Author Topic: How did you decide when your writing was good enough to tell a story  (Read 6316 times)

Offline DonaldScranton

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 187
In novel form

Lin

  • Guest
Re: How did you decide when your writing was good enough to tell a story
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2017, 05:51:49 PM »
I don't think like this when I write a novel.  I start with a rough plan of what I think the novel should be about.  I think of the characters, their ages, descriptions of their personalities and what they wear etc. etc.  As I write the story along the way, the whole thing just develops and I have a white board and I develop the writing through a mind map. Names, places, era, and I keep on going until I have a story and then I just keep improving it. It's a bit like an oil painting.  

You will never know if your writing is good enough to tell a story until you actually write it and get some feedback.  Here on MWC is a good place to start.Our members will guide you on the good writing side of things.

Lin  :D


Offline DonaldScranton

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 187
Re: How did you decide when your writing was good enough to tell a story
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2017, 10:26:44 PM »
Hmm... based on most of the feedback I've seen for most posts here, it seems very few are good enough to write anything worth while.

Offline Gyppo

  • Esteemed Contributor
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 72244
  • I've been writing ever since I realised I could.
Re: How did you decide when your writing was good enough to tell a story
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2017, 10:47:59 PM »
Oh dear ;-)  If we're really that useless then why are you hanging around here?
My website is currently having a holiday, but will return like the $6,000,000 man.  Bigger, stronger, etc.

In the meantime, why not take pity on a starving author and visit my book sales page at http://stores.lulu.com/gyppo1

Offline DonaldScranton

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 187
Re: How did you decide when your writing was good enough to tell a story
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2017, 10:49:17 PM »
I don't think you're useless at all! I'm just not sure of what's expected from posts. I get the feeling that unpolished work isn't appreciated.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2017, 10:51:36 PM by DonaldScranton »

Offline Gyppo

  • Esteemed Contributor
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 72244
  • I've been writing ever since I realised I could.
Re: How did you decide when your writing was good enough to tell a story
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2017, 10:58:06 PM »
Have you ever entered a new workplace where you don't know the habits of your work mates?  It takes a while to settle in, doesn't it?  To learn that some are less forthcoming than others, whilst some are all over the new member like a rash.

If you buzz around like a blue-arse fly it disturbs people unnecessarily.

Slow down a little.

I am now going to slow down totally and go to sleep.  It's nearly 4 AM here.
My website is currently having a holiday, but will return like the $6,000,000 man.  Bigger, stronger, etc.

In the meantime, why not take pity on a starving author and visit my book sales page at http://stores.lulu.com/gyppo1

Offline DonaldScranton

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 187
Re: How did you decide when your writing was good enough to tell a story
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2017, 10:59:45 PM »
Look man, I know I'm not likable. I don't know what else to say. I'm just me.

Jo Bannister

  • Guest
Re: How did you decide when your writing was good enough to tell a story
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2017, 04:04:15 AM »
I get the feeling that unpolished work isn't appreciated.

Well, nothing wrong with your radar there, then!

Speaking purely for myself, I find it quite insulting when someone who's spent half a day on a piece posts it here in the hope that I (or others like me) will give him the benefit of forty years' hard slog honing my craft.

When is it time to show it?  When you've done everything you yourself are capable of to refine it.  When there are no errors of grammar, spelling or punctuation.  When you've identified any weaknesses in the characters or the plot and dealt with them.

When you genuinely think it's good enough to appeal to a publisher, but you want to give yourself the best chance of making that vital first impression.  That's when an experienced writer can be like gold dust to you.  Don't squander their goodwill by asking them to help with stuff you could get from a basic English textbook.

Lin

  • Guest
Re: How did you decide when your writing was good enough to tell a story
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2017, 05:37:08 AM »
Hi Donald,

Your aggression here will do a lot to lose your credibility.  We are all trying to help you.  We are experienced and published authors and few of us are teachers of writing. To be an author you have to take constructive criticism on the nose, this is what creative writing is all about.  As I said before here, we have all been there and because we listened, we got published. Take your time and we can all be good friends.   

Biting back at the members is not the way forward and I'm sorry but I cannot help you if you refuse to listen to common sense.  I can see where this is going and I shall not comment further.

Lin 

hillwalker3000

  • Guest
Re: How did you decide when your writing was good enough to tell a story
« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2017, 06:04:36 AM »
I don't think you're useless at all! I'm just not sure of what's expected from posts. I get the feeling that unpolished work isn't appreciated.

When newbies post their first piece on here and announce 'Here's something I scribbled down on the back of a menu last night while waiting for my soup to cool down' then ask us to give constructive feedback - that's when we get annoyed. Not with them as individuals but with their sloppy attitude. This is a Writing Circle for people who take their writing seriously (rather than their egos) - for writers who want to improve what they already consider near-perfect. I'm a modestly successful, published writer, but I still post pieces on here and get them torn to shreds. Do I moan or disagree with the feedback I've asked for? Obviously not. But I still make sure I've spend time on my work before posting. I consider it an insult when someone can't be bothered to take time or care with what they post on here yet expect me to devote precious time to read it and offer a response.

None of the above is aimed at you, by the way. But maybe you can see things from our point of view. A new member makes multiple posts on his first day, some of which he admits are off-the-cuff, then is less than appreciative when someone reads them and points out they need work. Not only that - he appears to wear his arrogance like a badge of honour. He asks for our opinion then disagrees when one is offered. He's always right (your words not mine).

Is it any wonder there's a negative vibe developing whenever you press the Post button? Do yourself a favour and count to 10 before posting on here next time. Only post work on here when you're reasonably happy with it and consider it as good as you can make it. Then we'll take your writing seriously and point out where further improvements can be made. If you don't think you can do this, the only feedback you'll get is a resounding silence.

H3K

Offline heidi52

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 13213
Re: How did you decide when your writing was good enough to tell a story
« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2017, 08:24:02 AM »
I get the feeling that unpolished work isn't appreciated.

It's the unpolished part that isn't appreciated. You are showing off something you wrote, to a bunch of people who take writing seriously. You ask them to spend time reading, thinking and giving you their opinion. That puts the responsibility on you the writer to make your piece as clean and as well written as you can before presentation. 

As for being likable or not, I assure you this is not a personality contest. And as long as you are not rude or abusive to another member, you are entitled to your opinion just as much as any other member. But if you repeatedly argue with critiquers, it's likely they won't continue to offer their advice. Would you?That would be a shame for you, because if you take a moment and digest the critique, and then review your work with the comments in mind, you will find your writing getting better.

Newbies often come on here and post numerous pieces seeking attention or approval. I think a lot of us come here at first and think we write pretty well, expecting people to love our stuff. After all, our friends and families do. And then you get slapped by the real world and all your writing flaws are handed to you. A lot get hurt and run away, never to be seen again. A lot get mad. And here's where the rubber hits the road. They can dig in their heels, insist they are right and learn nothing. Or they can calm down, and slow down, and digest what was said. And learn to hone their craft.

After they have done that if the advice doesn't work for them, they can just throw it out. But I bet if you stick around you will collect much more 'keep' advice than 'lose' advice.

Offline DonaldScranton

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 187
Re: How did you decide when your writing was good enough to tell a story
« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2017, 09:22:15 AM »
So you guys just polish everything, or, you don't brainstorm on ideas with other people?
Not to be rude, I'm just saying my honest opinion, but that seems like an incredibly inefficient way to learn/improve.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2017, 09:39:29 AM by DonaldScranton »

hillwalker3000

  • Guest
Re: How did you decide when your writing was good enough to tell a story
« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2017, 11:31:58 AM »
So you guys just polish everything, or, you don't brainstorm on ideas with other people?
Not to be rude, I'm just saying my honest opinion, but that seems like an incredibly inefficient way to learn/improve.

Personally, I don't have the time or inclination to brainstorm someone else's ideas. I'm a writer who aims to publish at least one book a year. I already have my own ideas on what I'm going to write about and I guess that's the case for most of us on here. If you don't have the imagination to come up with your own ideas, your creative muscle is probably not developed enough to try writing fiction just yet.

I'm happy to spend time critiquing other writers' work because writing shouldn't necessarily be a solitary occupation. It also helps me improve my own writing (I hope). But I don't spend time in the MWC Bar or play games on here.

If you feel a critiquing circle (or an on-line writing group) is an inefficient way to learn or improve your writing then I wonder what other method you would suggest. Bouncing 'ideas' off each other? Seriously?

H3K

Offline DonaldScranton

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 187
Re: How did you decide when your writing was good enough to tell a story
« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2017, 11:36:00 AM »
My creative muscle is very strong, I think that's evident. If you don't want to help brainstorm, that's your prerogative. I like helping people brainstorm.

As for the rest of your post, It sounds like you're picking an unfounded fight.

Offline heidi52

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 13213
Re: How did you decide when your writing was good enough to tell a story
« Reply #14 on: April 18, 2017, 12:04:18 PM »
I like helping people brainstorm.


Then why not start a topic and see if others join you in brainstorming? There are probably people here who share your interest in brainstorming.

As for me, I'm with H3K on this one. I'm more interested in helping people with what they have written than playing what if about what they MAY write.

To answer your original question, I've been writing seriously for a while now and I'm still not there yet. I have a novel WIP, but I am still learning how to tell a good story well, so most of my focus is on short stories and flash fiction. Once I can master those I feel I will be ready to tackle the big one. But the last thing I want to do is write 100,000 words and have it all full of errors and mistakes I should have learned beforehand.