Writing Critique Partners: POVs


If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from that person’s angle as well as from your own. ~Henry Ford

An art whose medium is language will always show a high degree of critical creativeness, for speech is itself a critique of life: it names, it characterizes, it passes judgment, in that it creates. ~Thomas Mann

I enjoy writing, but hate editing. I’ll do it, but it is a painful experience. From what I’ve read, a good number of you agree. Recently, I wrote two longer stories for submissions as opposed to the shorter/flash fiction I put up on Tale Spinning. For those tales I knew that if I was to have any chance of success they would have to be edited.

Luckily, I had a number of people I could call on to give my work an editorial eye. What I found enlightening was, through five different POV’s (points of views), that all who responded to my call saw something different. Grammatical changes pretty much were the same, with punctuation styles varying from one to the other.

What changed was how they approached the work: solely as Editor; solely as a reader of the genre; or a combination of the two. This allowed me to take what was offered, evaluate what I wrote through others eyes, and then edit myself to the point I felt I produced the best work possible.

To see the results of this: Nyctophilia (entered for the Figment/HarperCollins YA Defy the Dark contest). If the link does not work for you (and I think it only works in the US): go to Figment and type in the name of the story in the search box. I’d be interested in your comments, as I do think this story is publishable. The other story has been submitted, and only time will tell (both submissions had a September 1, 2012 cut off).

I want to thank the following for their time and effort: Golden Eagle; Allan Douglas; Roy A. Ackerman; Lisa Vooght;and someone who wishes to remain anonymous. The links are to their blogs. They are all well written, all interesting, and all very different POVs. Check them out.

Writers:

  • How do you edit your work? 
  • Do you hate editing your own work?
  • Do you have Beta Readers/Critique Partners?
  • Are you part of a writing group?
  • If you have an editor that you work with consistently, how did you find her/him?

Origins of Creativity in Writing


There are numerous Blogfests running on any given day. Some are ongoing and others are one shots. With all that run, I do tend to pick around the lot, finding the ones that really interest me…and, hopefully, you.

Origins: When did your writing dream begin? is the brain child of DL Hammons at Cruising Altitude,  and he has three co-hosts: Katie Mills aka Creepy Query Girl ; Matthew MacNish at The QQQE ; and Alex Cavanaugh at Alex J. Cavanaugh.

To find the other blogs participating in this blogfest, click HERE or the Origins logo. There are close to 200 writers participating. Check them out.

I’ve also written a Flash Fiction piece  Origins: Entitled on my creative fiction blog, Tale Spinning. I hope you enjoy the story.

I can’t really pinpoint an exact time when writing became one of my dreams. It feels like it’s always been there, at the back of everything I’ve done in my life.  I don’t feel I’ve ever been tied down to wanting to “be” just one thing, ever. When I have done that, I find that I tend to get bored: especially the times when I’ve played the money game (read: non-creative pursuits).

As a kid, I read comics, watched TV and went to the movies. Outside of school projects, I would create little things for myself. Mini-comics were a way to pass time when I was bored in class. I’d take paper and fold it down, and then again, creating a sequential booklet for myself to draw in (lots of stick figures) and write short pieces. These would get passed around to friends later. I don’t remember ever getting caught.

There were stories I wrote for sleep-away camp newspapers, mainly mash-ups (yes, plagiarisms) of others work, combining different elements into one piece. While never criticized for that, I was often praised for “imaginative writing” and writing skills. I knew the truth, and just shrugged my shoulders.

High school changed that. I worked on the DeWitt Clinton newspaper for a year, writing articles, learning the craft of setting up the newspaper from scratch. I was really involved, and was going to be promoted to an editor’s slot when my parents told me we were moving to Westchester County. While my dreams of the paper were shot at that point (the new HS paper was not very open to someone new coming in), I did continue to write.

Off and on, I would write poetry, short stories, begin ideas for novels…and more times than not they would languish, first just as a pile of legal pad paper and then committed electronically and saved. All through this, I was always hoping I’d have my name on a book (or comic book) as a writer. It was a passing dream that wove itself throughout most of my life, a goal I always hoped I’d achieve.

2011 saw a new stage of writing for me. I created my second blog, Tale Spinning, for experiments in creative writing. Starting only in February of that year, I wound up writing close to 200 short pieces of fiction. I’ve now had two short stories published in anthologies, have my own eStory published, received a number of blogging/writing awards, been asked to write a number of guest blogs, and have won a few online writing contests.

Still to come: holding that physical book with my name on the cover in my hands.

Creativity and Web Design (The Creativity Series: Guest Blog)


Eleanor Kleiner is a one of those people you are just glad comes into your life. We worked together for a short while and became friends. I got to know her as a very creative spirit in both her music and her art. She left for London, met her (now) husband, formed a new band…and is just someone YOU should know.

So…Musician, Web Designer, Artist…Creative Spirit…

The Creativity Series Guest Post:

Creativity and Web Design: Eleanor Kleiner

About a year ago I mentioned to Stu that I was learning web design.  What that really meant was haphazardly playing around on Photoshop at a VERY leisurely pace.  So, when Stu asked me to design him a website I hesitantly agreed to try, actually having no idea if this was something I could pull off.

Luckily, I did pull it off and it turned out to be a far more creative process than I had previously imagined (of course, building a site for a creative person who used phrases like “flight of fancy” and adjectives like “swirly” to describe want he wants, definitely helps).  I also found that having a real world project to complete made learning a lot faster.

Being a musician and creative person, before I began this undertaking I had found the idea of web design to be, at most, a palatable way to make money, but still pretty dull…and Photoshop was a completely daunting obstacle.  But as soon as I started speaking with Stu about what he envisioned for his website, ideas started flowing to me.  It was a really exciting experience, to be inspired about something which had previously been a complete unknown.

I started seeing people’s websites as extensions of themselves in the virtual landscape of the internet.  It’s like a whole new(ish) dimension in which people can present themselves in any way they wish, and my job is to listen and really get a feel for what they want, and then translate that into a site which reflects their vision and is also easy to navigate.

Finding ways to meld the client’s desires and the constraints of the medium into an aesthetically pleasing and user-friendly site is a creative challenge, and it allows me to be creative in a completely different way than songwriting does.  With songwriting, I’ve always taken a relatively passive approach, waiting for inspiration to hit and then following it until it runs out.

With web design, I’m finding that having specific projects with various deadlines is allowing me to take a more proactive approach, and I find that the inspiration comes eventually – it just takes some coaxing.  When writing a song, I tend to become emotionally invested in the result, which hugely hinders my creativity.  The idea that I’m helping someone else create a website, rather than creating something from scratch, takes my ego out of the equation and seems to make being creative a whole lot easier.

So far, the experience has made me aware that trying new creative endeavors is vital for me as an artist.  I think that the more creative avenues we explore, the more we grow.

It’s also served as proof for me that no matter how daunting something may seem, if you just jump in and put one foot in front of the other, you’ll get where you’ve wanted to go!

www.ekleiner.com

Biography
Over the past six years, classically trained vocalist Eleanor Kleiner and French bassist Elie Brangbour have traveled the world on an adventure that began when the two met at music school in London. With a shared passion for music and travel, they took their unique brand of folk/rock across continents, logging enough frequent flier miles to make any avid traveler jealous.

Full of imagery and stories of the human condition, The Whispering Tree‘s songwriting is the backbone of their sound and has been heavily influenced by their travels abroad, which have taken them from South America to China.

Following a seven month gig in Macau and the release of their self-titled EP, The Whispering Tree returned to New York City, where they released their full-length album, Go Call The Captain, in 2010. The Big Takeover calls their latest release “one of the year’s most luminous albums” and Deli Magazine named them “one of the most talented duos to take stage in NYC.”

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