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View Full Version : Hehe, Feedback is so addicting, please help.



BlueLucario
03-06-2008, 02:05 AM
I haven't had feedback for my work for weeks! I was told wait until I finish the book, I didn't ask why. But now as I write, I feel like I need someone's honest opinion on this and that, or ask a writer if this story is written well. I'm trying to resist the urge but I can't. I just wanted to know if I'm actually "good enough" to be a writer. It all started when I first started writing the book and submitted it to Yahoo Answers. I wasn't looking for ego strokes or praises, just honest opinions, is it good? Does it suck. A lot of people told me how really great it was, and they got thumbs up for it (That means that they agree with the person saying that.) Two people told me that I could actually beat the harry potter books. And seeing that HP is so popular, everyone is always talking about it, hearing that comment made me cry. A had people emailing me asking me if they could read my book, I said sure, I gave it to them to read. I even had "fans". Just having people enjoy what I wrote really made me happy. But I went to a writer's forum. Searched far and wide for an active forum, until I came here.

As I write all I ever did was ask for feedback, I just can't help myself now. It's so addicting. All of this just to see if I was good enough to continue writing? Am i going to make a best seller? If I'm not good enough, I stop.

I want to continue writing, but I can't resist the urge to ask for feedback.

EDIT: I still IM people who are eager to read my book, I give it to them only because they want to read it.

Please help. After looking back at my old posts I feel really bad. I even feel guilty posting this now.

Toothpaste
03-06-2008, 02:07 AM
Don't feel guilty posting this post Blue. But also DON'T post anything for feedback. It's one thing to seek emotional support fighting an addiction (and the instant gratification of people reading your work and telling you stuff is something you have become addicted to). It's another to feed the addiction. Stay strong hon! This is what I was talking about earlier. You are totally allowed to feel these feelings, just don't give into them!

You can do it!

CatMuse33
03-06-2008, 02:10 AM
Blue,
I've been following your posts, but haven't chimed in as I don't write fiction. However, this is a subject I can relate to for sure...

It's kind of like love (you know the expression about loving yourself first?) YOU have to find it in your heart to believe you are good enough. What other people think shouldn't BE the be-all, end-all. Of course it matters. It's easy to say, "It doesn't matter what other people think." But we're human, and it does.

THAT'S why it's so important to stay away from feedback for a bit. You seem to live or die with it, where a compliment will have you floating on air, and the opposite makes you depressed.

The question is NOT whether WE think you are a good writer--it's Do YOU think you are a good writer? Do YOU feel like you have what it takes to keep going?

Dawn

dpaterso
03-06-2008, 02:12 AM
What is your question?

Are you going to write a best seller?

Who on earth can predict that?

Finish your novel, then start shopping around for an agent. That's what everyone else does.

I repeat, finish your novel. If you can't do that, you can't hope to sell it.

-Derek

IceCreamEmpress
03-06-2008, 02:13 AM
As I write all I ever did was ask for feedback, I just can't help myself now. It's so addicting. All of this just to see if I was good enough to continue writing? Am i going to make a best seller? If I'm not good enough, I stop.

I want to continue writing, but I can't resist the urge to ask for feedback.

Keep up the good work.

Seriously, it's so hard to change habits, especially habits that bring instant gratification.

It's really important that you're doing this, though. It's a big step in your growth as a writer.

Maryn
03-06-2008, 02:20 AM
I can only echo what others have said. Seeking frequent feedback (which often translates to seeking praise, which in turn gives confidence) is seeking instant gratification. Deferring gratification is a sign of maturity as a person and as a writer.

Instead of stopping every 1000 or 10,000 words demanding validation and encouragement, decide for yourself whether you love it enough to go on. If you don't, rewrite it, including rethinking it, until you do.

When the author loves her work, the opinions of others are moot.

Maryn, who rarely gets to use moot (which is a damned shame)

CasualObserver
03-06-2008, 02:40 AM
I thought I wanted feedback until I figured out that I really wanted a partner to bounce things around with. Someone who knew the story well enough to tell me a lesser character was acting out of role in chapter five, to help brainstorm past the writer's block in chapter twelve. A person who proved that the jokes were, in fact, funny and that one particular phrase worked especially well and give encouragement when the main character and I had a fatal disagreement on the plot. A person you can send a thousand words to with the note, "Something's wrong here but I can't figure out what."

Send out feelers and develop a relationship with a good critter; it's just as important to be willing to be there for them when it's their turn to need to know if the joke the wrote was funny. If you can find sopmeone like this treat them as if they were worth their weight in gold, because they probably are.

czjaba
03-06-2008, 03:10 AM
Wanting feedback is completely different than wanting an ego-stroking, which is completely different than wanting a crit. But the only thing that matters is if YOU like your writing and are proud of your work.
There is nothing wrong with asking for help if you get stuck, just remember (especially in SYW) you have to ask for exactly what you want. If you want a crit, that's exactly what you'll get.
Question for you: If you get a crit with lots of suggested changes for 'tightening' and 'show don't tell' and 'more action,' would that make you think differently about your writing? Would you still love to write?
Also, I think the work should be completed before asking for crits/feedback. And like Casual said, you may be looking for a writing partner.
JMO

BlueLucario
03-06-2008, 03:16 AM
Thanks guys, I still hope to write a best seller but there's no right way to right one.I just hope to finish,publish the book and hope I'll get lucky. I don't do it for the money, I just hoped that millions of people read my work. One day it'll be a movie, a video game, and maybe have a bunch of nerds roleplay my book in their backyard. That's what I dreamt of...

but some dreams are meant to be flushed down the toilet.

Mr Flibble
03-06-2008, 03:21 AM
but some dreams are meant to be flushed down the toilet.

No, some dreams get tempered in the forge of life and turn out stronger.

Don't write for feedback, write because you love it. And with anything you love, study it, learn it, and make it all come true.

Marian Perera
03-06-2008, 03:23 AM
Am i going to make a best seller? If I'm not good enough, I stop.

So basically, you're like a student who just strapped on a first pair of skates, did one lap around the rink and said, "If I'm not going to win a medal at the Winter Olympics, I'll stop."


I want to continue writing, but I can't resist the urge to ask for feedback.

I'm going to be blunt and say that the feedback people gave you on Yahoo Answers didn't help you.

They told you you could beat the Harry Potter novels? Maybe in future, but right now, your writing skills are simply not up to par. And you haven't even completed one novel, let alone a seven-book series. Depending on the website, it's not unusual for writers to post stories which require serious work and still get lots of praise - I've seen that on www.fanfiction.net - but that does not help the writers to improve. And
IMO, the feedback you got before was so flattering that no wonder you got addicted, but that will not help you improve as a writer.

If you want to write a bestseller, you have to finish the book.

Posting excerpts and asking for feedback will not help you finish the book.

Decide what you want to do.

BlueLucario
03-06-2008, 03:36 AM
I'm going to be blunt and say that the feedback people gave you on Yahoo Answers didn't help you.

They told you you could beat the Harry Potter novels? Maybe in future, but right now, your writing skills are simply not up to par. And you haven't even completed one novel, let alone a seven-book series.

You're right it isn't. I still want to work on them as I write.

Matera the Mad
03-06-2008, 04:34 AM
You've got a good thing started, Blue, and I really mean that. But it is going to take time, and you are going to feel discouraged some of that time. Just don't give up!

We know you need feedback, and we want to give you the right kind -- not empty back-patting, but real help in strengthening your writing muscles. Remember when you didn't even know how to walk or talk? No, I don't suppose so. But you got all the way here from there, and if you could do that you can take the next steps too.

Keep at it, and watch out for the empty-calories kind of feedback you will get from Yahoovians and such ;)

CasualObserver
03-06-2008, 04:48 AM
... watch out for the empty-calories kind of feedback...
Empty-calorie feedback. I like that, it's really spot-on.

Danger Jane
03-06-2008, 05:27 AM
Blue, like everyone else has said--you have to just write. You can't get hung up on every little thing that comes your way. Like you yourself have said--BIC. And that doesn't include finding out what the experts on Yahoo Answers have to say.

BlueLucario
03-06-2008, 04:31 PM
Geez, I didn't think you guys knew what BIC meant.

Bubastes
03-06-2008, 05:28 PM
Geez, I didn't think you guys knew what BIC meant.

Um, you're kidding, right? You've been on AW this long, received tons of advice from serious writers, and you think that AW people don't know what BIC means?

jessicaorr
03-06-2008, 05:29 PM
Geez, I didn't think you guys knew what BIC meant.

BIC-HOK-TAM is my mantra lately LOL

I can relate. I used to show my husband everything I wrote and bathe in his adulation. I was so unsure of myself, I really needed his affirmation to keep me going. Then, as an experiment, I wrote a horrible poem and asked him what he thought. He praised it of course and I realized he'd probably adore anything I wrote. Great husband, bad beta ;)

I took a seminar in college on writing personal statements and the teacher said "you can tell how much your reviewer loves you by the level of red ink on the paper they give back." So now, every time I get a slashed manuscript back, my first thought is "you love me, you really love me!"

Anyway the point is, now I know that everyone will require different things from my writing. Some will love anything I produce because it's mine and some will love or hate it based on their standards/experience. So I do the best I can and learn as I go. Well, that and get crits from people who aren't predisposed to adore me :D

Menyanthana
03-06-2008, 05:33 PM
Um, you're kidding, right? You've been on AW this long, received tons of advice from serious writers, and you think that AW people don't know what BIC means?


Actually, I learned what BIC means on AW...BlueLucario must be kidding. :)

Marian Perera
03-06-2008, 05:35 PM
Geez, I didn't think you guys knew what BIC meant.

I hope it didn't come as too much of a shock.

Mr Flibble
03-06-2008, 05:39 PM
I feel slightly patronised, and a little grubby :(

BlueLucario
03-06-2008, 05:49 PM
I just saw it on a writer's humor page. No I wasn't kidding. Now I feel really stupid.

Bubastes
03-06-2008, 06:15 PM
Don't feel stupid. I was just surprised, that's all. BIC is advice that shows up all over AW.

BlueLucario
03-06-2008, 06:18 PM
Hehe Thank you.

BlueLucario
03-07-2008, 07:25 PM
Well. Can you guys tell me what happens when I just submit my work for someone to read?I'm not. Sorry for asking.

Thank you for telling me about Yahoo Answers. Back when I first posted that stuff, I didn't know the difference between a critique and a praise. Now that I posted it up there, I'm at risk for someone to steal my work.

Can I still send the story to someone else to read, not critique only because they asked for it? Or should I just keep it to myself?

(Please don't kill me.)

Hehe.

Bufty
03-07-2008, 07:28 PM
If it's just for them to read - Simple - you'll hear nothing from them.


Well. Can you guys tell me what happens when I just submit my work for someone to read?I'm not. Sorry for asking.

Marian Perera
03-07-2008, 07:39 PM
Now that I posted it up there, I'm at risk for someone to steal my work.

Why would they steal it?

BlueLucario
03-07-2008, 07:41 PM
I don't know. Would they? It's available for someone to take it. I've heard this happens, and I'm getting paranoid.

Bufty
03-07-2008, 07:45 PM
You have two choices, Blue.

Either you behave like a paranoid amateur and therefore to be safe you never post anything anywhere again for fear of it being stolen.

OR you act like a sensible person and accept that what you have written is at present worth nothing to anyone, least of all to whoever steals it. That's my attitude to my writing and a lot of other folk here think the same about their own writings too.

As Queen of Swords asks above - What on earth do you think they could do with it? Answer - Nothing.

Marian Perera
03-07-2008, 07:47 PM
I don't know.

Then think about it. What could someone do with your incomplete, unedited work?

DeleyanLee
03-07-2008, 07:47 PM
Two people told me that I could actually beat the harry potter books.

Just to put this in perspective--did it ever occur to you that these people might not like Harry Potter? Yes, it's still a compliment, but that doesn't necessarily mean that it's the bounce-off-the-moon kind of compliment.

Also--did it ever occur to you that these might be younger kids who don't have a lot of reading experience? Or that these people might think it would be fun to kiss up to an author and maybe get their name in the dedication? Or maybe that they just want to be nice and support someone else's dream?

You have no idea why anyone on Yahoo! responded to your question, what their agenda or motivation was. That makes all that commentary meaningless because you don't know if it's honest or if it's all a lie. The healthy thing for your ego and your writing is to ignore it totally. Meaningless commentary is the crack of beginning writers and the ruin of many of them.

If you're serious about getting published, then remember that becoming a professional begins with your own attitude about your writing. Take it seriously. Don't squander your efforts. Have confidence in your story. Have confidence in yourself because you have that story to write and no one else in the world can do that but you.

And above all else: Protect your work. Sending it out to anyone who asks for it means that you're getting lots of outside input on the story and that twists it so it's no longer YOUR story but a story by committee. IMO, that's not being true to the story and certainly not protecting it.

Your choice. Make it work for you and your story.

Bufty
03-07-2008, 07:50 PM
Stop telling Blue to 'protect' her work. There's nothing to protect until her novel is finished, polished, submitted and she has an Agent and a Publisher, and it's not even finished yet.

DeleyanLee
03-07-2008, 07:54 PM
Stop telling Blue to 'protect' her work. There's nothing to protect until you have an Agent and a Publisher.

There's her story, which is uniquely hers and no one elses. You need story to create a book. Agents and Publishers look for story within the book.

When you start out, the story is YOURS and yours alone. It's a fragile, wonderful, exciting thing that makes you want to devote huge amounts of your time and energy into creating a book. When you talk about your book before it's finished, you're talking about the story. When you get input about your book at most stages, you're getting input on your story and it will warp your vision of your story and change it and maybe destroy it so when you get done with your book, there's no story left.

From the very start, there's something very valuable to protect, long before the first word is written. That's what I'm talking about.

Protect the story, protect the work.

Bufty
03-07-2008, 08:00 PM
I think you mean 'idea' not story -and ideas are ten-a-penny. It's the final polished words on page that matter.

If Blue had a story all set in her mind she would write it instead of all this kerfuffing around with posting everywhere and seeking feedback which is so 'addicting' [sic]. And to open the Thread caption with 'Hehe' says a lot to me.

BlueLucario
03-07-2008, 08:03 PM
Stop telling Blue to 'protect' her work. There's nothing to protect until her novel is finished, polished, submitted and she has an Agent and a Publisher, and it's not even finished yet.

I don't think Deleyan Lee meant it that way. I think she means protect it from outsiders because it's MY story not theirs. (Hehe, just quoting) And just absorbing people's feedback strays me away from what I want to write.

Is that it?

DeleyanLee
03-07-2008, 08:16 PM
I don't think Deleyan Lee meant it that way. I think she means protect it from outsiders because it's MY story not theirs. (Hehe, just quoting) And just absorbing people's feedback strays me away from what I want to write.

Is that it?

That's it.

Bufty
03-07-2008, 08:19 PM
A conclusion at last. Yippee! Blue. And the solution is....what?

Only I think 'reading' is the word -not 'absorbing'.

Stew21
03-07-2008, 08:23 PM
focus on the writing. ask pointed questions when necessary if you feel you are stumbling or could use some guidance. Rewrite the story. Do all of this first and alone. Then select your readers carefully for their skill with grammar and punctuation, how well-read they are and how insightful and dilligent you believe they will be on helping you improve your work in rewrites. Also consider how honest they will be as this is the only way to improve your work.
Let them and only them read your work and rewrite what makes sense to you from what they have given you.

That is all. You don't need strokes and feedback to get through a first draft. You need to write like your face is on fire to get through a first draft.
Opinions from a bunch of people over the internet of bits and pieces of your writing throughout the entire writing process is of no benefit to you other than ego strokes. They cannot judge the work without reading the whole. Stop the cycle of wanting the gratification and acceptance of others. Write it.

Maryn
03-07-2008, 08:49 PM
Listen to Stew.

Maryn, who does

BlueLucario
03-07-2008, 10:48 PM
Depending on the website, it's not unusual for writers to post stories which require serious work and still get lots of praise - I've seen that on www.fanfiction.net (http://www.fanfiction.net) - but that does not help the writers to improve. And
IMO, the feedback you got before was so flattering that no wonder you got addicted, but that will not help you improve as a writer.

Decide what you want to do.

Here's what I'll do, I went to the site(Blocked by school's computer) and looked at oone piece. QoS, you are not kidding about that site.

I wonder what would happen if I added a bit of constructive "Simon-like" criticism >:D.

Bubastes
03-07-2008, 10:56 PM
I wonder what would happen if I added a bit of constructive "Simon-like" criticism >:D.

You'd be wasting your time. I would recommend focusing on your own work AND not critiquing other people's work until you've finished your own WIP. I don't beta read or critique (except for a select few people) because I feel my time is better spent working on my own projects. That's just me.

Calla Lily
03-07-2008, 11:04 PM
I wonder what would happen if I added a bit of constructive "Simon-like" criticism >:D.

IMO, Simon Cowell type of criticism is simply the critiquer's euphemism for letting themselves be utterly nasty just to feel superior.

I've been to many theater and music auditions, and I've been ripped in SC's snarky, superior, humiliating way. It's gratuitously mean and miserable, but he gets ratings, so he'll be with us forever.

There are ways to give constructive critiques. Humiliation only serves to kill people's dreams. Pointing out places that need improvement and then showing ways that are better and/or listing books/sites that help is my method. I get maybe one piece of hate-email a year and many emails that thank me for opening a door.

And the critiquer must know how to write before critiquting, IMNSHO.

[stepping off soapbox now]

BlueLucario
03-07-2008, 11:08 PM
IMO, Simon Cowell type of criticism is simply the critiquer's euphemism for letting themselves be utterly nasty just to feel superior.


[stepping off soapbox now]

I thought Simon IS constructive.

i'm not planning on critting at the moment, I just wondered what would happen if i constructively critique fanfiction pieces.

Calla Lily
03-07-2008, 11:12 PM
Simon is destructive. He says variations of two things:

1.) A dead dog has more talent than you'll ever have. You are a waste of space. (99.9% of the time)

2.) You are awesome. I'm signing you to a contract right now. (.01% of the time)

How does that help anyone but the .01%? All it does is allow viewers their weekly dose of schadenfreude. And allow the advertisers to make money.

Honestly, Blue, I didn't attempt any kind of stylistic critting till I'd learned the hard way how good writing should look. NOT that I do it right on the first draft or two myself!

Bubastes
03-07-2008, 11:14 PM
i'm not planning on critting at the moment, I just wondered what would happen if i constructively critique fanfiction pieces.

OK, I'm going to be blunt: stop spinning your wheels wondering about this stuff and focus that energy on your WIP. You are wasting your own time.

Bufty
03-07-2008, 11:29 PM
And so say all of us -well maybe not all -but those of us who would rather you spent your time doing something constructive, Blue.

And that means following Stew's and Meow Girl's advice -and NOT critting fanfic - or anything else on Yahoo. Put your youthful energies into YOUR OWN WORK.

Marian Perera
03-07-2008, 11:59 PM
i'm not planning on critting at the moment, I just wondered what would happen if i constructively critique fanfiction pieces.

I don't think you're experienced enough yet to give constructive criticism, Blue. You have good intentions, but that's not enough.

DeleyanLee
03-08-2008, 12:03 AM
I wonder what would happen if I added a bit of constructive "Simon-like" criticism >:D.

And, in all honesty, if you don't read the fan fic normally, you shouldn't be critting it because you're unfamiliar with what the goals and objectives of that kind of writing are. It isn't the same as for original fiction and to hold fan fic to the same expectations is unfair, ignorant and a waste of everyone's time.

Stop worrying about other people and think about your own story. Bluntly, if you spent half the time and energy working on your own stuff as you do fussing about everyone else, you could well have a draft done by now and be considering how much you'd learned in doing it.

BlueLucario
03-08-2008, 12:48 AM
I don't think you're experienced enough yet to give constructive criticism, Blue. You have good intentions, but that's not enough.


:e2bummed::e2bummed::e2cry::e2cry:

Well, just want to contribute. I guess I'll keep writing.

Stew21
03-08-2008, 12:49 AM
keep writing.

Bubastes
03-08-2008, 12:51 AM
Your own writing should always come first. That's the best contribution you can make. Look at JK Rowling: I suspect that her major contributions were NOT her critiques!

Calla Lily
03-08-2008, 12:53 AM
Yes. Keep writing.

Marian Perera
03-08-2008, 01:01 AM
:e2bummed::e2bummed::e2cry::e2cry:

Well, just want to contribute. I guess I'll keep writing.

I understand that you like to contribute - that's why I said you had good intentions. But at this stage you just don't have enough experience to actually help other people when it comes to their manuscripts. I'm sorry, but that's the truth.

Sarpedon
03-08-2008, 01:12 AM
I think Blue should keep reading the criticisms others post, this will help her develop her own critical skills to the point where she can contribute.

BlueLucario
03-08-2008, 01:38 AM
I understand that you like to contribute - that's why I said you had good intentions. But at this stage you just don't have enough experience to actually help other people when it comes to their manuscripts. I'm sorry, but that's the truth.

No need to apologize I agree with you.

nancy sv
03-08-2008, 02:27 AM
What's BIC?

BlueLucario
03-08-2008, 02:33 AM
A pen?

escritora
03-08-2008, 02:41 AM
Blue, that was a good one. LOL

Marian Perera
03-08-2008, 03:28 AM
No need to apologize I agree with you.

Thanks. And there's nothing wrong or shameful about being inexperienced - we all started out like that. But the way to become experienced as a writer is to read (good, published fiction) and write. The more of that you do, the better you'll be in the end.

If you still want to contribute as in critiquing, why not read a fantasy novel (that's the genre you want to write, correct?) and analyze it here? Give a short synopsis of the plot. Say what was original or annoying or funny about the author's characters or worldbuilding. Just one of the things that I did with published books before I ever started critiquing other people's work.

DeleyanLee
03-08-2008, 03:39 AM
What's BIC?

Butt In Chair

Usually followed by FOK (Fingers On Keyboard)

Bubastes
03-08-2008, 04:32 AM
And TAM (Typing Away Madly).

blueobsidian
03-08-2008, 06:46 AM
And TAM (Typing Away Madly).

I have to add one more before TAM. TOI (Turn Off Internet). Getting my butt in the chair and then checking my email is a perfect way to not write anything for the day.

dreamsofnever
03-08-2008, 08:34 AM
I have to add one more before TAM. TOI (Turn Off Internet). Getting my butt in the chair and then checking my email is a perfect way to not write anything for the day.

Amen to that!

(and now I swear I'm scooting away to work on my 2000 words for the day, after I give my 2 cents)

Blue, I have to say that I started out with my first novel by posting on fictionpress.com. It was good because I got that instant feedback that I was craving. And I actually got a lot out of my one regular critiquer. But then I grew in my writing and realized that I'm much more productive when I work through my first drafts on my own. It gives me time to work the story into the shape it needs to take, and to quite honestly, suck until I get the story out. First drafts are not supposed to be perfect. They're supposed to be 'rough' and give you the chance to get your story out and get your momentum up. And the more practice you get in writing your first draft all the way through, the more you learn about the writing process and the easier it is to find your own voice.

That said, once you actually get that first draft done, then you get to go into polishing mode. Once its polished, THEN you should seek feedback. And be sure to seek it from people who you know will be honest with you. Be prepared for some of the crits to point out things that need to be changed, because that is how you will grow as a writer.

For now though, before you can find out if your work is bestseller quality, you need to finish it. If you can't focus and finish a work all the way through, then you won't ever be able to be a professional writer. So just write something you feel passionately about, regardless of how others might see it, and enjoy the process and learn from the process before you jump to the next step.

Sean D. Schaffer
03-08-2008, 01:11 PM
I'm going to chime in here and say basically what everyone else has already said.

Blue, you remind me, in a big sense, of myself when I first came to these boards. Always looking for everyone's approval. Always fearing that people won't like what I do. And most of all, always convinced my writing would never improve.

You have to remember that you as a writer have already matured substantially in the time you've been here. You still have problems with your writing, but you know what? I do too. As does every writer here. We all have our issues that we need to work on. That's part of what makes us human: we always have something we can improve upon.

For example, I've lacked in confidence ever since I came here. I'm only now getting it back. And also, I've never taken submissions seriously. I will submit maybe once or twice on one manuscript, then give up. These are things I need to improve on. If I were perfect, I would not have anything to aspire to. If you were perfect, neither would you.

So please, like others have said: work with your writing based upon what YOU approve of, not based upon what everyone else thinks. The best works I've read or written, have always been the kind where the author did not try so hard to be perfect, as he did to enjoy what he was doing.


You're growing, Blue. Keep applying yourself, and someday you'll be able to get somewhere in this business. But you have to apply yourself to get there.

:)

Best wishes to you.

Linda Adams
03-08-2008, 03:55 PM
Always looking for everyone's approval. Always fearing that people won't like what I do.


Sean said what I've been thinking all throughout this thread. You need to learn to trust yourself. I used to do the same thing you're doing now. I'd write a story, pass it around (no Internet then, though!), wait for the comments, and make the changes everyone recommended. I waited for them to tell me the story was good because I didn't trust myself to know that. The problem was that at least one of the people I was asking to "approve" didn't read fiction and probably wouldn't have known good fiction from a tree stump. Another person would have said it was good no matter what I wrote (I later learned that she really hated one of my characters).

I literally had to decide that I was going to write a short story, not show it to anyone at all, revise until I felt satisfied, and then I submitted it to a magazine. The first one was actually quite scary, but it got better with the more I wrote.

The problem is that if you don't trust yourself first, it's very hard to be able to process crits properly. The reason why I stopped asking for approval is that one day I realized that I was changing my stories too much--they were becoming something different than I intended because I was basing the changes on the comments, not on where I wanted the story to go. But even worse, what if someone tells you "This work sucks. You should give up writing"? I've seen people who are seeking approval give up because of comments like that.

Before you even hit the crit road, you should know that in your gut that your story is the best you can do within your abilities. Which means that you've revised the story extensively, set aside for a while, and revised it again, even going down to the proofreading stage to weed out the typos. You might have even started a new project before returning for a final revision. After you've done all that, then you can think, "Okay, I've done everything I can to improve. Now I need someone with a different perspective." Then you ask for crits.

You're the one writing the story. You're the one whose name goes on it. It doesn't matter what other people think about it; it only matters what you think.

BlueLucario
03-09-2008, 02:08 AM
Usually followed by FOK

If you say this in public, it will identify the quality of your character immediately :)


Anyways, Thank you everyone, I feel a bit better, and not as embarassed as I was when I started posting this. You guys are really nice.

and looking back to all the previous critiques, I feel really bad. And I'm sorry to have wasted anyone's time. All of you have given great advice and I hope to use them as I write.

Thanks everyone, you guys rock! :)

BlueLucario
03-09-2008, 03:15 AM
Guys help again! Nothing to do with feedback. I want to write but something is holding me back. I'm so scared. I know WIP's are supposed to suck, but a part of me doesn't want my story to suck. She's telling me to go back and change this part, and I want to keep going.

Sean D. Schaffer
03-09-2008, 03:20 AM
Guys help again! Nothing to do with feedback. I want to write but something is holding me back. I'm so scared. I know WIP's are supposed to suck, but a part of me doesn't want my story to suck. She's telling me to go back and change this part, and I want to keep going.


That's your Inner Editor talking. She's good during editing, but not when writing. Give yourself permission to write badly if you have to, but getting your draft finished is the most important thing right now.

You can do it, Blue. :) You don't have to listen to the Inner Editor just yet. Tell her she can wait until the draft is finished, and then after it's done, you can let her tell you what needs to be fixed. :) She can be an impatient sort sometimes, but don't give in to her until you've completed the draft.