Archive for the Writing Category

Critique!?

Posted in Writing on September 9, 2009 by vilegrimoire

Something that’s annoyed me for a while now is people who can’t, just can’t take criticism.

As an aspiring author, I love people who tell me that “Hey, you’re doing this wrong,” or “Hey, mayeb you should try something else here?” and similar. because that’s how you improve. You can’t improve without being told what you’re doing wrong. In my oponion, people who whine at criticism that focuses mainly on the negative don’t wish to improve.

A common excuse is that they’re just “doing it for fun”.  Someone else talked about “writing for fun” better than I could, here. In short, just because you’re doing it for fun doesn’t mean you should be bad at it, and is no excuse.

Another that shows up is “english is not my first language.” Newsflash, it’s not mine either and I write perfectly good English, which I’ve mostly learnt through reading things. And yes, I wrote good English way before I started writing it daily. As i see it, when a writer claims English isn’t their first language, it’s just a cheap cop-out. (BTW, “still learning the language, so please bear with me” is completely different. Here the writer is not trying to hide behind something, but is merely stating how it is. I.e, it’s not an excuse, it’s a reason.)

However, the one that aggravates me the most is when people demand your credentials after they get criticism from you. As i see it, the criticism itself should be all the credentials you need. You can’t judge a person’s ability to offer criticism on their art. A person can be a lousy artist himself, but still be good at spotting ways for others to improve. The same goes for writing critics. This of course works the other way too. A person can be an excellent writer, but still be bad at criticising others. In short, take a look at the critique you got. If it’s good and offers valid pointers, you should heed it, even if it does tell you that your work is bad. With the obvious exception of trolls (who can generally be spotted miles away), people will rarely tell you that your work sucks unless they have a really good reason. And when someone does, I would suggest you stomp down real hard on your ego abd take a look to see if there’s anything in what they say.

When someone gives you a critique, they are providing you with a service. They are using their precious time, that they could have used on something else, like writing, or drawing, to tell you how to improve. They are, in fact, doing you a huge favour. To fling lame excuses at the critique or trying to prove that they don’t know what they’re talking about, just because they didn’t praise your work to the stars, is arrogant and disrespectful.

~Grammer

What do I actually do?

Posted in Uncategorized, Writing on August 12, 2009 by vilegrimoire

It might be time for a post about what I actually do.

I’m a writer, or at least I like to fancy myself one. My preferred genre is known as cosmic horror and it’s many variants. For the uninitated, cosmic horror is very basically about human insignificance, mostly expressed through really big monsters that will drive you mad when you see them. The most well-known author in the genre is H.P. Lovecraft.

What I like about the genre is the way it allows you to get away without showing the monsters or explaining anything about what’s going on. Instead of my having to detail a monster, and thus taking away the mystique, I just give enough for the reader to have a general picture and leave the rest to their imagination.  In short, I let people know there are things that go bump in the night, things that bump very, very hard, but don’t say anything about just what it is.

Right now I’m working on two short stories with the aim of getting published and one longer story to keep me focused. The long one is a piece of crap, but it gives me something to do,  so I don’t fall out of the routine when I odn’t have anything else. Juggling the three makes sure I don’t get tired of any one of them. In addition, I tend to write short stories for the general entertainment of the forums I’m on, both of which are listed among the links on the right.

After a few trial run, I, like so many before me, have found that a routine is all-important. For me, that means getting up, getting clothed, eating breakfast, brewing something hot to drink (mostly tea) and then settling down for an hour or two. I do that every day, except for Sundays. Got to have a day off.

So there’s the short version of what I do.

~Grammer, Most Loquatious Lord of Syntaxed Vocabularies.