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CHROME OXIDE: WRITER


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Sometimes I think of something to write that doesn't require a blog entry. Click here to check out my Twitter feed widget.

Otherwise scroll down for my words of wizdumb.

prior blog entries

November 16, 2016 Critiquers Bias

July 6, 2015 What Is My Writing Process?

June 15, 2015 When Did I Realize I Was A Writer?

April 30, 2015 Why A Duck Blog?

October 2013 The Next Big Thing

November 16, 2016 - Critiquers Bias

That's Not Funny, That's Sick or Beauty Is In The Eye Of The Beholder

In general, writers groups are important for helping writers develop their craft. However, all groups and all critiquers are not the same.

I recently wrote a 1,500 word science fictional political satire. Most of the reactions from the writers at the various groups were negative. They disliked the dystopian world I created for the story which they didn't think was funny.

I emailed the story off to one of my writer friends who has seen a lot of my writing and has been very supportive and encouraging in the past. Her response was very discouraging and very negative about the many flaws in the writing, how horrid the story was and how offended she was by what I wrote.

I sent the exact same story off to another writer friend. She thought the story was some of my best writing and she laughed so hard she fell out of her chair. In fact, she liked the story so much she wants other people to have a chance to read it and is now trying to find a publisher for the story.

Is one of them right and one of them wrong?

Try going to Amazon and switch between reading the one star and the five star reviews of your favorite book. After you've read one star reviews that state, "I will never read this book, it sucks," and five star reviews that state "I haven't read this book but I know it is wonderful," you begin to understand the bias of the reviewer has an effect on how they read and review the book.

What holds true for books by other people, holds true for critiques of your writing. What do you think happens when a hard science writer tries to critique a romance story and vice versa? The hard science writer may complain that the bodice ripping scene in the romance book isn't possible because the tensile strength of the cloth in use at that date and time couldn't be ripped in the way described.

You may have heard the quote, "Dying is easy, comedy is hard." Comedy is even more difficult when it is political satire. For many people, politics has replaced religion as their sacred cow that must not be gored. They may not even recognize this is what is happening. So when they read a story that they think mocks their beliefs, they respond to the perceived personal attack with a personal attack.

In any case, one of the challenges of being a writer is understanding the bias of the critiquer and learning to recognize valid vs. invalid critiques.

Update: January 2017

My story, Graduation Day, was recently accepted for publication in a closed anthology Forbidden Thoughts that I hadn't been invited into. You now have the chance to decide for yourself.

- Chrome Oxide

 

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CHROME OXIDE: WRITER
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