Trailowner

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Signs of a Pulse?

Thanks to both you busy ladies who commented on yesterday’s post.

I guess that having a specific character in mind and being open enough to let them loose and see what happens is as much a stance as any other. Following ones curiosity is a respected way to explore reality. I’m wondering whether the way I was asking the question looks for ‘what frame of mind do you need to be in before’ ... rather than your more open process.

Had to chuckle, Joylene. I too like to read reviews to see what I missed. I bought that weighty tome of Farah Mendlesohn’s, “Rhetorics of Fantasy” to see what I was missing in my fantasy writing process. Seems quite a lot, but I don’t think it possible to write good fiction if one has one eye on the academic angle. I think I got much the same from the book as I get from reviews – “hey, was that what I was doing?” Would I change anything if she’d pointed out something wrong? I doubt it.

We’ve all had to learn to take criticism and learn from it. What is it that convinces you that the critique is valid ... enough that you have to do something about it?

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3 Comments:

Blogger Annie said...

After I have danced about in a fury for a day, sulked for a week and resolved never to read anything written by my critic again, I reread the criticism and think horrible thoughts.

I then face the fact that this is meant to help me be a better writer. I take on board each small point.

If the critic does not understand something, then hundreds of readers would have the same problem.

If the critic notices too many overused words and constructions, so will everyone else.

I rewrite, rewrite, rewrite and have a much better book.

But do I ever speak to the critic again? Perhaps after a couple of years to say thank you.

11:36 PM  
Blogger Joylene said...

I think if you receive a negative comment and you can't let it go, then your subconscious is trying to tell you something. Like: fix it! LOL

You won't believe what I'm finally reading. War and Peace. Not for the shocker: I'm hooked. I made a pledge to read 10 chapters a day and I've already surpassed that. An effort NOT TO READ is my problem.

2:44 PM  
Blogger Trailowner said...

Hi Annie: I have the same reaction, LOL, but what I was describing wasn't a critique as much as an academic pronouncement on the way fantasy is structured. As Mendelsohn says in the intro, the book is not about defining fantasy -- so my reaction would be to merely note that I may have done something a bit differently. If it works I wouldn't change it.

I must say that War and Peace is a bit easier to read than the Dostoyevsky tomes, Joylene, as long as you can keep all the Russian names and patronymics straight. But I might suggest Dusty Evsky next -- the depth of his penetrations into the minds of his characters would suggest some ideas for handling Sally in your Omatiwak.

Chris.

3:10 PM  

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