usually think about Cormac McCarthy, the author of Blood Meridian, No Country For Old Men, and several other genuinely brilliant books. Not because I think he's an arrogant writer, but because he's willing to completely discard the accepted rules of the English written language. 

What people tend to forget is that while we have accepted rules for grammar and punctuation, grammar and punctuation are there to help the reader. That's it. So imagine my surprise when, while reading Blood Meridian for the first time, I notice that McCarthy both liberally uses run-on sentences and doesn't use quotation marks. At all. In fact, aside from a few commas he barely uses anything except the capital letter and the full stop. It took me by surprise at first and I eventually wanted to know why he chose to do these things, so I found an excerpt of his where he explains his decision:

"I believe in periods, in capitals, in the occasional comma, and that's it. I mean, if you write properly you shouldn't have to punctuate." 

McCarthy's philosophy seems to be that excessive punctuation, especially quotation marks, are a waste of space on the page.

And yet he is one of the most well-loved author's of the last century. His writing is mind-blowing, his books are mesmerising. Would you tell him that he can't write just because he made a stylistic choice? Absolutely not. As long as you are consistent with your own rules, and the reader understands what you are doing, then who cares if you choose to do your own thing?

Me, I like punctuation. Maybe a little too much. But I would never deride someone who made a purposeful choice to not use it. Remember that punctuation doesn't make your writing good or bad - it's the writing that does that. 

Re: Thoughts on Writer's Arrogance? (Rant fuel)

#34

AFlawedKing Wrote: Whenever I think about arrogant writers or grammar nazis I usually think about Cormac McCarthy, the author of Blood Meridian, No Country For Old Men, and several other genuinely brilliant books. Not because I think he's an arrogant writer, but because he's willing to completely discard the accepted rules of the English written language. 

What people tend to forget is that while we have accepted rules for grammar and punctuation, grammar and punctuation are there to help the reader. That's it. So imagine my surprise when, while reading Blood Meridian for the first time, I notice that McCarthy both liberally uses run-on sentences and doesn't use quotation marks. At all. In fact, aside from a few commas he barely uses anything except the capital letter and the full stop. It took me by surprise at first and I eventually wanted to know why he chose to do these things, so I found an excerpt of his where he explains his decision:

"I believe in periods, in capitals, in the occasional comma, and that's it. I mean, if you write properly you shouldn't have to punctuate." 

McCarthy's philosophy seems to be that excessive punctuation, especially quotation marks, are a waste of space on the page.

And yet he is one of the most well-loved author's of the last century. His writing is mind-blowing, his books are mesmerising. Would you tell him that he can't write just because he made a stylistic choice? Absolutely not. As long as you are consistent with your own rules, and the reader understands what you are doing, then who cares if you choose to do your own thing?

Me, I like punctuation. Maybe a little too much. But I would never deride someone who made a purposeful choice to not use it. Remember that punctuation doesn't make your writing good or bad - it's the writing that does that.

Agreed. 

Re: Thoughts on Writer's Arrogance? (Rant fuel)

#35
(Ah, a Beth Harmon picture, had to happen :-) )

Now, do I agree with leaving out punctuation? in the past I would, but not anymore. You see, why would you deliberately leave it out? What's the point? Punctuation is only there to help tell the story.

And that brings me to your comment. Does the fact that he left out the punctuation make his story any better? Or would it have been even better with punctuation?

Also, does leaving out punctuation make him a better writer?

In both cases, you cannot give a clear answer, except this one: it may not be the best writing, and he may not be the best writer, but perhaps it is not the writing but the story that makes the difference.

Writing <> story, after all. Someone who crafts beautiful sentences but is completely unable to tell a story, or doesn't even have a story to tell, may be a good writer from a 'word smithing' point of view, but would be a worthless storyteller.

So, a good author should be able to write as well as tell a story.

Punctuation is just a tool, but when used properly it improves the writing, and may make it easier to tell the story, because the reader will find it easier to read. McCarthy is the outlier here. For the record: I read some of his work, and did not like it. That won't help much either I guess :-)

Re: Thoughts on Writer's Arrogance? (Rant fuel)

#36
I experienced a different kind of arrogance.  The one where an author can't understand that not everyone will enjoy their work.

I had an author email me about my review.  They didn't like that I gave them 3 stars and that I made a comment about how the story had a decent start, but if you only like hetero MCs, then that story isn't for you.  I didn't say that the story was bad or that it was poorly written.  I just gave a heads up that if you're scared straight, you should probably avoid reading it.

They didn't appreciate that, which is fine.  However, emailing the reviewer and including the words unfair and homophobic for a 3 star review kinda irks me. 

Re: Thoughts on Writer's Arrogance? (Rant fuel)

#37

mordreth Wrote: I experienced a different kind of arrogance.  The one where an author can't understand that not everyone will enjoy their work.

I had an author email me about my review.  They didn't like that I gave them 3 stars and that I made a comment about how the story had a decent start, but if you only like hetero MCs, then that story isn't for you.  I didn't say that the story was bad or that it was poorly written.  I just gave a heads up that if you're scared straight, you should probably avoid reading it.

They didn't appreciate that, which is fine.  However, emailing the reviewer and including the words unfair and homophobic for a 3 star review kinda irks me.

I don't think anyone dislikes hetero characters or homo characters. XD

Re: Thoughts on Writer's Arrogance? (Rant fuel)

#38

ArthurScott Wrote:
mordreth Wrote: I experienced a different kind of arrogance.  The one where an author can't understand that not everyone will enjoy their work.

I had an author email me about my review.  They didn't like that I gave them 3 stars and that I made a comment about how the story had a decent start, but if you only like hetero MCs, then that story isn't for you.  I didn't say that the story was bad or that it was poorly written.  I just gave a heads up that if you're scared straight, you should probably avoid reading it.

They didn't appreciate that, which is fine.  However, emailing the reviewer and including the words unfair and homophobic for a 3 star review kinda irks me.

I don't think anyone dislikes hetero characters or homo characters. XD

You'd be surprised.

Re: Thoughts on Writer's Arrogance? (Rant fuel)

#39

Astrowoud Wrote:
ArthurScott Wrote: I don't think anyone dislikes hetero characters or homo characters. XD

You'd be surprised.



Off-topic, but... Yeah, I remember one time a really highly-rated/popular story on here—Nothing Mage?—had reviews/readers change their review to a lower star ratings just because the MC turned out to be bi or something. The story was taken down because of that which is a shame.

Re: Thoughts on Writer's Arrogance? (Rant fuel)

#40

As far as I can see, there are two distinct types of arrogance in the world:

1) Arrogance that covers up fear and self-doubt. These types of people are trying to psyche themselves up, more than convince you. These people are mostly harmless because they can self-destruct at a moment's notice.

2) Arrogance borne of repeated success. These people are arrogant, and they have good reason to be. They can be unpleasant because they lack humility, but they are also difficult to dismiss.