the horror was for love
- Mar 4, 2010
- Reaction score
I think it's you get attached to the chaos in your head and you're afraid to part with it.Why do so many new writers get annoyed when they ask for advice and an older writer points out that they owe it to their readers to give them a cohesive and coherent story that makes sense? Because that's like storytelling 101: the story has to make sense, which in turn makes it believable, when you get to the end...that's literally the writer's job...
I've seen a shift in the "culture" where criticism, regardless of how courteous, specific, and actionable it is, gets seen as hate, and what a writer wants is to have smoke blown up their ass because they value cheap emotional pops and plot twists instead of being concerned that a character contradicted themselves from one chapter to another. The only way I can explain it is that Authors are trying to emulate Corporations. They don't want their readers to engage with the story, they want readers to consume product and be excited for next product (to the point of shelling out money for it, if it's not fanfiction).
It doesn't have to be. Best advice I've ever put to practice is to delete the first draft of a text after writing it and start the second from scratch instead of editing the first. Really. Destroy the first draft. Nuke it from orbit. Summon all five pieces of Exodia on that sh#t and wipe it off the board. Awaken Bahamut from the heart of Dalamud and purge the first draft from existence with a Megaflare.I think it's you get attached to the chaos in your head and you're afraid to part with it.
"killing your darlings" is a tough lesson to learn.
If I wanted to get into this I'd say the shift is happening everywhere thanks to decades of atrocious schooling (and/or parenting) and reflected on every single hobby that humans affected by said atrocious schooling (and/or parenting) have ever touched. This is what we get when school grades are measured on a scale from 1 to 100 but a 50 is as much of a Failing Grade as a 0 is, and not a Perfectly Average grade, despite what one would expect from the fact that 50 sits in the middle of 1 and 100. Games are reviewed on a similar scale from 0 to 10 (or 0 to 5 stars) but the only scores gamers and publishers pay attention to are 9s and 10s and a 7 can be so damning as to have the publication blacklisted and an 8 is therefore barely decent, see: literally any Zelda game.Funny that you should mention this. There have been a ton of recent cases of authors harassing readers/reviewers (again). Just yesterday, in fact; one author--who had gotten a bloody 4 star, no less--got miffed at a joking comment the reviewer put in their review. One, simple little line, and she went on a ****ing tangent about it. :/ And that's to say nothing of the dozen or so other cases I've seen in the past week. So yeah, I'd say you've hit the nail on the head--a lot of these writers/authors want praise only, validation for their overly-purple prose and shallow, repetitive plots. And when they don't get it, the first time someone says, "meh", they lose their minds.
This is what happens when only friends/family read and review your work: a sense of entitlement to receive only good, and none of the bad.
and villains are given redemption instead of earning redemption on their own, and the way stories have expressed the Redemption Arc has gotten as lazy as having the hero be a mouthpiece for the author and granting the villain forgiveness or forcing the wronged characters to "be the bigger person" and forgive the villain. Bonus points if they deem the villain as having righted their wrongs with actions the villain undertook that a) no one knew about nor were there to witness or b) have nothing to do with the initial wrong, like a former child abuser getting redeemed because he saved some puppies from drowning, and none of this requires anybody understanding each other in the story at all! Empathy? Who has time for that? The author just likes the character, isn't that reason enough for the character to have everything handed to them? Oh, and you have to shame the characters in the story that have valid reasons not to trust the villain. They said sorry, isn't that enough? Why can't these characters just let bygones be bygones?
This particular bit reminds me of Inheritance Cycle. Eragon is protagonist, and therefore anyone opposing him is wrong. Murtagh - after getting captured and mind-controlled by Galbatorix the Gaul - is treated as an evil, evil person, despite being forced into servitude against his will. And in the last book (which I honestly mostly skipped) Galbatorix is made to feel regret due to some BS magic and kills himself.
I think there needs to be a distinction, in this case. When you post stories on fanfiction, A03, or any other free reading site, the relationship between you and your readers is more intimate. They comment, and you're notified of said comment, so there's no avoiding it really--good or bad. Couple that with the fact that you provide your work for free with little to no emotional pay-off, and it's completely justified for you to clap back when someone is rude. With reviews of finished products, however, there's supposed to be a degree of separation; if the author sees their reviews, it's either because someone took it upon themselves to tell them, or more often, they went looking for it. I'm in full agreement that we're not our products, and many of the readers who have been targeted by harassing would agree--in fact often use the very argument that criticism of the product is not criticism of the author.
Conversely, just as it's bad form to harass readers/reviewers, it's poor form for readers to tag the writer in negative reviews and send them death threats. So you're absolutely right, both sides are guilty of wrongdoing, and both need to learn and respect boundaries between them.