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December 27, 2013
Posted at 8:25 pm

Negative Feedback - Hard Times

I rarely get feedback. (1 or 2 emails every few months)

It is seldom constructive if I do get it. It usually just says something "way to go". I will usually write them back if they leave their email but they seldom do.

Writing a story can be a very lonely hobby. You are alone with your characters and your world. I've an editor now and he is doing a fantastic job - acting as sounding board and helping me catch mistakes.

"You can't have that person put on her bathing suit because you tied her legs together and she can't put them over it!!"

Great stuff like that.

I don't get many views on my stories. I think perhaps my story codes may scare off a lot of readers or perhaps the volume of chapters.

I don't want to put down anyone's story ideas but I do get a jealous when I see someone with 5 times the views I have, who just started writing the story and the premise seems fairly absurd/juvenile.

Wish-fufillment fantasies "Okay, this story is about a guy named Jerry" (The authors name is also Jerry) "And
he gets everything he ever wanted with more on the way. He has mindcontrol and infinite wealth."

This is where it starts.

I can't even process such a story. I need some conflict- some challenge. I need to see my character struggle both ethically and morally and physically. I need to see them grow. If you start off great and end up even greater - that bores me.

So now that I've complained about my pet peeve, let me share with you two pet peeves I was recently told by long-time readers/friends:

"Too Much Detail"

I have been told that George R.R. Martin writes a feast that may last for 17 pages. He wants you to taste the wine, smell the smells, imagine the food. He crafts songs for it.

I have never read him but seen the show and that seems consistent. He'll establish a great back story for a new character and make you think "Okay this guy is important" only to have him die on the next page.

I think I write in a similar style. (I don't "kill" my characters) but I like to make you FEEL the location. I want you to just naturally think "Yeah, Ted WOULD do that!"

I want you to feel like you are with the girls at the car wash. Yes - real life can be boring but I want you to feel you got the better part of the day with them without skipping to just the naughty bits.

I was told I was using "Filler" because it did not move the plot forward. I tend to think that a slow evolution of what happens from day to day is moving it - just not as rapidly as some would like. I like to sustain my story for a while and dwell within it.

Too much like Family Feud

If you haven't read Family Feud it is the longest story I ever wrote. It spans "4 books" because each one represents a phase in the story.

There are dozens of chapters of this story. It is a turnabout story in which the girls of the family push the men too far/humiliate them and become good sports and let them get even.

In the process their lives change.

Hard Times is SET in the FF setting. The main character is FROM the same suburb and I love to include 'cross over characters'.

In FF there were the "Waxerman Boys" - three mischievous young men and their sister who lived with their Aunt.

In Hard Times, it is likely you'll meet their actual parents.

I also have some similar themes. The main character has an evolution of morals and ethics. There is dares, bets, BDSM, betrayals and challenges that forces the family that was dysfunctional to function.

If it is too much like FF - I enjoy that kind of story and I write that kind of story. I tend to write what I wished other people wrote - so I could read those stories and take that journey through their imagination with similar elements that I use.

I would be curious if you have feedback on Hard Times?

I have never had a review of any story I wrote. I some times feel like there is an inner-circle of writers that I am just not apart of or maybe my writing is so sub-par no one dares offer their constructive review.

I'd love to have one though.