In today’s Journal
* Quote of the Day
* Topic: Critiques? Um, No.
* Of Interest
Quote of the Day
“[U]sing someone else’s idea without using their expression of that idea is not copyright infringement. Copyright protects the expression of ideas, not ideas themselves.” The Passive Guy
Topic: Critiques? Um, No.
Disclaimer 1 — I’ll say up front that if you are one who actively seeks out criticism of your work from readers or from other writers, that’s fine. None of my business. To each your own.
Disclaimer 2 — I’ll also say I’m not talking here about copyeditors or other professionals who “critique” your use of punctuation or pacing (paragraphing) and other mechanics and offer suggestions for clarity or improvement.
I’m talking about those folks who, invited or not, actually believe they know better than you how a story that took place in YOUR MIND should have been written. Seriously?
Not to even mention that they believe they know better than your characters how the story should have unfolded. Head-shaking.
If you’re wondering, I was talking with Matt again recently. He asked my thoughts about the willingness of readers and other writers, uninvited, to offer up a critique of a writer’s work. Apparently this happens a lot in various “groups” on social media sites and “reader boards,” whatever those are.
As you can probably tell from the first few paragraphs of this post, I didn’t have to think about that very long.
My first disclaimer stands. What you do with regard to critiques is strictly up to you.
My own practice is simple:
1. I do the best I can at my current skill level on everything I write. Therefore,
2. I don’t allow even my OWN critical mind, much less anyone else, to second-guess my characters and their story.
I enjoy my stories. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t write them, and I hope others will enjoy them too. But as there is nothing I can do to affect an opinion beyond writing to the best of my ability, I honestly don’t care.
Opinions are just that: opinions. And any opinion that presumes knowledge of what’s going on in someone else’s mind (or what should be going on) is about as pretentious and invalid an opinion as there can be.
The bottom line? If others enjoy my stories, that’s wonderful. I’m glad. If they don’t, well, they’re free to write their own. And yes, I recommend you adopt the same attitude. (grin)
Talk with you again soon.
See “Making It Feel Real” at https://killzoneblog.com/2022/04/making-it-feel-real.html.
See “7 Common Types of Plagiarism” at https://www.thepassivevoice.com/7-common-types-of-plagiarism/. The OP sounds as if it were written by an angry 7 year old, but PG’s comments are worth reading. If you’re interested in copyright law, the next post on The Passive Voice might also interest you.
Disclaimer: In this blog, I provide advice on writing fiction. I advocate a technique called Writing Into the Dark. To be crystal clear, WITD is not “the only way” to write, nor will I ever say it is. However, as I am the only writer who advocates WITD both publicly and regularly, I will continue to do so, among myriad other topics.