View Full Version : Confusion...

06-22-2007, 09:22 PM
Does anyone else seem to have a large seperation between what you want to write, what you should write, and what other people want you to write? All of which you could do, but, at the same time, you stick to what you want to write?

I'm starting to feel like this more and more. I write a certain way...about certain things. It's cause I want to. It makes me happy. Then people say what I should write, whether in plots or with characters, etc. And sure, I could, but I don't want to. Then there's what people want you to write. Like if someone critiques something and says a certain character isn't strong enough. Well, sure, I could make them stronger. But that's now how I wanted it...

What is this weird paradox that seems to be happening concerning how I want something and how, apparently, it has to be for anyone to care? I'm starting to feel like in order to get published I'm going to have to write stuff that I would never want to read. So far that's gotten the best responses. Apparently people love my writing when I hated doing it, but if I had fun and found it enjoyable then it definitely needs work...

Anyone else feel this way? Or should I seek some kind of help or something.....:crazy:

06-22-2007, 10:58 PM

You are not crazy, reenkam. Writing is tough, and not just the part about getting the words down on paper. A large portion of writing also falls under developing your own voice and evaluating the strengths and weaknesses in your works. And then, should you seek critiques, knowing the difference between what a critiquer is saying and what the actual problems may be with your style.

I think the most important thing for you to look at with the critiques and comments you are receiving is not necessarily the words themselves on what you should do, but the understanding behind those words. Figure out *why* doing a certain thing may make something stronger or *why* something else may weaken your prose. If you understand completely the *why*, then I think you will find yourself more able to enjoy utilizing the things that are helpful for your particular style and letting pass the comments that are perhaps more geared towards the style of another (or applying them in a different manner that better fits with your voice).

While it seems improbable to enjoy 100% every aspect of seeking publication, it would be nice to enjoy a large portion of it, so do seek that. But don't let the comfort of familiarity keep your writing from growing either. Find your voice, find your strength, and find where in the puzzle your piece fits so you can better understand where the other pieces come in.

I have read over your piece in the SYW Sci-Fi/Fantasy forums, and there is a lot of good in there. Perhaps what the critiquers are picking up on is an uncertainty in the voice as that can reflect throughout a piece making a reader doubt every statement. Or maybe not. Whatever it is, don't simply implement every critique, but evaluate them for what they are really saying and then evaluate how that applies to you. The more *whys* you understand, the fewer *whats* you have to fight against.



06-22-2007, 11:19 PM
I'm starting to feel like in order to get published I'm going to have to write stuff that I would never want to read. .:crazy:

The question is, what DO you like to read? If there's nothing out there you enjoy reading, getting published is going to be extremely difficult. If there is material out there you enjoy reading, this is what you should be writing.

06-23-2007, 12:13 AM
Thanks Michelle and James! :) I appreciate what you've both said.

I think that, possibly, I was thinking took much and trying not to sound just like the authors who write the books I do read. Maybe if I focus more on how they're actually doing something instead of what they're doing I'll feel better about trying to integrate it into my own writing with my own style. The same probably goes for critiques. (Just for the record, my initial post wasn't a response to the critques of my syw sf/fantasy post so much. it was more about critques I've gotten in workshops and classes where people read a couple things I wrote but always said the same things.) I should definitely look at them in a "bigger picture" kind of way to see what I can do to improve my writing in general, rather than a specific paragraph or piece.

Thanks again both of you!! :) :Hug2: :)

Keyboard Hound
06-23-2007, 02:51 AM
It can be really exciting to have a piece critiqued, finally realize in my own mind what needs changing and then to see the work change toward the better! For me, finally seeing the story start to come together and flow like I want it to is one of the most thrilling parts of the writing experience.

Good luck, reenkam.

06-23-2007, 03:23 AM
It's your life and your time. You can thanks them for their opinions and do as you please.

06-23-2007, 03:25 AM
There's writing, and then there's writing to be published and read. Just because you want to be published and read doesn't mean you have to give up yourself and write something you don't want to write. Yet it does mean you do have to care about what other people want to READ. Try not to worry about what one or two people say, but try to figure out your readership as a whole. The more people you want to read your work, the more you have to think about your market. If you just want to write for yourself, then of course you can write anything you want.

06-24-2007, 01:32 AM
Go ahead and sound like the writers you enjoy reading. We all learn by imitation, and you'll place enough of yourself in the work to make it your own. Just write something you'd want to read if someone else wrote it, and don't worry about anything else.

06-24-2007, 02:22 AM
Well...call it hackin', whorin' or whatever. But I have dropped the genre I love to write in because the market share just isn't there for me. To be honest, I can write in just about any genre and make it appeal to me because I love words, worlds, characters and the process itself. So it's no stretch for me to jump into something different that might have a higher acceptance rates. I need my odds up there. It is a monitary and market determination. It's taken me a long time to find out where my strengths lie and where I excell. Of course I didn't listen to those warning bells from agents and editors. I continued on with hard SF, with god knows how many books--10, 11? I lost track.

I've jumped on the paranormal/thriller/romance/dark/urban/fantasy train for now, and I'm going to see where that leads me. I ran a test--book for book, and found that my urban fantasy chalked up more hits 3-1 than my SF submissions. It's all in the numbers for me now. Also, it might be an indication that I've been writing in the wrong genre for 27 year. Paint me the stubborn idiot.


06-24-2007, 01:18 PM
I know exactly how you feel.
I began by writing a real life experience of step family life and how hard a struggle it has been (and still is) I had a 70,000 word manuscript that included diary entries and letters. Oh how proud I was of that manuscript to be told ' it read like a social services document!'

So I was advised to write it as fiction with the good ole 'show and tell.'
I am pleased with my work, but somehow the 'real life' has been swallowed by the potential ficticious aspect.

Because it is a topic so close to my heart I suppose I needed to get on my soap box and shout out what an awful time some step mums have, now I suppose it could appeal to anyone and not just the women struggling with stepfamily life. So hopefully anyone could relate to the work.

It's just accepting this is probably the way to go with it, rather than the way I had intended.