67 votes

How can I answer high-school writing prompts without sounding weird and fake?

You can and should answer these prompts in your own style and voice. I do have my doubts and concerns about these kinds of tests, but if there is any legitimacy to the grading at all, it won't be ...
Chris Sunami's user avatar
  • 56.5k
40 votes
Accepted

Critique vs nitpicking

Ignore It. The anonymous person in question didn't understand the task. The objective is to criticize your writing, not to psychoanalyze you and recommend a therapy. It doesn't make a difference if ...
Amadeus's user avatar
  • 101k
34 votes
Accepted

How to stick to your vision when you’re highly suggestible?

I'm fond of the following quote from Neil Gaiman: Remember: when people tell you something's wrong or doesn't work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think ...
profane-tmesis.info's user avatar
31 votes
Accepted

I'm afraid of quashing the hopes of a new writer

As a frequent beta-reader, often for friends, I struggled with this question -- and I'm pretty happy with the answers I've figured out. Don't pronounce judgment; help the author level up It makes a ...
Standback's user avatar
  • 28.3k
28 votes
Accepted

How to avoid writing irritating fan fictions?

Depending on the forum you post your fanfiction you will get those comments no matter what you do. It's a sad fact, but there are many people out there who just want to make others feel miserable and ...
Secespitus's user avatar
  • 5,686
23 votes

What weight should be given to writers groups critiques?

First of all, as a simple metric, your use of the word 'that' is 50% higher than my own (I have 930 occurrences in 100K words.) I've tried to minimize 'that' in my writing. It's one of the words that ...
SFWriter's user avatar
  • 23.8k
22 votes

Are "non-readers" useful beta readers?

Assuming that by "non-readers" you mean "people who are not fans of the genre you write", they can be useful beta-readers. Here are some points for you to consider, in no particular order. Being used ...
Galastel supports GoFundMonica's user avatar
21 votes

What is the balance between 'stating a problem clearly' and Hemingway's literary iceberg?

Without having seen your piece, of course, I can only speculate, but I wonder if what you were doing was the opposite of predictability: You signaled you were going straight, or right, when your goal ...
Lauren-Clear-Monica-Ipsum's user avatar
21 votes

I'm afraid of quashing the hopes of a new writer

First, let me say how wonderful it is to have a question from a reader, about helping a writer, for a change; we need more of these. I apologise in advance if any of my "do X" advice is something you'...
J.G.'s user avatar
  • 9,557
21 votes
Accepted

Should you publish your book online for feedback?

The wise thing to do is get beta readers. They will agree to read it and give you feedback. Publishing online is publishing. Unless you managed to become a phenomena, no publisher will take a work ...
Mary's user avatar
  • 8,964
20 votes

How to avoid writing irritating fan fictions?

No matter how good your fanfiction is, no matter how good your fiction is, no matter how good anything you do is, there will be trolls using vile language to put you down. There's not much you can do ...
Galastel supports GoFundMonica's user avatar
19 votes

My character surprised me with their behaviour while writing them, should I keep that behaviour or stick to how I had planned them?

Can It Serve A Purpose? I personally find that these little events in the story with character acting out of character are god-sends for writing. I get subtle sub-plots appearing and unexpected ...
DWKraus's user avatar
  • 13.7k
17 votes

How can someone become a beta reader?

Great question! A great difficulty here is that there's not really much in the way of "professional beta readers." Someone who's really known for giving excellent feedback, and offers that as a ...
Standback's user avatar
  • 28.3k
17 votes

Critique vs nitpicking

Say you wrote a piece that was about something wonderful that had happened to you. A piece that exuded happiness and contentment. Someone—probably the very same person you discuss in your question—...
Cyn's user avatar
  • 32.4k
14 votes

How can I answer high-school writing prompts without sounding weird and fake?

Answer: To answer these sorts of prompts, particularly in the case where example answers trigger a negative response in you, I recommend the following. 1. Look for the structure of the 'perfect ...
SFWriter's user avatar
  • 23.8k
14 votes

What weight should be given to writers groups critiques?

Ironically, you are basically asking another writer's group by posting here! In general, writing should be tight, and not repetitive. Using "unremarkable" four times in one paragraph might be ...
Amadeus's user avatar
  • 101k
13 votes
Accepted

Pros and Cons: A blog to get feedback

Pro's: It gives you feedback. Any feedback can help you to improve your work, if you are able to filter it properly. It gives you exposure and generates hype for your work. It allows you to build an ...
Philipp's user avatar
  • 6,245
13 votes

My character surprised me with their behaviour while writing them, should I keep that behaviour or stick to how I had planned them?

As a Discovery Writer, I live for those moments, I absolutely want my characters to surprise me and act on their own. At the start of the story, all my characters are malformed lumps of clay; I have ...
Amadeus's user avatar
  • 101k
12 votes

What is the balance between 'stating a problem clearly' and Hemingway's literary iceberg?

I agree with what others have pointed out: That your readers probably were confused because you either didn't set up reader's expectations well or you didn't set them up at all. Let's say you're ...
B Altmann's user avatar
  • 1,120
12 votes

How to avoid writing irritating fan fictions?

Negative comments that are not backed by actual criticism of your story are just trolling and should be ignored. I know it's hard, but try to focus on the positive comments you're probably also ...
Llewellyn's user avatar
  • 3,295
11 votes

How can I answer high-school writing prompts without sounding weird and fake?

As a teacher, I never look at the examples given as 'correct answers' when we're talking about personal writing topics. Let me elaborate with two examples: a) Write an essay about Romeo and Juliet. ...
SC for reinstatement of Monica's user avatar
11 votes
Accepted

How can I recover from negative comments after releasing my book?

You just have to change your mindset; that can take some time and diligence. First, the world is full of rude jerks, is there any reason to believe them or their criticism? Especially if they provide ...
Amadeus's user avatar
  • 101k
10 votes

Are "non-readers" useful beta readers?

This answer is specifically from my personal experience rather than objective reasoning. I think it very much depends on the actual person and their individual abilities rather than whether they ...
GGx's user avatar
  • 9,923
10 votes

Should beta-readers have genre experience?

Both are useful. Someone who is genre-savvy will already know the rhythms and tropes of the genre, and can advise you about extra things to add, or say "This theme has fallen out of favor in the last ...
Lauren-Clear-Monica-Ipsum's user avatar
10 votes

Should you publish your book online for feedback?

A published book online or in paper form is going to be considered published and will likely make it harder to get the interest of an agent or publisher, at least for that project. My suggestion is to ...
Erk's user avatar
  • 6,100
9 votes

How to avoid writing irritating fan fictions?

In order to write well received fan-fiction it is important to determine the original author's policy on fan fiction. If the original author is against it, your individual story may not be well ...
kuhl's user avatar
  • 199

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