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Old 08-28-2017, 12:48 PM   #1
kennyc
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The 7 Writer Types You Should Avoid Becoming

The 7 Writer Types You Should Avoid Becoming
Jeff VanderMeer's advice for writers who get in their own way.


"In my thirty years as a writer and editor, I’ve worked with, talked to, and corresponded with thousands of writers, in addition to observing their interactions and words online. Many I’ve taken as exemplary of how to lead a productive, imaginative, and ethical literary life. But, as in any field, it’s also clear that writers often work against the flow of their own efforts, create conflict where none should exist, and are as adept in their own lives as in their stories of creating narratives that are actually fictions....."

rest here: https://chireviewofbooks.com/2017/08...ff-vandermeer/
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Old 08-28-2017, 03:31 PM   #2
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As a reader, one thing that turns me off is reading the description of a book and it says something like "For fans of ABC & XYZ, you'll love this."

8. The writer who has to be compared to some other writer.
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Old 08-28-2017, 03:57 PM   #3
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As a reader, one thing that turns me off is reading the description of a book and it says something like "For fans of ABC & XYZ, you'll love this."

8. The writer who has to be compared to some other writer.
I typically go read ABC & XYZ.

9. If you use a review for your description, I will read someone else.
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Old 08-28-2017, 05:47 PM   #4
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I typically go read ABC & XYZ.

9. If you use a review for your description, I will read someone else.
10. The writer who doesn't realize the cover is absolute crap (most self-published eBook at Amazon)
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Old 08-28-2017, 06:01 PM   #5
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10. The writer who doesn't realize the cover is absolute crap (most self-published eBook at Amazon)
11. The writer who thinks because he doesn't know his waist from waste, his readers won't know the difference either.
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Old 08-28-2017, 06:10 PM   #6
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12. Listening to readers who know nothing about writing try to tell you how to write.
12a. Listening to readers who think they know something about marketing and/or selling.
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Old 08-28-2017, 06:16 PM   #7
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12. Listening to readers who know nothing about writing try to tell you how to write.
12a. Listening to readers who think they know something about marketing and/or selling.
Would you read a book written by number 11?
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Old 08-28-2017, 07:08 PM   #8
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Would you read a book written by number 11?
11 could be due to the eBook maker using the wrong version of the eBook because that was fixed. I've seen plenty of funky errors in eBooks. This was mostly due to having been scanned/ORCed and not proofed.
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Old 08-28-2017, 07:20 PM   #9
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13 The writer who's description of the book is full of errors.
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Old 08-28-2017, 08:07 PM   #10
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11 could be due to the eBook maker using the wrong version of the eBook because that was fixed. I've seen plenty of funky errors in eBooks. This was mostly due to having been scanned/ORCed and not proofed.
I wish I was referring to scanned books.
Alas, one author that actually didn't know his father's wastes from his fathers waist told me that he didn't notice homonyms or apostrophe errors and therefore his readers wouldn't notice either. The poor dear was trying to figure out three things.
1. Why he was getting bad reviews.
2. Why he wasn't making many sales.
3. Why 90% of his sold books were being returned.
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Old 08-28-2017, 08:09 PM   #11
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11 could be due to the eBook maker using the wrong version of the eBook because that was fixed. I've seen plenty of funky errors in eBooks. This was mostly due to having been scanned/ORCed and not proofed.
I too give scanned books a pass on funky errors.
I am talking new books primarily from the noobie crowd.
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Old 09-01-2017, 03:33 AM   #12
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12. Listening to readers who know nothing about writing try to tell you how to write.
12a. Listening to readers who think they know something about marketing and/or selling.
While I do have sympathy for what you are saying, it is par for the course. If you are going to put your work out there then people will have opinions on what you have done. I have opinions on what Stephen King has been doing wrong lately - and I'm sure those opinions concern him greatly.

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I too give scanned books a pass on funky errors.
I am talking new books primarily from the noobie crowd.
So human errors are inexcusable but machine errors you are happy to ignore? Doesn't that strike you as a little unfair?

Surely it is the existence (and volume/severity) of errors that bother the reader, or not*, and the source of the errors should be irrelevant.

For myself, the story trumps everything else. If it is good and gets me in then I hardly notice errors. If not, my head spends its spare time finding all the things that are wrong with it.

* There are many readers that don't notice errors. The majority of my beta readers simply do not see most of the errors in my drafts. Most will pick up a few here and there, but that's all. (Which is fine, syntax and grammar errors are not what I'm looking for from beta readers.) Just one or two of my beta readers come close to finding what there is to find.
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Old 09-01-2017, 03:49 AM   #13
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The 7 Writer Types You Should Avoid Becoming
Jeff VanderMeer's advice for writers who get in their own way.

[..]
What I would add as #8 is: Writers that spend too much time navel gazing.

Self-awareness is one thing, but constantly questioning everything you do is a great way to get nowhere.


The problems arise in the extremes. Most of the seven items have aspect that is actually a plus (I think) in a writer. This includes item 7, as noted in my #8 above. Item 1, in a non-extreme version, is simply a writer striving to do better. For Item 2 we need to acknowledge the ego required to think that others might like what we have created. Item 3 is marketing. Item 4, a writer needs to care about their own voice. Item 5, believing too much in luck stops you seeing the work required. Item 6, looking at other writers can helps give us direction and food for thought.

From a writer that spends far too much time navel gazing, all I have ever concluded is that balance is required in all things, but balance is hard to find and leads to more navel gazing.
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Old 09-01-2017, 04:22 AM   #14
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As a reader I used to look for the abstract and if it interests me than I don't think much about reading the book.
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Old 09-01-2017, 01:01 PM   #15
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While I do have sympathy for what you are saying, it is par for the course. If you are going to put your work out there then people will have opinions on what you have done. I have opinions on what Stephen King has been doing wrong lately - and I'm sure those opinions concern him greatly.



So human errors are inexcusable but machine errors you are happy to ignore? Doesn't that strike you as a little unfair?

Surely it is the existence (and volume/severity) of errors that bother the reader, or not*, and the source of the errors should be irrelevant.

For myself, the story trumps everything else. If it is good and gets me in then I hardly notice errors. If not, my head spends its spare time finding all the things that are wrong with it.

* There are many readers that don't notice errors. The majority of my beta readers simply do not see most of the errors in my drafts. Most will pick up a few here and there, but that's all. (Which is fine, syntax and grammar errors are not what I'm looking for from beta readers.) Just one or two of my beta readers come close to finding what there is to find.
Oh I see.
I get that most readers won't notice syntax. Heck, I don't notice it. I do notice wrong words and I would hope your betas would catch them.
Note:I am talking elementary school errors not college level errors.

Let me ask you this.

Would you read a book that had an average of one error per sentence? (Note:this guy's only language was English. )(Obvious human error) (This book had other problems too.)(Most of them stemmed from not actually seeing what the person he thought he was emulating was actually doing and deciding what he thought worked in SF would work in Fantasy because they are classified together as a main genre.)

Would you read a book that had an average of one error every three words? (The second one was more backwards phrasing and plurals.) (Guy wasn't making any sales and did ask me to look over his book.)(There is no telling how many errors I overlooked on the first page.)(No his first language was not English. )

I don't know about you, but why should I spend my hard earned money on something like that. I expect authors to be at least 3 quarters literate. The exception is if they are writing in a dialect. Fanny Flagg and Jeff Foxworthy come to mind. Both are great in small doses.

As to machine errors, they are usually consistent and after a bit, the brain automatically fills in the correct word.
Anyway, just one reader's opinion.
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