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Excellent stuff! Thanks, Faralas <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />


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Hi all,

Firstly, I'm not a professional writer, although I have had a fair bit of my writing published in newspapers and magazines.

Just for fun, I tried writing out a list of tips for new writers BEFORE I read all the excellent advice from Faralas and others here. Now that I have subsequently read through everybody else's much more detailed and specific advice my list looks rather slender. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/eek.gif" alt="" />

But just for fun I'll post it anyway, without changing or editing it to include the superior wisdoem of others. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> Will it provoke howls of "No! NO!", a few nods of agreement, or indifference?


SOME QUICK THOUGHTS ON STARTING OUT


JUST DO IT:

The most succinct advice I ever saw was just two words Ė "writers write". In other words, stop thinking about it and just get on with the job of putting one word after another. Anybody who says things like "I'm playing around with a few ideas for a novel" usually means theyíre not doing anything! Stop mentally composing favourable reviews and get on with writing the piece. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/winkwink.gif" alt="" />

PLEASE YOURSELF:

Start by writing for yourself. If you canít please yourself youíre unlikely to ever please an audience. Donít begin by hobbling yourself with worry about formats, technical approaches or the like. There will be plenty of time for that later. Just write whatever you like, however you feel like doing it. If you have no talent it should soon start to dawn on you. But if you do have some promise it wonít be long before youíll want to know how you can improve. You may discover that writing solely for yourself is all you want to do. Thatís fine too.

TIGER WOODS DIDNíT LEARN GOLF BY READING BOOKS ON PHYSICS:

Initially, donít read too many books on how to write. Instead, re-read authors you admire and try to analyse how they do what they do and why it works. Donít try and copy their style, but do try and understand the technical side of their skill. Then read some B grade stuff and see if you can see why it doesnít work as effectively. Take a passage and re-write it Ė was it better, worse or merely rehashed? This practical approach should bring the craft to life for you in a way that detached analytical discussions often don't.


CRITICISE, NITPICK, EDIT AND REJECT:

There are many types of successful writing and some of them are diametrically opposed. Just try and see what makes each one work. Then apply the same critical eye to your own work. This is not always a simple or comfortable process, but you will need to develop the ability to be self-critical. Itís often easier to spot the weaknesses if you put work aside for a few days, or even weeks. Then see if the detail and atmosphere is still there, or whether much of it remained in your mind while you were writing it and never actually made it down onto the page.

Learn to be your own fiercest critic, but also try to develop the ability to accept feedback from others. Listen to anybody who tells you they donít understand what youíre trying to say, but also be prepared to ignore them and back your own judgement on occasions.

LOOK AROUND:

Be aware of what the market wants. Many writers begin by saying "This is want I want to say", but donít forget to sometimes also ask yourself the question "What do editors, publishers and readers want to hear?"

WRITERS WRITE:

So what are you doing here still reading this tosh?? <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/biggrin.gif" alt="" />


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Faralas:
So, it's really not a matter of 'leaving it up to the reader' so much as the author actually targeting a certain audience


I disagree a bit about "not a matter of leaving it up to the reader". Why? Because I earn my money with books on the other side of pole => by choosing and presenting literature in the adult section of my library.

And it's like dancing on egg shells: I try to interest readers for various kind of genres. So, those members relying on my judgement, I will find the appropriate entertainment for them, are dependent on me. I give them a short review about the content (using the magic key words, according to the reader type in front of me) and then leave it up to them if they enjoy a book or not. And maybe it's only my library members(but I know differently <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/winkwink.gif" alt="" /> ) => a lot of females love the Mary Sue kind of books. Can be as repetetive as you fear in your hardest nightmares - yes, they want these Mary Sues. And, writer, whoever you are => DON'T dare to walk astray and present them a different kind of typus <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/biggrin.gif" alt="" />
An example? Nora Roberts <shudder>, specially her new books, distorting the fantasy genre. Cartland, Woodiwiss ... name it and you hit the bull's eye. Trying to interest them for Doris Lessing, Carol Oates, Margaret Atwood? Nada - try to interest a Bradley fan into a different kind of fantasy? I'd make them unhappy.

I made the XP that readers are somewhat "conservative". They take a liking for one kind of genre and then stick to it - and it's not always about targeting them as a group.

So, I, the humble "literature broker", the book mule - I leave it up to the readers to decide.
Kiya

Book plots have sadly become very repetetive as you described, Faralas. Maybe this is the cause why I mainly skim through books and put them only into my mobile RAM memory (brains) to pass on this knowledge. I have very very seldom found a novel in the last 5 years really interesting me up to the end. I'm talking as a reader now - and it's not only me: My colleagues and I have discussed this a few days ago => they feel the same. Nearly no innovation anymore. Sad, huh? <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/puppyeyes.gif" alt="" />

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Winterfox...

Thanks for the links <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> I'm off to read them now.

***

Kris...

Interesting piece. I think you can guess how much I agree and do not agree with, though <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />


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Faralas:
So, it's really not a matter of 'leaving it up to the reader' so much as the author actually targeting a certain audience


I disagree a bit about "not a matter of leaving it up to the reader". Why? Because I earn my money with books on the other side of pole => by choosing and presenting literature in the adult section of my library.

And it's like dancing on egg shells: I try to interest readers for various kind of genres. So, those members relying on my judgement, I will find the appropriate entertainment for them, are dependent on me. I give them a short review about the content (using the magic key words, according to the reader type in front of me) and then leave it up to them if they enjoy a book or not. And maybe it's only my library members(but I know differently <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/winkwink.gif" alt="" /> ) => a lot of females love the Mary Sue kind of books. Can be as repetetive as you fear in your hardest nightmares - yes, they want these Mary Sues. And, writer, whoever you are => DON'T dare to walk astray and present them a different kind of typus <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/biggrin.gif" alt="" />
An example? Nora Roberts <shudder>, specially her new books, distorting the fantasy genre. Cartland, Woodiwiss ... name it and you hit the bull's eye.

So, I, the humble "literature broker", the book mule - I leave it up to the readers to decide.
Kiya

Book plots have sadly become very repetetive as you described, Faralas. Maybe this is the cause why I mainly skim through books and put them only into my mobile RAM memory (brains) to pass on this knowledge. I have very very seldom found a novel in the last 5 years really interesting me up to the end. I'm talking as a reader now - and it's not only me: My colleagues and I have discussed this a few days ago => they feel the same. Nearly no innovation anymore. Sad, huh? <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/puppyeyes.gif" alt="" />


Oops, seems I didn't make myself clear - once again. I'm sorry, Kiya, I agree with you. What I was trying to say is that for the new writer - who is fresh off the pencil-sharpening boat - he/she must think about their audience *if* they ever want to publish their work. I never meant to imply that audiences do not have a 'say' in the shaping of the author's work. To the contrary, they are 'the' vital element in terms of communication. Unless writing for or speaking to oneself is the goal.

Many writers new to the craft (myself included at one point) are not aware that writing, like painting or any other art, has 'structure'. I have made every single mistake in 'the book' throughout the years. That was after I learned there was a 'book' (read: rules and guidelines) on 'how' to write. This is not to say that freeform writing or stream of consciousness does not have its place - it does. However, in my experience, if one's intent is to publish their work, it is wise to learn who your audience is.

Rowling's "Harry Potter" was rejected by approximately 25 publishing houses before an editor took it under his/her wings, thought enough about the story to want to publish it. So, while you may feel the book that you've spent a year or two pouring your heart and soul into has potential for publication, you have to 'pitch' it to a publisher. It's called a synopsis. And, in that synopsis you have to tell the publisher who you view as your audience. The author is not the only cog in the publishing wheel. Many writers new to the craft are not aware of the facts of publishing. That's what I try to shed light on and why I illuminate the fact that the writer *must* target an audience.

I hope this makes more sense. Otherwise, I'm getting out of the profession. LOL


Faralas <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/mage.gif" alt="" />
P.S. Oh, and yes - the rehashing of plots is a sad affair. However, when I do find a novel like Fitch's "White Oleander", it inspires hope that I will find more if I keep digging. *g*



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Hi all,

...Just for fun, I tried writing out a list of tips for new writers BEFORE I read all the excellent advice from Faralas and others here. Now that I have subsequently read through everybody else's much more detailed and specific advice my list looks rather slender. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/eek.gif" alt="" />
...

SOME QUICK THOUGHTS ON STARTING OUT


JUST DO IT:

...In other words, stop thinking about it and just get on with the job of putting one word after another. Anybody who says things like "I'm playing around with a few ideas for a novel" usually means theyíre not doing anything! ...


PLEASE YOURSELF:

Start by writing for yourself. If you canít please yourself youíre unlikely to ever please an audience. Donít begin by hobbling yourself with worry about formats, technical approaches or the like. ...



Both of the above are sound tips. Seems like I've read these before... Kris, are you one of my writing professors come back to haunt me? <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/winkwink.gif" alt="" />


Quote
TIGER WOODS DIDNíT LEARN GOLF BY READING BOOKS ON PHYSICS:

Initially, donít read too many books on how to write. Instead, re-read authors you admire and try to analyse how they do what they do and why it works. Donít try and copy their style, but do try and understand the technical side of their skill. Then read some B grade stuff and see if you can see why it doesnít work as effectively. Take a passage and re-write it Ė was it better, worse or merely rehashed? This practical approach should bring the craft to life for you in a way that detached analytical discussions often don't.




CRITICISE, NITPICK, EDIT AND REJECT:

There are many types of successful writing and some of them are diametrically opposed. Just try and see what makes each one work. Then apply the same critical eye to your own work. This is not always a simple or comfortable process, but you will need to develop the ability to be self-critical. Itís often easier to spot the weaknesses if you put work aside for a few days, or even weeks. Then see if the detail and atmosphere is still there, or whether much of it remained in your mind while you were writing it and never actually made it down onto the page.

Learn to be your own fiercest critic, but also try to develop the ability to accept feedback from others. Listen to anybody who tells you they donít understand what youíre trying to say, but also be prepared to ignore them and back your own judgement on occasions.

LOOK AROUND:

Be aware of what the market wants. Many writers begin by saying "This is want I want to say", but donít forget to sometimes also ask yourself the question "What do editors, publishers and readers want to hear?"

WRITERS WRITE:

So what are you doing here still reading this tosh?? <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/biggrin.gif" alt="" />




Hmmmm, I've read these tips elsewhere. And you made this list? <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/eek.gif" alt="" /> You probably should be a professional. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/winkwink.gif" alt="" /> At any rate, these are all excellent additions to the list. It's easy to bog youself down in technicalities. The best approach when beginning a story is to simply write. Get the whole idea down on paper and then go back to rework your grammar, plot lines and twists, flesh-out the characters and the like. I save typos, spelling and grammatical errors for the last run-through in the editing process.

Thanks for the contribution, Kris!


Faralas <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/mage.gif" alt="" />



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<img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/puppyeyes.gif" alt="" /> Oh, Gods..., That was one wasted hour of my life I'll be begging for on my deathbed.


*shudders*



Faralas <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/mage.gif" alt="" /> *who now remembers what it was like to be a teenager* Aack!

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Hi Faralas,

Thanks for the reply. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

Yes, I did make the list up myself, but that's not to say I didn't shamelessly absorb the ideas from somewhere else. I just can't remember from where. So I can't say how much, if any, counts as 'original' thought. I think that a great many of the facts and ideas that we store over the years come from outside. We then have the chance to make a new type of cake from ingredients that have mostly been known for generations. Few of us ever invent flour. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/winkwink.gif" alt="" /> Or, as Wilson Mizner said, "If you steal from one author it's plagiarism. If you steal from many it's research".

In general I'm a great fan of the 'learning by doing' method, and that's how I tackle writing. Over the years I've applied the same approach to many other projects too. For instance, I designed and built the house I now live in. To do so I had to learn something like 15 different trades or professions, none of which I was trained in. Some went slowly, such as hand making all the doors and windows the old fashioned way with mortices, tenons and wedges (final count 210 panes of glass). Other skills were more easily picked up.

But I learned all of the necessary skills by pulling apart and studying what others had done before, either figuratively or literally, and then practising the tasks until I was competent. I worked on a demolition crew and pulled old houses apart. I also watched craftsmen at work. Then I added my own flavour to the houses I built. The first two sold in less than a week after I put them on the market. Original designs done in a traditional way seem to sell easily. The third we have kept.

I love acquiring new information, new knowledge, new skills and of course new friends. But I won't bore you with the very long list of other things that I've done by simply saying to myself "I'd like to try that, so how is it done?", and then prodding, poking, questioning, and crawling underneath things until I understand.

Which brings me to another tip PAY ATTENTION! No matter how old you are, the more you know the more you realise how just how much more there is to know. A writer can easily spend far too much time internalising and wandering round their own mind. So don't forget to engage with the world; and while you're at it - pay attention to what's happening around you. It's your bricks and timber.

Years ago I joined a local writer's centre. Within the first few hours I was pressed into service to clear up the centre's garden (which I did), was instantly but reluctantly elected to the committe, and was then set the task of enduring several hours worth of other writers droning on about their grand struggle with writing. I tiptoed away and never went back. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

One day I really must do a course in writing, but in the meantime I just write instead. I'll never be a Shakespeare, but I've seen more than enough of my words in print to know that I can often get it right. I've also had the priceless joy of standing quietly at the back of a full theatre listening to an audience laughing and clapping at the words I'd written and the characters I'd created.

The above happens to be all true, but one of the wonderful things about writing is that, hey, I could have just made the whole thing up. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/biggrin.gif" alt="" />




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Hi Faralas,

In general I'm a great fan of the 'learning by doing' method, and that's how I tackle writing. Over the years I've applied the same approach to many other projects too. For instance, I designed and built the house I now live in. To do so I had to learn something like 15 different trades or professions, none of which I was trained in. Some went slowly, such as hand making all the doors and windows the old fashioned way with mortices, tenons and wedges (final count 210 panes of glass). Other skills were more easily picked up.

But I learned all of the necessary skills by pulling apart and studying what others had done before, either figuratively or literally, and then practising the tasks until I was competent. I worked on a demolition crew and pulled old houses apart. I also watched craftsmen at work. Then I added my own flavour to the houses I built. The first two sold in less than a week after I put them on the market. Original designs done in a traditional way seem to sell easily. The third we have kept.

I love acquiring new information, new knowledge, new skills and of course new friends. But I won't bore you with the very long list of other things that I've done by simply saying to myself "I'd like to try that, so how is it done?", and then prodding, poking, questioning, and crawling underneath things until I understand.



Hi Kris!

Your approach to learning is very much like mine, although I have never ventured far enough into the world to actually build a house! That's fantastic and quite admirable. I'd love to see your work. Do you have a website? Equally impressive is your approach to learning the skills needed to write. Stephen King took the same approach and look what he's accomplished.

My writing professors basically held your same belief: disregard everything you've been taught and simply write AND learn from other authors. There is "no correct" way to go about crafting a story however, to communicate your theme or message, one needs to know some simple rules. Which is why I always keep my "Elements of Style" within reach. Anything else I observe or learn is all icing on my cake. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/winkwink.gif" alt="" />

And everything that I've spouted here is not new information in the global sense. They are bits of suggestions I've learned from others. (I'm feeling a philosophical discussion on the rise). <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> I could hardly say I know anything world-shattering 'new' but I suppose what makes everything unique is our individual perspectives and perceptions. And that's what intrigues me most about life. People simply fascinate me. Not in a judgmental way - but from a behavioral scientific point.

I have been in writing groups where the focus often ends on a particular writer's angst. That's time for me to bolt because I cannot relate to (nor do I care about) why one's bad mood, depression, horrid marriage or gawd awful job prevent them from writing. That's when the group dissipates into a non-alcoholic version of an AA meeting. (pardon the bad analogy but I'm working without the necessary grey matter). <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/winkwink.gif" alt="" /> I'm in that group to learn about writing - not why one's marriage is so lousy. If I wanted that, I could have formed my own 'lousy marriage' group. LOL So, it's not surprising that I agree with your message 100%.

Learning never ends, nor should it. The longer I live, the more I learn that I know very little about life. And I often times cringe when I look back at myself 15-20 years ago when I thought I was well on my way to 'ultimate knowledge'. In my 20's I was quite arrogant (as I look back on it) and probably seemed (to many wiser than me) as a know-it-all. However, now that the mirror's reflection has dulled, and I've been humbled by those who possess more compassion and knowledge than myself, I tend not to stare into it as much as I used to.

It's Sunday --- so forgive me if I'm not quite clear. LOL I turn my brain off on Friday and try not to flip the 'on' switch until Monday morning's wake-up alarm!

Thanks for posting, Kris. Your advice is golden and thought provoking.


Faralas <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/mage.gif" alt="" />



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Hi again,

Great to talk to you Faralas. It's now well after 1 o'clock in the morning on a Monday here in West Australia, so I'm about to fall asleep at the keyboard.. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/sleepey.gif" alt="" />

But a quick answer to your question about pictures. Yes, I have a few of the house. They were taken a few years ago now the driveway is still unfinished and things like that.

I've been meaning to put up a section on my web space showing all the stages of construction. But I guess you could say "I'm playing around with a few ideas for a website"... <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/biggrin.gif" alt="" />

I've uploaded one or two photos, so here's some links. Then I must crash..

1. View from the middle of the loungeroom. The end was designed to give a bit of the feel that I once saw in the captain's cabin of an old sailing ship. In other words a sort of horseshoe shaped view. The two windows to the left of the french doors are repeated to the right as well.

The view is down a long, deep and thickly treed valley to the west. You can't see it in any of the photos but it drops away steeply. We are at the top of a wooded hill and the house is up on 'stumps'. 8" off the ground one side and 8ft off the ground the other. At night you fully expect to see the fires of the orc armies in the valley below. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

1. View west

2. Same room but looking east

3. Sunset from the verandah

4. Front looking west

5. View south east. I'm typing this in the loft upstairs

6. View south west

7. Looking south on a misty day

8. Bathroom

Sorry if I've mucked the links up... need sleep....
Yaaaaaawn... maybe I'll put some of the builder up tomorrow, and ..... zzzzzzzzzzz <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/sleepey.gif" alt="" />

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Grrrr; my bad for the link not showing up. At any rate, here they are, all of them to complete the saga of "Lorelei Allison Tremaine Seremity Reed Loreley Ekler Clarisse Mille Wiese":


I think those threads really demonstrate the perils of miscommunication more than anything else.

The impression I got was very much that the writer wanted approval rather than help with her writing, and that she was writing for her own pleasure rather than that of an audience, but she had rather deluded herself as to her true intentions and desires.

I'm not quite sure why the various helpers didn't catch on a whole lot faster than they did though.

Still, a lesson to all involved, I'm sure <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/biggrin.gif" alt="" />


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I like Terry Pratchett's books, thats probably the only book I can really say I wish would go on forever. Harry Potter? Uggh. FOREVER? <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/puppyeyes.gif" alt="" />



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Kris! Let me first say, "Wow!" I'm positively speechless. Your work is beautiful. The house is charming, and frankly, that wrap-around porch was a marvelous idea. Oh gosh - I'm still sitting here (in my tiny hovel, btw) in awe. You've made marvelous use of the shelving space under the stairway. In addition to being a talented carpenter and writer, you're a fantastic photographer. *be still my heart* LOL

I've got to look at these again. Seriously! Thank you sooooooo much for posting them. Awesome, truly awesome!


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The impression I got was very much that the writer wanted approval rather than help with her writing, and that she was writing for her own pleasure rather than that of an audience, but she had rather deluded herself as to her true intentions and desires.

I'm not quite sure why the various helpers didn't catch on a whole lot faster than they did though.



I don't enjoy pointing out the obvious, Elliot (okay, I do LOL) but she posted at a site (in a specific forum, no less), where criticism is expected. I agree with you, though. She was probably thinking her "Lorelei" character was going to 'wow' everyone. That's the arrogance of youth. *g* However, too many times people post their work believing it will knock everyone's socks off. And maybe the idea that's in their head is much better than the one they've communicated on paper or a message board. But!! -- (And a big 'but') it ends up smacking them in their backsides and misfiring. This is exactly what happened at that board.

If you read as far as I did (nearly 7 pages worth - *rolls eyes*), she kept revising the character as she went along. And it's the characteristics in those additions/revisions she should have kept fleshing out instead of defending the 2d (gawd awful) character description originally posted. Again, that's the arrogance of youth speaking. It's also a blatant attempt at trying to hide one's ignorance. In that case, she's losing an uphill battle. An IQ of 520 - Pullease!!! That's something *I* would have clung to, though, when I was 13. (And I probably did at some point back then).

Anyway, it was a fascinating look into the psyche of an angst-ridden teen. But, I can't say I'm ever going back for another look. My nerves were shot half way through the 1st page. LOL


Faralas <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/mage.gif" alt="" /> *who has seen the wreck and deemed it a disaster*


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Hardly catching up reading the weekend's posts <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/winkwink.gif" alt="" />

I have an interim question - bear with me, please:

Both Elliot and Faralas repeatedly used the word "Angst" - now, I certainly know the German word, which quite adequately could be translated to English by "fear". So if you use the German word in English, it obviously got a differing meaning, one no English expression could describe? What is it?


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Faralas...

I read the entire thing from beginning to end, and it really wasn't pretty on any level. Three huge threads followed by a story that seemed to start half way through, run for half a chapter then jump to the middle of the next chapter with no explanations, and which also involved characters brought in from some kind of Manga/Anime thing that I (And obviously most of the people on the board) had never heard of.

A true experience, though not one I hope to repeat any time soon <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/biggrin.gif" alt="" />



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Glance...

Angst is basically an (typically teenage) extreme emotional reaction that is far out of proportion to the actual problem (If indeed any problem actually exists).

One of the best examples here might be spots. Most teenagers get spots, and to an adult it's not a big deal - but in terms of teenage angst: "My spots have made me so ugly that no boy/girl will ever look at me again! I am a loathsome creature whose very gaze should crack mirrors and cause grown men to cry out in horror! Surely there has never been a wo/man as ugly as I!"

That's angst, in a nutshell <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />


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Location: Berlin, Germany
Thanks Elliot

(wonder how a German word for that came into English - probably some follower of Freud) Germans would probably call the phenomen "ueber-aengstlich", which would just be over-fearful. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />


In times of crisis it is of the utmost importance not to lose your head (Marie Antoinette)
Joined: Mar 2003
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<img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/puppyeyes.gif" alt="" /> Oh, Gods..., That was one wasted hour of my life I'll be begging for on my deathbed.


*shudders*



Faralas <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/mage.gif" alt="" /> *who now remembers what it was like to be a teenager* Aack!


Sorry! I told you, you'd have to be morbidly curious to look, and fairly masochistic to continue reading. *sinister grin* I have no tolerance for angst-ridden teenagers, though, and when disasters of this kind happen, I have to physically refrain myself from giving the teen a slap to the head. (Sitting back and laughing is, on the whole, more productive.) But really, if you don't want criticism, you shouldn't ask for it.

Of course, there was a similar case where the author was not a teenager at all, but a twenty-something-years-old woman... but I'm sure you don't want to fry more of your braincells and neurons.

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