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15 July 2010 @ 06:48 pm
*takes writing advice and goes home*  
Some people just don't want to be helped!
Current Mood: blahblah
Spiletta42: Gwenspiletta42 on July 16th, 2010 01:32 am (UTC)
Don't you hate that? I had such an experience a few weeks ago, and was reminded why I never offer help any more. I wish there was an easier way to tell how someone might react to concrit or advice. :(
     Mandy: Im Sorry Sammya_phoenixdragon on July 16th, 2010 01:36 am (UTC)
*hugs you close*
Seisachtheiaclaudiapriscus on July 16th, 2010 05:51 am (UTC)
Ooh, I hate that. I wish there were some clear-cut way of signaling just exactly how actually open to criticism you're feeling and on what.

Personally, I get paranoid about criticism, because everyone tries to be oh so nice about it (because they're afraid of getting their heads bitten off) and then I'm left trying to parse every compliment for the secret con-crit that might be lurking there. (My actually mental process: "Aw, they said my dialogue was excellent. Yay me! Hmm. Obviously, they're trying to tell me that my descriptions was lacking! damn. I should fix that.")

Maybe I should add something to my journal. Something like: "I have a master's degree. My supervisor was evil, so I had any diva-like tendencies beaten out of me. No one will ever come close to matching him in completely eviscerating my writing, so don't worry about it!"
Working for the Mandroid: Winchestersmoonshayde on July 16th, 2010 01:00 pm (UTC)

When I was going for my MA, I had my thesis absolutely ripped to shreds by my advisors. They weren't kind. I was devastated. That was my first real experience of taking a step back and evaluating my work without emotional investment and when I went back I made it something so so much better. My advisors, one being the department head, were so pleased and impressed at the scope of the changes I made.

In the following years I've had fanfic, original fic, and other stuff torn apart. After awhile, you develop a thick skin.

But many people don't want that. And I'm still sensitive when someone says they don't like my work. I don't get that in fanfic much, but I do get it with my other stuff. Many people just want to hear how awesome they are.

So when someone posts a concern about something in their story and wonders what they should do about it, AND you and several other people offer suggestions and get shot down for each and every one, you have to learn to walk away. People like tat just want to talk about themselves.

I'd Sell My Soul for a Blunt Instrument ...: Dean Brewski Salutedodger_winslow on July 16th, 2010 10:14 pm (UTC)
Been there, done that. Pisses you off, doesn't it? Only advice I can give is try not to let it jade you against helping writers who are actually looking for constructive feedback. Very hard to do (not get jaded on that front after an experience like this), but not fair to the ones who really ARED dying to get better but can't find anyone willing to tell them anything but happy horseshit for how little this fandom (and most fandoms, sad to say) actually tends to want to hear the truth rather than just having their egos stroked.

One of the ways I handle it myself is to send a specific offline warning to anyone who I'm considering critiquing (which I never offer any more, but sometimes do when I can find the time to do so, which isn't often these days, unfortunately) about how little I usually have to say about things that are done right and how much more I will focus on advice that might help them address weak spots. Because my critiques? Are not verbal handjobs. So anyone looking for that kind of insincere love needs to look for it somewhere else, cause what I will inevitably have to say will probably piss them off.

On the other hand, one of my favorite people in all of fandom is someone I found by tearing apart her good story right after having been bitten on the ass for honestly critiquing/editing a piece I was BEGGED by the author to edit. I'd sworn off every wasting my fucking time again when this story rolled in and there was just SO much potential in it that, despite not being asked for my opinion, I could not resist the urge to reach out and give her about ten pages worth of thoughts, very few of which were positive despite the fact that her story was really good or I wouldn't have liked it well enough to take that much time talking about it. And she came back with a similar number of pages of response and questions to everything I'd said. And her next story was galaxies better than her last. Never had a more rewarding experience with another fan than I've had with this person, all that springing from an unsolicited critique I offered to someone I didn't know at ALL despite just having had some nitwit I knew pretty well (who wasn't 1/10th the writer of my now-great-friend, BTW) lose her nut over the fact that there were too many red marks on her precious story when I was actually being NICE to her by not marking up about half of what was wrong, and she'd BEGGED me to edit the story I edited for her.

And just as the cherry on top of that happy story, the gal I offered that unsolicited critique to oh those many years ago is also now a very good friend, and one of the best writers I know. As well as being one of the smartest people I know, and someone I very much consider myself lucky to know.

The moral to this story being: yeah, this sucks hard. But don't let it close you to the possibility of someone else needing to hear what you have to say. Cause if you've ever received good writing advice in the past from even one writer, you owe it to the community to give back what you've learned to someone new, even if that process sometimes leaves you wanting to beat your head against the wall for how many "writers" there are in fandom who don't want constructive feedback even when they beg for it, only mindless praise.