Contructive Criticism

Last updated on 9 years ago
Defiance_sg
Defiance_sg Posted 9 years ago
Hola everyone in the Den, first post here! I've recently started writing a novel, which will be my first (hopefully) published work.
I never plan what I'm going to write on any given day. I just settle in, turn on some music, and then the magic happens. The story is almost writing itself, my imagination is almost too...well, imaginative. I feel like an outside observer most of the time. Is that a good thing or a bad thing?
Anyway, seeing as I'm rambling, I'll get down to brass tacks.
The story is beginning to shape itself into something I'm not sure of. I mean, I like it, don't get me wrong, but the question is, will regular people (the readers) like the extremely unorthodox format it's presented in?
Basically, the pickle is this: is it possible to weave a comprehensive and enjoyable story out of letters, flyers, news articles, official memorandums, etc.? Would that turn most readers off, if a story was presented in that format? There would be chapters or sections with more standard narrative of course, and the letters and whatnot are very descriptive, not bland or anything, but it seems like the story is becoming more of a mosiac than a point-a to point-b kind of thing.
Does that make any sense at all? Hell, it barely makes sense to me, but maybe I'm just trapped in my own conceptions of what a story should be. I'm my best and worst (and only) critic, I guess, which probably isn't very helpful. So if anybody is willing, I'd like to send them an excerpt of my novel for some good old fashioned constructive criticism (you didn't think the subject line would ever come up, didja? ha!). I'd rather not post it on the forums, call me overcautious, arrogant, whatever, but I don't want to chance someone plagiarizing me. Also, I'd rather not attempt to describe what it's about beforehand, I think that might taint your perceptions of it before even reading it, and that's the last thing I want. I really want it to be just like a friend handed you a random sheaf of paper and says "Read this. Trust me.", and generate that kind of reaction, an honest one. So if there's a brave soul or three out there willing to wade through my psychological sewer, email me at defiance_sg@yahoo.com, and I'll send you the stuff. The more the merrier, don't be bashful! The more variety of opinions I get will definitely serve to improve my work.
I'll be anxiously awaiting those emails!
Also, sorry for the superlong post. The Den rocks! Laters...
"I hate to advocate drugs, alchohol, or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me." -Hunter S. Thompson
"I think I write what I write because if I didn't, my imagination would strangle me in my sleep." - Anonymous
Don Roble
Don Roble Posted 9 years ago
Plagarism isn't a problem. You own the copyright the moment you post it; that's the law. It's not that I wouldn't be willing to look over your stuff; it's that it defeats the purpose of this site.

Even if I like the way you present the story, it's only one opinion. What good does that do you? If you feel you can't post it here, why be here?

Not tryinhg to be too blunt but the site doesn't work in secrecy. A lot of us are willing to work with someone with PM's but I can't see why we would start out with that. Purely my opinion and there you have it.
Kerri-Emmitt
Kerri-Emmitt Posted 9 years ago
I completely agree with Don I'm afraid. I understand your reluctance to a certain extent but to not post at all? To me it sounds like you need someone closer to home to help you in order for you to feel relaxed enough about sharing your work... or you trust us; we are all here for the same reasons after all.

So, sorry to say but really it's all or nothing with the Den and it's members but that's just my opinion, others may wish to help.
Administrator

I'm drowning here, and you're describing the water!
Dnavarre
Dnavarre Posted 9 years ago
They cleared the plagiarism problem, so I'll deal with the format.

Bram Stoker's Dracula was written like that, built off of news articles and journal entries. Look how well that turned out.
Courage is the cruelest friend you can have. It'll get you to the doorstep of your desire, then abandon you. The rest is all you.
Pritrostell
Pritrostell Posted 9 years ago
Like they said it's all personal preference as far as the reader goes, but I also agree.

No one will be taking your work, in fact, everyone is way to busy writing their own stuff to do such a thing.

Also, as stated above, it is illegal for somebody to take your work and make it their own.

If you feel uncomfortable with posting your story, try posting small stories or other works you may have written first. We like to get to know the other members and become friends of a sort with them.

It makes this site the enjoyable home that it is Smile
__________________________________________

I grab the freshly washed grizzly skin, which still holds the warmth of it's previous owner despite it's chilly bath in the nearby river...
Vermithrax
Vermithrax Posted 9 years ago
You might also notice that anything you publish here is both time-stamped and dated, for your security.

I, like the others, will read and review anything you post here, and offer any advice, if requested.

We are an open, freindly community here, so, you have little to worry about.

Good luck.
Vermithrax

Don't try To Fix Me; I'm Not Broken.
Please Do Not Cling To Me; I Swear I Can't Fix You.
last edited by Vermithrax on 26-10-2010 05:53
Dnavarre
Dnavarre Posted 9 years ago
Oh, oh, can I change my answer? I, for one, will steal your works and sell it to the nearby cult, telling them that their god granted it to me.
Courage is the cruelest friend you can have. It'll get you to the doorstep of your desire, then abandon you. The rest is all you.
Kerri-Emmitt
Kerri-Emmitt Posted 9 years ago
LOL @ Dn... evil, just evil!!
Administrator

I'm drowning here, and you're describing the water!
Defiance_sg
Defiance_sg Posted 9 years ago
Why is it that everyone chose to focus on that one sentence? I wasn't aware that posting something on the internet automatically gives you a copyright, in fact, that makes no sense at all. You're all saying that plagiarism wouldn't be a problem? Unfortunately I've been plagiarized before, so you'll forgive me if I don't just take your word for it, guys. Time-stamps aren't proof of anything, as any lawyer worth his salt will tell you. All the thief has to do is claim "coincidence", and poor old me then has an expensive, uphill legal battle that will suck all my time, money, and energy. Besides, that only applies to the actual words themselves; it's the IDEA and the CONCEPT I'm concerned about. I post it here and someone jacks it, well guess what, bottom line is that someone stole my shit. AGAIN. Not gonna happen.
I was hoping for enthusiasm and maybe a little curiosity; instead I get belittled for trying to protect my work.
Well, that tells me that I'm wasting my time here. I logged onto this site today excited to read the replies, now I'm extremely disappointed and even a little angry.
Maybe once someone steals your shit, you'll understand. As for me, I will not be back. All or nothing? Then nothing it shall be. Good day to you all, and next time someone comes along with a similar request, try respecting their wishes instead of attacking them for it.

p.s. - Asking someone to trust you implicitly without offering any reason why they should makes you look very shady. Just for future reference. Peace.
"I hate to advocate drugs, alchohol, or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me." -Hunter S. Thompson
"I think I write what I write because if I didn't, my imagination would strangle me in my sleep." - Anonymous
Defiance_sg
Defiance_sg Posted 9 years ago
I was so busy being mad I forgot to thank Dnavarre for pointing that out.
Thanks, man. Good point, and I'll keep that in mind. Smile
Also, to everyone else, I hope you understand why I'm so upset. If you don't, then I really sincerely hope you never have to find out. I'm not typically the hostile type, and it isn't personal. I know you're all just telling me what you think you know in the pursuit of being helpful. Actually, I'm not even mad anymore, just disappointed. When it happened to me, it started just like that: "Oh, no worries, man! Nobody's going to steal your work, you're being stupid!" THAT'S why I reacted the way I did. What I lost I had worked very hard on, and it meant a lot to me. And although I'm calmed down now, it doesn't change the fact that I'm going to trust my instincts and leave the site.
Good luck to everyone with their writing, maybe someday we'll cross paths again.
Until then, may the pen guide your path, and to a bright future may it lead.
"I hate to advocate drugs, alchohol, or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me." -Hunter S. Thompson
"I think I write what I write because if I didn't, my imagination would strangle me in my sleep." - Anonymous
Kerri-Emmitt
Kerri-Emmitt Posted 9 years ago
We never said there was no risk at all; what we where trying to say is that what you gain from this site is worth the risk of any plagiarism. Read the threads yourself, especially the one named 'The Den' and you tell me if what we have told you in this thread is true or not.

Bottom line; whether you have something worth stealing or not would never cross any of our minds because we have our own material. Think of it like this; why would I want to try to take your ideas when I have a hundred of my own? We are all amateur writers here... writers and yes we all have our own strength and weaknesses but we all can write; its what we do. So, for you to come here and assume this is one of those sites and we are all out to steal from you; I believe it is us that should feel insulted.

Your right, this isn't the place for you and fortunately you have no idea what a rare thing you have just given up because if you did, you'd regret the above decision immensely.
Administrator

I'm drowning here, and you're describing the water!
Don Roble
Don Roble Posted 9 years ago
We are who we are; we're not who you want us to be. I doubt you or anyone else has an idea that so original it needs protected.

Calling us shady definitely means you came to the wrong place.

I'm writing this for myself because he won't be back. He wanted to take but not give.
last edited by Don Roble on 26-10-2010 20:17
Dnavarre
Dnavarre Posted 9 years ago
I was always told the genius of mailing your manuscript to yourself, and putting it away in a safe place. It will have an official stamp and date, then!
Courage is the cruelest friend you can have. It'll get you to the doorstep of your desire, then abandon you. The rest is all you.
Rob Kosy
Rob Kosy Posted 9 years ago
Wow!

What's to stop an agent or publisher doing the exact same thing?

Aye, Mr Defiance, I agree with Kerri, you've denied yourself a chance to really advance & receive constructive & very helpful advice.

My own writing has improved so much over the past 16 months, but not only that. The diversity of submissions has made me try other genres that I would have never considered, which has just added more strings to my bow.

Its a shame you feel the way you do, maybe you should have gotten to know us a little first? This is NOT like the any other amateur writing site you will find, but you will never know, will you?

Its probably just as well, though. You're obviously really talented for people to steal your stuff (SHIT, I believe you termed it) Well, if people are plagiarising your shit stuff, what will they do with your GOOD stuff (or are they one & the same? If not PROVE it!)

Like I say, its a good job you didn't post anything here. What would be the point in the rest of us persevering against a talent so massive?

Hope you find a site that will agree with you implicitly. Shame it won't help you one iota as a writer.

Shady? Don, I agree that was low but I am in actual fact "The Real Slim Shady" (which is much better than just being slim, or indeed, shady) Eminem asks me to stand up all the time.
See you in the man cave.
Never sharpen fish in the presence of doves........
Don Roble
Don Roble Posted 9 years ago
Rob, the more I read the start of this thread and Defiance_sg's reponse, the more I'm starting to think you and he are the same person. I'm not accusing you...yet. It does sound like something you'd pull on us. There were a lot of made up words and so on.
last edited by Don Roble on 27-10-2010 23:56
Pritrostell
Pritrostell Posted 9 years ago
like i said earlier, why didn't he just post some OTHER not-so-important writings to get to know us before he trusted us...


Clearly he did not fully read all that was said and frankly I don't feel the slightest bit disappointed because as also stated above, he can to take and not give back...

O well, some may come and go from the Den, but we will always have each other whilst we remain the fabled Denizens that our children will read about in the "Classics and Biographies" section of the electronic book store Smile
__________________________________________

I grab the freshly washed grizzly skin, which still holds the warmth of it's previous owner despite it's chilly bath in the nearby river...
Don Roble
Don Roble Posted 9 years ago
It was all a joke from the start. He wasn't willing to trust us by posting but was willing to trust any of us by e-mail. The request and the responses he posted were so convoluted as to be impossible to take seriously.

I'd guess we're talking among ourselves to say what we feel about the site more than the subject of this thread.
Rob Kosy
Rob Kosy Posted 9 years ago
Don, I have to admit it WASN'T me!

Once caught in a wind up I will always admit. Thanks for thinking of me though; you're a kindred crazy.

But where did I get this reputation for made up words?
Never sharpen fish in the presence of doves........
last edited by Rob Kosy on 28-10-2010 22:30
Don Roble
Don Roble Posted 9 years ago
From me. I know there are English English words but there can't be as many as you use.
Kerri-Emmitt
Kerri-Emmitt Posted 9 years ago
No, there definitely isn't Don!Grin It's called the 'McKosy Dictionary' for all your 'ism' needs!
Administrator

I'm drowning here, and you're describing the water!
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