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Old 18.06.2017, 18:14
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Re: Who can help me with creative writing?

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Of course we all do...don't we. But it is a matter of having the time, not questioning anyone's charitable minds
If you do, as I am sure you do in many contexts, your mod-work on the EF being one of them, then good. I found it sad that you wrote you know nobody else who would volunteer for free.

If it's now only a question of having, or not having, the time, why did you have a problem with Sadies' asking for something for free?
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Old 18.06.2017, 18:28
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Re: Who can help me with creative writing?

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If you do, as I am sure you do in many contexts, your mod-work on the EF being one of them, then good. I found it sad that you wrote you know nobody else who would volunteer for free.

If it's now only a question of having, or not having, the time, why did you have a problem with Sadies' asking for something for free?
I think it came out poorely or maybe you are reading a bit too much into what we wrote - we probably all imagined really good quality editing job or a writing coach scenario, not a quick read through a note your neighbors/buddy needs to have translated, tbh. Of course that even laborious charity is totally done, everybody I know and keep as a friend actually volunteers. But to request a top notch job and not be aware of the labor envolved is naieve, me thinks. I am glad OP found her help, indeed. I think I imagined a bit as if OP was asking for a doctor to just help, when things matter we usually want high standards even if it costs us. A writing coach is a doctor for one's texts, while a proofreader would be...uhmmm...a manicurist? Not sure where I am heading with this, lol
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  #43  
Old 18.06.2017, 18:52
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Re: Who can help me with creative writing?

I think I though the same as MC - that the OP either knew what she was asking and devalued it, or didn't know and was a bit naïve about the whole process. I suspect it was in the phrasing - which is why I said what I originally said - rephrase and you may get a different response.


Doing stuff for free/barter is brilliant - as long as, as you said, both parties are fully cognisant of the arrangement - but it can bite you in the bum.


I did get the distinct impression (again, said something similar in my first response) that she needed an awful lot of input which goes beyond the helping and moves firmly into the coaching/tutoring realm and that's quite a lot to expect for free. For her then to question how much (and what) would be involved in improving her writing puts her - for me at least - firmly back in the naïve camp.
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  #44  
Old 18.06.2017, 18:56
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Re: Who can help me with creative writing?

Thanks, MusicChick. Okay.

Personally, I still see nothing at all wrong in asking for something of a high standard, for free. Like couchsurfing somewhere with a bathroom en suite and direct access to a private swimming-pool. Or the work of a doctor, or of anyone else. It is always up to the recipients of the request to decide whether or not to provide. A request is not, in itself, offensive.

Though Out There on what is unfortunately termed the "free" market, the price-tag is sometimes and indication of quality, even that is not always accurate. Just because an item or a service is free (or costly), it needn't be of poor (or good) quality.

I do agree with you, though, that in this particular field of writing, many people underestimate the language skills necessary to turn out a well-polished text, and the time it would take to achieve that.

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.... and that's quite a lot to expect for free.
Perhaps this is the difference. I didn't read Sadies' posts as expecting anything. I didn't feel that she was requiring or demanding or exhibiting that awful entitlement. As I read her post, she asked politely, for help, hoping to find someone who would enjoy sitting with her looking over her text, as a good joint activity.

I agree that she may not realise how time-consuming such help is. But that, however, is a question for the helper to ponder on, and decide how much time she has available to give.

Last edited by doropfiz; 18.06.2017 at 19:01. Reason: saw RufusB's post
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  #45  
Old 18.06.2017, 19:00
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Re: Who can help me with creative writing?

If Sadie's intent was to strike a breezy, easygoing tone indicating that the character didn't think that crafting a well composed piece of text wasn't hard work which required a great deal of attention, effort, and time then... she doesn't need a coach.

If that wasn't her intent, then I suspect she needs more coaching that a quick read through and a "You didn't motivate this critical element, and your bridges are a bit jumpy" response.
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  #46  
Old 18.06.2017, 19:03
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Popular does not equal good. It is not clear if OP is after "good" or "popular".
First of all I'd like to produce some good content, and then hopefully it'll become popular as well. So I'm after both.

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Living in the past is never a way to pre judge how creativity is going to work in the future.
Do people care about how correct your grammar is?

If you have something to express an opinion about and it is interesting to a certain percentage of the worlds population, then the Tech is there.

How you seduce, coerce, entice and enthral your perspective followers is the secret.

Being creative means that you must have a plan. You must study your plans and dreams. Do background research.

Being creative means that you must understand your audience and how to manipulate them. (These days the platforms and methods to propagate your "creative genius" are limitless)

But most of all - you must be not beholden to outside influences - like EF and other Forums. If you ask questions like this - you are not very creative. It is not something you can buy off the shelf.

Hi doctor - I want to be clever - give me a tablet. Does not work this way.
Let me know when you have created Utopia 2 - the first one was good
I appreciate your observation and I agree that there are many ways today to showcase your creativity.

By the way you can't judge by my one post that I'm not a creative person. I've been writing for quite some time now, and I read somewhere that in order to improve your writing style, it's also important to get a professional's review. I can't afford much for that today, so I told that in my very first post, and I've also found someone who's ready to read my work with a critical approach and tell me what's fine and what's not.

That's all I need for now and I thank all of you for your comments.

I'll let you know when I publish my first book and when I start a blog. :P

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@Sadies
It seems to me that there's nothing wrong with asking for help, and well done for stating clearly, right at the start, that you won't be able to pay for it. Many projects simply do need to rely on some free input, especially at the beginning.

Yes, I totally agree with the other posters that the kind of input you are seeking and needing is, otherwise, skilled and highly paid work, and should be repected and acknowledged as such.

Even so, anyone is free to contact you if they feel they'd like to help withouth charging you their usual fee. After all, some professionals do donate a part of their time, and besides that many people are happy to share skills in areas in which they do not work, professionally.

You may be able to do something for that person, in return. Or they may be content to know that you are helping someone else with something else, for free.

My advice to you would be to work with a few people. Great that you've already found someone who will look at your work and go through it with you! That's a good start! No matter how much you enjoy the collaboration, and benefit from it, after a while (some months or a year), try to find someone else as well or instead. Then add or move on to a third person, and so on. In that way, you are more likely to receive useful criticism and inspiration from a range of different angles.

I wish you well, and that you have lots of fun on the way to your dream!
You came up with a very interesting point my dear and I totally thank you for that. I didn't have this in my mind but it's true that moving on from person to person is also something that can be very enriching for my writing.

Kudos to you!

Last edited by MusicChick; 18.06.2017 at 20:14. Reason: merging consecutive posts
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  #47  
Old 18.06.2017, 19:21
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Re: Who can help me with creative writing?

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First of all I'd like to produce some good content, and then hopefully it'll become popular as well. So I'm after both.


Ok. Free advice from someone who has taught creative writing in one form or another for some years:


Practice.
Play around.
Write. Save. Read it again, be prepared to delete over half of it and start again.


Edit. Revise. Redraft.
Write.
Read it again. Be prepared to delete over half of it and start again.


It's a largely "three steps forward, two steps back" process.


Know your audience.
Write.
Really make sure you know your audience.
Read what you know your audience already reads.
Write.
Do more research.
Read it again...


On top of all that, check that the words you use really are the words you want to use. Can you say more with less? Does that piece of dialogue sound true to that character? Does that action fit with that character?


Nail your grammar. It really does matter - it puts people off if it's wrong. look at all the Amazon review of self-published stuff that says "cracking story, really enjoyed it, only three stars though because of all the damn typos and the main character's brother's name kept changing throughout..." Look at the reviews that say "cracking story, really enjoyed it, loved so-and-so and it was really well written for a change. 5 stars."


Try not to start a sentence with as or so unless, grammatically speaking, you know what your subordinate clauses are up to.


Don't overuse your adverbs.
Sort out your homophones. Seriously.
And your apostrophes.


Take a leaf from Elmore Leonard's book and when you write dialogue, just have your characters say it. They don't need to say it "breathily" or "sadistically". It should be clear how they're saying it from what they say.


Write.
Read.
Write some more.


Be prepared for more people to hate it than love it.
Handing your work over for critique is one of the hardest things to do. Listening to that critique is another one.


Almost the worst feedback ever: there are only two things wrong with this piece - the style and the content.
Probably the worst feedback ever: I love it! It's fabulous! Don't change a single word, you're a genius.




OK. Now I have to go and do some other stuff.


Rufus.
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  #48  
Old 18.06.2017, 20:28
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Re: Who can help me with creative writing?

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Thanks, MusicChick. Okay.

Personally, I still see nothing at all wrong in asking for something of a high standard, for free.
Nobody said anything about finding Sadie's request "wrong". I would not expect requests here to be met only with 100% encouragement and extra positive reinforcement. The fact that a couple of us honestly expressed that maybe relying on unpaid service is a risk - does not show disapproving with what Sadie did, I think it was actually quite helpful for OP.

Nobody said that high quality services should only be paid, either.
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  #49  
Old 18.06.2017, 20:51
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Re: Who can help me with creative writing?

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...
Handing your work over for critique is one of the hardest things to do. Listening to that critique is another one.

Almost the worst feedback ever: there are only two things wrong with this piece - the style and the content.
Probably the worst feedback ever: I love it! It's fabulous! Don't change a single word, you're a genius.
...
And if you give your stuff to someone and they say "I love it, it's exactly like [writer's name]" then either change your style, and keep asking the same person to read it until they stop thinking you're someone else, or give it to a bunch of other people and ask "Does this remind you of [writer's name]".

Unless of course you're deliberately trying to mimic Wuth Wendell, then it's a different story entirely.
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Old 18.06.2017, 21:24
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Re: Who can help me with creative writing?

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But would the books have been so popular if they were grammatically correct?
They're largely grammatically correct. That's not what editing is about.

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It is the creativity of the concept and the presentation in her writing style to the intended audience.
Initially it was ok - a good telling of a yarn. The later books are bloated and should have been massively cut down. If you're a writer and asked for another 10'000 words, you do that by adding plot, not by adding description or unnecessary dialogue.

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J.K. Rowling's stories are shining examples of creative writing.
Derivative and unoriginal. Frequent introduction of brand new concepts in each book, with no presentiment, - there's few seeds in early books (or even early within a single book) where you get the payoff later. Action and consequence are arbitrary. The sense of place is weak and too fluid. Clichés are rife. A triumph of publicity and PR over content.

I quite enjoyed them, but great literature or even well written, they are not. In twenty years I expect them to be forgotten.
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Old 18.06.2017, 22:30
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Re: Who can help me with creative writing?

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Nobody said anything about finding Sadie's request "wrong".
True.
You said you had a "problem" with it. That's the part I found strange.
But as you wrote subsequently, perhaps it just came out poorly.

I'm happy to move on from this. Okay?
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Old 18.06.2017, 22:58
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Re: Who can help me with creative writing?

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Derivative and unoriginal. Frequent introduction of brand new concepts in each book, with no presentiment, - there's few seeds in early books (or even early within a single book) where you get the payoff later. Action and consequence are arbitrary. The sense of place is weak and too fluid. Clichés are rife. A triumph of publicity and PR over content.

I quite enjoyed them, but great literature or even well written, they are not. In twenty years I expect them to be forgotten.



The Philosopher's Stone was first published 20 years ago. In another 20 years it'll practically be Canon.


You may not like them, and as true as your pronouncements may be for you,you'll find millions disagree with you.


There's nothing weak about her sense of place. And excellent writing is fluid. It's a series - new ideas should be brought in otherwise the thing stagnates.
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Old 19.06.2017, 08:33
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Re: Who can help me with creative writing?

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True.
You said you had a "problem" with it. That's the part I found strange.
But as you wrote subsequently, perhaps it just came out poorly.

I'm happy to move on from this. Okay?
Yes please guys, move on from this. Considering that I have found what I wanted and even some extra help like other links and stuff, so there's no point in discussing why I even asked for something in the first place.

Thank you doropfiz and thank you everyone else.
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Old 19.06.2017, 08:39
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Re: Who can help me with creative writing?

Sadie - people will add in here as they see fit, tbh, one of the perks of a democratic platform of expression.

I really like S. Pinker and his thoughts on personal writing style, in case you would like some more bedtime reading, his TED talks are fun, too.

https://stevenpinker.com/publication...g-21st-century
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Old 19.06.2017, 08:41
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Re: Who can help me with creative writing?

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Sadie - people will add in here as they see fit, tbh, one of the perks of a democratic platform of expression.

I really like S. Pinker and his thoughts on personal writing style, in case you would like some more bedtime reading, his TED talks are fun, too.

https://stevenpinker.com/publication...g-21st-century
Oh wow, thank you MusicChick. So nice of you.

Have a great week!
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Old 19.06.2017, 20:46
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Re: Who can help me with creative writing?

I know that this post has been answered for the OP, but I just wanted to say an extra thank you to RufusB for post #47. As a novelist myself, who aspires to be published, I have recently been stuck in a rut. 40,000 words seems to be my nemesis number, and whilst I know where the book is going, I'll be damned if I know how to get there.

Reading that post reminded me to get back to the bones of good writing. It inspired me, and heck yeah, I wrote 2000 words today (and they were good'uns too). So thank you again... IOU.

To any other endeavouring writers out there, I would encourage you to read that post.

My own advice: embrace yourself. For years, I tried to shoehorn my writing in order to mirror the greats - people that had won the Nobel Prize in Literature; people who's work was being taught in schools; people who's work transcends time.

It turns out, after a serious talking-to with myself, that I love popular fiction. I get excited when Barbara Erskine publishes her new book. I love Stephen King; James Patterson; Wilbur Smith; James Herbert; Enid Blyton; Agatha Christie. Heck, I even love Dan Brown. So maybe I should write fiction that I love? And to hell if it's not classified as high literature.

The minute I did that, and accepted who I am, was the minute that I started enjoying wholeheartedly what I do.
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Old 19.06.2017, 21:44
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Re: Who can help me with creative writing?

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Sadie - people will add in here as they see fit, tbh, one of the perks of a democratic platform of expression.

I really like S. Pinker and his thoughts on personal writing style, in case you would like some more bedtime reading, his TED talks are fun, too.

https://stevenpinker.com/publication...g-21st-century
Pinker's an outstanding writer and thinker. IMO, the book referred to here is the best of its type to appear in recent years (at least that I'm aware of). However, it's quite scholarly and technical in places, so I'd be wary of recommending it to someone without knowing where they are in their writing 'career' and what their aims are. It could be off-putting.

That said, I'll take the same risk by recommending "On Writing" by Steven King. It's a truly entertaining, very accessible story of King's own writing career, as well as offering a ton of tips and general help for both novice and experienced writers.

There are loads of other possible recommendations but again, much depends on what stage the OP is at, and where she hopes to be heading. She could do worse than a few Google searches on the topic, and will soon get an idea of those that might be right for her.

Doing some background reading to pick up tips and inspiration is never a bad thing, but it's wrong to think this is a substitute for the legwork. There are no drastic shortcuts. Ultimately, you have to chip away at those 10,000 hours, as it were, and work out for yourself what works and what doesn't. Not many people are naturally good writers. It's mostly a learnt craft like carpentry or chess. There will be a few geniuses at the top, but for the rest it's a slog that you can't circumvent.
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Old 19.06.2017, 21:56
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Re: Who can help me with creative writing?

Just post parts of it on EF dressed up as a post. You'll quickly get dozens of people correcting it and telling you what you did wrong. All for free and the service is quick too!
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Old 19.06.2017, 22:00
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Re: Who can help me with creative writing?

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Pinker's an outstanding writer and thinker. IMO, the book referred to here is the best of its type to appear in recent years (at least that I'm aware of). However, it's quite scholarly and technical in places, so I'd be wary of recommending it to someone without knowing where they are in their writing 'career' and what their aims are. It could be off-putting.

That said, I'll take the same risk by recommending "On Writing" by Steven King. It's a truly entertaining, very accessible story of King's own writing career, as well as offering a ton of tips and general help for both novice and experienced writers.

There are loads of other possible recommendations but again, much depends on what stage the OP is at, and where she hopes to be heading. She could do worse than a few Google searches on the topic, and will soon get an idea of those that might be right for her.

Doing some background reading to pick up tips and inspiration is never a bad thing, but it's wrong to think this is a substitute for the legwork. There are no drastic shortcuts. Ultimately, you have to chip away at those 10,000 hours, as it were, and work out for yourself what works and what doesn't. Not many people are naturally good writers. It's mostly a learnt craft like carpentry or chess. There will be a few geniuses at the top, but for the rest it's a slog that you can't circumvent.
Pinker is the king. No offputting.
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Old 20.06.2017, 14:23
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Re: Who can help me with creative writing?

I would just join up with the Absolute Write forum, or maybe Critique Circle : https://www.critiquecircle.com/

Just expect to read other people's work, and offer advice as well. Lot of these sort of things are a bit of a mutual progress thingamajig. This does remind me...I have editing to do.
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