Last night was a sound bite kinda night. I couldn't work on a full scene to save my life, but I got little glimpses at several different points in the book. I said to heck with it and started writing down whatever images bubbled to the surface. I didn't get much, unfortunately. One of those nights.
(Quick aside: I'm adding the Line of the Day thingie to the sidebar right after this. Don't know how often it will change...so read it while the readings good. (g))
Anyway, during my marathon of ho-humming and naval gazing, I started surfing the net -- looking here and there for anything that would keep me awake and working. Heh, yeah. Catch-22 there.
I stumbled upon a person dishing out some writing tips to a new writer and had to sit on my hands to keep from firing off a snarky response to her "absolute no-no's"
First of all--and forgive my bluntness--any writer who is espousing absolutes is a writer I _absolutely_ do not want to read. Nor is it someone who should be offering any kind of advice to fledgling writers. There, said it. (g)
If there's one thing I've learned, it's that there are NO absolutes in this business. A technique that fails 99 times out of a 100, still works in that 1%. Something that fits perfectly in one work, will stick out like a sore thumb in another. (And yes, even cliches are appropriate at certain times--back off cliche police!)
I "listened" to this woman systematically rip apart every technique this particular writer used. And I realized that a lot of the things she shot down are things _I_ do in my books. And yeah, it pissed me off. Who the heck is she to tell another writer that they _can't_ write their book the way they want to? There is a distinct difference between "offering suggestions" and becoming a friggin' asshole who will likely scare new writers back into seclusion. I know I was met with both types of critiques, and believe you me, I took much more away from people who offered suggestions (however strongly worded) than I did from those who told me to make changes that would destroy my particular style and voice.
Anyway, I just had to rant for a moment. (g) Another reason you need to choose your crit partners very carefully. You don't want someone who will be too easy, but you also don't want anyone who will lay down "absolutes" that could ruin your unique style.
There ain't a rule out there that wasn't made to be broken. And you can quote me on that. (g)