Julia has nominated me for the College Writer Tag!
1) Before anything else, thank the totally cool person who nominated you for this tag, because
they obviously think you’re awesome. (Why thank you, Julia.)
2) Answer the five questions.
3) Nominate four other college writers.
1) What year are you? Year of the Dog. Weird, because I'm a cat person, but the Chinese zodiac doesn't have cats. Oh, you meant in college? A sophomore. Well, I will be. When I start my sophomore year. In January.
Today I thought I'd talk a bit about taking criticism, since that's not only a huge thing in art-related fields such as novel-writing, but in life as a whole. I've written a post before about rejection, so this is a natural follow-up.
I have really bad self-esteem. Due to various acts by various people and due to my own nature, I've gone through all kinds of unhappy mental problems mostly centering around this low self-confidence. I've been going to counseling for not quite a year now trying to work through all my issues. So in real life, I'm easily hurt by criticism, and I'm also a really jealous person.
(To be fair, there's a difference between criticism and cruelty, and unfortunately, more often than not, I've received cruelty. But it affects the way I react to genuine criticism, too. In day-to-day life, I tend to internalize criticism in an unhealthy way or to get kind of jealous and petty. It's an ongoing problem, but I'm working on it.)
When it comes to my writing, however, I'm actually pretty good at taking critique. That seems illogical, right? Writing is my greatest passion. You'd think, as it's the most important thing to me, it'd be the most sensitive topic. It's true that I wasn't prepared the first time I got critique, which is how I ended up deleting the first novel I ever wrote, but after that, I knew what I was up against, and that's made all the difference. As soon as I started sending out to people, I was prepared.
With all the recent movie adaptations of books, I thought this might be a good topic to address. Ender's Game is coming out at the beginning of November, Catching Fire later on (eep!), movies are being made out of Divergent, The Fault in Our Stars, etc, etc. So let's talk about it!
One of the big issues oft discussed in the literature world is these movie adaptations. We really like to complain about them. And sometimes, the movies do give readers legitimate reason to complain, simply because they stink. The problem is that a lot of readers seem to evaluate the worth of an adaptation based entirely on its similarity to the book's plot, characterization, and even details. I know people who refuse to go to movie adaptations simply because they are never satisfied with them, and that makes me really sad.
Movies aren't books, that's the thing. Movies are their own story medium.
When you do a movie adaptation, the director/producer/writers and even actors are all focusing on creating a story in a much different form than what a book on paper is. This necessitates change: change that will reflect what characters are thinking or feeling in a visible/audible way, change that cuts out lots of detail and exposition that would only bog down a medium that is all about forward motion, change that strengthens a central point that the director/writers/producer want to stress. Change is inevitable, and every reader, I think, knows this at heart. However, when they go to a movie that adapts something that's so dear to them, it becomes hard to think clearly about the actual movie story.
Movies aren't just for the readers, though; movies are for people who can't or don't read. They need a story that's created for them too.
Yes, there are really bad movies out there. Admittedly, I'm not super picky, but I know when something falls way flat, which sometimes happens But when people start going nuts about even small details that have been changed, that's when it goes over the top. A good story is a good story, and as a writer, I think I'd be okay with any good story a screenwriter/director could get out of my works.
Today I thought I'd write a short post on how readers play into my editing process, kind of a history of how other people have helped me edit my work. I defined some of the terms for this in my definition post, so hopefully it'll be easy to keep up.
Authors write for themselves. That is an eternal truth. If we didn't, it'd get really annoying very quickly. We write because we love it, because we need it. We live in a world where writing is our escape and our way of understanding the world. However, most authors want to create something bigger out of their work. They want to turn this writing that they so love into something that will have a greater purpose and connect them to the rest of the world.
That's where readers come in.
I had so much fun with the original Google Asks, I Answer that I decided to turn it into a two-parter. Let's try some new searches, shall we?
What writers play poker with castle?
The ones that buffalo potato elephants. I highly suspect this has something to do with a TV show I don't watch.
What do writers read/are writers reading?
Books. All kinds of books. Books in every genre, especially their genre of choice, books that are good, books that are okay, books that are terrible, booky bookitedy books. Also, articles and magazines and comics and Twitter and blogs and cereal boxes and every possible thing in the world. That is what writers read.
What writers influenced Charles Dickens?
Huh. Let's ask him. Or actually, since he's dead, I'll Google it... Apparently the answer is Henry Fielding, Daniel Defoe, and Oliver Goldsmith, whoever they are.
Before we get to the fun, a bit of business. Lately on my social media profiles, you may have noticed some fund requests. In June 2014, the Chapter One Young Writers Conference will occur. This conference is run by me and my best writing friends. I am meant to be a speaker this upcoming year but I do not have the funds to travel to the conference. Thus, I am trying to raise money. If you can, please donate! If you'd like to attend, please like the Ch1Con Facebook page to keep up with new developments. (Editor's Note: Fundraising now closed.)
Moving on. Google is a friend to many people in the world. Not only is it a fantastic search engine, but it also has a number of other useful things, like a translator and maps and a way to keep up with how much blog traffic you're getting and YouTube and also Gmail. I doubt there's a person in the first world who doesn't know Google.
Google knows you, too, and the stuff that you like to search. Today I am going to use Google autocomplete, which finishes your search term based off of both your previous searches and popular searches, to create a post. I'm sure Google is scared of me, to be honest, if it's been keeping up with my stuff, because writers research the strangest things. I wrote a post about that once. Anyway, Google is going to ask me questions about writing, and I am going to try to answer.
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