Cripes. These posts are getting ridiculously long.
I Agree - and also they are not serving the original intent of this thread <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/suspicion.gif" alt="" />
Hmmm, I beg to differ. First, writers should enjoy the chance to write at length, and I've always found it odd that people often consider long email or electronic messages difficult or unpleasant but will happily sit through a half hour dialog of audio. I think those of you that balk at long messages may want to take a look inside and identify why that is the case, because it often strikes me as a kind of behavioral inconsistency.
But in any case, the original intent of this thread was to discuss writing? And here we have some very interesting writing, in an informal style, most recently from Kiya and Winterfox, and that seems like an opportunity for us to discuss, and certainly on topic. Unless we are going to confine our definition of writing to very short messages written in more formal or better defined styles? <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/winkwink.gif" alt="" />
Sometimes wisdom and learning come from unexpected places, and is this not such a place?
1) Kiya has made some very interesting comments about the nature of the writing process and feedback, and how it impacts writers. I wonder how many of you agree that non constructive criticism, that sheer meanness in review as entertainment (without commenting or implying anything about the value of such activity as entertainment), is something that would have a negative impact on your ability to write?
Personally I suspect I would be negatively affected, that the kind of attack critiques Winterfox engages in so often would the kind of review that even understanding it's context, which (personally) strikes me as immature, would still have enough emotional impact that it would have at least some detrimental affect on any future work. (in the short term, at least)
Leading to question 2
2) As writers, or potential writers <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/winkwink.gif" alt="" /> , would you agree that your emotional history and state are important, even critical tools for your written work? It is true for me, and I suspect it's quite common. If anyone can write well with a great sense of emotional detachment or distance, I would be interested in hearing about how they manage their techniques from a technical perspective, both in finding the "energy" to write, as well as investing emotion into characters, plot, etc.
and for 3,
3) Regarding the specifics of Kiya's and Winterfoxes recent communiques, and what we might learn from this writing style.
A) If I understand the exchanges properly, Winterfox seems to be remarkably off target in almost every response. I think the reason is a failure of something that in logic courses is sometimes called a facet of proper argument - a failure to try to read and appreciate another's work and interpret it in the most positive light, to make the argument as strong as possible, such that both sides of an "argument" arrive at the truth. With respect to writing in a more general sense, I try to give an author as much "credit" as I can and seek to involve myself, to immerse myself, in their work. If I bother to read something at all, then I want to make a genuine attempt to enjoy it. Do you, as a writer, also do this, or more typically perhaps, give a surface reading and either take away only a superficial pleasure or only to the extent the authors particular style is able to capture you?
This leads to another interesting question about whether the author has a responsibility to the reader to involve them, or can feel free to focus on other elements of the story, etc. and trust that the readers imagination can fill in certain blanks or weaker spots. My feeling is that authors have to go with their strengths and hope that readers are gracious and open enough to imagine the rest, as presumably the reader wants to enjoy the experience...
B) Also related to the recent posts, Winterfox has been critical of the language of others, while making a number of mistakes herself (spelling, grammar, and style) that are quite similar. I think we have an interesting question raised, to wit, would you as a writer think it important to focus on continuous improvement in technical aspects of your own work, (even in posts <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/winkwink.gif" alt="" /> ) or rather agree with Kiya's idea that working out the ideas and developing a comfortable writing style is a higher priority? And are these ideas necessarily in opposition?
For myself, I would prefer both of course, but as a practical matter I try to develop a strong and comfortable style so I can write at all, and as for the more technical details, I say kill em all, and let the editor sort it out.
Granted that won't help me publish anything... <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/puppyeyes.gif" alt="" /> But better to write something awful than nothing at all, or what else would Winterfox do with her copious free time ? <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/silly.gif" alt="" />