Can I be honest about your writing? (Part 6 – Opinions are not Facts)

Listen. Understand. Act.

Part 1 – Oh, the Vanity of it all! of this multi-post arc dealt with some folks I knew who vanity published their books back when we called vanity publishers “vanity publishers”.
Part 2 – Vanity/Self-Publishing provided an overview of Vanity and Self publishing.
Part 3 – What Camp Are You In? identified four reasons people consider self-publishing.
Part 4 – Pray thee, Joseph, 4 Y do these books suck? delved into editing that doesn’t help a book.
Part 5 – Could you provide examples of suckness? shared some examples of improving sucky writing (my own).

A woman read the opening of a play at a writers’ group I recently attended. She had four characters talking to each other for about eight pages. Not doing anything, just talking.

Ever been at a party and walk up to a group of people talking then discover both they and their conversation are boring as hell?

You look around for another group, one where voices are raised or there’s laughing, one where, even though the people are standing, they’re animated, moving their arms, nodding or shaking their heads to whatever’s being said, stepping back and forth, their bodies demonstrating their feelings about the conversation.

You strategize ways to get out of the boring group and into the interesting group simply because it is interesting!

People reading your story or watching your play behave much the same. If your characters, setting, situation, whatever, is dull, they’ll stop reading, change the channel, get up and leave the theater, take your pick. People need a reason to put their attention on your material. Give it to them.
Continue reading “Can I be honest about your writing? (Part 6 – Opinions are not Facts)”

Ritchie&Phyl (A Celebration of Life) Chapter 8 – Montana-Mexican

Remember me now?

“You got dinner plans?”

“No, not really.”

“Good. Follow me. There’s a great Montana-Mex place about twenty miles down I95.”

“El Nina’s?”

“The exact place.”

Half an hour later Cortazar had a margarita the size of a small aquarium in front of her. She caught Phyl looking at the bowl-sized glass. “Don’t worry. This’ll take me all night.”

“Okay.” Phyl sipped from her beer bottle.

“You joined the force. How’d that happen?”

“You happened.”

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So Rude

Turning your back on your guests! And at the dinner table!

Life continues.

It may be the New Year according to at least one human calendar, The Wild doesn’t notice. Critters still must eat, Republicans and Democrats still must be hostile to each other.

One wonders how we Two-Leggers are from our non-human forebears. I mean, have you ever seen the childish behavior that gets in the way of getting things done along lawmakers and business leaders?

You have to wonder, are these really the people making the laws? Are these the people really keeping business running?

Case in point, dining.

Historically, meal time is where the most powergames occur. Not just in diplomatic and business circles, even among families.

Want to know a family’s true dynamic? Sit them around a table, see who gets to eat first, who gets to take the biggest helpings, who helps who with their food.

Want to know a nation’s dynamic? Go to a state dinner. Want to know a company’s dynamic? Go to a staff lunch or dinner.

I find such things fascinating. People spend more time figuring out the social signals than exchanging actionable information or eating.

Not so in The Wild.

You don’t want to talk to someone? Turn your back to them. Much easier and easily understood.

Sometimes.

Can I be honest about your writing? (Part 5 – Could you provide examples of suckness?)

Tell the same story better

Part 1 – Oh, the Vanity of it all! of this multi-post arc dealt with some folks I knew who vanity published their books back when we called vanity publishers “vanity publishers”.
Part 2 – Vanity/Self-Publishing provided an overview of Vanity and Self publishing.
Part 3 – What Camp Are You In? identified four reasons people consider self-publishing.
Part 4 – Pray thee, Joseph, 4 Y do these books suck? delved into editing that doesn’t help a book.

Can I provide specific examples from other authors, no. I may think a given author’s writing sucks or an individual piece of writing sucks and I still respect the fact that they’re putting something out, that they got off the couch.

General examples, sure:
Continue reading “Can I be honest about your writing? (Part 5 – Could you provide examples of suckness?)”

Ritchie&Phyl (A Celebration of Life) Chapter 7 – Girlfriends

I know you from somewhere, don’t I?

A guard silently escorted Dr. Cortazar and Phyl through the prison outside to the parking lot. Phyl looked at the sky and drew a deep breath.

“I – ”

“Amazing, isn’t it? You’re in there for what, maybe an hour? Probably less, and you feel it lift from you the minute you’re outside again.”

“I – ”

“Imagine what it’s like for those people inside. Not just the timers. The guards, too. The staff. The staff that can’t be made up from inmates, anyway. They get to see the world after eight hours, no overtime on this job. But the timers. Those put in the Hole. Lifers. They get to see the sun maybe an hour a day. You were in there for a small part of your day. Imagine being in there for years at a time.”

“I – ”

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