|Reviews for Writing What People Want To Read|
| Blueberry Neko chapter 1 . 5/5/2013
This is going to help me, I hope...
| Fading-Scream chapter 1 . 3/15/2013
One of the most useful things I've read on here! Absolutely brilliant!
| sanguine eyes chapter 14 . 10/6/2012
Hello. Marvelous story you have here...I have really enjoyed reading it, and it is amazingly informative. I appreciate you going into such detail about things; this will no doubt help me improve the overall quality of my writing. I desperately wish I just had more time to write right now, but when I do get the occasional free hour or two, you can bet I will reference this story if I'm stuck in a kink on something you have helpful advice for :)
P.S. Updates are always nice, when you get the time ;)
| XAbsoluteZeroX chapter 1 . 9/20/2012
This is excellent! Thank you.
| The Autumn Queen chapter 14 . 6/10/2012
I rather like this: your style, your approach and your content as well. I’m glad someone agrees to me about the detail; at uni, no-one wants to read it (my circle of friends anyway). A lot of the things you’ve mentioned appear to be common pitfalls, but at the same time they’re things I at least rarely think about. Particularly this latest chapter and the one about sci-fi. Never realised the later was less popular, particularly since Garth Nix’s new book came out – Australian classic. I wonder if that’s changed over the two years; why do sci-fi fics have dull grey buildings anyway? That’s like a re-run of 1984 by George Orwell.
I’m looking forward to seeing what you come up with next.
| Leila Archer chapter 1 . 6/6/2012
Thank you so much! This is so very helpful. But I have a couple things to point out. Your capitalization is all off. You have random things capitalized at completely random intervals and I would like to ask you to fix that. It minimizes the professional appearance of this advice. But thank you for writing this because it is proving very helpful!
| Mirabelle P chapter 14 . 5/26/2012
Heya, I'm not sure if you'll read this as it seems to be a while since you last updated this essay, but I really enjoyed reading it so I thought I might as well attempt to leave a review.
First of all, I wanted to thank you for articulating quite a few points that I've often been unconsciously aware of, but never able to elaborate on. On example that I thought was particularly clever was in the first (?) chapter, when you discussed the summary issue. I liked how you demonstrated your point by writing a summary of the New Testament. I thought that made what you were saying incredibly clear, and that the example itself and your treatment of it was very clever.
Although I did enjoy quite a lot of your little rants (I have often wanted to have the exact same ones...), sometimes you could have made them a little shorter as you are quite good at getting straight to the point very precisely and concisely. That said, some of them made your essay very entertaining to read.
The best thing about your text though, is that it has made me aware of certain things that I did automatically/didn't do at all when making up a story, and will help me to (hopefully) write more in depth and better texts in the future!
On a slightly annoying note (sorry sorry!) if you ever get the chance, you might want to go through some of your text and edit out typos/spelling mistakes/omissions - I won't repeat your own argument about S&G to you, but just thought it might be worth pointing it out.
I reckon that if you tried to condense your text a little (I'm not talking about cutting some of the substance, but just making it a little less wordy in places), it would be an even more enjoyable read.
I looked at your profile but couldn't find any of your fiction texts - if you've got them up on another website, could you please let me know where I can find them? Thanks a lot! xx
| DutchAver chapter 5 . 1/27/2012
I post a lot - I think I've finished about seven stories already, more than most amateur writers - but I don't think I've clogged up the Just In-section. An immense amount of time is spent to ensure that the stories are of good quality: I always Beta and edit, and I have my story written completely before posting it.
Your don'ts were very helpful, though I never really had plans to do any of them - especially the clothes-thing. I could care less about clothes.
'I'd hate to have to call that out at the climax of my orgasms.' made me chuckle immediately. I love your dry wit.
And oh, the pure irony of you saying that you shouldn't revise your story over and over with an Author's Note at the bottom saying you added in three extra don'ts... at least you recognize the irony here :)
See you next time!
| DutchAver chapter 4 . 1/26/2012
I understand it must've been emotionally taxing to view Twilight in a good light, but I can agree with what you're saying. It also explains why so few guys love the Twilight Saga - because it really is meant for girls.
As for Harry Potter, I think you're zooming in a bit too much on the Houses. Personally, I think there's way more than that in the book - the way Harry Potter emerges from his normal life, where he's hated by the Dursleys, and goes to live in a world where everyone knows him and he's extremely famous: I'm sure that has to appeal to the reader as well.
Other than that, well written and some good advice. Thanks for it :)
| DutchAver chapter 3 . 12/12/2011
Describing characters is extremely difficult for me, but I should, indeed, flesh it out more. Descriptions have just always been difficult for me. Therefore, your help description helps me a lot since it's always hard for me to fluently put it into the flow of a story. It depends a bit on the story itself too, though.
I never spend much time on a name, and there's rarely any hidden meaning to it: because, let's face it, in real life, parents don't name their children after things that will happen in their future. I will see what I can do in my yet unpublished sci-fi-story with your tips on naming, though.
By the way, you write very breezily and funnily. I like it.
Thanks a lot for all the tips, again :)
(You're not reading these reviews anymore, do you? You've probably abandoned this account and the e-mail address that goes with it long ago... I thought as much :( I'll keep on reviewing anyway, if only for the vain hope that you'll read them sometime, and find out that your advice has helped me)
| DutchAver chapter 2 . 12/2/2011
My stories are definitely about escapism. My writing style's always very idealistic: part of the reason is that I really live with the characters. The other part is that I tend to write to run away from the real world, and it doesn't make sense to run away from a world that feels terrible into a world that feels terrible.
But indeed, it's all about finding balance and yes, you can overdo it, as you point out. Idealistic stories are nice, but you indeed have to keep them interesting too :)
Robert Jordon could've done with some advice like this. I don't know if you've read the Wheel of Time? He describes every little thing and that gets kind of tiring after a while.
If I look back on my first story, I can't help but cringe. The very first story I dared to post online was a Dutch Harry Potter fanfic about Dumbledore's youth (posted WAY before book seven, I had no idea it'd play such a large role) that was basically a copy of Harry Potter itself. Indeed, all authors need to make mistakes before they can start somewhere: no-one gets it right the first time. But you could see my Dumbledore as a fanfiction Mary Sue, as you describe it. Thankfully, I got better.
Seeing your rant about the Dursleys and Lupin, I guess you're not really that much into Harry Potter? :) That's okay.
They're all good examples of what not to do, and you certainly aspire me to be a better writer. Your essays are inspiring and I'm sorry that it took me so long to review this time. I will most certainly use your tips for future writing. Thanks again!
| DutchAver chapter 1 . 9/2/2011
I must say that this starts out really helpful to writers who want more reviews. I've always found writing summaries difficult - I've never put in 'lol I suck at summaries', though - and the part about how to write one was very, very helpful. I'll most certainly try to apply it to a few stories I've written and see what happens.
I disagree about what you wrote in chapter length, though - I don't think the length of a chapter should be the measurement. My chapters are generally around 1500 words long(excluding the prologues) and I update every week. What I find the most important in a chapter is that it's satisfying to the reader: I won't put an entire chapter full of descriptions and things that aren't plot-related. That is, I think, the biggest annoyance to a reader - having to wait a full week for a chapter that actually doesn't do anything. I personally don't think the length is important.
I completely agree with you about the update schedule and that it's necessary you've written at least half of your story - I always take it a step further, I ensure my entire story has been written and Beta'd before I post the first chapter, so that I can make sure I can keep up with my own schedule.
I'll look at the next chapter tomorrow!
| AurorA-Kojima chapter 14 . 8/10/2011
This is actually really helpful. :3 I read this while babysitting (turn on the TV and you can do whatever you want), and it made me want the parents to come home so I can work on my story/novel/book one in trilogy/thing. XD
| Caracol39 chapter 14 . 7/20/2011
I just stumbled upon these essays and read through the whole set...thank you so much for writing them. There are a lot of concepts here that I'd never given a lot of thought to before (especially about description- your example with the "mean old matron" was very well-written, and it made me realize how overboard I go sometimes in my own character descriptions).
I also found your summary examples extremely helpful- I'd never really thought that including the characters' names in summaries was a bad thing, though I can definitely see where you're coming from now.
I sincerely hope you're still updating this, even though it's been quite a while since your last chapter.
| Whirlymerle chapter 14 . 5/4/2011
Just wanted to tell you that I LOVE your essays. Not only are they extremely helpful and fun to read, I love the way you pick up on details that really make one think.
One of my favorite chapters is the one about the popularity of Harry Potter and Twilight. The Monomyth and the cliché, indeed. In my early teens, I’ve certainly succumbed to writing both, blissfully unaware that they were clichéd at all. Certainly, it’s awesome to see young writers here on fictionpress, but I could never put my finger on where the plethora of tall, dark, handsome, and brooding male leads came from.
By the way, your Chapter 11, “Using your Fiction Press Account Wisely,” is pretty much my bible, espcially for receiving and giving reviews. I’ve certainly got all kinds of reviewers, some of which want one thing, some of which want the exact opposite. Oftentimes, I feel like the so called “Feed me” reviewers want a plotline that would most likely lead to bad writing, like, as you had mentioned here, the sort of angst resolved in “a couple of chapters… after the love interest tells her she's beautiful.” As Fictionpress does encourage one to post up chapters before realizing where the general plot, or even the next chapter, is heading, it can sometimes be difficult to not be swayed by their opinions, ha!
I still have my fingers crossed that you would update this, even if it’s been more than a year.