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Filler post, but with some actual content (kinda)

20 Jan

So, comments about the non-pony story I talked about in yesterday’s post got me thinking. Which is good! That’s what comments should do. First off, probably time to toss out another round of qualification for my reviews. I do very subjective reactions to stories. If I liked or did not like something, and a few reasons that is the case. Granted I tend to sometimes weight one side or the other a bit much. Like I really enjoyed a book and talked about the handful of things I didn’t like. I try to keep in mind the overall opinion and not have the majority of a review be about the other side of the like/dislike spectrum.

The other slightly more precise bit of commentary was someone did point out that I do tend to judge a book on if it matches the ideas in my head about it. As I said there, I do recognize that I do that and try not to let it shade my enjoyment of a book. With erratic success, sadly. At the very least I make a fairly big effort to point out where that distinction happens when talking about stories. Part of the foundation of that is my brain thinks that an author who puts lots of time and effort into writing something should be able to be at least as creative as a reader who is just sitting down and casually reading through something. Like, the author spent months working on the story and the reader spends like a few hours reading it. Which, I once again admit, is also unfair. Trying to compare creativity between two different people doing two different activities isn’t going to actually accomplish much. Especially when in this case, the reader being me, I spend a good amount of my excessive amount of free time worldbuilding and thinking about weird stuff and the writer has to actually focus not just on that, but also on characters and narrative and making it all coherent.

I mean, half the time when I get a cool idea for a story I don’t even start on it because I figure it would be too hard to actually take the cool idea in my head and put it down in a coherent form other people will understand and enjoy. So… Glass houses I guess. As always I have nothing but respect (and a bit of envy) for anyone who actually finishes a story, even if it’s one I didn’t enjoy. The most disappointing story that gets finished and put out where people will buy and read it will always be better than the perfect story that never gets a single line written.

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6 Comments

Posted by on January 20, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

6 responses to “Filler post, but with some actual content (kinda)

  1. Max

    January 20, 2017 at 2:26 pm

    Part of the foundation of that is my brain thinks that an author who puts lots of time and effort into writing something should be able to be at least as creative as a reader who is just sitting down and casually reading through something. Like, the author spent months working on the story and the reader spends like a few hours reading it.

    Well, herein lies part of the issue with that. You have an author that’s spent months on something … and a reader who’s maybe spent hours on it. Which one will be more familiar with the work? Which one, by default, would you expect to know more about what’s going on in the story?

    Now, as with everything there will be exceptions. But it’s akin to someone who doesn’t do automotive engineering saying “Well, I drive a car to work. How hard can it be for an engineer to double my MPG?”

    Especially where creativity is concerned. A reader doesn’t have the whole world in front of them, while the author typically does. A reader can go off on a complete tangent by just hoping, wanting, or assuming something completely incorrect about a world, and then be so committed to it that they won’t even notice why what they want does not work inside the confines of the story itself.

    Let’s be brutally honest here: IF the reader was just as creative and forward thinking as the author, THEY would have written the book, or something like it, rather than reading it. But they haven’t. What they’re doing is reading the book, taking the pieces that the author has already created, and then putting them together differently in their own head (and, quite often wrong, which for many is half the fun of reading a book), but then saying “this is better, this is the superior form” when if the actual book had been like that, it would have had to end completely differently or become a different book altogether.

    Such thought processes do drive a ton of fan-fictions (after all, “fix-fics” are a lexicon of fanfic), but that doesn’t mean that the reader’s offshoots are in any way the equal of the original.

     
    • Griffin

      January 20, 2017 at 3:38 pm

      Exactly! Which is why I try really really hard to make the distinction between what happens in my head while reading and what I see on the actual page.

       
  2. Logan

    January 22, 2017 at 2:37 pm

    The most disappointing story that gets finished and put out where people will buy and read it will always be better than the perfect story that never gets a single line written.

    Why do you think I write such short stories? ;D

     
    • Griffin

      January 22, 2017 at 3:10 pm

      Because you have a work ethic and discipline that I can only dream of attaining?

       
      • Logan

        January 23, 2017 at 12:05 pm

        *guffaws* 70,000-odd words in four and a half years doesn’t really qualify as “work ethic”. 😀

         
      • Griffin

        January 23, 2017 at 7:15 pm

        All a matter of perspective!

         

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