marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,
marycatelli
marycatelli

the clueless newbie discovers writing groups

Day 1.  Found a writing group.  Plain ASCII text.  How do they upload the
maps?

Day 2.  Check out a couple of other writing groups.  They're all plain ASCII text.

Guess I'll try one, even though it says it takes a month to get your story critiqued.  I'll suggest that they allow you to upload images, too!  They say they're open to suggestions for improvement.

Day 3.  Read a story to critique.  It had a unicorn in it, and the unicorn _killed_ people.  Don't these people understand what unicorns are supposed to be like?

Day 4.  Read another story.  Want to get my standing up -- but don't know how much of this I can take.  Horrible sexist story.  Heroine is such a weak, feminine, helpless thing that she sews.

Day 8.  Read another unicorn story.  If you're going to do unicorns, you have to understand how sweet and sappy they are.  Don't like them myself, but you have to understand.

Day 10.  Horrible story.  It started with this old knight, just about on his deathbed, and talked about his will.  Told the writer to start with when he was a squire and becoming a knight; that would be more interesting.

Day 14.  Horrible, horrible, horrible story.  We had a king and a kingdom, but the writer didn't talk about the kingdom or its neighbors, or its history or anything.  It just stuck to one man and something that happened to him.  Didn't even go into what he did for the king.  I told the writer to add a prologue to explain all the geography and politics and stuff and then get away from the current plot.  There's no way that story could be turned into a novel without it.

Day 19.  Very odd story.  What sort of society locks up princesses and sets chaperones over them and lets princes run about free?

Day 20:  Icky story.  Described the heroine as slender.  Told the writer to avoid all that sort of romance writing style.  I expected to read about her heaving bosom next.

Day 25.  Story had a medieval nobleman "repudiating" his wife for adultery.  Explained to the writer that women were always executed for adultery in medieval times.

Day 28.  My story is up.  Hopes are high.  All that advice, that's what I'm looking for.  Just because none of them can write doesn't mean they can't read.

Day 29.  Idiot member said the society wasn't well developed enough to justify what happened.  Doesn't he know that you can't build a setting up in 60 pages?  The reader has to suspend disbelief.

Day 30.  Another idiot member said that the characters were cliched.  You need elves and dwarves, how else can the reader tell it's fantasy?  Anyway, having someone want to be the only human in a place doesn't have the same effect without it.

Day 31.  A crit said that the character's actions were implausible, so I explained in response.

Day 32.  Silly crit.  Haven't these people ever heard any one sigh something?  I take the point about said-bookisms, but you have to allow some poetic license.

Day 33.  Even sillier crit.  Said in the sentence, "Snatching up the knife, he ran after the monster," the actions were simultaneous, so I ought to rewrite the sentence.   You need to vary your sentence structure, and it's perfectly clear.

Day 35.  They won't add images, so you can't put up a map.

Quit writing group.  Wasn't doing me any good.  And they were hopeless.

Maybe I should recommend The Tough Guide to Fantasyland to them.  If they read a guide they might do better.
Tags: writing groups
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