Disperser, Week Sixteen – Something Original

by disperser

Sixteen weeks!  . . . wow . . .

Once again, I’m up . . . only this time, this time I’m ready.  I have the next installment of Fall of Angels up and ready to go.

I don’t usually get a whole lot of feedback here, so I went elsewhere for an opinion, and I did get some feedback.

My style of writing does not lend itself very well to serialization.  That was the feedback.  Well, that, and I don’t describes the characters or places enough, and I tend to infer too much without giving an adequate exposition of it.

. . . hmmm . . .

So, I have to agree about the serialization bit.  Personally, I don’t like it. 

For one, few people chancing upon the middle of a story are likely to go back and read WCB (what came before). 

For another thing, serialization has gone out of style . . . sure, it works in television, and movie adaptations of Tolkien books.  But for a short story, there is just not enough to hold one’s interest.  The problem is that serialization works when you end each segment with a cliff-hanger.  Well . . . it works if one presumes the reader likes the characters.  Otherwise they might even cheer the prospect of their demise.  Why, they might stop reading the story, and just imagine the characters died in a gruesome way.

But how many cliffhangers can you have in a short story?

So, here’s what I will be doing . . . at the end of this story (one or two more chapters), I’ll return to the self-contained story.

Not only that, but I will be keeping them fairly short.  The operative word in short story is, after all, “short”.  The good news is that when I do write something longer, it will be complete.

The plan, for now, is to alternate weeks between a couple of flash fiction pieces, and longer, more developed short stories.

WAIT!! . . . dang, I have The Blood, as well.   Crap.  Oh well; to every rule there must be an exception.  When I have something to add to The Blood, it will serialized.  I don’t see any other way of working it.

As for the rest of the criticism . . . what can I say.  That is my style of writing.  Still, I could try and describe people and places a tad more.  However, I always find it a two-edged sword.  I believe “looks” often predispose readers to formulate opinions about the characters.

I prefer to present “who they are”, over “what they look like”.  Once a reader knows the character, they will “flesh out” his or her looks.  Besides, how often have you read a book, loved a character, and then find out the actor playing the character in the movie adaptation looks nothing like what you imagined?  What’s the use of me describing someone who will likely be changed for the movie.

What?  . . . no, they are not making a movie of any of my stuff.


4 Responses to “Disperser, Week Sixteen – Something Original”

  1. I belonged to an on-line critique group a while ago. The problem I found was that different people had diametrically opposed critiques of my work. Which one was I to believe? In the end, I had to go with my gut. If you only got one critique, how do you know it was valid? That’s the problem with such a small pool of critiques.

    I get frustrated when I get lots of “likes” and few comments–not so much on the zany pieces I write, but when I was writing my stories that ended up in my memoir. I really wanted to know if they were any good. Thoughtful and constructive criticism is really valuable, but people are hesitant to offer it. I wonder why?

    • My approach with critiques (sometime critique, as in singular) is to ignore anything relating to the plot itself (I would not have written it if I did not like it). If someone does not like the plot, it just means they have different tastes than I do. I’m fine with that.

      I listen to any feedback on technical issues (passive voice, pacing, etc.). I have no formal training, so I don’t mind stuff being pointed out.

      I also listen to feedback on exposition, characters, dialog, etc. . . . like with the editorials I write, I have the stories I write visualized and clear in my mind. However, transferring thoughts, ideas, etc. into a piece of (virtual) paper can be tricky. I may understand certain words or sentences one way, but someone who can’t read my mind (a good thing, that), may interpret the same a different way. That is rare, as I tend to write very straight forward (or think I do).

      And finally, I listen to anyone pointing out holes in the plot, etc.

      After I listen to what they say, comes the part where I assign weight to what I hear. For instance, I agree with the serialization comment since I myself am not too enamored with them. But, tempering that is the fact few people will sit an read a 5,000 word story in one sitting. So, shorter stories all in one chunk, and longer one in pieces.

      On matters of the way characters and plot unfold . . . well, I am fairly particular about the way I write. I have to hear something fairly convincing for me to change how I write. So, the comment about not describing characters and/or settings . . . eh! As Mal would say, it’s what I do.

      Really, there’s only been a couple of times I have gotten what I consider good feedback. Where people tell me what they liked and what they did not like in great detail. But even then, it is no more than an opinion.

      And when it comes to opinion, I tend to think people who love my stuff are being too kind, a that people who hate my stuff are likely not my target audience.

      Basically, I’m screwed . . . but then so is everyone else.

      On my own blog I have the 5-star rating system switched on. No one uses it. Too bad, because a “like” on a post is almost automatic unless the person really hated the piece. I also think most of the likes are “polite” likes.

      Ultimately, the only true and valid feedback is if someone buys your work, and if readers buy the book. I’m not there yet. Probably never will be.

      Thanks for commenting, and getting me to think about it a bit more. Hope you did not mind the long-way-around answer to your question.

      • I absolutely didn’t mind. Sorry I didn’t get back to you sooner. I just realized I missed a lot of comments made on my comment and I’m catching up. If I got you thinking–that’s always good!


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